The Rich Amethyst Birthstone for February

Those born in the month of February are fortunate enough to have the gemstone amethyst as their birthstone. The gemstone amethyst is popular for its vibrant color, rich history, and variety of mystical properties. It is also the gemstone associated with 6th wedding anniversaries. A type of the mineral quartz, amethysts come in shades ranging from deep purple to pale, pastel lavender. If you’re a February baby, or are shopping for one, read on to find out what makes amethyst jewelry so alluring.

Amethyst History

Amethysts have been treasured since the time of the ancient Greeks. In fact, the origin of this purple gemstone’s name is quite intriguing. The name amethyst is derived from the Greek word, “amethystos,” which translated means “remedy against drunkenness.” The Greeks associated this gorgeous purple gemstone with the wine god, Bacchus, because of its grape-like color. They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness, keeping the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Wine goblets were made from or decorated with amethyst to ward off the effects of their indulgence. But the Greeks weren’t the only ones to cherish this glittering gem.

Purple has always been considered a regal color, and because of this, amethysts have been seen in religious and royal jewelry. Buddhists believed amethyst powers helped to enhance meditation and used them to make prayer beads. Throughout the ages, powerful and rich monarchs used amethyst as a symbol of royalty. Amethyst was a personal favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia.

Today, some amethysts even decorate the British Crown Jewels. Until the 19th century, amethyst was considered a precious gemstone alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. However, a large deposit of amethyst was found in Brazil, lowering the gemstone’s financial value because of increased supply. Although amethyst is now considered a semi-precious gemstone, the discovery of Brazilian gems has allowed for large amethysts to be used more frequently in jewelry.

Rose and white gold pear-shaped amethyst and diamond stud earrings.
White gold drop necklace set with amethyst wrapped around branch.
Loose oval cut amethyst in jewelry storage box with whtie gold amethyst rings and necklace.

Mythical Properties

Admirers of amethyst prize the gemstone for its symbolism as well as its beauty. The February birthstone is associated with several different properties including peace, courage, balance, and inner strength. They are also thought to bring wisdom and protection to the wearer. Leonardo da Vinci once wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts. Due to its history, amethyst is often regarded as the “sobriety stone,” believed to help treat alcoholism and other addictions. Besides being worn as jewelry, amethyst geodes are also popular household and workplace decorations, promoting positive energy and calmness.

Caring for Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst is relatively easy to care for. It is ranked 7 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning it is a durable gemstone. This makes amethyst jewelry great for everyday wear. Just be careful to avoid prolonged exposure to heat and chemicals as this has the potential to cause the color of your amethyst to fade. Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner or steamer; however, the safest cleaning method is to use a soft brush with warm, soapy water.

Birthstone Jewelry in San Diego

Whether you need the perfect gift for a February-born loved one or a stunning surprise for your 6th wedding anniversary, you’ll find it at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Our radiant collection of amethyst jewelry ranges from delicate stud earrings to mesmerizing amethyst and diamond halo rings, and everything in between! This gorgeous gemstone is sure to make an awe-inspiring gift for anyone in your life, February-born or not!

Garnet Jewelry for January

Start 2024 off with a symbol of commitment, friendship, and positive energy with the garnet gemstone.

The six families of garnets are silicate materials of different chemical composition, although they retain a similar physical appearance. Garnets range in hardness from a 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale (1 being softest and 10 being hardest). This makes them suitable for daily wear in rings and other jewelry pieces.

Jeweler inspecting loose garnet stones.
Yellow gold three-stone ring centered with a garnet and two diamond side-stones.

Traditionally associated with a deep red hue, garnets occur in almost every color including orange, purple, brown, and black, with the rarest being a brilliant green. These enchanting pigments are left untreated, and a garnet’s color is always natural.

Particularly favored back in the Roman Empire and used in Victorian jewelry, garnets were believed to stimulate business success and symbolize trust and friendship. The name derives from the Greek word “granatum,” meaning pomegranate seeds, because of its reflective shape and color.

Popularly identified as January’s birthstone, garnets are also gifted for the 2nd and 19th wedding anniversary. Show your January baby a commitment that will last the whole year ahead with a breathtaking piece of vintage garnet jewelry in our San Diego showroom!

