For those of you that were lucky enough to be born in December, you have your choice of three birthstones! All three are in beautiful shades of blue and have incredible stories.
14k gold cabochon turquoise vintage necklace Turquoise
Among the world’s oldest jewelry stones, turquoise necklaces, bracelets, and earrings were found in ancient Egypt and Persia, as well as in early Meso-American and Chinese civilizations. In North America, the first turquoise appeared to be mined by the Anasazi and Hohokum people in 200BC.
Turquoise is often considered to be a gemstone that promotes good health, good fortune, and also protection from evil. The Apache tribe would attach turquoise to their weapons to ensure greater accuracy in the hunt. The beautiful turquoise stones were also used as a form of currency for many North American tribes.
When choosing a piece of turquoise jewelry, be aware that the beautiful color of your turquoise can be altered by perfumes, cosmetics, oils, and chemicals. Always remember to clean your turquoise jewelry with warm, soapy water and do not put it in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth at 4.4 billion years! It sometimes contains slight traces of uranium, making it mildly radioactive, but poses no risk to your health.
With blue being the most popular color of zircon since Victorian times, zircon comes in a variety of colors from yellow, to green and even a brownish-red. Zircons are a “doubly-refractive” gemstone, which means that under the microscope, you will see twice as many facets. This makes for an extraordinarily brilliant and lustrous gemstone!
In the Middle Ages, it was thought that zircons could induce a night of sound sleep and drive away evil spirits. It was also believed that zircon promoted riches as well as honor and wisdom.
If zircon is a stone that you wear, make sure to clean it in warm, soapy water with no ultrasonic cleaning. Zircon is at its best brilliance when it is clean.
Discovered in 1967 by a Masai tribesman in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, this gemstone was originally identified as “blue zoisite.” The name changed to tanzanite in honor of the country of origin. In 1968, Tiffany & Co. chose to launch a major campaign to promote tanzanite, and it is now enjoyed by many jewelry wearers around the world.
Tanzanite is also noted for its pleochroism, as described in an article from the Gemological Institute of America:
“Tanzanite’s appearance is influenced greatly by its pleochroism, which is the ability of a gemstone to show different colors when viewed in different crystal directions. Tanzanite’s pleochroism was documented in scientific papers not long after its discovery. In 1969, American Mineralogist described the gem’s pleochroic colors as `red-violet, deep blue, and yellow-green.’ Today, most gems are heat-treated, which removes or reduces the yellow-green or brownish pleochroic color, maximizing the blue and violet.”
Tanzanite is always beautiful in earrings and pendants and can be worn in special-occasion rings. If you would like to wear a tanzanite ring every day, make sure that it is in a protective setting. When you clean your tanzanite, do not use an ultrasonic. Simply use warm, soapy water.
The pieces above are currently in the shop!
Click the image below for more inspiration on my Pinterest board.
This is a question that comes up often, and I think there are a few things to consider.
I always recommend finding out what your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy deductible is. Then, if your item is worth more than the deductible, it is a good idea to have it appraised and insured.
That being said, I would still consider having an appraisal done for any item that—even if it doesn’t hit your deductible—is sentimental and/or impossible to replace. This way, if something should happen you would have a detailed description and photos of the item for your records as well as to show your insurance company. If you don’t want to spring for formal appraisals on all of your items, at least spend some time photographing your jewelry from many different angles.
Also, keep notes (and receipts) on your jewelry and keep everything in a safe place!
Do you have a jewelry question you have been curious about? Send me your questions and I will include them in my posts and newsletters: email@example.com
For those who couldn’t make it to the reveal, I am happy to show off this year’s limited edition silver etched ornament inspired by my recent trip to England and the Minster Cathedral tiles I saw while visiting.
Each ornament is etched with a beautiful Minster tile pattern on the front and the title of the ornament is engraved on the back with the edition number.
I only commission a small number to be made each year so order yours before they are gone!
Below are some images I took of the tiles during my York travels in July of this year.
Click on the images to find out more about the Minster Cathedral.
Tiles in the Minster Cathedral, York England
Windows and ceiling in the Chapter House
One of York Minster’s architectural gems, the Chapter House contains some of the Minster’s finest carvings and in 1297 was used as the location for the Parliament of King Edward I. The octagonal space dates from the 1280s and its magnificent, vaulted ceiling is supported by timbers in the roof, instead of a central column, which is the earliest example of its kind to use this revolutionary engineering technique.