Panowicz Blog

  • Edwardian Era Jewelry

    September 24, 2020 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    Albert Einstein, the Wright brothers, the Titanic.

    What do these have in common?

    They were part of the Edwardian era. A time period usually said to encompass the reign of King Edward VII, though possibly all the way until the start of the First World War

    It was a time of extremes in terms of politics and social stresses, though it was also highly refined and elegant.

    The jewelry of the era was intricate and feminine, understated with filigree and millwork. The fashions of clothes were reflected in the additional baubles worn by the elite; lace, bows and tassels.

    Drop earrings showcasing delicate metal work in the style of bows.








    Rather than focus on the design of each piece of jewelry, the materials were prized. A heavy emphasis on diamonds in nearly every piece urged cutters to be bolder with their techniques, to unleash the true brilliance of the gem.

    Other gems in softer colors, such as aquamarines, amethysts and sapphires were also popular. Pearls held a special place in many pieces, rivalling diamonds in some sectors of the market.

    Only the finest metals and metalworking was implemented on jewelry. Flower motifs and other delicate patterns were popular, adding to the airy feeling of the pieces.

    Attention to detail was prioritized in each and every piece, showcased by the handwrought metalwork. Rings with designs on the underside and sides of the piece can be found often among this era of jewelry.


    An example of filigree metal work (Picture from wikipedia)







    Necklaces of differing lengths emerged as a trend setting statement, ranging from the “opera” length (up to 36” inches) to collar style or chokers.

    Many famous pieces of jewelry were created during this time, and Edwardian Era jewelry holds a charm to it that entices your eyes. It is simple yet intricate, and captures your attention with beauty.

  • Victorian Era Jewelry

    September 2, 2020 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    Queen Victoria loved jewelry. It’s a historical fact.

    The so-called “Victorian Era”, named after the queen, is commonly considered to be the period between 1837-1901.

    Queen Victoria in different clothing and jewelry throughout her life








    This was an era of growth and strength, shaped by politics and by industrial revolution. The power and innovation in the air is reflected in the jewelry of the day in the most artistic way.

    Queen Victoria inspired and requested much jewelry, even designing some pieces herself. This interest propelled the market into the forefront of art forms at the time.

    Pieces like cameos became a staple, beautifully carved from shell, carnelian, agate and even lava rocks.

    Charm bracelets rose in popularity during this time, likely from Queen Victoria’s own bracelet comprised of charms she had specially commissioned to give as gifts to loved ones.

    With the world learning better and faster ways to produce items, chains and settings were easily crafted, sometimes mass produced, and made it more affordable for anyone to own a piece of jewelry. Victorian era jewelry often has intricate or unusual chains attached to the items as metalworking was boosted during the era.


    Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, died. The death shook the queen, and the world.

    For the rest of her life, Victoria chose to wear mourning clothes of black, and her jewelry began to reflect the emotional time.

    The world followed her trend and soon Victorian jewelry became a little heavier, a little darker. Materials like jet, a fossilized wood colored pitch black, became the most popular item to include in jewelry.


    Typical Victorian mourning brooch, made from Jet (image right). Source: Wikipedia Commons







    The entire era made jewelry into something more than simple decoration. It taught us to treasure these objects as tangible memories; charms to remember, cameos to capture time itself, designs to tug your senses.

    Queen Victoria loved jewelry, not only for its beauty but for its legacy as well.

  • What's in a name?

    April 3, 2020 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    They say; “A rose by any other name would not be as sweet.” (Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

    A romantic notion, and possibly true.

    But what about the names of the flowers of the mineral world?

    Would a ruby be as stunning if it were called something else? Would we find sapphire as alluring by another name? Would mysterious opal lose its’ intrigue under a different name?

    Many minerals are named after those who discovered them, or sometimes after the locations where they are found, and even sometimes because of their chemical composition.

    A name is as important as the gem themselves, so let’s look at a few favorite gemstones with whimsical tales to go with their perfect names.



