Education

  1. Care Of Fine Jewelry
  2. Birthstones
  3. About Gemstones and Fine Metals

 

CARE OF FINE JEWELRY

Unfortunately, most people overlook the proper care of their jewelry, resulting in unnecessary devaluation.

For safe protection, always remove your jewelry when engaging in activities that risk impact or exposure to chemicals (e.g. sports or housework). While rings and bracelets are most affected by daily wear, earrings, necklaces and even pendants are subject to chemical damage, especially if worn while make-up, fragrances and hair products are applied.

If you own pearl or bead necklaces strung on silk cord, you should have a jeweler restring them every two years (or annually if you wear them frequently).

Try not to remove your jewelry by pulling on the gem. Apart from exposing them to sweat, oil and dirt, you also risk loosening their settings.

To avoid undue wear and scratching, never store your jewelry in piles. Store them in separate sections of a jewelry box or wrap them separately in velvet, paper or silk. All KIMMERON purchases arrive in a special jewelry pouch that should always be used for storing your jewelry.

The safest method of cleaning most jewelry is to use a mild warm soapy water solution and a soft brush, patting dry with a soft cloth.

 

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BIRTHSTONES

January - Garnet

The history of Garnet dates back to the Bronze Age (more than 5,000 years ago), when it was a very popular gemstone. According to Christian and Jewish mythologies, during the Great Flood a radiant red Garnet guided the way for Noah, ultimately leading his ark to salvation. Garnets are available in a wide range of "warm" tones such as reds, oranges, yellows and burgundies, as well as greens and some rare color-change varieties.

February - Amethyst

Amethyst's intense purple color and relative availability have ensured its popularity throughout the millennia. A popular gem since Pre-Roman times, the wine-loving Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle.

March - Aquamarine

For centuries, many believed that oceanic energy was captured within the delicate semblance of aquamarines. When amulets made of this precious gem were worn, sailors believed that unmatched bravery would be instilled in their souls. Made of beryl, aquamarine is a hard gem variety, making it a good choice for frequently worn jewelry, especially in earrings and pendants where its delicate color and clarity can be predominately displayed.

April - Diamond

"Diamonds are Forever," sang Shirley Bassey, while Marilyn Monroe insisted they were "A Girl's Best Friend". Celebrated in song, diamonds have long reigned as the ultimate statement of ardor and affection. The hardest, rarest and densest natural substance known to man, diamonds have been a source of fascination since around 800 BC when they were first presented to royalty in India.

May - Emerald

Emeralds were first mined more than 3,000 years ago, during the time of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. Emeralds are said to have a powerful effect on the conscious and unconscious mind, strengthening memory and increasing psychic awareness. Emeralds are actually a green form of beryl and range in color from light lime green to deep forest green.

June - Pearl or Alexandrite

Aphrodite's tears of joy, dew drops filled with moonlight, Krishna's wedding gift to his daughter and Cleopatra's love potion, the legends abound but one fact is undeniable, pearls are the oldest known gem and for centuries were considered the most valuable. So valuable that the Roman General Vitellius allegedly financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's pearl earrings. Believed to symbolize the moon, the oldest known pearl jewelry is a necklace found in the sarcophagus of a Persian princess who died in 520 BC.

Discovered in 1830 on the birthday of Czar Alexander, Alexandrite is the most valuable form of the mineral chrysoberyl. When viewed under sunlight, Alexandrite appears medium to bluish green, while under candlelight or incandescent light, it appears violet red. The discovery of Alexandrite on the Czar's birthday was considered fortuitous, as the colors mirrored those of Imperial Russia.

July -Ruby or Cornelian

Rubies were first mined more than 2,500 years ago in Sri Lanka. Historically, many believed that mystical powers lie within this intensely colored red gemstone. The ancient Burmese believed that when inserted beneath the skin, rubies generate a mystical force that protects the wearer from accidents and attack. Rubies were also once believed to contain prophetic powers, enabling wearers to predict the future based on changes in their ruby’s color intensity.

August - Peridot

Common in early Greek and Roman jewelry, Peridot has been popular since about 1500 BC when the Egyptians started mining it on Zebirget (St. John's Island), a Red Sea island about 50 miles off the Egyptian coast. Known by the ancient Egyptians as the "gem of the sun", Peridot was believed to possess the power to break evil spells. During the Middle Ages, people wore Peridot to gain foresight and divine inspiration.

September - Sapphire

Prized since ancient times, sapphire has been called the "gem of the heavens". Ancient people believed that the power of wisdom is contained within this precious gemstone, enabling the wearer to find the correct solution to challenging obstacles. Sapphires come in all spectrums of color, except for red. Often when people simply refer to sapphires, they mean blue sapphires. Other color sapphires are correctly referred to as fancy sapphires.

October - Tourmaline or Opal

As it is found in all spectrums of color, tourmaline is often described as the "chameleon gemstone". It is not surprising to find a fine tourmaline that mirrors the exact semblance of other gemstones, such as emerald, ruby and sapphire. Some tourmaline crystals may even appear as crystallized rainbows with several bands of color, ranging from the most brilliant red to the deepest blue. Many refer to tourmaline as the "muses' stone", for they believe that its imaginative colors contain inspirational powers.

