Whether its a paper clip or a Figuro link, big links are one of this season’s must-haves. It’s on trend to wear them long or short, stack them or wear them single. Chains are both sexy and utilitarian. Wear them with knits, slip dresses or dress up your go-to athleisure outfit.
Gold chains are a classic and make a statement. We see them as a staple going forward, so invest in a piece that you are sure to love years from now.
Of course, American Gem Society designers have created some of this year’s favorite trendy trains. Here are four we love:
Stun every day you wear this Everday Oval Link Necklace from NEI Group.
You’ve got the Midas Touch with this beauty from Midas Chain.
Gold is great, but sometimes you need a touch of (oxidized) silver to stand out. This exceptional chain from Lika Behar is unforgettable.
Feeling a little regal? You’ll look drop dead gorgeous with this piece from Erica Courtney.
To see any of these beautiful pieces in person, or better yet, to purchase them for your jewelry arsenal, visit ags.org/findajeweler to find an American Gem Society jeweler.
The folklore around opal gemstones has changed over the centuries. It has long been associated with hope, happiness, innocence, and luck.
According to Arabic legend, opals fell from the sky in bolts of lightning. Greek mythology stated that opals originated from Zeus’ joyful tears after winning the battle against the Titans. Meanwhile, Australian aborigines believed that the Creator came to Earth on a rainbow, leaving these colorful stones where his feet touched the ground.
Aztecs named fire opal after Quetzalcoatl, their feathered-serpent diety. They believed the “Stone of the Bird of Paradise” could foster creativity and beginnings. They felt it could also bring about necessary destruction.
People in the Middle Ages work opal gemstones to bring them luck. They believed that the color-changing opal possessed the powers of each gemstone whose color appeared in its sheen.
However, that perception changed with the 1829 publication of Sir Walter Scott’s book, “Anne of Geierstein.” The story featured an enchanted princess who wore an opal that changed colors with her moods. But when a few drops of holy water extinguished the stone’s magic fire, the woman soon died. People began associating opals with bad luck. Within a year after publication of Scott’s book, opal sales in Europe fell by 50 percent.
Other stories of bad luck were told through the years. For example, Spain’s King Alfonso XII was gifted an opal ring for his wedding. After giving it to his wife, she died. The ring was then given to his grandmother, siter, and sister-in-law, each of them also dying when in possession of the ring. King Alfonso was the last to wear the opal, dying shortly after. These deaths could have been attributed to the cholera epidemic at the time, but the legend of the cursed opal persists.
When opal deposits were discovered in Australia after 1850, the gemstone’s perception changed yet again. The country started to produce 95 percent of the world’s opal supply and many of the most beautiful specimens. People once again clamored to wear opal jewelry.
Sapphires are associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline, and channeling higher powers. Throughout time, the September birthstone has been referenced in almost all religions.
Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed that it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.
Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, though historians now believe the blue gemstone referenced in the Bible may have been lapis lazuli.
It was believed that this “holy” stone would prevent impure thoughts. Believers even went so far as to say it wouldn’t shine if worn by someone who wasn’t chaste. For royalty, it was assumed that sapphire gemstones would protect them from fraud, poverty, and bad decisions.
There are legends of the power of sapphire to heal physical wounds and disease. The simple method of placing a sapphire on the forehead was supposed to stop nosebleeds. Mixing the gemstone with milk was supposed to help sores and boils. People also made elixirs with sapphire to help calm the stomach and digestive tract and to heal internal ulcers.
Over time, sapphire began to symbolize love and commitment. For example, Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring in 1981. This gemstone is now given as a gift for fifth and forty-fifth wedding anniversaries.
Spinel is a gemstone that has often been confused with ruby. One of August’s birthstones, spinel can come in a variety of colors, including red, black, blue, green, and purple. It can also appear colorless.
Spinel can be found in deposits around the world. However, in ancient times, Southeast Asia produced very large formations of the gemstone. Red spinel is often called “flame spinel.” Two of these large, red gems are in the English crown jewels. Known as the “Black Prince’s Ruby” and the “Timur Ruby,” it was later discovered that they were spinels.
According to legend, spinel can help revitalize and bring energy to the owner. It is said to lower anxiety and stress. Along these lines, it’s also believed to encourage new ways of thinking and promote the fortitude to get through challenges in life.
In the mystic realm, some have felt that spinel helps communicate with higher powers. They say it improves intuition and clarity and balances emotions.
Magnetite is a type of spinel that has magnetic properties. As early as the 11th century, mariners used this form of spinel—known as lodestone—to magnetize their compasses.
Those who believe in crystal healing feel that magnetite helps align currents in the body. They also believe it can balance mood swings and polarities, such as physical and spiritual, and the two brain hemispheres.
Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx to create a reddish zebra-striped gemstone with white bands. It is one of three of August’s birthstones.
Used as a stone of strength and protection in ancient times, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Ancients believed that placing a sardonyx gemstone at each corner of a house would grant protection against evil.
Amulets and talismans made of sardonyx were thought to give the wearer a boost of energy. Ancient Romans would carve Mars—the god of war—or Hercules into the gemstone to promote courage.
