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September’s Birthstone is Sapphire

Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum and it symbolizes sincerity, truth, faithfulness, and nobility. It has a long history with nobility and clergy, who wore sapphires because they also symbolized heaven. Some Sapphires are quite famous, such as the Rockefeller Sapphire, a 62.02ct rectangular step-cut stone from Myanmar, which is now set in a platinum ring with two…

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PEARLS: Lost Treasures to be Restored

PEARLS: Lost Treasures to be Restored

Pearls are enchanting and precious. They have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s safe to say that most households have a string, or two, handed down from a family member. Because they originate from seashells, pearls are often tokens brought back from beach vacations. They encapsulate beauty, grace, and tradition. Women of all ages embrace pearl jewellery. They…

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The History of the Diamond Engagement Ring

The History of the Diamond Engagement Ring

The engagement ring is a tradition dating back to ancient Egyptians who believed circles were symbols of eternity. Wedding rings were worn on the left-hand ring finger because it was believed that a vein runs directly to the heart, the “Vena amoris”. In 1477, the Archduke Maximillian of Austria is believed to have commissioned the very first diamond engagement ring…

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Coloured Beaches of the World

Coloured Beaches of the World

While thinking of the birthstone for the month of March, Aquamarine, it led me to dream of warm tropical water and white sandy beaches… But why “white” sandy beaches? What about purple? Or maybe orange or even red! There are a variety of coloured beaches around the world that are worth visiting. Here are a few worth mentioning and “googling”…

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Amethyst, the Magical Stone

Amethyst, the Magical Stone

In the fifteenth century, the traditional virtue of the Amethyst stone was the cure of drunkenness: it had a sobering effect. The word “amethyst” derives from the Greek “amethystos”, meaning “a remedy against drunkenness”. This stone is known to support sobriety. It was also believed to protect soldiers from harm and help hunters capture wild animals. In our day and…

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Birthstones

Birthstones

It is the beginning of a new year and we will all have a birthday to look forward to. This brings me to talk about birthstones and the lore and history about them. Birthstones, also known as “natal stones”, can be traced back to the Bible. Aaron, the High Priest of the Hebrews, wore a breastplate containing twelve precious gemstones…

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Jewellery Forensics

Jewellery Forensics

I recently attended the GIA Jewellery Forensics seminar. As a gemmologist, it is important to participate in continuous education in order to keep up to speed with new technologies, such as being able to identify a lab-grown diamond versus a natural one. As a jewellery appraiser, I need to understand how a piece of jewellery is made in order to…

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Canada, What a Gem Part II

Canada, What a Gem Part II

As one of the largest mining countries in the world, Canada has more than 60 minerals and metal produced and processed. Our beautiful country is recognized worldwide as having the safest practices in the industry. Mont St-Hilaire, located in the province of Québec, has over 300 different species of minerals but because it is privately owned, digging for these specimens…

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Canada, What A Gem!

Canada, What A Gem!

The land we live on, the country we call Canada, took four (4) billion years to form. All this massive amount of rock formation, climate change, tectonic activity, volcanoes and continent movement contributed to the formation of gold, copper, zinc and iron, as well as a variety of gemstones such as Diamond, Labradorite, Amazonite, Jade, Ammolite and many more. Ammolite…

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