Diamonds Ara A Girls Best Friend, but how to choose and buy a diamond

 

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Yes, we get it, diamonds are a girl’s best friend – we’ve all heard this before and so have jewellers around the world drummed this into our collective consciousness ad nauseum. These beautiful little rocks never fail to make our hearts skip a little, whether as a brilliant-cut gem perched high on an engagement ring, as a square princess cut, or cut in a luscious pear shape and set alongside different coloures stones. The world’s best jewellers never seem to run out of ideas and designs. And we just love them all. Buying them, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether, which can range from mildly stressful to downright nerve-wrecking.

When you are planning on purchasing a diamond it is important that you know as much as possible about how diamonds are classified. There are four topics you need to become familiar with: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight.

When you’re buying diamond jewellery, it certainly helps to have good knowledge not just of the product but also the industry that deals in it. This is because whether you end up with the best stone for your budget or an overpriced dud depends nearly entirely on how wisely you choose. Exhibiting at the recent Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair 2018, local bespoke jeweller Infiniti Jewels shares 10 diamond-buying hacks and tips that you won’t get from just any jewellery merchant. Want to be a savvy jewellery investor? Keep reading.

Rene-Boivin-Emerald-Diamond-Ring-in-Platinum-126757-85557René Boivin Brilliant-Cut Diamond and Emerald Ring in Platinum

 

The famous four C’s

Cut

When we speak of cut we are more interested in the proportions of the diamond as opposed to its shape (Round Brilliant, Marquise, Pear, Princess, etc.) Every diamond regardless of its shape gets it brilliancy and scintillation by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to allow the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top. A correctly cut, ‘well made’, stone is pictured in diagram 1. As you can see if the angles are correct the light that enters is dispersed properly back through the diamond’s top facets. When a stone is cut too shallow (diagram2) or too deep (diagram3) the light that enters through the top is allowed to escape through the diamond’s bottom and does not allow the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized.

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The number of facets has very little impact on the ultimate value of a stone

It’s a sales gimmick to market a stone as having a lot of facets but while more cuts simply make a stone sparkle more, it’s just maybe three to four per cent more. Today, with the increased understanding of light dynamics and diamond cutting, many companies have developed new, modified round brilliant cut diamonds.

If designed correctly, these extra facets of the modified round brilliant could benefit the overall beauty of a diamond, such as in 91 facet diamonds. But having additional facets doesn’t automatically mean better sparkle because if the facets are not cut in the right proportion, ultimately it sparkles less.

Tiffany & Co Jean Schlumberger Diamond RingTiffany & Co Jean Schlumberger Sixteen Stone Briljant Diamond, VS1 clarity, G color, Total weight Approx 1.14ct,  Yellow Gold and Platinum Band Ring

 

Color

Diamonds come naturally in every color of the rainbow. However most people are concerned with diamonds in the white range. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) rates the body color in white diamonds from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).

The best color for a diamond is no color at all. A totally colorless diamond allows light to pass through it easily, resulting in the light being dispersed as the color of the rainbow. Colors are graded totally colorless to light yellow. The differences from one grade to the other are very subtle and it takes a trained eye and years of experience to color grade a diamond.

If you’re not buying to invest, G coloured stones are the worthiest buys

D, E, F coloured stones are the best, followed by G, H, I, J. But people in the trade do often group G stones in the colourless category because they’re practically colourless and there’s minimal difference between D, E stones and F, G stones.

If you’re buying to invest, go for D, E, F coloured stones

But if you’re getting a stone as an investment, then it makes sense to get the very best that you can, which means D, E, F colour

If the cut grade is poor or just good, even D colour flawless diamonds will not sparkle well

This affects the ultimate sparkle of a diamond. Experts will be able to tell if a stone has been cut well in the way that highlights its best qualities.

 

Cartier-1895-Solitaire-Platinum-Ring

Cartier Oval-Cut Diamond 2ct up to 3.99ct 1895 Solitaire Platinum Ring

 

Clarity

The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount and location of flaws, or blemishes, in the diamond when viewed under 10 power (10x) magnification. GIA rates clarity grades in diamonds from Flawless to Imperfect 3 (see chart below). The Diamond Shopping Network offers you diamonds from the Imperfect 1 grade through Flawless.

Most diamonds contain very tiny birthmarks known as ‘inclusions’. An inclusion can interfere with the light passing through the diamond. The fewer the inclusions, the more beautiful the diamond will be.

diamond-clarity

Diamonds have the capability of producing more brilliance than any other gemstone. A diamond that is free of inclusions and surface blemishes is very rare… and therefore very valuable.

