Birthstones

Birthstone jewelry is incredibly popular and will continue to be well into the future. If you are thinking of offering a birthstone selection in your jewelry making repertoire, read through this series of blog posts to be as informed as possible about the history and meanings of all the different birthstones.

Jasper is an amazing gemstone that appears in a huge variety of colors and patterns. It is a variety of Silicone Dioxide that usually features opaque and neutral colors, including brown, yellow, red, green, and black. It is considered a type of chalcedony, but is set apart from other varieties by its opaqueness and grainy structure. Most jasper specimens also include up to 20% other substances, and can even grow together with agate or opal specimens.

The unique patterns that can be found within Jasper are absolutely unique to each and every stone. No two stones will look exactly alike and each one is created through a...

If you were born in June, you actually have not one but two birthstones to choose from – the classic Pearl and the very extraordinary gemstone, Alexandrite.

We’ve written a post on the timeless beauty of pearls previously, so in today’s post, we’re exploring Alexandrite in detail.

Alexandrite composition and origin

Alexandrite is an interesting and rare gemstone – a color-changing variety of the mineral Chrysoberyl. Alexandrite changes color according to changes in light. In natural daylight, the color of Alexandrite appears as a greenish-blue through to yellow-green. Under incandescent or candle light, Alexandrite...

The emerald is the birthstone for May and one of four well-known precious gemstones – the others are diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Emeralds, with their luscious green hues, are highly prized gems and in some cases can even be worth more than diamonds.

In this post, we explore the history behind emeralds and other fascinating facts surrounding this precious gem.

Emerald origin and mineral makeup

Emeralds were first found in Egypt and were mined there as early as 1500 BCE. Nowadays, emeralds are found all over the world with Columbia being the biggest producer (making up over 50% of world production). The second biggest...

If you’re lucky enough to have been born in April, your birthstone is the magnificent and highly valuable diamond!

In this post, we explore some interesting facts about diamonds, including where they first originated, how to value them and the mystical meanings surrounding them.

Composition of diamonds

Diamonds are the hardest known natural substance – a mineral composed of carbon. They are formed within the Earth’s mantle at high temperatures before being delivered to the Earth’s surface inside xenoliths – pieces of mantle rock - by way of volcanic eruptions.

Diamonds are produced by mining the mantle rock which...

The birthstone for January is the garnet, a beautiful semi-precious stone that has been around since Egyptian times. The garnet belongs to a group of rock-forming silicate minerals and is commonly known as a red gemstone. It can in fact, appear in many different colors. It’s found in many places around the world.

The name “garnet” is taken from the Latin word “granatum” which translates to “pomegranate” – no doubt because some varieties of garnet do look a little like the seeds found in pomegranate fruit. In terms of size, garnet can be found in tiny fragments right through to forms that are a similar size to an...

December has been blessed with not one or two, but three beautiful birthstones! Turquoise is probably the most widely available of the three gemstones, while Zircon and Tanzanite in particular are considered rarer and subsequently more expensive in comparison.

Composition and mineral makeup of the December birthstones

Turquoise is an opaque, relatively soft gemstone, formed within weathered rock containing copper minerals. Its famous turquoise color varies from intense sky blue through to duck egg blue or greener shades. Turquoise contains tiny little brown or black veins which are caused during formation by inclusions from...

November is another month that hosts two stunning birthstones that are quite opposite in character - the fiery Topaz and the gentle Citrine.

Topaz is made from a very hard silicate mineral, a form of aluminium and fluorine. It looks almost diamond-like when cut and is almost as hard as a diamond too. Topaz can appear in many beautiful colors, including pink; yellow, orange, purple and blue. The biggest source of Topaz gemstones is found in Brazil.

Topaz in its purest form appears colorless although interestingly, this variety isn’t the most valuable. Red Topaz gemstones are in fact the most valuable, because they are so...

October has two birthstones to choose from, Opal and Tourmaline. Both gemstones are popular around the world, not least because they exhibit a beautiful array of colors. Tourmaline is a relatively recent discovery but Opal has been around since ancient times and has an interesting history.

Opal and Tourmaline Composition and Sources

Opal is a very soft gemstone, made up of a non-crystalline silica gel. The gel hardens over time to form the Opal gemstone within the cracks and cavities of volcanic rock. An Opal’s appearance can be affected by changes to heat and pressure and they are known for their “rainbow” effect – many...