Creative Gift-Wrapping with Broken Jewelry

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Have you ever wondered what to do with broken or half-missing fashion jewelry or accessories? If so, we’ve got a solution that will have you doing the happy dance, literally. With the holiday season in full swing and gift-wrapping on the rise, I’ve got a cute little enhancement idea, that’s sure to sparkle under any holiday tree.

For some! Gift-wrapping has become antiquated, so a lot of people have fled to using gift bags instead. However, there are still some of us who find joy in traditional gift-wrapping, as well as those who enjoy receiving gifts that have been meticulously wrapped

No matter the occasion you can turn cast-off fashion jewelry into one-of-a-kind accents for gift-wrapping. Just purchase your favorite wrapping paper as well as your favorite ribbon fabric (we prefer satin ribbon), and then embellish your beautifully wrapped work of art with your broken treasures. FYI! Your broken fashion jewelry is way too beautiful to keep tucked away in a jewelry box or thrown out in the trash. That’s right! There’s no need to dispose of that broken brooch, necklace, bracelet, ring or half missing earring anymore. Let them take flight as conversation pieces to your dearest family, friends and favorites.

You’ve already taken the time to purchase the perfect gift and wrap it to show that extra dose of “You mean the World to me,” so why not make that wrapping extra special and pleasing to the receiver and show off your DIY skills and of course your beautiful collection of trinkets and treasures. At the end of the day, every broken piece of jewelry and accessory should have a chance to be in the spotlight this holiday season or on any occasion as a matter of fact.

Below are some of my broken earrings that I used as gift accents. I really hope this idea gives you inspiration and a little joy. Be sure to tag @MadisonGems in your gift-wrapping pics on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, so we can see your gem-fabulous designs.

Thank you for a wonderful year of blogging and feedback. I love you guys dearly. Have a Happy Holiday season & an even happier New Year Gems.

Happy wrapping!

what to do with broken jewelry?

Half-missing earrings used to embellish gifts…

what to do with broken jewelry

Pearls, Crystals & Epoxy stones used to elevate gifts.

 

 

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December’s Birthstone: Turquoise

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Beyonce wearing a Lorraine Schwartz Turquoise & Diamond Jewelry Set.

For those with December birthdays, Turquoise is a fitting birthstone because it’s known for granting power and protection, particularly against falls. From ancient Egyptians to Persians, Aztecs and Native Americans, kings and warriors alike admired turquoise for thousands of years. As a result, the stone adorned everything from jewelry to ceremonial masks to weapons and bridles.

The name turquoise dates back to the 13th century, drawing from the French expression “pierre tourques,” which referenced the “Turkish stone” brought to Europe from Turkey. Admired since ancient times, turquoise is known for its distinct color, which ranges from powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue. Thus, It’s one of few minerals to lend its name to anything that resembles its striking color. Turquoise is sensitive to direct sunlight and solvents like makeup, perfume and natural oils. The hardest turquoise measures 6 on the Mohs scale, which made this soft stone popular in carved talismans throughout history.

Ancient Persia, which is now Iran, was the traditional source for sky blue turquoise. This color is often called “Persian blue” today, regardless of its origin. As well, the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt was also an important historical source. Nonetheless, the U.S. is now the world’s largest turquoise supplier.

Moreover, turquoise is found in arid regions where rainwater dissolves copper in the soil, forming colorful nodular deposits when it combines with aluminum and phosphorus. Furthermore, copper contributes blue hues, while iron and chrome add a hint of green. Therefore, states like Nevada, New Mexico, California and Colorado have produced turquoise, but Arizona leads in production by value, as well as quality. In any case, the stone’s popularity here makes it a staple in Native American jewelry.

Cultures around the world have admired the distinct color of turquoise since ancient times. The earliest evidence comes from ancient Egyptian tombs, which contain elaborate turquoise jewelry dating back to 3000 BCE. Egyptians set turquoise in gold necklaces and rings, used it as inlay and carved it into scarabs. Most notably, King Tut’s iconic burial mask was extravagantly adorned with turquoise. The oldest turquoise mines are located in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. One sat near an ancient temple dedicated to Hathor, the Greek goddess of love and joy worshipped as a protector in the desert and as the patron saint of mining. What’s more, Egyptians called turquoise mefkat, which meant “joy” and “delight.” Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise, often engraving it with Arabic script. Turquoise covered palace domes because its sky blue color represented heaven. (This later inspired the use of turquoise in buildings like the Taj Mahal.)

