Monthly Archives: July 2010

Cuts, their Reasons and Quality.


Any and all Gems are almost always cut, to enhance their beauty and display their color.

The Brilliant is a cut made especially for the Diamond, designed so that light enteri… wait, you can go read that part on my post on the Diamond; “Everyone’s best friend!” Lapidaries are people who cut Gems, but people find it hard to cut Diamonds, being the hardest stone (on the Mohs scale, 10) that they specialize only on Diamonds; so they call themselves “Diamond cutters” (not a very long or “fanciful” word, is it?)

The Rose cut is designed to show the color of the stone and make the facets (cuts) look beautiful, like a Rose, and is usually used on a Sapphire.

The Step cut, also known as the Emerald cut, is made mainly to show the Color of the stone, which is ideal to use on Amethysts (as in the photo) as well as the usual Emerald (as the name proves).

The Cabochon is a dome, Star Sapphires must be cut as Cabochons to see the the star, and opaque stones, such as the Turquoise in the picture are almost always cut as Cabochons because for any of the other cuts, light must be able to travel through the stone to have any effect. I am in a club that grinds stones into Cabochons, and I have made a few already, but I will blog about that later.

These are the four main cuts, and the stones in your jewelry will be most likely be cut in one of these.

Sapphire, King of the Azure Gemstones



Sapphire is the birthstone of September. A royal, strong blue color, it is the sister of the Ruby, both being a variety of Corundum, one of the hardest minerals known, actually, any Corundum that is not red (Ruby) is a Sapphire; so Sapphire comes in orange, yellow, pink, and lots of other colors. But to keep it simple, let’s just call blue Sapphire plain Sapphire, and yellow Corundum Yellow Sapphire, E.T.C.

The center Sapphire is called a “Star Sapphire” the six pointed star is formed from flaws in the center of the stone, the star only being seen because it is cut as a “Cabochon”, a dome, so the light can be evenly “distributed” (though I don’t know how the Lapidaries (Gem cutters) know where the Star is). Sometimes this can be seen in a Ruby, but that is uncommon.

The ancient Persians believed that the earth stood on a giant Sapphire, the reflection of which you can see in the sky. Though I think, at sunset, you can look over the Emerald trees, and see the top half of a brightly shining yellow Topaz, “wrapped” around in a Citrine blaze, lined with a ribbon of Carneilian, with a short expanse of Ruby, then an Aquamarine framing that. The rest is an expanse of Sapphire, in the middle of which is a shimmering Moonstone, sending a pale light to the Earth below, on the opposite horizon is a black Opal studded with Diamond stars.

The Sapphire is quickly becoming one of my favorite Gemstones.


Gold is Going up in value!

The value of Gold has lately been steadily rising. And yesterday we were at “Chuck’s Coins” (a shop in Redding thats sells some Jewelry as well as Coins) and while were there, (My brother Jonathan was buying some Coins) I inquired about some Gems, “Chuck” the owner said that lately, since the price of Gold is going up, people have been Ripping Gems off their Gold Jewelry  to melt down the Gold for It’s value! Which, he said causes the gems to go Down in value! Although that may be good for me, a good piece of Jewelry ought not to be destroyed, whatever the value. So don’t let me catch you ripping off Gems from your Necklace!                                                                                       

Opal: a dark to light, blue-green hue


Opal is the Birthstone of October (my younger brother Nicholas’s and younger sister Noelle’s birthstone) . It usually has a blue-green hue that reminds me of a shining star. Many people used to think that Opal was unlucky, but I think It’s one of the most beautiful stones known.

      The ring in the picture shows one of my favorite ways of holding stones. I call it the Dragon claw hold (you can see why).

      There are two main types of Opal, Black Opal and White Opal. The latter being shown in the picture. Black Opal is darker, prettier, and rarer than White Opal, I just added a picture of Black Opal (the ring belongs to my Mom’s midwife).


Everyone’s Best Friend!


Diamond is the birthstone of April. The hardest and most valuable gemstone, Diamond is usually a clear white color. Diamonds are almost always cut as a “brilliant” a type of cut made so that light entering the top “splits” into it’s six colors and at the bottom bounces back up to the viewer as a “rainbow” of colors.     

    There are many famous Diamonds such as the Cullinan Diamond, the largest Diamond in the world. Nine large Diamonds and Ninety-six smaller ones were cut from it, the largest of the nine, the Star of Africa, is in the British Royal Scepter. The second largest, the Cullinan II, is in the British Imperial State Crown below the Black Prince’s Ruby (really a Spinel) and St. Edward’s Sapphire. There is also the infamous Hope Diamond (Rumored to bring death to it’s owners), and a large Diamond sold at an auction for about $16,50,000 (16.55 Million dollars), that’s enough to buy quite a few “Jumbo Jets”!

     The Diamond in the picture (zoomed in real close) is set in a ring given to my mother by my great-grandmother (on my dad’s side).       

Hardness: 10

Amethyst, a deep purple crystal


Amethyst is the birthstone of February. Usually a translucent purple at the top and white at the bottom, It is frequently cut as a gemstone, being the beautiful purple wine color (to me, Amethyst looks like purple ice) . An ancient Greek myth says that once, the wine god Dionysus went into a terrible rage, and swore that the first person he passes would be eaten by tigers. And that unlucky person happened to be the beautiful girl named Amethyst. Just then Athena the goddess of wisdom saw what was happening and to save Amethyst turned her into a large stone. Dionysus became sorry and poured an offering of wine on the stone (Amethyst) . That is how, according to the myth, the stone Amethyst was formed.

I used to flatten wire and make rings, and one of the first stones I used was a tiny polished Amethyst stone.
Hardness: 7.0

a beautiful, very deep, blood-red stone


Garnet is the birthstone of January (my brother’s birthstone). A beautiful very deep blood- red, it is my favorite red stone. It also comes in green, known as “Demantoid” the deep red type is usually “Pyrope” or “Almandine”. it is usually found in Bohemia in northern Europe.

My mom got the pair of earings shown in the picture from my great grandmother in Holland.

On the Mohs Scale of hardness it is 6.0-7.5