December Birthstones: Turquoise, Blue Zircon, & Tanzanite

December birthstones aren’t the colors you’d expect, as shopping during the month of December you’re bombarded with holiday hues like red and green. But when shopping for a December baby, you have an entirely different color palette to discover. Shopping for a loved one born during the month of December can be a little tricky since you have to find them a birthday gift in addition to a holiday gift. However, you can make searching for the perfect gift easier by purchasing beautiful December birthstone jewelry!

December babies are lucky enough to have not two, but three different birthstones: turquoise, blue zircon, and tanzanite. These glittering gemstones range from the oldest on Earth (zircon), to one of the first mined and used in jewelry (turquoise), to one of the most freshly discovered (tanzanite). All the December birthstones are available in a variety of shades ranging from blue to violet, so you’re sure to find something to entice your loved one. Here are some fascinating details about these dazzling December birthstones to help you decide!

Woman wearing turquoise jewelry.

Turquoise

Revered since ancient times, turquoise is known for its distinct color, which ranges from bright robin’s egg to pastel blue to a bluish green. Turquoise might lack the sparkle and clarity of transparent colored gemstones, but what it lacks in brilliance, it makes up for in soul-satisfying color. The December birthstone has been highly regarded for thousands of years by cultures like the Native Americans, Aztecs, and the ancient Egyptians.

Throughout its history, people have attributed special powers to turquoise. Turquoise is thought to offer safety from misfortune and ward off ill will. Turquoise is also thought to protect its wearer from harm while bringing good luck and longevity. In lighter shades, turquoise energy is believed to promote inner harmony and tranquility. Darker, richer tones are alleged to counter intolerance and allow us to adapt to new ideas and environments.

The word turquoise means “stone from Turkey” since the gemstone was brought from Turkey to Western Europe. Turquoise is a relatively soft gemstone, which makes it ideal for carving unique pieces of jewelry. If you know a December baby who loves bold, statement accessories, they are sure to love turquoise jewelry.

No matter what kind of turquoise jewelry you decide to gift your December loved one, it’s important to they know to take special care of it. High temperatures can damage its surface or cause discoloration. Exposure to chemicals, cosmetics, and even the natural oils in skin can alter its color. Turquoise should always be cleaned with warm soapy water, never in steam or ultrasonic cleaners.

Loose cut blue zircon and white gold ring centered with blue zircon on a white table.

Blue Zircon

Zircon is the oldest natural mineral on Earth, dating back 4.4 billion years. Zircon can be found in a myriad of colors, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red, and even clear. Heat treatment is commonly used to intensify these beautiful colors. During the Middle Ages, people believed zircon could stimulate sound sleep, ward off evil, and deliver prosperity and wisdom.

Today, zircon is considered a grounding stone that heightens confidence and compassion. With this gemstone, you have plenty of beautiful color options. While blue zircon is a common December birthstone, you can certainly purchase other colors to match your December-born loved one’s favorite hue. That way, you know you’re buying a can’t-miss gift!

As with turquoise, zircon requires special care. Zircon tends to be brittle, so it’s best worn and stored in a manner that avoids hard rubbing against other materials. Since most zircon is heat treated, there’s a possibility it may revert to its original color if exposed to high heat and bright light for prolonged periods of time. Warm, soapy water is best for cleaning zircon. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners should not be used for this December birthstone.

White gold tennis necklace set with tanzanite.

Tanzanite

Unlike most gemstones that have been beloved for centuries, tanzanite’s history is relatively modern. Discovered in 1967, tanzanite is an exquisite blue-to-purple variety of the mineral zoisite and can only be found in a single region of the world. This gorgeous blue December birthstone was names after its exclusive origin in Tanzania. Tiffany & Co. was the first company to market blue zoisite as tanzanite, and the name seems to have stuck.

Tanzanite has become one of the most popular blue gemstones, second only to sapphire. The captivating color of tanzanite ranges from lush blue to vibrant violet to deep, rich purple. Tanzanite is a very unusual gemstone. One of the most alluring aspects of tanzanite is its pleochroic quality. This means tanzanite can reveal different colors when viewed from various directions. Between its exotic color and scarce supple, tanzanite is treasured by many and makes an excellent December birthstone gift.