Believing turquoise guaranteed protection, Persians adorned their daggers and horses’ bridles with it. Their name for turquoise, pirouzeh, meant “victory.” Persians wore turquoise jewelry around their necks and in their turbans. They believed it offered protection by changing color to warn of pending doom. In fact, Turquoise can, in fact, fade if exposed to sunlight or solvents.

Apache Indians believed that attaching turquoise to bows and later, firearms…improved a hunter’s accuracy. Turquoise became valuable in Native American trade, which carried North American material toward South America. Consequently, Aztecs cherished turquoise for its protective power, and used it on ceremonial masks, knives and shields. Subsequently, the turquoise-studded silver jewelry that’s commonly associated with Native Americans today originated in the 1880s, when a white trader convinced a Navajo craftsman to transform a silver coin into turquoise jewelry.

Whether you’re purchasing turquoise for yourself or a loved one, you’re making an investment in a beautiful piece, that will stand the test of time, with fabulous statement pieces ranging from pendants to rings. Nevertheless, the gem is very durable and can compliment both special occasion looks as well as everyday ensembles in addition to flattering both warm and cool colors. Likewise, its namesake blue color has been internationally revered for centuries as a symbol of protection, friendship, and happiness. Alas, besides being the December birthstone, turquoise is also used to celebrate the 11th year of marriage.

 

 

 

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November’s Birthstone: Citrine

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For those with November birthdays, Citrine makes the perfect birthstone. As November is towards the close of the year in addition to it being a chilly month, Citrine is a fitting gem, as it symbolizes peace and prosperity. Many have said this stone has the power to help the wearer release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. As a result, the gem is affectionately known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm; Also, as the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity. With all these acclamations, Citrine is ideally the best gem to start the holiday season.

Emma Watson wearing Citrine earrings.

The name citrine was used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385, when the word was first recorded in English. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of their lemon-inspired shades. Thus, Citrine is a variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. However, the finest citrine gems are saturated with yellow, orange and reddish hues, while stones of lower value appear pale or smoky. In fact, earth tones of amber brown are also increasingly popular. Besides, since the gem’s color closely resembled topaz, these two stones shared a history of mistaken identities. What’s more, Citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Therefore, it’s relatively durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear, making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewelry. Furthermore, Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Withal, different geographies yield different shades of citrine.

Kate Winslet wearing Citrine necklace set.

Throughout history, people believed that citrine carried the same powers as topaz, including the ability to calm tempers, soothe anger and manifest desires…especially prosperity. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gems as talismans and the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, while Roman priests fashioned them into rings. Thereafter, citrine had a boost of popularity in the mid-18th century. Mineralogists realized that amethyst and smoky quartz could be heat treated to produce lemony and golden honey hues of citrine. As a result, this discovery contributed greatly to an abundance of affordable enhanced gems on the market. Accordingly, once citrine was distinguished from Topaz, it quickly became popular in women’s jewelry as well as men’s cufflinks and rings. Today, it remains one of the most affordable and highly purchased yellow gemstones.

Kim Catrell wearing a Citrine ring.

Accordingly, if you’re purchasing a Citrine for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a November birthday, promote a sense of calm, or salute a 13th wedding anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to end the current year with something warm, optimistic, with calming energies and great fortune, which is exactly what many people need when a November winter sets in. Nonetheless, Citrine is fairly abundant and affordably priced, even in large sizes, which means everyone can find a way to fit this magnificent stone into their budget.

 

 

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October’s Birthstone: Opal

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Solange Knowles wearing a beautiful Opal Necklace.

For those with October birthdays, you’ve been graced with the kaleidoscopic gem Opal. Not only is opal beautiful in color, but legend associates this precious stone with good luck and we all need a dose of that sometimes.

The name “opal” originates from the Greek word opallios, which means “to see a change in color.” It’s actually is very fitting name for this gem, as its play of colors can simulate shades of any stone. Back in the 1960s, scientists discovered that opal was composed of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light to display various colors of the rainbow, which ultimately explains opal’s characteristic “play-of-color.”

Iman wearing Triple Boulder Opal Earrings.

As a result, these particular flashy gems are called “precious opals;” those without play-of-color are “common opals.” Nonetheless, dozens of opal varieties exist, but only a few i.e. Fire Opal and Boulder Opal are universally recognized. Moreover, opals are often referred to by their background “body color”…black or white.

