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PRECIOUS METAL JEWELRY

The word gold, used by itself, means all gold or it can refer to “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metal jewelry called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should

Ruby History and Lore – For Hot Summer’s Days

GIA's world headquarters in Carlsbad, CA provided the perfect setting on December 10, 1997, to view treasures from the Harry Winston collection. Wizard of Oz fans enjoyed a life-size pair of slippers made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the classic film, which featured 4600 rubies totaling 1350-cts and 50-cts of diamond trimming. Red is

Cameos: Timeless, Miniature Carvings for Jewelry Lovers

Alexander the Great commissioned his portrait – in the likeness of a god – to be engraved in stone in the third century BCE, according to jewelry expert Anna M. Miller, author of “Cameos Old and New.” This was the first time a cameo – a three-dimensional figure carved out of stone – was seen

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Alexandrite Overview – The Other June Birthstone

The controversial history of alexandrite dates back to Imperial Russia, where it was first discovered in emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Its Finnish discoverer initially mistook it for emerald before realizing it changed colors under different light sources. According to legend, this gemstone was named for Alexander II because it

The Moonstone – June’s third birthstone

June’s third birthstone, moonstone, was named by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. The most common moonstone comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland that supplied this gem. This site also birthed the term

PEARL HISTORY

Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth, and the dragon must be slain to claim the pearls—which symbolized wisdom. Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu

JUNE BIRTHSTONES & PEARLS

June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. June’s birthstones range from creamy-colored opalescent pearl and moonstone to the rare color-changing alexandrite—one of the most valuable gems on earth. With this spectrum of

THE HISTORY OF THE DIAMOND AS AN ENGAGEMENT RING

A man presents his prospective bride with an engagement ring upon acceptance of his marriage proposal. Anthropologists believe this tradition originated from a Roman custom in which wives wore rings attached to small keys, indicating their husbands' ownership. In 1477, Archduke Maximillian of Austria commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring on record for his