While tanzanite can be worn in all kinds of jewelry, proper discretion should still be taken against rough wearing or hard blows. Tanzanite is stable under normal wearing conditions – it’s resistant to the effects of heat, light, and common chemicals. However, it should still not be overly exposed. Warm, soapy water is the best way to clean tanzanite. It is not recommended for ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

No matter which December birthstone you think is best suited for your loved-one, they are sure to feel simply stunning wearing jewelry with such significance and symbolism. We’re bound to have what you’re looking for in our luxurious collection. Visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers on San Diego Avenue and explore our stunning turquoise, blue zircon, and tanzanite offerings!

November Birthstones: Citrine & Topaz

November babies are lucky enough to have two beautiful birthstones: topaz and citrine. For centuries, the two gemstones have been confused since they have a similar appearance. However, there are a few distinct differences between the two November birthstones. Citrine, said to be a gift from the sun, ranges in color from lemon yellow to bright orangey brown. It is also said to be the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe, and calm. Citrine is one of the most popular and affordable gemstones, making it a great choice for big, bold, statement pieces.

Topaz is also considered to be a soothing stone that can calm tempers and eliminate nightmares. Unlike citrine, topaz has a wider range of colors and is offered in shades of yellow, brown, green, blue, red, and pink. The most popular color of topaz is Imperial Topaz, which features a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones. Both gemstones are durable and are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Topaz and citrine’s beautiful colors make exceptional centerpieces for rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. If you’re looking for the perfect birthday gift for the November baby in your life, or maybe just a special holiday present, view some of our favorite November birthstone selections below.

Citrine & Diamond Dangle Earrings

The enchanting beauty of these pear-shaped citrine gemstones is perfectly complemented by yellow gold and diamond haloes in these charming dangle earrings.

Citrine dangle earrings surrounded by diamond haloes.

Citrine & Diamond Ring

Bold and eye-catching, this oval citrine sparkles brilliantly in this vintage diamond halo ring.

Cushion cut citrine ring surrounded by a double diamond halo.

Blue Topaz & Diamond Ring

Blue topaz is beautifully accented with shimmering diamonds in this delicate halo ring.

Blue Topaz & Diamond Ring

Smokey & Blue Topaz Necklace

The warm tones of this smokey topaz exquisitely complemented by blue topaz and white gold makes the perfect autumn gift.

Smokey and blue topaz pendant with a diamond bail.

Blue Topaz & Diamond Earrings

Mesmerizing blue topaz stuns in company with glittering diamonds in these unique and intricately designed carved earrings.

Woman's ear with blue topaz and diamond dangle earrings

Looking for the perfect November birthstone gift? If you’re interested in any of these gorgeous pieces or would like to view more citrine and topaz new and vintage jewelry selections, visit our showroom on San Diego Avenue to find the perfect gift for the November birthday celebrator in your life.

Celebrate October Birthdays with Opal!

There is arguably no gemstone more enchanting and alluring than opal. Teeming with color and mystery, opal is the perfect birthstone for October. Unlike other gemstones, opal reflects light so that it displays many vibrant colors at once. This light play creates a kaleidoscopic, rainbow effect that is simply mesmerizing. To kick off October, we’re delving into the mystery of opal birthstones with some fascinating facts.

Opal's Name Origin

Evidence of the first opal artifacts dates back to 4000 B.C. However, the origin of the name opal causes much debate. The ancient Greek word for opal is opallios, meaning to see a change of color. The Roman word is opalus, meaning precious stone. Many modern references suggest the word opal is adapted from the Sanskrit work upala, meaning jewel. Although it is not known for certain, the term we use today for this iridescent birthstone seems to be a combination foal l three languages.

How is Opal Formed?

There is some dispute about how exactly opal is formed, but many believe it is the result of rain. This theory is referred to as the weathering model, and specifically refers to desert regions with heavy rainfall with heavy rainfall and silica rich sediment. According to this model, rain carrying silica seeps down into the crevasses of rocks. Once the dry season arrives, the water evaporates, and the silica that is left behind dries out and hardens into precious opal.

