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Birthstone Guide for December – Turquoise

In its rough form, the turquoise stone is a light blue, almost sky blue, due to the presence of copper. Once it’s been cut and polished, the stone takes on the vibrant colour that is more typically recognised as ‘turquoise’ and that led to the naming of the colour.

The December birthstone, turquoise was a feature in some of the oldest jewellery in the world and has been found in tombs from as early as 4,000BC. Ancient Egyptians believed that turquoise was the favourite gem of the gods. Here, we provide a little more detail about the turquoise stone and its history:

Where is turquoise found?

You might be surprised to find out that, despite being available in cheap Sterling Silver jewellery, turquoise is relatively hard to come by. It’s specifically found in very dry regions with acidic and copper-rich soils, through which occasional rainfall can seep. As the water moves down into the soil, collecting the copper and acid, it reacts with minerals to form the turquoise stone.

Parts of Egypt and China are the main sources of turquoise, which can also be found in Iran, Mexico and Arizona.

What does turquoise symbolise?

The turquoise stone is said to promote wealth, fortune and success. Ancient cultures also believed that turquoise offered protection from forces of evil. Turquoise jewellery, such as our multi-strand bracelet or our contemporary turquoise drop pendant, is particularly popular in Native American tribes where turquoise stones are used in ceremonial rituals. The people in these tribes might not wear the smooth Sterling Silver jewellery that we sell on the Delicate Dreams website, but they do create their own jewellery using turquoise stones and pieces of string, rope and leather.

What does a turquoise stone look like?

When polished, a turquoise stone might have a very even colour. Alternatively, it could include a road map of lines that run over the rock to create a unique and intricate pattern. The lines are formed by the surrounding rock as turquoise is created underground, whilst the green-blue colour comes from the copper that forms the stone. Turquoise stones with their ‘matrix’ of lines are often less valuable than smooth, even blue-green stones.

Turquoise doesn’t sparkle or reflect the light but is still rightfully recognised as a particularly beautiful stone for use in jewellery across the globe.

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Birthstone Guide for November – Topaz

The birthstone for November is the topaz. On the Delicate Dreams website you’ll find a varied selection of Sterling Silver jewellery featuring the sky blue topaz stone, but did you know that topaz doesn’t just come in a light shade of blue?

In fact, the topaz stone is more typically a brown, orange or red colour, but can also come in shades of pink, purple, blue, yellow and green. It’s also possible to get colourless topaz, which is usually treated to give it the blue colour that you’ll see in cheap topaz jewellery. Here are a few more things that you might not know about the topaz stone:

Where is topaz found?

Topaz can be found in a wide variety of locations including Mexico, Nigeria, Madagascar and parts of Thailand.

Often, topaz comes in very large quantities weighing kilograms, and the red and orange topaz stones are typically the most expensive. Blue and green stones are usually amongst the least valuable, which is why we’re able to feature topaz in our Sterling Silver jewellery including our contemporary topaz squiggle earrings, which are amongst our most popular items.

What does topaz symbolise?

Particularly in Indian cultures, a topaz stone is said to promote intelligence, long life and beauty. The November birthstone is more commonly said to promote happiness and to help to balance emotions and to remove feelings of tension and stress. It’s seen to be the ‘calming’ stone.

Why not consider these heart-shaped topaz studs as a gift for somebody that was born in November?

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Birthstone Guide for October – Opal

The richly coloured opal stone is the birthstone for October, and is arguably one of the most beautiful stones to be found in any item of jewellery. Typically featuring a varied array of green and blue shades, opal can also come in a rainbow of colours and is frequently described as the ‘kaleidoscope gem’.

Here, we explain a little more about the beautiful opal stone:

What does the opal stone symbolise?

You might consider the opal to be a ‘dream stone’. Look into an opal and you’re likely to see many different colours and shades that dance under the light. It’s no wonder that opal is thought to promote positive dreams and to enhance the imagination.

Opal is also said to promote hopefulness, and to banish bad thoughts.

What does an opal stone look like?

Interestingly, the opal stone is arguably one of the few stones that looks more vibrant and bright in its natural, uncut form. Whilst the professionals will tell you that the key to finding the best gemstones is to search for smooth stones without chips or inclusions, some of the most beautiful opal stones are those with a rougher cut. Technically they’re not worth as much, though this does mean that cheap opal jewellery can look far more attractive than some of the more expensive pieces. Rough cuts allow the various colours of opal to reflect from the stone.

Where can opal be found?

Opal stones were historically considered to be the most precious of all, said to fall from the skies during thunderstorms with lightning. The reality, however, is that they’re primarily found in Australia.

