gemstone of the month

March – aquamarine

Posted March 2, 2023

Pliny the Elder noted that “neither sunshine, shade nor artificial light” would change the appearance of an emerald or an aquamarine.  Although the emerald and the aquamarine are very different to look at, Pliny suspected that they belonged to the same gem family of beryl, but it took almost 2,000 years for gemmologists to prove […]


February – amethyst

Posted February 1, 2023

Amethyst is the clear,rich purple stone that is part of the Quartz family.  It was believed to have many special powers to protect and heal the wearer  – to cure drunkenness, control evil thoughts, bring luck and improve the intelligence. Amethyst was also reputed to subdue passion! The most famous amethyst is The Siberian.  In […]


January – garnet

Posted January 1, 2023

The garnet family of gemstones ranges in colour from fiery red to vivid green and there are six varieties: The pyrope garnet with its fiery red colour and the almandine with a hint of violet were very fashionable in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Spessartine garnet varies from brilliant orange to brown and the name […]


December – turquoise

Posted December 1, 2022

Hindu mystics believed that it was lucky to see a turquoise on the first night of the new moon. The person who sees that gemstone immediately after looking at the moon will enjoy great wealth. The name, Turquoise, began to be used in the 13th century and it means Turkish stone, because the gems came […]


November – topaz

Posted November 1, 2022

The topaz  – literally the golden stone – was a general term used to describe all golden, brown and green stones found on the island of Topazos in the Red Sea. The name is believed to have derived from the Sanskrit word  “tapas’, meaning fire and the Egyptions and Romans  associated the gemstone with their respective […]


October – opal

Posted October 1, 2022

The story of Lady Hermione’s enchanted  gem in Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Anne of Geierstein,” describes how the opal that she wore in her hair sparkled when she was happy and reflected ominous flashes of red fire when she was angry.  The magic spell was dissolved with a few drops of holy water – but […]


August- the peridot

Posted August 1, 2022

Fishermen from Egypt, blown off-course in storms on the Red Sea, sought shelter on an island they called Topazin, which translates as “to seek”.   There they found a golden green gemstone.  The gem was Peridot, the island was called St. John’s, and these beautiful gems were mined from the walls of caves and rock faces, […]


July – Ruby

Posted July 1, 2022   |  Tags: ,

Ruby – that vivid red stone with an inner fire, beloved of Indian princes, European monarchs and Hindu gods.   Its colour – which varies from a gentle pink to rich crimson – led to many mistakes in identification.


May – emerald

Posted May 1, 2022

The glorious greens in fine emeralds range from the pale milky green to the lush dark green –  some are fiery and others a cool bluish green.  And the colour is a clue as to where in the world that stone originated. Today, the finest emeralds come from ancient mines in Columbia where centuries earlier, […]


September – sapphire

Posted September 1, 2021

According to Persian folk law, the world rests upon a giant blue sapphire and the blue of the heavens reflects the glorious colour of that gemstone. From the ancient world to the middle ages, the term “sapphire” was used to describe all blue stones. The name is a derivative of the Greek word for “blue” […]


June – the pearl

Posted June 1, 2021

The Ancients knew all about pearls and where they could be found and about their beauty and rarity and their inestimable value when they occur naturally.  A Rabbinical story suggests that only a beautiful woman is more valuable than pearls.  A Roman poet called them “the gems of the sea, which resemble milk and snow.” […]


April – the diamond

Posted April 1, 2021

The diamond  – the hardest natural substance known to man.  Its brilliant fire and transparent purity was thought to endow the wearer with strength, fortitude and courage.  It was the gem of the sun.  The King of Gemstones. Diamonds were considered such a extraordinary and unique talisman that they were reputed to bring good fortune, […]