July Birthstone: Ruby

I’ve come full circle with my year of birthstone articles, ending with July’s stone, the ruby. (Just for you, mom — happy birthday!) Through my research, I found the ruby to be quite fascinating. It turns out that throughout history, the ruby was considered the most valuable of all stones, even more than a diamond. In the metaphysical world, it has the highest vibration of all stones, so high in fact, that it’s not a stone commonly used in mediation because it’s too darn energetic. Rubies represent love, passion and prosperity. Though I always think of rubies as red, they can actually range from a paler rose to a deep, crimson red (the most valuable). There can be a cast of orange, blue or purple to them, depending on where they are mined.

When you wear a ruby, here’s some of the qualities it will help you with:

-a clear mind
-brings a sense of adventure
-motivation & high energy
-an aphrodisiac
-gets rid of nightmares
-stone of manifestation/following your bliss

Interesting, right?! And to whet your ruby appetite, here’s some stellar pieces of jewelry…

Sidney Garber ruby drop accented band

sidney garber ruby drop accented band
Victorian ruby snake bracelet

victorian ruby snake bracelet
Finn ruby drop thread earrings

finn ruby drop thread earrings
Paul Morelli diamond and ruby meditation bell pendant

paul morelli diamond and ruby meditation bell pendant
Lori Mclean baguette and brilliant cut ruby stacking ring

lori mclean baguette and brilliant cut ruby stacking ring
Annie Fensterstock ruby and diamond earrings

annie fensterstock ruby and diamond earrings
Michelle Fantaci pawn cuff bracelet with ruby and turquoise

michelle fantaci pawn cuff bracelet with ruby and turquoise
Ten Thousand Things 18K ruby pendant with pave set diamonds

ten thousand things 18k ruby pendant with pave set diamonds
Victorian diamond and ruby dinner ring

victorian diamond and ruby dinner ring
Nikos Koulis ruby and diamond ring

nikos koulis ruby and diamond ring
Quite the array, hm? If you could have your choice, which would it be? I hope all you July babies out there have a fantastic birthday!

June Birthstone: Moonstone

You June babies are lucky ducks, as you have three birthstones. One is Alexandrite. While it truly is a gorgeous stone, it’s extremely rare, so it’d be tough to find many options for you to buy. Then there’s the pearl, which many associate as the “main” birthstone for the month. Personally, I’m partial to the third option, moonstone. You may remember back in January I wrote an article about how my body physically craves certain gems, and moonstone is most definitely one of them. In fact, here’s my Steven Battelle rainbow moonstone ring I wrote about; I could not leave the store without buying it — it was truly a visceral reaction when I spotted it in the case. Has this ever happened to you?

steven battelle rainbow moonstone ring
Moonstones have been used in jewlery for over 2000 years. They are considered a sacred stone in India, and the most prized specimens come from Sri Lanka. The glow that emanates from within is reminiscent of the moon’s glow, hence the name. It comes in a variety of colors, from blue to peach to grey and more. Moonstone is the stone of emotional balance and is associated with goddess energy. It is a stone of protection (especially to travelers), love, passion, and it promotes psychic abilities and intuition. I think it’s a downright breathtaking gem.

I may have gone a little overboard with my virtual shopping spree today, but I just couldn’t help myself. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order…

Jamie Joseph leather bracelet with moonstone

jamie joseph leather cord bracelet with rainbow moonstone
Irene Neuwirth moonstone drop earrings

irene neuwirth moonstone drop earrings
Loriann Stevenson 18K and moonstone bracelet

loriann stevenson 18K and moonstone bracelet
Phyne by Paige Novick moonstone and diamond stud earring (sold individually, which is cool)

phyne by paige novick moonstone and diamond trillion stud earrings
Pippa Small rainbow moonstone ring

pippa small rainbow moonstone ring
For Future Refernce x Ylang23 cabochon moonstone gypsy ring