If you’re looking for your own opal jewellery than you might like our opal seahorse pendant or our opal heart-shaped pendant. Reflecting a variety of colours, no two opal stones are exactly the same which means that your chosen piece of jewellery is a completely unique purchase to keep to yourself or to give as a gift.

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Birthstone Guide for August – Peridot

If you were born in August, your birthstone is the peridot. The olive-coloured stone can be found in a wide range of jewellery, and is one of the only gemstones to come only in one colour.

In this article, we explain what the peridot stone symbolises and where it can be found:

What does the peridot stone symbolise?

The peridot (usually pronounced with an audible ‘t’, but occasionally pronounced with a silent ‘t’) symbolises truth, love and dignity. It’s also the stone that is said to help with fame, and to offer protection. If you’re born in August then you might be interested in singing, dancing and performing and there are many that believe that peridot jewellery will help you to reach your goals of fame and fortune.

Peridot is also said to promote successful relationships, and is ideal as an anniversary gift as well as a birthday gift for people born in August.

Where is peridot found?

Peridot has been mined since as early as 1500BC. It’s commonly found in Egypt. Cleopatra was famed for wearing emeralds, but in fact it’s possible that she actually had peridot jewellery as the two are similar in colour.

Peridot, like diamond, forms in the magma of the planet’s mantle, rather than within the crust closer to the surface. Once formed, it’s moved up by the natural movement of the tectonic plates or is carried to the surface during a volcanic eruption. For that reason, peridot is mostly found along the planet’s fault lines.

Amazingly, peridot hasn’t just been found here on planet Earth. It’s also been brought to Earth from space, within comet dust, and has been found to be a component in many of the meteorites formed at the birth of our solar system.

Why give peridot jewellery?

Peridot is an attractive yellow-green stone that can be used in particularly beautiful pieces of jewellery, like our peridot heart pendant and our peridot drop earrings. As well as being the August birthstone, it’s the 15th wedding anniversary stone which means that peridot jewellery can be purchased for both occasions.

Alternatively, why not pick jewellery with a peridot stone for any other occasion, simply because it’s a beautiful olive-green accessory?

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Birthstone Guide for June – Pearl

The birthstone for June is the pearl – one of nature’s wonders. Whilst some pearls are incredibly expensive and valuable, it’s now easy to find real pearl jewellery at a fraction of the price thanks to carefully developed pearl farming techniques.

Here, we provide a little more detail about the creation of pearls and why you don’t need to empty your bank account to afford beautiful real pearl accessories like earrings, pendants and bracelets.

How are pearls made?

A naturally formed pearl is created underwater, inside the shell of an oyster. To us pearls are beautiful stones used in jewellery and accessories, but to the oyster the pearl is a defence mechanism.

Oysters create pearls to trap bits of sand or grit that find their way into the oyster’s shell, and typically act as an irritant. Pearls are formed layer by layer, and the process can take a decade.

Natural pearls are hard to find, but it’s possible to ‘culture’ or ‘farm’ pearls, typically in fresh water, by inserting a grain of sand or larger object into the shell of a mollusc. Most cultured pearls are grown around a bead, creating a relatively smooth, spherical pearl that can be made in as little as six months. The size of the bead used also influences the final size of the pearl, which means that this can be controlled as long as the molluscs used are of a suitable size.

How do freshwater cultured pearls look?

If you’re buying jewellery online, using the Delicate Dreams website, then your purchase is likely to feature a freshwater cultured pearl. They come in a wide variety of colours, typically with a marbled effect, and include imperfections or ‘pitting’ formed as part of the natural process.

Entirely smooth and rounded pearls are valuable and expensive, whilst cultured pearls with slight imperfections are available for a much lower price as costume jewellery or a more reasonably-priced accessory.

The pearl farmer can control the size and shape of the pearl, creating round pearls like the ones used for this single pearl pendant, or oval-shaped like the pearls used for our white mother of pearl bracelet. Flat, coin-shaped pearls can also be easily produced.

What colours can pearls be?

If left to grow naturally, pearls are usually white or a light pink or purple. Typically, these pale colours will all form together as part of a marbled effect, though it is possible to get perfectly white, pink and lavender pearls that have been produced without human input.

Pearls can also be dyed to produce a stronger colour or to change their colour completely. Almost any colour can be used, from a sophisticated black to bright green or blue.

What does the June birthstone mean?

Pearls are said to symbolise purity, modesty and loyalty. They’ve been used in jewellery for hundreds of years, and have been worn by everyone from Anne Boleyn to Kate Middleton. Pearls are a classic accessory, which means that high-quality pearl jewellery is often passed down from generation to generation as something of a family heirloom.

Why not take a look at some of the pearl jewellery that we sell, with fast delivery as the perfect gift for June birthdays?

We’ve also added a board to Pinterest that features celebrities wearing pearls. Do you have anyone for us to add?