Astartelux Handmade Jewelry is committed to sourcing natural and precious materials in an ethical and sustainable way. We have a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds, and source our diamonds only from known sources and countries that are participants in the Kimberley Process (KP).
What are the Natural Gemstones?
Natural gemstones are stones that are caused by nature without any kind of human interference. Natural gemstones can be found deep within the earth, along riverbeds, lining rocky cliffs and at other locations. Once sold natural gemstones have been cut and polished, but not enhanced or altered in other ways.
Natural gemstones with treatments
There are some gemstones that exist only thanks to treatments. Major natural stones will require treatment to enrich the look of the gem. The heat and radiation helps to change and enrich colors. Diffusion helps in deepening the color within the outer layer of the stone. Waxes and oils are used in the composition of fillers if gems have cracks. Treated gems are a good option to buy when you know that the price you are paying reflects the treatment process and enhances the true quality of the stones. Price wise untreated natural stones are always more expensive than treated stone. Does this mean that the untreated gemstone is more beautiful? not at all! In most cases heating enhances the gemstone to make it more beautiful; the price premium is the result of the rarity of being unheated!
The Magic Trio of Emerald Spphire and Ruby
Emeralds were discovered long ago. Thousands and thousands of years have passed since so the details of the discovery of emeralds are not fully known. According to records, Egyptians were one of the first ones to mine emeralds. The Cleopatra mines in upper Egypt, are believed to have been in operation as early as 2000 B.C. Even more astoundingly emeralds are believed to be the first gems traded in markets in Babylon around 4000 B.C
Emeralds used to be thought to help people foresee the future and were a sign for immortality. Emeralds are believed to help creativity, encourage clarity and aid health, love and happiness. Emeralds are a perfect symbol of prosperity, eternal hope, the arrival of spring, rebirth and fertility. Emeralds are a recognition of intelligence, love and expressiveness.
Emeralds are well-known wedding anniversary gemstones and are given as gifts to celebrate the 20th, 35th and 55th year of marriage. Emerald can appear light green to a very deep, dark green. Emeralds can additionally contain delicate hints of different colors like blue, yellow, grey or brown in the background. It should be noted that usually Emeralds that have a darker, more intense green color are more valuable and rarer. Emeralds have been found and mined in many countries, including Madagascar, Colombia, Afghanistan, Russia, Brazil and Zambia. The extreme rarity of transparent emerald is why inclusions in emeralds are tolerated. These inclusions are like a fingerprint, giving each emerald a distinct personality. They are called "jardin" (or "garden" and refers to the inclusions)
The Ruby is considered the king of gems and symbolizes love, health, passion, fire, wisdom and power. It has also believed to bring good fortune to its owner.
Ruby is associated with the astrological signs Leo and Cancer. It is also a traditional gift for those celebrating their 15th or 40th anniversaries.
Rubies are highly precious and in top qualities, can be more expensive than diamonds.
The value of rubies increases based on color and quality.
Rubies are found in shades of red, from rich darkish red to pigeon blood red and pinkish red. The red hue comes from traces of the mineral chromium. All other varieties of corundum are called sapphire. Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their color and strengthen them. This is standard practice in the jewelry industry.
After diamonds, rubies, along with sapphires, are amongst the hardest gemstones known to man. This means that diamonds and sapphires can damage rubies as can one ruby the other. As with all jewelry, it makes sense to store ruby jewelry wrapped individually in a soft cloth to avoid damage. Also, remember to use a soft jewelry cleaning cloth to remove the accumulated dirt before returning rubies to your jewelry box. Rubies have been found all over the world, including in Africa, Australia, the USA, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand and other locations in Asia.
Sapphires have been very popular and mystical gemstones throughout the ages. Sapphires have also been worn by royalty throughout the ages as a symbol of good fortune, virtue, wisdom, holiness and protection against their enemies.
The association of sapphires with royalty continues to this day, with Prince William having proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother's iconic sapphire engagement ring. As sapphires symbolize sincerity, faithfulness, sympathy, harmony, friendship, love and loyalty they are an excellent choice for an engagement ring. In addition to being the September birthstone, sapphires are the traditional wedding anniversary gift for a couple's 5th and 45th year. Rubies and sapphires are gemstones that are both a form of corundum mineral. Today, all colors of gem quality corundum are known as sapphire, with exception of red corundum, which is classified as ruby.
While blue is the most traditional and classic color for sapphires, they are actually found in a wide number of other colors - colorless/white, pink, green, yellow, orange, green, purple, and black. As most natural sapphires are quite pale and light in color they need some type of treatment or enhancement to improve color and clarity.
Within the gemstone industry, it is acceptable and common practice for mined sapphires to be heat treated to improve their color and clarity, which also helps protect against accidental chipping or breakage. Most sapphires today are heat treated, and unheated stones in rich blue color can fetch enormous prices in today's market.
Sapphires (along with rubies) are one of the toughest gemstones, second in hardness only to diamonds. As diamonds are harder than sapphires they can damage sapphires. Other sapphires and rubies can also damage sapphires, therefore as with all jewelry, it makes sense to store sapphire jewelry wrapped individually in a soft cloth.
Keep a soft jewelry cleaning cloth handy to wipe off moisture and make-up from items you’ve been wearing, before storing. Sapphires are mined all over the world with mines found in India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Burma, Australia, Cambodia, China, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Madagascar, Africa and in the USA.
Symbolic of divine favor, sapphires were once only reserved for the use of royalty and the priesthood. Cardinals of the Catholic Church wear sapphire rings and sapphires are prominent in the British Crown Jewels. Until the late 17th century, sapphires were reserved for the use of royalty and high priests. Anyone else caught wearing them would be punished.