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Topaz

TopazYellow gold citrine stud earrings for a sophisticated look! #lordandtaylor #jewelry

Cast your eyes upon the ocean waters as the setting sun displays its dance of color, and you’ll discover all the rich spectral hues of topaz. On its cool side, it ranges from a soft sky blue to the richest and most vivid aqua and greenish blues imaginable. Warmer tones take on the golden hue of a fine chardonnay or the blush of a tree ripened peach. Some of the most rare and exceptional shades of topaz include rich pinks and sherry reds.

Known as the November birthstone. In recent years blue topaz has been used as an alternate birthstone for December.

It owes its long lasting popularity to many things, but chief among these is its remarkable combination of beauty and affordability. Found in many different colors and sizes, topaz continues today to be one of the Worlds most desirable and sought after gemstone.

This gemstone is a hard gemstone that is very resistant to scratching, but because of its internal structure it may break or split if subjected to hard blows or sudden changes in temperature. It should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning machine. This can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or mild soap and lukewarm water using a soft brush. Other colors range from rich, warm browns to lusty variations of orange and cinnamon. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.

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Peridot, Gem of the Sun, For August

Prized by the ancient Egyptians as the gemstone of the sun, peridot has been credited with a host of healing and magical powers. A guard against the evil eye, peridot was thought to sweeten dreams and reveal insights.

August’s birthstone, peridot is also recognized as the preferred gift for the 16th wedding anniversary. Historically, peridot was believed to bring happiness, to attract love and foster friendship. The gem of bliss and good fortune, peridot illuminates the sunny disposition of those who wear it.

Formed in volcanos, peridot ranges in color from yellowish green to deep olive. While its color can be exceptional, it will never reach the shade of green or intensity of emerald. The finest peridot is green with no tinge of yellow or brown. Peridot comes in a variety of shapes and small sizes, but larger gemstones, especially in flawless quality, are difficult to find.

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Ruby July’s Desire!

Believed to burn with an inextinguishable internal fire, ruby has historically signified great passion. This fiery red gemstone -the color of the heart- has always been associated with deep love. Also the color of blood, ruby signifies great courage. Ruby’s durability and hardness make it an ideal gemstone for all types of jewelry, especially rings.

July’s birthstone, ruby is also recognized as the traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Historically ruby was believed to attract and maintain love. Ruby is a popular gemstone choice for brides who want to express their individuality.

Ruby is recognized as a talisman to ensure harmony, guard against sorrow, inspire confidence and bring great success. The gem of gusto, ruby brings light to the electrifying personality of those who wear it.

With the name derived from the Latin ruber meaning red, the corundum family gem, sister to sapphire, only comes in one color. But, the shades of in which it comes vary from purplish and bluish red to orangey red in medium to dark tones. Color is key when considering value. Prized colors are pure red with no overtones for brown or blue. Better qualities are usually free of inclusions. Ruby  in sizes over 2 carats is rare. In its finest quality, any size is rare.

Rubies are routinely enhanced by traditional hearing methods to produce, intensify or lighten color and/or improve clarity. To clean ruby, use soapy water or commercial solvent and a brush. Mechanical cleaners are generally safe.

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Benchmark Rings Available

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316-789-0078

http://www.benchmarkrings.com/product-gallery.php?brand=benchmark&br=bm

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Sky Blue Aquamarine for March

The serenely colored aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea. In fact, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.
Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

Like emeralds, this gemstone is actually a variety of a mineral called beryl. Large stones have been found all over the world, including one stone found in Brazil that weighed over 240 pounds. Aquamarine grows in large, six-sided crystals that can be up to a foot long, making it a great gem to be cut and polished in larger carats for statement pieces.

 

 

Not only is aquamarine one of the March birthstones, it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries. It’s a beautiful stone with little or no yellow in it, so it looks great in many settings with different colored metals and gemstones.

 

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Amethyst, the Birthstone of February

Amethyst is the beautiful birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries,  it is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species.  It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple.  Amethysts color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid.  St. Valentine, the patron of romantic love, wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.  Amethyst is believed to quicken intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts,

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Tanzanite, Turquoise, and Zircon for a December Birthday!

 

December’s birthstones offer three ways to fight the winter blues: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise – all of them, appropriately, best known for beautiful shades of blue.

These gems range from the oldest on earth (zircon), to one of the first mined and used in jewelry (turquoise), to one of the most recently discovered (tanzanite).

All of these stones are relatively inexpensive, but their beauty rivals even precious gems. Colorless zircon is a convincing replacement for diamond, tanzanite often substitutes sapphire, and turquoise is unmatched in its hue of robin’s egg blue.

Whatever your style preference or budget, one of December’s three birthstones will match your true blue desires.