Australia is the classic country of opal’s origination. As a result of Australia’s seasonal rains soaking the parched outback, silica deposits were carried underground into cracks between layers of rock. Subsequently, when the water evaporated, these deposits formed opal. Sometimes, silica seeped into spaces around wood, seashells and skeletons, resulting in opalized fossils. Since the discovery of opal in Australia around 1850, the country has produced 95% of the World’s supply.

Jennifer Hudson wearing Sutra Opal Earrings.

Likewise, opal is also mined in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the U.S., including Nevada and Idaho. Conversely, the water content of opal can range from 3 to 21%, which is usually between 6 and 10 in gem-quality material. In addition, the water content combined with hardness makes opal a 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, making opal a delicate gem that can crack or “craze” under extreme temperature, dehydration or direct light. The world’s largest and most valuable opal is the “Olympic Australis,” which came from Coober Pedy, Australia in 1956, during the Olympic Games in Melbourne. It was valued at $2.5 million in 2005 and this gem measures 11 inches long and weighs 17,000 carats, making it equivalent to 7.6 pounds

According to Arabic legend, opals fell from the sky in bolts of lightning. However, Australian aborigines, meanwhile, believed that the creator came to earth on a rainbow, leaving these colorful stones where his feet touched the ground. What’s more, during the Middle Ages, people believed that opal possessed the powers of each gemstone whose color appeared in its sheen, making it a very lucky stone for the wearer. In contrast, Sir Walter Scott’s 1829 book, “Anne of Geierstein,” transformed opal’s lucky perception because the story featured an enchanted princess who wore an opal that changed colors with her moods. He attested that a few drops of holy water extinguished the stone’s magic fire and the woman soon died. As a result, people began associating opals with bad luck so within a year after publication of Scott’s book, opal sales in Europe drastically fell by 50%.

Kerry Washington wearing Fire Opal Ring.

Like diamonds, opals can be evaluated by color, clarity, cut and carat weight. But these unique gems also have several additional conditions to consider. Color is the key factor of opal quality: both the background “body color” and the flashing “play-of-color.” Dark backgrounds provide more contrast against vivid play-of-color, making black opal more highly valued than milky white varieties. As well, pattern is another factor unique to opal. Descriptive names like stained glass, peacock, rolling fire and Chinese writing distinguish opal patterns. Gemologists typically prefer large, concentrated patches over small specks. Different opal varieties have varying clarity standards. Crystal opals should be transparent, while opacity makes black opals more valuable. A cloudy, milky haze lowers any opal’s value, and may indicate instability. Fine opals are often cut into irregular shapes to emphasize play-of-color. When possible, opals should be cut cabochon with rounded domes. But most opal comes in thin layers, which are commonly mounted on another dark stone like onyx or obsidian (as a doublet) and sometimes capped with clear glass or plastic (as a triplet) to make this fragile gem more wearable.

A variation of Opals from around the World.

Opal has been a good luck charm for centuries despite superstitions that consider it lucky only for people born in October, and unlucky to anyone else. In fact, opal’s kaleidoscopic play-of-color, can suit many changing moods and tastes, making this gem appropriate for anyone. Accordingly, It is also the traditional gift to celebrate 14th wedding anniversaries. Therefore, if you’re purchasing opal for yourself or a loved one, ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to serendipitously accessorize for fall and winter with a sense of good fortune, opportunity and victory.

 

Below are some of our favorite opal pieces:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August Birthstone: Peridot

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Joan Collins at the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing a Peridot Jewelry Set.

For those with August birthdays, peridot is a fitting birthstone because it’s said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, therefore, ensuring peace and happiness. Respectively, Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun.” Emphatically, because of its sparkling green hue that looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is known as “the evening emerald.” As well, it is said that babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

The signature green color of peridot comes from the composition of the mineral itself, instead of coming from trace impurities like many other gems. As a result, this is one of few stones that only come in one color. Yet, its shades can vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, contingent on how much iron is present in the stones composition. What’s more, the origin of the gem’s name is unclear but most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat, which means “gem.” However, some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, which means, “giving plenty.” Conceivably, this has to be the reason peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. Likewise, Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Peridot is a rare gem-quality variety that comes from the mineral olivine and its formed deep inside the earth’s mantle, which is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Famous for volcanoes, in Hawaii peridot symbolizes the tears of pele which is the volcano goddess of fire, who controls the flow of lava. In addition, although it’s rare peridot is also found inside meteorites.

