Monday, November 7, 2011

Aquamarine History and Facts

Although Brazil is the largest producer of aquamarines today, Madagascar is the place where they were first found. The word "aquamarine" comes from the Latin words "aqua," meaning water, and "mare," meaning sea. The Greeks were the first documented people to use it, and it is now known as the sailors' lucky stone because ancient sailors used to use it as protection from rough seas. Ancient beliefs hold that the strength of an aquamarine is most powerful after being placed in water, and bathed in sunlight.

The color of an aquamarine gem can range from light blue to a greenish-blue, teal color. Generally, the more intensely blue colored stones are considered to be the most valuable. These brilliantly blue-colored aquamarines are referred to as Santa Maria aquamarines. Most of these rare gems come from Brazil, although some also come from Africa. Aquamarine stones usually occur naturally with less inclusions than other gemstones.

Here are a couple more aquamarine facts:

- Aquamarine is supposed to fortify mutual love and help sustain a happy marriage.

- The American National Association of Jewelers proclaimed Aquamarine as the birthstone for the month of March.

- Aquamarine is the birthstone for the Scorpio and Pisces zodiac signs.

- Aquamarine stimulates feelings of sympathy, trust, friendship, harmony, and a positive outlook on life.

- Insomnia and short-sightedness are two ailments thought to be cured by aquamarine.

- Aquamarine is a 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

- Aquamarine is usually pretty easy to work with in terms of cutting it, so it is a favorite of jewelry designers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How the Concept of Birthstones Originated?

Gemstones have traditionally been associated with magical properties and there is a mention of these in Indian and Babylonian civilizations. Gemstones have traditionally been used in different cultures as birthstones (one assigned for each month), for warding off evil influence of planets and for their healing properties.

In the first century, Josephus, a Jewish general and historian, asserted that the twelve stones in the Aaron's (elder brother of Moses and the first high priest of the Israelites) breastplate represented twelve months of the years and the twelve Zodiac signs.

Birthstone is a precious gemstone that represents each month of the Gregorian calendar and there are poems that mention the benefits of twelve different gemstones: one for each month. For example, garnet birthstone for those born in January, amethyst birthstone for February born and so on and so forth. One poem that is repeated thrice in the twelve poems goes like this;

By her who in March was born
No gem save Bloodstone shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.

Birthstones, as a custom gained popularity in the fifteenth century in Poland where tradition suggested that everyone wear the birthstone for each month. That meant owning a set of twelve birthstones, one for each month since the powers of the gemstone increased during the month it was associated with.

Besides these traditional birthstones, there are also:

Modern birthstones: a list of standard birthstones that was officially adopted by the American association of jewelers in 1912.

Mystical birthstones: Gems of Tibetan origin mentioned in lists dating back centuries.

Ayurvedic birthstones: Gemstones listed as part of ancient Indian medicine and Vedic astrology.

Throughout its history, mankind has tried to associate magical properties with non-living objects and used them lucky charms and talismans. These have been viewed as ephemeral means of controlling the world and changing destiny.

The study of Vedic astrological gemstones, however, is considered to be a science, at least in the country of its origin. The theory goes like this. Just as the body and mind derive energy from the food that grows on the outer layer of the earth's crust, the minerals in the layer beneath it nourish the vegetables and grains grown on the upper layer. Similarly, the molten rock in the earth's crust (magma) is concentrated with harmonizing ions. The intense pressure and heat is instrumental in passing on this energy to the crystals that form when the magma cools down in cracks in the earth's crust. Gemstones are these crystals that are later dug out from mines around the world.

Vedic astrological birthstones are not whimsical arrangement of gemstones and months or the Zodiac signs to serve as lucky objects. It is a practice of prescribing birthstones after considering the planetary conditions under which a person is born and those prevailing at the time of prescription. It is also based on the principle that whatever is outside is within you and whatever is within is also outside your body. This means that the water, air, fire, earth and cosmic energy that are outside are also within you. Even the strongest cynic will agree that:

The body comprises of 75% of water.
The fire is the body temperature that must be maintained.
Air is needed every moment of life.
And earth is needed to survive as it provides foods and nutrients.

Vedic astrological gemstones are prescribed according to the physics of nature and the chemistry of earth. Gemstones work on the mind and body just as Vitamin D is provided by the sun's rays or the way music soothes tense nerves. Just as a knife, a dangerous weapon, turns into a life saving tool in the hands of a surgeon, gemstones prescribed according to the Vedic principles have a soothing affect on your mind and body.

So next time you want to wear a birthstone, analyse which faith you believe in more and select your birthstone accordingly. For a list of gemstones or detailed study of various gemstones click on the link provided.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amethyst - The Gemstone of Love and Drunkenness?