    The definitive red gemstone, ruby’s name comes from that very fact. The modern name “ruby” is derived from the Latin word “ruber”, which means red.

    Prior to the Latin language, cultures had different names for this stunning gemstone. Possibly the oldest being “ratnanayaka”, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘king or leader (of) precious stones’. This is where ruby’s nickname of “The King of Gems” was born.

    Rubies were also grouped under the ‘carbuncle’ group of gemstones by Romans and Greeks. This group actually referred to any red stone, including garnets, rubies and spinels. The Roman word was “carbunculus”.

    There is no denying that ‘ruby’ is a much sweeter name then ‘carbuncle’ and much easier on the tongue then ‘ratnanayaka’.




    Blue hued sapphire appears to be destined to have that name. Latin, Greek and Hebrew names for this gem are all very similar. The modern name could come from any one of them.

    In Latin, it was called; “sapphirus”, in Greek it was known as “sappheiros” and finally in Hebrew they called it “sappir”.

    With so many similarities, its’ possible there was an older culture that gave the name and these were the resulting changes, but no one is certain. Some suggest that it could be the Sanskrit name “sanipriya”, which literally means; ‘dear to the planet Saturn’.

    This would make sense, as many writings attribute sapphire to the planet Saturn.

    Whatever the origin of the name sapphire, it was obviously the perfect name for this amazing blue stone.


    Emerald’s current name hails far from its original identity.

    The oldest recorded reference to what is believed to be emerald, listed the green beauty under the name of “smaragdoz”. This is a Persian word that would later be shifted to “smaragdus” in Latin.

    From there, it was then changed again to versions closer to our modern name, such as “esmeraude” and “emeraude”.

    The current spelling and pronunciation were first seen in sixteenth century manuscripts.

    Regardless of original name, the word ‘emerald’ is as constant as the shimmering stone itself, and not likely to change anytime soon.



    Truly a gem unlike any others, opal’s modern name is easily recognizable in its older forms as well, and accurate describes it.

    Greeks referred to it as “opalios”, which is believed to come from Sanskrit; “upala”. It means ‘precious stone’.

    With its somewhat magical appearance, it’s no surprise it was granted a name that cemented that fact. There is no denying that opals are precious, no matter what they are called.

    There is also evidence to suggest that “yarkastein”, a stone in Norse myth, might have been based upon real life opals, due to descriptions.





    Not all gemstones get their name from the ancients. Some are more recently named, like our next entry.

    George Frederick Kunz was an American mineralogist (1856-1932) and a noted gem enthusiast. He had an extensive collection of gemstones, and donated some from his private collections to museums.  Self-taught, he wrote a number of papers on minerals and gemstones.

    In 1902, he became notable for discovering a new type of the mineral spodumene. This gem-variety was a lightly toned pink-purple version and was named in his honor; Kunzite.



    Another, similarly named gemstone is Morgnaite. This lovely blush-colored member of the Beryl family is named after the banker, J.P Morgan.

    It was discovered in 1910 in Madagascar, and the mineralogist G.F Kunz (see above) purposed the name “Morganite” in honor of J.P.

    They were friends, and J.P Morgan was a gem collector himself as well as a donor to multiple museums and the arts.


    The name stuck, and the gemstones popularity continues to rise due to its’ charming pastel colors.



    No naming list would be complete without mentioning the rare and phenomenal Alexandrite.

    A special member of the chrysoberyl mineral family, this variety was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830. It stunned everyone by displaying a special trait; color-change.

    In different light sources, a fine Alexandrite will change colors between red (warm light) to green (cool light). While some gems show a more vivid change, every Alexandrite has to display the color change to be called by this name.

    Russians took to the gem right away, not only because of its’ beauty, but because it showed the two colors of the Russian flag; green and red.

    It was named in honor of the Czar, Alexander the II (1818-1881), and of course named their country’s national gemstone.

    Today, Alexandrites can also be found in Brazil and Sri Lanka, but nothing will ever change the one in a billion chance of the color mimicry of its’ home country’s flag.