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Citrine and Topaz Decorate November Birthdays!

CITRINE AND TOPAZ ARE THE BIRTHSTONES FOR NOVEMBER

Through much of history, all yellow gems were considered topaz and all topaz was thought to be yellow. Topaz is actually available in many colors, and it’s likely not even related to the stones that first donned its name.

The name topaz derives from Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. Although the yellow stones famously mined there probably weren’t topaz, it soon became the name for most yellowish stones.

Pure topaz is colorless, but it can become tinted by impurities to take on any color of the rainbow. Precious topaz, ranging in color from brownish orange to yellow, is often mistaken for “smoky quartz” or “citrine quartz,” respectively—although quartz and topaz are unrelated minerals.

The most prized color is Imperial topaz, which features a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones. Blue topaz, although increasingly abundant in the market, very rarely occurs naturally and is often caused by irradiation treatment.

The largest producer of quality topaz is Brazil. Other sources include Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and the U.S., mainly California, Utah and New Hampshire.

Measuring 8 on the Mohs scale, topaz is a rather hard and durable gem. Its perfect cleavage can make it prone to chipping or cracking, but when cut correctly, topaz makes very wearable jewelry.

Topaz is a soothing stone that has been said to calm tempers, cure madness and eliminate nightmares.

November’s second birthstone, citrine, is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades.

The pale yellow color of citrine closely resembles topaz, which explains why November’s two birthstones have been so easily confused throughout history.

Citrine’s yellow hues are caused by traces of iron in quartz crystals. This occurs rarely in nature, so most citrine on the market is made by heat treating other varieties of quartz—usually the more common, less expensive purple amethyst and smoky quartz—to produce golden gems.

Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). Different geographies yield different shades of citrine.

With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, citrine is relatively durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear—making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewelry.

Citrine is sometimes known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity.

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Opals and Tourmaline for October!

Beautiful Opals and Tourmaline for October!

Opal
Revered as a symbol of hope, fidelity, and purity, opal was dubbed the Queen of Gems by the ancient Romans because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. Opal is prized for its unique play of color, the ability to diffract light into flashes of rainbow color.
Opal occurs in different colors, ranging from semi-transparent to opaque. The most common is white opal. Crystal or water opal has a colorless body. The most valued variety, black opal, has a dark blue, gray, or black body color. Boulder opal combines precious opal with the ironstone in which it forms. Bright yellow, orange, or red fire opal are quite different from the other varieties of opal. Their day-glo tones, which are translucent to transparent, are beautiful with or without play of color. Opal, along with tourmaline, is the birthstone for October and the suggested gift for the fourteenth anniversary.

Tourmaline
For centuries tourmalines have adorned the jewels of royalty. The Empress Dowager Tz’u Hsi, the last empress of China, valued the rich pink colors above all other gemstones. The people of ancient Ceylon called tourmaline “turmali,” the Sinhalese word for “more colors.” Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood.
Vivid reds, hot pinks, verdant greens and blues abound in this marvelous gem variety. Earth tones as varied as a prairie sunset are readily available. Not only does tourmaline occur in a spectacular range of colors, but it also combines those colors in a single gemstone called “bi-color” or “parti-color” tourmaline. One color combination with a pink center and a green outer rim is called “watermelon” tourmaline, and is cut in thin slices similar to its namesake.

 

 

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Sapphire is for September

Besides blue sapphire and ruby, the corundum family also includes so-called “fancy sapphires.” They come in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and intermediate hues. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as color change, most often going from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light. Sapphires can even be gray, black, or brown.
BIRTHSTONES & ANNIVERSARIES
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 5th and 45th anniversaries.
COLOR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY FACTOR FOR SAPPHIRE
The most highly valued blue sapphires are velvety blue to violetish blue, in medium to medium dark tones. Preferred sapphires also have strong to vivid color saturation. The saturation should be as strong as possible without darkening the color and compromising brightness.
CLARITY REFERS TO THE INCLUSIONS
Blue sapphires often have some inclusions. Blue sapphires with extremely high clarity are rare, and very valuable. Price can drop if the inclusions threaten the stone’s durability. Kashmir sapphires contain tiny inclusions that impart a desirable velvety appearance.
CUT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN APPEARANCE
To achieve the best overall color, maintain the best proportions, and retain the most weight possible, cutters focus on factors like color zoning, pleochroism, and the lightness or darkness of a stone.
CARAT WEIGHT ALLOWS FOR PRECISE MEASUREMENTS
Blue sapphires can range in size anywhere from a few points to hundreds of carats, and large blue sapphires are more readily available than large rubies. However, most commercial-quality blue sapphires weigh less than 5.00 carats.

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