February’s Birthstone, Amethyst

If gazing into the sparkling purple depths of an Amethyst suffuses you with a sense of powerful well being, this is only to be expected.  The ancient Greeks believed that this gemstone held many powers, among them protection against intoxication.  In fact, the word Amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober.   In ancient…

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Garnet, a stone for any season!

One glance at the deep red seeds nestled inside of a pomegranate fruit explains why the word “garnet” comes from the Latin word “granatus,” meaning “grain” or “seed.”  This name was given to the garnet because of its close resemblance to the succulent pomegranate seed.  But don’t bite into a garnet, because at Moh’s hardness…

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Blue Topaz, the December birthstone

As cool and inviting as a blue lake on a blistering summer day, Decembers birthstone is derived from the Sanskrit word “tapas,” meaning fire.  This is because Blue Topaz was considered by ancient civilizations to have cooling properties.  Not only was it believed to cool boiling water when thrown into the pot, but to calm hot…

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October Birthstone: opal and pink tourmaline

October’s birthstone treats the eye to an explosion of shimmering colors, not unlike those of a magnificent rainbow following a summer rain.  The Opal derives its name from the Latin word “opalus,” meaning precious jewel.  Prized for its unique ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light, the Opal was called “Cupid Paederos” by…

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