This process is a slow one of course and is believed to take millions of years. Opal is amorphous, meaning it has no defined crystal system or structure. Instead, opal is comprised of many tiny silica spheres of varying sizes. This makes opal gems the most unpredictable, able to take on many shapes and display several colors at once. Boulder opal, for example, has been known to reveal the entire rainbow in just one stone.

Precious vs. Common

There are two distinct variations of opal – precious opal and common opal. Precious opals are more popular and display the phenomenon known as “play of color” or “opalescence.” Most precious opal flash a mixture of vivid colors. Although still beautiful, common opals do not exhibit “opalescence,” and are typically one solid, opaque color.

White gold open cuff bracelet set with pear cut opals surrounded by diamond haloes.

Where is Opal Found?

Common opal can be found pretty easily in many regions of the world. Precious opal, on the other hand, is primarily mine in Australia where the gemstone is particularly abundant. Australian mines, like Coober Pedy, Lightning Ridge, and Mintabie, produce about 90% of the world’s precious opal. Other countries where opal can be found include Brazil, Mexico, and Ethiopia.

Meaning & Symbolism

In addition to being the birthstone of October, opal is also the gemstone given to celebrate 14th wedding anniversaries. This exquisite gem is considered a symbol of hope, innocence, and purity. Opal also has strong implications of happiness, faithfulness, loyalty, and confidence. Unfortunately, opals have quite an arduous history. This is widely due to Sir Walter Scott’s 1829 novel, Anne of Geierstein, which emphasized opal’s relationship to bad luck and death. Within a year of the book’s publication, opal sales dropped by 50%. Despite this period of negative superstitions, opals have generally been symbols of goo luck. They are believed to possess the virtues of each gemstone whose colors are represented in their wide color spectrum.

Opal Durability

Opal scores a 5.5 to 6.5 on Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning these beautiful gemstones are relatively fragile. Though opal can be used for jewelry, proper care is necessary to ensure lifelong durability. Be sure to avoid chemical cleaners and wearing opal jewelry in harsh environments. If your opal jewelry requires cleaning, warm, soapy water is best. Additionally, high heat or sudden changes in temperature can fracture an opal. Unlike most jewelry, opals should not be stored in a dry place, as insufficient moisture can be damaging.

The Queen of Gemstones

Due to their natural beauty and brilliance, opals have been deemed the “Queen of Gemstones.” They were a favorite of Queen Victoria, who gifted each of her daughters an opal on their wedding day. In fact, opals have been cherished by royalty for centuries. Queen Elizabeth II owned a whopping 203-carat opal that was given to her by the Australian government. Opals are also one of the rare gemstones to have extraterrestrial origins. In July of 2015, NASA reported the discovery of opals on Mars. Not only does this give opal a more magical and mysterious aura, but this also suggests a greater potential for life on Mars since opal consists of water.

Shop October's Birthstone in San Diego

If you’re looking to add more brilliance and exquisite color to your jewelry collection, then you must visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in San Diego! Explore our assortment of new, vintage, and antique opal jewelry. Whether shopping for yourself, or someone celebrating an October birthday, we have the perfect opal gifts for you. Stop by our jewelry store on San Diego Avenue and experience the captivating visual effect of this stunning October birthstone for yourself!

The Perfect End of Summer Birthstone

Peridot Jewelry

Peridot, the birthstone for August babies, is sure to make you green with envy. A gem variety of olivine, peridot is composed primarily of two minerals: fayalite and forsterite. The presence of iron, which is rich in fayalite, is what gives peridot its signature green hue. Peridots are one of the few gemstones that occur in one consistent color. However, they can be found in shades ranging from light yellowish green to deep olive. Celebrating the August born in your life? Learn all you need to know about gorgeous green peridots here!

Is Peridot from Outer Space?

Peridot crystals have been discovered in meteorite particles left over from our solar system’s conception! Olivine traces have also been found in stardust, indicating that this gemstone can form even in the cosmos. If you’re looking for a truly otherworldly gemstone, peridot is for you!

Here on Earth, peridot is the only gemstone other than diamond that is found within the earth’s inner mantle rather than originating from the earth’s top layer crust. Peridot is commonly mined in Egypt, China, Myanmar, the Red Sea, and Mexico. In the 1990s, peridots experienced a revival of popularity when new deposits were unearthed in Pakistan.

