August birthstone choices are expanding by one, but the range of of
colors is growing to include many of the shades and colors nature can
August birthstone choices now include the natural gemstone SPINEL.
Because Spinel is one of my favorite gems, I can talk about it at length.
However, I want to include the press release issued to announce this newly
sanctioned birthstone,,, after that I will keep my comments brief.
AGTA & JA to Add Spinel as an Official Birthstone for August
New York, NY - The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), the authoritative source on natural colored gemstones, and Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, have announced that spinel will join the official list of birthstones as an additional gemstone for the month of August. The new birthstone will launch to consumers in July, through a public relations and marketing campaign led by JA, which established the modern birthstone list in 1912. "At certain moments in history, when there is a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones, Jewelers of America believes in recognizing the importance of historically significant gemstones and giving gemstone lovers a choice that suites their preferences," says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.
"Spinel is a welcome addition to August's peridot birthstone, sure to be embraced by both jewelers and the jewelry consuming public." "Ancient gemstone merchants revered spinel, and it was widely sought after by royalty. It was then known as 'Balas Ruby'," says AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker. "It wasn't until the late 18th century that we developed the technology acumen necessary to distinguish spinel as a separate mineral from ruby. We are very excited to announce it as the newest member of the official birthstone list." Two notable examples of spinel's historical significance include a 170-carat red spinel, known as the famed "Black Prince Ruby," that graces the Imperial State Crown in the British Crown Jewels; and a 398-carat red spinel - considered the largest ever found -atop the Imperial Crown of Russia, commissioned by Catherine the Great in 1763. "Spinel is an incredible gemstone that has garnered respect for centuries, and it is enjoying surging popularity because of its stunning range of colors," remarks AGTA President Jeffrey Bilgore. "Birthstones have their roots far back in recorded history, strongly influenced by biblical teaching and related to the 12 stones in the breast plate of Aaron as well as the lunar calendar," explains Hucker. This is the third update to modern birthstone list since it was officially created in 1912 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association, now known as Jewelers of America. It was updated in 1952, adding alexandrite, citrine, tourmaline and zircon as birthstones, and again in 2002, when Tanzanite was made an additional December birthstone.
Prior to the addition of Spinel, American list of
birthstones included peridot and the ancient and traditional stone
Peridot offers a limited range of colors. Most peridot gems are olive
green. The range of colors can vary from yellow-green to brownish-green -
depending on the exact chemical makeup of the specific gem.
Peridot is the name given to a gem quality crystal of the mineral Olivine.
The chemical makeup is magnesium, iron, silica, and oxygen.
If you Google the word sardonyx, you will see this description:
"Sardonyx is a type of microcrystalline quartz, specifically
onyx, banded with browns, reds, or yellows instead of black. Onyx and sardonyx
are types of agate, which is the gemstone of those with the sign Gemini. Sardonyx
is closely related to onyx, sard, and carnelian."
In other words... it is a pretty rock.
Sardonyx has a long history as an adornment. Numerous Sardonyx cameos
and other objects from Ancient Egypt have been found. The Bible refers to
Sardonyx as one of the stones placed in the breastplate of Aaron, High
Priest of the Israelites, and older brother of Moses.
As you can see, the color choices that Sardonyx and Peridot offer are
Now that the authoritative list of birthstones has added Spinel as an
August birthstone, the color choices are almost unlimited.
Time will tell if other birthstone lists from around the world will
also be expanded to include Spinel. Some of these other lists of
birthstones are rooted in historical traditions and folklore, and never
The American birthstone list is not centuries old, and truth-be-told,
is rooted in marketing, That makes it much easier to offer expanded
choices to consumers.
In previous articles appearing in this space, I have labeled Spinel as
a first cousin to Ruby and Sapphire (the mineral name for both is
corundum), Ruby is the red version of corundum, and Sapphire is the name
given to all other colors of corundum. I refer to them as cousins because
they are remarkably similar chemically.
Chemically, the atomic elements magnesium, aluminum, and oxygen are the
building blocks of Spinel. When those elements were present, and geologic
conditions were just right, Spinel crystals were formed. Because other
elements were present (such as chromium, cobalt, and/or iron) atoms of
these other elements could be incorporated into the crystal. It is these
other elements that give color to a Spinel crystal.
Similarly, the two atomic elements aluminum and oxygen are the building
blocks of corundum. Leave out the magnesium, invite in some atoms of
chromium... and you get Ruby.
Combinations of chromium, cobalt, and iron can produce a wide range of
hues is gem Spinel. Combine the color choices with attributes such as
outstanding hardness, transparency, affordability, and availability and
you have an outstanding gemstone choice.
August birthstone choices now open the door to the world of colored
gemstones even wider to those born in August.
August birthstone choices, expanded to now include Spinel means that
August babies who already own Spinels can now claim them as birthstones.
For the rest of us who own Spinels, it means we can continue to admire and
appreciate them for what they have always been - beautiful colored
Top - Purple spinel (Thailand)
Next - Blue spinel (Sri Lanka)
Next - Pink spinel (Tanzania)
Next - Peridot (Pakistan)
Next - Sardonyx (North America)
Next - Lavender spinel (East Africa)
Next - Red spinel (Probably Burma)
Next - Orange spinel (East Africa)
Next: - Gem special offer - Blue
Next - Industry News - Nancy Reagan
Last - Dealer Product Image - Amethyst
Ring in Sterling Silver
A Google search for links or images using keywords such as
birthstones around the world or nancy
reagan's jewelry can return some very interesting information and websites.
We have other shapes, sizes, and
shades of gems available.
We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough
worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.
Gem Industry News
THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF PRESIDENT AND MRS. RONALD REAGAN
Christie's has announced the schedule for the auctions of items from the
private collection of former President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Proceeds from the sale are designated for The Ronald Reagan Presidential
Foundation and Institute.
This landmark Collection will be on view at Christie’s New York September
17 to 20, and a live auction is scheduled for September 21 and 22.
Of special interest to many is Nancy Reagan's jewelry. There are 83 lots of
her jewelry to be sold in the two auctions.
The sale also encompasses furniture and decorative works in the ‘Hollywood
Regency’ style, handbags from Mrs. Reagan’s collection, books with personal
dedications, presidential mementos and gifts, and fine art from the Reagan home
in Los Angeles. Many of these objects were used by the President and First Lady
during their time in the White House and are designated as such with a green
Now is a good time to begin planning and preparations for the
gift-giving season. Updating your email list, reviewing your customer profile
records, and freshen your talking points (sales pitch).
As you replenished your inventory over the past several months,
did you have a theme in mind for the sales season? Is this the year you put
emphasis on earrings... or bracelets, or another theme.