Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Amethyst, The Crystal With A Mysterious Energy

Oval Cut Amethyst
Birthstones Series - February Amethyst 

The official birthstone for the month of February is Amethyst, a gemstone that has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions. Amethyst has always been associated with the month of February and it is said to be the stone of St. Valentine and faithful love. It carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality, yet bears the logic of temperance and sobriety.

The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from the Greek a- "not" + methustos "intoxicated".  In Ancient times, Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing that wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate.


The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from the Greeks. Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, got angry over an insult and determined to avenge himself.  He decreed that the first person he should meet would be devoured by his tigers. The unfortunate mortal happened to be a beautiful maiden named Amethystos on her way to worship at the shrine of Artemis. As the ferocious beasts sprang, she sought the protection of the goddess and was saved by her by being turned into a pillar of clear, white crystal. Dionysus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.
 
The Empress of Uruguay
By today’s classifications amethyst is a semiprecious stone, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a precious stone worth at times in history as much as a Diamond. It belongs to the microcrystalline branch of quartz and it occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple (due to iron and aluminum impurities), sometimes exhibiting red and blue secondary hues. The best varieties of Amethysts can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the Far East. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being Prasiolite.

Situated just an hour from the Cairns international Airport on the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, The Crystal Caves are home to the world’s biggest Amethyst Geode, “The Empress of Uruguay”. At well over 11 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, its size is certainly impressive but it is the sheer beauty of the tens of thousands of perfect, deep purple Amethyst crystals that nature has formed naturally inside, that truly amaze everyone who sees her.

Ametrine
An interesting gemstone from the same family (and a favorite of mine) is Ametrine, a natural bicolor combination of amethyst and citrine. Color band combinations in ametrine can range from pale-violet to deep-purple and from pale-yellow to gold-brown. The colors of the zones visible within Ametrine are caused by different oxidation states of iron within the crystal, which occurred due to temperature changes across the crystal during its formation.

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone, a crystal with a mysterious energy. It is said to be a meditative and calming stone that works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.

Sources: Wikipedia, Gem Select and Crystal Vaults. Images courtesy of Gem Select and Panoramio 



Happy Birthday to all February babies!


For quality one-of-a-kind jewelry created with Amethyst please visit ADORA by Simona. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Garnet, The Stone of Eternal Friendship

Oval Cut Almandine Garnet
Birthstones Series - January Garnet

The traditional birthstone for those born in the month of January is Garnet. It symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections. It also signifies eternal friendship and trust, and is the perfect gift for a friend. Garnet is the Zodiac birthstone for Aquarius and the stone that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of marriage.

The word Garnet, derived from the Latin granatum which means “grain”, is possibly a reference to pomegranate because some garnet crystals resemble the red color and seeds of this fruit. There are many different myths about the origins of garnet. One such myth suggests that the garnet originated with Persephone, the Greek goddess of sunshine. Persephone was captured by Hades, the god of the underworld. Before Hades released Persephone, he wanted to guarantee her return, so he gave her some pomegranate seeds.

Most people think of the garnet as a red gemstone, but in fact, Garnet is a group of minerals
Star Garnet
that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the vibrant green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized deep red color of Pyrope Garnet.
The garnet’s variety of colors comes from metals such as manganese, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Some varieties known as Star Garnet even contain mineral fibers that produce the illusion of a four or six-rayed star within the stone, an effect called “asterism”. 
Color Changing Garnet


Color-changing Garnet is an especially rare and valuable member of the garnet group of gemstones. It is highly desired for its distinct ability to change color depending on the type of light source with which it is viewed. It can have several color combinations, especially brown or orange in daylight to a pink or light red in incandescent light.





