The Folklore of Aquamarine

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.

If you’re looking for aquamarine jewelry for yourself or a friend or someone with a birthday in March, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

Folklore of Zircon – the Oldest Mineral on Earth

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.

Zircon Gemstone

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.

If you’re looking for zircon jewelry for yourself or to gift to someone with a December birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

Legends and Folklore of Turquoise

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.

Turquoise necklace from Lika Behar Collection.

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.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous piece of turquoise jewelry for yourself or to gift to someone with a December birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

The Folklore of Garnet

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!

If you’re looking for garnet jewelry for yourself, a friend or someone with a January birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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

Tips on Selling Your Fine Jewelry

Tips on selling your jewelry

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.

The Folklore of Amethyst

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.

If you’re looking for amethyst jewelry for yourself, a friend or someone with a February birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

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