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gemstones
As varied as nature's palette, gemstones are available in a
broad range of colors, shapes and sizes.

AMETHYST

A gem of faith, royalty and love, the amethyst is a member of the
common quartz family and develops in large crystals found
throughout the world in the form of geode. The birthstone for
February, the amethyst enjoys widespread popularity. Its
durability makes it ideal for a variety of wearable jewelry styles.

Color is the first thing to consider when selecting an amethyst, or
any colored gemstone. Found in a range of hues from lilac to deep
plum, amethyst provides inexpensive gem quality crystals that can
be fashioned into a variety of wearable styles. The most valuable
amethyst will generally have a dark tone, and a strong saturation.
Generally speaking, the higher the saturation, the more valuable
your amethysts are.

Clarity is the degree to which a gemstone is free of internal
inclusions and external blemishes. Clarity should be considered
when selecting an amethyst, although, it is common to find inclusion
free amethyst. Amethyst frequently have color banding within the
gemstone, which looks like purple and clear stripes, and is treated as
an inclusion. If the gemstone is darker in tone, the color banding
may be somewhat masked.

Amethyst is a durable gemstone that you can wear daily without
worry. With long exposure to sunlight, or strong heat, the color of
your amethyst may fade over time, so keep this in mind when
entering a tanning salon.

Treatments

Some very dark amethysts may be heat-treated to lighten their color,
however, sunlight may lighten amethyst's rich color over time.
Occasionally amethyst has been irradiated to improve the color.

Care

Amethysts are easily cared for, requiring cleaning with gentle
solution made specifically for jewelry. Borsheims also offers small
"ultrasonic" cleaners that clean your jewelry with high frequency
sound. It is important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned
and checked three to four times a year. When not worn, amethyst
jewelry should be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all AMETHYST products

Aquamarine

A symbol of youth and fidelity, the aquamarine is also thought to give
wearers knowledge, foresight and inspiration. Aquamarine is derived
from the Latin word for "sea water". Like the emerald, it belongs to
the beryl family. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March.

A member of the beryl family, this sister gem to emerald is typically
light greenish-blue to blue with the highest quality being transparent.
Many aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut, so most all
aquamarines are heat-treated to remove the green component, which
enhances their more preferred blue color. This is a permanent
treatment. Aquamarine will lighten more and more when it is left in
the sunlight for extended periods of time.

Aquamarine commonly forms completely free of inclusions. It is not
as common to see an aquamarine with many inclusions.

CARE

Aquamarine is easily cleaned with a gentle solution made specifically
for jewelry use. Borsheims also offers small ultrasonic cleaners,
which use high frequency sound waves to clean your jewelry. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, aquamarine jewelry should
be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all AQUAMARINE products

Citrine

Once thought to be a gift from the sun, sunny citrine offers warm
golden hues in a variety of shapes and sizes. From the French
word "citron" meaning lemon, citrine is considered the color of
logic and intellect and is thought to provide courage and
self-discipline. Citrine is a member of the common quartz family,
and a sister gem to amethyst. In fact, most citrine is actually
heat-treated amethyst! Citrine is very abundant and affordable
and is commonly used as an alternative
for the November birthstone.

Color is of utmost importance when selecting a citrine. Perfect
for daily wear, this earth tone gem ranges from light yellow to
vibrant orange. Although most is heat-treated amethyst or smoky
quartz, the treatment requires no special care and is considered
permanent. Citrine's warm hues lend itself to jewelry fashioned in
yellow gold, although it is not uncommon to find it set in white gold
or platinum.

Clarity is the degree to which a gemstone is free of internal
inclusions and external blemishes. Clarity should be considered
when selecting an citrine, although, it is common to find
inclusion free citrine. citrine frequently have color banding
within the gemstone, which looks like yellow-orange and clear
stripes, and is treated as an inclusion. If the gemstone is darker
in tone, the color banding may be somewhat masked.

