Amber Mysteries Revealed

Written by Sam Serio

Amber,repparttar gem of a stone that's not really a gemstone at all, is actually fossilized pine sap. People have collected, traded, carved, and coveted amber for more than 10,000 years. Yet despite our fascination with it, much aboutrepparttar 147643 smoky yellow stone --repparttar 147644 history of amber -- remains a mystery. The price for amber stones varies widely, inrepparttar 147645 right price range for Average Joe's (and Joannas) who can spend as little as $20 for amber and silver jewelry, and also for high-rollers ready to spend $40,000 or more for a "slice of sunshine" in amber jewelry crafted in gold, platinum, and featuring other gemstones. And although it not an official "birthstone -- a designation reserved for actual gemstones -- amber is often presented to those born underrepparttar 147646 sign of Taurus (April 19-May 19). History of Amber Amber is found in Myanmar home torepparttar 147647 largest piece of transparent amber inrepparttar 147648 world (33.5 pounds and 40-50 million years old), as well as Lebanon, Sicily, Mexico, Romania, Germany, and Canad. The two main sources of amber onrepparttar 147649 market today, however, arerepparttar 147650 Dominican Republic andrepparttar 147651 Baltic states. Once highly regulated, Baltic amber has become more widely available due to more liberal economic policies in Eastern Europe. Today,repparttar 147652 whole world enjoys amber minded fromrepparttar 147653 Baltic region, whererepparttar 147654 largest mine is in Russia, west of Kaliningrad. Baltic amber may also be found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia. Baltic amber has even washed up onrepparttar 147655 shores ofrepparttar 147656 Baltic Sea in Denmark, Norway, and England. Baltic amber isrepparttar 147657 oldest geological specimen to be used in jewelry. Archeologists digging nearrepparttar 147658 Baltic Sea have found evidence of Baltic amber jewelry that is approximately 40,000 years old.

Amethyst is February's Birthstone

Written by Sam Serio

If you're still young enough to remember your birthday, you probably also rememberrepparttar special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet you don't really knowrepparttar 147642 SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what powerrepparttar 147643 ancients felt would be bestowed about you by wearing it. February's birthstone: Amethyst Birthstone powers: Brings peace and calm to your life Alternative Birthstone: Bloodstone Amethyst isrepparttar 147644 birthstone forrepparttar 147645 month of February andrepparttar 147646 traditional anniversary gemstone forrepparttar 147647 sixth of marriage. Once considered more valuable than diamonds, this member ofrepparttar 147648 quartz member occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. The stones are mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Zambia, Australia and inrepparttar 147649 mountains of Russia American amethysts are mined in Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Montana and Colorado. Amethyst from Maine is usually dark with North Carolina amethyst having a bluish tint unique to that area. Amethyst can lighten if exposed to strong sunlight for a long time. When heated to 550-560 Centigrade,repparttar 147650 color changes to dark yellow or reddish brown. (They are then called citrines. These are more richly colored and more expensive then natural citrines) Ideally deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes, amethysts generally range in hue from pale lilac to nearly black purple. Since purple has always beenrepparttar 147651 color of royalty, amethysts abound inrepparttar 147652 ornaments of inrepparttar 147653 British Crown Jewels and inrepparttar 147654 adornments ofrepparttar 147655 ancient Greeks and Egyptians, as well. They have been found in ruins dating as far back asrepparttar 147656 ninth century, adorning royal jewelry, scepters, and crowns.

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