Amethyst is best known as a purple gemstone, but it's actually a purple variety of quartz. This type of quartz can occur in shades of light lilac, lavender, mauve, and deep purple. On the Mohs scale, which tests the hardness of minerals, amethyst has a Mohs scale of 7, which means it not as scratch resistant as topaz, and even less so than diamond. The two largest sources of amethysts are Brazil and Zambia.

The amethyst is the February birthstone as designated by the American Association of Jewelers in 1912. It's also the birthstone for the Zodiac sign Pisces. Traditionally, the amethyst is the suggested gemstone gift for the 4th, 6th, and 17th wedding anniversary.

Amethyst gets its name from the Greek word amethysts, or "sober." Many interesting stories and legends surround the gemstone amethyst. According to myth, amethyst was first created when the god of wine, Bacchus, became displeased with mortals. In his rage, he vowed that the next mortal he saw would be devoured by tigers. A young woman named Amethyst was doomed to be the victim, but the goddess Diana saved her by turning her into a quartz statue. Learning of this, Bacchus changed his mind, and poured wine over poor Amethyst, staining her purple.

With the telling of this story also came the folklore that drinking from an amethyst cupe would keep someone from getting drunk, and even wearing an amethyst would keep someone from being poisoned. In folklore, the amethyst is said to have healing properties, such as warding off headaches, insomnia, and various pains. Amethyst is rumored to help its wearer be gentle, friendly, and promote peace, love, courage, and happiness. In keeping with its name, it also supposedly combats drunkenness.

Facts About Pearls Gemstone

For centuries, pearls have been worn by people who could afford them. These fascinating gems are universally appealing and they are appropriate with any type or style of clothing. They come in many sizes and price ranges.

Pearls are found inside a living creature, an oyster. They are formed when an irritant (such as pieces of debris, sand etc) enters the oyster. In order to protect itself, the oyster or mollusk secretes nacre (made of calcium carbonate) to coat the irritant, thus creating this wonderful gemstone. Oyster is not the only type of mollusk that can produce pearl, mussels and clams can also produce these valuable stones. Most pearls are produced by oysters in both saltwater and freshwater environments.

Man has found a way to create these June birthstones by inserting an irritant (nuclei) into these sea creature, stimulating the growth of pearls. All pearls made from this method are known as cultured pearls. The shape and size of the nuclei inserted will determine the shape and size of the pearl. Before they can be harvested, the oysters are left alone for several years to grow. The longer these oysters are left alone, the deeper the nacre, thus forming better luster pearls.

Virtually all pearls found today are cultured pearls whether they are grown in saltwater or freshwater. Pearls formed in saltwater oysters are more valuable and expensive than those formed in freshwater oysters. The world's finest Akoya saltwater pearls are produced by the Japanese for decades. Tahiti and Australia also produce saltwater pearls, prized for their great color, size and luster. Producing pearls with various freshwater shellfish was experimented by the Chinese several years ago, and now they are the largest producer of freshwater pearls in the world.

Once harvested, pearls are sorted and graded. The natural colors of freshwater pearls are shades of pink, white and peach. The Chinese also used other effective technique to enhance other colors. Examples of enhanced colors are blue, purple, peacock, green, gold and so on. The many variety of sizes, colors, texture and shapes make them fun to work with. While natural and cultured pearls are considered to be of equal quality, natural pearls are generally more expensive because they are rare. The luster of a genuine pearl remains stable while an imitation deteriorates over time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sagittarius Traits and Characteristics

Sagittarius, the 9th sign of the zodiac, is a fire sign. It has an expansive, and spiritual nature. The nomad, the sage, the philosopher of the zodiac; Sagittarius seeks to find the meaning behind things. It strives to understand the higher laws in their lower manifestation, and the lower laws in their higher manifestation. Athletic, and with a love of the expanse of the great outdoors, it is communicative, far reaching and loves to learn, travel and share knowledge.

Sagittarius rules the hips and thighs, but also the sight, as it is known as the 'seer' of the zodiac. It dares to hope, to have faith and sees the bigger picture or greater meaning of things. Conversely it is over-optimistic and leaps upon an idea, biting off more than it can chew, and then has to deal with the devil-in-the-detail, which it tends to overlook.

The sign is ruled by the giant planet Jupiter, the principle of growing through experience and adventure. Sagittarians are very good at sailing close to the wind, perhaps taking a gamble, and trying out various paths or ideologies, all the while gathering experience which leads to wisdom in later years. It eventually graduates from the eternal student to the sage-mentor side of its nature.

