March 4, 2021
Pearl guide. Pearls have been on our planet for thousands of years, and they were precious items long before written history began. The first pearl discovered as jewelry was found in a Persian Princess sarcophagus in 420 BC. But what are the origins of pearls, why are they so precious, and what do you need to know before purchasing one. Here is all you need to know about this magnificent organic gemstone. What is a Pearl? Pearls are organic gemstones found inside a mollusk. They are the only gems produced by a living creature. A pearl forms from layers of nacre. A substance with iridescent properties composed of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. Pearls in history The discovery of pearls is unclear, but experts believe it was while people searched for food. By the year 2300 BC, pearls were a common gift to Chinese royals. Arab cultures found them precious too. The abundance of pearls along the Persian Gulf increased the region's wealth. For the Romans, pearls were a trade commodity and a symbol of status. Pearls became a luxury item in Western Europe during the 19th century, purposed for jewelry. By the 20th century, the demand became so high that oyster supplies fell short. Since then, the value of natural pearls has increased. Antique pieces of jewelry with naturally sourced pearls are amongst the most valuable. Origin of Pearls Natural The process usually starts when an irritant, like a parasite, enters the shell's soft area. As protection, the mollusk will cover this organism with layers of nacre. Over time the many layers produce a pearl. Cultured In the early 1900s, Kokichi Mikimoto created the first cultured pearl. Cultured pearls form like natural pearls. The only difference is that man implants the irritant in the oyster. Types of pearls Pearls have different characteristics depending on the type of water they grow in. Size, color, shape, and value are some of the distinctions you can make. Saltwater Saltwater oysters produce one or two pearls during their life cycle. They come in many colors and shapes, like white, black, cream, golden, gray, blue, green, and purple. Freshwater Rivers, bays, and lakes are home to freshwater mollusks. Freshwater pearls are more abundant and affordable. A single shell can produce many pearls. They come in a wide range of colors, from white to pastel colors. Source of cultured pearls Akoya Pearls Japan and China are the main producers of this type of pearl characterized by its white or cream color. Akoya is a saltwater pearl. Tahitian Pearls French Polynesia islands are the source of these saltwater pearls. Also known as black pearls, due to the darker tones like black, grey, brown, purple, or green. South Sea Pearls Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia are home to saltwater pearls. Famous for its large size, thick nacre, and white, silver, and golden tones. Freshwater China is the main source of these pearls. They are the most common type of cultured pearls, and they come in a large variety of colors and sizes. Shape Pearls being a product of nature, tend to be imperfect when it comes to their shape. Round pearls are more valuable, but it all comes to what you like. Here are some of the most common shapes. Round. Round pearls are among the most valuable shapes. Since pearls are a product of nature, it is hard to control the perfection of them. Their symmetry provides value to the piece. Button. When cultured, they insert a flat core in the mollusk, and it is the reason why the pearl keeps that shape. Rice. An elongated shape characterizes these pearls. They tend to be small and have an irregular surface. Baroque. They are asymmetrical pearls with irregular surfaces. Baroque pearls gained popularity due to their uniqueness. Color Pearls vary in color depending on the area they form. Other factors like saltwater, freshwater, and mollusk species alter the color too. Although the main color associated with classic pearls is white or cream, they come in many tones. Golden, silver, lavender, pink, grey, black, green, blue, and variations between them. Clarity The lack of inclusions or blemishes increases the value of a pearl. Cultured pearls have human intervention to keep the environment as clean as possible. Look for pearls with little to non-imperfections. Lustre The amount of shine and reflection a pearl has is important to determine its value and quality. When those two characteristics are high, the value will increase. This characteristic is what makes pearls so special. Light travels thru the layers of nacre and reflects into the center of the pearl. A quality pearl will act like a mirror reflecting the light, while less valuable pearls look dull. Size Larger pearls are more valuable, and this is because a mollusk needs more time to create a larger pearl. The size of your pearl will depend on the type and style of jewelry you prefer. Grading and quality There is no consensus about the grading of pearls what makes it difficult to compare them. Criteria to determine the quality of a pearl are its