Sardonyx was used in the Middle Ages to counteract the supposedly negative effects of onyx. It was believed that the latter gemstone brought out anxiety, sadness, and anger—and even demons. They felt sardonyx could balance it out.
Religious texts also reference sardonyx. For example, it’s used as the first foundation stone in the walls of New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.
Legend has it that sardonyx can help with depression, willpower, and confidence. It can help one find integrity, meaning, and happiness. Those who practice yoga have found it helps with meditation.
Peridot—one of three August birthstones—is a lime green stone that has many links to nature. It has often been confused with topaz and emerald.
Legends have connected this gemstone to the sun, believing that it brought energy and happiness to the owner. In Oahu, Hawaii, small pieces of peridot wash onshore near volcanic areas. This gemstone is made of olivine, which is found in lava rocks. Ancient Hawaiian folklore told stories of the gems being tears from the goddess of elements, Pele. In fact, sometimes when it rained, the gemstones will fall from the sky.
In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra loved peridot for its beauty. She also believed it could keep dark, evil spirits away. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, so they used goblets encrusted with peridot to commune with their nature gods.
In ancient times, people believed that peridot was brought to our world by a sun’s explosion—and they weren’t far off. Some peridot crystals have been found in rare pallasite meteorites that are 4.5 billion years old.
German occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa said in the early 1500s if you held peridot to the sun, a golden star would shine from it to heal any respiratory ailments. Apothecary shops kept the gemstone in powdered form to use as an antidote to insomnia, bleeding, madness, and nightmares. It was also believed to help with a range of other things, from improving memory to easing labor and birth.
For thousands of years, peridot beads and talismans were worn for protection and to promote love, happiness, and wealth. When paired with gold, they believed the effects intensified.
In ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July.
Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 BC. Legend has it that they considered them so valuable that Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan offered to exchange a whole city for a large ruby.
Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies, because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.
Ancient Hindus believed they’d be reborn as emperors if they offered rubies to the god Krishna. In Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within rubiesIn ancient times, the ruby was considered more valuable than diamonds. Many cultures admired this precious gemstone and considered it a token of wealth, safety, and passion. It is now the birthstone for the month of July. burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Greek legends similarly claimed that ruby’s warmth could melt wax.
In Burma—a significant ruby source since at least 600 AD—warriors believed that rubies made them invincible. They even implanted rubies into their skin to grant protection in battle. Burmese rubies are still some of the most prized of all ruby gems.
Many cultures also admired ruby as a symbol of love, passion, and commitment. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem. In present day, it’s a traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. If you’re looking for ruby jewelry for yourself or for someone with a July birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.
NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of rubies and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.
Pearl folklore spans centuries. This June birthstone’s iridescent beauty has inspired many stories.
Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth and the dragon had to be slain to claim the pearls, which symbolized wisdom. The phrase “pearls of wisdom” is still used today.
Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.
Some ancient legends described pearls as tears cried by gods. It was believed that Eve cried pearls when she was exiled from Eden.
Pearls have also been symbols of wealth, purity, and fertility. Pearl jewelry is often worn by brides during weddings in Asia and in Western cultures.
Some cultures believed that pearls were bad luck, since the gemstones were ripped from living creatures. To counteract this, pearl jewelry had to be given out of love, without jealousy and malice.
Alexandrite was discovered in fairly modern times. Since it was found in the early 1800s in Russia, not much lore has built up around this incredibly rare gemstone.
When this gemstone was first discovered in emerald mines in the Ural Mountains, they assumed it was emerald. However, the mineralogist who found it later noticed that the gemstone changed colors depending on the type of light it was in.
Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light. The shifting colors are the result of alexandrite’s uncommon chemical composition that includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald.
According to legend, alexandrite was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar’s birthday. Because alexandrite’s red and green hues matched Russia’s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia’s Tsardom.
Since its discovery, people have felt this June birthstone brought good luck and abundance. Some have even believed it brought happiness and love into their lives.
Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.
Throughout time, moonstone has been connected to the Earth’s moon. This mysterious stone—which looks like a moonlit night—has been the object of lore across the world.
For two thousand years, Romans used moonstone in jewelry. They linked the stone to the Moon Goddess Diana and believed that wearing moonstone would bring love, wealth, and success.
In Asia, there was a myth that every 21 years, blue moonstones were brought in by the tide. In India, it was believed that this gem was good luck and allowed romantic partners to read their future, if they placed the moonstone in their mouth during a full moon. Moonstone is one of India’s traditional wedding gifts. They also felt that the stone’s luster grew and weakened as the moon transitioned from a full moon to a new moon.
Hindu mythology also told that moonstone was made from the moon’s ethereal light. Legend portrayed it as a sacred and magical “dream stone” that could bring serene and beautiful dreams at night.
Legends have claimed that moonstone could help the wearer have clear visions and prophecies. If someone was continuously angry, the stone would lose its beautiful luster. It was also known as the “Traveler’s Stone,” as it was believed that it would protect people who wore it while traveling at night.
Current lore revolves around moonstone’s ability to help wearers go with the flow, similar to the moon affecting the tides.
This dreamy stone is gorgeous no matter how you feel about it.