Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

Diamonds are forever and diamonds are a girl’s best friend. They are the closest of friends to fashion icon and ultimate jewelry collector, the late, Dame Elizabeth Taylor.  This morning Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away. Through out her 79 years of life, Dame

Courtesy of HauteLiving

 Taylor had become a collector of many things, movie roles, men, awards, but none quite as special to her as her extraordinary collection of jewels. As a woman who loved and collected many wonderful jewelry pieces, we want to take the time and remember Elizabeth Taylor through her jewelry collection.  Taylor once wrote, “I’m fortunate to have some very important pieces of jewelry.  I don’t believe I own any of these pieces.  I believe I am their custodian, here to enjoy them, to give them the best treatment in the world, to watch after their safety and to love them”.  

Taylor’s much admired collection started with many gifts from her significant others.  They would surprise her with various baubles each adding excitement and sentimental value to her ever growing and immense collection.  Of her various gifts, Taylor collected pearls, rubies, emeralds, and of course her greatest love, diamonds.  Taylor received three major gifts of jewelry from her then husband Richard Burton.  Burton loved gifting Taylor with immense selections of jewelry.  

Taylor Burton Diamond Courtesy of Life Magazine

Of those three extravagant gifts that Taylor received from Burton, was the Krupp Diamond.  Once owned by Vera Krupp, the Krupp diamond itself is an asscher cut diamond set into a ring which boasts a stunning 33.19 carats.  It is considered to be one of the most flawless diamonds in the world and rarely left the finger of Ms. Taylor.  Secondly, Elizabeth Taylor was gifted a La Peregrina Pearl.  This incredible pearl, which was set in a necklace, is 50 carats total and once belonged to Mary I of England.  This historical relevance was important to both Taylor and Burton, often making jewelry purchases based on the historical background of the piece.  Lastly, Taylor received what is now named the “Taylor-Burton Diamond” from Mr. Richard Burton.  This stunner is an amazing 69.42 carats total and cost 1.1 million dollars at the time of purchase.  The pear shaped bauble was originally set into a ring to grace Ms. Taylor’s finger, but after the weight of the one inch thick diamond was realized, it was later turned into a necklace to adorn Ms. Taylor.  When worn is pubic, Elizabeth was adorned with two other accessories, armed guards, for the safety and security of both the diamond and Ms. Taylor. 

Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s collection does not end there.  Her extensive collection includes a massive yellow heart shaped diamond necklace, called the Taj Mahal, also a gift from Burton.  Among her extensive collection, the most notable pieces in which Elizabeth Taylor collected an antique diamond tiara, 29 carat diamond engagement ring, and an antique belle époque diamond necklace.  Bringing about the historical presence to her famous gems, Taylor also collected many historically famous pieces of jewelry.  A sample of those includes the Duchess of Windsor’s diamond brooch, the Grand Duchess of Russia’s emeralds and the Prince of Wales Insignia, along with countless pearls, emeralds, rubies and diamonds. 

Ms. Taylor’s immense love affair with jewelry did not quite end there.  She lent her expertise and her love of all jewels to different jewelry lines, in order to spread the joy and excitement to all.  Her desire was to make everyone be the custodians of baubles if they 

Krupp Diamond Courtesy of Antique Jewelry Investor

so choose and would love to add to their own personal collections.  Elizabeth Taylor also wrote a book in 2002, called, My Love Affair with Jewelry.  She wished to expose everyone to her extensive collection and give a glimpse of precious pieces.  Ms. Taylor is quoted as saying, “I knew that I wanted to give others a glimpse of the thrills and pure happiness that these beautiful creations have given me”. 

Countless baubles, an immense amount of love, and care describe the overall collection of Dame Elizabeth Taylor.   Through her life many things entered and left and many changes occurred but one great love remained, her great love for jewelry and her desire to collect and care for them.   Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and most certainly were Elizabeth Taylor’s best friend.