for future reference cabochon moonstone gypsy ring
Nak Armstrong rainbow moonstone mosaic bangle

nak armstrong rainbow moonstone mosaic bangle bracelet
Ila moonstone and turquoise pendant necklace

ila moonstone and turquoise pendant necklace
Gabriella Kiss 18K and oval grey moonstone ring

gabriella kiss 18K and oval grey moonstone ring
Judy Geib excessive ceylon moonstone earrings

judy geib excessive ceylon moonstone earrings
Stephen Dweck London topaz and moonstone ring

stephen dweck london blue topaz and rainbow moonstone shield ring
Arik Kastan moonstone stacking ring

arik kastan moonstone stacking ring
Andrea Fohrman moonstone and hematite ring with crescent moon

andrea fohrman moonstone and hematite ring with crescent moon
Nak Armstrong rainbow moonstone button studs

nak armstrong rainbow moonstone button studs
So now do you see how I’m so completely drawn to this iridescent stone? Oy…where is my bottomless wallet when I need it?! And if you are celebrating a birthday this month, wishing you all the best! (And be sure go to buy yourself a sparkly treat.)

May Birthstone: Emerald

Emeralds, known as the “stones of successful love” are considered one of the four “precious” stones — the others being diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Found as far back as 4000 BC, emeralds were one of Cleopatra’s favorite gems. In fact, the Egyptians believed they signified eternal life, so very often mummies were buried with an emerald. The word emerald come from the Greek word “smaragdus” which translates to “green stone.” Emeralds are mined around the globe, including countries such as Columbia, Brazil, and Afghanistan, to name a few. The more vibrant the green, the more valuable the stone.

This dazzling green gem also has many purported qualities for the wearer, which include:

-symbol of rebirth and growth
-inspires hope for the future
-promotes friendship
-brings contentment
-stone of wisdom and mental clarity
-activates creativity
-encourages one to live life to the fullest

With this new knowledge, I set off to find some pieces that piqued my emerald interest. In no particular order…

Judy Geib Colombian Emerald and Herkimer Diamond drop earrings

judy geib colombian emerald and herkimer diamond double drop earrings
Emerald bubble bezel ring

emerald bubble bezel ring
Renee Lewis emerald shake drop earrings

renee lewis emerald shake drop earrings
Arik Kastan emerald and opal round mandala ring

arik kastan emerald and opal round mandala ring in 14k rose gold
Gillian Conroy rosecut emerald drop earrings

gillian conroy 14k thorn hooks with pear rosecut emerald earrings

Jennifer Meyer emerald rectangle stacking ring

jennifer meyer emerald rectangle stacking ring
Dezso emerald and black enamel Jali shark fin cuff bracelet

dezso emerald and black enamel jali shark fin cuff bracelet
Temple St. Clair emerald and diamond trio earrings

temple st. clair emerald, diamond and 18K yellow gold trio earrings
Jenny Kwon emerald and diamond Lexi ring

jenny kwon emerald, diamond and gold lexi ring
Variance Objects emerald five-stone claw ring

variance objects emerald five stone claw ring
So do any of these pieces make you green with jewelry envy? What would be your top pick if you had a bottomless wallet? And if you have a birthday this month, I hope all your birthday wishes come true!!

April Birthstone: Diamond

Oh, you lucky April babies…you get the diamond as your birthstone! This gem, made of pure carbon, is known as the “stone of invincibility” because it’s the hardest known naturally occurring substance. It comes in most colors of the rainbow and can range from clear to opaque. Not only are diamonds beautiful, but they bring many wonderful qualities to those who wear them:

-enhances your inner vision, opening one to new possibilities
-brings balance to your brain and life
-builds strength and fortitude
-is a symbol of faithfulness and love
-helps release fear and anxiety, and builds courage and hope
-associated with success and abundance

One interesting thing I read while researching diamonds is that they are purported to amplify both the positive and the negative. So, for example, if you’re in a terrible mood, it will apparently magnify this feeling. It is suggested that one take off ones diamonds if feeling negative. Interesting, hm?

