Gemstone Feature- Tourmaline (October’s Birthstone)

Tourmaline is considered a secondary birthstone for October, with Opal being the primary birthstone.  Tourmaline is considered the gem of tranquility and is associated with banishing fear and negativity, and protecting against misfortunes. Tourmaline is considered a semi-precious stone. Color: Comes in many different color varieties such as dark yellow, brown/black, bluish or brownish black, light blue or greenish blue, rose, green, and colorless. Source:  Primarily throughout Africa and Brazil, but it is also mined in Sri Lanka, the US, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Age:  Tourmaline has been used as a gem for over 2000 years. Family:  Silicate Hardness:  7-7.5 on the Mohs scale Gemstone Properties/Healing Properties:   The stone of tranquility, tourmaline is associated with banishing fear and negativity, and protecting against misfortunes. Different varieties have specific attributes in addition to those of tourmaline in general. Health-wise, it’s said to regulate hormone imbalances, soothe nerves, protect against genetic disorders, promote good heart function, and alleviate … [Continue reading]

If it isn’t Sterling Silver, What is it?

Have you ever been curious about what it is you are buying when you buy “silver” jewelry that isn’t Sterling Silver? Have you ever wondered if what you are buying is really sterling silver when prices seem too good to be true? I get asked these questions all the time! This is the 1st in a 2-part post to help you make the best buying decisions when shopping for silver jewelry. -Part 1: If it isn’t Sterling Silver, What is it? -Part 2: Buyer Beware: Things to Watch Out for When Buying Silver Jewelry (coming 10/26) Whether buying fine jewelry or fashion jewelry, there are several different types of silver available and some less-than-honest things to watch out for.  Let’s start with what Sterling Silver is… Sterling Silver is 92.5% pure silver combined with 7.5% other metals, typically copper, which are used to strengthen the silver. Sterling Silver is usually stamped with .925 … [Continue reading]

Gemstone Feature- Opal (October’s Birthstone)

Opal is considered the primary birthstone for October. A symbol of happiness, hope, and truth, opal is thought to bring good luck. Opal is considered a semi-precious stone. Color:  Opal can present itself in a wide variety of colors. It can be colorless, white, gray, red, yellow, blue, magenta, rose, slate, brown, black, green, orange, and more. Precious opal reflects light with a dazzling display of intermixing colors. The red and black varieties are considered rare and valuable. White and greens, on the other hand, are quite common. Source:   Australia has the vast majority of opal. The US, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Indonesia, and Brazil also hold opal deposits. Age:   Opal is over 60 million years old, dating back to the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs trodded the earth. Precious opal was greatly esteemed in Ancient Rome, who rated its preciousness only second to emeralds. Family:  Mineraloid … [Continue reading]

Fashion Feng Shui Tips: 5 Ways to Accessorize your Intentions with the AmberTortoise Collection

Guest post by Christine Bove You probably don’t think about the jewelry you put on your body and the impact it can have on your energy. Maybe you heard about different crystals and how they have the ability to heal you, but have you ever considered selecting jewelry that affirms your intentions? In Fashion Feng Shui consultations, one of the techniques I teach my clients is to dress their intentions using the 5 elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal.  By affirming your intentions in your wardrobe you naturally attract it into your life. One simple and fun way to dress your intentions is with jewelry. I’ve highlighted some fabulous pieces from the AmberTortoise Collection to give you examples of how to dress your intentions using the 5 elements. Water Intention: If your intentions require you to go deep inside for a spiritual healing, write a book, create music or art.   Custom Barefoot Sandal Foot … [Continue reading]

How to Remove Tarnish from Gemstone Jewelry

If your jewelry has gemstones or organic materials such as pearls, cleaning it safely can be tricky. Once your know the right method for the job, you can safely and effectively clean your gemstone jewelry. Below are 2 different categories of cleaning methods to address all of your gemstone jewelry cleaning needs: Category 1- Hard Non-Porous Gemstones: such as diamonds, tanzanite, sapphires, rubies, etc. Category 2- Soft Porous Gemstones and Organic Materials: such as pearls, shell, opal, turquoise, amber, emerald, etc. Cleaning Hard Non-Porous Gemstones: Jewelry that contains hard gemstones are the easiest to clean by using jewelry dips that are designed for non-porous gemstone jewelry.  My favorite dips to use are the Sunray Jewelry Cleaner and Hagerty Jewel Clean because they are all natural, and are safe and effective for all materials, even the porous ones. The Sunray Jewelry Cleaner works great on jewelry that is dirty or mildly tarnished (just starting to take on a … [Continue reading]

