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The History of Turquoise

September 16th, 2011

Turquoise is widely thought to be named for the Turkish traders who introduced it to Europe. The gem forms when groundwater drips through rocks that have aluminum and copper in them. It is often found in copper deposits in desert environments. The oldest pieces are from Persia, which used to be the biggest producer. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the U.S. discovered high...

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All About Garnets

September 16th, 2011

If you're a January baby, you're probably aware that your birthstone is a garnet, but you may not know much about the stone's history, sources or myths. The Latin word for pomegranate, malum granatum is thought to be the origin of the word garnet, which makes sense considering the stone resembles a juicy pomegranate seed. Garnets can be any color of the rainbow except for...

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The Many Blues of Aquamarine

September 16th, 2011

The birthstone of March babies, aquamarine is a beautiful and popular gemstone thanks to its soothing color, hardness and shine. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and can range from a pale, almost colorless blue to a rich blue-green or teal shade, depending on the iron levels present during its formation. A deep aqua-colored gem is the most valuable. Today, many...

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Amethysts

September 16th, 2011

February's birthstone is the amethyst, but you don't have to be born in the second month of the year to enjoy the history, lore and gorgeous purple hues of this gemstone. Amethysts are a member of the quartz family. The name comes from the Greek word amethystos, which means "not intoxicating." Interestingly enough, Greek mythology holds a special place for the stone. It was...

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The Fascination of Emeralds

September 16th, 2011

A member of the beryl family and namesake for the city at the end of the yellow brick road, emeralds are the most famous and valuable green gemstones available, and have been for centuries. The term, emerald, comes from the Old French word, "esmeralde," which means green gemstone. The oldest known sources (referred to as "Cleopatra's Mines") were in Egypt near the Red Sea....

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The Preciousness of Diamonds

September 16th, 2011

April babies have it made - their birthstone is the most popular gem out there and is featured in all kinds of jewelry. Diamonds are renowned for being the hardest stone on earth, which is quite a feat considering the vast array of rocks in existence. The rarity, durability and sparkle of the jewel add to its interest. Because nothing can scratch diamonds other than another...

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How to Make a Friendship Bracelet

September 16th, 2011

Friendship bracelets have been around for decades, but recently they've been getting a lot of press as more and more people are showing up wearing them. A wrist covered with colorful thread bracelets can show off your fun, quirky side and luckily they're easy to make! Here's how to make a simple flat striped version. All you need are a few different colors of embroidery floss...

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