    Gemstones all tell fascinating stories, and every day their lore expands, as does our love of these flowers of the mineral world.

  • Pantone's Color of the 2020

    December 10, 2019 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    Are you ready for 2020?

    This isn’t just a New Year. It’s a new decade.

    And a very futuristic sounding one!

    The Pantone Institute of Color is ready to look to the future, and recently announced their color of the year for 2020.

    Classic Blue (19-4052) is a primary color which Pantone says is reminiscent of the sky at dusk.

    The hue is deserving of the title ‘classic’ as it is a shade of blue that is the quintessential blue color, unmarred by undercurrents of violet or green. It is a little lighter than navy, but not as saturated as cobalt.

    Blue is a favorite color of many people, and has always been associated with feelings of calm and serenity. It is also a color of loyalty, intellect and thoughtfulness.


    The sky and the ocean, the truest embodiments of blue we see in the natural world, remind us that possibilities are endless, and to slow down and enjoy life.

    Pantone seems to agree, stating that this is a stable, dependable hue. A foundation for stepping into a new year.

    Blue pigments and dyes can be difficult to create, leading to patience and time-tested methods to produce the finest of colors.

    In many ancient cultures, blue coloring for clothes and paint was made using crushed gemstones such as lapis lazuli and azurite. Due to the nature of materials needed, and the skill in which it took to craft these pigments, blue was often a color reserved for those of high status.

    As for gemstones, the first stone to come to mind with this steady blue hue would be sapphire. The purest example of a sapphire, with just the right amount of darkness to make it rich in color.

    Sapphires are deserving of the title ‘classic’ as well, having been the premier blue gemstone since antiquity. Symbolically, sapphires are said to be a stone of truth, faithfulness and sincerity, reflecting the principals of Pantone’s color for 2020 very well.


    Other gemstones that echo this stable color would be indicolite tourmaline, another gem that is said to promote peace and mental awareness.


    Lapis lazuli and London blue topaz, although darker, are complimentary colors sharing similar traits.

    Classic Blue pairs well with yellow and white metals, leading to a fine example of the two-tone trends already seen in the jewelry industry. The blue color is definitive enough to lead to many design choices, and could be accented by warm or other cool tone gemstones.

    The possibilities of this color in fashion are endless, as are the possibilities in this new decade we step into.

    Blue is a color that calms and stimulates the mind. This appealing shade furthers this notion by providing a standard hue that everyone can relish.

    It is bold without being overpowering, subtle without being lost, and enhances other colors without overshadowing them.

    Classic Blue is sure to cause a bit of nostalgia in some, and hopefully a splash of new ideas and creative endeavors in all.


    2020 is right around the corner.

    The start of a new decade.

    The start of the future.

    Take a deep breath, grasp that Classic Blue vibe and step into your tomorrow.


    Happy New Year!

  • Living Coral - Pantone's Color of the Year 2019

    January 3, 2019 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    Pantone’s color of 2019 has been announced as Living Coral!

    This bold, energetic and dynamic color is sure to liven things up for the new year!

    Pantone calls Living Coral “sociable and spirited” and says that it is a nurturing color.

    This blended hue of orange and pink creates a bright spot in our everyday lives. Cheerful and shocking, it lends itself well to all aspects of fashion, décor and graphic design.

    While coral is a vibrant color, it’s compliment color of teal is equally so.

    The first known written use of the word “coral” to describe a color was in 1513, and the use of “coral pink” was in 1892. Since then, the term “coral” for color, has been used to described reds, oranges, and pinks, as well as mixed colors from those components.

    The color appears in fashion as well as the natural world. Flowers and of course, the namesake of the color, come to mind instantly.

    Coral colored roses are said to mean enthusiasm, while other flowers like peonies and dahlias, along with more tropical plants, boast matching tones.

    Gemstones, of course, are no different.

    Rhodochrosite and Padparadscha Sapphire match Living Color almost perfectly, with their lively blend of just the right amount of pink and orange.

