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August Babes' Birthstones

An updated blog post 


Updated by Barb - Originally Written by Amber Viles

Well, it’s the beginning of a new month and you know what that means, Billie Jeans! ... It's time for a fresh ROCK TALK! This month, we are getting into the nitty gritty of the birthstones associated with August and it's time to get this Peridot-Party started! 
 

 

There are typically two zodiac signs for each month, so there’s a stone attached to each sign within the month. There are three months within the year that have three birthstones, and August is one of them (the other two are June and December). So, you lucky ducks are in for a treat! Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx are all associated with the month of August but the most popularly associated to August is Peridot. So, that'll be our main jam, Ma'am! 

Peridot is considered the modern birthstone for August. As you may know, it is associated with the color green, and though there are variations in the shades of green that you see, it does not come in any other color. Why, may you ask? Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral Olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called Basalts, which are rich in these two elements. I know, you are freaking out that about that last tidbit of information! It’s found in volcanic rocks?! Yes, yes it is. It’s also found in…well, let’s take this back a notch, okay? Don’t want to have all the fun in one paragraph! Anhoo, here's a great example of Peridot WITH Serpentine, which forms from Olivine... COOL, Right?! 

Gem miners find Peridot as irregular nodules (rounded rocks with peridot crystals inside) in some lava flows in the United States, China, and Vietnam and, very rarely, as large crystals lining veins or pockets in certain types of solidified molten rock. Sources for the latter include Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar, and the island of Zabargad. Geologists believe both types of deposits relate to the spreading of the sea floor that occurs when the earth’s crust splits, and rocks from its mantle are pushed up to the surface. Sometimes—as in Myanmar— these rocks can be altered, deformed, and incorporated into mountain ranges by later earth movements.


Rarely, Peridot can have an extraterrestrial source, being contained in meteorites that have fallen to earth. How cool is that?! Peridot can quite literally be out of this world! I wonder if that's connected to Moldavite but that's a question for another time (& maybe, another galaxy!).

 

I know Peridot is SUPER cool, but we have other rocks to talk about today as well. Let’s move onto the other modern birthstone for this month: Spinel. Spinel has a pretty fascinating history, so let’s get to it!

 

The Spinel used in jewelry is a small part of a group of minerals that share the same crystal structure. Spinel offers a range of hues, from orange to intense “stoplight” red, vibrant pink, black, and all shades of purple, blue, and violet through bluish green. Intense reds and pinks are caused by traces of chromium. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the red hue. Orange and purple stones owe their color to a mixture of iron and chromium.

 

What’s fascinating is that for centuries, red and blue Spinel had been mistaken for Rubies and Sapphires and was set in many of Europe’s crown jewels! Talk about a masquerade! One of the most famous examples is the so-called “Black Prince’s Ruby.” This historic crimson-red gem is set in England’s Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London. Smoothly polished and roughly octagonal in shape, it was probably mined in the mountains of Afghanistan. It first appeared in the historical records of fourteenth-century Spain, and was owned by a succession of Moorish and Spanish Kings before Edward, Prince of Wales-the “Black Prince”-received the stone in 1367 as payment for a battle victory.


Since then, many other English monarchs, including Henry VIII, have cherished the gem. It’s outlasted them all, surviving fires, attempted theft, and World War II bombing raids, to become one of the centerpieces of England’s Crown Jewels.

 

I mean, could this post get any more awesome?! Well, we’re about to find out with our last birthstone of August: Sardonyx. This lesser known stone is the traditional birthstone of this month.

 

Sardonyx is a type of Onyx (which is a variety of chalcedony, who knew?) and has straight, nearly parallel bands or layers of colors, which allow skilled gem carvers to cut away material to create cameos and intaglios with great depth and contrast. So, if you have a cameo in your jewelry box, more likely than not, it is carved from Onyx. Sardonyx has white and reddish, brownish, or yellow layers. It is easily mistaken for Carnelian, and both stones are forms of microcrystalline Quartz. There's actually no real definition on when one variety stops and the other starts, but the general rule of thumb is once Carnelian reaches a very dark brown color due iron impurities, it is said to be Sardonyx. Ancient civilizations from the near East and Europe created many amazing Sardonyx carvings.

 

Well, ladies and gents, this concludes our journey through the gems of August. I hope you have enjoyed reading the fun facts associated with these marvelous stones! As always, here at Key West Local Luxe, we can help you find the perfect stone for you or a loved one. Stop on by or hop on the website for all the rocks your heart desires!