I was a bit overwhelmed when I began pondering how I could narrow down my examples of diamond jewelry to just a handful. There’s SO many pieces I love out there! Therefore, I decided to narrow the field and show you some of the fantastic designs from my local peeps — talented designers from the San Francisco Bay Area. I asked 11 different designers to share one of their current favorite pieces from their collections. So here they are in no particular order for your viewing pleasure…

Adeline Jewelry Quintet Ring — hand-carved 14K yellow gold beveled-edge band with five rosecut hexagon salt and pepper diamonds

adeline jewelry quintet ring
Rebecca Overmann Signet Diamond Waterfall Ring — 14K yellow gold with rosecut and brilliant diamonds (photo by Jay Perez)

rebecca overmann signet diamond waterfall ring
Vicent Agor Hokule’a Sailboat Earrings — 18K yellow gold and diamonds

vicente agor hokule'a sailboat earrings
Jennifer Dawes Blockette Pear Diamond Ring — features a 1.97 ct white diamond (cut by Lewis “Lazer” Wolf) in a hand-engraved milgrain platinum bezel

jennifer dawes diamond pear ring in platinum
Ashley Morgan Diamond Slice Necklaces — These come in a variety of shapes with diamond accents on the 18K white gold chains.

ashley morgan diamond slice necklaces
Sakura Haru Halo Diamond Cluster Ring — 14K rose gold ring featuring and old euro-cut diamond from the early 1800’s (diamond from Perpetuum Jewels); the smaller side diamonds are from the client’s father, who had recently passed away.

sakura haru halo diamond cluster ring
Sethi Couture Silhouette Marquis Diamond Earrings — white diamond baguette earrings accented with Marquis diamonds in 18K yellow gold.

sethi couture silhourette marquis earrings
Sarah Swell Galaxy Diamond Band — inspired by a cluster of stars, this ring is 18K yellow gold (also available in white) and features .10 ct of conflict-free diamonds.

sarah swell galaxy diamond band
Tura Sugden Marquis and Diamond Slice Drop Earrings — 18k and 22k yellow gold with gray marquis diamonds and naturally marbled champagne diamond slices

tura sugden marquis and diamond slice drop earrings
Thalia Jewelry Diamond Rings — includes a platinum and diamond eternity band, a 14K rose gold diamond eternity band, and a larger platinum and diamond band, and a 2ct 18K yellow gold band.

thalia jewelry diamond rings
Lauren Wolf Diamond Prism Ring — features three kite cut diamonds set in 18k yellow gold (It also comes in a smaller version in rose gold.)

lauren wolf prism diamond ring
I don’t know about you, but I’m blown away by the range in beauty coming out of the Bay Area. Thank you so much to the wonderful designers for sharing your work! May all of you with a birthday this month have a wonderful celebration and some fun shopping for diamonds. xo

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

Even though it’s not my birthstone I’m quite partial to the aquamarine, with its oceanic hues of light blue to blue-green. Named after the Latin word “aqua marinus,” meaning water of the sea, this stone is associated with all things ocean. It’s said to protect travelers on the sea, and those traveling near water. Aquamarines come from Brazil and Columbia and are part of the beryl family. Among the qualities associated with this birthstone are:

-inspires truth and letting go
-aids in articulation and clear speaking
-helps one release emotional baggage
-stone of courage
-brings peace and serenity

I like it — especially the “letting go” part, as my word for 2016 is release. Given how much I love the shades of aquamarine, I was eager to embark upon my virtual shopping spree and see what I could find. In no particular order…