It’s a misconception that the more inclusions, the worse the clarity

Clarity is how deep or obvious the inclusion is. There could be just one but really deep, and the stone becomes an SI quality diamond. Compared to a VS2 diamond that could have had several light dots on the surface, the SI stone may not offer poorer clarity even though it’s graded lower. But very often you can’t see these with the naked eye, so it may not matter so much. However, if you’re buying as an investment, it makes sense to aim for as close to D flawless as possible.

Boucheron 3.91 Carat Brilliant-Cut Diamond Platinum Engagement RingBoucheron 3.91ct Briljant-Cur Diamond Ring in Platinum

 

Carat-Weight

This is the weight of a diamond measured in carats. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and therefore its price.

One carat is divided into 100 ‘points’, so that a diamond of 75 points weights .75 carats. The carat-weight of a diamond is the easiest measurement to determine. Most importantly, two diamonds can be of equal carat-weight, but their value can differ greatly due to their cut, color, and clarity.

Carat refers to the weight, not the size

A stone can look larger because it has been cut better but weigh slightly less. It’s not always the bigger the weight the bigger the stone.

Value depends on the best balance of the 4Cs

You can’t just go for carat or colour, or clarity or cut. A 3 carat stone suggests high value but it could be a very low colour and just average quality. It will be far less valuable than a 2 carat D flawless diamond. You have to assess all the variables together and get a balance of what the stone offers.

You’ll get the most bang for your buck by knowing what variables affect you the most.

If you want the best of the 4Cs, prices can and will skyrocket. To work within your budget, you need to decide which of the four Cs matter most to you. For instance, clarity may be less critical because no one can tell with the naked eye if a stone is VVS1 or VS1. On the other hand, carat may be more important in some cases because just by looking, you will be able to estimate the size of the stone.

Prices jump significantly from category to category

There is one pricing bracket for stones under 1 carat, and that makes a big jump when you go into the 1 to 1.5 carat category. Then when you go into the 1.5 to 2 carat category, expect another big jump, and so on. Thus, for maximum savings, what you can consider are stones that come in just under. For instance, instead of a 2-carat stone, go for 1.9 carats.

Certification is important

The most prestigious certification body is GIA. You’ll know that a diamond has been GIA certified when you examine it under the eye-glass and you see its GIA number which has been lasered onto the surface. No two stones have the same GIA number.

Don’t rush into your diamond purchase. Take your time and evaluate your choice carefully. It took billions (yes, billions) of years for nature to form your diamond and the skill of a master diamond cutter to bring your diamond to you. The time you spend now can bring you a lifetime of pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness.

Come into the beautiful worlds of Boucheron, Bvlgari, Cartier, Tabbah, Tiffany & Co.

 

 

 

 

June Birthstones: Alexandrite, Moonstone and Pearl

Alexandrite,

A relatively modern gem, Alexandrite, was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities.  Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and fluorescent light; it changes color to a purplish red in incandescent light.

Alexandrite Diamond White Gold RingWhite gold diamond and 1.20 ct Alexandrire emerald cut ring

 

Due to its rarity, some jewelers stock synthetic versions of this enchanting gemstone.  (Synthetic gemstones are man-made alternatives to the natural material, possessing the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone.)

Moonstone,

The third birthstone for June is the Moonstone.  It was given its name by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s appearance altered with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.  A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multirayed star or a cat’s eye. Considered a sacred stone in India, moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color) and are believed to encapsulate within the stone a spirit whose purpose is to bring good fortune.  Part of the family of minerals called feldspar, moonstone occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne.

 

PLATINUM MOONSTONE DIAMOND EARRINGS Mauboussin

Mauboussin pair of platinum earrings with eight cabochon moonstones weighing approximately 23.75 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 8.45 carats (Click photo to enlarge).

The most prized moonstones are from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar are also sources.

 

Pearl,

Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries.  They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age. Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty.

Coco Chanel & Serge Lifar, 1937

Coco Chanel’s favorite: Pearls

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Yvette Labrousse

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan and her famous pearl necklace

cartier Pearl Ruby Nacklace Elizabeth Taylor

Cartier, La Peregrina Necklace, 1972
La Peregrina a natural late 16th century pearl weighting 202.24 grains or 50.56 cts, 56 natural pearls, 4 cultured pearls, diamonds, rubies. Detachable pendant may also be worn as a brooch

Designed by Elizabeth Taylor with Al Durante of Cartier.

