JANUARY - GARNET
Hughes of red adore varieties of garnet. With a warm rich red color, Mozambique garnets can set fire to any jewelry design. The velvety red with tones of raspberry that defines rhodolite garnet is highlighted by its impressive brilliance. The state mineral of Connecticut and gemstone of New York, garnet is a naturally beautiful gem, requires no treatments and is hardy enough for every day wear.
Garnet is also available in yellowish-orange color called Spessartite and a verdant green to rich deep forest called Tsavorite.
FEBRUARY - AMETHYST
This regal gemstone has been valued for millennia. Ranging in color from a delicate lilac to deepest plum, the beauty of amethyst has been appreciated from ancient Egypt and Israel to the modern day. A member of the quartz family, mined in mainly Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Africa countries like Zambia and Namibia, small amount of amethyst are also found in Arizona; the Four Peaks mine near Phoenix. Desired colors are a deep rich purple.
MARCH - AQUAMARINE
With color reminiscent of tropical oceans; it's no surprise this gemstone name derives from Latin for "water of the sea." The Romans believed aquamarine absorbed and protected young love, making it an ideal romantic gift. Colorado claims aquamarine as its state gemstone, but Brazil probably has more bragging rights after discovering an aquamarine of 248 pounds, which was eventually cut into stones of more than 100,000 carats. Desired colors are medium blue.
Reflecting the rarity, brilliance and breathtaking fire of all gems. Success, fearlessness and invincibility are a few of the mystical properties that describe this famous gem. Today, diamonds remain the most treasured symbol of devotion, honor & strength.
Dark green in color that pulses with life and vitality. The Emerald is more valuable than even diamonds with its incomparable dark green color produced only under extremely rare conditions. These conditions result in tiny cracks and cavities in the stone. These inclusions are allowed in top quality emeralds. The Maharajas of India believed the gem brought luck and restored health.
JUNE - PEARL
Having always been among the most prized of gems, their lustrous qualities the inspiration for myth, legend and history. Luster is the single most important determinant of pearl quality. Luster is derived from the pearl's countless thick layers of nacre - nacre is the natural pearly substance that forms the body of the pearl itself. It is the nacre of a pearl that causes light to be refracted from different depths of the nacreous layers through minute prisms, giving each pearl its unique lustrous appearance. Natural colors range from white/creamy, rose, grey, to overtones of pink, blue, gold and green.
Night and day, the changing hues of Alexandrite enchant the eye and fuel the imagination. It's mesmerizing color swings from rasberry to plum to blush to green, making it the famous and popular of all color changing stones. Alexandrite has become associated with balance in life, self-esteem, and the ability to experience joy - powers that, according to legend, the stone may import to its wearers.
JULY - RUBY
Blood red, fire red. Color that burns along the veins, and gives brightness to the night. Rub is one of the world's oldest and most revered stones. It is also one of the rarest. The mineral chromium is responsible for the gem's startling color.
AUGUST - PERIDOT
Medium dark to slightly yellowish green is the desired color for Peridot. Celebrated for over 4000 years adorning jewelry of the pharaohs and representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Hawaiian's believed it to be the tears of the Goddess Pele. It was also thought to help dreams become reality. Arizona peridot is hand-hewn from the Peridot Messa on the San Carlos Reservation. It's point of pride for the Apache nation and the most popular source domestic peridot.
SEPTEMBER - SAPPHIRE
The breathtaking blue of Sapphire has captured man's imagination for millennias. The ancients believed that Blue Sapphire had the ability to make peace between warring parties and could influence the spirit world. An enduring symbol of loyalty and trust. It's frequently chosen to celebrate engagements or anniversaries. Medium navy to royal blue is the desired color, but sapphires come in a range of colors including pink, white, orange, and yellow.
OCTOBER - OPAL
With its pulsating display of play of color, opal was long reserved for royalty. The crown of the Hold Roman Emperor held a superb fiery red Opal called The Burning of Troy which later was given by Napoleon as a gift to Josephine. Queen Victoria often presented opals as wedding gifts. Desired colors ranges from white back round with medium to strong fire, colors of blue, green and red.
OCTOBER - TOURMALINE
An alternative to the soft opal, Tourmaline comes in many colors. The very rare Chrome Tourmaline found only in the African country of Tanzania, is a rare and wonderful gem. Among the most vivid, intense greens found in the world of jewels; chrome tourmaline owes its name to the chromium content that gives this gem its dense, forest green hue. Green Tourmaline ranges in many different hues, from fresh leek green to a rich intense green - with a multitude of nuances in between -- it is highly prized for its verdant palette. Tourmaline honors 8th anniversaries and is Maine's state gemstone. Pink Tourmaline: charmingly pretty pink tourmaline flashes its femininity in a sparkling display. One of the more rare color varieties of tourmaline, the pinks range from a pale bubblegum to vibrant light cherry.
NOVEMBER - CITRINE
Colors ranged from lemon yellow to golden yellow to orange-brown, citrine is a unique member of the quartz family. Mostly mined in Brazil, particularly the state of Rio Grande Sul. The Serra and Iraa mines produce hundreds of kilos of rough every month. Citrine is generally more affordable than amethyst, its quartz cousin. Like all quartz gems, citrine is relatively plentiful and is available in a wid range of sizes and shapes, including very large sizes. For extra brilliance many citrine are polished into Radiant Cuts, which have clever curved facets that focus light like lenses.
DECEMBER - BLUE ZIRCON
With its high brilliance, zircon shines brightly among gems and blue is the most popular color; in fact, so brilliant and fiery is blue zircon, it rivals the far more costly blue diamond. Desired colors medium dark slightly greenish blue.
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I've had many pieces of jewelry repaired here and always received excellent service. Ashley's is the best! I brought in my engagement ring because I had lost a stone and they matched it and fixed the setting so I wouldn't lose any more stones. I've had my husband's watch fixed and got a new band to match the watch as closely as possible, replaced watch batteries, etc. I even referred a friend to take her engagement ring to be fixed before she lost her diamond. Wonderful people and I'd recommend them to anyone!
June 25, 2008 by Anita Amento in Barkhamsted, CT