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October Birth Stone

Opal is arguably the most unique, diverse, and beautiful birthstone. Unlike most gemstones, Opal is amorphous which means it does not have a defined crystalline structure. It takes on many shapes and colors and in that way, it is pretty unpredictable.

Opals are very interesting and there are some myths that you’ll want to know about as well. We even have some spectacular specimens for you to admire as you learn about this fascinating gemstone.

Opals have been the muse of artists, writers, and other creatives since what seems like the beginning of time. The exact origin of Opal‘s name is disputed, but historians are confident that in ancient Rome Opal was known as opalus which translates as the “precious stone.”

Was the Opal the ancient Romans admired the same as the one we admire today? No one is sure. However, evidence of Opal artifacts date as far back as 4000 B.C.

Not only has Opal been in the minds and hearts of mankind for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, Opals take a very long time to form.

Though the exact cause of Opal formation is still disputed, many believe that silica was carried down into rock crevices by heavy rains. Once the water evaporated, what was left was a silica gel that then hardened over the course of what some believe is millions of years. This didn’t happen overnight! It takes roughly 5 million years to solidify just one centimeter of Opal.

This theory makes sense considering Opal has water in it. The water content of an Opal can be upwards of 20 percent but is usually in the 5 percent range.

It is estimated that nearly 95% of the world’s opal comes from Australia. Other countries that commonly mine Opals include Ethiopia, Brazil, and Mexico.

There are two types of Opals: precious and common. Precious Opals either have vibrant color (fire Opal) or exhibit a play of color. Play of color is a term coined to describe the unique multi-dimensional color display that the more precious Opals have.

Precious Opals have two basic colors, their background color and their play of color. The background color is caused by impurities within the silica. Within the precious Opal family, there are many different varieties of Opal. Each has their own unique color combinations and character traits. Opals can be found orange, yellow, red, green, blue, or purple.  Black Opals are considered one of the rarest gemstones, though they too can be a variety of dark colors.

The other colors are caused by the way silica forms together. Silica is composed of a bunch of tiny spheres that adhere to one another. When they fuse, tiny gaps are created between them that allow the light to diffract. This diffraction causes a magnitude of different shapes and color combinations.

Opal became the official birthstone of the month of October in 1912. The National Association of Jewelers came together at that time to finalize the longtime debate as to which gemstones represented each month. Opal has been a clear winner for the month of October since the 15th century.

Many cultures throughout history have associated different gemstones with astrological signs. The stone that aligns with your sign largely depends on which list or culture you choose to follow. Opal has commonly been

ated with the signs Scorpio and Libra, which aligns with October.

Opal is also the official gemstone gift alternative for the 14th wedding anniversary.

 

 

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Good Time to Buy Natural Color Diamonds

It’s a good time to buy natural color diamonds. “The recent price declines in the white goods created an overall negative psychological effect on all diamonds. This is probably the reason we also witnessed a decline of 0.1% in the Fancy Color Index in Q2,” said Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF) advisory board member Eden Rachminov.

According to the FCRF, yellow diamonds displayed a decline of 0.8% vis-a-vis the 0.2% increase in the second quarter of 2018. The prices of yellow diamonds declined by 0.8% overall in this quarter, primarily influenced by the 1–3 cts. categories, with the sharpest downturn of 2.7% in the 1 ct. category.

Blue diamonds showed a 0.3% decrease in the second quarter of 2019 compared to a 1.5% increase in the same quarter in 2018. Blue diamond prices decreased overall by 0.3%, affected mainly by the decline of 0.9% in the weight category of 8–10 cts.

Only pink diamonds showed an upturn of 0.4% in the second quarter of 2019, compared to a 0.5% decrease in the same quarter in 2018. The pink category continued to outperform all other categories, showing an increase of 0.4%. All fancy vivid pinks rose by 1.3%, with fancy vivid pinks of 2 and 3 cts. showing a rise in the second quarter of 2019, increasing by 2.8% and 2.6%, respectively.

