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    Aug 06

    How much do you know about pearls? Do you know how to tell a real one from a fake? Wonder no more, because here are all the basic facts everyone should know about these treasures from the sea!

    A pearl is made, over a long period of time, inside a shelled mollusk – specifically, a pearl oyster. A pearl begins as a grain of sand, and is slowly covered with concentric layers of calcium carbonite (the same substance that makes up clam shells). Because of this unique creation process, natural pearls are incredibly rare and valuable.

    Cultured and Imitation

    A cultured pearl is a real pearl that is given a head start. Grown on pearl farms, cultured pearls begin with a bead being inserted inside a mollusk, and then left alone to grow the pearl. Freshwater pearls are made by using tissue from another mollusk instead of a bead. A well-made cultured pearl will be virtually indistinguishable from a natural pearl, as both are real.

    There are four major kinds of cultured pearls:

    • Akoya – This is what we know as the classic pearl, white or cream colored, round and smooth and consistently sized.
    • South Sea – The largest of cultured pearls, with a satiny appearance and a variety of colors: whire, silver, gold, and pink
    • Tahitian – Rare and treasured, also called Black Pearls due to their unique black or gray coloring.
    • Freshwater – While in general these pearls aren’t as perfectly round as others, they are similar in every other way. Also, these are the most inexpensive pearls available that aren’t imitation pearls.

    An imitation pearl is exactly what it sounds like – another substance shaped, smoothed, and colored to give it the appearance of a pearl. Also called “shell pearls” they can look very much like real pearls, but won’t have the same weight or smoothness. Usually, imitations are made from conch, coral, mother-of-pearl, or glass, and have little value.

    Pearl Qualities

    Color – Natural and cultured pearls develop in white, rose (pink), gold, silver, black and gray.

    Shape – Round, off-round, oval, teardrop and Baroque. Round pearls are both most common and most desired. Teardrop and Baroque shaped pearls are used as pendants, necklaces and earrings.

    Size – Generally, pearls are anywhere from 1mm to 20mm in diameter.

    Luster – The single most important quality in a pearl; luster is how much light the pearl reflects from its surface. The more lustrous a pearl, the greater its value.

    How to Tell if a Pearl is Real

    Unlike fake diamonds, which can be convincing down to the atomic level, imitation or fake pearls are quite easy to distinguish. A real pearl has a slight grittiness to it, and isn’t completely smooth. To test its authenticity, rub the pearl against your front teeth; you will immediately feel the friction if it’s a real pearl.

    If you don’t feel comfortable putting this potentially valuable item into your mouth, then simply rub it against another pearl for the same result.

    World Record

    The Pearl of Lao Tzu was found inside a giant clam in the Phillipines in 1934. It weighed a whopping 14 pounds, and it has never been equaled. It is currently valued at $3.5 million, also making it the worlds most valuable pearl.

    Jun 18

    night_skyRed diamonds are the rarest jewels on earth, with less than 20 authentic, natural examples ever been certified. What could be more elusive than that? How about jewelry that comes from the stars themselves – it seems that in ancient times the most valuable substances came from space.

    Ancient Egyptians called it “iron from the sky” and it was considered a gift from the gods. They were a people who knew – and loved – their jewelry. A recent study published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science sought to prove what has been widely rumored over the years; that Egyptians found fallen meteorites and turned them into the most precious of adornments.They analyzed the composition of the metal and found it to match that of an old iron-rich meteoroid. Continue reading »

    Jan 31

    Engagement ring with emerald side stonesIn the past year we’ve seen a few celebrities opting for different colored stones in their engagement rings. So far, emeralds have been the trend-setting stone for 2013. The alluring deep green of emeralds seems irresistible and we’re certain to see many more rings featuring the precious stone. Continue reading »

    Jan 17

    Birthstone engagement rignOne trend that’s starting to take off with celebrities and can be expected to show up more in 2013 is the birthstone engagement ring. Continue reading »

    Oct 04

    Since the launch of the latest iPhone, people and the media have not stopped talking about it. Are you wondering if you should ditch your previous phone and go for the 5? If you are then you are not alone. Perhaps a little primer on what the new features are in the would help you make up your mind. Consider the following. Continue reading »

    Aug 27

    PeridotBirthstones have been a part of human belief systems for a long time now. The earliest mentions of birthstones, their connection to various months and their ability to influence any individual’s life can be traced to ancient cultures in India and Babylonia. Subsequently, over the years, these beliefs migrated into the western cultures as well. While birthstones have enjoyed a lot of fame in the medieval and ancient ages, they have not been so popular in the modern times. However, in the last few years the popularity of birthstones has enjoyed a kind of resurgence as more and more people have started believing in their positive properties. Continue reading »

