Hope you had a lot of fun learning all about diamonds! They’re amazing gems for everyone, whether or not their birthdays are in April. If you are an April baby, happy birthday from the Gemvara team!
It may come as a shock, but February isn’t all about pinks and reds. There’s another color that represents the month of February and it goes beyond Valentine’s Day. That color is purple, or what we like to refer to as amethyst.
Amethyst, February’s birthstone, is a welcome change for those who don’t love the super girly colors of V-Day, but still appreciate the romance. In fact, amethyst was actually the gem of cupid – they say St. Valentine wore it himself.
Have a loved one with a February birthday? Need a more subtle Valentine’s Day stone? Amethyst jewelry would make a marvelous gift. Check out some of our customer’s recent designs (below) for some inspiration.
Written in the Stars Ring, Pear Gem Drop Earrings, Oh La Lovely Ring, Double Helix Ring, Sailor’s Knot Ring, Twin Hearts Ring, Infinite Heart Pendant, Counterpoint Ring, Yin Yang Heart, Lotus Ring, Monsoon Earrings, Twist Ring
Shopping for a gemstone can be harder than you think. Admittedly, before I began working for Gemvara, I had no clue about the difference between a well cut stone and a poorly cut one. (Not to mention the fact that all stones have different hardness levels! Who knew?)
However, lucky for you, our resident gem expert, Roy Albers, agreed to get under the bright lights and film a few short videos to guide you through the process of purchasing a gemstone.
Roy is the VP of Jewelry Fulfillment at Gemvara and the buyer for all our gemstones. He is extremely well-versed in the business and you will see that as he discusses the guidelines for buying three gems, a ruby, an emerald, and a sapphire, in the videos below.
At some point in each video Roy displays a multitude of stones – some good, some bad. Unfortunately, we were even fooled by a few of the stones. (Good thing we don’t do Roy’s job!) See if you can spot the perfect stones from the imperfect. Did you get it right?
How to Buy: Ruby
How to Buy: Emerald
How to Buy: Sapphire
The month of January is always marked by a desire to start fresh. It’s that time of year when (more often than not) you make a pact to forgo ice cream for dinner and hit the gym instead. While we’re all for positive resolutions, we also think that it’s important to have some help along the way. It may seem silly, but we’ve got the perfect (chic) solution: a garnet.
Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January, but what makes me most excited about this gem is that it is also known to promote constancy, true friendship, and loyalty. Not to mention it also protects travelers on their adventures. What better bauble to have as a reminder to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions? I love the idea of wearing this gem in a cute pendant or gemstone ring.
If carrying around an amulet is not your style, garnets are also simply beautiful gemstones. They come in many variations and colors allowing them to virtually fit any type of personality. For example, red garnets from Mozambique have an earthy, red ocher color, and are a good match for those with a vintage or rock style like Kate Moss (whose birthday also happens to be in January).
For those with a sweeter side, the juicy, raspberry color of the rhodolite garnet is a good choice. Garnets also come in rare vivid green tsavorite and bright orange spessartite varieties. Emma Stone was spotted in mandarin-hued garnet earrings at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards.
If January is the start to a fresh, new you, there is no better way to kick off 2012 than with a gorgeous garnet in your jewelry box.
The month of December holds much to look forward to: holiday lights, delicious food, people in good spirits, cozy nights by the fireside, Starbucks holiday drink menu… the list goes on and on. Lucky for those born in this cheerful month, you also have two spectacular choices in birthstones: icy blue topaz and velvety tanzanite.
While traditional turquoise used to be the birthstone for December, it has recently been swapped for these two blue gems. We love the new stones, but how do you pick? Here are some tips.
Blue topaz is a lighter, sky blue while tanzanite has a twilight purplish color. Both gems are vibrant and their color is striking against a silver or white gold setting. Gemvara also offers London blue topaz, which has a darker, more intense shade of blue for extra drama.
