Mathews Jewelers

AGS

American Gems

We’re the only American Gem Society Certified Store in the area from Houston to Lake Charles.

Super Avenger II

Exclusivety

We have exclusivety to dealers. (Verragio, Signiture Citizen Eco-Drive, Michele, Forevermark, Vahan, Simon G. and etc.)

Bench Jeweler

Bench Jeweler

We have on-hand jewelers in both locations. The turn-over time for a repair, depending on the season, is only a few days (typically.)

Verragio Couture

Unique Pieces

We carry unique and custom pieces that you can’t and won’t find anywhere else.

MJ News and Resources


Jewelry Shopping Tips When Shopping for Others

Shopping for a gift of jewelry for someone else – female or male – can be a daunting task. It seems there’s so much at stake. What if the recipient doesn’t like it? What if you buy earrings for someone who doesn’t have pierced ears? Fortunately, there is no need to put so much pressure on yourself. Jewelry is a thoughtful and personal gift that is enjoyed by just about everyone. At Mathews Jewelers, we’ve put together this helpful list of suggestions for making the process easier. Start With a Price Point It may seem callous to start shopping with a focus on the price tag, but it’s a practical choice. If having the entire store available as options seems too overwhelming, you can narrow your scope of possible purchases to just a fraction by confining your shopping to a certain price range. In addition, being clear about what you can afford will keep both you and our Mathews Jewelers sales staff focused on the options on hand. This way you are much less likely to have a surprise when it comes time to check out. Know Your Recipient Presumably, you know something about the person you mean to receive your jewelry gift. Regardless whether he or she is a young cousin or a future fiancé, you should know a little bit about what he or she might like. Take the aforementioned pierced ears mistake; if you can’t be certain whether the giftee has pierced ears, you might want to choose a bracelet instead. Do you know whether he or she is allergic to any particular metals? Consider purchasing only items with pure metals or stainless steel. Consider Their Tastes There are some clues about the recipient that can help you choose a suitable item, but you will have to do a little detective work first. Check out what types of accessories he or she wears on a daily basis. Does she love a wrist full of bangles, or does he have a single earring hole? If you know the woman you are buying for has a preference for chunky cocktail rings, then you should go that direction for a present. Maybe you are seeking a gift for a man who is into alternative metals; a titanium pinkie ring from Mathews Jewelers might be just the thing. If all else fails, consider the recipient’s hair color and skin tone. That might give you a clue about what colors of metals or stones would look best on his or her complexion. Go for Gems Although jewelry items that are made solely of gold or silver, such as ball stud earrings, are a classic choice, most of the offerings in stores contain some configuration of gemstones or other colored goods. From pearls to birthstones to rare gems, color is one of the most important facets of the gifts you might select. If you know the recipient's birth date, you can figure out which birthstone would be appropriate. Or, if you are buying a present for your mother, she might appreciate a piece that comprises the birthstones of all her children. Pearls are a classic choice that don’t carry the pressure of choosing the right color, and they come at a variety of price points. Diamonds are a nice neutral, too, but you should remember that they hold a significance that may or may not be warranted for your purchase at Mathews Jewelers. Extra Tips Speaking of juggling hidden meanings, here are a few other things to consider. If you purchase a ring as the gift, you might be sending a message. Be careful before choosing any type of ring for a significant other if you aren’t ready to make that strong a statement. However, if you would like to get a piece of jewelry that does carry a special sentiment, you can always choose to have it engraved on the inside or backside with a heartfelt message that only the recipient can see. Regardless what you choose at buy at the jewelry store, be sure you ask about the returns and exchange policy so the recipient can get something else if necessary. With these tips, however, we at Mathews Jewelry feel confident we can help you find the just right piece for that special person in your life. Our selection and customer service can make the process smooth and enjoyable.


