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Alexandrite

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the rarest gem of all: Alexandrite. Rarer than Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Diamond and Tanzanite, it is extremely difficult to come by. And even if you do manage to track one down, you will pay through your nose! What sets this beauty apart is its colour changing abilities, it…

Amber

Amber… that wonderful soft, warm-feeling gem that we all know so well to be fossilised tree resin, but did anyone stop and contemplate that it is actually 30 to 60 million old? Not only ancient, Amber is also very interesting. The name Amber is derived from the Greek word for electricity “Elektron”. Amber carries a…

Amethyst

According to the Greeks the Amethyst was formed when Bacchus, the ancient god of wine, was insulted by a mere mortal. For revenge he vowed to have a tiger eat the next mortal he came across, however, it happened to be a beautiful young lady named Amethyst. She cried out to the goddess Diana to…

Aquamarine

A variety of Beryl, this blue to sea-green stone’s name actually means ‘sea water’ in Latin. In the 19th century the sea- green variety was the most popular, however, today the blue colour is the most sought after Aquamarine. Aquamarine is often confused with Topaz, but Aquamarine usually has a softer blue and lack any…

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is a dark green stone with red flecks. It is a form of silica quarts, also known as green Chalcedony. Chalcedony is actually a group of tiny quartz crystals that grow in masses/lumps. Plasma and Heliotrope are the two variations; Plasma is very deep opaque green with little or no red flecks and may…

Carnelian

A type of chalcedony that has been used thousands of years before the birth of Christ, this semi-precious gem has been cherished and loved through the ages, and been used extensively in the jewellery industry. Being the favourite stone of the Islamic profit Mohammed, it is not unusual to find these stones engraved with Arabic…

Citrine

This sunny, happy stone is a member of the quarts family, and is basically the yellow to orange-brown variant that grows in conjunction with Amethyst. Natural Citrine is actually rare; most gems on the market are Amethyst (purple) that has been heat-treated to turn yellow. “Celtic Love”. Citrine set in 9ct…

Emerald

You have all heard of Emeralds. This simply sparkling-green precious stone is sometimes even more valued than diamonds. It truly gives its owner the gift of eloquence. The name comes from the Greek word Smaragdos, which means “green stone”. Many ancient races thought of the Emerald as the stone of the Gods. The Greeks associated this…

Garnet

The gemstone for the month of January, the Garnet has a long and interesting history dating back to 3000BC. This popular and affordable gem is found all over the world in all colours from red (Pyrope) and green (Tzavorite), to pink (Rhodolite), yellow (Andradite), and everything in between. The colour blue was absent until blue pyrope–spessartine garnets…

Gold

The cause of wars, famine and murder, the source of many conflicts stemming from greed; yet Gold has always been desired and cherished by humans. This highly malleable metal has been the foundation of many ancient and modern cultures, from the ancient Aztecs and the ruins at Greater Zimbabwe through to North America, Johannesburg and…

Jade

Jade has long been fashioned into statues, weapons, utensils and other ornaments. The Chinese have cherished this green, fine-textured gem for many centuries. In Chinese culture it represents the five cardinal virtues namely; Charity, Modesty, Courage, Justice and Wisdom. You might have seen a Buddha carved from Jade, or heard of Jade daggers. The reason…

Labradorite

Labradorite/Spectrolite Even though Labradorite is not the most precious of gemstones it is in my humble opinion, the most beautiful! If you can imagine the wings of a tropical butterfly, that is the magnificence of this marvellous stone! Labradorite is sodium-rich Feldspar that when light strikes the stone from a particular angle, displays striking rainbow-coloured…

Lapis Lazuli / Lazurite

Known to the ancient Egyptians as the ‘Sky Stone’, Lapis Lazuli (or Lazurite) is one of the oldest gemstones – a blue stone mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite. Lapis Lazuli has been mined in the Kokcha valley in Afghanistan for roughly 7000 years. This gem was considered sacred and thus the mines were…

Mohs Scale of Hardness

So why do we see the diamond as eternal? And why do we consider some gems as precious and some as semi-precious? It doesn’t only have to do with beauty or rarity, for the most part, it has to do with durability. Mohs Scale of Hardness Created in 1812 by the German geoligist and mineroligist,…