You’ll find that blue topaz jewelry complements almost everything in your wardrobe, from browns and grays to vivid tones. Tanzanite pairs well with an extensive palette also. Of course, tanzanite is an ideal complement to all the rich blues, purples, and greens in your wardrobe, but the velvety depths of this gem are also great with earth tones, from chocolates to rusts and golds.
Choose your favorite of the two or test which one looks better against your skin tone.
While blue topaz used to be the rarest color of topaz, it is now the most common thanks to a stable color enhancement process. This makes blue topaz more affordable. On the other hand, tanzanite is extremely rare. It is mined in only one place in the world — a five-square mile area in Merelani, Tanzania near the feet of majestic Kilimanjaro. For this reason tanzanite is significantly more expensive than blue topaz.
Still having trouble? Choose both!
Because the two gems are in the same color family, they pair very nicely together. At Gemvara we make it easy for you to create designs using any gems you like, so have some fun and design a piece using both stones. A bit out of your price range? Enter your design in our What a Guy contest for a chance to win it! Your December dreams may come true!
Which shade of December blue are you?
For years, citrine has been an understudy, overshadowed by topaz and commonly referred to as topaz quartz. Many people believed (and still do today) that topaz was the birthstone of November. While topaz is November’s gem too, citrine is the star.
This sunny shade of quartz has many reasons to be in the spotlight. Its color reflects the essence of autumn’s golden sunset – the perfect gem to represent the month of November. It ranges from pale yellow to reddish orange, and can even contain hints of brown. Citrine’s color can brighten up a gray day or compliment that first warm fire, cup of apple cider, or the falling leaves.
Another reason why citrine deserves the spotlight is because it is so affordable. This is great news for those craving a big gemstone ring or large drop earrings. Citrine is the perfect gem to make a bang on a budget. We love pairing citrine with blue topaz or its quartz cousin, amethyst – the gems opposite it on the color wheel. It also looks great when matched with smoky topaz or ruby. Citrine is one of the gems featured in our new Naked Gems line, launching very soon! It looks stunning in earrings, necklaces and rings.
The last reason why citrine merits a leading role may be the best one. Citrine is known as the gem of happiness, joy and optimism. It is also said to protect against jealousy. So wrap yourself in citrine this holiday season and you are sure to remain cozy and content under its golden glow.
The fashion world is alive with color. From the runways of Fashion Week to street styles, even hair and make-up — anything goes in color, and the brighter the better. Just in time for this vibrant burst comes the month of October, boasting the most colorful of all birthstones.
Luckily for October babies, this month has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. These gems come in a rainbow of colors. Opal ranges from clear to (almost) any color you can imagine, but whites and greens are the most common. Fire opal is another form of opal and the only one that is transparent. Its fiery orange is unmatched in the gem kingdom. Fire opals are often faceted, so you get both sparkle and shine! Tourmaline, like opal, also comes in a multitude of hues. Pink and green are popular tourmaline choices for birthstone jewelry.
As October welcomes in the fall season, we love the idea of fire opal and green tourmaline since they remind us of crisp, falling leaves. Pink is also the perfect color for October because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and pink is the cause’s signature color. During the month of October, Gemvara will donate a portion of the proceeds of pink gemstone jewelry to the Ellie Fund. Sign up for our newsletter below to receive details.
Everyone wants choices in their life, especially when it comes to fashion, and October’s multitude of birthstones makes it easy to create a meaningful fashion statement. Which color will you choose?
Legend has it that the world was once set upon an enormous sapphire, which painted the sky blue with its reflection. It was also once believed that the Ten Commandments were inscribed upon tablets made of sapphire. In addition, how could anyone forget the legendary 18-carat, sapphire engagement ring given to Princess Diana by Prince Charles? All these renowned qualities truly give sapphire a royal place among gemstones.
Sapphire, the birthstone for the month of September, has exploded with popularity during the last few decades. It started when Princess Diana flashed her sapphire engagement ring in 1981 and continues today as Kate Middleton shows off the same ring. Sapphires are experiencing a huge resurgence, but not without precedence.