Questions and Answers about Jewelry Care

A jewelry collection is a precious thing, full of emotional significance and monetary value. You likely would be heartbroken if any of the pieces were lost, damaged, or stolen. Because that is the case, there are some best practices that can help you ensure your important jewelry items survive for years to come. Our staff at Mathews Jewelers has created this question and answer sheet to guide you along the way. Is it Safe to Wear Jewelry in the Pool or When Doing Housework? No. Your fine jewelry will last longer and be less likely to get damaged if you do not expose pieces to harmful substances. Harsh chemicals used in cleaning are especially damaging, though the chlorine in swimming pools can be a problem, too. At Mathews Jewelers, we advise you remove your fine jewelry before doing housework or taking in a few laps. How Should I Clean my Jewelry? Most pieces of jewelry can be cleaned easily with water and a soft-bristled brush. Exposure to water can weaken the glue or string used for pearl pieces, so you may choose to just wipe those with a damp cloth. Rings, bracelets and earrings can all be gently scrubbed and left to air dry before being put away. How Should I Store my Jewelry? Fine jewelry must be protected from direct sunlight, conditions that promote tarnishing, and banging against other pieces, according to experts at Mathews Jewelers. One way to achieve all three of these goals is to store each item in a darkly colored soft-cloth bag. This will prevent jewelry from being scratched by hitting other items, and it won’t allow the color of a gemstone to be altered due to long, hot expose to the sun. What do I do if I Lose a Stone? If a gem falls out of one of your pieces of jewelry, try to locate the stone. If it’s too small or you have no idea where you lost it, you’ll have to get it replaced. Take the piece of jewelry to a store such as Mathews Jewelers, and the staff should be able to help you make the piece whole again. What if I Break or Damage my Jewelry? Any reputable jewelry shop should be able to repair damaged pieces. It is best to get problems fixed right away, or you risk losing tiny broken pieces. If the item cannot be fixed, the staff will be able to tell you. Can I Clean my Jewelry at Home? Yes, depending on the particular piece. Use a soft-bristled brush and warm water to gently scrub your pieces as needed. There are ultrasonic cleaners available for home use, but there are many gemstones that are not safe to clean in these machines. When in doubt, you can take your items to Mathews Jewelers for assistance. How Should I Maintain my Jewelry in the Long-Term? Your cherished pieces will last longer if you store them properly, clean them periodically, and address any damage right away. Should I Insure My Jewelry? You might consider insuring any heirloom jewelry or items that are one-of-a-kind. Many jewelry stores, such as Mathews Jewelers, can help you ascertain the dollar value of finer pieces so that you can buy appropriate insurance coverage. Is a Jewelry Box a Good Place to Store my Pieces? A jewelry box is fine for low-cost or costume jewelry, but it is not ideal for high-quality pieces. Those should be kept separately in soft cloth bags so they don’t get damaged. Jewelry boxes tend to be unorganized and full, so there’s a higher likelihood necklaces can get tangles, brooches will get dinged, and silver earrings will tarnish. At Mathews Jewelers, we understand the importance of caring for your fine jewelry. We can help you clean and maintain your important pieces for years to come.


What to Look for When Choosing a Jewelry Shop

Because pieces of jewelry can involve a large financial investment, customers must be comfortable that they are working with a knowledgeable, skilled, and honest jewelry shop. It is ill advised to invest in valuable pieces with just any chain jewelry store or shady independent shop. At Mathews Jewelers, we understand that the relationship we have with our clients must be fostered through careful customer service and helpful sales approaches. We made this checklist to help you find the best jewelry shop in your city. Longevity One of the key considerations for finding a quality shop is to look for one that has been around a while. Jewelers who have been in the business a long time are proud of that fact, and may even include the “established” date on their signage. They must do strong work and offer great customer service to stay in business for so long. Certification Don’t be afraid to ask about staff members’ training and certifications. It’s one thing to know the basics of jewelry, but you will likely want the resource of extensive training in your corner. Variety Some stores have a huge selection of watches, while others are all about diamond engagement rings. An ideal shop such as Mathews Jewelers will have a wide selection of all types of items. After all, you never know what you might be shopping for in the future. Communication Take the time to chat with some of the staff members. Do they listen to what you are asking? Do they offer clear, helpful answers without everything sounding like a sales pitch? Strong communication is a key trait for a long-term jeweler relationship. Services Ask any potential shops about their services. It’s best if they have a goldsmith and gemologist on staff who can answer questions and keep repair work in house. When jewelry has to be sent out for repairs, it typically means a longer wait and increased likelihood items may get lost. Selection Even for stores like Mathews Jewelers that have passed the important qualifications above, the selection a store has in stock is important. For example, if you want to buy a birthstone ring but there are only two in the store to choose from, that level of selection might not work for you. Look for a wide variety of options for all the types of jewelry you are likely to buy. Priorities Nothing is worse in a jewelry shop than asking questions about items and getting the hard sell at every turn. If the only thing the staff cares about is the pricing and making the sale, it might not be the best place for you. Education Look for a shop in which the staff will take the time to explain jewelry pieces to you in detail. They should share the pros and cons of each selection. Mathews Jewelers can educate you on proper maintenance and warn you about wear points or other details. Trustworthiness Overall, ask yourself whether any jewelry shop you visit feels trustworthy to you. Was the staff knowledgeable, helpful, and professional? Do they treat you like a VIP when you walk in? Again, you are forging an important relationship here, so be honest about the vibe you get. Policies Finally, don’t forget to ask about the store policies. Shops like Mathews Jewelers will be able to share details about their warranties, resizings, returns, and other services. Make sure the policies seem fair to you because you never know when you will need to take advantage of one. Finding a great jewelry shop takes a little bit of investigation, but in the long run, you will be glad you took the time. We at Mathews Jewelers are happy to answer any questions you might have about our selection, training, and policies to make sure we are the best fit for you.


