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
  • Gemstone Information

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

August Birthstone

Michael's Diamond and Gold ClubWe have a birthday present for those born in August: the stunning spinel has been added to your month’s birthstone lineup! August now joins June and December as the only months represented by three gems.

The original birthstone for August was Sardonyx, and then peridot was added, becoming August’s primary gem. Now spinel adds its multitude of color choices!

Learn more about August’s diverse birthstones by exploring these.

Peridot Overview

Michael's Diamond and Gold ClubThough peridot is widely recognized by its brilliant lime green glow, the origin of this gem’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word peridot is derived from the Arabic faridat which means gem, but some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning giving plenty. Perhaps that’s why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune.

Peridot is the rare gem-quality variety of the common mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.

Rarely, peridot is also found inside meteorites.

Peridot’s signature green color comes from the composition of the mineral itself rather than from trace impurities, as with many gems. That’s why this is one of few stones that only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending how much iron is present.

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Lika Behar Collection

Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. Other sources are China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa.

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Also known as the Evening Emerald because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

Peridot History

Michael's Diamond and Gold ClubPeridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. These ancient Egyptian gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.

Ancient Egyptians called peridot the gem of the sun, believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot. Through medieval times, people continued to confuse these two green gems. The 200-carat gems adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were long believed to be emeralds as well, but they are also peridots.

This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest peridots ever found. Some of these Kashmir peridots measured more than 100 carats.

The most productive peridot deposit in the world is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. An estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supply is found here.

Thanks to these rich deposits, the modern demand for peridots can now be met easily, giving people born in August affordable options for wearing this beautiful green.

Sardonyx Overview

Michael's Diamond and Gold ClubSardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx two types of the layered mineral chalcedony to create a reddish zebra-striped stone with white bands.

Its name, similarly, combines sard (referencing the ancient Persian city, Sardis, in present-day Turkey, where the red stone was found) with onyx (from the Greek word of the same spelling, which meant nail or claw.)

Sard ranges in color from yellowish red to reddish brown, depending on how much iron oxide is present. Sard is easily confused with carnelian, another type of chalcedony that is slightly softer and lighter in color.

Sardonyx, like onyx, shows layers of parallel bands instead of the chaotic, curved bands that compose agate, another type of chalcedony.

The finest examples of sardonyx, which display sharp contrasts between layers, are found in India. Other sources include Brazil, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay and the United States.

Measuring 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, sardonyx is widely available and relatively inexpensive as gems, beads, and jewelry. It is often carved into cameos, intaglios and brooches to show the color contrast between layers.

Used as a stone of strength and protection since ancient times, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Some believe that placing sardonyx at each corner of a house will grant protection against evil.

Sardonyx History

Sardonyx has been popular for centuries, dating back to the Second Dynasty of Egypt more than 4,000 years ago.

Ancient Greeks and Romans went to battle wearing sardonyx talismans engraved with images of heroes and gods like Hercules and Mars. They believed the stone could harness the bravery of those figures, granting them courage, victory and protection on the battlefield.

Sardonyx was a popular stone for Roman seals and signet rings that were used to imprint wax emblems on official documents due to the fact that hot wax doesn’t stick to this stone.

Sard was even mentioned in the Bible as one of the stones that adorned the High Priest’s breastplate.

During Renaissance times, sardonyx was associated with eloquence. Public speakers and orators wore it to aid clear thinking and communication.

Unlike rare gemstones that were historically limited to wealthy royals, sardonyx has been popular with elite and regular folk alike. Relatively common and inexpensive, sardonyx is a beautiful and powerful stone that’s affordable enough to join any collection.

Spinel Overview

Michael's Diamond and Gold ClubThe spinel is often assumed to be other gemstones because it tends to resemble either a ruby or sapphire. In fact, some of the most famous rubies in history have turned out to be spinel. But its distinguishing features, like its octahedral crystal structure and single refraction, are what sets it apart from other gems. Spinel also has a lower Mohs hardness than ruby and sapphire.

Significant deposits of spinel have been found in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. It has also been found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania and the U.S.