They are mined within the U.S. as well, specifically in Arizona. The state is home to the San Carlos Reservation – the largest peridot producer in the world. However, its most ancient sources originate from St. John’s Island, also known as Zabargad Island, off the coast of Egypt. This gemstone is particularly revered in Egypt, where it is the country’s National Gem. Also, it was the ancient Egyptians who referred to peridots as “gems of the sun.” In fact, some modern historians believe that Cleopatra’s beloved emeralds may have in fact been peridots.

August Birthstone Meaning

Known to the ancient Hebrews, peridot also has biblical references and was later used by Europeans after the crusades to embellish churches and cathedrals. Ancient lore said the peridot would bring the wearer good luck, relieve anxiety, and inspire confidence. It was worn as a talisman to ward off evil spirits, night terrors, and other dark magic.

It is believed that peridots have the spiritual properties to help heal relationships during times of conflict. This is because it is thought to clear the mind and open the heart. Peridot is also known for relieving stress by helping one balance their emotions. It has often been referred to as the “evening emerald” because ancient miners would search for peridot in the evening when its color would shine as brightly as emeralds under lamplight.

Along with being the birthstone for August, peridot is also traditionally gifted for a 16th wedding anniversary. It is a magnificent gem, not only for its beauty and spiritual properties, but because it is also very affordable. If you’re looking for an alternative to an emerald, peridot might fit the bill! Some of the deeper green variations of peridot do resemble emerald.

Visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers in San Diego today to shop for the perfect peridot jewelry for your August born loved one, or maybe to celebrate 16 years of wedded bliss! Whatever occasion you’re shopping for, you’re sure to find a peridot piece they’ll love here at Leo Hamel’s!

Celebrate July Birthdays with Rubies!

Antique yellow gold filigree earrings, ring, and necklace set with rubies.

You’re probably burned out from hanging out at the beach, grilling the day away, and watching a magnificent firework show lighting up the sky, but the doesn’t mean you get to slack on giving incredible birthday gifts. Putting some thought and effort into purchasing a birthday gift makes it that much more special. And that’s exactly why birthstone jewelry always makes an exceptional birthday gift. Ruby is the July birthstone, and we’re here to show you some of the rosiest rubies to gift your friend or loved one born in this glorious summer month.

Rubies have been one of the most valued gemstones for thousands of years, representing wealth, wisdom, passion, and love. Regardless of the gift you choose, its underlying message will show just how much you care.

A dainty ruby and diamond flower ring makes a beautiful gift. The combination of rubies and diamonds is truly remarkable. The brilliant red ruby give major summer vibes while the diamond halo displays the perfect amount of sparkle and shine. This is a fantastic birthday gift for any July baby who adores all things nature inspired.

Dangle earrings are very trendy right now, so grabbing these for your fashion-forward friend is a great idea. These earrings are versatile so whether she’s trying to keep it casual or dressing up for a night out, they will look absolutely beautiful. It’s essential for every girl to have a pair of earrings that make it easy to dress up or dress down, so you know she’ll really appreciate these.

Brooches are making a comeback! Gone are the days when brooches were only worn by little old ladies in their Sunday best. Now, there are so many different creative ways to wear a brooch! This ruby brooch looks gorgeous securely pinned to the lapel of a blazer, but our favorite way to wear it is as a pendant. All you have to do is clasp the pin shut, slip a chain through and voilà! It’s now a stunning ruby flower pendant! This is the perfect July birthstone gift for anyone who enjoys playing around with creative expression.

Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes something sweet and simple can be more meaningful than something grand and extravagant. This ruby and diamond halo pendant is the perfect July birthstone gift for anyone who keeps her jewelry to a chic whisper. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, and it’s a charming tribute to their summer birthday.

If you’re looking for something truly breathtaking, this is the piece. Doesn’t the vivid red tone of the rubies paired with the sparkle of the diamonds completely mesmerize you? Tennis bracelets are classic and exquisite, making this a fantastic July birthstone gift for any lady who is all about class and elegance. As soon as she opens the box, this is sure to become her new favorite piece of jewelry.