One of the four precious gems (the other three being diamonds, emeralds and rubies) sapphires are second in hardness to diamonds, making them a practical choice for bridal jewelry sets. This also means that they are able to transcend the test of time — living up to their meaning associated with truth, sincerity, and constancy. Sapphires make a perfect engagement ring, but also a promise ring as they also symbolize faithfulness, wisdom, and purity.
Did you know that sapphires also come in other colors? Pink, yellow, and white sapphire jewelry is becoming more popular, but the striking deep blue variety continues to win both gem lovers and the September-born everywhere. Sapphires are the perfect gift for anyone with a September birthday and will be a memorable present to last a lifetime.
As a bona fide Leo, born in the month of August, I have always felt a connection to many of the characteristic “lioness” tendencies. Whether for good or bad, it is apparent that Leos are definitely a fiery breed.
This being said, it struck me as odd when I discovered that my birthstone was peridot. I remember thinking, “Green? Really?” I had always envisioned the birthstone of August as a bright red, vibrant orange or even a sparkling yellow- all colors that match the summer sun. Green, on the other hand, evoked a calming sense for me. That is until I actually saw peridot.
Anything but calming, peridot’s green is incredibly lively. When caught in the light, its color dances with a rich glow and a velvety luster. Formed as a result of volcanic activity (I guess it truly is “fiery”), peridot is among the oldest of the gemstones. Ancient Egyptians used to call them “gems of the sun” because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sunlight. In fact, Egyptians believed that peridot glowed even in darkness. Because of this, early miners in Egypt actually used to mine for peridot late at night, believing that the light of the moon made the crystals easier to find. Talk about a beacon of light!
Throughout history, peridot (pronounced “pear-a-doe”) was used as a means of connecting to nature, a trait that seems fitting for a gemstone that only occurs in the color green. However, that’s not to say there is only one shade of green: peridot can range from a yellowish-green to a dark olive color. Peridot is among the “greenest” of gems in another way too. Most peridot is mined, often by hand, by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.
This transparent crystal was once known to protect against evil, ward off depression and fear and keep one free from envy. Peridot is also said to bring divine inspiration, promote vitality, and strengthen the self as well as relationships. The property that I find most endearing about peridot is that it promotes new growth in years to come. Who wouldn’t want to wear a daily reminder that “the best is yet to come?”
Peridot is a fabulous gem to wear during the summer months because it matches very well with other citrus colors. My three favorite “Gemvarian” ways to wear peridot are in the Hera Earrings, a regal statement in gold, the Heartbeat Band, mixed with diamonds this is a real dazzler, and the Large Gemstone Solitaire Pendant, a stunning statement to match an August baby’s striking personality!
The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj,” which means “king of the gemstones.” Second only to diamonds in the Mohs hardness scale, rubies are durable and can be cleaned easily with a soft cloth and mild dish soap. Or vodka, if you prefer.
Rubies were widely used in royal insignias and crowns — St. Wenzel’s Crown holds a staggering 250-carat ruby. The 167-carat Edwardes Ruby was named for Major General Sir Herbert Benjamin Edwardes who turned back the tide of mutiny against British rule in India. It rests in the British Museum of Natural History in London, donated by John Ruskin in 1887. American crowds can gape at the 137-carat Rosser Reeves Ruby, on display at the Smithsonian.
In more modern times, rubies remain popular. The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, received a ruby engagement ring from Prince Andrew. Singer and budding fashion tycoon Jessica Simpson also sports a ruby engagement ring, so similar to this Gemvara ring here, that we named it after her.
Right now, I’m obsessing over this stunning ruby pendant. Set in 14K yellow gold, this piece just exudes luxury. Eight marquis-cut rubies radiate from a round center stone. Play with color and develop your own unique piece! I added tanzanite accent gems for a spellbinding look. I love it. Maybe I’ll drop some hints to the fiancée. My birthday is in a few weeks after all…
I toyed with the idea of ruby engagement rings for awhile, particularly this one, with its lovely vintage beading, diamond halo, and side diamonds:
And the Natalie Ring, with a ruby in place of a center diamond, surrounded by a double halo of pavé diamonds, is just so hot! I can only imagine the jaws dropping.