Moonstone

Moonstone is an opalescent and transparent gem that falls in the Feldspar family – a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up about 41% of the Earth’s continental crust by weight. The best way to describe it: a raindrop in the moonlight. Moonstone occurs in fine shades of white, grey, blue, and peach or yellow. Some…

Opal

“With the fire of carbuncle, the brilliant purple of amethyst and the sea green colour of the emerald, all shining together in incredible union”;  these are the words used by Pliny the Elder (23-79AD) in the world’s first Encyclopaedia, and possibly the best description of this beautiful gem stone. In ancient times this precious gem…

Pearls: The Tears of the Gods

Pearls are the essence of hope, faith, and the ability to make the best of the situation you are in. It is an organic gem that is formed when an irritant (usually a grain of sand) enters a mollusc (shellfish). The oyster or mollusc coats the irritant with layers of nacre, also known as mother…

Peridot – Cleopatra`s Favourite Stone

The Peridot Also known as Olivine, this gem`s colour ranges from yellow-green through to bottle green. Until the 19th century, the origin of the Peridot was the subject of much speculation. One such theory was that the gem was found only in meteorites, but early this century it was proven that they actually originated on the…

Quartz: Rock Crystal

Primarily made up of silicon dioxide, Quarts encompasses a vast family of stones. The crystals are generally six-sided and occur in all shades and colours, depending on the temperature at the time of their formation. Rock Crystal is formed from clear lustrous Quartz and was first discovered in the Alps, it was then believed to…

Ruby

Symbolizing wealth, joy, love and power, the Ruby has always been cherished and desired by people throughout the world. They are offered to Buddha in China, Krishna in India, and are closely associated with dragons in western mythology. Ancient Hindus called the stone the “King of Gems” and believed it radiated a warmth and luminosity from…

Silver

The word silver is from the Anglo Saxon name, “seolfor”, and from the Latin name Argentum, we obtain the periodic table symbol for silver, Ag. This precious metal was only discovered 2000 years after gold in 4000bc. Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians used Silver before they knew what exactly it was; but what they were actually using was…

Synthetic Gems and Enhancements

Ever looked at grandma’s ring with the large red or blue coloured gemstone mounted in the center, and wondered how much it is really worth? Chances are in terms of monetary value; it is probably not worth much. The majority of pieces produced during the 1930s contained synthetic stones. As we developed and progressed into…

Tanzanite

This beautiful blue-purple stone has a short but rich history. Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 in the Merelani Hills of Mount Kilimanjaro by Massai cattle herders. After a fire caused by lighting, they noticed that brown Zoisite crystals turned a deep blue-purple colour. When the New York jeweller, Louis Tiffany, was presented with the first…

The 4C`s: How to Determine the Value of a Diamond

There are several factors that determine the value of a diamond. When buying a diamond you might be surprised to find that two stones with exactly the same weight have totally different prices. The combination of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight determines the price. THE 4 C`s CARAT WEIGHT The weight of a diamond…

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond; a beautiful blue diamond weighing 45.52 carats, and perhaps the most notorious gem in history.  It was said to have a curse on because a thief stole it from the eye of a statue of the Hindu goddess, Sita. Since then the trail of unlucky owners is enough to make you believe in…

White Gold

This post aims to clear up any confusion you may have concerning White Gold and Platinum. All gold is “alloyed” (as is iron in order to make steel), which means that the metal is mixed with other metals in order to change its properties. Examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, pewter, duralumin, bronze and amalgams. Pure gold in its purest form is unsuitable…

Zodiac Stones and Birthstones

We are often asked about zodiac stones and birthstones, so I thought it appropriate to list them for you. However, do keep in mind that there are variations on these; through the ages many different cultures developed their own associations with different gems.  These are the most commonly accepted: Zodiac Stones Star Sign Date Gem…

The Unique Cape Honey Bee

The Cape honey bee or Cape bee, also known as Kaapse bye (Afrikaans); Inyosi (isiXhosa), nyoxi (Xitsonga), is a southern South African subspecies of the Western honey bee. The Cape bee is only found in the Western Cape and parts of the Eastern Cape (in the fynbos areas), while the African honeybee subspecies is native to central and…

King Protea Pendant

Celebrate your love for South Africa! This beautiful King Protea Pendant is made exclusively by us in our workshop, situated in our humble home based in the Garden Route, South Africa. The large pendant wears very comfortably at 33mm long, yet it is big enough to be the talking point of all who see it.…