This ancient gemstone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets. Bloodstone was believed to have healing powers, especially for blood disorders. It is sometimes called the “martyr’s stone,” as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ’s blood stained jasper at the foot of the cross.
Many other ancient cultures believed bloodstone gems had magical powers, with some references to its ability to heal dating back to 5000 BC.
The Babylonians used bloodstone in their divination, and the Egyptians prized bloodstone because they believed it helped them to defeat their enemies. They also believed it increased their strength or made them invisible.
Still, others believed that bloodstone could help control or change the weather, win legal battles or give the gift of prophecy. It was so loved for its properties, many used the gemstone in jewelry, signet rings, and even small cups or statues.
Today, some still wear bloodstone jewelry as a lucky charm. No matter how you use or wear bloodstone, it’s a unique gemstone great for everyday wear.
Aquamarine is made of two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marine, meaning “of the sea.” It was once believed that this gemstone would protect sailors and guarantee a safe voyage. Legend has it that aquamarine’s serene blue color would invoke calming properties of the sea, helping to cool tempers and allow the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
Yet sailors aren’t the only ones who thought aquamarine could protect them. People in the Middle Ages believed that wearing aquamarine would prevent them from being poisoned. Ancient Romans would carve a frog into the gem to help turn enemies into friends. Ancient medicines were made from aquamarine powder to help cure a variety of infections, eye ailments, and allergic reactions.
In folklore, aquamarine represented not only the sea, but also the heavens since the sky reflected in the water. It was believed that its reflective properties and symmetry could reveal hidden aspects of reality and things deep within our souls. This made aquamarine a popular stone with healers, mystics, shamans, and prophets.
When meditating with aquamarine, people believed it enhanced their paranormal abilities and aided in the occurrence of epiphanies. They focused on the stone’s perceived ability of calming reflection.
Other legends say that aquamarine helped with decision making, perseverance, and responsibility. People felt it aided with clear reasoning and feeling empowered during debates in order to come to a compromise.
Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth. Due to its chemical makeup, it has survived ages of geological events, such as erosion and pressure shifts, recording these changes like a time capsule.
You can find zircon in a variety of colors, including blue, brown, red, orange, yellow, and green. Sometimes the gems are heat treated to enhance certain colors.
During the Middle Ages, people believed that zircon could induce sleep, ward off evil, and bring prosperity and wisdom. In the past, others felt it could heal madness, reduce temptation, and improve intelligence.
Zircon is now known as a “Stone of Virtue.” Folklore states that people believed it to have healing and grounding properties that helped them feel more balanced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The believed healing properties included relieving pain and cramps, removing toxins from the body, and reducing fevers. Grounding properties included limiting nightmares, reducing stress, and alleviating symptoms of withdrawal.
Other people have felt that zircon helped with feelings of grief, sadness, anxiety, and fear. They said it promoted letting go of old feelings and helped them reevaluate what is important in life, including relationships with others and with material objects.
Zircon is often confused with man-made cubic zirconia. However, zircon is a naturally occurring mineral called zirconium silicate. Both zircon and cubic zirconia are great alternatives to diamonds.
Turquoise has a rich history throughout millennia and across a variety of cultures. The earliest uses were beads found in Iraq, dating back to 5000 BCE. Turquoise gemstones were found in jewelry in Egyptian tombs, dating back to 3000 BCE. It was even used in King Tut’s burial mask.
Native Americans have mined turquoise in the southwestern part of the United States for nearly a thousand years. They’ve worn it during ceremonies to call upon spirits and to symbolize the god of the sky. They used it to guard burial sites and in divining since it enhances communication between spiritual and physical worlds.
Legends state that the blue-green stone could protect the wearer, so it was often used in shields, weapons, and bridles for warriors going to battle. It was also thought to instill tranquility and promote wisdom. Some have even believed it to have the power of immortality.
Turquoise is widely known as a symbol of friendship and happiness. In folklore, the stone’s energy would be programmed with a specific intention for daily wear or meditation uses. Many people would wear it near their heart as they believed it promoted positive, happy vibes.
With its blue color streaked with brown ribbons, the stone symbolized the earth and sky coming together and the joining of female and male energies.
Other legends believed that turquoise helped the user communicate and manifest wholeness and truth.
Garnet is a fitting way to start the New Year. Not only because it’s January’s birthstone, but also because according to legend, it has the power to give those who wear it eternal happiness, health, and wealth. Its perceived healing properties are vast.
Legend has it that garnet can bring peace, prosperity, and good health to the home. It’s been called the “Gem of Faith,” as there were some who believed that those who wore it and do good would have more good come their way. On the other hand, there were those that believed if you wore it and committed bad acts, you’d have bad fortune.
It was also known as a “Stone of Health.” Some believed that garnet could remove negative energy from the chakras and purify vital organs and blood. It was used as a talisman for protection by warriors going into battle and those who wanted to ward off diseases. Some ancient healers even placed garnets in wounds, praising its healing powers.
Garnet is so durable that jewelry dating back to the Bronze Age has been found. Egyptians also used garnet as far back as 3100 BC as inlays in jewelry and carvings. They believed it was the symbol of life and was used to honor their Goddess of War, Sekhmet.
Garnet has also symbolized a deep and lasting friendship. This makes it a great reason to give garnet jewelry as a special gift for someone whose friendship you deeply value!