With "the fire of the carbuncle, the brilliant purple of the amethyst and the sea green color of the emerald, all shining together in incredible union" opal clearly impressed Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Roman historian and author of the world's first encyclopedia. The Romans had been wearing opals for centuries and considered them a symbol of hope or purity, while for the early Greeks they embodied the powers of foresight or prophecy. The more fancifully minded Arabs thought that opals must have fallen from heaven in flashes of lightning thus achieving their unique play of color or "opalescence".

November - Citrine or Topaz

Citrine is a golden yellow form of quartz which takes its name from "citron", the French word for lemon. In former times citrine was used as a protective talisman against the plague, bad skin, evil thoughts and as a charm against snakebites. It is also believed to symbolize happiness, aid digestion, remove toxins from the body, and be useful in the treatment of depression and diabetes.

While first used during the Ancient Egyptian Empire, topaz's popularity grew tremendously during the Middle Ages, when people believed it to have the power to strengthen the mind. Traditionally, topaz was regarded as a yellow to orange and brownish gemstone, today it is most abundantly found as blue topaz.

December - Turquoise, Tanzanite or Zircon

Popular for 6,000 years, turquoise has inspired people of many different cultures and nations over the entire course of mankind’s written history. The Egyptians began mining turquoise in the Sinai Peninsula around 5500 BC. When the tomb of Queen Zer was unearthed in 1900, a turquoise and gold bracelet was found on her wrist, one of the oldest pieces of jewelry ever discovered! Today, Turquoise is more popular than ever as modern designers incorporate Egyptian, Persian and Native American motifs with modern production techniques.

According to popular myth, a lightning strike near the Merelani hills set surrounding grasslands on fire. When the Masai herders returned to the area with their livestock, magical blue stones appeared on the ground. A Portuguese geologist, named DeSouza, traveled to this area in Tanzania in the 1960’s and noticed this magnificent blue stone. He brought it to the attention of Tiffany & Co., who introduced this exciting discovery to the world.

The name "zircon" is believed to have derived from the Arabic words, "zar", meaning gold, and "gun", meaning color. For many centuries, the brilliance of zircon has captured the hearts of those who gazed upon this magnificent gemstone. Zircon's popularity began to grow in the sixth century when Italian artisans featured the stone in jewelry designs. During the Middle Ages, zircon was believed to contain curative powers, protecting the wearer from diseases and banishing insomnia.

 

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ABOUT GEMSTONES AND FINE METALS

Gems, jewels and precious stones are terms that spark off tantalizing dreams and evoke scintillating images elegance and luxury. The beauty, rarity and historical mystique of gemstones are timeless.

Gemstone Categories

The various categories used at KIMMERON (Precious, Semi Precious and Rare) are standard classifications based on value and rarity. For example, Precious Gems include those varieties (Emerald, Ruby etc.) with high market values, while Rare Gems include pieces suitable for collections. We use Rare Gems only in one-of-a-kind pieces. Semi Precious Gems generally include everything else that is mainstream.

Precious Gems                        
Alexandrite
Diamond
Emerald
Pearl
Ruby
Sapphire
Spinel
Tanzanite
Tsavorite
 

Semi Precious Gems used at Kimmeron
Amethyst
Apatite
Aquamarine
Adventurine
Chalcedony
Chrysoberyl
Citrine
Cornelian
Garnet
Hematite
Iolite (water sapphire)
Jade
Jasper
Moonstone
Onyx
Opal
Peridot
Quartz
Rubellite
Topaz
Tourmaline
Turquoise
Zircon


Color

Color is the single most important factor when evaluating colored gems. Basically, the more attractive the color seen, the higher the value. Bright, rich and intense colors are valued over those that are too dark or too light. Colors that are dulled by tones of black, gray or brown are regarded as less desirable. The colors seen should ideally remain attractive regardless of prevailing light conditions. Whether viewed indoors, outdoors, by day or by night, a gem should always remain beautiful.

The mixing of color hues into combinations, such as purple-blue in Tanzanite and bright blue-green in Apatite is attractive and value enhancing. Although specific colors hues can affect the prices of gems, personal preferences are also very important.

Carat Weight

Gemstone weight is measured in Carats. This unit of measurement originates from the traditional use of carob seeds to weigh gems. Carob seed were used because of their consistent size and shape. One Carat is the equivalent of 0.20 Grams. Further divided into 100 smaller units known as Points, the term carats is often confused with “Karats”. “Karat” is a measurement of gold purity and has no relationship to the term Carats.

As the weight of a gem increases, so does its price per Carat. Large gems are always rarer than smaller ones, so per Carat prices rise exponentially. A 3 Carat Ruby is always worth far more than three 1 Carat Rubies of the same quality.

Gemstone prices also increase rapidly when in excess of certain key weights. For example, a 2.01 Carat Ruby has a higher price tag than a 1.99 Carat Ruby, despite a negligible difference in actual size. Pricing is said to suffer a “Non Linear Scale of Increments”.

Pairs & Suites

Pairs or suites of gems matched for color, clarity and cut are valued more highly per Carat or per gem than single gems of the same quality. Given the rarity of many gems, a matching set is disproportionately hard to find and will command a higher per Carat price than if each of the gems from the suite were sold separately.

That is why you will see certain KIMMERON earrings priced much higher than others. For example, a matching pair of briolette-cut stones is much harder for us to find than many other cuts.

 

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