On top, Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. Nevertheless, these gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island (Zabargad). Subsequently, in the 90s new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest Kashmir peridots ever found, weighing more than 100 carats. In any case, the San Carlos

Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona is where the most productive peridot deposit in the World is located. However, other sources are located in China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa. As a result, an estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supplies are found there. Equally important, peridot measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Perennially, there are some historians that believe Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have actually been peridot, as people confused these two green gems throughout medieval times. In addition, one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral is adorned with 200-carat gems that were long believed to be emeralds, however, they’re also peridots. Today, the world’s largest peridot is a 310-carat gem in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re purchasing a peridot for yourself or a loved one, you’re making an investment in a beautiful piece, that will stand the test of time, with fabulous statement pieces ranging from pendants to rings. Nevertheless, the gem is very durable and can compliment both special occasion looks as well as everyday ensembles in addition to flattering both warm and cool colors. Alas, besides being the August birthstone, Peridot is also used to celebrate the 16th year of marriage and makes the perfect gift that will leave others green with envy.

 

 

 

 

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July’s Birthstone: Ruby

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Victoria Beckham’s Ruby Engagement Ring.

For those fortunate with July birthdays, you’ve been royally graced with the birthstone Ruby. Ruby has been acclaimed as the king of precious gems and likewise, has been revered since ancient times. It’s symbolic for passion, protection, prosperity and the energy associated with the color red, which is said to bring love and success.

Accordingly, the name “Ruby” comes from the Latin word for red, rubeus. However, in ancient Sanskrit, the word ruby translated to ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” For that reason, these fiery gems have been treasured throughout history for their unequivocal vitality.

Colored by the element chromium, Ruby is a red variety of the mineral corundum. Nonetheless, all the other colors of gem-quality are however, called sapphire. Therefore, this means that color is clearly the key for this royal stone and harmoniously, the chromium that gives rubies its red color, in the same way, causes fluorescence. Thus, this makes rubies glow like a fire from within.

Ironically, chromium makes this gem scarce, because it can cause cracks and fissures. For that reason, few rubies grow large enough to crystallize into fine quality gems, as they can potentially be higher in price than diamonds. In fact, because of rubies toughness and durability, it measures 9 on the Mohs scale; therefore, diamonds are the only natural gemstone harder than a ruby. Successively, a Ruby’s strength and red fluorescence makes it valuable beyond jewelry. As a matter of fact, the first working laser was made from rubies in 1960. As well, they’re also used in watchmaking and for medical instruments.

Prized particularly in Asian countries, records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. As well, Chinese noblemen believed that rubies would grant them protection, so they adorned their armor with the gem. Similarly, they also buried rubies beneath building foundations to safeguard good fortune.

On the other hand, Hindus offered rubies to the god Krishna, as they believed they would be reborn as emperors. According to Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within a ruby burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Likewise, Greek legends also claimed that the ruby’s warmth could melt wax. Moreover, the gems deep red color has long been correlated with the life force and vitality of blood. That’s why, rubies are believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle.

The city Burma (currently known as Myanmar) has had a considerable ruby source since at least 600 AD. The warriors there believed that rubies made them invincible. As a result, they even implanted rubies into their skin in order to grant protection whenever they were in battle. Following this, in the 90s the Mong Hsu region of Myanmar began producing rubies after discovering that heat treatment improved the color saturation. Likewise, other ruby deposits exist in Vietnam, Thailand, India, parts of the Middle East, East Africa and even the United States.

Just like diamonds, rubies are evaluated using the 4Cs (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight), size and geographic origin. However, the most important feature of a ruby is its red color. The finest ruby is a vibrant purplish-red and rubies of lesser value lean toward brown, orange or even pink. For instance, the World’s most expensive gemstone other than a diamond is The Sunrise Ruby and in 2015 a 25.6-carat Burmese Pigeon Blood Ruby was auctioned for nearly $30M, setting a new record price-per-carat.

Accordingly, if you’re purchasing a ruby for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a July birthday, symbolize passion, protection and prosperity or salute a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to feel powerful emotions of love.

Rihanna wearing a Chopard Ruby necklace.

Kelly Osbourne wearing Ruby earrings.

Shilpa Shetty wearing a Ruby jewelry set.

 

 

 

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June’s Birthstone: Pearl

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June's Birthstone

L to R – Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy & Coco Chanel wearing pearls.

For those with June birthdays, your birthstone is a one-of-a-kind stone, as it is the only gemstone made by a living creature. You’ve got it right; I’m talking about the ubiquitous, stunning and breathtakingly beautiful Pearl. Pearls are known as the queen of gems and have been coveted for centuries. They’re officially the world’s oldest gem and have been revered since long before written history.