Vivid red is the most desirable color of spinel gemstones, followed by cobalt blue, bright pink and bright orange. The more affordable stones are often those with paler colors, like lavender. You may also find spinel in black, violet blue, greenish blue, grayish, pale pink, mauve, yellow or brown. So many choices!

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Omi Priv
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Eria Courtney
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Stuller

When shopping for spinel, a good quality stone should have no visible inclusions. The more inclusions, the less valuable the stone. Spinel can be found in various cuts, like octagons, trillions, squares, rounds and fancy shapes, like ovals, pears, and cushions

Spinel History

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Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers

In the gem world, spinel could easily earn the title of Most Underappreciated Gem. Throughout history, spinel was often confused with ruby and sapphire.

Mines of central and Southeast Asia yielded large spinel crystals known as Balas rubies, which became valuable property of emperors and kings, and often passed along as the spoils of war.

Some of the most famous rubies in history have turned out to be spinel. Large red gems, such as the Black Prince’s ruby and the Timur ruby in the Crown Jewels of England have confirmed to be large red spinels.

Many English monarchs, including Henry VIII, have prized spinel. It has survived them all, through attempted theft, bombings, and fires!

One member of the spinel group, magnetite, has magnetic properties. As early as the 11th century, mariners used this form of spinel known as lodestone to magnetize


September Birthstone

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubSeptember’s birthstone is the sapphire, a precious gem of wisdom, loyalty and nobility. This stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers.

When people say ‘sapphire,’ they’re usually referring to the royal blue variety of this gem, although it can occur in all colors of the rainbow (except red, which is classified as ruby instead).

This lovely gem gives September-born babies a full spectrum of options when choosing the shade of birthstone that best represents them. Learn more about sapphire on the following pages:

Sapphire Overview

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubAlthough sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gem actually occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which earn the classification of rubies instead.

Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper and magnesium give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively. Sapphires in any color but blue are called ‘fancies.’

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubPink sapphires, in particular, tow a fine line between ruby and sapphire. In the U.S., these gems must meet a minimum color saturation to be considered rubies. Pinkish orange sapphires called padparadscha (from the Sri Lankan word for ‘lotus flower’) can actually draw higher prices than some blue sapphires.

The name ‘sapphire’ comes from the Latin sapphirus and Greek sappheiros meaning ‘blue stone,’ though those words may have originally referred to lapis lazuli. Some believe it originated from the Sanskrit word sanipriya which meant ‘dear to Saturn.’

Sapphires are found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, Brazil, Africa and North America (mainly Montana). Their origin can affect their value as much as color, cut, clarity and carat size.

Due to the remarkable hardness of sapphires’ which measure 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamond, they aren’t just valuable in jewelry, but also in industrial applications including scientific instruments, high-durability windows, watches and electronics.

Sapphires symbolize loyalty, nobility, sincerity and integrity. They are associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline and channeling higher powers.

Sapphire History

Michael’s Diamond and Gold ClubSeptember’s birthstone, the sapphire, has been popular since the Middle Ages. Back then, the celestial blue color of this gem symbolized heaven and attracted divine favor and wise judgment.

Greeks wore sapphire for guidance when seeking answers from the oracle. Buddhists believed it brought spiritual enlightenment, and Hindus used it during worship. Early Christian kings cherished sapphire’s powers of protection by using it in ecclesiastical rings.

Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, though historians now believe the blue stone referenced in the Bible may have been lapis lazuli.

Classical violet-blue sapphires traditionally came from the Kashmir region of India between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The world record price-per-carat for sapphire was set by a gem from Kashmir, which sold at auction for $242,000 per carat (more than $6.74 million total) in October 2015.

Famous star sapphires like the 1404.49-carat Star of Adam, the 563.4-carat Star of India and the 182-carat Star of Bombay came from Sri Lankan mines.

Australia was a significant source of sapphires until deposits were discovered in Madagascar during the 1990s. Madagascar now leads the world in sapphire production.

In 1902, French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process to make synthetic sapphire. The abundance of synthetic sapphire unlocked industrial applications spanning integrated circuits, satellite communication systems, high-durability windows and scientific instruments.

This gem became a symbol of royal love in 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Prince William later gave this ring to Catherine Middleton when he proposed in 2010.

Today, top-quality blue sapphire remains one of Mother Nature’s rare gems.

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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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