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Amethyst, Loose Gemstones

Amethyst; royal purple, February Birthstone, 6th Wedding Anniversary, and interesting folk lore. Affordable finely cut loose gemstones are available for purchase and for custom designed jewelry.  The largest collection of colored gemstones in the Berkshires on display in our Lenox Gallery.

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Amethyst, February Birthstone

Did you know that amethyst is a meditative and calming stone? It works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to promote calm, balance, and peace.

Did you know that amethyst is used in crystal healing to help heal personal losses and grief?

Did you know that amethyst is known as the sobriety stone and used by the ancient Greeks to prevent drunkenness? As such it assists in getting rid of addictions to alcohol, drugs, smoking, and other destructive compulsive behaviors.

Given all these attributes it’s understandable why amethyst is so popular. We have two more; it’s beautiful and it’s affordable.

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Tsavorite Garnet

Tsavorite garnet is a variety of the garnet group species grossular, with trace amounts of vanadium or chromium that provide the green color.

In 1967, British gem prospector and geologist Campbell Bridges discovered a deposit of green grossular in the mountains of north-east Tanzania.

Tsavorite garnet has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, slightly higher than other species of garnet.

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Spectacular Spessartite Garnet

Spessartine (or spessartite) is named after Spessart in Bavaria, Germany, the type locality of the mineral. Spessartine of an orange-yellow has been called Mandarin garnet and is found in Madagascar. Violet-red spessartine are found in rhyolites in Colorado and Main.

Spessartite, as other garnets, has a hardnes of 6.5-7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

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Garnet, January Birthstone

Garnet is January’s birthstone, and the gem for the second wedding anniversary. It is available in a rich palette of colors: greens, oranges, yellows, pinkish oranges, deeplay saturated purplish reds, and even some blues.

Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, is rare and needs rarer rock chemistries and conditions to form.

Demantoid is a rare and famous green garnet, spessartite is an orange garnet, rhodolite is a beautiful purple-red, andradite and grossular are a yellowish green color.

All garnets have essentially the same crystal structure, but they vary in chemical composition. There are more than twenty garnet categories, called species, but only five are commercially important as gems. Those five are pyrope, almandine, spessartite, grossular, and andradite. A sixth, uvarovite, is a green garnet that ususlly occurs as crystals too small to cut. It’s sometimes set as clusters in jewelry. Many garnets are chemical misxtures of two or more garnte spcies.

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Poised between lush blue, vibrant violet, and rich purple, exotic tanzanite is found in only one place on earth, near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.

We have an extensive collection of loose tanzanite gemstones, precisely cut by a local Berkshire lapidary. The selection includes gems of all sizes and shapes. Come to our gallery or shop online for tanzanite.

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Tanzanite and Zircon are December’s Birthstones

December has two birthstones, Tanzanite and Zircon. First, let’s delve briefly into Tanzanite’s background.

Tiffany & Co. introduced Tanzanite to the market in 1968 naming it after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered. Tiffany’s marketing department created the gemstone’s name after deciding that its scientific name, blue-violet zoisite, was too hard for consumers to remember.

Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism (a chemical structure causing a double refraction when white light passes through) that leads to it appearing alternatively blue, violet and burgundy. Blue will be more evident when the gemstone is viewed under fluorescent light; violet hues will be more evident when viewed under incandescent light.

Tanzanite’s hardness registers 6.5 on the Moh’s Scale. The gemstone is safest set in pendants and earrings. Expect the gemstone to show wear if you set it into a frequently worn ring.

Zircon, December’s second birthstone, is one of my favorites appearing frequently in my custom designs. Its numerous colors – reddish brown, yellow, green, blue, gray, peach, orange, red, pale brown and colorless – inspire my creativity. I equally appreciate the gemstone’s high refractive index making it similar to a diamond. Also, its strong luster and intense fire give it a flash comparable with a diamond.

Zircon’s hardness (7.5 on the Moh’s Scale) attests to its durability so it can be set into any piece of jewelry. It is mined in Tanzania and Cambodia.

Aside from loose Zircon and Tanzanite (both of which hold their value) our gallery and online store offer many finished pieces for purchase. The jewelry and gemstones are priced well for first time investors in fine jewlery.