1803 Missouri Blvd. Suite A
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Capital Crossing Shopping Center
HOURS              
                             Tuesday-Friday: 9:30-6:00
(573)634-4241                                  Saturday: 9:30-2:00  
Sunday-Monday: Closed
 
(Click image above to view more gems)
(Click image above to view more gem)
The Blue Diamond
1803 Missouri Blvd # A
In Capital Crossing Plaza, next to Schnucks
Jefferson City, MO City, MO 65109
(573) 634-4241
We will be CLOSED Tuesday July 4th to celebrate the 4th of July. We will Return on July 5th to our normal business hours
Listed below are some interesting facts we found about birthstones.  The healing powers of gems remain a controversial issue, but are mentioned for centuries by healers, shamans, and medicine men.
 
January - Garnet
History and Folklore

Garnet's name could be from the Latin word granatus meaning grain. This is possibly referring to the punica granatum (pomegranate) with red seeds similar to garnet crystals. Another thought is that the name came from the middle English word gernet meaning dark red. Its history in jewelry can be traced from the Egyptians to ancient Greek and Roman empires. It is also said that Noah developed a garnet lantern and placed it on the front of his ship to guide him during his voyage. Many believe garnets will help one heal and help with the bloodstream. It is also said to cure fever and promote good health. 

Facts and Information

Garnet is actually the name for a group of minerals with common crystal structure but slightly different chemical compositions. Garnet is the birthstone for January. The garnet family is broken down into several groups. 

The main groups are:

Pyrope- dark reddish orange to dark red and purple-red
Almandite- red to orangeish red, purplish red to reddish purple, usually darker color
Spessartite- reddish orange to yellow orange
Rhodolite- Light purplish to darker purplish red
Grossularite- yellowish green
Tsavorite- light to darker green
Hessonite- yellowish orange to brownish orange
 
Cleaning Methods

Warm, soapy water is safe
Usually safe in ultrasonic
Never use in steamer

Major Sources

Africa 
Sri Lanka
India


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 7.5-8 (Depending on the type)









Febuary -  Amethyst

History and Folklore

 

The name is said to have come from the Greek word amethustos, meaning "not drunken." Amethyst, according to Greek mythology, was the rock crystal of the dyed tears of Dionysus, the god of wine and mischief. The Roman god Bacchus is equated to the Greek god Dionysus. Amethysts have always been held in high esteem in the church and they are mentioned several times in the Bible. In olden times, many bishops from the Christian church wore amethyst rings. Amethyst has also been long associated with royalty. They have been in jewels worn by Egyptian royalty, Catherine the Great and in British Crown Jewels. Throughout history, amwthyst has had many attributes, and all of them good. Interestingly, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci, believed amethyst could actually make evil thoughts disappear and would increase one's intelligence. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed amethyst would prevent its wearer from becoming intoxicated. They also made drinking vessels out of this purple genstone to help keep them "sober" when using them.

 

 

Facts and Information

 

Amethyst is the birthstone for February and is considered the finest variety of quartz because of its rich purple color. Amethyst can range in color from pale lilac to rich deep purples. This pale lilac color is sometimes referred to as "Rose De France.'' Amethyst in the market today has usually been heated to enhance the color. This is a permanent treatment. Amethyst is available in small to very large sizes, so the price per carat depends mainly on color.

 

 

Cleaning Methods

 

Safe in warm, soapy water

Usually safe in ultrasonic

Risky to use in steamer

 

 

Major Sources

 

Brazil

Uruguay

Zambia



Gemstone Characteristics


Hardness: 7

Species: Quartz

 

March- Aqua Marine

History and Folklore

Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family and its name in Latin means water of the sea. It was once referred to as "the sailor's stone." Sailors began to take aquamarine on sea journeys and tossed them into the sea as gifts to Poseidon for safe voyages. Legend also has it that Poseidon gave aquamarines to mermaids as gifts. Aquamarine is also considered to be a healing stone and the Greeks believed aquamarine helped sustain youthful love. For this reason, it is considered to have wonderful effects on married couples, making it a fantastic anniversary gift. 
 

Facts and Information

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. The gemstones are typically heated to improve color and also to change blue/green to pure blue color. This is a permanent color change. The rich deep blue color is the most valuable.