All About Gems: Aquamarine

All About Gems: Aquamarine

March is a time of renewal, spring is in the air and the effects of winter start to wear off.   What better stone than that of Aquamarine to ring in this time of renewal!  This stone is the birthstone of March.  Its luscious blue hue would make a lovely adornment to any ring.   

The word Aquamarine, itself is a derivative from the 16th century Latin word meaning, sea water.  Mythical tales do not escape this sea like stone either—the origin of aquamarine has said to have been held captive in the deep ocean blue in the treasure chests of mermaids.  The blue and bluish green color of the infamous stone originates from is the miraculous and broad variety of the ocean’s color pallet.  Aquamarine has a color palette that ranges from light to medium blue hues to greenish blue colors.  Aquamarine is the perfect description of the colors that run with this beautiful gem, as it fully covers the full range of colors available.  The darker, more deep ocean like colors are said to be the more valuable shade of this gorgeous gem, but even the sky blue hues make any look priceless. 

Aquamarine has numerous legends and folklore that surrounds the precious stone.  Mainly though this stone is considered and believed to be the stone of happiness and everlasting youth.  This beautiful shade evokes good feelings and the feeling of warmth and love within an individual.  This stone has been said to promote harmony and everlasting relationships, perfect for marriages, as it brings about a happy union. 

While the legend of happiness has been sustained through out the ages it has also been said that aquamarine has the ability to induce sleep in its beholder.  This quality of aquamarine makes it the perfect stone for those who suffer from insomnia. Other popular tales of aquamarine say that if the stone itself is soaked in water it has the ability to reduce eye troubles and cases of the hiccups. 

You must be wondering by now, where in the world is the beautiful stone found, so I can add it to my collection.  Well, the answer is simple!  This stone is found in numerous parts of the world, with the most famous being the exotic country of Brazil.  Over time Brazil has produced some of the largest and rarest of aquamarine gems.   Other places around the globe include Mozambique, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, and India.  To care for these precious stones, simply use warm water and a mild soap to ensure the lasting beauty of your gem. 

With breathtaking color variations and versatility for everyday wear, aquamarine is the perfect gemstone for any and everyone.  It may bring happiness and joy to any relationship or friendship with the beautiful blue aquamarine ring, necklace or any staple piece of jewelry, or it could be a perfect way to bring about an everlasting union by adorning your wedding bands with this beautiful stone. 

All About Gems: Blue Topaz & Turquoise

Looking for a great birthday gift for those born in the glorious month of December?  Or want to give an exceptional gift this time of year that has unique qualities and just as many legendary tales behind it?  Intrigue your loved one this time of year with gifting them with the renowned stones of Blue Topaz or Turquoise!  With all of the historical connotations and illustrious history, its no wonder why there are not one, but two competing gems to be the birthstone of the month of December.  Each of these stones has a tremendous history which dates back to the earliest humans.  From the times of ancient Greece and Rome, to even further back to the times when jewelry first appeared in the world, traditions have encapsulated the gems, and what better gift to give someone you love?  With such histories, and tales from years past, it is no wonder why each of these precious stones is able to represent the month of December, respectfully. 

Blue Topaz is naturally the gemstone of Topaz.  When Topaz is heated to varying degrees, it can cause the color differentiation that is seen when Blue Topaz is formed, making it an exquisite color!  Blue Topaz has three very prominent and popular shades.  They are Sky Blue, Swiss Blue, and London Blue.  Each form of Blue has different light and dark qualities, making each very distinct and precious in its own way.  This is perfect for fans to obtain their own unique color.  Topaz can have a wide array of colors due to minor changes of the element.  These spectacular colors of Topaz can range from: Blue, Pale Green, Red, Yellow, Pink and even colorless Topaz.  Minor heating and cooling implemented to the stone can produce the exceptionally wide color variety of this fancy gem.  These fancy colors and incredible histories and tales from years past also make Topaz a great alternative for a unique wedding band, or even engagement ring style!