Natural Jewelry Care: How to Clean Your Jewelry Using Soap and Water

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are overlooked.  When it comes to cleaning jewelry, I always like to start simple with a focus on quick, easy, and environmentally friendly.  Using soap and water is one way to do just that. How To Clean Your Jewelry Using Soap and Water: Gather the following supplies: bowl, natural dish soap, soft bristled brush, natural paper towels or cloth, your jewelry to be cleaned Fill a bowl with warm water Add a drop or two of natural dish detergent (the specific amount will depend on the size of the bowl, but it should be minimal) Gently stir the water to mix the soap with the water Add your jewelry to the soapy water Gently “stir” your jewelry in the water, and if necessary, use a soft bristled brush to really clean your jewelry and get in the hard-to-reach spaces Remove, rinse well under running water, then … [Continue reading]

Gemstone Feature- Sapphire (September’s Birthstone)

Gorgeous deep blue Sapphires are the birthstone for September.  A symbol of truth, sincerity, and faithfulness, sapphire is said to help with mental clarity.  Sapphire is considered a precious stone. Color:  Can range in hues, from colorless to blue, grey, black, yellow, pink, purple, orange, brown, and green variations. Blue sapphire with distinctly violet undertones is especially valued.  There’s also a rare variety of sapphire that changes colors altogether according to the light. Source:   Madagascar is the primary source of sapphires. But it can also be found in India, Australia, Thailand, Pakistan, Kenya, China, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and the US. Age:  It became known as a gemstone around Roman times. Family:  Corundum Hardness:  9 on the Mohs scale Gemstone Properties/Healing Properties:   Associated with faithfulness and sincerity, sapphires are said to induce mental clarity and perception. It also helps one get rid of negative thinking patterns. Health-wise, it’s also helpful with sore throats and diseases of … [Continue reading]

Natural Jewelry Care: How to Remove Tarnish From Your Jewelry Using Baking Soda

Use all natural baking soda to safely and effectively clean tarnish off your sterling silver or gold jewelry.  The entire process from start to finish should take you less than 10 minutes.  Learn how in this video I created: This method is best for: Solid Metal Sterling Silver or Gold Jewelry Jewelry that is mildly to moderately tarnished Avoid using on: Jewelry with organic materials such as pearls, or soft gemstones and natural materials such as amber, turquoise, shell, malachite, opal and coral Jewelry that is heavily tarnished (additional cleaning methods may be necessary) Supplies- what you will need: Baking Soda Boiling Water An aluminium baking dish (like a pie tin), OR a glass baking dish and aluminum foil A soft bristled brush The jewelry you want to clean Steps: Boil 1-2 cups of water and set it aside Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil, making sure it … [Continue reading]

Gemstone Feature- Peridot (August’s Birthstone)

Beautiful green Peridot is the birthstone for August.  A symbol of dignity, fame, and protection, peridot attracts love and wealth while soothing nervousness.  Peridot is considered a semi-precious stone. Color:  Presents itself in a range of green hues, including yellowish green, lime, olive green, medium, and dark green shades. Source:   Arizona’s San Carlos Indian Reservation in the US is the most significant source of peridot today. Other sources are Burma, Pakistan, Kenya, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, China, and Eygpt. Age:  As jewelry, peridot was used in Ancient Egypt, and was prized by Egyptian pharaohs. Family:  Forsteritic olivine Hardness:  6.5-7 on the Mohs scale Gemstone Properties/Healing Properties:   A symbol of dignity, fame, and protection, peridot is said to attract love and wealth while pacifying one’s temper. Health-wise, peridot helps increase one’s vitality and strength. It also soothes nervousness, and aids liver, lungs and adrenal function. Fun Facts/Stories:   The Egyptians called peridot the gem of the sun. … [Continue reading]

Gemstone Feature- Ruby (July’s Birthstone)

Deep rich red rubies are the birthstone for July.  They are thought to strengthen one’s ability to follow their dreams and are linked with confidence, loyalty and love.  Rubies are considered a precious stone. Color:  Ruby can be found in either pinkish or intense crimson hues. Value is determined by their color, with the brightest and most intense red hues being highly prized. Source:   Primary ruby sources are in Cambodia, Thailand, and Afghanistan. It can also be found in Tanzania, Tajikistan, Madagascar, Vietnam, and Pakistan, and rarely in Sri Lanka. Age:  The trade of rubies figured prominently on the North Silk Road in China Family:  Corundum Hardness:  9 on the Mohs scale Gemstone Properties/Healing Properties:   A stone of nobility, ruby helps gather strength to follow one’s dreams. It’s strongly linked with confidence, loyalty, love, and boldness. It is associated with helping to heal and open the heart. Health-wise, it’s said to add stamina, vitality … [Continue reading]

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