"The ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad, the source for many large fine peridots in the world’s museums. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Today this gem is still prized for its restful yellowish green hues and long history. Large strongly-colored, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewelry at all price points. Peridot is the birthstone for August and the 15th anniversary gemstone." (GIA) To learn more about rubies click here.
"Until recently, spinel was an underappreciated gem with little consumer recognition. Increasing demand for ruby alternatives rekindled appreciation for spinel’s rich red color and history. In ancient times, southeast Asia’s mines yielded exceptional large spinel crystals, which became the treasured property of kings and emperors, often passing through many hands as spoils of war. Spinel was recently added as an August birthstone, sharing this month with peridot and sardonyx. It has long been mistaken for ruby by emperors and monarchs. Many of the famous “rubies” of history were actually spinels." (GIA) To learn more about rubies click here.
"Ammolite is celebrated globally for its naturally captivating rainbow colors and layers of vibrant iridescence. Ammolite originates from prehistoric marine fossils that date back 71-million years and received official gem status as recently as 1981 by the World Jewellery Confederation. Feng Shui experts believe its colorful display awakens positive energy and stimulates creativity, energy, wisdom, intellect and wealth. Wearers and collectors call ammolites "gems of enlightenment. (Jewelers of America)" ( To Learn More about Ammolite, Click Here )
Spinel: The New Birthstone for August!
"Jewelers of America and the American Gem Trade Association announced Wednesday that they are adding spinel to the official list of birthstones. It will join the yellow-green gemstone peridot as a birthstone for the month of August.
The new birthstone will launch to consumers in July through a public relations and marketing campaign led by JA.
“At certain moments in history, when there is a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones, Jewelers of America believes in recognizing the importance of historically significant gemstones and giving gemstone lovers a choice that suits their preferences,” JA President and CEO David Bonaparte said......"
To read more of the Article "JA, AGTA Add Spinel as August Birthstone" by Brecken Branstrator, click HERE
New Gemstone: Aquaprase
"Two years ago, veteran gem explorer Yianni Melas was doing some work at an African location—he doesn’t want to say where, so the area is not overrun. Geologists had dismissed the locale, convinced it held only some few stray opals. Locals didn’t think much of it either, but when Melas went to a friend’s hut, he saw an interesting specimen on a shelf that looked like he nothing he had ever seen before.
“I knew it was something unusual,” he said. “The stone was in really bad shape, and you could only see a little bit of blue-green inside. But when I put my light to it, it changed color. It went from blue-green to yellow-green. I thought: Where does this come from?
“I couldn’t explain why I thought it was different,” he adds. “It is like a third eye. I have seen thousands of stones and you get that feeling. When I picked up the stone, I had the chills, a funny feeling. That feeling is something you have to follow.”
When he dug a trench in the area, he saw it held a lot of this type of this gem (as well as opal). But nobody knew what the gem was—incuding other gem experts. Some called it a blue-green opal. Most said it chrysoprase. Others dubbed it chrysocolla. He was convinced it was neither.
So he sent it to a noted gem lab. After several months of examination, the verdict came back: chrysoprase. It was now Melas’ words against the experts’.
“There is a difference between laboratory guys and people who work in the field,” he says. “Each has their strength. But I stood my ground. I usually accept what people tell me. But I knew I was right, even though my friends started laughing at me.”
“I recall my African and Indian partners watching me perform a passionate Greek fit of anger insisting [the lab] was wrong,” he wrote on Instagram. “Chrysoprase [comes from] a Greek word meaning yellow-green. And this gem was a strong blue green…. I said, ‘Listen I’m Greek and [the lab] doesn’t understand Greek naming of gems. We named the damn things. And we would never call a blue-green stone chrysoprase [which means golden-green].”...."