Affordable Sapphire Jewelry
Plus Zircon, Agates, Moonstones, Citrine and Carnelian
Rich, deep blue sapphires are the most popular birthstone for the month of September. However, there are also alternate birthstones that appear on the modern, traditional, zodiac and ancient birthstone lists. If you or someone you love is interested in trying something different, you may want to experiment with one of the alternate birthstones. The Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry Company compiled a list that combines all the different alternatives. For the month of September, their list includes such unique birthstones as zircon, agates, moonstone, citrine and carnelian.
What is a Sapphire?
Although the most popular color for sapphires is deep, dark blue, sapphires can also be found in other colors including pink, yellow, orange, purple and green. Red sapphires are generally referred to as rubies. Sapphires are almost as hard as diamonds, which make them ideal for use in jewelry. Sapphires can be found naturally in sediment deposits or rock formations; they can also be manufactured.
At one time, people thought that wearing a sapphire would protect you against evil and poisoning. The stone was also thought to symbolize purity and wisdom. The most interesting ancient use for sapphires, however, was as a way to kill snakes. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if you put it in a container that was made of sapphire. There is no scientific evidence that this way of killing snakes was ever effective. At today’s prices for sapphires, the cost of such a snake killing container would be astronomical!
What is Zircon?
Zircon is a mineral that forms when silicate melts with concentrated amounts of other elements, which can give it a variety of colors, including yellow, red, pink, blue, hazel, brown, green, black or colorless. Zircon is a common mineral, found all over the world. Over a third of the world’s zircon is mined inAustralia.
Sometimes colorless zircon stones are used as a substitute for diamonds, which makes it an attractive choice as a birthstone. For this reason, zircon may be appealing to someone who would prefer to own an item of jewelry that looks more like a diamond than a blue sapphire.
What are Agates?
Agates are silica crystals that are sometimes associated with volcanic rocks. They often have interesting bands or stripes that cause each piece of agate stone to be unique and interesting, especially if they are cut at an angle in order to highlight the bands. Banded agates can be used to create striking pieces of jewelry. Small agates are often shaped in such a way as to avoid the striping and create nearly solid colored beads.
What are Moonstones?
Moonstones are a type of feldspar that comes in many different colors, including brown, grey, white, blue, pink, and green. Often the most common color is a pearly, luminescent white, which is why the ancient Romans and Greeks associated the stone with lunar gods and goddesses.
Moonstones have been discovered in many different parts of the world, including the state ofFloridain theUnited States. In fact, the moonstone is the state gem forFlorida. It is a lovely alternative birthstone for the month of September, and is perfect if you know someone who also comes fromFlorida!
What is Citrine?
Many people confuse the citrine with topaz. However, except for a similarity in color, the stones are quite different. Citrine is a member of the quartz family. The name citrine comes from the lemon yellow color that is the most popular color choice for the stone, although citrine can vary in color from yellow to a brownish red. Although other stones, such as sapphires and diamonds, may also come in shades of yellow, citrine is popular because it is so much more affordable than some of those other stones. As a result, it is a very desirable choice in affordable birthstone jewelry. Citrine can be especially striking when it is set in gold, as this color metal seems to enhance the lovely yellow of the citrine stone.
What is Carnelian?
Carnelian is a mineral that comes in a deep shade of reddish brown. It has been popular since at least the Bronze Age as a stone that was easily carved. It also was used to make seal rings during Roman times, because hot wax does not stick to the stone. It is often used inAsiaand other locations to create highly detailed carved jewelry. Carnelian is very appealing for anyone who wants a uniquely carved pendant.
Choosing the Best Birthstone for Your Loved One
Which birthstone should you select? Many people will go with a dark blue sapphire, since it is the best known birthstone for the month of September. However, what if you are purchasing a gift for someone who already has some sapphire jewelry, and they would like to try something different? In that case, present her with some of the other options on this list. She may love having the ability to add a little variety to her jewelry wardrobe while still keeping with the birthstone theme.
Where to Buy Birthstone Jewelry
Jewelry made from precious stones, like sapphires, should be easy to find in any fine jewelry store. However, your selection will be much more limited in either jewelry stores or department stores if you want to try one of the semi-precious stones. As a result, you may want to try shopping at a reputable online store like Amazon or Zales. Online stores often have a much wider selection of patterns, colors and designs than you could find in a traditional store.
Buying Jewelry Online
If you do decide to purchase jewelry online, remember that you are purchasing natural stones. Each stone is unique, and may not look exactly like the items you see in the internet photo. However, enjoy the uniqueness of your jewelry, secure in the knowledge that no one else will have a stone just like yours!
Source for alternate birthstone selections: bernardine.com/birthstone
Source for information about specific stones: wikipedia.com
Source for photos of finished birthstone jewelry: amazon.com
Source for meaning of stones: almanac.com/content/birthstones-and-their-meanings
Sapphire Birthstone Pendant from Amazon.com
Amazon Price: $199.99 $79.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 23, 2015)
Beautiful Moonstone Earrings
Amazon Price: $120.00 $41.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 23, 2015)