Pearls are produced when layers of calcium carbonate are deposited around microscopic irritants, which get lodged into a Mollusks shell. It is commonly believed that production occurs when a grain of sand is lodged, but that’s just theory. Nonetheless, any shelled Mollusk can make a pearl, however, only two groups of Bivalve Mollusks or Clams use Mother-Of-Pearl to create the iridescent Nacreous Pearls. Thus, these pearls are highly valued when it comes to jewelry. To boot, these rare gems don’t even require polishing to reveal their natural unmatched luster, as the finest pearls are metallic and reflective like mirrors

The name “Pearl” is derived from the Old French word Perle, as well as the Latin word Perna meaning, “leg,” which references the leg-of-mutton shape of an open Mollusk shell. Furthermore, because the perfectly round shape and smoothness of natural pearls are typically uncommon, the word “Pearl” is oftentimes used to describe anything rare and valuable. For the same reason, in many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day.

The use of pearls dates back to Ancient Greece. They were used as adornments and believed to be tears of the gods. In fact, the oldest known pearl jewelry was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Persian Princess who died in 520 B.C. Respectively, it is now on display at the Louvre in Paris.

Likewise, the Ancient Japanese also considered pearls tears. Their folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures i.e. mermaids, nymphs — you name it. As well, early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth, and the dragon must be slain to claim the pearls, which ultimately symbolized wisdom.

On the other hand, various other cultures associated pearls with the moon. They called them “teardrops of the moon.” In addition, Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna (the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism) picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Throughout history, because natural pearls were so rare, only the rich echelon could afford them. As a result, during the Byzantine Empire, their rules dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear pearls. Likewise, Ancient Egyptians were often buried with their prized pearls. What’s more, in the sixteenth century Tudor England was known as the Pearl Age, because of its popularity with the upper class society. Hence, portraits typically showed royals wearing pearl jewelry and clothing adorned with pearls.

The rarest and most expensive pearls are natural pearls that are produced in the wild. Thus, the majority of pearls sold today are cultured or formed by implanting a grafted piece of shell or a round bead into pearl oysters or freshwater pearl mussels. Subsequently, cultured freshwater pearls can be dyed in various vivid colors, such as yellow, blue, brown, pink, purple or black. In spite of this, black pearls, which are mostly cultured because they are so rare in nature, aren’t actually black. In fact, they’re green, purple, blue or silver. What’s more, the absolute finest pearls have a reflective luster, which makes them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that yields many colorful intrinsic hues. Accordingly, pearls are very soft, ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale. In fact, they’re sensitive to extreme heat and acidity; actually, calcium carbonate is so susceptible to acid that pearls will dissolve in vinegar.

Conversely, at one point Pearls could be found all over the World. However, natural pearling has been confined to the waters of the Persian Gulf near Bahrain. As well, the World’s last remaining pearl diving fleet that still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean is located in Australia. Today, freshwater pearls are typically from China. In addition, the pearls cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia are South Sea pearls

Along these lines, in the early 1900s pearls became more accessible, when the first commercial culturing of saltwater pearls began in Asia. However, since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market, which made the gemstone affordable for nearly any budget.

Without reservation, one should be aware of imitation pearls or shell pearls. They’re made from conch shells or they’re glass coated with a solution containing fish scales. Evidently, rubbing two pearls together will reveal if they are smooth imitation stones, or if they feel gritty from the nacre that comprises natural and cultured pearls.

Many fashion icons have been known to wear pearls as signature statement pieces. Furthermore, Coco Chanel was rarely seen without a pile of pearls around her neck. One of her famous quotes is “A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” As a matter of fact, she shocked society ladies by mixing real pearls with fakes and she teamed her pearls with casual daywear. As a result, because of her endorsement, costume jewelry became popular and many women wore imitation pearls made from Lucite or glass. In addition, Jackie Kennedy is another pearl-wearing icon whose signature triple strand pearl necklace actually consisted of imitation gems made from glass rather than the real deal. As well, Audrey Hepburn’s name is also synonymous with pearls, whether it’s a necklace or a pair of pearl earrings, subtly accentuating her features and ensembles.

Accordingly, if you’re purchasing pearls for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize a June birthday, venerate ancient symbols of purity and innocence or celebrate a bride-to-be or a 1st, 3rd, 12th or 30th anniversary. Ultimately, you’re making an investment in something beautiful with symbolic attributes and the wearer gets to wear something glamorous yet luxurious.

