Garnet Birthstone

Most everyone can agree that it is wise to start the new year off on a good foot. January babies can do just that with garnet, the “Gem of Faith”.

The Birthstone Garnet is widely recognized from its red color, but it can be found in a range of colors. Each of January gemstones color stems from a specific group of garnet. Pyrope and almandine is a purple to red stone. Spessartines is an orange to yellow variation. Glossuler is orange to orangy red to a bright green. The last one, andradite is found in yellow to green shades. Dating as far back when garnet was first discovered around the Bronze Ages, Bohemia was the leading producer of the pyrope gemstones. The word pyrope derives from the greek word pyropos, meaning “fiery eyed”. Today the leading producer is Africa. You can find variations of garnet in Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, and other countries.

Garnet was often used as adornments for pharaohs in Egypt. In Ancient Rome people used the gemstone as intaglios for wax stamps on important documents. The Ancient healers and wise men placed them in wounds for its healing effect. The clergy and nobility of the Middle Ages preferred garnet to be used. Many warriors used garnet as a talisman during wars for protection, while others used it to ward off plague and pestilence. Many legends describe garnet to be the gemstone that brings peace, prosperity, and good health.

If you are looking for a good way to kick off the new year, come gaze at our stunning garnets at Anne Dale Jewelers.

learn more: Topaz

December gemstones has three beautiful birthstones. Each gemstone displays brilliant blue hues, perfect for the chilly winter weather. The three gemstones are referred to as Zircon, Tanzanite, and Turquoise.

Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth, it dates back to 4.4 billion years ago. It is found in Earth’s crust in sedimentary deposits. It can also be found in metamorphic rocks as well as crystallized magma. Zircon ranges in colors from yellow-brown to pink and purple. The most sought after color is its blue form. The chemical compound Uranium found in Zircon is the cause of its changing colors. Zircon was used for many different things in Ancient times.

During the Middle Ages, the gemstone was used to induce sleep and ward off evil forces. Zircon was extremely popular in Victorian times, and often found in English estate jewelry.
Tanzanite can be found in beautiful rich blue and violet shades. The blue stones are considered the rarer form of Tanzanite. The gemstone was discovered in Merelani Hills in Arusha Tanzania by Maasai herders in 1967. When Tanzanite was first discovered it was known as a form of Zoisite, but later renamed Tanzanite honoring its origins. Two million carats were mined in the Tanzania mine before the government stopped all mining. Tanzanite is a more modern gemstone, it does not have a long history as its fellow December birthstones do.

Turquoise can be found in blue to green varieties, and often with the matrix running through it resembling veins. Today the largest distributor is the Hubai Province in China. The Kingman mine in Arizona is known for producing the most vibrant blue turquoise. The gemstone has been found in jewelry dating back to 3000 BC, the most famous piece is King Tut’s mask.

Ancient Perisans used Turquoise to decorate palace domes because the color of the stone represented heaven. This exquisite display of turquoise can be found in the Taj Mahal. Daggers and horses bridles were adorned with turquoise, it was believed to guarantee protection by changing colors to ward of doom. The Aztecs also used the gemstone as protection. The Apache Indians believed Turquoise improved shooting accuracy so they had bows with Turquoise accents.

The December birthstones have many unique properties. They display vivid blue hues and strong historical beliefs. Each December birthstone has an interesting and special story. If you are interested in gifting someone or yourself with one of these gemstones, Anne Dale Jewelers can help you find the most exquisite stones this holiday season.