Cancer Babe: Crabs + Rubies! Cancer Birthdays are June 21st and July 22nd.


Cancer is the 4th sign of the zodiac. The main birthstone for Cancer is the Ruby. Ruby is a precious red gem that means confidence. Those born between June 20th and July 22nd share the Cancer star sign.
A few others are Onyx & Turquoise but we're going to focus on Rubies for now. 

So, what's the difference between a Red Sapphire & a Ruby?
...Spoiler alert: There Is NONE!

A ruby is actually the same exact type of mineral as a sapphire, except it is red. When a mineral corundum is red, it is classified as a ruby. It is the only color of corundum that is not called a sapphire. So, essentially, a ruby is a red sapphire (or red corundum). 


Here are some of our favorite Cancerian Ladies. 

Here's a whole blog post that Amber did on Rubies, last year (It's a great one. So, why recreate the wheel? :D) :

RUBY Dooby DOO! If you're a Cancer - this stone's for YOU!
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of rubies? I’m guessing it’s the deep, blood red color associated with this gemstone. Was I right? Well, WAS I?! Of course I was. In my spare time when I’m not writing blogs, I also read minds. Anyhoo, when we talk about the color of a ruby, we are talking about hues. There are primary and secondary hues, sometimes even tertiary hues in a single stone. Why is that? Well, because Mother Nature rarely makes a stone that is one, flat color because she’s awesome like that. Rubies are defined as red for the primary hue, and secondary hues can range from orange, purple, violet, and pink.

 

Speaking of ruby colors, this is where it gets a little heady. Stay with me here, okay? Rubies are a variety of the mineral Corundum. The very same mineral, just in a different color, is not called Ruby but Sapphire. Yup, Rubies and Sapphires are made from the same mineral (Corundum) but just with a slight variation: rubies get their red color from the element Chromium, and so are classified as Rubies, while traces of Iron and Titanium create the blue color that Sapphires are most known for. However, Sapphires can come in a variety of colors and are then just prefixed with that color’s name, i.e., Yellow Sapphire. SO, to recap, Rubies and Sapphires are made from the same mineral but the variations in color classifies them as different stones AND, if that's true - couldn't it be said that Sapphires ARE indeed, Rubies, too and you can add them to your list of July - zodiac appropriate birthstones?? YES! & You're Welcome! :D The rock world is full of wacky facts, am I right?! 

 

Now that we’ve established what Rubies are made of, where do they come from? Historically, rubies have been mined in Thailand, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Namibia, Japan, and Scotland. After World War II, Ruby deposits were found in Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The Republic of North Macedonia is the only country in mainland Europe to have naturally occurring Rubies. These Rubies have a unique, raspberry color. Yummy! A few rubies have been found in the U.S. states of Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

 

Where the Rubies are found is a contributing factor to its value. As with Diamonds, a Ruby’s value is also graded using criteria known as the four Cs: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Another factor relating to value is how the stone is treated. Most Rubies are treated, and it is considered acceptable in the world of gemstones. During the late 1990s, a large supply of low-cost materials caused a sudden surge in supply of heat-treated Rubies, leading to a decrease in prices. This heat treatment is used to improve color, remove blue patches, and remove inclusions. Another treatment used in more recent years is lead glass filling. Filling the fractures inside the Ruby with lead glass dramatically improves the transparency of the stone, making previously unsuitable Rubies fit for jewelry use.

 

Let’s talk about some amazingly beautiful and famous jewelry pieces with Rubies, shall we? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., has some of the world’s largest and finest rubies. The 23.1-carat Burmese Ruby, set in a platinum ring with Diamonds, was donated by businessman and philanthropist Peter Buck in memory of his late wife, Carmen Lucia. I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I could lift my hand with a ruby that big on my finger! But how magical would it be to try?! The Liberty Bell Ruby is the largest minded Ruby in the world. It was stolen in a heist in 2011 and while four men were arrested and indicted for the heist in 2014, the location of the Ruby remains a mystery. In December of 2011, Elizabeth Taylor’s complete jewelry collection was auctioned by Christie’s. Several Ruby-set pieces were included in the sale, notably a ring set with an 8.24 ct ruby that broke the “price-per-carat” record for Rubies. You ready for this? It sold for $512,925 per carat, for a whopping total of $4.2 million. I’ll give you a minute to fan yourself before you faint.

 

We like things kinda 'different' here, at Key West Local Luxe. Check out this WHOPPING Ruby Ring in a bed of sexy serpents! 

