Category Archives: Notes from Jill

Citrine is One of November’s Birthstones

Citrine is a gift from the sun. At least, it was thought to be so due to its warm color.  The name, Citrine is derived "citron," the French word for lemon.  Citrine is the yellow variety of macrocrystalline quartz.   So, naturally, it  is often found alongside quartz.    Citrine gets its color from a small amount of iron (40 parts per million) present at its formation.  Citrine ranges in color from pastel lemon yellow to mandarin orange, and Madeira  red (from the wine).  It is easily confused with Topaz.    

Citrine became popular in Greek jewelry created during the Hellenistic period.   The Romans began using Citrine in Jewelry in the first centuries after Christ.


Citrine has been thought to aid digestion, remove toxins from the body, provide protection against the plague and bad skin, and in the treatment of depression an d constipation and diabetes.  It was also used as a charm against snake bite and venomous reptiles.

Among crystal healers, Citrine is thought to be useful in stimulating mental capacities, enhancing creativity, and intuition, and for improving self-confidence.  Citrine supports emotional control while making one more alert.  It is also believed to be helpful in the acquisition of wealth.

Today, most Citrine is imported from Uruguay, Brazil, and many African nations.
 

Garnet is the Birthstone for January

Garnet , the January Birthstone, has been considered the ultimate gift of eternal love.   It is linked to the Zodiac signs Aquarius and Leo, and recommended gifts for the 2nd and 4th wedding anniversaries.  The Garnet’s color is completely natural.  It cannot be enhanced.

The Garnet’s popularity is ancient, known to be of value since the Bronze Age.  It has not only been associated with love and sexual energy, it represents commitment and fidelity.   The Garnet was believed to release passion, otherwise restrained, resulting in a stronger attraction.  The Ancients thought promoted balance, leading to a stable, faithful marriage.  Garnet comes in a variety of colors, including red, orange, green, purple, brown, black, pink, and colorless.   Although a common stone, the green Uvarovitic Garnet from the Urals is near priceless as it forms in reasonably large crystals.

The word garnet is derived from the Latin word granatus or “seed like,” a reference to the Pomegranate.    A major source of Garnet in ancient times was Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia.  In that region, a common presentation was to closely set a number of small Garnet stones together to resemble a Pomegranate.  That arrangement is still popular today.  

The Garnet is an isomorphic stone with thirty different varieties classified into six species; almandine, andradrite, grossular, pyrope, spessarite, and uvarovite.

Stay tuned for more fun facts about Garnet and Featured Items showcasing our inventory of Garnet Jewelry. 

Jill

JJewelsBoutique.com

Note #2 From Jill

Note #2 from Jill

 

I have taken my first class offered by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), “Colored Stone Essentials.”   I discovered a few interesting items I thought you would enjoy.

There are  two types of stones, Organic, and Inorganic.   Organic stones are formed by biological processes which include the remains of saltwater sea creatures, tusk bearing animals, and from plant life.  Inorganic stones are natural minerals with specific chemical and structured composition.   The shape of a stone is determined by its atomic structure.  A stone’s identity is determined by its chemical composition, (kinds and quantities of a gem’s atoms) and its crystalline structure (the arrangement of atoms).  Both characteristics determine how gems are classified into species, Beryl, Corundum, and Quartz, etc.  If the stone varies in chemical or crystal structure, but have one of the two in common they are classified into groups; Tourmaline, Spinel, Garnet, or the most common of the Earth’s minerals, Feldspar which is found in Moonstone and Porcelain.  The inclusion of trace elements, impurities, creates defects replacing some atoms.  Defects mainly affect the color of the stone and potentially its value if it detracts from the visual appeal.

Any stone other than a Diamond is considered a Colored Gem.  Colored Gems must share three important traits, beauty, rarity, and durability.

Beauty:  Finished gems appeal comes from combining the elements of color, symmetry, and surface appearance.  Color is the most important consideration when buying gemstones.  Symmetry, the cut, should be balanced and harmonious.  Surface appearance, or luster, for most gems, requires them to be highly polished.

Rarity:  Although most people believe rarity increases value, it is not always the case.  An example is Pink Spinel which is durable and rare but has little demand.  Rarity is important, but a gem must be popular as well.  Tanzanite, a violet blue gem is a good example.  Known as a generational stone, Tanzanite was discovered in East Africa in 1968.  In the last few years, those mines have been depleted of quality stones.

Durability:  Hardness, toughness, and stability determine Durability.  Hardness and toughness are not the same.  Hardness speaks to the gems resistance to scratching and abrasion.   Toughness speaks to resistance to cracking.    Stability is the resistance to heat, light, and chemicals, especially jewelry cleaners.

A jeweler friend tells a story how he accidentally learned about the composition of Turquoise and its stability.  Early in his career he left two stones in the cleaner too long which disintegrated the Turquoise stones.  In the debris was copper.  So he learned that copper is a component of Turquoise and that too much time in the cleaning solution is problematic.  It was a difficult lesson to learn but it may be something to remember the next time you hand your jewelry over to someone who offers to clean them. Every jewel has various levels of stability and can easily be ruined by a variety of chemicals.

I would be so happy to hear from you.  Let me know what’s on your mind!

Jill

Note #1 from Jill: The Journey Begins!

My love of jewelry has taken my life’s journey in a new direction, the creation of J. Jewels Boutique. Prior to starting this business, while I was running a very successful Kitchen and Bath Design company, I was collecting interesting jewelry that I planned to share. As stated on Our Philosophy page, “J. Jewels philosophy is that gems should  be associated with memories of special people, places, and events.  This website and business venture will chronical my trek into the world of precious gem stones and metals.   I spent time as a volunteer at a local jewelry store where I developed lasting relationships with Graduate Gemologists. They have assisted me in the selection of the jewelry I now offer to the public. In fact these folks are now key advisors to the J. Jewels Boutique Brand.

The next phase of my journey is to become a GIA Graduate Gemologist. The first course is “Colored Stone Essentials.” After three classes I will receive the Graduate Colored Gemstones Diploma. I hope you will follow me as I learn more about colored gem stones.   Next, I will move on to diamonds, then pearls. After completing four hands-on labs in New York or California I will become a Graduate Gemologist. I will be blogging every step of the way through this process.

Also, I plan to address the challenges I have faced getting some of my estate jewelry into the marketplace as well as advice to amateur collectors looking to buy gems and diamonds.   I will blog about interesting facts of the more popular gems and their history. I look forward to having a dialog with you as I take you on a behind the scenes look into the jewelry business. My goal is to become your trusted go-to person to help guide you through your important jewelry acquisitions.   Come along for the ride! I know you will have a lot of fun!