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  • Zircon

    The gemstone Zircon has been known since antiquity.  It has had various names, but today's name, Zircon, is probably from the Persian word for "golden colored." It is known for its high refractive index and strong dispersion. It is a brittle stone with a hardness of 7, so be careful of knocking its edges. Although [...] Continue Reading
  • Amber

    The fossilized, hardened resin of a pine tree creates the stone, Amber.  It is found mostly in the Baltic, but younger ones have been found in the Dominican Republic. Pieces as large as 22 pounds have been found. Bubbles within Amber can be cleared out by boiling it in rape-seed oil. Insects and plants can [...] Continue Reading
  • Agate

    “Agate” is named after the river Achates in Sicily.  Geodes are often Agates that are completely filled. Agate is a banded chalcedony, which sometimes contains opal.  It’s quartz fibers are vertical to the band’s surface and can be of different colors. It has a hardness of 7. German Agates are often pink, red or brown.  […]

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  • Chalcedony

    Pronounced "kal-ced-ney" "Chalcedony" encompases a variety of gemstones, including agate, petrified wood, chrysophrase, bloodstone, jasper, carnelian, moss agate, onyx and sard.  The Chalcedony that we typically refer to in the gallery, however, is a bluish-white-gray gem.  We have several pieces that have been hand carved by Steve Walters. All Chalcedony is a cyptocrystalline quartz.  It [...] Continue Reading
  • Garnet

    Garnet is another gemstone that comes in a variety of colors and subgroups, although it is usually thought of as red.  This is also January’s birthstone!  The name “Garnet” comes from the Latin word for “grain” because of its round kernel-like crystals similar to those of pomegranates. Pyope Garnets are red/brown.  This was the fashion stone of […]

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  • Moonstone

    In honor of the gorgeous Moonstone jewelry currently in our store, I want to tell you about this gemstone today. Moonstone is from the Feldspar Group, which has two subcategories:  potassium feldspars and plagioclases.  Moonstone falls in the potassium subcategory. It can be colorless, yellow, gray, peach, green, blue or have a pale sheen.  It is known [...] Continue Reading
  • Opal

    In honor of it almost being llyn’s birthday month, I want to tell you about October’s birthstone, opal. “Opal” comes from the Sankrit word for “stone.”  It has a hardness of about 6.  The finest opals come from Lightning Ridge Australia, although they are found all over the world, including Peru, Mexico, Ethiopia, and our […]

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  • Tourmaline

    Tourmaline is another gemstone that comes in many colors.  A pink one is an alternative birthstone for October. It is actually very rare to have a uni-colored one, and its name comes from "Turamali," which means "stone with mixed colors." Tourmaline's most desired colors are intense pink and green. Varieties include rubellite (pink to red), schorl (black, often [...] Continue Reading
  • Sapphire

    Today, I want to tell you more about Sapphire, which is in the Corundum family.  Most commonly thought of as blue, sapphire actually comes in a variety of colors.  What we know of as a Ruby is a red Sapphire.  A pinkish orange one is a Padparadscha Sapphire, which means "Lotus Flower."  Red is caused by [...] Continue Reading
  • Alexandrite

    Hello to All! To begin our Gemstone Roundtable count-down, I want to give you some interesting facts about Alexandrite. This gem was only discovered in the 1830's in the Urals.  Although today, it is mined primarily in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The largest cut Alexandrite weighs 66 ct. and is located in the Smithsonian Institution. [...] Continue Reading