People with Sagittarian characters are optimistic and good at uplifting or motivating others. This archer needs a target to aim at, without this they can feel lost and powerless, but they must learn not to rely on others to set the targets for them. Any career where they can deliver a higher meaning or expanded view is suitable for this sign. Teaching, humour, breaking boundaries in sport or barriers in art or religion, law or language fits well with the vibration of Sagittarius.

This sign, though, does have a clownish side to its nature and is connected with travelling shows like circuses and fairs where they can show their athletic skill. The teacher and idealist within wants to transmit whole concepts through analogies or symbols to be re-assembled by others in their own unique way, according to their own perspectives.

Birth stones: Topaz, Sapphire, Turquoise
Colours: Purple, Turquoise
Gods: Nepthys, Ganeshe
Animals: Horse, Unicorn
Weapons: The Arrow
Element: Fire
Zodiac Quality: Mutable
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Exaltation: South Node
Fall: North Node

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good Luck Semi Precious Stones

Semi precious stones are known for their color, variety and priceless look. Every semi precious stone has distinctive property, color, brilliance and other physical and chemical properties. Also every kind of gemstone is associated with one or other kind of physical and mental healing that will help you to create the harmony in life and personality. Here are the most important gemstones and their affect on you.


Agate stone has very natural streaks and gorgeous colors. Self expression, strength, good fortune and creativity are associated with it. It also balances the yin and yang energy as considered good from the feng shui point of view. This stone belongs to zodiac Gemini and Virgo and known for its healing properties as well. It also do the cleaning of pancreas, lymphatic system, clean your skin and make the blood vessels strong.


Jasper stone is available in all sorts of colors, ranging from red, pink, green, yellow, grey, white, blue and many more. Also it has many patterns and often the patterns give name to the jasper stone like landscape jasper, picture jasper, camel jasper etc. Jasper is the semi precious stone for Virgos and people born in the month of October. All the chakras are supposed to be aligned by this stone. It also treats the insomnia and brings joy.

Tiger Eye

Tiger eye semi precious stone is known to bring the confidence, courage and protection and also called crocidolite cat's-eye or African cat's-eye. Clarity of self comes by wearing tiger eye stone. Moreover Tiger eye stone gives courage when we need it the most. Roman soldiers used to wear it during battle for protection.


Beryl stone stimulates the mind and helps to increase the confidence and cleaning. Eye disease, swollen glands, bowel cancer and hiccups are cured by wearing beryl stone. Beryl is the birthstone of Scorpio.


Green malachite stone is known for its healing properties. Malachite has the marble effect with bands of light and dark green color. It is used to create harmony in life and pull in money. All negative and painful emotions are released by wearing this stone. Malachite is considered as talisman for children and also warns the wearer regarding impending danger. This is an anniversary stone that is given on 13th marriage anniversary. Zodiac sign Scorpio, Pisces and Capricorn and people born in the month of July wear this stone.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Anatomy of Astrology

Astrology is primarily seen by many as a gimmick which is used for purposes that are either for monetary gain or for entertainment. However there are numerous studies which suggest that your astrological zodiac signs can tell many things about a person and whilst some personality traits may appear to be too generic or not specific enough, if one studies their star sign in detail, they can often come to a better understanding of what it is that makes them act or respond to things the way they do. Recent studies suggest that over a quarter of the population of America and the United Kingdom believes that the planetary and astral positions determine our lives and with the popularity increasing and more thorough research, this number is set to rise.

Evidence suggests that astrology dates back to over 25,000 years and whilst it has developed over the years the ideology of it remains the same. In Ancient times it was used for monitoring the sun and the changes in the seasons, now it is used more associated with a person's characteristics and birth date.

Many legendary names in physics, literature, politics and physiology are known to have studied and used astrological influences in their work. A highly publicized event was when in 1981 Nancy Reagan commissioned legendary astrologer Joan Quigley to act for the White House after the attempted assassination on the then president Ronald Reagan. However after 7 years serving the White House Quigley stepped down after the former chief of staff published details of his work at the White House in his Memoirs.

Zodiac signs are made of twelve elements and each are said to make up twelve personalities and in the western world astrology is measured using the line of the equator and is simply divided into 12 points however in the Indian astrological charts the signs are associated with the earths constellations.

Western signs are made up of and placed in a specific order and each can also be divided into four separate basic elements, water, fire, earth and air. All the zodiac signs are represented by their own unique symbol. Whilst some believe that signs should be placed in order of the calendar and should therefore start with the sign Capricorn, in actual fact the first sign in the charts begins with Aries and follows with Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

Newspapers and magazines commonly publish astrology columns which include possible up and coming events dictated by the movement of the sun and the signs and whilst this is the most popular way in which people can obtain this information, this can be somewhat generic. A more accurate approach is to have a reading and chart completed by someone who has studied astrology and can give more specific information which often relates not only to the birth date but also to the time for which a person was born.