In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.

Elizabeth Taylor and Bvlgari

 

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Don’t miss the unique exhibition ‘A Passion for Jewels’ in Zurich from 7 to 23 April 2016. The Bvlgari store in Zurich (Bahnhofstrasse 25) showcases a selection of Bvlgari masterpieces that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, now part of the Maison’s Heritage Collection. The impeccable craftsmanship and magnificent stones of the creations on display will tell a compelling story made of  love, glamour and beauty.

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection was renowned as one of the greatest ever assembled. In 2011, Christie’s held a sale of Taylor’s private collection, which set records as the most valuable sale of jewellery in auction history. From this sale, Bvlgari re-acquired seven pieces that best represented Taylor’s predilection for the brand and her unerring collector’s eye.

Indeed, the bold and  sumptuous style of Bvlgari perfectly  matched her decided tastes and since 1962, when the actress settled in Rome to film Cleopatra, the affinity became a lifelong, intense relationship with the brand.

The only Italian word Elizabeth knows is Bvlgari.

Richard Burten

This predilection was encouraged by Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with Richard Burton, started on the film set and sealed with magnificent Bvlgari jewels: legend has it that after filming their first scene together they instantly fell in love, despite the fact that they were both married. Their love affair spread like wildfire throughout the international press and the Bvlgari Via Condotti store was one of the favourite hide-outs of the couple in Rome. A ‘secret door’ in the back of the shop, still visible today, allowed the couple to escape from paparazzi lining in front of the store. Recalling the memorable moments spent at the Condotti store, Taylor stated that

…..undeniably one of the biggest advantages of filming Cleopatra in Rome was Bvlgari’s shop. I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit and swap stories.

The exhibition includes Taylor’s first piece of Bulgari jewelry, an emerald and diamond En Tremblant brooch, the “Cleopatra Mirror,” the Taylor Burton fianceìe ring, a diamond brooch with a 23.44 octagonal step-cut diamond, an emerald and diamond necklace; a platinum sautoir with diamonds and sapphires; a Trombino ring that Taylor bought to compliment the platinum sautoir; and, lastly, one of Taylor’s most frequently worn pieces –  a diamond and gold sautoir set with six ancient Roman coins.

liz-taylor-emerald-engagement-ring-Bulgari

Richard Burton’s emerald engagement ring (above): the actress cherished this piece and when she decided to auction it to raise funds for the fight against AIDS, she wrote a letter to the new owners instructing them to “Wear it with love!”.

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The spectacular necklace (above) of emeralds and diamonds Burton presented her with on the occasion of their marriage in 1964. The very starting point of this platinum jewel was a brooch, featuring an 18.61 carat emerald surrounded by diamonds, one of the first gifts from Richard Burton and subsequently re-worked as pendant, and ‘completed’ as a necklece, that the actress loved so much that it was the only jewel she wore the day they married.

taylor-top-suite-Bvlgari-11The Bvlgari emerald suite bracelet (above) was a gift from Richard Burton for her 35th birthday on February 27, 1967,

AB 143Beside the fabulous stones, Taylor also admired the craftsmanship behind her jewels; a perfect example is her Tremblant brooch (above) with emeralds and diamonds, whose flowers quiver following the movements of the wearer’s body thanks to a spring attached to the petals.

AB 055The Trombino ring (above) on display featuring a cabochon sapphire, was purchased by Taylor herself as an ideal complement to the sautoir.

Immagini 195Another magnificent Bvlgari creation, the sautoir featuring an octagonal pendant with a 65 carat sapphire (above), was chosen by Richard Burton in 1972 to mark Elizabeth Taylor’s fortieth birthday, as the intense blue of the stone reminded him of the colour of her eyes.

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At this moment the Bvlgari Serpenti Tubogas watches are realy High-Fashion. This precious Bvlgari Serpenti gold, diamonds and emerald tubogas watch-bracelet dates 1962!

AB 200

Another piece she chose and wore frequently is the necklace of 1975 with ancient coins, one of the most celebrated Bulgari motifs ever.

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April Birthstone: Diamond

10 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

12 cartier diamond are a girls best friend

History of the Diamond as the april birthstone

No wonder they are Cartier’s, Boucheron’s, Bvlgari’s,Chaumet’s, Van Cleef & Arpels (and all those other great jewelers) favorite stones! Diamonds are a thing of beauty and the ultimate gift for a loved one. Thought to be one of the hardest substances on the globe, diamonds date back billions of years. The diamond is the traditional birthst of April and holds significant meaning for those born in that month, thought to provide the wearer with better relationships and an increase in inner strength. Wearing diamonds is purported to bring other benefits such as balance, clarity and abundance.  It’s also symbolic of eternal love, and those fortunate to call April the month of their birth will enjoy the following history behind this rare gem.