CARE

Citrine is easily cared for, requiring cleaning with gentle solution
made specifically for jewelry. Borsheims also offers small "ultrasonic"
cleaners that clean your jewelry with high frequency sound. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, citrine jewelry should be
stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all CITRINE products

Emerald

Cherished throughout the ages as the "Queen of Gems", the emerald
symbolizes rebirth, fertility and youth. Ancient lore suggested
emeralds contained healing and protective qualities, including
improved eyesight, the promotion of wisdom and ensured a life of love
and success. Emerald is a member of the beryl family and the
birthstone for May.

Color is the first thing to consider when purchasing an emerald. A
sister gem to Aquamarine, emerald ranges in color from
yellow-green to dark bluish-green. Emeralds with strong saturation
and a pleasant hue are typically the most valuable.

Clarity is the degree to which a gemstone is free of internal
inclusions and external blemishes. Clarity characteristics are a
natural part of most emeralds, which is why they are clarity graded
with some leniency. It is extremely rare to see an emerald
completely free from inclusions. The inclusions in emerald are often
referred to as "Jardin" meaning garden of inclusions.
A gemstone that requires a bit more TLC, emerald is susceptible to
breaking and chipping, so it is always safer worn around your neck
or on your ears.

Most emeralds are fracture-filled with oil from the time they are
mined, to hide some of their fractures and enhance their color. This
is such a common practice, that it is rare to find an emerald that
hasn't been oiled.

CARE

Emeralds require special care when it comes to cleaning, so it is
best to use mild soapy water. Emeralds cannot be put in an
ultrasonic cleaner or a steam cleaner. All gems will scratch and
abrade if they are not taken care of properly. It is important to have
your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times
a year. When not worn, emerald jewelry should be stored in a
jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all EMERALD products

Garnet

Believed to protect travelers, promote long-lasting love and cure
depression and hearing difficulties, garnet remains a popular
gemstone. Derived from the Latin word granum, meaning grainy, it
was believed that garnets resembled the seeds of pomegranate.
The garnet is most commonly known for its deep red color, but is
actually found in a spectrum of colors. This diverse family of
gems is available in seven different varieties and colors,
excluding blue. Garnet is the birthstone for January.

Color is the first thing to consider when selecting a garnet.
Generally, a garnet with higher color saturation will be more
valuable. The following is a list of the different species names and
colors:

Rhodolite: Reddish-purple or Purplish-red
Pyrope: Red
Almandite: Reddish-purple or Purplish-red
Spessartite: Yellowish-orange or Reddish-orange
Malaia: Pinkish-orange, Orange or Reddish-orange
Tsavorite: Green or Yellowish-green
Hessonite: Orange, Reddish-orange or Yellowish-orange
Demantoid: Green or Yellowish-green

Clarity is the degree to which a gemstone is free of internal
inclusions and external blemishes. Clarity should be considered
when selecting a garnet, however, it is not uncommon to see a
garnet completely free of inclusions. It is important to be sure your
garnet does not have so many inclusions that it is no longer
transparent.

CARE

Garnet is one of the few gems not treated to improve color or clarity
Garnet is easily cared for, requiring cleaning with gentle solution
made specifically for jewelry. Borsheims also offers small "ultrasonic"
cleaners that clean your jewelry with high frequency sound. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, citrine jewelry should be
stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all GARNET products

Opal

The symbol of hope, innocence and purity, the opal creates a truly
one-of-a-kind phenomena with its palette of colors. Opal's qualities
are very different from crystalline gemstones. Opal is the birthstone for
October.

When purchasing an opal, it important to know that the value
depends primarily on the quality of the phenomenon, which is
play-of-color, and the body color. The play-of-color is a patch of
spectral colors, which is caused by the structure of the opal. The
colors "dance around" within the opal, when the opal is moved. Not
all opals maintain the same color of play-of-color or play-of-color
pattern and some are more rare than others.

Opals are available in the following colors:

Black: Any dark background including: black, blue, and gray.
White: White background.
Crystal: Colorless and transparent to semitransparent.
Jelly: Colorless and transparent with little or no play-of-color.
Fire: Orange, yellow, red or brown background with or without
play-of-color.

