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.

gernet earrings

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.

amethyst gemstones

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.

The Folklore of Tanzanite

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.

Tanzanite Gemstone

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.

If you’re looking for tanzanite 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 tanzanite and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.

Express Your Love with These Gifts of Fine Jewelry

“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!

Here are some fine jewelry gift ideas featuring diamonds and colorful birthstones from a few of our American Gem Society members.

 

When you’re ready to find a gift of fine jewelry that’s perfect for the person you love, visit an American Gem Society jeweler near you.

Red Carpet Rules

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.

Looking for your own red carpet moment? Find an AGS jeweler here and ask them to show you the money bling.

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: The One Thing Your Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover

Just Married Couple Hugging Standing Outside Their New House

Did you know that typical homeowners or renters policies often do not provide effective coverage for your jewelry? They’ll protect what most policies cover, which is theft or fire, but the coverage limit is likely not enough to fully cover the cost to repair or replace one piece of fine jewelry if you need to. What about other occurrences that may happen while you’re at home, like dropping a diamond earring down the drain or chipping a gemstone on a countertop? Do you have the appropriate jewelry insurance?

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group discusses the limits of a homeowners insurance policy, how best to protect your jewelry, and how to get jewelry insurance in their blog, The One Thing Your Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover.

The Heart of Oklahoma Diamond

American Gem Society (AGS) member, Harry Kotlar, has a lot to celebrate as 2019 comes to a close.

Harry Kotlar was honored to have award-winning, country-western superstar and Oklahoma native, Carrie Underwood, debut their Heart of Oklahoma ring at the 2019 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.

53rd Annual CMA Awards, Show, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, USA - 13 Nov 2019

Carrie Underwood (center) wears the Heart of Oklahoma yellow diamond ring at the CMA Awards. Pictured beside Ms. Underwood are award-winning performers, Reba McEntire (left) and Dolly Parton (right).

The 18.92 carat Heart of Oklahoma, a flawless, fancy intense yellow diamond, was commissioned by BC Clark Jewelers, located in Oklahoma City, to showcase the heritage of Oklahoma. The yellow diamond symbolizes the intense and colorful sunsets that stretch for miles over the Oklahoma plains.

Next, this piece of fine diamond jewelry made its way from the CMA Awards to BC Clark Jewelers for the official, invitation-only unveiling. Guests were given a behind-the-scenes look at the design process of the stunning ring, as well as the chance to create their own Harry Kotlar pieces with a Harry Kotlar illustrator on site.

three-minute film highlighting the romance of creating the masterpiece accompanied the unveiling. The film shows the closely-guarded techniques of Harry Kotlar’s master artisans as well as Oklahoma’s history and BC Clark’s journey.

If you’d like to see some of Harry Kotlar’s hand-crafted designs and other fine diamond jewelry, contact an AGS jeweler. Visit ags.org/findajeweler to find one near you.

Three Jewelry Gift Ideas

Finding the right gift for the holidays can be a little overwhelming, so here are three jewelry gift ideas that a special person on your list will adore!

Hoop Earrings

 

Bracelets

 

Pendant Necklace

 

Search for an American Gem Society jeweler near you at ags.org/findajeweler.