Cleaning Methods

Warm, soapy water is safe 
Usually safe in steamer unless included or has feathers
Usually safe in the ultrasonic unless included or has feathers 


Major Sources

Brazil 
Madagascar
Zambia
Nigeria


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 7.5-8
Species: Beryl















April - Diamond
History and Folklore

Diamonds were thought to be fragments of stars and tears shed by the gods, according to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Plato believed that diamonds housed celestial spirits and were living, breathing stones. Diamonds were worn as jewelry in ancient Rome as they were thought to have magical properties that could ease all troubles. They formed an essential part of the breast plate of all important people.


Facts and Information

Diamonds were first formed billions of years ago some 100 miles beneath the earth's surface through a process of tremendous pressure and temperatures of 2000 - 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. Volcanic activity brings diamond crystals much closer to the earth's surface. To produce a single one-carat diamond, 250 tons of earth will be mined. Gem-quality diamonds are made up from less than 20 percent of the diamonds mined worldwide. The first written notation of precious diamonds dates back to around 500 B.C. In their purest state, diamonds are brilliant and entirely colorless. Diamonds are found in a variety of colors. Blue and pink diamonds are among the rarest, and yellow and brown as among the most common. The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the earth. The diamond is rock hard and virtually fireproof. In order for a diamond to burn, it must be heated to one-thousand, two-hundred, and ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit. In one-thousand polished diamonds, only one will weigh more than one carat. Although the U.S. accounts for less than one percent of total global gemstone productions, America buys more than half of the world's total gem quality diamonds - accounting for the world's largest diamond market.



Cleaning Methods


Safe in ultrasonic
Safe in steamer








































May - Emerald
History and Folklore

The name was derived from the Greek word smaragdos meaning "green stone". Rulers and royalty have been utilizing emeralds alluring green hues for over 4.000 years. At the time Alexander the Great, Greek miners were working the mines. Later, the emeralds from these mines were giver to Cleopatra who collected them. These mines were given the name "Cleopatra's Mines" and were actually found on the Red Sea coast in the early 1800s. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers found the South American emeralds in the possession of the Inca and Aztec Indians. The soft green color was thought to have healing powers to eyes by talisman. They were also thought to bring wisdom, promote healing and to bring good fortune,


Facts and Information

Emerald is the birthstone for May. The Muzo and Chivor mines of Colombia produce some of the world's finest emeralds, although very fine emeralds come from other areas around the world. Most emeralds are treated with oils or epoxy resins to improve their transparency and appearance. Even though this is a common and accepted treatment, it should always be disclosed. Emerald is classified as a Type 3 clarity stone which means eye-visible inclusions are considered common and expected.


Cleaning Methods

Warm, soapy water is usually safe, but avoid strong detergents or scrubbing on oiled stones
Never use a steamer
Never use in a ultrasonic


Major Sources

Brazil
Colombia
Zambia 
Pakistan


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 7.5-8
Species: Beryl


June - Alexandrite 
History and Folklore

Alexanderites were said to have been discovered by mineralogist Nils Gustoaf Nordenskiold (1792-1866) on the sixteenth birthday of Alexander II. He named the stone in honor of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia. While this is a very popular story of the discovery of alexandrites, it is very controversial.


Facts and Information

The material that displays a color change in the chrysoberyl species are called alexandrites. This color appears in daylight- green, bluish green, yellowish, brownish yellow, grayish and changes to red, purplish red, orange or brownish red in incandescent light. Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia have the "ideal" color change- green to red or purplish red. Because of their rarity and color change capability, these gems are very expensive, and large stones are very rare. 

Alexandrite, along with pearls, are considered the birthstones for June. Because these stones are so rare and valuable, cutters will cut the largest stone from the rough and many times they are non-standard sizes. 