size, color, shape, and luster. Nacre thickness is also important, and a thicker one will produce a long-lasting pearl. Are pearls expensive? Natural pearls are expensive because of their rareness. Most natural pearls have already been harvested, and you can buy one only thru auction. Cultured pearls can be more affordable, but prices vary according to the origin of the pearl and the size. Akoya and South Sea cultured pearls are some of the most valuable in the market. High-quality and large-sized pearl necklace made of them can range between $10,000.00 to $100,000.00. When it comes to shape, round pearls are the most valuable. Where to buy pearls? Pearls are common gemstones. You can find them in many local stores. There are specialty stores with a large selection of styles and price variations. Always make sure you buy from a reputable business, especially if you want to buy online. Online stores offer great deals. Make sure you read the reviews and specifications of the item you want to buy beforehand. There are artificial versions of pearls, do not confuse them with cultured pearls. Remember that cultured pearls are still a product of nature with the help of humans. How to care for your pearls Pearls are organic gemstones that need proper care to keep their beauty, color, and shine. Protect your pearls is by following a rule: pearls should be the last thing you put on and the first you take off. Products like sunscreen, perfume, hairspray, and cosmetics can damage the luster of your pearls. Make sure you wait at least 30 minutes after applying those products to wear your pearls. Clean your pearl jewelry with a soft cloth after wearing it. Store them separate from other jewelry items to prevent scratches. Please keep them in a well-aired environment, avoid plastic bags. Pearl jewelry Pearls are elegant and timeless gemstones, and there are plenty of options for you to choose from. From the classic white round pearl necklace to pendants with a single pearl and a diamond. They are the ideal companion for other gemstones and look flawless by themselves. Here are some tips and useful information to buy a piece of pearl jewelry. Necklace. The most popular pearl jewelry is a simple strand necklace. But as simple as they seem, they come in different lengths, pearl sizes, and rope materials. Length Your pearl necklace's length will depend on your style and the purpose you have for the piece. The most popular length is 16", a short necklace that suits a casual style. For a more formal occasion you should choose from 26" to 36". There are longer versions that you can wear doubled. Knotting An important characteristic of a quality pearl necklace is the knots. They prevent friction and protect them from scattering around if the necklace breaks. Look for necklaces with knots between each pearl. Pearl size This is a personal decision and will also depend on your style. The most popular sizes range between 7 to 8 mm. Followed by 8.5 to 9mm. If you prefer a larger size, 10 to 14 mm will suit you. I hope we solved your questions. You now have a clear idea of the nature of pearls, their history, and what to look for when investing in a beautiful piece of jewelry. Remember that with proper care, your pearls will last a lifetime and beyond.
March 3, 2021
Carnelian Stone buying guide Treasured by kings and queens, carnelian gemstone is the heritage of many royalties. The national stone of both Norway and Sweden, carnelian, was also used to decorate the Taj Mahal in India. The Romans were fascinated with carved carnelian stones and used them for making stamps. It is considered a traditional gift for the 17th wedding anniversary. The carnelian gemstone is also known as cornelian and sard. It is a semi-precious gemstone that’s often used in jewelry. A combination of the silica mineral chalcedony, the carnelian gemstone has its orange or reddish color due to the iron oxide impurities in it. Depending on how much iron oxide there is in the individual stone, the color can range from pale orange to an intense, black coloration. The best-known and generally the least expensive variety of chalcedony is carnelian. It ranges in color from yellow-orange to rich, reddish-orange, to orangey-brown, and varies from semi-opaque to translucent. Carnelian is one of the ancient gemstones and dates back several thousand years. The first carnelian gemstone cuts in history were found in the Varna Chalcolithic necropolis, Bulgaria. Approximately 6,500 years ago. It was a carnelian bead with 32 facets. Since then, carnelian jewelry has been found in many other places. In the Balkans, in Greece, and across the rest of the ancient world, and the Middle East. The word carnelian or cornelian comes from the Medieval Latin word, “corneolus” which comes from the Old Latin word, “corneum” — cornel cherry. Presumably, the name was chosen because the carnelian stones resemble those translucent red fruits. How did these gemstones occur? It is a microcrystalline quartz. It is found deep inside the sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. During