Jewelry News and Education RSS



June Birthstone: Alexandrite

Winner of the Geological Lottery? Most gemstones have thousands of years of history and lore and myth surrounding them... But not Alexandrite. It wasn’t discovered until relatively recently, in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1830’s. The story goes that a group of miners were working in the Ural mountains collecting emeralds. One of them found a few stones that he thought were emeralds and took them back to his camp. That night, he pulled the green stones out to examine them by the light of the fire and... They had turned red! He was baffled, but went to bed.  When he woke up the next morning and examined them in the sunlight, they appeared green once again. By the end...

Continue reading



June Birthstone: Moonstone

Pliny the Elder (a Roman historian) wrote about a stone "having within it the appearance of a star shining brightly like the full moon." He was talking about moonstone, one of the three birthstones for June. Some ancient Romans believed that moonstone was a form of solidified moon-beam, and that its bright shimmer shifted according to lunar movements. The ancients also believed that moonstone protected against “wandering of the mind,” insanity, and epilepsy. They believed that wearing a moonstone could improve your physical strength or help you reconcile with a lover. Most interesting is the belief that if held in the mouth, a moonstone gave you the power to make the right decision in any situation... Because it empowered you to...

Continue reading



Busting Jewelry Myths: “Diamonds Aren’t Rare”

A quick internet search will show you rants about how “diamonds aren’t rare.” "It’s all a conspiracy." "DeBeers controls the world’s diamond supply through a predatory international monopoly..." All of this is unfounded in the modern diamond economy. For 4 reasons: First...  Diamonds form 100 miles beneath the earth's surface, through a process of tremendous pressure and extreme heat, over billions of years. The stones are later pushed toward the surface of the earth through volcanic activity. And of all the diamonds that are pushed toward the surface of the earth, less than 20% of the diamonds mined worldwide are gem quality. (The other 80% are used for industrial purposes; saws, drills, etc.) And, of the 20% that are gem quality stones that go on...

Continue reading



Buying Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds exploded in popularity over the past few years thanks to celebrities wearing them in movies and in the tabloids. Yellows, pinks, browns, blues, greens, purples, and reds... But what is a fancy color diamond? A fancy colored diamond is a diamond that naturally contains impurities and structural defects. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything “wrong” with the diamond. (And in fact, natural fancy diamonds of certain qualities are often more rare and more valuable than some of the most beautiful flawless white diamonds.) It means that something happened in the natural formation process to make it different from the typical pure, white diamond. For example... Natural blue diamonds are created by the presence of the element Boron and natural...

Continue reading



The Truth About "Blood Diamonds"

“Blood diamonds,” or “war diamonds,” refer to diamonds that are mined in a war zone and sold to fund violent insurgent activities.  The awareness of “blood diamonds” sky-rocketed after the 2006 release of the movie “Blood Diamond” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  This movie focused on “blood diamonds” being mined and sold during the civil war of Siearra Leone in the 1990’s. This film showed the horrors of this war in graphic detail.  Entire villages being destroyed in an afternoon.  Soldiers cutting off hands, mutilating women, and “recruiting” child soldiers into their ranks.  This was a terrible conflict, and conflicts like them continue in Africa to this day. BUT... What most people don’t realize is that when this movie was released in...

Continue reading