Well, this is what I have for you today in the world of gemstones. I hope you enjoyed reading all about red rubies, and that you learned something new. Local Luxe has some kicking rubies that would be an amazing addition to your collection. Who knows, you might become famous and your rubies could sell for $4.2 million dollars someday. It could happen.

June is PEARL MONTH ~ Blog Post by Barb

Hey June Babies! You lucky ducks!

If you were born in the month of June, you have not one, but three beguiling birthstones to choose from: Pearl, Moonstone and Alexandrite - that's right! Most gravitate to Pearl and Moonstone though, since Alexandrite is rare & spendy + there are a lot of fakes out there, these days...

SO, we're gonna stick to what we've got & that's a LOT of Pearls & quite a few pieces of Moonstone jewelry too! Let's start with Pearls! 

(Finishing this post - FINALLY!)

Interesting facts about PEARLS... The biggest MYTH about Pearls is that they are created in the wild by a grain of sand - believe it or not, it's NOT TRUE!

 
The truth is: Pearls are made by both oysters (salt) and mussels (fresh) as a natural defence against an irritant such as a parasite entering their shell or damage to their fragile body. The oyster or mussel slowly secretes layers of aragonite and conchiolin or 'nacre' (pronounced 'nayker'), This is the material that also makes up its shell & in natural pearls, is what determines their color.
 
Fewer than one in 10,000 oysters produces a pearl in the wild & then, somebody's got to find it... & to be blunt - most of them just aren't pretty enough to want to keep.
For those reasons, wild Pearls are very rare & very expensive - especially, ones that are beautiful! In modern times, you'll almost never see them used in jewelry & that's OKAY! :D 
 
Cultured or cultivated pearls are REAL PEARLS - they've just been given a helping hand by pearl farmers & scientists, to help them be their best! They're nucleated by surgical implantation of mantle tissue from another mullosk into it's gonad (funny, I know!). And, after harvesting - there are over 350 steps from mullosk to market!
 
Cultured Pearls make up about 99% of the worlds pearl market & what's also wild is that even though millions of pearls are nucleated every year, only a tiny percentage of them are considered good enough quality to be used in jewelry & well over 50% are pulverized for use in cosmetics & other industries.
 
Tahititian & South Sea Pearls are never color enhanced. 

And the scarcity is increasing due to HUGE demand + environmental, political & supply chain issues - this has caused pearls to double & triple in price, world-wide - especially, the large round & baroques... They just are no longer available. So, if you're lucky enough to get some big, beautiful, Lady-Balls (or Man-Balls... don't forget, the Men-In-Pearls trend is HUGE now, too!) at an affordable price - you really ARE a lucky duck & you've got something quite SPECIAL!
In case you think Men In Pearls can't be hot... I present to you: Jason Mamoa
(If I had that power, I'd present him to ME!)



Now, back to Key West Local Luxe...There are great June Jewels on our site, that's for shore but if you want to see more, visit the store! If you can't do that Lady-Cat,  it's okay! Watch my show, anyway! It's called "The Pretty Party!" It's Thursdays, at 6 o'clock, Eastern Time - that's when we rhyme & sell jewelry, with tomfoolery... It's on Facebook - so, take a look! Or, watch on our App - where shopping's a SNAP!

Check your email - so ya don't fail to see, how beautiful this world could be - with more PEARLS, for all the girls! And some boys, too - whatcha gonna do? It doesn't hurt me & it doesn't hurt you! <3 Which reminds me - Happy Pride, Y'all! 

Pearl Specials ALL Month Long! + FREE Pearl Studs (& I don't mean duds) with any order over $100 during June & Free shipping, too - Now, I'm singin' your tune! :D 

Have a special request? I'll be happy to help! Just call my cell: 305-304-9001. 
:D 

UPDATED Blog Post: April Birthstones, Birthday Club & Barb's Big Annual Birthday Sale!


Diamonds are most commonly considered the birthstone for the month of April and the zodiac sign Aries (March 21-April 19) + Emeralds for the zodiac sign Taurus (April 20-May 20). We LOVE BOTH!


The Diamond's affiliation with love makes it a great choice for any occasion & pretty much, every girl loves them! Plus, they're tough as nails and they 'shine bright, like Diamonds'... And, Emeralds - well, who doesn't like GREEN?! They're a big deal in Key West, too - because of the stash that was found on the wreck of the Atocha, here by Mel Fisher. So, that's all pretty great! 