the volcanic eruption when lava bursts, these rocks form holding this compact fibrous structure. Rocks contain a large amount of this chalcedony variety as rough, due to which the stone becomes reasonably priced. Where are these gemstones found? It was first discovered in Arabia and Egypt deserts. At present, India is the primary source of this stunning gemstone. The stones obtained from India are mostly bright and require no enhancement. Madagascar comes second as an important source. Fine beads reddish-brown or reddish-orange are best obtained from this country. Few states in South America also produce fine quality gems possessing a rich reddish-orange hue. Australia, Brazil, China, Scotland, West Germany, Colombia, Saxony, Russia, and a few parts of Africa also contribute to the world’s total Carnelian supply. If you’re looking to buy one, here’s a complete Carnelian stone buying guide to help you with the process. All you need to know about a Carnelian`s clarity: Appearance: It holds dull brilliance. The transparency state of this lovely gem is clear thus; due to its mass, the inclusions present within the stone are not visible through the naked eye. As rough it contains fractures and cracks on its outer surface, which are removed during the initial gemstone processing. Carnelian is almost always translucent but can also be opaque at times. It has an attractive sheer to waxy luster, which gives the stone a beautiful appearance. Carnelian’s luster brings out the color of the stone and makes you want to reach over and touch the smooth stone. Cut: This remarkable stone is firm and sturdy therefore it is easy for gemstone cutters to give any desired shape. However, the most universal shapes seen in regular jewelry are either smooth oval or round. Usual shapes like square, emerald, and many other creative shapes can be created but are not commonly seen. All these shapes are distinctive but do not highlight the beauty of the stone as oval or round. A well-cut and well-polished carnelian gemstone will have a beautiful shape and will reflect light off its surface quite effectively. It can make either a great jewelry gemstone or a beautiful piece of ornamentation in and of itself. Carat Weight: Large size of this gemstone looks wonderful in rings, pendants, and stud earrings. It is regarded as a precious stone but is priced as a semi-precious stone therefore high carat weight single stone could be selected. This stone below 1-carat weight is rarely available. Mostly the size of stone selected for diverse jewelry items falls between 2-5 carat weight. Higher the carat weight more becomes the cost of the gem. How To Choose Carnelian Gemstone Color? Carnelian comes in a variety of orange to red hues, from faint to vivid. While dynamic, vibrant hues are generally more desirable, there is no specific carnelian gemstone color that’s valued more than the others. Both light orange and dark red carnelian gemstones are equally priced and valued, so the choice between them is purely cosmetic and subjective. It is best to choose the carnelian color that you think looks best on you. How to use Carnelian Gemstones In Jewelry? As with other opaque silica gemstones, carnelian jewelry is quite affordable making it ideal for daily jewelry pieces. It adds a burst of color to any outfit and tends to stand out beautifully against any skin tone. Carnelian looks beautiful in both silver-hued and yellow gold metals. When set in yellow gold, carnelian takes on a vintage charm as the two colors compliment each other perfectly. However, silver metals accentuate the color of the stone and add the perfect contrast. The gemstone also suits a range of styles, be it casual and bohemian or classy and formal. This depends on the setting and the skill of the designer. It also pairs well with more expensive materials, such as gold and diamonds, which can make for stunning and unique jewelry designs. This is why you’ll find carnelian jewelry ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Carnelian stones can be used in anything from rings and earrings to bracelets, pendants, necklaces, and rings. With a hardness of 6.5 to 7 and very good wearability, the carnelian stone makes for a very long-lasting and sturdy jewelry stone. When maintained and cared for properly, a Carnelian stone can last in top condition for a very long time. It is an excellent alternative gemstone to engagement rings, but it might not be for everyone. The trouble with engagement rings is that it’s a piece of jewelry that you’ll be wearing frequently, if not every day. As such, it needs to be durable enough to withstand regular exposure. Carnelian is a relatively soft gemstone, compared to engagement ring staples such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, and will require careful maintenance to keep it from scratches and fracturing. It’s important to set your carnelian in a protective setting like bezel or halo and to remove it whenever engaging in vigorous activity. While we don’t recommend carnelian for engagement rings, if your heart is set on