The Pros and Cons of Custom Jewelry

Custom jewelry pieces are enjoying huge popularity in today’s market. Consumers are seeking adornments that truly reflect their style and personality instead of feeling limited to options in display cases. However, there are pros and cons to ordering custom jewelry that should be considered before going that route, just to make sure you are not going into the process blind. At Mathews Jewelers, we crafted a list of pros and cons to help you make an educated decision about a custom jewelry purchase. The Upsides Of course, have a piece of jewelry that’s unlike anyone else’s is an exciting and personal choice. Here are some of the other pros of creating customized pieces: One of a Kind - There is less likelihood that anyone you run into will have the same adornments. Depending where you get the jewelry from, there may not be a single soul who owns the same piece. Reflection of Your Tastes - A custom design will truly show to others what you like and how your taste is different from others’. Meaningful Choices - You may choose to order a ring that includes an heirloom diamond, or you may want the custom piece to include sustainable materials. Your jewelry from Mathews Jewelers can make a statement about your values. Match with Your Partner - Many couples like to select customized jewelry pieces that complement each other, further linking them as a matched pair. Conversation Piece - A show-stopping custom cocktail ring or a men’s pinkie ring with a gold nugget the owner found in Alaska will certainly catch the eye of many curious observers. The Downsides However, there are some caveats to choosing custom jewelry that you should be aware of before going down that path. Don’t forget to consider these: Higher Cost - Custom pieces can cost double or even triple what the ready-made items in a jewelry store case do. Difficult to Replace - If the items are lost or damaged, it can be difficult to get a new one made, depending what sort of design documentation you have. Take Longer to Make - Crafting a custom piece may take multiple rounds of planning meetings, even if it will be done in a local shop like Mathews Jewelers. After the design is approved, it can be many weeks before the piece is finished. No Preview - Although the goldsmith will show you drawings of his or her design plans, you won’t be able to hold actual models in your hand, look at the details, or see how the item will look when you are wearing it. For anyone who likes to try things out beforehand, this may make you nervous. Artistic License - Jewelry designers and goldsmiths are artists, and as such, they have the ability to make some stylistic choices on their own. Customers who want personalized pieces have to be comfortable with the possibility they will get something slightly different than what they envisioned in their heads. Custom jewelry pieces are fun and personalized accessories that carry special meaning for the wearer.


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A Comprehensive Guide to Bracelets