CARE

Softer and more fragile than other gemstones, opal requires special
care when worn. Opals have high water content and tend to dry out
causing them to craze. Avoid storing your opals in airtight areas,
such as a safety deposit box. The dry climate tends to accelerate
the drying of an opal. Additionally, heat and sudden temperature
changes may also cause opals to crack, so they should not be put
into an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Should your opal become
soiled, you should clean it with a soft cloth. It is important to have
your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times
a year. When not worn, opal jewelry should be stored in a jewelry
box lined with soft fabric.

see all OPAL products

Peridot

Referred to as the evening emerald, peridot is thought to protect
against evil spirits and foster emotional balance. Popular in
religious décor and noted throughout the Bible, this August
birthstone is also found in Hawaiian legend as the tears of "Pele",
the island's volcano goddess. Peridot is the birthstone for August.

Peridot ranges in color from yellowish-green to brownish-green and
is one of the few gemstones available in only one color. Typically,
gems with a pleasant hue and strong saturation will be more
valuable. Although it is a reasonably priced gem that is perfect for
daily wear, peridot is easily abraded and should be worn with care.

Clarity is the degree to which a gem is free of internal inclusions
and external blemishes. It is not uncommon to find a peridot free of
inclusions. Therefore, when assessing your peridot, make sure it
does not contain so many inclusions it is no longer transparent.

Treatments

Peridot is a gemstone that is typically not treated to improve color
or clarity.

CARE

Peridot is easily cleaned with a gentle solution made specifically for
jewelry use. Borsheims also offers small ultrasonic cleaners, which
use high frequency sound waves to clean your jewelry. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, peridot jewelry should be
stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all PERIDOT products

Ruby

Celebrated for centuries as the "Lord of Gems", ruby is a symbol of
love, fire, passion and royalty. The ancients believed rubies were
capable of curing illness, reconciling lover's quarrels and used to
keep warriors safe from swords and spears.
Ruby is the birthstone for July.

Ruby is from the family corundum and is a sister gem to sapphire.
Unlike sapphire, ruby is only available in red. Rubies are found in all
ranges of red. The most highly prized rubies are vivid red with
strong saturation. Most rubies have undergone heat treatment or
diffusion treatment at the time they were mined.

Clarity is the degree to which a gem is free of internal inclusions
and external blemishes and should be considered when selecting a
ruby. It is rare to find a ruby completely free of inclusions, however,
you do not want to see so many that the ruby is no longer
transparent. Some rubies have under gone glass filling or fracture
filling to enhance their clarity however you will not find those here
at Borsheims

CARE

Ruby is a durable gemstone that can easily handle daily wear.
Although there are no special precautions to take with this
gemstone, keep in mind that all gems will scratch and abrade if
they are not taken care of properly. Clean with a gentle solution
made specifically for jewelry. Borsheims also offers small
"ultrasonic" cleaners that clean your jewelry with high frequency
sound. It is important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned
and checked three to four times a year. When not worn, ruby jewelry
should be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all RUBY products

SAPPHIRE

According to ancient lore, the sapphire gave the sky its blue color.
Sapphire is a symbol for truth, sincerity and consistency, and can
protect its wearer from poisons and evil spirits. Sapphire is from
the corundum family and is a sister gem to ruby. Corundum is
available in every color of the spectrum, all colors being sapphire
except for red, which is ruby.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September.

Color is of utmost importance when selecting a sapphire. Sapphire
is available in a variety of spectral colors including blue, pink,
orange, yellow, green, purple and white. Most sapphires are heat
treated or irradiated to enhance their color and the time they are
mined. Sapphires with strong saturation, in any color, are
considered the most desirable. One of the most highly treasured
sapphires is called Padparadscha and exhibits a slightly pinkish
orange color.

Clarity should be considered when selecting a sapphire. It is not
uncommon to find a sapphire free of inclusions. Sapphires often
have color banding, which looks like blue and white stripes and is
treated as an inclusion. Darker sapphires may mask any color
banding.

