Gemstones

Gemstones

Amethyst

About

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.
Characteristics

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 & Care

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.


Aquamarine

About

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.
Characteristics

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, whichenhances their more preferred blue color. This is a permanent treatment. Aquamarine will lighten more and more when it is left inthe 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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Citrine

About

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.
Characteristics

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 darkerin tone, the color banding may be somewhat masked.

Treatments & Care

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.


Emerald

About

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.
Characteristics

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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Garnet

About

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.
Characteristics

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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Opal

About

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.
Characteristics

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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Peridot

About

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.
Characteristics

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 & Care

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.


Ruby

About

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.
Characteristics

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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Sapphire

About

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.
Characteristics

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.

Treatments & Care

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.


Tanzanite

About

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.
Characteristics

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 & Care

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.


Topaz

About

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.
Characteristics

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 & Care

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.


Tourmaline

About

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.
Characteristics

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 & Care

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.