Despite the temporary psychological negative effect at the moment, the long-term price trend for natural color diamonds looks positive. According to research by Knight Frank, within the last 10 years, the price of colored diamonds went up by 85%, outperforming some “classical” luxury investment objects such as art and watches. “It’s definitely a good time to buy colored diamonds now,” says Rachminov.

One of the opportunities to buy is the upcoming True Colors auction by Alrosa, the worlds’ largest diamond miner. The diamonds will be available for viewing during the September Hong Kong Jewelry & Gem Fair (Sept. 16–20). For the first time, the auction will be conducted via the Alrosa online platform, diamonds.alrosa.ru. The first True Colors auction was conducted in 2018. It finished with a total sale of 210 diamonds. The bidding was very active, and most of the lots were sold for well above their starting prices.

At this year’s auction, Alrosa is offering a comprehensive origin story for every stone for the first time. Thanks to Alrosa’s traceability programs, the consumers can witness the diamonds’ fascinating journey from mine and market. “With a closed production cycle, the company can guarantee the origin of every polished diamond, especially since it has its own unique ID,” revealed the miner.

This year, the collection includes about 200 polished diamonds of various shapes and colors, and all have GIA certificates. Each of them is a masterpiece of diamond production created by skillful professionals who put their hearts into their work, keep the traditions, and know what a real Russian cut is (Russian cut describes both the origin of the diamond and the location where it was cut).

Alrosa operates its own in-house cutting and polishing branch, Diamonds of Alrosa. Beginning in 2018, it concentrated on fancy color and unique diamonds. Alrosa’s goal is to become the leader in the natural color diamonds market. Being the largest miner, Alrosa aims to be the largest producer of natural color diamonds by volume.

Article Provided By: JKC

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Peridot Gemstone

History of Peridot.

This gemstone is named after the French word peritot, meaning gold, because the mineral can vary towards this color. Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 16th year of marriage. Peridot has a very long written history. Ancient papyri record the mining of these stones as early as 1500 BC. The main source of peridot in the ancient world was Topazo Island (now Zabargad or St. John’s Island) in the Egyptian Red Sea. In Ancient times, peridot stones were used for carved talismans. Island habitants were forced to collect the gems for the Pharaoh’s treasury. Legend says that jealous watchers who had orders to put to death any trespassers guarded the entire island. The story continues that the miners worked in the daytime as well as night, as the gems could be found after nightfall due to their radiance. The miners would mark the spot at night for retrieval the following day.
Peridot is the National gem of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians knew it as “the gem of the sun.” Peridot was mined for over 3,500 years on St Johns Island. As late as the 19th Century, the Kedhive of Egypt had a monopoly on the mines. At one point, the island’s exact whereabouts became a mystery for several centuries until being rediscovered in 1905. Joel Aram, from the “Color Encyclopedia of Gemstones 2nd Edition,” writes “Zabargad is an island in the Red Sea that is often shrouded in fog, making it difficult for ancient navigators to find. The location has been lost in fact, for centuries, and was rediscovered in about 1905. The island is located 35 miles of the Egyptian coastal port of Berenica.” In the 19th Century, the mines on Zabargad Island produced millions of dollars worth of peridot. After 1905, production of the gems peaked, but by the late 1930’s it tapered off to practically nothing and reached a virtual stand still in 1958, when the mines were nationalized. Although parcels of St. Johns peridot still come into the market once in a while, it is not known whether it is new or old. Most assume it is old.
Peridot is also very beneficial when it comes to treating psychological afflictions as well. It is a wonderful stone to help someone who is going through depression. It is a stone of lightness that counters the effects of negative emotions. It has the ability to balance the process of emotional release and detoxifies negative emotions, bringing them to comfortable levels. Peridot fosters emotional balance, security, and inner peace. It soothes nervousness, heals emotional and physical pain, and lightens suffering. Such usages date back to ancient Roman times when rings of peridot were worn to relieve depression. Because it is calming to the nervous system, peridot is also useful in promoting sleep. Peridot banishes lethargy, which can attack someone who is experiencing depression. The stone’s energy balances bipolar disorders and other forms of depression and helps one’s self esteem or bruised ego. It also brings about necessary change, which is much needed to someone who is depressed.
Peridot is a relatively soft stone, rating a 6.5 to 7 on the hardness scale, making it a little softer than amethyst or emerald. Peridot should be spared rugged wearing if mounted in rings. The stone is also highly sensitive to rapid temperature changes. Peridots can also lose their polish if they come in contact with commonly used hydrochloric of sulfuric acid.
the best and safest way for you to clean your peridot, is with warm, soapy water. You should take special care of your peridot to ensure that it does not come in contact with drastic temperature changes, which can damage the stone. You should also protect your stone from scratches and sharp blows and avoid any contact with chemicals. Peridots should not be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners.