To save you a search - *Here's a link to 8 pages of Diamond jewelry on our site (raw & fine): https://keywestlocalluxe.com/search?page=1&q=diamond *Here are a few Emerald pieces, too (may more in-store): https://keywestlocalluxe.com/search?page=1&q=diamond


Does she love the Classics or something a little different? We here, at Key West Local Luxe love the sparklers and the raw versions of stones, too!  We've got a fabulous selection of both, in diamonds and emeralds + MANY more options in-store!

So, feel free to reach out to Barb for our Perfect Gift Selection Service, if you don't see the perfect piece on our website - Heck, you don't have to shop at all! No scrolling, no mall - all ya' gotta do is, CALL 305-304-9001. ;) Barb will ask a few questions, make some suggestions and voila'! The Perfect Gift will arrive, gift wrapped, within budget and tax-free, out of state - NICE. Right? 

There are four other stones that have historically been assigned to April babies and some new options that are gaining popularity, too. White Sapphire and Opal, were the birthstones for April long before Diamonds and in more recent years, White Topaz, Moonstone and Quartz have been stirring up sparkling stardust as alternatives due to their visual similarity to Diamond, too - how nice, without the price! Herkimer Diamonds are great alternatives, too. They're naturally terminated (pointed) on both ends, a little harder than regular Quartz and often quite clear. I'd like to add another OBVI Winner, too - Zircon Stone. It's an awesome stone - second in hardness, only to Diamonds, it's often, more sparkly and brilliant for like, a TENTH of the price... Now, THAT is really nice!

Birthstones by Zodiac: It's important to note that as we mentioned in the last post - April babies born on or before the 20th fall under the Start sign of Aries and their classic stones are Diamond, Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Bloodstone and more recently, Zircon. Those born on or after April 21st will fall under the star sign of Taurus and enjoy Emerald as a birthstone, as well as those listed here. Isn't it wild, how many options there are?! Recently, even the lovely, Larimar has been added to the list! If you're not familiar with this fascinating & fabulously beautiful stone, check it out on our recent blog posts & on our recent episode of "Rock Talk" on our YouTube channel. I've talked a lot about it & will soon be doing another episode on its metaphysical properties, too!

Now, if you're reading this blog post- you probably already know that we've got an incredibly HUGE selection of jewelry that fits the bill for April birthday babes + that, our claim to fame here, is The Real Thing at The Best Price. SO, if you've got reason to please a person of the April birth month persuasion - Key West Local Luxe is here to help you do it!

Of course, the Ladies LOVE the Lovelies - regardless of birth month. Rocks & gems, in general, are fascinating & beautiful + ALL Good Girls LOVE PEARLS! (My dogs even wear them! LOL!) There's ALWAYS a reason - no matter the season, to MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY, Make Just ONE, Someone Happy! ...And then, YOU Will Be HAPPY, TOOOOOOOO!!!!! 

That was me, performing a keyboard rendition of Louis Armstong's 'Make Someone Happy'. Did 'ya 'get it'? Lol! 


Pinterest-Worthy Birthstone Color Charts You Can Trust » BirthdayBullseye

 

My birthday is April 26th & I'm preparing for the Barb's Gig Annual Birthday Sale, now... Who knows what it'll be? Not ME?! As for myself, I love my birthstone but I'd be happy that anyone thought enough to give me any gift of jewelry - it doesn't HAVE to be a Diamond... but it wouldn't make me mad, if it was! LOL! 

And, YES! Pisces... Happy Birthday, to The Fabulous Fishes!

 

Pisces’s Birthstones - Aquamarine, Bloodstone & Amethyst

Pisces’s birthstones are aquamarine, bloodstone, and amethyst. In this gemstone guide, we’ll take a closer look at these gemstones and explain why they’re worthy of being the stones of Pisces.

*Full disclosure - I was in a hurry when writing this one. So, much of it is excerpts from the MetropolitanGirls site, from an article written by Madame Constella. Who doesn't LOVE a woman wh goes by 'Madame'? LoL! Anyhoo, it's pretty interesting, what she has to say! Be sure to check out the Aquamarine Amethyst & Bloodstone options for Pisces on our Jewelry Pages & feel free to check with us at the store- where there's always LOTS more options! :) 

Overview: Pisces

Pisces is the twelfth and last astrological sign of the zodiac. It is one of the three water signs—the other two being Cancer and Scorpio. You’re a Pisces if you’re born between February 19 and March 20.

Pisces is a mutable sign which means that their mode of expression is variable and constantly flickering. Generally, Pisces is an extremely sensitive sign. They are the ones who care deeply and feel everything thoroughly. They are extremely affectionate, albeit closed off sometimes.