Amy Gregg rectangular aquamarine mirror ring

amy gregg mirror rectangular cocktail ring
Rosanne Pugliese oval aquamarine pendant

rosanne pugliese 22k and large oval aquamarine pendant
Gabriella Kiss large rectangular aquamarine earrings

gabriella kiss 18k and large rectangular aquamarine earrings
Margioni aquamarine and diamond ring

margoni yellow gold, sterling silver, aquamarine and diamond ring
Meira T milky aquamarine and diamond necklace

meira t diamond, milky aquamarine, 14k rose gold and 14k yellow gold pendant necklace
Monique Pean long geometric aquamarine earrings

monique pean geometric long drop aquamarine earrings
L Frank aquamarine and diamond baguette ring

l frank aquamarine and diamond baguette ring
Jacquie Aiche aquamarine small bar stud earrings

jacquie aiche aquamarine and yellow gold small bar stud earrings
Jennifer Dawes mineral asymmetrical aquamarine necklace

jennifer dawes mineral asymmetrical aquamarine necklace
Michelle Fantaci open king ring with blue diamonds and aquamarine

michelle fantaci open king ring with blue dimaonds and aquamarine
Ten Thousand Things large aquamarine cage pendant

ten thousand things large aquamarine cage pendant
Selim Mouzannar caged aquamarine and tanzanite ring

selim mouzannar caged aquamarine and tanzanite ring
If I had a bottomless wallet, I think I’d just have to buy them all. Which piece is your favorite? And if you’ve got a birthday this month, may all your birthday wishes come true!

February Birthstone: Amethyst

I suppose I should be an expert on amethyst, as my birthday is this month…but I’m not. I enjoyed researching this birthstone and going on my (much-loved) virtual shopping spree. Unlike so many stones which come in a wide range of colors, amethyst really sticks to the purple family, from lavender and lilac to deep purple and red-violet. The amount of iron in the quartz determines the shade of purple. Though I have heard of green amethyst over the years, I learned this is a misnomer. Green amethyst is in fact created by heating a natural amethyst, and its true name is prasiolite. (Click here for a more detailed description.)

Amethyst comes from the Greek word meaning “without drunkenness” and has often been referred to as the sobriety stone. It can be transparent or opaque (didn’t know that!), and it has some potent qualities, such as:

-guards against overindulgence
-aids with curing addictions
-it is “nature’s tranquilizer,” helping soothe the mind and emotions
-brings the wearer balance and peace
-wonderful in meditation, as it opens the channels between realms
-enhances intuition and psychic ability

Having this new knowledge in mind, I set off on my quest for amethyst jewelry. With colored stones currently so en vogue, I was surprised there weren’t more pieces to be found. Many popular jewelry sites I visited didn’t have a single amethyst piece. (What?!) I have a feeling this is going to change with the coming season. I know many designers are amping up their color game. Nonetheless, I found many items I would be very happy to have in my own jewelry box. In no particular order:

Sevan Bicakci pave fish padlock

sevan bicakci pave fish padlock
sevan bicakci padlock
Jacquie Aiche mini amethyst pyramid triangle wrap ring

jacquie aiche mini amethyst pyramid triangle wrap ring
Antique Arts & Crafts sterling and amethyst bangle

antique arts & crafts silver and amethyst bangle
Lola Brooks 18K & amethyst teardrop earrings

lola brooks 18K & amethyst teardrop earrings
Jamie Joseph rectangle ametrine ring (combo of amethyst and citrine)

jamie joseph rectangular ametrine ring
Stephen Webster “fly by night” amethyst dagger drop earrings (The dangling part can be removed as well.)

stephen webster fly by night amethyst dagger drop earrings
stephen webster earrings
Alison Lou amethyst and purple enamel ring

alison lou amethyst and purple enamel ring
Ila amethyst, sapphire and diamond earrings

ila drop earrings
Irene Neuwirth amethyst ring

irene neuwirth amethyst ring
So what do you think? Do any of these gems spark your interest? I guess it’s time for me to find my self-gift for my birthday! (But where is my bottomless wallet??) Sending warm birthday wishes to my fellow February-ians. (Yes, I just made up that name.)

