Alexandrite and Sapphires

by on ‎09-21-2012 05:28 PM

Two of my favorite gemstones will be featured next week.  They each have unique properties and fascinating stories.  Did you know that Alexandrite was named after Czar Alexander II of Russia because it was discovered on his birthday in 1839 or that sapphires are believed to symbolize prosperity and be a charm against “unchastity”?

Alexandrite has always been one of those mysterious and unattainable stones to me.  During my training at the Gemological Institute of America, I remember the discussions about how rare it was and almost impossible to find.  The examples that were shown were viewed with awe and the color change was seen as almost magical.  Today we are lucky enough to bring you true Alexandrite due to recent mine discoveries.

Alexandrite is part of the mineral species Chrysoberyl, but must exhibit color change to be called Alexandrite.  Many times you will see Chrysoberyl in the market that has a color shift from green to dark green.  This is not Alexandrite, it must actually exhibit color change from greenish to purplish.  True Alexandrite is green in daylight or fluorescent light, and change to red or slightly purplish red in the incandescent light from a lamp or candle flame.  It is often called the romantic or passionate stone because of the romance of candlelight.

As far back as 800 BC, sapphires were believed to reflect heaven and ward against evil.  During the Renaissance era, it was believed that sapphires have the capacity to strengthen intellect and provide healing properties.  More recently, sapphires have graced royalty, like the engagement ring that Prince Charles gave to Lady Diana and of course, the royal couple William and Catherine. 

Sapphire comes from the Greek word sappheiros meaning blue stone.  Sapphires are the mineral corundum and come in every color but red, since red corundum is known as the other precious gemstone, ruby.  Because sapphires have a hardness of 9, they are polished to an amazing brilliance.  Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant blue sapphire, and the reflection was why the sky was blue.

Recently, I was lucky enough to have a personal tour of the magnificent sapphires in the Smithsonian Institution National Gem Collection.  The vibrant blues and historic stories reminded me why sapphires are one of my favorite gemstones.

AECMOM, thank you for the kind words and I hope you were able to order J269110.  The gemstones are spectacular.  I just checked and it seems we have a very few in stock now.  Hopefully we have it in your size!

The Joy of Music, thank you very much and please tune in on September 26th.  I will be on with Nancy speaking about Tanzanite and Sapphires.

Q2nNc, the Italian Artisan-Crafted jewelry really is stunning.  I also passed  your comment about Ann King’s Passion Bangles on to the buyer.

Hi Bunky603, We have a new Diamonique buyer, Natalie, and she is fantastic.  I have forwarded your posting to her.

Grandma C and Gina V 24, thank you very much.  I really appreciate your comments.

Issiestorm and Ennui, last year the decision was made to change the Taxco show to all Dominique and feature the other fabulous Mexican artisans in the Silver Marketplace shows.  It was felt that we could better tell the story of all of the wonderful artisans from around the world in that format.  We are having a strategy meeting next week about Artisan-Crafted, and I will certainly bring this up in our meeting.  I really appreciate the feedback.

BLB, Gustavo was not on the recent show but will definitely be returning.  I just reached out to him and he is still tweaking his collar.  He wasn’t satisfied with the original design.  Did you see Suarti’s new collar and the launch of the Italian Artisan-Crafted Fondente Italian Collar?

Star826, it is always a pleasure to hear from you.  I have fallen in love with the Cape and have decided that, when the time comes, it is where I want to retire.  I hope you have a wonderful remainder of 2012 and a very happy and healthy 2013.

Hi Summer of 72, thank you for the kind words and Jill is wonderful to be with.  She really understands the uniqueness of Artisan-Crafted jewelry.  I have been working with several of the buyers on moonstones.  They are also one of my favorite stones and you will be seeing quite a few of all colors in 2013.

Take care, Peyton

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