February Birthstone: Where Does Amethyst Come From?

If you were born in February, your birthstone is amethyst – a purple gemstone that has starring roles in the jewelry and regalia of kings and queens. This gemstone is found in the personal collections of Great Britain’s and Russia’s royal families. Britain’s Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986) commissioned a now famous amethyst necklace. Empress Catherine II (1729-1796) of Russia, also known as Catherine the Great, was particularly fond of amethyst and used the gem in buttons, earrings, necklaces and aigrettes (hair ornaments that usually held feathers, or were in the shape of a feather, and were often set with gems). Ancient cultures also loved amethyst and it has been found in 4,400-year-old jewelry.

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January Birthstone: Where Do Garnets Come From?

If you’re lucky enough to be born in January, garnet is your birthstone. A gem found around the world, garnet comes in a painter’s palette of colors. So there’s bound to be a hue to suit your taste.

Garnets also come with a rich history. Red garnet necklaces graced the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Ancient Romans used carved garnets in signet rings to stamp wax seals safeguarding important documents. And the clergy and nobility of the middle ages had a particular affinity for garnet.

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Famous Birthstone: December’s Turquoise Empress Marie-Louise Diadem

When we think of royalty, images of crowns, tiaras, and diadems instantly come to mind. Beautiful head ornaments intricately crafted in gold and encrusted with rare gemstones were once used as symbols of nobility, status, and the right to rule. They dazzled onlookers with their splendor, and even though royal families may have faded in political power, their relics continue to captivate.

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Zodiac-Inspired Jewelry: Sagittarius

An archer, taking the form of a centaur, a half human, half horse mythological character, strides across the night sky taking aim with its bow and arrow. The noble vision is Sagittarius, the constellation associated with the ninth zodiac sign covering those born between November 22 to December 21 – a sign that’s inspired some magnificent jewelry.

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GIA Holiday Shopping Guide: How to Choose A Birthstone for the Perfect Holiday Gift

Stunning, striking, and simply gorgeous, birthstone jewelry is a great holiday gift. Show your affection with a gift that merges individuality with style. A birthstone celebrates her personal story and represents a bit of who she is, so you may want to start the process by asking yourself what style suits her. Is she traditional or contemporary, classic or colorful? Does she prefer her metal silver spun or in a golden twist? Once you’ve got her design preferences down, don’t forget the qualities that make a birthstone valuable.

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Turquoise: December’s Birthstone, Loved for its Sky Blue Color

Those celebrating December birthdays are fortunate to have a few birthstones to choose from – zircon, tanzanite, blue topaz and lapis lazuli, among them. But one of the best known and most loved December gems is turquoise, a gem that has been mined and used for thousands of years.

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