In the ancient Persian Empire, the sky-blue gemstones were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death. If they changed colour, the wearer was thought to have reason to fear the approach of doom. Meanwhile, it has been discovered that the turquoise certainly can change colour, but that this is not necessarily a sign of impending danger. The change can be caused by the light, or by a chemical reaction brought about by cosmetics, dust or the acidity of the skin.
|Vintage persian turquoise tiara|
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
|Antique gold and gem set pendant with a flamenco dancer by Fuset y Grau, Barcelona c.1910|
Widely seen as a geological phenomenon, tanzanite formed in the earth's surface over 585 million years ago.
|Tanzanite rough stone and cut stone|
Monday, August 29, 2016
What is widely known as onyx is actually black chalcedony, a variety of quartz.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
The earliest reference to emeralds in Western literature come from Aristotle. He was a great fan of the gemstone and wrote that owning an emerald increases the owner’s importance in presence and speech during business, gives victory in trials, helps settle litigation, and comforts and soothes eyesight. (source)
|Sterling silver maple leaf earrings with emeralds|
Saturday, August 27, 2016
|French beaded tulle evening dress, 1930s, from the Vintage Textile archives|
For the most part, "estate" means "previously owned". Although, on occasion, a jeweler will close their shop and have never worn pieces of jewelry of other eras that simply did not sell because they were hidden in a drawer or kept in the vault. By the same token, new pieces of jewelry have recently appeared in some auctions and been referred to as "estate" to when it would not be accurate to describe them in that manner.
|VICTORIAN pietra dura pendant 9k gold|
Friday, August 26, 2016
People who have problems wearing silver jewelry are usually allergic to the copper or nickel in the alloyed metal, not the silver. The same goes for the gold alloys.
|Sterling silver earrings with copper peacock feathers|
Thursday, August 25, 2016
|George Pragnell Falcon Ring|
Great Ocean Road, Australia, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Gold and copper were the first metals ever discovered around 5000 BC and are the only two metals that are not white/grey in color.
|Silver and copper deer bracelet (gems: peridot, topaz and amethyst)|
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Monday, August 22, 2016
Natural (or wild) pearls, formed without human intervention, are very rare. Many hundreds of pearl oysters or mussels must be gathered and opened, and thus killed, to find even one wild pearl; for many centuries, this was the only way pearls were obtained, and why pearls fetched such extraordinary prices in the past.
|Silver pendant with fresh water pearls|
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Most western economies' currencies were on the gold standard until 1961. Switzerland was the last country whose currency was tied to gold. 40% of a Swiss Franc was backed by gold until Switzerland joined the IMF in 1999.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
A gold nugget found in the earth can be three to four times as valuable as the gold it contains because of its rareness.
|The Museum of Natural History, Vienna|
Friday, August 19, 2016
|Sterling silver rings. The blue stone is turquoise.|
Brown-colored diamonds constituted a significant part of the diamond production, and were predominantly used for industrial purposes. They were seen as worthless for jewelry (not even being assessed on the diamond color scale). After the development of Argyle diamond mine in Australia in 1986, and marketing, brown diamonds have become acceptable gems. The change was mostly due to the numbers: the Argyle mine, with its 35,000,000 carats (7,000 kg) of diamonds per year, makes about one-third of global production of natural diamonds; 80% of Argyle diamonds are brown.
|The open pit of the Argyle diamond mine. A large mining truck is visible on the road for scale.|
Thursday, August 18, 2016
|Mellerio dits Meller, 19 century|
Roman jewelry was generally made of gold rather than silver and was decorated with a variety of Precious and Semi-Precious Stones. The precious and semi-precious stones used in the making of Roman jewelry included the following: Pearls, Emeralds, Turquoise, Garnets, Carnelian, Chalcedony, Feldspar and Amethyst.
Great Ocean Road, Australia, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Amulets were incorporated into Egyptian jewelry or worn as independent pieces. Amulets are charms or talismans believed to either protect the wearer or infuse him with power. Egyptian amulets were carved into various forms and shapes, such as animals, humans, gods and symbols.
|Ancient Egyptian amulets|
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
|Formed of frosted rock crystal flowerheads, each centering a small round diamonds, the leaves of carved nephrite, the stems bound by a double rope of round diamonds, mounted in gold. [source]|
Diamonds are extremely hard, but also brittle and can be split up by a single blow. Therefore, diamond cutting is traditionally considered as a delicate procedure requiring skills, scientific knowledge, tools and experience.
Monday, August 15, 2016
The production and distribution of diamonds is largely consolidated in the hands of a few key players, and concentrated in traditional diamond trading centers, the most important being Antwerp, where 80% of all rough diamonds, 50% of all cut diamonds and more than 50% of all rough, cut and industrial diamonds combined are handled. This makes Antwerp a de facto "world diamond capital".
Sunday, August 14, 2016
More than 90 percent of all gold ever used has been mined since 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, California, sparking the greatest gold rush of all time.
Saturday, August 13, 2016
|Beaded necklace by Swetlana Rohloff|
The Spanish explorers Narváez and De Soto carried glass beads for trade with the native inhabitants of Florida in the early 1500s.
Friday, August 12, 2016
In 2008, Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, working at the site of Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, uncovered a small bone fragment from the fifth finger of a juvenile hominin, dubbed the "X woman" (referring to the maternal descent of mitochondrial DNA, or the Denisova hominin. Artifacts, including a bracelet, excavated in the cave at the same level were carbon dated to around 40,000 BC.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
|Wendy Yue Titanium Ring Diamond, Radiant Orchid.|
Elephant ivory is the most important source, but ivory from mammoth, walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, killer whale, narwhal and wart hog are used as well. Elk also have two ivory teeth, which are believed to be the remnants of tusks from their ancestors.
|Elk Hair Fork Comb|
Great Ocean road, Australia, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Famous jewelry material Black Jet that was popularized during the reign of Queen Victoria is made from fossilized coal formed over 180 million years ago.
|VICTORIAN Whitby jet facet or cant beads, 56" long with faceted graduated beads|
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Depending on the conditions in which it formed, opal can take on many colors. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the black opals are the most rare, whereas white and greens are the most common.
|In November 1917 this mine produced the 1.5 pound precious Roebling Black Opal. The Opal was named after its owner Colonel Washington Augustus Roebling which is in the permanent collection of the same name at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.|
Sunday, August 7, 2016
The world's largest and most valuable gem opal "Olympic Australis" was found in August 1956 at the "Eight Mile" opal field in Coober Pedy. It weighs 17,000 carats (3450 g) and is 11 in (280 mm) long, with a height of 4.75 in (121 mm) and a width of 4.5 in (110 mm).