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Gemstones

 

Gemstones have long been admired, desired, and shrouded in legend and mystery. Tales of buried gemstone treasures have long been popular, and throughout the ages different stones were believed to have magical, mystical and healing powers. Today, we revere colored stones as a beautiful and unique way to express ourselves.

Amethyst

 
Birthstone: February 
Wedding Anniversary: 6th

Amethyst is an extremely popular gem because of its regal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability, and wide range of hues. Amethyst exhibits color ranging from pale lilac to deep purple.

According to Legend:

The stone is supposed to bring peace of mind to the wearer and prevent fatal poisoning. Amethyst was also once considered a strong antidote against drunkenness. In some legends, the stone also represents piety, celibacy and dignity.

Care:

Amethyst ranks a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, so is considered durable enough for everyday wear. However, Amethyst should not be exposed to excessive amounts of bright sunlight since this can cause its color to fade.
Amythyst Gemstone

 

Aquamarine

 
Birthstone: March 
Wedding Anniversary: 19th

This elegant stone is most popularly seen in oval and emerald shapes. It derives it name from the Latin term for seawater and one look at this elegant gem’s greenish-blue hues easily explains why.

According to Legend:

Aquamarine is the symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity. According to legend, aquamarine has the power to keep sailors safe at sea. It is also said to protect against the wiles of the devil, cure headaches, insomnia and other ailments, quicken the intellect, and attract new friends.

Care:

With an 8 ranking on the Mohs hardness scale, the stone is very durable and can stand up to everyday wear. While Aquamarine generally isn’t treated with fillers, resins or oils, you should avoid mechanical cleaners. To clean aquamarine, use warm soapy water.
Aquamarine Gemstone

 

Blue Topaz

 
Birthstone: December 
Wedding Anniversay: 4th

Blue topaz is one of the most popular gemstones due to its clarity, durability, availability and affordability. The stone’s watery blue color is not natural; it is most often created through heat treatment and irradiation. Blue topaz has a definite, uniform color ranging from sky blue to Swiss blue. It can also be found in golden yellow, orange-yellow, reddish-orange, sherry red, deep pink, honey brown, light green, and many shades in between.

According to Legend:

The ancient Greeks believed Blue Topaz had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible. Different cultures have believed that the stone could cure insomnia, asthma and hemorrhages, bring friendship, improve eyesight, promote patience and a pleasant disposition, and ensure fidelity. It has also been a symbol of love and thought to ward off sudden death.

Care:

With a ranking of 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, blue topaz is exceptionally strong and durable and well-suited to everyday wear. It should, however, be protected against hard blows that can split, crack or chip it.
Blue Topaz Gemstone

 

Citrine

 
Birthstone: November 
Wedding Anniversay: 13th

Citrine is the most affordable of all the earth-toned gemstones and is available in a range of golden hues from lemon to straw to sun yellow to gold, as well as oranges, browns, and deep madeira red. It is also available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including very large sizes. Its low cost makes it an ideal stone for popular free-form, one-of-a-kind and customized pieces.

According to Legend:

Citrine was once thought to protect against snake venom and evil thoughts. It was also thought to give calmness and mental balance to its wearer.

Care:

With a ranking of 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, citrine has excellent durability and is suitable for everyday wear. However, it should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat.
Citrine Gemstone

 

Emerald

 
Birthstone: May 
Wedding Anniversay: 20th and 35th

Emerald is characterized by lush green hues and rare beauty. Emeralds come in a variety of light and dark shades of green, and often with subtle background hues of other colors like yellow, blue, brown or gray. Generally, the purer and richer the green, the more valuable the stone.

According to Legend:

Emeralds were thought to soothe the soul, help in seeing the future, ward off evil spirits and cure ailments ranging from bad eyesight to infertility. The stone was also said to improve memory and bring great wealth to its wearer.

