If June is your birth month, and you love pearls (as I hope you do), treat them gently. Pearls are not as rugged as their crystal mineral counterparts. Made up of layers of tiny crystals of aragonite, they’ll scratch, fracture, discolor, and dissolve if not treated with loving kindness. 7 Tips for Caring for Pearls […]

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If you haven’t noticed this month, I can’t get enough of pearls and pearl jewelry: the shapes, the colors, the sensuality of them. Pearls are probably the most romantic gemstone of them all. ABOVE: This pin, titled “Orbiting,” features a lovely carved quartz by famed lapidary Dieter Lorenz, as well as a golden South Seas pearl, […]

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Are you a June baby who doesn’t like her birthstone? Do you still think your only choices are your grandmother’s pearls–the Queen’s pearls–round, white, and boring? ABOVE: In her light and playful “Nouveau Botticelli” bracelet, Illinois designer Eve Alfillé pairs freshwater pearls of all colors and shapes with an array of gemstones: aquamarine, citrine, prasiolite, carnelian, […]

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Pearls are the most sensuous, the most glorious, the most feminine of all gemstones. Other gems have to be fashioned in some way, but a pearl is perfect just as it is. They’re exquisite water-borne gifts of seas, lakes, and rivers. ABOVE: Oyster with black pearl, Manihi, Tuamotu archipelago, French Polynesia (overseas territory of the French […]

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If emerald is your birthstone, you already know it is one of the most expensive varieties of gemstones. Finding a combination of clean and intensely colored material is one of the most difficult searches in the gem world. So what do you do if you love the color of emeralds and want to wear something […]

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Emeralds’ long history and rich color mean that over the years, they’ve accumulated a wealth of lore and legend. Can the intense green mean anything other than spring, rebirth, and fertility? Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that it was chosen as the birthstone for May. It’s a month of almost overwhelming green in the season […]

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Emeralds are some of the most beloved gemstones in the world–especially by those whose birthdays are in May. However, richly colored, unflawed or lightly flawed emeralds are difficult to find and very expensive when they are found. So it was only natural that someone would try to do better than Mother Nature. In the 1930s, […]

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Birthstones often have swashbuckling histories, but for me, emeralds have one of the swashbuckling-est of all. Above photo: Emerald crystals, Getty Images. I always think of Spanish conquistadors, those blood-thirsty gold-hungry invaders of South America, when I think of emeralds. They terrorized the native populations, tortured, enslaved, and slaughtered them. And once they had their […]

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