CARE

Sapphire is a durable gemstone perfect for daily wear. Although
there are no special precautions that need to be taken with this
gemstone, they still need to be handled with care. All gems will
scratch and abrade if they are not taken care of properly.
Clean with a gentle solution made specifically for jewelry.
Borsheims also offers small "ultrasonic" cleaners that clean your
jewelry with high frequency sound. It is important to have your
jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times a
year. When not worn, sapphire jewelry should be stored in a jewelry
box lined with soft fabric.

see all SAPPHIRE products

TANZANITE

Discovered only about 40 years ago, tanzanite is named for the
country of its origin - Tanzania. It has been found nowhere else on
earth. Growing quickly in its popularity,
Tanzanite is also a birthstone for December.

Tanzanite can range in color from bluish-purple, to blush-violet, to
violet-blue, to blue. It features a unique, strong characteristic,
called pleochroism, which allows tanzanite to show two different
colors at the same time. Tanzanite can also change color when
viewed under different light sources. The blues are more evident
under fluorescent lights, and the violets are more evident under
incandescent lights.

Tanzanite is most often inclusion free, therefore it is not rare to see
a tanzanite completely free of inclusions. Tanzanite will scratch and
abrade more readily than many other gemstones. It is recommended
that you take extra precaution if wearing this gemstone in a ring.

Treatments

When tanzanite is mined from the ground, they are generally
bluish-violet with a strong brown overtone. After cutting, tanzanite
is routinely heated to achieve its rich violet-blue color. This
treatment is fully accepted in the trade, is permanent, and no fading
will occur. No special care is needed to keep tanzanite this rich color.

Care

Tanzanite will easily clean with gentle solution made specifically for
jewelry or warm soapy water. Have your jewelry professionally
cleaned and checked three to four times a year. When not worn,
tanzanite jewelry should be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft
fabric. Never clean your tanzanite with an ultrasonic cleaner.

see all TANZANITE jewelry

Topaz

Believed to promote calmness and faithfulness as well as protect
against enchantment, topaz remains a popular gemstone.
Available in a variety of colors, the most common are blue topaz
and yellow topaz. A symbol of love, yellow topaz is the birthstone
for November, and blue topaz is a beautiful alternative to the
December birthstone, blue zircon.

Topaz is a gemstone available in an array of colors, including blue,
red, pink, golden yellow to orange, green and colorless. The most
valuable Topaz is called "Imperial," after the Russian Czars of the
1800's, and features a magnificent orange body color, with pinkish
red undertones.

Topaz is not a tough gemstone, which means it can break, chip, or
form straight cracks when dropped or knocked. You should take
special care when wearing your topaz jewelry.

Treatments

Clear topaz is irradiated to brown, and then heat-treated to produce
a variety of shades of blue. This treatment is permanent and
provides plentiful selection that is reasonably priced.

Topaz is easily cared for, requiring cleaning with gentle solution
made specifically for jewelry or with warm soapy water. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, topaz jewelry should be
stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all TOPAZ jewelry

Tourmaline

Said to aid in the misfortune and protect travelers against falls,
tourmaline is also know for its interesting property called
piezo-electricity. This enables the tourmaline to become electrically
charged by applying pressure. Its name comes from the Sinhalese
word turmali, meaning many colors.
Pink tourmaline is the birthstone for October.

Tourmaline comes in every color of the rainbow. The most rare and
valuable color is Paraiba, which is intense (almost neon) green,
blue or violet. The following names are different varieties of
tourmaline, with their colors listed:

Paraiba: Intense Green, Blue or Violet
Chrome: Green (top color green, colored by chromium)
Rubellite: Pinkish-red
Indicolite: Various shades of Blue
Schorl: Black and opaque
Bi-Colored: Any two colors combined
Watermelon: Pink in the middle, surrounded by green on
the outer edges

Treatments

Dark blue, blue-green and green tourmalines are routinely heated to
lighten their color. Rubellite and pink tourmaline are routinely
heated and/or irradiated to improve their colors. Both heat
treatment and irradiation are considered permanent, however,
strong heat or prolonged exposure to light may fade some irradiated
tourmalines.

Care

Tourmaline are easily cared for, requiring cleaning with gentle
solution made specifically for jewelry or with warm soapy water. It is
important to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked
three to four times a year. When not worn, tourmaline jewelry should
be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric.

see all TOURMALINE products