With such a large array of colors, virtually all of the spectrum, you can expect the same for the legend and tales that surround this beautiful blue colored stone.  In Ancient times, such whimsical tales surrounded Blue Topaz as it was believed that the possessor of the stone was guarded against all evil spells and in turn would have the ability to increase the strength and power of the individual.  Blue Topaz also gave the bearer the abilities to become invisible in the face of danger.  Thus, keeping the individual safe from harm that could befall them in battle or in everyday instances.  If that was not enough protection for the proud owner of this beautiful blue stone, the healing powers surrounding Blue Topaz does not end there.  It was said that Blue Topaz has the ability to calm and cool anger in individuals.  Thus, Blue Topaz is bringing about a calming spirit to the individual as a whole.  Ancients also believed that the stone had the power to not only calm the beholder but was able to calm the elements of Earth, especially when it came to calming and cooling the effects of boiling water. 

The charming ways of the beautiful Blue Topaz stone do not end with calming techniques and the ability to protect the individual in possession of the stone.  Blue Topaz’s characteristics far exceed expectations of a precious stone and move into the possessor’s personal life.  If worn above the heart, it was said that the effects of Blue Topaz extend to the individual and will be able to bring the individual a long life filled with intelligence and everlasting beauty.  Blue Topaz also extends itself to be the gemstone that has the ability to give its owner a sense of inner strength.  One of the most important and sought after characteristic of Blue Topaz is the idea that it brings love and fidelity to those who behold this precious blue toned stone. Making it the perfect stone to use for that ever precious engagement ring or wedding band for your loved one!

Topaz, as a word, itself derives from Latin, Topazus, meaning for an old Greek Island in the Red Sea which is now called, Zabargad.  Although, Topaz was never actually found on the island in which it references, its name, Topaz, is due to its often confusion with the gem Peridot which is found on the island. It is most commonly found in places such as, Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, and Pakistan.  Topaz can also be mined in areas such as, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and the United States.  With Blue Topaz found nearly everywhere in the world, it brings increasing popularity and making it a perfect gift.   High heat and sudden cold can change the overall characteristics and even cause breakage with this stone.  To care for this stone, use only a solution of warm, soapy water, the use of ultra sonic, steam cleaners, or others with similar characteristics should not be used as it can having damaging effect to the overall quality of the stone. 

With as much tradition, legends and tales that surround and encompass that of Blue Topaz, how much more could be left for the other precious stone that represents that of December?  Turquoise is the first gemstone material used by human civilizations in adornment or decorative purposes in jewelry.  Therefore, just imagine what wonders, tales and traditions of the world surround and encapsulate the oldest known gem in the world.

This blue to blue green toned beauty has been mined from the Earth for as far back as 5500 BC.  Egyptian royalty were great fans of this stone, often creating mines in search of this beautiful stone. They adorned themselves as well as their royal regalia in Turquoise.  From the time of Pharaohs and Ancient civilizations, to the National Gem of Tibet; this precious stone has survived the test of time and has carried a few legends with it along the way.

Historically, the magical power of this uniquely colored gem was to guarantee the beholder immense health and good fortune.  This stone is also a protector from evil and evil forces for the individual who keep it in their possession.  Demons and the evil eye is no match when an individual has the power and control that this stone brings to the table.  The blue color of the stone is said to contain very strong metaphysical and mystical powers. It was once worshiped by many Ancient cultures.  By wearing this stone people believed it had the ability to greatly improve a hunter or warrior’s aim, providing accuracy to the holder.  This gorgeous stone also can help the warriors balance, and protect them from injury. 

For centuries upon centuries, Turquoise stones have been used for religious ceremonies and purposes virtually across the entire world.  From Egyptians to Native Americans in the Southwestern United States, this has been a favorite stone of choice.  This gorgeous and uniquely colored stone has been a centerpiece for all cultures and has created numerous legends, and folktales that have lasted even to this day.  This stone’s popularity and the beliefs that have formed behind it made the stone becomes the National Gem of Tibet.  This gem was held in high regard for so many years not only because of its beauty, but also for its tales of bringing about and promoting prosperity to the beholder of the stone as well. 