Cleaning Methods

Usually safe in the steamer and ultrasonic
Safe in warm, soapy water


Major Sources

Brazil 
Sri Lanka 
India
Russia


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 7
Species: Quartz






July - Ruby
History and Folklore

Ruby has been the world's most valued gemstone for thousands of years. It gets its name from the Latin word ruber meaning "red color". The owner of a fine ruby was said to be assured of a fine life, peace with all men and his rank or land would never be taken from him. In the Judaeo-Christian view, the ruby is the most precious of the twelve stones God created when he created all creatures, and this "lord of gems" was placed on Aaron's neck by God's command. Ruby was said to preserve wealth and remove evil thoughts. Among the multitude of legends and strange beliefs of ancient times, it was thought that the wearer of a ruby was blessed with health, wealth, wisdom and outstanding success in "heart affairs". Furthermore, the wearer acquired the ability to live in peace with his enemies. In some places ruby was even thought to confer invulnerability.


Facts and Information

Rubies come in many shades of red. Sometimes people refer to the finest pure red color as "Burma ruby" or "pigeon's blood". Rubies over 3 ct very fine quality are very scarce. One of the finest faceted rubies sold at Sotheby's in 1988 for $3,630,000- this was a 15.97 ct stone. while some of the finest rubies have been discovered in Southeast Asia, other regions, such as Madagascar in Africa also yield some stunning rubies. 


Cleaning Methods

Usually safe in ultrasonic- never for oiled stones
Warm, soapy water is safe, but no strong detergents or scrubbing oiled stones
Usually safe in steamer, but never on oiled stones


Major Sources

Myanmar 
Thailand 
Sri Lanka 
Africa


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness:9
Species: Corundum




August- Peridot
History and Folklore

The name peridot is said to have come from either the French word peritot meaning "unclear" or the Arabic word faridat meaning "gem". Peridot was believed by the ancients to be a gift from Mother Nature. Archaeologists discovered ancient Egyptian jewelry from the 2nd millennium BC containing peridot. The Romans were also fond of peridot naming it the "emerald of everything" due to its vibrant green glow. Medieval churches in Europe have treasures and relics adorned with peridot. Peridot is thought to bring the wearer good luck, success and peace.


Facts and Information

 Peridot is the birthstone for August and is one of the few stones that only comes in one color. The color varies from olive, brownish green to yellow green. Peridots with a lot of iron are the deeper green colors. On the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation you will find Peridot Mesa, one of the largest producers of peridot in the world.


Cleaning Methods

Safe in warm, soapy water
Risky in the ultrasonic
Never use in the steamer


Major Sources

United States 
Myanmar
China


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 6.6-7
Species: Olivine group









September - Sapphire
History and Folklore

"Sapphire" comes from the Latin saphirus and the Greek sapheiros, meaning "blue". Sapphires have been prized as great gemstones since 800 BC. It was once believed, by the ancient Persians, that the earth rested on a giant sapphire and its reflection colored the sky. Historically, sapphires have also been worn as talismans for protection to ward off diseases, and to bring peace and happiness. For centuries sapphires have been given as a token of loyalty and to remind the wearer that they are loved. The British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires and the "Star of India" is a stunning example of a massive star sapphire.


Facts and Information

Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September. Historically, fine sapphires originated in the Kashmir district of India in the Himalayas. Now sources in Thailand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Maynmar, Madagascar, and Kenya are mining sapphires. The most valuable sapphires are even intense blue color. These are sometimes referred to as "cornflower blue". Also, "ceylon sapphire" is sometimes used to describe color rather than origin. These are generally lighter violet blue color. Very dark or very pale color sapphires are the least expensive. Sapphires are dark or very pale color sapphires are the least expensive. Sapphires are typically qualified by their description- yellow sapphire, purple sapphire,green sapphire. Some, however, have certain names; for example Padparadscha, pinkish -orange color (Sinhalese for "Lotus Flower").


Cleaning Methods

Safe in warm, soapy water
Usually safe in the ultrasonic 
Usually safe in the steamer


Major Sources

Thailand
Sri Lanka
Africa
Australia


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 9
Species: Corundum


October - Opal
History and Folklore

Originally it was believed that Romans established opals as a gemstone and its name came from opalus. Now, however, it is believed to come from the Sanskrit word upala meaning "valuable stone". Through most of history, opals have been regarded as precious stones and carried good luck. During the 18th and 19th centuries, opals acquired a bad reputation. In a novel by Sir Walter Scott (Anne of Geierstein - 1829) a Baroness dies after a drop of holy water falls on her opal and it becomes colorless. Even though it had a bad reputation, it still found its place in French Crown Jewels, Holy Roman Emperor's crown and much of Queen Victoria's jewelry. 