This time of the year calls for pumpkin spice and everything nice. So, as the leaves fall, it is time for the November babies to pull out their topaz and citrine gemstones.
The name Topaz came from St. John’s Island in the Red Sea, Tapazios. The name is from greek terminology. Pure topaz is colorless but impurities within the gemstones cause topaz to inherit all colors from the rainbow. Precious topaz can have colors ranging from brownish orange to vibrant yellow. The most sought after color is a vibrant orange with pink undertones. This topaz is called Imperial Topaz.
Imperial Topaz was discovered in the Russian Ural Mountains in the 19th century. The name was given to honor the Russian Czar, and he ordered that only royalty may own the gemstone. Topaz was believed to have special powers by many different cultures. During the Renaissance era, it was believed that topaz could break spells and calm anger. The Hindus believed topaz to be a sacred gemstone, and the pendants could bring longevity and wisdom to life. In African culture topaz is a sacred gemstone, and shamans used the powers of topaz in healing rituals.
Citrine is the second birthstone for the month of November. Citrine has hues that range from pale yellow to honey orange. The name citrine is derived from the French word for lemon, citron. The name was inspired by the lemony color of the gemstone. Citrine gets the yellow hue from iron within the gemstone. The largest citrine supplier today is Brazil.
Citrine is a popular gemstone used in jewelry. During the Victorian era citrine was often found in Scottish jewelry. In ancient times, citrine was believed to calm tempers and soothe the wearer. Egyptians used citrine as talismans and the Roman priests wore citrine in rings with amethyst. The ancient Greeks carved the gemstone into crystal ornaments with images in them.
Topaz and citrine are very similar in structure and color. They were both highly praised in ancient times for many spiritual reasons. The powers of topaz and citrine were sought after by many cultures for their powers. So come on in to Anne Dale Jewelers to experience November’s birthstones and the magical healing and soothing powers they possess.

It is spooky season and that means it is the month of the opal and tourmaline. October babies get to choose which gemstone speaks to them. Both are vibrant with an array of sparkling colors.
Opal is found mainly in Australia. Seasonal rains in the outback cause waters to soak in underground rock. This causes dissolved silica (compounds of silica and oxygen) to move downward. The water then evaporates, leaving solid deposits of silica behind in the cracks of rocks. Silica then forms opal. There are two categories of opals, precious and common. To be a precious opal, the stone must have colors called Play-of-color. There are many types of opal. White opal is translucent or semi-translucent with play-of-color. Black opal is translucent or opaque with play-of-color. Fire opal is transparent or translucent with no play-of-color, also known as Mexican fire. Boulder opal is translucent or opaque with play-of-color, rock fragments become part of the finished piece. Crystal/Water opal is transparent or semi clear, this opal has the best play-of-color.
Opals are a magical gemstone. An Arabic legend tells the story of how opals fell from the sky in lightning bolts. But Australian aborigines believed the creator of opals came down a rainbow leaving the colorful stone where his feet hit the ground. Opals were believed to be lucky, during the Middle Ages opals were said to possess the powers of every stone it cast a color of. The luck of the opal was then fired down when Sir Waltr Scott wrote the book Anne of Geirstein. It was the story of an enchanted princess who had an opal that changed colors with her mood. The opal was touched with holy water and lost its powers. The princess died soon after. This story caused opals to be associated with bad luck. When Australia found abundant deposits of opal the gemstone was once again lucky.
Another October birthstone is tourmaline. Tourmaline can be identified from its chemical properties. The gemstone shares a complex system of silicon, aluminum, and boron. Tourmaline’s chemical composition determines what species it is. The different species are, elbaite, liddicoatite, dravite, uvite, and schorl. Tourmaline has a wide variety of colors, more than any other gemstone. Rubellite is pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red. Indicolite is dark violet blue, blue, or greenish blue. Paraiba is a vibrant violet blue, greenish blue, blue from Brazil. Chrone tourmaline is vibrant green. Parti-colored is multi colored, mainly seen as pink and green. Watermelon tourmaline is pink with green around the outside.
It is believed from an Egyptian legend that tourmaline got its color from passing through a rainbow on a journey up from the center of the Earth. Tourmaline is said to have healing powers. It is known as the “receptive stone”, meaning it is soothing, calming, and magnetic. It also promotes meditation, spirituality, wisdom, and mysticism. Tourmaline was valued by alchemists, and believed to be related to the philosophers stone because of its pyroelectric effect. Tourmaline was a substance that granted enlightenment, gave power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites, and turn base metal into gold. In Africa, tribes use them to protect against danger.
Opal and tourmaline are very powerful and colorful gemstones. If you need some luck try wearing an opal and if you need soothing and wisdom try a tourmaline. At Anne Dale Jewellers, we have high quality stones that are sure to catch eyes. Come on down to harvest in the luck of our opals and calming effects of tourmaline.

As the late summer weather and green leaves roll in,, we welcome the lusty sapphire as Septembers’ birthstone. The beautiful blue gemstone is a form of the mineral corundum; which is a distinctly hard aluminum oxide. Continue reading →