it, it’s not impossible to make it work. Can a Carnelian be used for jewelry for men? The Finger ring is the only carnelian jewelry item for men popular around the world. A single stone in dark brown-orange hue in oval shape is ideal for rings made up of 18K or 21K gold. The beauty of the rings is augmented with the large size stone. The minimum size of the stone should be between 2-4 carat weight, however; a higher carat weight could be selected as suitable to one’s pocket. How else can a Carnelian gemstone be used? Other than jewelry, it is widely used for making eye-catching cameos and intaglios. The carving done on this stone looks wonderful due to its deep red color. Further, as it is translucent, the carved design is emphasized to its best. Italy is the main source for finest artwork made from Carnelian, same as other gemstones. Anything to be aware of before purchasing a Carnelian gemstone? Our Carnelian stone buying guide is here to save you from being fooled! Most carnelians on the market are untreated, but sometimes these stones can be subject to heat-treatment to enhance their natural color. Additionally, you can also encounter certain “carnelian” stones on the market that are little more than dyed white chalcedony stones or lightly colored agate. You can usually tell these apart by holding up the stone to a source of light. If the stone displays an internal striped pattern, it’s usually dyed agate. Natural carnelian is cloudy inside, with no patterns. Carnelian itself is rarely used as an imitation of other stones but it can sometimes be mistaken with fire opal or amber. Fire opal is usually brighter in color and more transparent, however, while amber is significantly softer. These days the International Gemstone Organization certifies the dealer for their reliability. These dealers are liable to give written certificates mentioning the authenticity of the purchase made by the buyers. This splendid gem is often enhanced to improve its color. The stones that are light in color are heat-treated to attain the bright red-orange hue. Dull and pale stones are sporadically dyed to acquire an intense color. Buyers should always ask the dealer to specify whether the stone owes its color to treatments or is natural. The International Gems Organization accepts the different treatments performed to enhance the beauty of the stone but selling enhanced stone at the cost of natural stone is against the law. Carnelian`s Price: It is found plenty in several parts of the world. The abundant quantity makes this an affordable gem. The main price determinants for this gemstone are color, carat weight, and country. The bright red color is valued most followed by reddish-orange and other colors. As mentioned, with the increase in carat weight price also increases. The supplier country plays a role in deciding the price. Gems from India and beads from Madagascar are of premium quality that is most sought after. This is the reason why the price increases if these countries furnish the buying items. Clarity and cut are 2 Cs that are important to consider when planning to purchase but do not affect the price. Carnelian Gemstone Meaning and Symbolism: The carnelian gemstone is regarded as a stone of motivation, endurance, courage, and leadership. Its warmth and bold energy are loved by timid speakers who need the courage to go out in front of large audiences. Carnelian stones were also the favorites of fierce warriors heading into battle. Ancient Egyptian architects would carry carnelian stones as a sign of their high rank. Alchemists in the Middle Ages would use carnelian as a boiling stone for other chalcedonies to activate their energies. Called “The Setting Sun” by the ancient Egyptians, the carnelian was also identified with the female energy and was associated with the fertile blood of Isis, the Egyptian Mother goddess. Today, it continues to be of value for those who believe in crystal healing. All you need to know about a Carnelian gemstone`s care: Make sure you don’t expose the carnelian to heat for a longer time, as it may cause some permanent damage to the stone. You can easily clean this stone with soapy water and a brush. Due to its hardness, the stone may not get scratches easily, but be careful not to use a scrubber or other hard objects for cleaning. Store in fabric-lined boxes or wrap them in soft clothes. Keep this stone away from chemicals, especially while doing household work. Conclusion: We hope you found our Carnelian Stone buying guide helpful! Do not forget to keep in mind the different characteristics of this gemstone to help you choose the best one. And make sure you are not fooled into buying a fake one! We recommend you pick whatever type of Carnelian you find eye-catching. Analyze it through your eye, follow our guide, and go for it. At the end of the day, the color or cut does not matter more than your happiness. Once you're done with this, you're going to have the best Carnelian gemstone, which you can flaunt!
December 17, 2020
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