By Donna Jolly
Deputy Executive Director, American Gem Society
We all love diamonds, right? They are a multi-purpose gemstone, filling in the blanks for an array of emotions and symbols. A diamond can represent love when given to someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, or it can be a calling card for status when worn as a big honker on the ring finger of your right hand. Diamonds can be passed down for generations, proving that, well, a diamond really is forever.
We know we love them, but what about this romantic gem makes us so darn giddy?
The sparkle. A well-cut diamond is the “show-off” in the gem world, because it radiates sparkle, or what gemologists call “life.”
The science behind the sparkle deals with optical physics. Thankfully, Pink Floyd’s album cover from “Dark Side of the Moon” illustrates it rather succinctly.
AGS Laboratories “rock star” and Executive Director, Pete Yantzer, explains in this quick video how Pink Floyd went into a studio to record an album, but accidentally taught the world about sparkle.
The Pantone Color of the Year is making a huge comeback!
Often imitated, never duplicated. It’s a phrase that describes emeralds, May’s birthstone, very well. Since the beginning of time emeralds have been a hot commodity. Cleopatra is believed to have had a huge love and admiration for the gemstone, although most of her collection turned out to be peridot. Roman Emperor Nero is believed to have had sunglasses made of emeralds, however this is unlikely due to their included and cloudy nature.
Nero’s supposed sunglasses were a representation of the stone’s power. Emeralds are mythically believed to help the eyes and open them to the future. Emerald is Spring’s stone; it signifies life force and has been associated with fertility.
Just like many Sapphires are heat treated to improve their appearance, most emeralds are oiled to improve theirs. This type of treatment is a normal and accepted practice in the world colored stone industry, and has been done in the same way for centuries. It is important to take extra care when cleaning your emerald jewelry. Use a soft toothbrush with warm soapy water instead of putting it in an ultrasonic cleaner which can damage or change the oil filling.
Emeralds, like diamonds, have a variety of interesting inclusions that make each stone unique. Their inclusions are sometimes called jardin, meaning garden (French), because when you look under a microscope they can look like beautiful mossy plant-life. These inclusions are not only beautiful, but can also aid in the identification of country of origin.
Most emeralds are now being mined in Columbia, Zambia and Brazil. Up until very recently, there was an Old West atmosphere surrounding the emerald mines in Columbia. Emeralds are very important to their economic structure and people will sometimes kill to get them.
Color is also a very important factor in the world of emeralds. Very slightly bluish green is the richest and most sought after color. All emeralds, regardless of color and inclusions are beautiful in their own way, just like May babies.
Click here to find a jeweler near you that sells emerald jewelry!
Everyone wants the best for their Mom! Here are some jewelry gift ideas to help you this Mother’s Day.
My Mother is my best friend. She brought me into this world and gave me everything she could, even when I didn’t deserve it (oh, the teenage years!). My Mother didn’t do the best she could for me. She did the BEST. My Mother isn’t a fancy woman. She is beautiful and down to earth. She is simple, elegant and most of all she is one of the funniest people I know. She never had “nice things” when she was growing up and so she appreciates everything from big to small. I bought her a beautiful turquoise and sterling silver necklace for Mother’s Day which will compliment her red hair. Even though it’s only $100, she’ll love and cherish it because it’s from me.
How will you honor your Mom this Mother’s Day? What piece of jewelry will best fit her personality? Here are a few ideas from big to small:
1) For the woman who says don’t get her anything; This woman is humble. She does the dishes, cleans the house, folds your laundry and doesn’t expect a thank-you. Get her something that shows how much you appreciate her and that your world wouldn’t be the same without her. She is the Center of Your Universe. Check out this Forevermark diamond halo pendant by A. Link. They come in a variety of different sizes and price points. She can wear it every day with jeans and keep it on when you take her out to dinner in her little black dress. Like her; it is versatile, simple and elegant. ($4800 below)
2) For the Fashionista: Emerald is the Pantone color of the year. Everyone’s wearing it in Hollywood! Get her a beautiful emerald ring or some chandelier drops emerald earrings (chandeliers are hot right now!). Show her you listen and notice the trends. ($3400 below)
3) For the sporty Mom: She may drive a mini-van, but she can beat you in an arm-wrestling contest hands down! She’s practical, cute and has a lot of spunk! She likes adventure and trying new things. This woman keeps you on your toes! Check out these “Flavors” bracelets by A. Link. They feature diamonds on a rubber band. She will be sure to stand out at the gym in these! (Pictured below: Chocolate $675, Coconut $895, Orange $675)
Diamonds are timeless; passed on from generation to generation. Everyone wants the best for their mother because she gave you the best. There is no amount of money or jewelry that can repay the value of love my Mother gave me. This woman took me to countless dance lessons, played Barbie’s with me, gave me a bell when I was sick so she would hear me, taught me how to drive a car, and even took a loan out to send me to New York to train in classical ballet. I wish I could give her everything she gave me. I tell her this all the time and she replies, “Don’t worry, you’ll be changing MY diapers some day!”