If none of these gorgeous gift ideas seem right for the special person you’re shopping for, don’t be discouraged! Visit our jewelry store on San Diego Avenue to browse hundreds of other options! Our vast collection is brimming with new, designer, and vintage ruby and colored gemstone jewelry. Let us help you select something spectacular to stun your July-born loved one.

Moonstone is One of June’s Birthstones!

For most months you only get one birthstone, however those lucky enough to be born in June get three different birthstones! They are pearl, alexandrite, and moonstone. If you’re a June baby or are simply shopping for one, you have a variety of choices when it comes to birthstone jewelry.

Each gemstone holds different meanings and symbolism. Not only is gifting birthstone jewelry a beautiful gesture, but it can also hold a deeper meaning which gives more sentimentality to the gift. Let’s dive into how each of June’s birthstones differ.

Moonstone: June's Mystical Birthstone

Last, but most certainly not least, is the moonstone. Ancient Romans believed moonstone was frozen moonlight. Pliny, the Roman historian, wrote that moonstone’s appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. According to Hindu mythology, this gemstone was created by solidified moonbeams. Now, we know moonstone isn’t actually from the moon. But what is it exactly?

Moonstone is a type of mineral feldspar, usually with a bluish tone. However, it can also be found in colors such as pink, yellow, green, and gray. The distinguishing characteristic of the moonstone is its adularescence, which is the light that appears to billow across the stone. This effect is reminiscent of a shimmering full moon peeking through a sky full of milky white clouds.

This June birthstone is perfect for any June-born with a love of all things cosmic and celestial. As its name suggests, moonstone is associated with lunar mystery and magic. In different lighting and at different angles, it truly does look like a little piece of the moon.

This shimmering gemstone is believed to have calming and balancing energy. Moonstone is also believed to be a “dream stone,” used to treat insomnia and sleepwalking, encourage sound sleep, and promote vivid dreams.

If you’re interested in owning or gifting pearl, alexandrite, or moonstone jewelry for a June birthday, visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. You’ll always find something spectacular in our vast collection of beautiful fine jewelry!

On the other hand, if you already own pearl, alexandrite, or moonstone jewelry that you need to get appraised for insurance or estate purposes, don’t hesitate to contact the San Diego Gemological Laboratory! Our independent appraiser, Elliot Grunwald, is a Graduate Gemologist from GIA.

Celebrate June Birthdays with Pearl Jewelry

Pearl drop earrings, pearl cocktail ring, and three-strand pearl necklace on a wooden plank background.

Most months typically only have one birthstone associated with them. But those born in the month of June are part of the lucky few who can claim multiple birthstones. In fact, there are three June birthstones: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite. Pearl is considered the more traditional June birthstone, and if you’re a June baby or shopping for one, then read more about June’s traditional birthstone.

Are you stuck with the notion that pearls are “grandma’s jewelry”? Well, we’re here to change your mind. Let’s take a moment to talk about how amazing pearls actually are. First, they are the only gemstone that comes from the ocean. Second, they are the only gemstone that is created by living creatures (marine oysters and freshwater mussels). And third, pearls are the only gemstone that do not need to be cut and polished; they are perfect just the way they are.

We can all agree that pearls have a classic, sophisticated appearance. They’ve been worn and adored for centuries by First Ladies, royalty, and other society matrons. But this doesn’t mean they can only be worn by those considered to be of an “elite class.” Pearls can be worn by anyone, at any age, and with any outfit. Another great thing about pearls is the wide variety of shapes and colors they come in. Each color symbolizes something different.

Pearl Colorings & Meanings

  • White pearls symbolize innocence, beauty, purity, and new beginnings.
  • Black or gold pearls symbolize wealth and prosperity.
  • Blue pearls symbolize love.
  • Pink pearls symbolize success, fame, and good fortune.
  • Brown pearls symbolize practicality, dependability, and harmony.

With the variety of colors, shapes, and meanings it’s easy to find the perfect pearl jewelry gift for your June-born loved one. However, pearls do require extra care compared to other gemstones because they’re so delicate. Pearls should always be the last thing you put on when getting dressed. This is to avoid any damage to these fragile gems from makeup, hairspray, perfume, and other cosmetics. Furthermore, pearls should always be wiped clean with a damp cloth after wearing to keep their luster and shine.

