September Birthstone: Sapphire

sapphireSapphire comes from the Greek word “sapphirus” meaning blue. It is a very hard stone, with a ranking of 9 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. The sapphire is a variety of the mineral Corundum, which is found in every color of the rainbow. Red corundum is considered a ruby, with all other colors being classified as sapphire and blue being the most prized color. Sapphires are found in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and Madagascar. Continue reading

Gemstone Facts: Morganite

Although Morganite is over a million years old, it wasn’t until 1911 that it was actually called Morganite.  It was previously known as “Pink Beryl” up until it was named after a man named John Morgan. Beryl is a type of mineral that has many different varieties of stone and colors. Emerald and Aquamarine are also considered to be Beryl minerals.  This stone comes in a range of color to light pink to violet purple.  The more translucent the stone, the more valuable it is considered to be!

For Morganite’s hardness it is said to be a 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale.  Diamond (at a 10) is many times harder than Corundum minerals (such as a Sapphire) at 9. Morganite isn’t considered to be a hard stone, therefore it is prone to scratches and chipping. Replacing this stone in jewelry is not considered to be uncommon.

For morganite jewelry inquiries please contact Jessica@steffansjewelers.com

Alexandrite Facts!

alexandrite

SELL WITH A STORY: ALEXANDRITE

missing imageBy gemstone standards, alexandrite is a newcomer. What does it matter that it was formed 2 billion years ago? It didn’t exist for us until 1833, when emerald miners in Russia’s Ural Mountains found what looked like an emerald — but not quite. Count Lev Alekseevich Perovski, who managed the Imperial family’s estates (i.e. the mines), was a gemstone connoisseur and sent the “emerald” specimen to the famous Finnish mineralogist, Nils Gustav Nordenskjold (1792-1866).

The Double Take

Nordenskjold quickly realized the Perovski’s specimen was too hard to be emerald. That evening, he looked at it again and was astonished to see it was red like a ruby. After further studying its properties, he named it “diaphanite” which means “two unseen and shown” in reference to the color change. Continue reading

November Birthstone!

citrine

CITRINE:NOVEMBER

The word citrine comes from the old French word “citrin” meaning lemon. It is one of the more rare forms of quartz. It ranges in color from the palest of yellow to a dark amber called Madeira. Citrine is known to change color when exposed to heat, so it is important to keep it out of direct sunlight. It ranks a 7 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale. Citrine is found mainly in Brazil, but it is also found in Bolivia and Madagascar.

It was believed to have magical powers and was worn to ward off evil thoughts, the plague, bad skin and snake venom. Citrine was also used as a remedy for urinary and kidney ailments. Getting a gift of citrine is a symbol of hope and strength. In addition to being November’s birthstone, it is also the suggested gemstone for the 13th year of marriage.