Bracelets are by far one of the most popular categories of jewelry. They vary dramatically in styles, quality, prices, and even function. Though this article will of course focus primarily on bracelets as jewelry, they are also commonly used for practical purposes such as patient ID or allergy bracelets in a medical setting or charity bracelets for walks or fundraisers. This guide to bracelets will cover the prevalence and history of bracelets, the different types of bracelets, and the jewels, bands, and clasps that are frequently used in bracelet designs. The History of Bracelets The word “bracelet” derives from the Greek word “brachile” which means “of the arm.” The term bracelet has also been applied to the small braces or bracers that are commonly used as archers to guard the arm. The word entered English from the Old French word “barcel.” The exact early history of the jewelry we dub “bracelets” is largely unknown and speculative. It is almost certain that people were adorning their wrists with bracelets long before there was a written history of such things. Early mankind may have wrapped animal hides around their wrists as trophies, or they may have seen wildflowers and decided to decorate their wrists in the way that contemporary children playing outdoors often do to today. Among the earliest bracelets were those that belonged to the Sumerians of Southern Mesopotamia dating back to about 2,500 BC. Even more ancient is the archaeological evidence of Ancient Egyptians adorning themselves with bracelets from at least as early as 5,000 BC. However, an obsidian bracelet found in Turkey in 1995 significantly beats these estimates as it has been dated to about 7,500 BC. Researchers are amazed at the craftsmanship evidenced in this 9,500-year-old bracelet, which in turn indicates that it probably wasn’t the first of its kind to be crafted by these early people. In 2008, Russian archaeologists made an important find which yet again dramatically shifted the first verifiable date of bracelets even farther back. They were excavating the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia when they discovered a cache of jewelry. Among the find was a bracelet that was carbon dated to around 40,000 years ago. Whenever, or wherever they started there is no doubt whatsoever that bracelets are found around the world in just about every culture and recorded time period. They are often focal points in religious ceremonies and are commonly worn to express wealth or power. They are just as often exchanged by friends, family, and romantic partners to express affection and symbolize the strength of emotional bonds. Types of Bracelets Just as the history of bracelets is difficult to pin down a full description of the different types is also difficult because bracelet styles are so nebulous and there are a many different systems of classifying bracelets, each with their own different subtypes. Bracelets are often described based on their band material. Prevalent types include leather bracelets, rope bracelets, chain or metal bracelets, fabric bracelets, plastic bracelets, and an array of other synthetic or natural materials used to make bracelets. Bracelets are also frequently discussed based on their gemstones. Common types include diamond bracelets, pearl bracelets, ruby, sapphire, or emerald bracelets, etc. Bracelets are also commonly found in beaded varieties. The bead type themselves may further be used to subclassify them with the bead materials varying widely. Beads may be ceramic, plastic, glass, or even gemstones to name just a few beading possibilities. Among the most popular and widely recognizable bracelets types in the jewelry industry are: Bangles - Bangles are a type of bracelet that has no clasps or flexible, stretching pieces. Instead, they are meant to be slipped on over the hand and worn loosely around the wrist. A variation of this standard bangle design is the incomplete bangle which may have a small opening around the inner wrist that allows the bracelet to slipped on sideways instead. This type of bangle often fits more snugly once it is in place. Bangles vary in width from very thin to very thick. Often thin bangles are worn together in combination with each other. They may be of the same color and metal types or they may be varying colors and metals to add extra flare and eclecticism to the look. The delicate clanging and chiming that multiple bangles create is often a notable feature of the style. Charm Bracelets - Charm bracelets are bracelets that have one or more small charms attached. These charms may consist of gemstones, metals, or just about any other common jewelry material. Charms are frequently purchased in shapes and styles that hold a special significance to the owner. Charm bracelets are a common type of family heirloom since charms may be acquired over generations and act as a symbolic record of the family. Charm bracelets also make excellent multi-year gifts since the charms can be given and added gradually over time to mark different occasions. Some charm bracelets end up being very valuable and composed of expensive, precious charms. However, charm bracelets are also a very popular type of casual jewelry since they allow the wearer to easily express different aspects of personality. As such, many charm bracelets are among the least expensive. Chain Bracelets Chain bracelets consist of a string of chain links. The size of the links often varies considerably, as do the shapes and materials used to form the chain. Common types of chains include: Bead - Bead bracelets are often considered to be a subtype of chain bracelets. They generally have a small wire, string, or cord of some type connecting the beads. Box - Also called “Venetian” these chain links form smooth, solid square shapes that appear as a string of connected boxes. Byzantine - Byzantine chains have an almost rope-like or strand-like appearance and often form very ornate designs within the overall, sequential chain design. Mesh - Mesh chains are