Education

Pure gold is equal to 1/24 pure gold in alloy. Thus, 14 karat means:

  • 14 parts of 24 are pure gold, while the remaining 10 parts are mixed with other metal.
  • 24k=100% = .9999
  • 18k =75% = . 750
  • 14k=58.3%= .5833 (.585)
  • 10k=41.6%=.4166 (.417)

Throughout the world gold weight is based on the troy ounce. Listed below is a reference table.

  1. 24 Grains = 1 pennyweight = 1.55552 grams
  2. 20 Pennyweight = 1 ounce = 31.1035 grams
  3. 12 ounces (troy) = 1 pound = 373.2417grams

The Elements used to produce different gold colors are:

  • YELLOW GOLD = GOLD, COPPER & SILVER
  • WHITE GOLD = GOLD, NICKEL OR PALLADIUM, ZINC & COPPER

June Birthstones

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubJune is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between pearl, alexandrite and moonstone.

June?s birthstones range from creamy-colored opalescent pearl and moonstone to the rare color-changing alexandrite?one of the most valuable gems on earth. With this spectrum of price points and color options, people with June birthdays can choose a beautiful gemstone to fit any mood or budget.

Pearl Overview

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubPearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. Mollusks produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells?usually not a grain of sand, as commonly believed.

While any shelled mollusk can technically make a pearl, only two groups of bivalve mollusks (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent ?nacreous? pearls that are valued in jewelry. These rare gems don?t require any polishing to reveal their natural luster.

Appropriately, the name ?pearl? comes from the Old French perle, from the Latin perna meaning ?leg,? referencing the leg-of-mutton shape of an open mollusk shell. Because perfectly round, smooth natural pearls are so uncommon, the word ?pearl? can refer to anything rare and valuable.

The rarest, and therefore most expensive, pearls are natural pearls made in the wild. The majority of pearls sold today are cultured or farmed by implanting a grafted piece of shell (and sometimes a round bead) into pearl oysters or freshwater pearl mussels.

Pearls are very soft, ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale. They are sensitive to extreme heat and acidity; in fact, calcium carbonate is so susceptible to acid that pearls will dissolve in vinegar.

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubThe finest pearls have a reflective luster, making them appear creamy white with an iridescent sheen that casts many colorful hues.

Cultured freshwater pearls can also be dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, purple or black.

Black pearls?which are mostly cultured because they are so rare in nature?aren?t actually black but rather green, purple, blue or silver.

Pearls used to be found in many parts of the world, but natural pearling is now confined to the Persian Gulf waters near Bahrain. Australia owns one of the world?s last remaining pearl diving fleets, and still harvests natural pearls from the Indian Ocean.

Today, most freshwater cultured pearls come from China. South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwestern coastline of Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

In many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it?s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. Besides being one of three birthstones for June, the pearl is also the birthstone for babies born under the signs of Gemini and Cancer, and frequently gifted on 1st, 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries.

Pearl History

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubPearls have been used as adornment for centuries ?at least as far back as ancient Greece, where they believed pearls were tears of the gods. The oldest known pearl jewelry was discovered in the sarcophagus of a Persian Princess who died in 520 B.C.

Ancient Japanese folktales told that pearls were created from the tears of mythical creatures like mermaids and nymphs. Early Chinese civilizations believed that dragons carried pearls between their teeth, and the dragon must be slain to claim the pearls?which symbolized wisdom.

Other cultures associated pearls with the moon, calling them ?teardrops of the moon.? Hindu folklore explained that dewdrops fell from the moon into the sea, and Krishna picked one for his daughter on her wedding day.

Because natural pearls were so rare throughout history, only the richest echelon could afford them. During the Byzantine Empire, rules dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear these treasured gemstones. Ancient Egyptians were often buried with their prized pearls.

Tudor England was known as the Pearl Age because of the stone?s popularity with the upper class during the sixteenth century. Portraits showed royals wearing pearl jewelry and clothing adorned with pearls.

Pearls became more accessible in the early 1900s when the first commercial culturing of saltwater pearls began in Asia. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market?making this classic gemstone affordable for nearly any budge

Alexandrite Overview

Michael’s Diamond and Gold Club

A relatively modern gem, alexandrite was discovered in Russian emerald mines located in the Ural Mountains. Legends claim that it was discovered in 1834 on the same day that future Russian Czar Alexander II came of age, hence the name honoring him. Because this unique gemstone changed colors from green to red?the national colors of Russia?alexandrite became Imperial Russia?s official gemstone.

Often described as ?emerald by day, ruby by night,? alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes color from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light.

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubThis chameleon-like behavior is the result of its uncommon chemical composition? which includes traces of chromium, the same coloring agent found in emerald. The unlikelihood of these elements combining under the right conditions makes alexandrite one of the rarest, costliest gems.

The alexandrite mined from Russia?s famed deposits set the quality standard for this stone. Today, most alexandrite comes from Sri Lanka, Brazil and East Africa?generally paling in comparison to the vivid colors of Russian gems.

With a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, alexandrite is softer than sapphire and harder than garnet?the other gemstones that can change color. However, due to its scarcity, alexandrite is more valuable than most gems, even rubiesand diamonds.

Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination?bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.

Alexandrite HIstory

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubThe controversial history of alexandrite dates back to Imperial Russia, where it was first discovered in emerald mines near the Tokovaya River in Russia?s Ural Mountains. Its Finnish discoverer initially mistook it for emerald before realizing it changed colors under different light sources.

