The Folklore of Topaz

Traditional legends claimed that topaz could harness the power of the sun. This gemstone is commonly found in warm yellow hues, but can be treated to produce other colors, such as blue. Pink topaz was linked to spring and summer, while other topaz colors were linked to fall.

ring with big topaz gem on black coal background

Topaz symbolized the Egyptian Sun god, Ra. Ancient Egyptians felt it was an incredibly powerful stone. Hindus believed in the gemstone’s protective abilities. They felt it could protect homes from burning down, while also protecting their health and beauty. African shamans also treated the gemstone as sacred, using it in their healing rituals. They felt that whoever held the gemstone would become wealthy.

Ancient Greeks and Romans used topaz for strength and to prevent injuries. Around that time, Europeans linked the sunny stone to Apollo, the god of the Sun. Later during the Renaissance in Europe, people believed that topaz could break spells and quell anger.

In ancient times, people believed that topaz would prevent sleepwalking, reduce inflammation, and improve eyesight. It was also believed that the stone changed color when near food or drink that had been poisoned. Healers and physicians used it in all sorts of medical treatments.

Topaz has also been tied to the moon. It was believed that it’s healing power and color intensity waxed and waned with lunar phases.

Modern lore suggests topaz will bring about love and good fortune while uncovering lies and deceit. Some feel that the gemstone will reduce feelings of tiredness and promote good moods.

If you’re looking for topaz jewelry to celebrate a November birthday or 4th, 19th, or 23rd wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of topaz and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Citrine

Citrine has been loved for thousands of years. The word was first used in 1385 to refer to yellow gemstones. This November birthstone has become a symbol of manifestation, wealth, and imagination. Its yellow hues evoke the warmth of the sun and life-giving energy.

Group of Citrine Gemstones

In ancient times, people believed that citrine gemstones could calm tempers, soothe anger, and manifest desires. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gemstones as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, and Roman priests fashioned them into rings.

Legends say that the gemstone made men more handsome and intelligent. It was also believed that it could help women bear more children and increase happiness. Citrine is often called “The Merchant’s Stone.” People believed that it would help accumulate wealth and success.

According to lore, carrying citrine would attract love and prevent heartbreak. It was believed that it could instill confidence and healing wisdom as well. People felt that it was one of the only stones that did not hold negative energy. Instead, it repelled it.

Today, citrine is one of the most affordable and abundant gemstones on the market. Its colors range from yellow, orange, and reddish hues, to smoky or amber brown.

If you’re looking for citrine jewelry to celebrate a November birthday or 13th wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of citrine and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Tourmaline

Tourmaline gemstones are found in an incredible range of colors. An Egyptian legend explains this variety by saying the gemstone traveled along a rainbow, gathering the diverse array of colors as it went.

red and pink tourmaline gemstones

One legend relates tourmaline to the world’s ancient knowledge. Magicians living in the Andes mountains used tourmaline to create magical staffs to access this resource.

Ancient Indian ceremonies used tourmaline for enlightenment and help in seeking good. Inversely, they felt it could also bring insight as to what was causing trouble.

In the 18th Century, a Dutch scientist believed that wrapping a tourmaline gemstone in silk and placing it on the cheek of a child with a fever would help them fall asleep.

Many people have believed folklore around tourmaline gemstones having the ability to cure depression, strengthen the body and spirit, improve relationships, and increase intuition and creativity. In fact, it’s association with creativity meant it was often used by writers, artists, and actors.

Folklore also suggests that tourmaline could help improve self-awareness, self-confidence, psychic energies, communication, and the ability to relax. It is also believed that the gemstone can counteract fear, grief, and negative energies.

If you’re looking for tourmaline jewelry to celebrate an October birthday or an eighth wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of tourmaline and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

Trend Alert: Big Links, Long Chains

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.

Everyday Oval link necklace from NEI Group
Everyday Oval Link Necklace from neigroup.com

You’ve got the Midas Touch with this beautiful long chain necklace from Midas Chain.

Midas Chain gold chain
Go for the gold at midaschain.com

Gold is great, but sometimes you need a touch of (oxidized) silver to stand out. This exceptional chain from Lika Behar is unforgettable.

Lika Behar Collection oxidized silver chain
Want to see more from Lika Behar? Visit likabehar.com

Feeling a little regal? You’ll look drop dead gorgeous with this long chain necklace from Erica Courtney.

Pendant from Erica Courtney
Find more drop dead gorgeous pieces at ericacourtney.com

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 of Opal

The folklore around opal gemstones has changed over the centuries. It has long been associated with hope, happiness, innocence, and luck.

Silver ring with opal mineral gemstone on pearl background

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.

If you’re looking for opal jewelry to celebrate an October birthday or 14th wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of opal and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Sapphire

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.

If you’re looking for sapphire jewelry to celebrate a September birthday or 5th or 45th wedding anniversary, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sapphire and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Spinel

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.

Uncut and rough natural red spinel crystal.

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.

If you’re looking for spinel jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of spinel and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Sardonyx

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.

sardonyx gemstone

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.

If you’re looking for sardonyx jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sardonyx and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Peridot

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.

Peridot jewelry, include silver earrings, a necklace on silver chain, and two rings displayed on white acrylic desk

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.

If you’re looking for peridot jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of peridot and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

The Folklore of Rubies

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.

set of gold earrings and a necklace with a ruby isolated on white

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.