The diamond necklace from an ex, the gold watch that sits in your jewelry box, the ruby necklace that you loved—a decade ago. We all have jewelry that we no longer wear. Selling your old jewelry is an option, but it can be hard to know how and where to get started. Here are a few tips on getting the most from your rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
1. Know the worth
Start by getting your jewelry appraised by a certified jeweler. You may love your jewelry, but the emotional value you assign to your jewelry often has little to do with the current fair market price of your piece. Many factors go into determining the current value of a piece of jewelry, including fashion and style, current condition, designer (or not), and wearability or repair needs. Remember, that chain or gold watch is always worth its weight in gold, but may not be worth any more than that.
The best way to determine your item’s value is by due diligence. Start by getting certified jewelry appraisal. Let several jewelers evaluate it and ask for a purchase offer. Have an AGS trained Certified Gemologist® (CG), a Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (CGA) or an Independent Certified Gemologist® Appraiser (ICGA), recommend an accurate replacement value. Keep in mind that your used item will not bring the same price as a new comparable item.
It is important to know the new price in order to determine the selling price. You should expect low offers in comparison to the replacement value, because any jeweler who purchases it will try to resell it, and in effect becomes the middle-man who will sell it for a higher price to make a profit.
2. Be informed
Consider how quickly you want to sell your jewelry. If you want an immediate sale (i.e. cash in hand today), your options will be limited on where you can sell, and how much cash someone might be willing to pay immediately. Many jewelry stores offer a consignment option, where you leave your piece with them, and upon sale, they pay you. This is often the best way to maximize the money you receive.
If you are able to wait, researching some other possibilities could net you a better price for your jewelry, or provide other options, like re-setting gemstones from your jewelry into a new piece.
Visit an AGS jeweler who buys jewelry (not all do; make sure to call ahead) and learn your options to sell your piece or work out another solution.
3. Be realistic
Have a range in mind of what you would accept for the piece and be willing to accept an offer in that range. Be aware you may get offers that are higher, or possibly lower, based upon all the factors previously mentioned.
If you are interested in selling your jewelry or if you want to explore the option of re-setting your gemstones into a new piece, find a jeweler near you.
Amethyst has been used for centuries by a variety of cultures. Some of the oldest amethyst jewelry dates back to as early as 2000 BC. Legends and myths abound.
In Greek, amethyst means “not drunken.” Ancient Greeks and Romans believed this gemstone could ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus and keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. They would even add these crystals to their wine goblets in an attempt to keep from getting drunk.
Catholic bishops felt that amethyst could prevent people from getting “drunk” on religious power, and instead kept them more grounded. The Book of the Dead encouraged Egyptians to turn amethysts into heart-shaped amulets for burial.
Amethyst’s mythical properties are vast. People have believed that amethyst could control evil thoughts, make you smarter, protect you from witchcraft and black magic, help soldiers win battles, improve focus, and create a sense of peace and calm.
These legends make it a good gemstone for those in the creative arts to help foster new, unique ideas. Some who meditate with amethyst feel it relieves stress and anxiety, while encouraging communication and intuition.
Tanzanite gets its name from the only location it can be found: Tanzania in Africa. Legend has it that this rare, deep blue stone—which is one of three birthstones for December—could develop intuition and deepen psychic abilities. It was considered a stone of transformation.
Legend has it that tanzanite could strengthen the immune system; regenerate cells, skin and hair; and detoxify blood. It was also believed to help with mental and emotional issues such as stress and fear.
Tanzanite is primarily blue in color, which can range from lighter lilac to deeper blue sapphire colors. It can also be found in shades of purple, yellow, and brown. In folklore, its color transformations, along with its high vibrational energy, could raise the consciousness of those who wear it.
“I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say I love you.”
– Shakespeare, Henry V
Whatever, Shakespeare. We know of some better ways to show our affection!
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, we often forget that it’s not only for those who are romantically involved. We express our affection for family members and BFFs as well!
Flowers, candies, and stuffed animals are delightful tokens, but a gift of fine jewelry is a more personal piece that becomes a cherished treasure for future generations. The look of surprise when they catch the sparkle of diamonds or the rich hue of colored gemstones is priceless enough!
The 92nd Academy Awards airs on February 9, and it’s a sacred day for jewelry! Never mind who wins—it’s the bling we’ll be watching for. If AGS was an acronym for “Academy Gem Stylists,” the nominees would be wearing these show-stopping Red Carpet earrings and accessories from a few of our American Gem Society (AGS) members.
Cynthia Erivo Actress in a Leading Role Harriet
Cynthia would rule the red carpet in this magnificent 49.79-carat diamond necklace by TAKAT.
Renée Zellweger Actress in a Leading Role Judy
Renée would complement her baby blues perfectly with Jack Abraham’s Ceylon sapphire and diamond demi-parure. The set features Red Carpet ready earrings and a necklace.
Saoirse Ronan Actress in a Leading Role Little Women
Saoirse can raise the Oscar statuette while showing off this fabulous pearl ring by Baggins Pearls.
To end, we have a real-life Red Carpet moment at the SAG Awards that we want to share. Yvonne Strahovski from the Handmaid’s Tale wore these jaw-dropping pieces from Harry Kotlar.
Yvonne brightened up the Red Carpet with a pair of 12-carat emerald cut diamond earrings and the Kotlar Cushion Riviera Drop Necklace, featuring a 151.02-carat diamond drop.