January Birthstone: Garnet

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of a garnet as a red stone. Well who knew, but they come in a wide range of colors, from clear to (even) black. Green is apparently the rarest color, and red and orange hues are more common. The name garnet comes from the word “granatum” (seed), as it resembles pomegranate seeds.

Garnets also have a stellar repertoire of benefits to the wearer, including:

-strengthening the bloodstream
-symbolizing friendship and trust
-uplifts the attitude/ brings a light heart
-stimulates metabolism
-if you put it under your pillow, will aid with bad dreams and depression
-balances energies
-inspires love
-stimulates success in business

Sign me up! For this installment of birthstone jewelry, I thought I’d take a different focus and just look at rings. In no particular order, here’s some truly beautiful garnet rings.

Rosa Maria garnet Heyonn ring (surrounded in black diamonds)

rosa maria garnet heyonn ring
Marco Bicego amethyst, rhodolite garnet & 18K gold ring

marco bicego amethyst, rhodolite garnet and 18K gold cocktail ring
Luna Skye double band champagne garnet trillion ring

luna skye double band champagne garnet trillion ring
Arik Kastan turquoise and garnet compass ring

arik kastan turquoise and garnet compass ring
Gabriella Kiss 18K spessartite garnet cabochon ring

gabriella kiss 18k spessartite garnet cabochon ring
Mary Esses garnet ring

mary esses garnet ring
Contemporary rhodolite garnet ring

contemporary rhodolite garnet ring
Scosha wildfire garnet ring

scosha wiidfire ring
Ananda Khalsa garnet Illuminations ring

ananda khalsa garnet illuminations ring
If you’ve got a birthday this month, I hope all your birthday wishes come true!!

December Birthstone: Turquoise

I’ve been a fan of turquoise ever since my dad brought me a necklace with turquoise beads from a business trip when I was about 4. (I still have it, in fact!) As a young adult I visited New Mexico, and I couldn’t decide which hue I liked best — from the true blue to the blue-greens. I’ve come to the conclusion I like it all! (shocker, I know) I’m a fan of everything from vintage Native American Squash Blossom necklaces to sleek, modern pieces.

Turquoise, which gets its name from the French words for “Turkish Stone” has been part of the human culture since ancient times. Turquoise beads have been unearthed from 5000 BC, if you can believe it! Throughout history, this stone has been an amulet of protection, a sign of wealth and wisdom. It’s considered sacred by many cultures. In addition, this stone promotes:

-serenity & peace
-relieves stress
-heightens creativity
-aids the immune system
-grounds oneself
-promotes honest communication
-helps your body detox

With all these amazing attributes in mind, which piece of jewelry from the selection below would you pick if you had a bottomless wallet?

Ann Dexter-Jones turquoise ID bracelet

ann dexter-jones turquoise ID bracelet
Jennifer Meyer double drop turquoise and diamond earrings

jennifer meyer double drop turquoise and diamond earrings
Arik Kastan turquoise ring

arik kastan turquoise ring
Blackbird and The Snow rose gold and turquoise bird earrings

blackbird and the snow rose gold turquoise bird stud earrings
Suzanne Kalan turquoise ring

suzanne kalan turquoise ring
Pascale Monvoisin turquoise and diamond cuff

pascale monvoisin louise turquoise cuff
Feathered Soul sleeping beauty turquoise and diamond necklace

feathered soul sleeping beauty turquoise pendant necklace
Armenta green turquoise and opal band

armenta green turquoise and opal band ring
Zoe Chicco turquoise cuff

zoe chicco turquoise cuff
Andrea Fohrman turquoise crescent moon ring

andrea fohrman turquoise crescent moon ring
Now don’t forget, that turquoise is one of four birthstones for the month of December. If you missed my article on tanzanite, then click here to get caught up. Happy birthday to you December babies!

