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Gems & Gemology

Agra Diamond

Agra Diamond

Like many historical diamonds, the Agra’s saga is a familiar combination of fact and legend, leaving the reader with the challenging task of choosing what is indeed its true story. Regardless, the Agra diamond’s travel through time is an interesting mixture that...

Akbar Shah Diamond

Akbar Shah Diamond

Unfortunately, the history of famous diamonds is not without its list of casualties. In this category are those magnificent stones that somehow could not escape the fate of enduring such calamities as an uneducated owner, an untalented or unscrupulous gem cutter, an...

Alabaster

Alabaster

Alabaster is a name used for gypsum and calcite but has also been used to indicate selenite. These minerals are easily worked due to their low hardness and have been used to craft all sort of things from since antiquity. Think of sculptures, household items and, of...

Almandine

Almandine

Almandine Garnet Ring. These deep purplish-red garnets were often featured in Victorian Jewelry. When they are cut en cabochon they are referred to as "carbuncles." For more information read our article on garnets. [table id=61 responsive=collapse...

Anniversary Gifts

This anniversary gift list is a recent compilation that is recognized by the American Gem Trade Association, Jewelers of America, The American Gem Society, The Gemological Institute of America, the Jewelry Industry Council and the Cultured Pearl Association. [table...

Archduke Joseph Diamond

Archduke Joseph Diamond

This stone enjoys the distinction of being the twelfth largest “perfect” diamond in the world. Named for a military man of royal blood, this diamond followed a long history of courting danger, yet, like its longest-tenured owner, was lucky enough to survive two world...

Arcots

Arcots

ARCOTS – A Pair of Diamonds They began their existence as nature had made them; two beautiful pear-shaped diamonds. Their brilliance was of such magnitude that they would be owned by the royal families of three countries. Ownership would take them from Arcot, located...

Banjarmasin Diamond

One could rightfully call this stone the Rodney Dangerfield of diamonds. Almost from the moment of its discovery, this diamond has gotten positively no respect from the jewelry world. Even after it was cut in an attempt to make it more marketable the newly sized...

Beau Sancy

Beau Sancy

This diamond's name is taken from its first recorded French owner, Nicolas Harlay de Sancy, a fancier of fine gems who just happened to be King Henri IV’s exceptionally talented Minister of Finance. With de Sancy’s name already attached to another larger diamond in...

Birthstones

The tradition of birthstones, or birthday stones, is a Polish 18th-century popularization of accumulated superstition and tradition which were passed along by our ancestors. The exact origin of this tradition is uncertain, but many...

Biwa Pearl

Biwa Pearl

Biwa pearls are a cultured pearl produced in a freshwater mussel native to Lake Biwa, Japan. Considered to be a non-nucleated pearl, they are produced by introducing 10 to 20 bits of mantle tissue from another mussel into incisions in the host mantle. The...

Brilliant Cut

Brilliant Cut Diamonds as We Know Them When we think of a diamond, most of us will form an image in our mind which closely resembles the image above. This cutting design has become the ultimate standard and almost all of the rough diamonds that are found these days...

Briolette Cut

Briolette Cut Edwardian Garland Motif Pendant Suspending a Briolette Cut Diamond. Briolettes are drop shaped, multi faceted stones. They are unique in the sense that they lack a girdle, a feature all other gemstone cuts have and by which they are usually set....

Brunswick Blue

Brunswick Blue

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, this is a tale of two diamonds. Purportedly cut from the same stone that produced the Hope Diamond, this diamond’s path through history turned out quite differently from its alleged famous sibling. Shrouded in mystery, this diamond’s...

Carnelian

Carnelian

Carnelian Intaglio Ring. Carnelian (or cornelian) is the translucent red variety of chalcedony which in its turn is a form of cryptocrystalline quartz. It's been known and used since antiquity when it was sourced from the surfaces of the Egyptian and...

Cleveland Diamond

Cleveland Diamond

If ever fate has lent a hand in determining the course of a diamond's story, it is this one. Just a few seemingly random events combined to influence its path through history, including a beginning that would have been much different, had its original owners not...

Cullinan Diamond

Cullinan Diamond

It was the late afternoon of January 25, 1905. Employees at the Premier Diamond Mine in the British African colony of Transvaal were finishing up for the day when their routine was shattered by an animated worker hurriedly approaching the mine superintendent,...

Cushion Cut

Cushion cut is a sexy and romantic name for a squarish ("cushionesque") antique brilliant-cut diamond, sometimes referred to as an old mine cut. Cushion cuts precede an older brilliant cut, known as a European cut, and represent a step in the evolution...

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond

Darya-ye-Noor Diamond. Darya-ye-Noor, translating “river of light” or “sea of light”, is the product of an undocumented – but what some might call happy- accident. The Darya-ye-Noor is believed to be a major portion of the fabled Great Table Diamond discovered in the...

Andradite

Demantoid

Antique Demantoid and Diamond Earrings. At the end of the reign of Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia, and the beginning of the reign of Tsar Alexander II - after whom the mineral alexandrite was named - a new garnet variety was discovered in the Ural...

Diamond

Diamond

Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring. Diamond is a gemstone composed of chemically pure carbon, with a cubic crystal structure and manifesting extreme hardness resulting from the incredibly strong chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Diamonds are valued for their brilliance,...

Dichroism

The property of many doubly refractive colored gemstones of transmitting two different colors in two different vibration planes due to differences of selection absorption in those planes. The unequal absorption of the two vibration planes in the double refracted beam...