The Pisces symbol is the Fish. Specifically, their symbol represents two fish swimming in opposite directions. It conveys the always-present conflict within the Pisces sign: fantasy vs reality.

Pisces is one of the most creative and deeply expressive signs. In addition, they also have strong intuitive and psychic abilities.

Like the eleven signs that come before Pisces, Pisces is not perfect. In terms of negative traits, Pisces can be oversensitive, indecisive, and extremely moody. They are also gullible at times and often weak-willed.

The Birth Stones of Pisces

Pisces birthstones are gemstones that either represent Pisces symbolically or respond to the highly divergent energies and vibrations of Pisces people.

Below is a list of gemstones recommended for people born under the Pisces sign.

1. Aquamarine

aquamarine cabochon

*These asymetrical earrings feature a hand-cut Milky Aquamarine. They're called "Vacation Romance" on our site - do a quick search & snatch them up, before somebody beats you to it, because they're a one of a kind - like your girl! ;) 

Aquamarine is a birthstone for March Pisces. Its name comes from a Latin phrase that means “water of the sea.” This blue to blue-green gemstone is reminiscent of the sea which resonates with Pisces, a water sign and it can look a surprising many different ways - from Milky Aquamarine to quite dark and even with the sparkling 'shiller' effect.

Aquamarine is a purification stone. It invokes cleansing and purifying of your mind, spirit, and heart. It is an excellent stone to wear to work or during meditation. It can give you a mental lift when you’re feeling stressed.


*This ring is called "Squares in Love". Check it out under 'Rings' on our site. It's a size 7 & a slice of HEAVEN! Of course, it can be re-szed. What a prize! 

Con't.
In the face of negativity- this stone drives out those energies and brings tranquility and exhilaration in their place. In short, this stone does not let you feel stuck in any way and its vibrations inspire you to follow your heart, be creative, and be true to your nature. According to astrology, Pisces folks can sometimes be indecisive and overly trusting, this stone helps Pisces people to avoid unwanted situations and people in life. Besides that, the Aquamarine stone also wakes up your inner strength, courage, and resilience—and these are a great tool against the infamous gullible nature of Pisceans.

Aquamarine has been known as a lucky stone that brings good fortune as well as protection. In ancient times, the stone was used by seafarers as a protective talisman on their voyages.

2. Bloodstone

bloodstone

Another birthstone for Pisces is the bloodstone. Bloodstone is a deeply healing stone that activates your chakras. The stone’s name is bloodstone because the red incursion in the stone resembles droplets of blood.

For it is linked to blood, a critical part of the human body (and any animals for that matter), bloodstone has been a symbol of health, circulation, physical strength, and protection against diseases.

It is also believed to influence your emotions and thoughts in such a way that you will take wise, level-headed decisions. In other words, the stone also takes care of your mental health. Wearing a bloodstone or keeping it as a décor helps to clear your mind.

This dark green stone also symbolizes courage and determination. It will inspire confidence and boost your self-esteem.

Pisces are creative individuals and dreamers by nature. And dreamers can sometimes dream a little too much. They will benefit greatly from the balancing and grounding energies of bloodstone. Consequently, this will also help you live in the moment and enjoy it.

According to historical records, Bloodstone was used in amulets and as talismans. Ancient warriors wore bloodstones into battle for they believe that the stone would protect them from harm.

3. Amethyst (also the stone for Aquarius - it's a twofer!)

The charming violet-purple stone of amethyst is also a Pisces birthstone and a birthstone for February. So it is especially meaningful for February Pisces.

This stone is most recognized for its natural soothing abilities. This means that you can use it to alleviate stress, anxiety, irritability, strain, etc. It can also be a great help with alleviating depression and grief. Furthermore, if you are someone who suffers from inexplicable mood swings, this stone will help you balance them.

As Pisces is highly intuitive, this stone resonates with them and promotes spirituality and deep thinking. You can also unlock and realign your Third Eye Chakra and Etheric Chakras with the Amethyst stone. In the past, Amethyst has been used for spiritual purposes such as protection from psychic attacks. Aside from that, if you are facing difficulties in your professional life, you can manifest clarity and ambition with this stone. Similarly, if the center of trouble is in your love life, you can meditate with it to manifest love, affection, and harmony. This will lead to resolving conflicts with your partner, whether they are petty or serious - but who cares about THEM? Let's talk about JEWELRY! LoL! ;) 

*Thanks for the inside intel, Madame Constella!