Care:

The gem ranks 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means that emerald, while relatively hard, can still be scratched, chipped or split; Emeralds have been known to crack when exposed to extreme temperatures. In caring for your emerald, avoid ultrasonic cleaners, or harsh cleansers that can damage the emerald’s oils and relatively soft surface. Clean with a soft, damp cloth and warm water, and a soft bristle brush if needed.
Emerald Gemstone

 

Garnet

 
Birthstone: January 
Wedding Anniversay: 2nd

Garnet is one of the most versatile stones available; it comes in a rainbow of colors, from deep red to tangerine orange to lime green to pale pink, as well as purple, gold and brown.

According to Legend:

Garnets have been prized for their rich hues and supposed mystical properties; long ago, travelers carried the gem to protect them against accidents. It was also thought to ward off evil spirits, spark creativity and dispel anger. The stones are also created with lighting up the night – Noah used a garnet lantern to navigate the Ark through the 40 days and nights of rain.

Care:

These gemstones have a ranking from 6-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so they can be susceptible to nicks and cracks caused by impact. To clean garnet, use warm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic cleaning is safe for most types of garnet. Avoid steam cleaning.
Garnet Gemstone

 

Opal

 
Birthstone: October 
Wedding Anniversay: 14th

Opal has long been treasured by royalty for it’s "play of color". This popular gem is found in a range of hues, including white opal (the most common), black opal, "boulder" opal (black opal with iron oxide), crystal or water opal (which is transparent), and fire opal. Fire opal has a yellow to orange to red body color.

According to Legend:

Opal contains supposed mystical powers, for example Scandinavian women wore opals in their hair to prevent their hair from going gray. It is also said to enhance vigor, aid the heart and kidneys and protect against fainting and infection. Opal is sometimes called the "queen of gems" because the stone can flash patterns of color representing every hue of the rainbow.

Care:

With a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs scale, opal is relatively fragile, and care should be taken not to scratch, chip or crack it. To clean opal, use a soft cloth moistened with olive oil. Do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Also, avoid heat and dry conditions that could dehydrate and crack the stone. Avoid impacts.
Opal Gemstone

 

Pearl

 
Birthstone: June 
Wedding Anniversay: 3rd and 30th

Pearls are among the most timeless, classic and treasured gems. A natural pearl starts out as a grain of sand or microscopic worm that works its way into an oyster and cannot be expelled. To protect its soft body from this irritant, the oyster secretes a smooth, hard crystalline substance called nacre. Layer upon layer of nacre coats the foreign object and hardens, ultimately forming a pearl.

According to Legend:

Pearls have long been associated with wisdom, wealth, purity, romance and mystery. The ancient Egyptians were buried with them. In Rome, pearls were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and status. The Greeks prized them for their beauty and association with love and marriage. During the Renaissance, some European countries banned all but nobility from the right to wear them.

Care:

Pearls are soft, ranking only 2.5-4.5 on the Mohs scale for hardness, so they require special care. Natural oils from the skin, as well as hair spray, lotions and cosmetics, can dull their luster. Like other jewelry, they should be cleaned with a soft damp cloth and stored in cloth or cotton away from other jewelry to prevent scratching. Also, avoid allowing your pearl to come in contact with harsh chemicals, which can erode its surface. If worn frequently, pearl necklaces should be brought to a jeweler once a year for re-stringing to prevent strand breakage.
Black Tahitian Pearls

 

Peridot

 
Birthstone: August 
Wedding Anniversay: 16th

This gem is found in various shades of green, but is most sought after in lime hues. Inclusions are common, so clarity is extremely important when buying peridot.

According to Legend:

It was believed that peridot had the power to ward off evil spirits, nightmares and enchantments. It was also used as a medical remedy to treat asthma and other ailments. Its power was considered most potent when the stone was set in gold. A goblet carved from Peridot was said to strengthen any medicine drank from it.