Boucheron 3.91 Carat Brilliant-Cut Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

Boucheron 3.91 carat briljant-cut diamond platinum engagement ring

Diamond gemstones

Adopted from the Greek work ‘adamas’, meaning invincible, diamonds come in a wide range of colors such as black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow. The color is dependent upon the type of impurities that are present in the stone. Yellow stones have minuscule traces of nitrogen while blue ones contain boron.

Tiffany & Co Jean Schlumberger Diamond Ring

Tiffany & Co Jean Schlumberger white and yellow gold briljant-cut diamond ring

 The orgin of birthstones

It’s uncertain how the specific months became connected with the various stones. However, some speculate that their origins date back to biblical times when the breastplate belonging to a priest was decorated with 12 assorted colored gems. As time wore on, the 12 gems became associated with the zodiac and the months connected to it.

This started the tradition of wearing a colored stone each month as a sort of good luck charm. Initially people wore all twelve stones, rotating according to the month of the year to derive the greatest benefit of each stone. Believing that the various gems held magical powers for the individual born within a given month, people started to wear the stone associated with their birth month for the entire year. In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers designed a list dedicating different gems to various months. What was once thought to be controversial based on its commercialism is now widely accepted as the official birthstone list.

Cartier Trinity Ring White Gold Diamonds Briljant Yakymour

Cartier white gold diamonds briljant ‘Trinity’ ring (Click photo to enlarge).

The history and beliefs surrounding the diamond

As told through the Encarta, Sanskrit texts dating back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals. There is also significant research that dates back to the 1330s showing diamond cutting in Venice. The diamond trading business flourished towards the 15th century with the opening of Eastern trade routes. Ancient theories touting the magical powers of diamonds were prevalent: some thought lightning bolts formed diamonds, while other theories asserted that diamonds were the tears of god.

The Healing Powers of Diamonds

During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to hold healing powers and to cure ailments stemming from the pituitary gland and brain. By heating the crystal and taking it to bed, it was thought to draw out the harmful toxins that were crippling the body. It was believed that diamonds could also have an effect on an individual’s balance and clarity and could boost their energy when combined with other crystals like amethyst.

The diamond as the April gemstone has garnered the hearts of many and is the most coveted crystal to date. Deemed as the King of all birthstones, diamonds make the ideal choice for an April birthday gift. She’ll love you for it! Find a trusted diamond jeweler neer you…

The Meaning of Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings

 

 

Boucheron 3.91 Carat Brilliant-Cut Diamond Platinum Engagement Ring

Boucheron classic 3.91 carat briljant cut diamond platinum engagement ring

While diamond engagement rings remain as popular as ever, some people prefer colored gemstone engagement rings as a vibrant alternative. Each precious gemstone has its own meaning, with their symbolism often being a factor in selection. Here are some of the meanings behind colored gemstone engagement rings.

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A true classic, for men and women: Tiffany & Co Jean Schlumberger 16 Stone Diamond Platinum Gold Band Ring

Ruby engagement rings are said to symbolize love, passion and courage – perfect for a colorful engagement ring that represents your relationship. For those born in July, ruby rings are particularly poignant. If your loved one’s birthstone is the ruby, it is worth considering whether a ruby center stone or side-stones would be a gorgeous choice for their engagement ring.

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Tiffany & Co 18kt yellow gold, ruby and diamond engagement ring

Blue sapphire engagement rings  represent loyalty and devotion. As such, sapphires are a stunning and particularly meaningful choice for bridal jewelry. September’s birthstone is formed in a wide range of colors, from the popular blue to more unusual pink, yellow and purple. At 9 on the Mohs scale, diamonds are at 10, they are the third hardest mineral and are therefore durable. This means they can be worn daily, as long as they are cared for over time.

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18kt White gold, blur sapphire and diamond halo ring

Representing truth and trust, pink sapphire engagement rings are a distinctive alternative to blue sapphires. These romantic gemstones are most stunning when set in rose gold, as the coppery hue of this metal accentuates the warm tones in the center stone.