    May 29

    EmeraldIf the number of people who believe in the benefits of birthstones or gemstones is really considered, it would be very difficult to not take these beautiful stones with mystic properties seriously. As most people in the modern world are well aware, the concept of gemstones and birthstones is deeply connected to astrology. Furthermore, as astrology has twelve signs with each devoted to one month, there are also gemstones assigned to each of these months. The current month of May is known for the astrological sign of Taurus and one of the most exquisite gemstones known to man i.e. an emerald. Continue reading »

    Mar 26
    aquamarine; blue beryl Polski: akwamaryn; nieb...

    Gemstones have been a part of the human culture for countless centuries. Regardless of which part of the world you live in, there is a strong chance that your region has a history of dealing with gemstones in terms of their mystical effects on life. While many cultures have their own versions and renditions on how different gemstones affect a person’s life, the perception of most people in the modern world is aligned with western astrology. According to western astrology, just like every month has a star sign related to it, there are specific gemstones for each month as well. The traditional gemstone for the currently ongoing month of March is aquamarine.

    Adam Levine

    March 18 - Adam Levine

    As the name of the gemstone suggests, aquamarine is almost always connected to sea water. In fact, aquamarine literally means sea water. According to many legends, aquamarine is said to be the treasure of the mermaids. While there are mystical connotations pertaining to the aquamarine, the most logical reason for it being related to the sea could be its color. If you live on the coast or have seen clear and pristine waters in your life then you would find it easier to understand the color of aquamarine. Even though the aquamarine can boast the full range of colors i.e. from red to completely transparent, the majority of these stones are either sea blue or sea green in color. Notably, the most desired version of the aquamarine gemstone is sky blue.

    Mariah Carey during red carpet interviews at t...

    March 27 - Mariah Carey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Traditionally speaking, owing to its relation to the sea and the mermaids, aquamarine is known to have the ability to protect sailors and guarantee their journey over water. The color of the stone can also be a reason for the fact that aquamarine is said to signify faith, courage and friendship. Some people even believe that dreams involving aquamarine mean that the dreamer would find new friendships and will see his existing relationships becoming stronger. Furthermore, as is usually seen with such colors and clear waters, aquamarine is supposed to have a tranquil quality to it. This is the reason why most people with anger management issues are advised to wear aquamarine in either a necklace or rings. An extension of this working principle is the fact that aquamarine is a gemstone that is highly recommended for couples whose marriages may be in trouble or who have difficulty in communicating with each other.

    Photo of Keira Knightley at the 2005 Toronto I...

    March 26 – Keira Knightley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Also worth mentioning is the fact that aquamarine is a gemstone that is advised for people who are on the verge of some dangerous or risky tasks. The reason for this is that aquamarine is said to have properties that allow it to counter evil or the devil. Moreover, there are some people who even believe that aquamarine has some healing properties for the person wearing it. The most common beliefs suggest that wearing aquamarine can prove to be highly beneficial for people who have health problems related to the throat or mental stresses of varying kinds.

    Bruce Willis at a Live Free or Die Hard (Die H...

    March 19 - Bruce Willis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    On a different note, people whose birthdays fall in the month of March are said to be specifically sensitive to the positive properties of aquamarine. It is because of this reason that most astrology experts advise March born people to wear aquamarine and always have it in contact with their skins. This means wearing aquamarine in either rings or in necklaces because these are the best avenues for the physical contact that is required. There are many famous celebrities who have birthdays in the month of March and can benefit from the use of aquamarine’s wondrous qualities. Pictured in this post are the more prominent ones.

    Mar 02
    Amethyst (polished) by Wela49

    Image via Wikipedia

    The Amethyst

    This stone is belongs to the quartz family and can be found in many locations worldwide.  The color of the Amethyst ranges in all hues of purple, from tender lilac to grape purple.  It is also referred to as the “Bishop’s Stone” since Catholic bishops wear Amethyst rings. The Crystal System is trigonal and its hardness is at a solid 7. Continue reading »

    Jan 31
    Garnet (name)

    Image via Wikipedia

    Introducing our New Monthly Feature: Know Your Birthstone! Every month we will put the spotlight on that month’s birthstone. Learn about it’s gemological origins and implications, and even some of the bigger names to share your birthstone! Continue reading »