Care:

Peridot is relatively soft (6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale) and should be spared rugged, regular wear. It is also highly sensitive to rapid temperature changes and can lose its polish if brought into contact with hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. Peridot is occasionally treated with colorless oil or wax to improve its appearance.
Peridot Gemstone

 

Ruby

 
Birthstone: July 
Wedding Anniversay: 15th and 40th

The ultimate red gemstone, rubies have symbolized passion and romance for centuries. The finest rubies are intensely saturated, pure red with no overtones of brown or blue.

According to Legend:

The color of blood, the stone is symbolic of courage and bravery. The stone has also been used as a talisman against danger, disaster, to stop bleeding, and a number of other ailments. Its intense color was thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone – or, as some legends would have it, a piece of the planet Mars.

Care:

The ruby rates a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it the second hardest material known after diamonds. Despite this, some rubies have surface fractures and cavities that are filled with glass-like materials to improve their appearance. This filler may break, fall out or wear out over time if exposed to heat, strong abrasives or constant impact. For both treated or untreated stones, the safest cleaning method is to just use soapy water or a mild commercial solvent and a brush.
Ruby Gemstone

 

Sapphire

 
Birthstone: September 
Wedding Anniversay: 5th and 45th

Sapphire is considered the ultimate blue gemstone. Although sapphire is virtually synonymous with blue, the stone also comes in a variety of fancy colors that includes colorless/white, pink, yellow, peach, orange, brown, violet, purple, green and many shades in between, except red (a red sapphire would be called a ruby).

According to Legend:

The gem has long symbolized faith, remembrance, and enduring commitment. According to tradition, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on tablets of sapphire, making it the most sacred stone.

Care:

With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphire is harder than any other gemstone except a diamond. This makes it extremely durable for everyday jewelry pieces such as rings and bracelets. In general, sapphire can be cleaned with soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush.
Blue Sapphire Gemstone

 

Tanzanite

 
Wedding Anniversay: 24th

This rare, exotic gem was first discovered in 1967 and is only found at the foot of Mount Kiliminjaro. In its natural form, tanzanite is typically brown with reddish, orange, yellow or bronze hues. Heat treatment releases the spectacular violet-blue colors for which the stone is known. Tanzainte almost always displays signature overtones of purple. In smaller sizes, it tends toward lighter tones, with lavender the most common. In larger sizes, the gem typically displays deeper, richer blues and purples. Although demand for this beautiful gem continues to grow, supply shortages in recent years have hampered production and caused price fluctuations.

Care:

With a ranking of 6.5 on the Mohs scale, it is safe to wear tanzanite jewelry on a daily basis, but avoid impacts that could crack, chip or shatter the stone. Clean your tanzanite with warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush. Also, avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning, because high temperatures could damage the stone. Most nicks and scratches can be removed through polishing.
Tanzanite Gemstone

 

Mohs Scale

Gemstones and other minerals are ranked according to their hardness. Hardness refers to a stone's ability to resist scratches and nicks. But a hard gemstone is not automatically tough or durable. 


The Mohs scale is the most common method used to rank gemstones according to hardness. This scale grades minerals on a scale from 1 (very soft) to 10 (very hard). The Mohs scale is a relative scale, meaning the differences between numbers are not always the same. For example, a diamond (10) is about 4-5 times harder than corundum (9), which is about 2 times harder than topaz (8). 

A gem with a given hardness rating will scratch other gems of the same hardness and all gems with lower hardness ratings. Gold, silver, and platinum are all relatively soft with Mohs ratings between 2.5-4. Since gems can scratch each other and their settings, each piece of gemstone jewelry should be wrapped separately in silk or paper when stored. 


Mohs Scale: 

Diamond: 10 
Ruby: 
Sapphire: 
Aquamarine: 
Blue Topaz: 
Emerald: 7.5-8 
Amethyst: 
Citrine: 
Tanzanite: 6.5 – 7 
Garnet: 6 – 7 
Peridot: 6.5 
Tanzanite: 6.5 
Opal: 5.5 
Pearl: 2.5 – 4.5