extremely flexible and usually feature very small, but extremely durable chain links, usually in more than one side-by-side row. Rolo - Rolo chains feature a very symmetrical, round set of links that are joined together to create a very cohesive look. Rope - Rope chain bracelets have intertwined strands of their material - which may be metal, fabric, etc - that are woven together to form a braided style. Snake - Snake chain bracelets have links that are held closely together and have an almost scale-like appearance. Wheat - Wheat chains feature oval-shaped links that are twisted together to create a winding, texture look that is somewhat similar to the way wheat looks. Gemstone Bracelets Gemstone bracelets are characterized by the gemstones that are used in them. Common gemstone bracelets include diamond bracelets, particularly tennis bracelets, or pearl bracelets. Often gemstone bracelets will be given in the recipient’s birthstones to add an extra personal touch and just any type of gemstone can be used. Bracelet Bands The type of band used for the bracelet may vary widely and will often reflect the purpose of the bracelet or the style of the wearer. Within the jewelry industry, bands are commonly made of precious or semi-precious metals. Some of the most commonly used band types include: Traditional Gold - Traditional yellow gold is one of the most popular types of bands used for bracelets. The purity of the gold varies but is often in the range of 14K to 18K gold. Higher karat gold may be too soft for daily wear. White Gold - Many people prefer the appearance of white gold over yellow gold. White gold may also be more suitable in certain types and styles of designs. Rose Gold - A popular alternative to yellow or white gold is rose gold. Rose gold is a great way to give the piece an extra touch of flare. It is also very popular for bracelets that are love or Valentine’s Day themed. Platinum - Platinum offers a luxurious precious metal type that avoids many of the problems of gold. For people who have a gold allergy platinum is a great alternative. It is also very durable and resists tarnishing, making it a good choice for daily wear. Silver - Silver is also a more suitable choice for people who have a gold allergy, however, it is typically much less expensive than platinum. Silver may also be intentionally tarnished in some places to give the bracelet a more antique look. Stainless Steel - Stainless steel is the most economically priced option on this list. It still has the appeal of metal, but at a fraction of the cost. Stainless steel is also a durable option. Jewelry Gemstones Bracelets that are studded with gemstones make fantastic gifts to commemorate special life events or as expressions of affection. People may even buy themselves gemstone-encrusted bracelets as a reward for a major accomplishment, or as an incentive to attain a major goal. One of the most popular, enduring classics is the tennis bracelet. Tennis bracelets consist of diamonds in a uniform line. They do not typically include charms or other asymmetrical features. By contrast a regular diamond bracelet may feature different size diamonds and a diversity of designs. Pearl bracelets are also very popular. They may feature wild pearls or farm-cultivated pearls and they may be of varying size, symmetry and quality. The pearls in a pearl bracelet may even vary in color from a pure white to golden, pink, bronze, or even black. As with most other uses of pearls, pearl bracelets typically convey a classic, sophisticated style. Other assorted gemstones and birthstones also make popular additions to bracelets. The gemstones may be natural or synthetic, big or small, or even imitation. There is such a wide range of gemstone bracelets available that they will almost surely appeal to anyone’s taste and budget. Bracelet Clasps Bracelets are rarely categorized and discussed specifically by their clasps because of course the gemstones and bands tend to be much more salient features. Bracelet designers, however, employ a wide range of clasps and for certain shoppers the clasp type may well be a drawing point or a negative feature since the clasp type can strongly impact the appearance and feel of the bracelet as well as how easy or difficult it is to remove. The popular bangle style bracelet does not use a clasp at all. Some of the most common clasps types include: Lobster - Lobster clasps are one of the most popular of all bracelet clasps. The clasp features a retractable side hook which closes around a small loop. This clasp gets its name from its resemblance to a lobster’s claw. Hidden - Hidden clasps are very popular in intricate designs because they blend in with the rest of the design and are not immediately visible at a casual glance. They usually feature a box-like clasp and often also incorporate a safety. Safety - A safety clasp features an oval-shaped decorative piece with a curved hook that latches inside the oval cage for extra security. This type of clasp is very popular in older or antique jewelry. Box - A box clasp features a box-shaped, decorative piece into which a metal prong will slide and latch. They are often incorporated into hidden-style clasps. Box and Safety - The box and safety style clasp combines the box clasp with the safety feature, creating a stylish, highly secure clasp. Toggle - A toggle clasp feature a ring or loop into which a T-shaped bar is inserted and then rotated, in turn locking the loop around the bar. This style clasp is popular for chain bracelets and charm bracelets. The bracelet styles, features, and materials listed here are an excellent starting point for making a smart decision about which type of bracelet to buy. It is only the first part of a more important and bigger story. What truly matters most when it comes to making a savvy bracelet purchase isn’t just a knowledge of the mechanics and history of bracelets, but the ability to choose a bracelet that suits the recipient's unique sense of style, taste, and preference.


