Jewelry guides and blog

What is zircon stone

Yves Lemay | Jul 17, 20

The beautiful, historically significant gemstone, zircon, has, unfortunately, in recent years, become tarnished by its name-only similarity to cheap, synthetic cubic zirconia. Of course, the two are totally distinct in their chemistry, optical properties, and origins. 

Yves Lemay | Jul 15, 20
Is turquoise green or blue

Chemically, turquoise is a hydrated copper/aluminum phosphate, of aggregate, cryptocrystalline structure. There is only one known deposit in Virginia, where turquoise is found in transparent to translucent visible crystals. Specimens from that locality are rare and bring a hefty price from collectors. 

Yves Lemay | Jul 13, 20
Where tourmaline is found

Tourmalines are gems with an incomparable variety of colors. According to an old Egyptian legend, the tourmaline, on its long journey up from the center of the Earth, passed over a rainbow. In doing so, it assumed all the colors of the rainbow. And that is why it is still referred to as the 'gemstone of the rainbow' today.

Yves Lemay | Jul 10, 20
Where topaz is found

The term "precious" topaz was originally used to distinguish yellow and orangish topaz from other gems such as some citrines and smoky quartzes, which had erroneously been referred to in the past as "Maderia topaz' and "smoky topaz." Topaz of any type is an excellent jewelry stone, and it is historically one of the most valuable gemstones.  


Yves Lemay | Jul 09, 20
What does tanzanite look like

Few gems have attained the popularity of tanzanite in such a short period. The gem was only discovered in the 1960s, and soon the demand raised the prices to a very respectable level. The government of Tanzania promoted this gem with an expertise that would make DeBeers proud. Tanzanite is a beautiful gem, but with moderate hardness and perfect cleavage, it is less than ideal for wearing in jewelry. 

Yves Lemay | Jul 06, 20
What is spinel gemstone

Spinel is the great impostor of gemstone history: many famous rubies in crown jewels around the world are actually spinels. The most famous is the Black Prince's ruby, a magnificent 170-carat red spinel that now adorns the Imperial State Crown of England in the British Crown Jewels after a long history: Henry V even wore it on his battle helmet! 

Yves Lemay | Jul 03, 20
Peridot rock

Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series, which is part of the olivine group. It is one of the few "idiochromatic" gems, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green.