Colored loose genuine gemstones and genuine gemstone jewelry in 14k gold at unbelievable prices!
Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Ametrine, Aquamarine, Chrome Diopside, Citrine, Garnet, Iolite, Opal, Pearls, Peridot, Topaz, & Tourmaline.
Michael & Co. Jewelers, Sarasota, Florida. (941)706-3744
Recognized as the birthstone for the month of May, the emerald has been a gem of fascination in many cultures for over six thousand years. It is so prized, that carat for carat, a fine emerald may be two to three times as valuable as a diamond. According to Indian mythology, the name emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as “marakata,” meaning “the green of growing things.” The name we know it as now is believed to come from an ancient Persian word, translated to Latin as “smaragdus,” and eventually over time, corrupted to “emerald.” Records show that the stone was known and sold in markets in Babylon as early as 4000 BC. It is a stone that was worshiped by the Incas and mentioned in biblical information about the apocalypse.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and the stone that celebrates the 2nd anniversary of marriage. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate. This reference makes sense as small garnets look like the bright red seeds you find inside in a pomegranate. The garnet has been a popular gem throughout history. Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C. This is proof of the hardness and durability of the stone.
Opal is the birthstone for the month of October, along with pink tourmaline. It is also te stone given to celebrate the 14th year of marriage. The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”
Pearl is recognized as an alternative birthstone for the month of June. People of many nations have treasured pearls for thousands of years. The Romans valued pearls so highly, they created a law forbidding anyone except people of high rank, from wearing them. European explorers in the New World found many tribes of Indians in North and South America wearing pearl adornments. In 1579, King Philip II of Spain received a pearl from his representatives in Panama that weighed 1250 grains. Julius Caesar was also a great admirer of pearls and gave one as a gift that was worth $150,000. Pearl is one gem that does not come from the earth. It is a gem that forms in mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels and such), which can be found in fresh and salt water. Pearls are formed when some sort of small foreign body, such as a grain of sand, or a small parasite, gets inside the mollusk and layers of pearly material form around it as a natural defense against these irritants. In a true pearl (not cultured) the layers build up like the layers of an onion, in concentric circles. Light reflecting from these overlapping layers creates a characteristic iridescent luster, also known as the orient of pearl. The older the pearl is, the more numerous the layers are, and the larger the pearl is.
Peridot 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.
Ruby is birthstone for July, “A drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth” is how the ruby is described in the Orient. The Indians call the ruby Ratnanayaka, the lord of the gemstones. The Hindus called the ruby the king of precious stones and the leader of gems. They used to divide rubies into castes, much like social classes. Rubies were sorted into upper class, middle class, and lower class in terms of flawlessness and beauty. Much like today’s exclusive county clubs and their upper-class clientele, no inferior Ruby was allowed contact with a superior one because it was believed the inferior one would contaminate the better one, thereby diminishing its magical powers. In India, those who donated rubies to honor Krishna were assured being reborn as an emperor in a future life. Hindus consider light colored rubies to be appropriate for women, and darker rubies to be appropriate for men. Elaborate ruby earrings have been a popular jewelry choice in India for centuries. In China, a Mandarin’s rank was indicated by the color of the stone in his ruby ring. A red jewel stone meant he was a key figure among the great. In the 1880’s, French jewelers called the ruby the gem of gems or the dearly loved stone.
The sapphire is the birthstone for the month of September. The name sapphire is derived from the Latin word ““saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue. Some believe that the name sapphire is derived from its association with the planet Saturn. The name can be roughly be translated to mean “dear to the planet Saturn” in many different languages.
A prospector named Manuel d’Souza who was looking for sapphire discovered tanzanite in 1967 in northeastern Tanzania. D’Souza was originally from India and had been looking for stones in the wilds of Tanzania. Eventually, some natives took him to an area in the region of the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro, around 90 kilometers from his home town of Arusha. There, he found these precious blue stones he thought were sapphire. According to legend, the Masai herders were actually the ones who originally discovered the stone, when a lightning strike set the surrounding grasslands on fire. When they returned to the land with their livestock, the blue stones were all over the ground. D’Souza soon discovered that the blue stones he had found were not sapphire, so he staked a claim with the government and began mining.
Tourmaline is the althernative birthstone for October, along with the opal. The stone was first discovered by Dutch traders off the West Coast of Italy in the late 1600's or early 1700's. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali,” which was the name given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time. This all inclusive name indicates the inability of ancient gem dealers to differentiate tourmaline from other stones. In fact, at one time in history, pink and red tourmaline were thought to be rubies. Pink tourmaline tends to be pinker in color than ruby. However, their similarities in appearance are so strong that the stones in the Russian crown jewels believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be tourmalines.