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General Information

Metal Alloys:

Sterling Silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal (usually copper.) Also known as .925 Sterling. The other metal is added to make the silver stronger.

Nickel, also called nickel silver or German silver, contains no silver. It is an alloy of 65% copper, 17% zinc and 18% nickel. The Nickel we use contains no cadmium which many people are allergic to and can cause health problems.

Red Brass, also known as Jeweler's Bronze or Merlin's Gold, is an alloy of 85% copper and 15% zinc.

Yellow Brass is an alloy of 70% copper and 30% zinc. The lower amount of copper and higher amount of zinc makes this a yellow brass.

Specific Gemstone Stone Information:

Cabochon Stones A-E, G-O, P-U    Faceted Stones A-E, F-R, S-Z

Stone Treatments

Natural: Stones formed by nature that may have a treatment applied to them to enhance or preserve color.

Lab-Created/Laboratory Grown Synthetic: Stones that are manmade and have the same optical, physical, chemical qualities of the natural stones of the same name.

Simulated/Imitation: Stones that look like natural stones but do not have the same optical, physical, or chemical qualities of the natural stones they are simulating.

Assembled: Assembled from multiple layers or combinations of manufactured and/or natural material fused, bonded or otherwise joined together to create a unique design or generate unusual color combinations.

Coated: Coating on the surface with such enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.

Dyed: Dyed by the introduction of coloring matter to give a new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

Heat-treated: Heated to effect desired alterations of color, clarity and/or phenomena.

Oiled: Oiling/resin infusion; the filling of surface breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic. to improve the gemstone's appearance.

Impregnated: Stabilized using a colorless bonding agent (such as plastic); used on porous gemstones to add durability and improve appearance.

Irradiated: Irradiation using neutrons, gamma rays, beta particles or high energy elections to alter color. May be followed by a heating process.

Diffusion: Diffusion; chemicals used in conjunction with high temperatures to produce color and/or asterism-producing inclusions.

Wax: Waxing/oiling; impregnation of colorless wax, paraffin and oil in porous, opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.

Mohs' Hardness Scale

Shows the hardness of minerals in a range of 1 to 10 where talc at 1 is the softest and diamond at 10 is the hardest. On this scale minerals with higher Mohs numbers can scratch minerals with lower Mohs numbers. The steps along the scale are not regular, for example #2 and #3 are close in hardness where as #10 is 80 times harder than #9.

Hardness refers to a minerals resistance to scratching. Although diamonds can only be scratched by another diamond they can be cleaved (chipped/broken) by a sharp blow.

Mohs Scale
  1. talc
  2. gypsum
  3. calcite
  4. fluorite
  5. apatite
  6. orthoclase
  7. quartz
  8. topaz
  9. corundum
  10. diamond

Hardness of common items

  2.5 fingernail, fine gold, fine
        silver, lead
   3   copper
   4   sterling
  5.5 window glass
   6   knife blade
  6.5 steel file


Modern Birthstones:

January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl, Alexandrite
July: Ruby
August: Peridot
September: Sapphire
October: Tourmaline, Opal
November: Topaz, Citrine
December: Tanzanite, Turquoise

Americian Gem Society 2005

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Anciet Birthstones:

January: Garnet, Hyacinth
February: Amethyst, Hyacinth, Pearl
March: Bloodstone, Jasper
April: Diamond, Sapphire
May: Agate, Emerald, Chalcedony, Carnelian
June: Emerald, Agate, Pearl, Chalcedony, Turquoise
July: Ruby, Carnelian, Onyx, Sardonyx, Turquoise
August: Carnelian, Moonstone, Topaz, Alexandrite, Sardonyx
September: Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli, Coral
October: Opal, Aquamarine, Beryl
November: Topaz, Pearl
December: Turquoise, Ruby, Bloodstone

George Frederick Kuntz 1971

Astrological Stones:

Capricorn the Goat
Aquarius the Water Bearer
Pisces the Fish
Aries the Ram
Taurus the Bull
Gemini the Twins
Cancer the Crab
Leo the Lion
Virgo the Virgin
Libra the Scales
Scorpio the Scorpion
Sagittarius the Archer

Dec. 22-Jan. 20
Jan. 21-Feb. 19
Feb. 20-Mar. 20
Mar. 21-Apr. 20
Apr. 21-May 21
May 22-June 21
June 22-July 22
July 23-Aug. 23
Aug. 24-Sept. 23
Sept. 24-Oct. 23
Oct. 24-Nov. 22
Nov. 23-Dec. 21
Ruby, Moonstone
Garnet, Sapphire
Amethyst, Chrysolite
Bloodstone, Diamond
Sapphire, Moss Agate
Agate, Beryl
Onyx, Ruby, Diamond, Labradorite
Carnelian, Jasper
Chrysolite, Opal
Aquamarine, Topaz, Labradorite
Turquoise, Carbuncle, Labradorite
stone place holder
Cabochon Stones A-E, G-O, P-U    Faceted Stones A-E, F-R, S-Z

Last updated 5/30/12