Turquoise is December's BirthstoneWritten by Sam Serio
If you're still young enough to remember your birthday, you probably also remember special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet you don't really know SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power ancients felt would be bestowed about you by wearing it. December Birthstone: Turquoise Birthstone Properties: Alternative Birthstone: Lapis Lazuli Turquoise is birthstone for December and traditional gift to commemorate 5th and 11th years of marriage. It's color is, of course, is referred to as turquoise, but hue can range widely from familiar green-blue to a light sky-blue. It is generally accepted that turquoise gets its name from "pierre turquoise" a French phrase meaning "Turkish stone." Others believe that name comes from Persian word "fiouze," meaning color turquoise. Ancient and yet always at height of current fashion, turquoise was mined by early Egyptians as early as 6000 BC. Many people are surprised to learn that finest turquoise comes from Iran, not American Southwest. However beautiful specimens are also found in Arizona and New Mexico in United States, as well as in Australia, Afghanistan and other localities in Middle East. Sacred Stone For thousands of years, turquoise has been appreciated as a holy stone, talisman, and a good-luck-charm. The excavation of Egyptian tombs from approximately 3,000 B.C. holds oldest living proof of man's interest in turquoise, where gemstone was found decorating artifacts that were buried with dead. When tomb of Queen Zer was unearthed in 1900, a turquoise and gold bracelet was found on her wrist, one of oldest pieces of jewelry ever discovered!
The Truth About Gold JewelryWritten by Sam Serio
Without a doubt, Gold is one of worldís most precious metals. It is also a certainty that gold enjoys an unsurpassed popularity as a medium for jewelry expression. Both jewelry artisans and consumers alike are "in love" with gold. There seems to be no end to range of colors, finishes and styles available and gold remains a perennial favorite setting for gemstones. Gold can last forever, will not corrode or rust and can be found anywhere. Gold exists in plants, rivers, oceans, mountains, itís nearly everywhere but it is extremely difficult and costly to extract this amazing metal. Did you know that a single ounce of gold can be pulled into a thin wire that stretches nearly five miles long? An artisans hammer can work that same ounce into a very thin sheet that can cover a 10ft x 10ft(100sq. ft.) area. Also, it takes nearly 3 tons of gold or to extract a single ounce of pure gold. Well if you didnít now you know! Gold Basics The word Gold, used by itself, means all gold or 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, itís usually mixed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, karat quality should accompany any claim that item is gold. The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with other metals. Fourteen karat (14K) jewelry contains 14 parts of gold, mixed in throughout with 10 parts of base metal. The higher karat rating, higher proportion of gold in piece of jewelry. Most jewelry is marked with its karat quality, although marking is not required by law. Near karat quality mark, you should see name of U.S. registered trademark of company that will stand behind mark. The trademark may be in form of a name, symbol or initials. If you donít see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on a piece of jewelry, look for another piece.