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Diamond Buying Guide

This Diamond Quality Guide is designed to help jewelry artists understand how diamond quality and value is determined. Diamond grading standards are defined by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). Diamond experts evaluate diamonds for rarity...

Turquoise Mines Closing in China

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has always had a passion for turquoise. You could say it's in our blood; after all, it is the favorite stone of owner Stuart Freedman. In the early '70s Stuart was a gemstone hobbyist, cutting rough turquoise into...

Pearls, The Increasing Price of Elegance

Recently there's been a noticeable pricing shift in the cost--and the resulting resale value--of pearls and pearl jewelry. The following five points briefly discuss different circumstances surrounding the increase. Although pearls are cultivated in...

Taylor Burton Diamond

The best known of the well-publicized gifts Elizabeth Taylor received from her fifth husband, the late Richard Burton, is the Taylor-Burton Diamond. This 69.42-carat pear-shape diamond was cut from a rough stone weighing 240.80 carats found in the...

The Glorious Pearl: Learn About Pearls Before You Buy

This FREE pearl guide is all about pearls and includes information on the difference between natural and cultured freshwater pearls and other popular pearls including Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, South Seas pearls, White Lotus™ pearls, saltwater...

Gemstones: The Unearthing Process

Gemstones are found all over the world. They begin as minerals, rocks and organic formations and become desired for their specific colors, phenomenon, shine, inclusions or rarity. There are gemstones found in primary deposits (their places of...

Gemstones: Natural, Synthetic and Imitation

Shopping for can be a lot like shopping for a used car. Is the price reasonable? How can I tell the quality? What's the best feature? Can I trust the seller? Understanding how gemstones are created allows for a more confident shopping experience....

The Lure of Larimar

Overflowing with waves of ocean-blue color, larimar is a rare blue variety of pectolite. The serene blue color results from the substitution of cobalt for calcium in the stone and varies from white and light-blue to green-blue and deep blue or...

The Extraordinary Gift of Beads and Jewelry

Laurie, an accomplished jewelry artisan and one of your nighttime customer service representatives here at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®, said, "The thought behind the gift is powerful. It can be more important than the choice of particular beads...

A Closer Look at Gemstones

Being familiar with the characteristics of a gemstone can go a long way towards helping make good designing decisions. Not all gemstones are appropriate for all applications, so having a working understanding of certain terms can aid in unlocking a...

Cultured Freshwater Pearls

No one really knows who the earliest people to collect and wear pearls were. It is believed by some that an ancient fish-eating tribe, perhaps along the coast of India, initially appreciated the shape and luster of saltwater pearls, which they...

Metaphysical Properties

When jewelry makers encounter information about gemstones, they frequently discover where a stone is mined, what it's made of and the phrase "metaphysical properties." What is that information and how can a jewelry maker use it in designs?...

Gemstones Around the World

Where do we find gemstones? Mines and deposits around the world. Some locations are famous: the Sleeping Beauty turquoise mine in Arizona, USA, or the only known deposit of tanzanite in the Mererani Hills of northern Tanzania. Other gemstone...

Minerals, Rocks, Gemstones, Crystals - What’s the Difference?

Minerals, rocks, gemstones, crystals: unless you are a professional or amateur geologist--or maybe earned a merit badge studying them as a scout--you probably will have a hard time explaining the differences amongst these four hard substances found...

Rolling with the Rocks: The Role of Gemologists

Gemology is the study and identification of gemstones and a gemologist is the person who does that studying and identifying. Gemologists learn to recognize different gemstones by knowing the scientific properties of the gemstone materials and how...

Special Effects in Jewelry-Making Materials

Long before George Lucas was creating light sabers, special effects existed naturally in gemstones and other jewelry-making materials. The fire of the diamond, the play of colors in an opal, the shimmering asterisk in a star sapphire--these optical...

What Is a Cabochon? How this Jewelry Component is Made and Used

The shape (KAB-oh-shon) refers to a piece of gemstone (or other material) which has been shaped and polished, instead of faceted. Such stones have a domed front surface and a flat back. The process of creating this shape is called cutting , and...

Gemstone Optical Properties

Optical properties refer to the way gemstones interact with light. Color, interference and inclusions are all examples of optical properties. The first optical property is also the most obvious--color. Color happens when light hits a stone and some...

Extraterrestrial Gemstones: Futuristic Inspiration, Right for Our Times

The Earth is peppered with space-born stones where meteorites have landed. Incorporating extraterrestrial stones into space-age jewelry designs will produce ideal accessories for the sci-fi inspired styles that have been spotted on fashion runways....

A Guide To Buying Turquoise

The always-popular stone is enjoying a huge revival in designer jewelry and current fashion. Learn what turquoise is, types of turquoise gems, typical gemological enhancements and buying tips for this popular blue-green gemstone. Natural turquoise...
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