Guide to Understanding Birthstones

Quite often jewelry shoppers decide that they want to personalize their jewelry gift by selecting a piece with the recipient’s birthstone in it. However, it is not uncommon for the jewelry shopper to then become confused about what the correct birthstone actually is. Myths and confusion about birthstones abound, and it is no surprise considering the somewhat convoluted history surrounding these special gems. What follows is a brief guide to understanding birthstones, their history, why some months have multiple birthstones, what the various birthstones are, and how birthstones are often incorporated into jewelry. How Did Birthstones Begin? One of the reasons for the confusion surrounding birthstones is that the term "birthstone" may refer to a different set of stones, history, and cultural context depending on what the particular person is referencing. Gemstones have been prized by just about all cultures from around the world since ancient times. It was not uncommon for these ancient people to ascribe special significance to a particular stone and associate it with different people or different times of the year as a result. Some major civilization to value gemstones in this way are the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Incas, Aztecs, Persians, Tibetans, and Indians. Often there was a strong belief that these gemstones held special curative powers or the ability to bring the soul peacefully to the afterlife once the person had passed away. As a result different systems of gemstones developed including: - Mythical Tibetan birthstones which date back thousands of years. - Biblical birthstones referenced in the Old Testament and associated with the twelve tribes of Israel. - Ayurvedic birthstones from ancient Indian culture which were believed to have medicinal effects. - Zodiac birthstones which astrologers assigned to the twelve signs of the zodiac to represent the power of the planets. Our modern Western system of birthstones most closely derives from the biblical birthstone system, though it has evolved considerably over time. History holds that around 40 AD the Jewish historian, Titus Flavius Josephus proclaimed that the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate held a special connection to the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the zodiac. However, almost immediately some debate arose over exactly which twelve stones were to be used, with different translations and interpretations varying and Josephus himself allegedly providing two different lists of stones. Eventually poems were developed naming the stones for each month according to the Gregorian calendar. This became the basis for the traditional birthstone system used by most English-speaking societies. In 1870 Tiffany & Co published a pamphlet with the birthstone calendar poem and listed the following stones for each month: January - Garnet February - Amethyst March - Bloodstone April - Diamond May - Emerald June - Agate July - Ruby August - Sardonyx September - Sapphire October - Opal November - Topaz December - Turquoise Why Are There Multiple Birthstones for Some Months? The modern American system of birthstones traces its roots back to the early twentieth century. In 1912 the National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas to officially adopt a birthstone list. This was an attempt both to standardize the birthstone system and to provide somewhat more affordable and readily available gemstones that could be purchased by everyday Americans. To this end some of the months were given multiple stones, with less expensive, more attainable options added in addition to the traditional or more expensive gemstones. In 1952 the Jewelry Industry Council met and further updated the list. Their updates included adding more gemstone options to some months, specifying the color of another, and completely replacing a few gemstones. The most recent change to the American birthstone system came in October of 2002 when another stone option was added to December, giving that month three accepted birthstones. What Are the Modern Birthstones? The American Gem Society lists the following gemstones for each month: January - Garnet - The garnet is the lone official birthstone for January. It is said to signify eternal friendship and trust. As such it is a popular gift among friends. People often imagine garnets as red in color; however, the name "garnet" refers to a group of minerals that is available in a full variety of different colors. February - Amethyst - Like January, February has only one official gemstone and it is the amethyst. Amethysts are purple quartz and the are found throughout the world. Traditionally some of the finest amethyst was found in Russia and much royal European jewelry features this fine Russian amethyst. As such amethyst is typically associate with royalty. However, it is also said to keep its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Modern amethyst is often sourced in Brazil or Zambia. March - Chronologically, March is the first month to feature more than one official birthstone. It includes both its older, traditional birthstone of bloodstone as well as aquamarine which is now often considered the more popular or primary birthstone. Aquamarine - Aquamarine is Latin for "water of the sea" is a bluish green or greenish blue variety of beryl. It is considered a tranquil gemstone which imbues the wearer with calmness and a levelhead. In earlier times it was thought to protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Bloodstone - Bloodstone is a dark-green jasper which has flecks of blood-red spots on it. These blood-red spots are in fact deposits of iron oxide and the mineral type is heliotrope. Both the names "bloodstone" and "heliotrope" are commonly used for this stone. Bloodstone is also occasionally known as "martyr's stone" which is due to the legend that bloodstone was created by drops of