According to legend, this gemstone was named for Alexander II because it was discovered on the future czar?s birthday in 1834. Because alexandrite?s red and green hues matched Russia?s military colors, it became the official gemstone of Imperial Russia?s Tsardom.

Russian jewelers were fascinated by this rare chameleon-like gem. George Frederick Kunz, the master gemologist at Tiffany & Co., was also fond of it, and produced a series of alexandrite rings between the late 19th and early 20th century. Alexandrite was occasionally used for jewelry in Victorian England, as well.

After Russia?s mine deposits were exhausted, the popularity of alexandrite waned until new supplies were discovered in Brazil in 1987. Brazil, Sri Lanka and East Africa are now the main sources for alexandrite, though these are not as vividly colored as the original Russian stones.

Because it?s so scarcely available, fine quality alexandrite is practically unaffordable to the general public. Even lower quality stones are expensive and limited in supply.

Since the 1960s, labs have grown synthetic alexandrite?not to be confused with simulated alexandrite, which is actually corundum or colored crystals infused with chromium or vanadium for color. Creating synthetic alexandrite is an expensive process, so even lab-grown stones can be costly.

Gemstone Information

Bying a gemstone is often a very different experience than buying a diamond. Gemstones are selected based on favorite colors, wardrobe matches, personality, and fashion trends. While gemstones are judged using the 4Cs, just as diamonds do, each is judged separately. For example, a sapphire is compared to another sapphire, but wouldn’t be compared to an emerald or aquamarine. Choose your gemstone jewelry based on your personal preferences.

TRADITIONAL GENUINE BIRTHSTONE
MONTH STONE
January Garnet
February Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone
April Diamond Cubic Zirconia
May Emerald
June Alexandrite Moonstone
July Ruby
August Peridot
September Sapphire
October Tourmaline Opal
November Citrine Topaz
December Blue Zircon Tanzanite Turquois

GEMSTONE CARE

Alexandrite
Alexandrite is rated “excellent” for everyday wear. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Amethyst
Amethyst is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ametrine
Ametrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Aquamarine
Aquamarine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Bloodstone
Bloodstone is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Cameo
Cameos are quite fragile and are not for everyday wear and special care should be taken wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Carnelian
Carnelian is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Chalcedony
Blue and lavender Chalcedony is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Chrysoprase
Chrysoprase is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Citrine
Citrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Coral
Coral is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Emerald
Emerald is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Garnet
Garnet is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Iolite
Iolite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Jade
Nephrite Jade is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Lapis
Lapis is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Marcasite
Marcasite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Typically, the surface will oxidize over time. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Moonstone
Moonstone is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Onyx
Onyx is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Opal
Take care when wearing Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Opal, Fire
Take care when wearing Mexican Fire Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches.

Pearl
Pearls are not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Avoid contact with chemicals, especially perfumes, perspiration and hair sprays. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Peridot
Peridot is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Quartz, Smoky
Smoky Quartz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ruby
Rubies are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Sapphire
Sapphires are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Tanzanite
Tanzanite is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tiger’s Eye
Tiger’s Eye is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Topaz, Precious
Precious Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz
Blue and White Topaz is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz, Diffused
Diffused Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid contact with chemicals. Re-cutting is not recommended. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Tourmaline
Tourmaline is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Turquoise
Turquoise is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Zircon
Blue Zircon is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

The Origin of Birthstones

It’s uncertain how the specific months became connected with the various stones. However, some speculate that their origins date back to biblical times when the breastplate belonging to a priest was decorated with 12 assorted colored gems. As time wore on, the 12 gems became associated with the zodiac and the months connected to it.

This started the tradition of wearing a colored stone each month as a sort of good luck charm. Initially people wore all twelve stones, rotating according to the month of the year to derive the greatest benefit of each stone. Believing that the various gems held magical powers for the individual born within a given month, people started to wear the stone associated with their birth month for the entire year. In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers designed a list dedicating different gems to various months. What was once thought to be controversial based on its commercialism is now widely accepted as the official birthstone list.

The History and Beliefs Surrounding the Diamond

As told through the Encarta, Sanskrit texts dating back before 400 B.C. found that people associated significant value and wonderment with crystals. There is also significant research that dates back to the 1330s showing diamond cutting in Venice. The diamond trading business flourished towards the 15th century with the opening of Eastern trade routes. Ancient theories touting the magical powers of diamonds were prevalent: some thought lightning bolts formed diamonds, while other theories asserted that diamonds were the tears of god.

The Healing Powers of Diamonds

During the Middle Ages, diamonds were thought to hold healing powers and to cure ailments stemming from the pituitary gland and brain. By heating the crystal and taking it to bed, it was thought to draw out the harmful toxins that were crippling the body. It was believed that diamonds could also have an effect on an individual’s balance and clarity and could boost their energy when combined with other crystals like amethyst.

The diamond as the April gemstone has garnered the hearts of many and is the most coveted crystal to date. Deemed as the King of all birthstones, diamonds make the ideal choice for an April birthday gift. She’ll love you for it!

Diamond Shapes & Descriptions
Learn the 4 C’s and choose any diamond cut you like!

Round
Round

Heart
Heart

Emerald
Emerald

Cushion
Cushion

Oval
Oval

Pear
Pear

Princess
Princess

Radiant
Radiant

Marquise
Marquise

Asscher
Asscher

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