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Birthstones diary

October Birthstone: Tourmaline

October Birthstone: Tourmaline

The name "tourmaline" comes from the Sinhalese words tura mali, which mean "stone of mixed colours." As its name implies, tourmaline stands apart from other gems with its broad spectrum of colours in every shade of the rainbow.

One of this gem’s most impressive traits is its ability to become electrically charged through heat (pyroelectricity) and through pressure (piezoelectricity). When charged, tourmaline can act as a magnet by oscillating, and by attracting or repelling particles of dust.

Ancient magicians used black tourmaline as a talisman to protect against negative energy and evil forces. Today, many still believe that it can shield against radiation, pollutants, toxins and negative thoughts.

HISTORY

Egyptian legend tells that tourmaline found its famed array of colours when, on its journey up from the earth’s centre, it passed through a rainbow. Because of its colourful occurrences, tourmaline has been confused with other gems throughout history.

While plenty of tourmaline is mined around the world, it’s rare to find fine gem-quality tourmaline in bright colours. This range of material means that the price of tourmaline can vary almost as much as the colour.

OUR FAVOURITE TOURMALINE JEWELS

   

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September birthstone: Sapphire

September birthstone: Sapphire

September’s birthstone is the sapphire—a precious gem of wisdom, loyalty and nobility. This stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers.

When people say “sapphire,” they’re usually referring to the royal blue variety of this gem, although it can occur in all colours of the rainbow (except red, which is classified as ruby instead).

HISTORY

September’s birthstone, the sapphire, has been popular since the Middle Ages. Back then, the celestial blue color of this gem symbolized heaven and attracted divine favor and wise judgment.

Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.

This gem became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Prince William later gave this ring to Catherine Middleton when he proposed in 2010.

OUR FAVOURITE SAPPHIRE JEWELS

  

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August Birthstone: Peridot

August Birthstone: Peridot

Also known as “the Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

HISTORY

Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot. Through medieval times, people continued to confuse these two green gems. The 200-carat gems adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were long believed to be emeralds as well, but they are also peridots.

OUR FAVOURITE PERIDOT JEWELS

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July Birthstone: Ruby

July Birthstone: Ruby

Ruby, the king of precious gems, is the birthstone for fortunate folks born in July. Due to its deep red colour, ruby has long been associated with the life force and vitality of blood. It is believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle.

HISTORY

Symbolic of passion, protection and prosperity, the ruby has been revered since ancient times.

Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Chinese noblemen adorned their armour with rubies because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.

Many cultures also admired ruby as a symbol of love and passion. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem.

Though ruby has a long history, it wasn’t recognised as a variety of corundum until 1800. Prior to that, red spinel, tourmaline, and garnet were also believed to be ruby. Even the Black Ruby, one of the famed crown jewels of England, was considered one of the largest cut rubies until determined to be spinel.

OUR FAVOURITE RUBY JEWELS

    

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June Birthstones: Pearl and Moonstone

June Birthstones: Pearl and Moonstone

June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between pearl, alexandrite and moonstone.

PEARL

In many cultures, pearls symbolise purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day.

Pearls have been used as adornment for centuries —at least as far back as ancient Greece, where they believed pearls were tears of the gods. Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them “teardrops of the moon.” Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Tudor England was known as the Pearl Age because of the stone’s popularity with the upper class during the sixteenth century. Portraits showed royals wearing pearl jewellery and clothing adorned with pearls.

OUR FAVOURITE PEARL JEWELS

   

MOONSTONE

As its name implies, moonstone is closely associated with lunar mystery and magic. Its calming, balancing energies can supposedly attune to natural biological rhythms. Moonstone acts as the ultimate fertility crystal by sparking passion in new lovers and reuniting old ones.

Also known as the Traveler’s Stone, it’s believed to protect travellers at night. Moonstone is used to treat insomnia and sleepwalking, encourage sound sleep and create beneficial dreams.

Moonstone has been used as a beautiful adornment and a powerful talisman since ancient civilisations. The Romans admired it, believing it was formed from moonbeams.

Since ancient times, many cultures have held that moonstone can attune its wearer to the natural rhythms of the moon. Often associated with love, passion, and fertility, it is a crystal to nurture new love and rekindle old flames.

OUR FAVOURITE MOONSTONE JEWELS

 

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May Birthstone: Emerald

May Birthstone: Emerald

May birthdays fall right in the heart of spring, and the emerald is the perfect gem to symbolise and celebrate this month. Prized for its brilliant and beautiful green colour, the emerald is often favoured to wear as statement pieces for big events.

As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth.

HISTORY

Cleopatra is perhaps the most famous historical figure to cherish emeralds. She even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign. The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewellery, and in their elaborate burials, often burying emeralds with monarchs as symbols of protection.

Like other gemstones, the emerald was believed to have many mystical powers that accompanied its beauty. There were those who thought the emerald could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Maybe due to its soothing green colour, it was also thought to be able to ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and serene.

Today, emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured by the receiver.

OUR FAVOURITE EMERALD JEWELS

emerald earrings emerald necklace emerald studs

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April birthstone: Diamond

For those fortunate to be born in April, the most prized gemstone of all is their birthstone. For this month, diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend.

HISTORY

Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and some historians estimate it was traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it is so admired and valued is because of the process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, then forced upward until it is uncovered.

But before this process was understood, many ancient civilisations believed that diamonds were lighting made real on earth. Perhaps this is the reason that diamonds have often been associated with great healing powers. Many thought the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.

Throughout history, however, the diamond has nearly always symbolised eternal and lasting love. So whether you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism.

 

You can find our diamond jewellery in store: Gallery 5, 309 upper street, London N1 2TU

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March Birthstone: Aquamarine

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

The serenely coloured aquamarine invokes the tranquility of its namesake, the sea.

Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the colour usually is more intense in larger stones, and darker blue stones are very valuable. This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

HISTORY

This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene blue or blue-green colour of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.

In the Middle Ages, many believed that the simple act of wearing aquamarine was a literal antidote to poisoning. The Romans believed that if you carved a frog into a piece of aquamarine jewelry, it would help to reconcile differences between enemies and make new friends.

Still, other historical groups took this lore even further, using aquamarine as gifts to the bride at a wedding in order to symbolise long unity and love. Some even believed it could re-awaken love between two people.

OUR FAVOURITE AQUAMARINE JEWELS

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