 

 

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

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May’s Birthstone: Emerald

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The month of May has been graced with the highly sought after emerald as it’s the official birthstone. The emerald gemstone is a symbol of rebirth and its believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune and youth. Prized for its luminous and alluring green color, emeralds are typically favored by celebrities and people of wealth, to wear as statement pieces to notable events.

The name emerald is derived from the word “smaragdus,” which means “green” in Greek. In fact, emeralds range in color from light green to a deep rich green. On the contrary, just like the aquamarine gemstone, emerald is a variety of beryl, which is a mineral that grows with six sides and up to a foot in length. As well, just like aquamarine, an emeralds color can present itself in various hues, depending on its cut by a skilled gemologist. Cut is very important on an emerald, because it helps to maximize a desirable green color. Moreover, many emeralds are cut into an emerald shape, which helps to make a vivid looking stone with sparkle, while minimizing inclusions or fissures. In point of fact, most emeralds are heat treated to deepen or enhance the color. Therefore, the deeper or more green an emerald, the more valuable it is. Withal, the rarest emeralds will appear to be an intense green-blue hue.

Emeralds were mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old. The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewelry, and in their extravagant yet ornate burials, often burying emeralds with monarchs as symbols of protection. Actually, Cleopatra is the most famous historical figure to cherish emeralds. Historians say she even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign. At present, emeralds can be found all over the world, including countries like Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. However, the availability of high-quality emerald is limited; thus, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.

Additionally, It’s believed that emeralds have many mystical powers that accompany its luxe beauty. Likewise, some even thought emeralds could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. What’s more, it’s a great possibility that due to its soothing green color, it was also thought that emeralds could ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and serene.

Today, emeralds are a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured dearly by the receiver. It is widely prized by the rich and famous. In fact, Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald pendant given to her by her third husband Richard Burton, sold for $6.5 million in 2011. Accordingly, if you’re purchasing an emerald for yourself or a loved one, it’s a great way to recognize and celebrate a May birthday, it’s known to bring in brilliance, love, liveliness, and empathy or salute a 20th wedding anniversary.

Jennifer Hudson wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2015 Oscars.

Victoria Beckham wearing an Emerald @ the 2007 Vanity Fair Academy Awards.

Beyonce Knowles-Carter wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.

Kim Kardashian wearing an Emerald necklace @ the 2010 Angels Ball.

Viola Davis wearing Emerald earrings @ the 2012 Oscars.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing an Emerald pendant necklace by BVLGARI.

 

**Images from Pinterest

 

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April’s Birthstone: Diamonds

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Celebrities wearing diamonds… (L to R Queen Latifah, Tyler Perry and Zoe Kravitz).

For those individuals born in April, you were truly born into a month of fortune, because the most prized birthstone belongs to this month and it’s none other than the ubiquitous Diamond. In fact, there’s an old saying that diamonds are a girls best friend; likewise, they’re a boy’s best friend too. Hence, that’s why a diamond is universally recognized as a token of wealth, power, and romance.

Historically, diamonds first became a popular gemstone in India, when the Moghuls and Imperial Colony could easily mine diamonds from deposits along three of their major rivers. As a matter of fact, some historians estimate it was traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it’s so admired and valued is because of the assiduous process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, and then forced upward until it is uncovered.

Nevertheless, before the process was understood, many ancient civilizations believed that diamonds were lighting made real on earth. Perhaps this is the reason that diamonds have often been associated with extraordinary healing powers. What’s more, is many thought diamonds could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.

Diamonds are the hardest gemstone and it’s made of just one element, which is carbon. Its structure makes it 58 times harder than anything in nature and can only be cut with another diamond. Diamonds come in several colors, including but not limited to: yellow, red, pink, blue, and green, and range in intensity from faint to vivid. Generally speaking, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. In fact, diamonds sparkling with intense color are rare and may be priced higher than a colorless diamond of equal size because lavish-colored diamonds are very desirable. These colors are oftentimes introduced in a laboratory; and as a result, these are correctly called color-treated diamonds.

Today, the diamond is most widely known as the stone to give as part of an engagement ring. Throughout history, however, the diamond has nearly always symbolized eternal and lasting love. Therefore, the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. So whether you’re celebrating an April birthday, a 60th or 75th wedding anniversary, you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, giving a diamond means giving a perfectly beautiful gift that will truly stand the test of time as the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism.

**Images from martinkatz.com

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Phone: 917-933-1747

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