There are many forms and varieties of Garnets, categorized in six main mineral types:
ALMANDINE  (reddish brown to brown) 
ANDRADITE (brown, black or green)
GROSSULAR (colorless, orange or green) 
PYROPE (dark red to ruby red)
SPESSARTINE (orange, pink or brown) 
UVAROVITE (green)
Green garnets are most highly prized but are very rare. Emerald green and colorless stones are highly valued, followed by pure red garnets.
Varieties of Garnet
The most common crystal shape for garnets is the rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve sided crystal with diamond-shaped (rhombic) faces. This basic shape is the trademark of garnets, for no other crystal shape is so closely associated with a single mineral group like the rhombic dodecahedron is with garnets. Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.

References to the gemstone date back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays in jewelry. In ancient Rome, signet rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax that secured important documents. Ancient warriors believed that garnets brought victory. The Crusaders used them as protection against wounds and accidents during their journeys. In contrast, Asiatic warriors believed that glowing garnets, used as bullets, inflicted more severe wounds.

As with many precious stones, garnets were once believed to hold medicinal powers. In Medieval times, it protected its wearer against poisons, wounds and bad dreams, and cured depression. Red garnets relieved fever, hemorrhages and inflammatory diseases.



Happy Birthday to all January babies!


For one-of-a-kind jewelry designs created with garnet please visit ADORA by Simona






ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fall Inspiration For The Perfect Rustic Wedding





As the fall makes its debut with cooler temperatures and richer colors, what better idea than a rustic harvest-themed wedding! The rustic venue holds infinite possibilities for breathtaking photos and endless DIY details like painted mason jars, flower arrangements, burlap, wooden signs, romantic string lights, etc…  

The comforting autumn colors range from muted shades of brown combined with creamy blush and soft ivory, to pops of dark red, yellow and orange to create a balanced palette that complements the landscape’s changing leaves.



Let the season have a say when it comes to picking a flower arrangement to hold for your walk down the aisle. Whether choosing based on color (reds, yellows, oranges, and purples are especially festive in the fall), or in-season availability (chrysanthemums, anemones, calla lilies and asters are all fall flowers), seasonal bouquets can help tie your wedding together.
                          
Mixed greenery makes a statement in the bridal bouquet, reappearing in the centerpieces in a lush arrangement.


Burlap, tactile and highly textured, can be used for everything from table runners or placemats, wrapping mason jars and even invitations. Add lace and pearls for an elegant touch to the otherwise rustic harvest theme. Incorporate touches of lace in your tablescape by lining menus with lace trim or by wrapping your utensils with lace ribbon.


The classic texture of wood is easy to incorporate by decorating the space with crates and barrels spilling over with colorful flowers or gourds and other autumn produce like apples, corn, pumpkins, and wheat bundles, as the perfect decorative harvest accents to symbolize the abundance and good fortune of the union. 


Wood slices can be used as cake stands, centerpieces or signs.



And what can be more romantic than a big bonfire after-party, with log stools or hay bales where the guests can make smores and the newlyweds can kiss as their hearts desire.     


Sharing a love that's “sweeter than honey” is cause for celebration. Your guests will love every part of your wedding, especially the personalized jar of wildflower honey you'll send them home with, a local and allergen-free party favor that they will get to enjoy long after the wedding day.




And last but not least, adorn yourself and your bridesmaids with harvest-themed jewelry to fit right in this idyllic setting. ADORA's new "Ever After" Collection has a variety of jewelry designs to choose from, which along with the memories will be cherished by your friends for a long time to come.

Information sources and images: Pinterest. Thank you!  


ABOUT ADORA: The journey to selecting the jewelry for your Special Day can be a daunting task, so why not let us custom-design a wedding jewelry style that is uniquely yours. ADORA can bring your vision to life using the same elegant and refreshing style that goes into all of our designs. Handcrafted and completely personalized, we will work closely with you to tailor your jewelry ideas to your needs in order to create the perfect pieces for your Big Day, whether your theme is elegant, vintage, rustic or beach. From matching necklaces for your Bridesmaids or a stunning pair of earrings for yourself, to a unique piece for the Mother of the Bride/Groom and the perfectly delicate bracelet for the Flower Girl, we can do it all. For Customized Jewelry Packages for the Entire Bridal Party, please visit ADORA by Simona's New "Ever After" Collection.