Store them separately from other jewelry in a soft jewelry case to avoid scratches, and away from heat or water (plain water won’t damage the pearls but can damage the string used to knot them into a necklace). And be sure to bring all your jewelry in to be regularly cleaned and inspected by our master jewelers!

It’s easy to find stunning birthday gifts at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Not only do we have pearl strands, rings, earrings, and bracelets for June, but we also have moonstone and alexandrite jewelry! You’ll always find something spectacular in our vast collection of beautiful fine jewelry.

Celebrate May Birthdays with Emerald

Yellow and white gold emerald and diamond necklace, ring, and tennis bracelet.

Those April showers have finally brought us May flowers! Springtime offers endless beauty and bounty, with flowers and lush greenery everywhere you look. What better gemstone to symbolize the splendor of spring than vibrant green emerald, the captivating May birthstone?

History of Emerald

Emerald belongs to a group that industry insiders often refer to as the “Big Three.” These are the three most expensive and alluring precious colored gemstones that have been sought after for centuries: emerald, ruby, and sapphire. In fact, this captivating May birthstone has been worn in jewelry for more than four thousand years.

Ancient civilizations from the Inca to the Egyptians revered emerald for its many powerful properties. Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher who lived in the first century A.D., wrote that emerald was the only gem that delighted the eye without fatiguing it. Early gem cutters kept emeralds on their work bench to gaze upon from time to time to rest their tired eyes.

Modern science confirms Pliny’s claim with findings that prove green is the most restful color for the human eye, as it relieves stress and strain. Besides being easy on the eyes, green emerald was believed to give its wearer the power to see into the future and to recognize the false promises of others. It’s no wonder emerald was a favorite of ancient leaders like Cleopatra, who famously wore them in many of her royal adornments.

Emerald's Meaning

Besides their obvious beauty, emeralds are treasured for their meaning. In ancient Roman mythology, the emerald was the gemstone of the goddess of love, Venus. Though rubies are generally considered the gemstone of romance and passion, emeralds were once held in the same regard. Emeralds are said to stir feelings of passion, euphoria, and intense love.

They are thought to bring love that is deep and unconditional, making them the perfect romantic gift. The vibrant green hue of emeralds represents vitality, renewal, and starting anew. It’s only fitting that emerald marks the dawn of springtime, a time of rebirth and regeneration.

May Birthstone Colors

The ideal shade for spring, emeralds range in color from yellowish to bluish and can vary from pale mint to deep forest hues. Vivid, deep green emeralds are most prized, while those with too much yellow or blue are less valuable. An ideal emerald will have color that is evenly distributed with just the right touch of transparency.

Most emeralds contain eye-visible clarity characteristics called “inclusions” that result from their formation deep within the earth. These inclusions give each gemstone its own personality and character, an everlasting testament to the natural history of the emerald. When a single stone contains a wide variety of inclusions, gemologists call is the “jardín” effect, which is French for “garden,” because they resemble flowers and foliage.

Because of their inclusions, emeralds are delicate despite their relative hardness. Never put emeralds into an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner and avoid steam cleaning. Ring re-sizing or re-tipping of prongs should only be performed by an accomplished jeweler.

Where to Find Emerald

Columbia has been the most fruitful source for fine emeralds for over 500 years, with the Muzo mine producing the most stunning jewels in terms of both color and clarity. Brazil also produces stones from the abundant Belmont mine that are typically a little darker in color. Emeralds of very fine color can be found in parts of Africa, though they typically only occur in small carat sizes. Pakistan and Afghanistan are also important producers, though on a much smaller scale.

At Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, you will always find a wide variety of luscious green emeralds to fit every style and budget. Whether you’re celebrating a May birthday, anniversary, or engagement, Leo Hamel’s has a wealth of exquisite emerald jewelry that is sure to bring joy to your loved one. Choose from new designs or opt for something truly unique like an antique emerald ring or bracelet.

Do you have a beloved piece of emerald jewelry in need of repair? Our full-service jewelry store boasts master jewelers to help ensure that your precious jewelry last a lifetime and beyond! What’re you waiting for? Visit us today!

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