December Birthstone: Tanzanite

How is it that December has FOUR birthstones? If you’re lucky enough to be born this month, then you can choose from tanzanite, turquoise, zircon and blue topaz. With it’s blue-violet hue, tanzanite is the subject of today’s article. Coming from only one place on the planet (Tanzania in East Africa), I was surprised to find out that this gem can actually be found in browns and yellows. It is heat, either from the earth or by man, which changes the stone to the most prized blue-violet color. Originally discovered in 1967, this stone is both rare, valuable, and fairly fragile. (Translation: Use care when wearing and never put it in an ultrasonic cleaner!)

Tanzanite is known as the stone of transformation, aiding in metaphysical healing and spiritual exploration. In addition, tanzanite helps with:

-happiness and freedom from worry
-finding your calling
-getting rid of old patterns and opening oneself to growth
-strengthens your immune system

I’m in! Are you? If so, here are some fantastic tanzanite creations by some very talented designers.

Kaali Designs tanzanite cabochon and diamond ring from Zaver & Mor

kaali design tanzanite ring
(and because you need to see the stellar side view)

kaali designs tanzanite ring
Carla Amorim Castanhas earrings

carla amorim castanhas earrings
Phyne by Paige Novick tanzanite, diamond and blackened white gold ear cuff

phyne by paige novick tanzanite diamond and blackened white gold ear cuff
Rosanne Pugliese tanzanite cage ring

rosanne pugliese tanzanite cage ring
Arman tanzanite hoop earrings

arman tanzanite hoop earrings
Celine Daoust tanzanite trio ring

celine daoust tanzanite trio ring
Selim Mouzannar caged tanzanite and diamond drop earrings

selim mouzannar caged tanzanite and diamond drop earrings
Carole Shashona dream wing necklace

carole shashona dream wing necklace
Irene Neuwirth drop earrings

irene neuwirth drop earrings
Maragret Solow double tanzanite drop necklace

margaret solow double tanzanite drop necklace
I think these selections will resonate with a wide variety of personal styles — from edgy to bohemian to luxe and beyond. If you had the *infamous* bottomless wallet that I dream about having, which piece would you desire most? Do tell!

November Birthstone: Citrine

Those of you lucky enough to be born in November have not one, but two birthstones! (If you missed last week’s article on Topaz, click here.) While topaz is known for it’s calming and balancing properties, citrine is here to bring you success and abundance. In fact, citrine used to be known as the “merchant’s stone” as traveling merchants always carried a piece with them to assure profitable sales. Coming in a range from pale yellow to brownish tones, it’s really a lovely stone.

Citrine sounds pretty darn awesome, bringing the wearer:

-cheerfulness and joy
-personal power
-AND it combats negative energy

I’m loving this list! While I don’t (yet) own any pieces of jewelry with citrine, it might be the time to add some to my jewelry box. If I were, here are some of the gorge items I may consider. (in no particular order)

Disa Allsop cushion cut citrine ring

disa allsopp cushion cut citrine ring
Margo Morrison citrine and white sapphire earrings

margo morrison citrine and white sapphire drop earrings
Jamie Joseph citrine ring with diamond accent

jamie joseph citrine ring with dimaond accent
Renee Lewis double citrine pendant necklace

renee lewis double citrine pendant necklace

Nak Armstrong labradorite and citrine earrings

nak armstrong labradorite and citrine dangle mosaic earrings
Disa Allsopp citrine spaghetti ring

disa allsopp citrine spaghetti ring
Devon Leigh rainbow jasper and citrine necklace

devon leigh rainbow jasper and citrine necklace
Miseno Sealeaf Collection 18K diamond and citrine earrings

miseno sealeaf collection 18K diamond and citrine earrings
Julie Wolfe cage ring with citrine and opal

julie wolfe cage ring with citrine and opal
Michael Aram 18K twig diamond and citrine pendant necklace

michael aram twig 18K and diamond citrine pendant necklace
Ippolita Rock Candy shell and citrine earrings

ippolita 18k rock candy earrings in citrine and shell
Oh…if only I had a bottomless wallet….

Happy November birthday!! xo