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18kt Rose gold, pink sapphire and diamond halo ring

The green gemstone peridot is associated with rebirth, renewal, prosperity and compassion. This makes is a stunning , yet rare, choice for gemstone engagement rings, symbolizing the next chapter in the wearer’s life. Women with August birthdays might enjoy receiving a peridot engagement rings, in particular.

Peridot Diamond Gold Engagement Ring

Peridot diamond gold engagement ring

Blue topaz engagement rings have traditionally been believed to encourage clear, calm communication, personal growth and the desire to learn. Since communication is key in any marriage, it’s clear to see why topaz might be a wise choice for your engagement ring. November’s birthstone is naturally formed in a wide variety of colors and intensities, so it’s likely you’ll find the perfect gemstone ring for you.

topaz-engagement-ring

14kt White gold, blue topaz and diamond engagement ring

From fiery orange to mysterious green, garnet gemstones are naturally found in a variety of vibrant hues and tones. A garnet engagement ring is said to ensure good health, prosperity and enduring happiness. Red garnets are often compared to rubies, representing passion and love with their depth of color. Orange garnets (called Spessartite) is said to channel the energy of the sun, suitable for creative dreamers. Green garnet is believed to instill confidence in the wearer. As January’s birthstone, garnet engagement rings are particularly sought after those born in the first month of the year.

garnet-engagement-ring

18kt Rose gold, cushion cut spessartite garnet and diamond halo ring

Purple amethyst engagement rings are said to promote happiness, contentment and peace. If you and your partner value a calm relationship, free from tension and disagreement, an amethyst ring might be a style to consider. Amethyst is the birthstone for February, and thus would be extra meaningful for those born in the month.

Amethyst vintage-milgrain-52ctw-diamond-engagement-ring-in-14k-yellow-gold

Vintage milgrain 14kt yellow gold, amethyst and diamond engagement ring

Do you love colored gemstone engagement rings? Which gem’s meaning is most significant to you?…..

by Jean Amr

 

Cartier Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré Pendant Watch

cartier_Tourbillon_Mystérieux_Azuré_pendant_watch_main

Drawing a delicate line between fine watchmaking and high jewelry, Cartier unveils Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré pendant watch at the world’s most luxurious watch exhibition, SIHH Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. The unique object, inspired by the Art Deco style and made of 18K white gold, diamonds, sapphires and onyx can be categorized as a pendant as well as a watch. Paying tribute to the French jewelry house’s rich heritage, it can also be flaunted as a Cartier medallion.

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The pendant, designed by an expert hand, takes the form of a butterfly with its outstretched lines and rhythmical curves. The wings are comprised of sapphires, with rows of diamonds making up the body. The heart of the transparent dial is fitted with a mysterious double tourbillon caliber 9463 MC, suspended in the void.

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The chain of geometrical motifs set with diamonds is adorned with a perfectly detachable 25.93 carat oval perfect blue sapphire, an extraordinary jewel from Sri Lanka.

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The fully decorated watch movement is visible on the rear face via a sapphire back. Water-resistant up to 100 feet, the Tourbillon Mystérieux Azuré pendant watch is a unique piece.

 

Birthstones by Month

precious red green yellow orange multi colored stone Garnet

Traditionally, a birthstone is associated with each month of the year. For example, the birthstone for January is a garnet, while lucky babies born in April get a diamond as their birthstone. The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Verdura Pebble Amethyst Bracelet 18k Yellow Gold Purple

Verdura 18kt Yellow Gold ‘Pebble’ Amethyst Bracelet

It’s uncertain how the specific months became connected with the various stones. However, some speculate that their origins date back to biblical times when the breastplate belonging to a priest was decorated with 12 assorted colored gems. As time wore on, the 12 gems became associated with the zodiac and the months connected to it.

This started the tradition of wearing a colored stone each month as a sort of good luck charm. Initially people wore all twelve stones, rotating according to the month of the year to derive the greatest benefit of each stone. Believing that the various gems held magical powers for the individual born within a given month, people started to wear the stone associated with their birth month for the entire year. In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers designed a list dedicating different gems to various months. What was once thought to be controversial based on its commercialism is now widely accepted as the official birthstone list.

 

 

14 Karat White Gold, Turquoise, Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond Necklace-Brooch

A vintage 14kt white gold, turquoise, emerald, blue sapphire and diamond necklace, the clasp of which can be worn as a brooch.

The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then, the tanzanite was added to December. There are numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightened its healing powers.

For the full effect, individuals needed to own all twelve and alternate them monthly.

More on birthstones and their fabulous jewels here at Yakymour at the first of every forth comming month….

by Jean Amr