Facts and Information

Opal is one of the most intriguing gemstones because of its many unique plays of color. Opal is a form of silica that contains 6-10% water. The "play of color" comes from light reflecting from the very tiny silica spheres. Although over 90% of opals come from Australia, some do come from Brazil and Mexico. Recently, opals have also been found in Africa. There are several types of opal:

White Opal- An opal that has a base white color with a play of other colors.
Crystal Opal- Transparent to semi-transparent body with strong play of colors.
Black and Grey Opal- Opal that has black, dark blue, dark grey and dark green body with a play of color. Almost all black opals come from Australia, Lightning Ridge produces most of the finest gems.
Boulder Opal- Opal with dark base and color occurring in matrix rock. 
Jelly Opal- Transparent to semi-transparent opal with little play of color.
Fire Opal- Opal that is transparent to semi-transparent with red, yellow or orange to brown body color. This can be with or without play of color. Also referred to as Mexican Opal.

Besides the solid opals listed above, there are also opal doublets, a layer of opal glued to a backing- and also opal triplets, a cap with opal in the center and a backing all glued together.


Cleaning Methods

Never use in ultrasonic
Safe in warm, soapy water 
Never use in steamer


Major Sources

Australia
Brazil 
Mexico


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 5-6.5 

 

November - Topaz
History and Folklore

The name Topaz probably came from the island of Tapazos located in the Red Sea. However, one of the earliest known sources was that of Schneckenstein near Aderbach in Saxon Voigtland, Germany. Even though the topaz we know today was probably not mined on this island, the word topaz began to describe all light yellow stones found in ancient times. According to the Egyptians, they believed that topaz was given its glowing golden color by the sun god. Topaz is believed to possess a cooling and calming effect as well as the ability to dispel sadness. In Brazil, miners began to discover topaz with overtones of red and pink. These stones began to appear in the jewelry of the czars of Russia during the 18th and 19th century, earning its name Imperial Topaz. 


Facts and Information

Along with citrine, precious Topaz (yellow to gold) is considered a birthstone for November. Natural blue topaz is available but extremely rare. Topaz comes in many shades of blue as well as white, champagne, yellow, pink and golden colors. Most of the orange to golden color topaz come from the mining region Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Sometimes referred to as imperial topaz, are the topaz with overtones of red and pink. These are very rare and valuable. For many years, all yellow and golden brown stones were called topaz. Since the yellow quartz (citrine) was sometimes falsely called "citrine topaz" or "quartz topaz" the term precious topaz came about to clearly distinguish them.


Cleaning Methods

Safe in warm, soapy water
Never put in the ultrasonic 
Never put in steamer


Major Sources

Africa 
Brazil


Gemstone Characteristic

Hardness: 8
December - Zircon
History and Folklore

Zircon is said to have been derived from the word zargoon, the Arabic word meaning "vermilion" and in Persian meaning "gold colored". In the Middle Ages, zircon was popular due to its fortunate characteristics of bringing prosperity and promoting honor upon its owner. According to Hindu poets, the holy Kalpa Tree, was a "tree covered in gemstone fruits and leaves of zircon". 


Facts and Information

Blue zircon is the birthstone for December. Zircon is a brilliant gemstone and its fire can rival that of diamond. It is also an affordable gemstone that is gaining popularity. Zircon is commonly seen in rich blue color but is also available in gold, white, orange and green color. Unfortunately, many people confuse natural zircon with that of Cubic Zirconia (a man made diamond simulant) assuming they come from the same family. Zircon can display brilliant and incredible colors. Brown zircon is usually heated to create the beautiful blues, reds and some yellow colors. The brown is also heated to make the white zircon. The majority of zircon is mined from Sri Lanka, Burma, Vietnam and Thailand.


Cleaning Methods

Safe in warm, soapy water
Risky in steamer
Risky in ultrasonic


Major Sources
Cambodia
Thailand
Myanmar
Vietnam


Gemstone Characteristics

Hardness: 6-7.5