Turquoise may have its fair share of tales, and be as old as time, but it is the color of the opaque stone that is truly unique.  Turquoise can range anywhere on the color spectrum from a light blue to a dark greenish blue hue.  The most valuable version of Turquoise that is available in the marketplaces is a Turquoise with coloring that is medium blue, without a matrix effect and has the ability to keep and receive a good lasting polish.  Overall, as a gem, Turquoise can contain dark splotches or spider like veins, referred to as a matrix within the stone.  High heat can also affect this stone, causing discoloration of the stone itself as well as great damage to the surface of the stone.  Turquoise is a porous stone; therefore the overall quality of the stone can be affected.  Turquoise can be affected in negative ways, such as discoloration, by various chemicals, cosmetics, skin oils and even perspiration of the individual. 

 So how does one find this utterly miraculous and gorgeous stone?  Sources that are still mined today for this precious stone can be found all over the world, including areas such as Iran, China, Chile, Mexico and the United States.  What else makes this the perfect stone for absolutely anyone and everyone as well? This makes Turquoise the no fuss, perfect present for anyone on your list this holiday season!   It even makes for a great gift to the younger individuals in your family or friends.  Not only does it make a great gift for those born in December, or your loved ones during the holiday season, it is an inexpensive option in jewelry!  Give others a unique gift, using either one of these beautiful stones.  What better way to ignite the imagination of your loved ones by giving them an amazing piece of jewelry containing one of two immensely popular and beloved stones of all time.  It is a perfect present for those individuals who are lucky enough to be born in the lovely month of December too!  Find your perfect history and legend filled stone today with Blue Topaz or Turquoise!

All About Gems: Ruby

All About Gems: Ruby

Ruby Anniversary Band

There is no stone that is quite as popular, or quite as legendary as the gleaming red beauty known as Ruby.  Due to its immense popularity over centuries, the infinitely valuable Ruby has many tales, traditions and mythical sagas that still hold true to this day and make Ruby one of the most cherished gems in history!

This illustrious and famous gem has been mined for over 2,500 years, and continues to be mined today, and can be mainly found in extraordinarily legendary places including, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Thailand to name a few, of which have been beloved for centuries.  Nicknamed the “Lord of Gems”, Rubies also hold the name of ‘precious stones’ in Sanskrit.  These elements just further add to the mysterious and legendary nature of the beautiful red stone of Ruby.

In ancient times, Rubies adorned the garments worn by warriors into battle, as it was said to make them invincible in battle and be able to protect them while they fought.  They believed by adorning them, they would then become victorious in battle, as they are protected from all evils that would be surrounding them as they fought.  Warriors also adorned themselves with this stone as it was said to protect an individual from poisons and have the distinct possibility to counteract any effects of being poisoned.  Rubies have a rampant history of being able to do a lot of extraordinary things.  According to European folklore, Rubies brought about health and wealth for the owner of the precious stone.  Besides bringing health to the individual in care of this stone, it was also believed to restore youth and vitality to the individual, simply by rubbing on your skin!

Other tales of the red Ruby include success and wisdom as well as ever lasting love to the lucky beholder of the stone.  Ruby has long stood as a great symbol of love and passion.  Traditions and tales of the stone according to the people of India say that the stone gives the beholder the ability to live at peace with all of his enemies.  Kings, heads of state and other notable Royals kept Rubies in precious possession for these reasons as well as the tale that they protect against vulnerability.  Royals sought after this stone because of its legendary ability to turn to a darken state when they are presented with danger, and return to their normal state when the threat is gone.

With this illustrious and well known history, it’s no wonder why this beautiful red stone has kept immense popularity for centuries! Due to its rarity, and overwhelming amount of history and legendary tales that surround the red Ruby stone, makes it extremely valuable and expensive.  These stones can even be more expensive than the rare, colorless diamonds!  Ruby’s distinctive red color is what differentiates itself from other and closely related sapphires.  This is a controversial issue when it comes to Rubies, as sapphires are categorized as all other colors minus the beautiful red color of a Ruby.  This draws controversy due to the pink to red colors of stones that can be considered in the realm of Ruby as well.   The most expensive and valuable of these stones are the deeper and pure, vivid red colors that make Ruby distinct from every other stone there is!