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Prayers for Las Vegas

Prayers and Condolences

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and their loved ones. And also, to the first responders, medical professionals, counselors and others who have spent and will continue to spend countless hours caring and helping the victims and their families.

Want to Help?

The County Commissioner has set up a page where donations are being collected. Funds will be used to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families. If If you’d like to support them, please contribute to this fund.

Our community is grateful for the outpouring of support from folks all across the nation and all around the world. Tens of thousands of people have made their voices heard and are standing up to hate and standing together to support the victims and their families during this difficult time. We want to thank you for your generous contributions.

Later this week, we will make an announcement about the process to distribute the funds. We are working in lockstep with all state and local officials, GoFundMe, the Direct Impact Fund, and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) to ensure the funds get distributed directly to the victims and families. We will provide additional information about this process in the coming days.

We want to thank all of you who contributed what you could to support the victims following this heinous attack. We also want to thank MGM, Cosmopolitan, Steve Cloobeck, and Diamond Resorts International, Wayne and Kathleen Newton, the Raiders, the NFL Foundation, and GoFundMe for their large contributions to our fund. Our work to help rebuild our community is just beginning and we want to thank you for standing with us during this difficult time.

We have been in touch with GoFundMe since the beginning and they have been a trusted partner from the moment this campaign launched. The support for this campaign has been extraordinary, and donors have had understandable questions about GoFundMe’s fees. GoFundMe has committed significant resources to the management and distribution of these funds in the most ethical, effective, and timely way, and they have also donated $150,000 to directly help victims and their families.

If you’d like to support the victims and their families, we encourage you to contribute to this fund.

If you cannot financially support the victims, here’s some additional information on other ways to help:

Give Blood –

United Blood Services will take donations by appointment only.

Physical Donations –

If you would like to donate water, canned goods, or non-perishable items, please visit Three Square and Catholic Charities: https://www.threesquare.org/ or https://www.catholiccharities.com/. We appreciate the outpouring of support, but the substations cannot currently manage the physical donations and we kindly ask you to donate them to the organizations to ensure their distribution.

As we have stated, if you are missing a loved one, please call 1-800-536-9488.

For additional information visit:

https://redrock.clarkcountynv.gov/FAC/index.html

https://www.fbi.gov/resources/victim-assistance/seeking-victim-information/assistance-for-victims-of-the-harvest-music-festival-shooting-in-las-vegas

 

Article Provided By: Las Vegas Victims Fund/GoFundMe

 

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Our Prayers

With near-hurricane force winds lashing the Florida Keys, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that “Irma is forecast to restrengthen” as it approaches mainland Florida. Hurricane Irma has hit the Keys with a Cat. 4 Storm on September 10th, destroying homes and, knocking out power to more than 6.8 million people. There was an order of 6.3 million people to evacuate the southeastern coastal regions, at least 25 people have died from this storm. The damage estimate from the Irma is up to $100 billion according to data modeling firm Enki Research, more than the last hurricanes that have hit the Flordia coastline.

The Red Cross is providing relief in Flordia which has been affected by Hurricane Irma. Supplies include: Food, Water, hygiene supplies, and other relief items. Geiss & Sons Jewelers Greenville would like to ask our friends to pray with us for those affected by Hurricane Irma. Please know you and your families are in our thoughts. Remember to donate to the Red Cross to aid all those affected by the hurricane.