Christ's blood staining jasper at the foot of the cross. In ancient times bloodstone was believed to have curative powers, especially for blood-related disorders. April - Diamond - April has traditionally been associated with diamonds, and this wildly popular gemstone continues to be its sole birthstone. Diamonds are available in just about every color imaginable from the classic elegance of the clear or white diamond to the startling beauty of black diamonds. Diamonds are commonly associated with eternal love and commitment and they have become the primary, trademark stone of engagement rings. May - Emerald - May’s traditional birthstone is the emerald and continues to be that month’s sole birthstone. The emerald is a green stone which has been mined and cherished since antiquity. It is said to symbolize rebirth and to imbue its owner with youth, vitality, and good fortune. Modern emeralds are commonly sourced in Zambia, Brazil, Colombia, and Afghanistan. June - People born in June are fortunate enough to have three official options for their birthstone. Interestingly, none of these three gemstones are agate, which was the traditional gemstone listed in the poem published by Tiffany & Co. However, those with June birthdays are certainly not lacking in beautiful gemstone options. Pearl - Often considered to be June’s primary birthstone is the ever classic and appealing pearl. Pearls are in fact unique among gemstones because unlike all other gemstones they are actually formed from living creatures: clams. Pearls are prized for their use in all sorts of jewelry, but are famously associated with the elegant pearl necklace. Alexandrite - Alexandrite is a relatively recently-discovered gemstone. It was first discovered in Russia in 1831. It takes its name from Czar Alexander II who was in power at the time of its discovery. One likely reason why Alexandrite was such a late addition to the gemstone roster is that it is extremely rare. Alexandrite also displays fascinating color properties. In daylight and fluorescent light this gemstone appears green, while in incandescent light it has a purplish red color. Due to its rareity it is frequently sold in its synthetic, man-made version. Moonstone - Moonstones were named by the Roman historian Pliny who contended that the stone changed in appearance with the phases of the moon. While this is not precisely correct, like Alexandrite, moonstones do indeed change visual properties in different light. They create an optical phenomena called adularescence which is a scattering of light that typically displays as either a multi-rayed star or a cat's eye. This occurs because moonstones are formed from two varieties of feldspar that each react slightly differently to light. Moonstones come in a variety of colors including blue, green, peach, and champagne. They are said to possess special properties which grant the wearer good fortune and they are considered a sacred stone in India. Moonstones can be sourced in India, Myanmar, Australia, Madagascar, and the United States. July - Ruby - July has long been associated with the ruby as its birthstone. Rubies are second only two diamonds in terms of their natural hardness and strength. This makes them extremely durable and ideal for daily wear. They are said to signify a variety of very possitive traits include wealth, wisdom, health, and success in love. Rubies are most valuable when they are a medium to medium-dark, vivid red or slightly purplish red. If they contain too much purple or orange they will often be dubbed "fancy-color sapphires" instead. August - August is another month with two birthstones. Both of these birthstones are available from sources within the United States, making them a great option for consumers who want to buy domestic jewelry. Peridot - Peridot is August’s primary birthstone. It is a gemstone which forms deep within the Earth and is typically brought to the surface through volcanic eruptions. For this reason in Hawaii peridot is said to symbolize the tears of Pele, the Pele, the Hawaiin goddess of volcanoes, fire, lightning, and wind. Peridot is available from yellowish green all way through to brown, though lime green and olive green shades are typically the most popular. In addition to Hawaii, peridot is often sourced in Arizona. Sardonyx - Sardonyx is the older August birthstone. It is a form of onyx which is known for its attractive, layered banding, typically in reddish brown and white. It was popularly used by ancient Romans and Greeks in talismans with the images of Roman and Greek heroes engraved into it, often Mars or Hercules. It was believed that these talismans would bring the wearer courage and victory. September - Sapphires - Sapphires are the birthstone of September. They have long been prized for their beauty and the belief that they would protect loved ones from envy and harm. During medieval times clergy often wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, whereas commoners often worse sapphires to attract heavenly blessings. Blue sapphires are the most popular colors; however, sapphires are a variety of gem called corundum and they occur in all colors of the rainbow. The red variety of corundum are called rubies. October - October also sports two beautiful gemstones as its birthstones. Both of these stone are available in an array of colors. Tourmaline - Tourmaline has become the primary birthstone of October. It is also a favorite among jewelry collectors and jewelry designers alike. The reason is because Tourmaline can be found in such an array of colors that there is something to suit almost anyone’s taste. Tourmalines are also known for their bi-color and tri-color forms, meaning that 2 or even 3 different colors exist distinctly within the same gemstone. Opal - Opals are the older birthstone of October and they are still extremely popular and well-regarded for their colorful beauty and radiance. Opal derives from the Greek meaning “to see a