Ruby & Diamond Band

Thus with reputation and fame that comes with this precious stone, care and cleaning of the stone becomes a very important task.  To clean your gorgeous Ruby stone use only warm, soapy water.  Avoid the use of strong detergents and vigorous scrubbing of the stone, as it will affect the overall quality and beauty of the Ruby.  If you choose to clean this precious stone by means of an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, those are generally safe for the stones as well.  It is important for you to check the overall quality of your stone as well to ensure a lifetime of use, and to observe any fractures or cavities within the stone.  Fractures or cavities within the stone can damage the overall quality as well as the overall look of the stone.  Stones with poor quality can change color or even affect the clarity of the Ruby.  Also by having fractures or cavities within the stone can ultimately damage and destroy the stone as a whole.

In the end, one legend of this stone has remained constant throughout its popularity and solidified its status as the symbol for eternal love.  Thus making Ruby the absolute perfect gift for both the fifteenth and fortieth wedding anniversaries! Show your beloved just how important your love is with this everlasting symbol!  Ruby is also the birthstone for individuals who are born in the month of July.  So, spread, and share the love with this eternal symbol of love!

Speaking of eternal love, Congratulations to Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson!  Eric popped the question to Simpson with, what else, than a 3 stone ring, featuring a center stone of Ruby, flanked by two diamonds!  Looking for something distinct and yet traditional?  Check out the Ruby rings by!  As well as Diamond bands, and Anniversary bands that can be a great addition to any engagement ring!

All About Gems: Emeralds

All About Gems: Emeralds

No other gem has as many legendary tales and superstitions surrounding it, than Emerald itself.  The rich history of this stone starts off with tales as old as time, as Cleopatra was said to have a passion for this gorgeous green gem.  Cleopatra was determined to have the largest collection of this beautiful green stone and in fact, it was said that some of the Cleopatra mines were particularly designated for mining the precious stones only to be used by Cleopatra’s royal adornment and royal regalia.    

Legends and superstitions have swarmed this incredible green stone and rumors have been abundant and running rapid since their popularity of this precious stone has swelled.  The ancient world was the very beginning of many various tales of this luscious green stone.  One famous tale says it entitles the holder of the stone to have eternal youth and thus a rebirth.  Emeralds have also been greatly sought after for being capable of bringing about love to those who hold it near.   The most important of all legends of Emeralds comes from the ancient times, with Emerald said to bring the beholder the ability to foresee the future!

Emeralds have long been known, and utterly admired for their beautiful green color.  The gorgeous color it holds has been suggested to relieve stress and eye strain, simply by looking at the stone!   Emeralds have long been thought to be able to give the beholder the gift of eloquence as well as to become more intelligent and quick-witted.  Due to these factors, and immense popularity of the color of the stone itself, it has been used for hundred of years in both royal and religious adornments.  Emerald has been a stone of choice for many European countries, and Asian countries for centuries.   

Emeralds have been mined from the Earth since the days of the infamous Cleopatra mines in ancient Egypt.  Those have since been exhausted, and now Emeralds are still found naturally in a few countries around the world.  Presently, Columbia is the main source and largest producer of Emeralds.  These mines have been greatly recognized for their excellent quality and outstanding color.  Other main sources for unearthing this beautiful gem include Brazil, Russia and Zimbabwe.  Each of these places are recognized for their exquisite and deep shades.

Caring for these incredible stones is actually quite the easy task.  To clean Emeralds simply use warm, soapy water to polish to perfection! When taking care, and adorning yourself with this precious stone remember to stay away from harsh detergents as they can cause damage to the stone itself. 

See if these legends hold true for you! Check out this gorgeous stone, which also happens to be the birthstone for May! Emerald is the perfect color and representation for the spring renewal of this time.  Looking for a twentieth or thirty-fifth wedding anniversary present?  Emeralds happen to be a perfect present for that someone special as it represents each of those milestones.