change” of color. Opals change appearance depending on their backgrounds and the base gemstone itself vary widely in color from milky white all the way through to black. November - November also has two birthstones. November’s two birthstones are interesting because though topaz was the original birthstone, the addition of citrine can almost be viewed more as a disambiguation than a purely new stone. Topaz - Topaz gemstones are available in an array of colors though yellow is the color most commonly associated with the stone. In ancient times people referred to all yellow gems as “topaz,” even the yellow citrine quartz. However, quartz and topaz are unrelated minerals. One of the most valuable colors of topaz is Imperial Topaz, which was named during the reign of the Russian Czars in the 1800s. It is a rich orange with pink hues. Blue topaz is also an enduring favorite. Citrine - Citrine ranges in color from a pastel yellow through a golden orange and into dark, brownish orange. It is a type of quartz and is often referred to as “the healing quartz” for the belief that it helps support health, hope, energy, and warmth in the wearer. It is found plentifully in nature and as such it is one of the least expensive gemstones. December - December is one of two months, along with June, that has three official birthstones. December’s birthstones are usually depicted as blue, and indeed all three stones come in blue, although other shades are available for some of these stones. Tanzanite - Tanzanite is one of the most recently-discovered gemstones. It was discovered in Tanzania in the late 1960s. It is only found in this small region of the world. Tanzanite may be blue or purple, but stones that are medium-dark in tone with a rich, vivid saturation and violet blue shade are the most highly prized and expensive of these gemstones. Zircon - Zircon actually comes in a variety of colors and in fact it’s name derives from the Arabic words “zar” and “gun,” which mean “gold color.” In addition to gold it is also found in yellow, orange, brown, green, red, colorless, and of course blue. The blue variety is typically associated with December; although the red variety is considered the most prized and typically the most expensive. Turquoise - In sharp contrast to the much more modernly tanzanite, turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. Its name comes from the thirteenth century French meaning “Turkish stone.” Although the gemstone itself was known before that. Its color may by the signature greenish blue which has come to refer to that color even separate from the stone, through to a sky blue. Its transparency may range from translucent to opaque. Blue Topaz - In addition to these three official, accepted birthstones for December, many modern lists also include Blue Topaz as an alternative. That means that depending on the source December may be listed with up to four birthstones! What Are the Advantages of Giving Birthstones? Birthstones make a great gift because they show an extra layer of thoughtfulness and are personalized to the recipient. For many people their birthstones hold a deep, special significance and any gift which includes a birthstone will be treasured. Another advantage of birthstones as a gift is that due to the additional alternate birthstones that were added to the chart, as well as differences in size, cut, color, and purity, birthstones can typically be found ranging from inexpensive to very premium. This makes them a great gift for a range of occasions and allows them to fit within most people’s budgets. Birthstones are a naturally great gift to commemorate a birthday and often a child’s first piece of jewelry will be a birthstone. However, birthstones are great for many other occasions such as anniversaries, graduations, religious celebrations, Christmas presents, and more. Indeed, perhaps one reason why December has so many birthstone options is that December is a month so heavily associated with gift giving. What Are Some Popular Ways Birthstones Are Incorporated Into Jewelry? Birthstones are very versatile and can easily be incorporated into just about any type of jewelry. However, some particularly popular ways to wear birthstones include: Necklaces - Necklaces make an excellent way to showcase a birthstone because they are highly visible and can be designed in a variety of different styles. Additionally, as discussed above most birthstones are believed to imbue the wearer with a special set of benefits such as health, luck, wisdom, etc. Many such beliefs hold that for maximum effect the birthstone should be worn near the heart or center of the body, making necklaces ideal. Rings - Rings are another common choice for showcasing birthstones because the gemstone in a ring needn’t be too large to still be very eye-catching. Rings also don’t require as much materials to make as many other types of jewelry which means that more precious metals can often be used. Finally, rings are also an easy piece of jewelry to wear with many different clothing and fashion styles. Bracelets - Bracelets, especially charm bracelets, are a very common way for birthstones to be worn. In the case of charm bracelets they allow people to gradually add more and more stones to their collections. In addition to these types of jewelry it is not uncommon to see birthstones in earrings or even pins and brooches. Birthstones are frequently given in whole sets of jewelry as well, allowing the recipient to mix and match pieces or even wear the entire collection at once. Birthstones have fascinated and delighted people all across the world throughout history. They are a wonderful treat for people who place a special significance on them as well as more casual collectors who simply enjoy gorgeous jewelry. Many would argue that no jewelry collection is complete until it contains at least a few pieces with the owner’s birthstone in them.


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