    Other gemstones to consider are other sapphire colors, hues of topaz and spinel, as well as certain garnets.


    Rhodochrosite embodies the feeling of Living Coral with its color and the belief that it is a powerful stone for opening your heart once more. It is said to heal emotional wounds and be a guide for finding love.

    Padparadscha is a high energy stone with an exotic look. The name comes from the Sanskrit word for “lotus”. And indeed, some lotus blossoms exhibit Living Coral excellently!



    The mix of emotional colors like orange and pink strikes a cord and radiates energy. It’s a striking duality of pink, a soft hue, and orange, a daring hue. The combination is calming yet inspirational.

    Living Coral reminds us that the world around us is alive, filled with wonder and magic, if we only take a few moments to look. The color dives deep into our hearts, beckoning an appreciation for life’s moments and worthwhile memories.

    According to Pantone, they chose this color for that very reason. In a world so immersed in technology, we all seek connections.


    Living Coral is a delight to the eyes and a light to the heart.

    What connections do you plan on making this new year?

    Happy New Year!

  • Spinel: The Coolest Gem You’ve (probably,) Never Heard Of

    July 31, 2018 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
    1 comment

    An age-old case of mistaken identity masks the beauty of this stunning gemstone.

    Spinel is an oxide mineral that crystalizes in the cubic structure and has quite the mixed-up history.

    It is also the newest birthstone to be added to birthstone lists! August babies now have a choice between vivid peridot and alluring spinel.

    The word “spinel” comes from the Latin word Spinella, which means “little thorn” or “arrow shaped”. Spinel gems come in a wide range of colors and saturations, though perhaps the most infamous is the red variety.

    Red spinel was always grouped together with rubies, and sometimes garnets, in ancient cultures, since the rough (and even polished and cut,) crystals look so similar. In the modern age the gems can be separated, but much of spinel’s history is tied up in the lore of rubies.

    The oldest known spinel dates back to 100 BC, and was found in Kabul, Afghanistan, inside a Buddhist temple. Red and blue spinels were also being used in crafting by the Romans.

    The most famous spinel is also the most famous example of mistaken identity in all of gemological history.

    A “ruby” known as the Black Prince’s Ruby is our culprit. It is a red gem set in the Imperial State Crown of the British crown jewels. The gemstone is uncut, but polished, and weighs approximately 170 carats. The gem has never been removed from its original setting, so the weight is only estimated.


    This amazing gemstone, however, is no ruby.


    It is, in fact, a spinel.


    The Black Prince was the son of Edward III, and reportedly received the gem from Don Pedro the Cruel, King of Castille as a reward. Legend has it the spinel was one of the gems worn by Henry V on his helmet, and that it deflected a fatal blow and saved his life during the Battle of Agincourt.

    Whether true or not, the gem was thought to be ruby for many years, until technology and knowledge of gems improved enough to separate gems on more than mere color.

    This royal stone is not the only spinel in disguise; Empress Catherine II of Russia had a crown that bore an estimated 400 carat spinel in it. Queen Victoria likewise had a very dark red spinel called the Timur Ruby.

    It doesn’t help matters when spinel and ruby often form together in the Earth!

    In 1783 Mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de Lisle finally separated spinel from ruby, realizing that the two minerals were completely different.

    Further confusion arises with spinel’s true nature even now.

    Many pieces of inexpensive birthstone jewelry have an imitation of the true birthstone; something that looks like, but isn’t, the real thing. The majority of these are made with synthetic spinel, grown in a laboratory rather the ground, but boasting the same chemical make-up.

    The natural gem is lovely, but many only know of its’ synthetic counterparts.

    Each color of spinel is thought to provide different benefits to the wearer, from protection to enhancing creativity and kindness, to better cognitive abilities. Colorless spinel is rare, and no current mines exist that produce it.

    The most common colors seen in jewelry are red and blue, with the hues ranging from highly saturated to perfectly pastel.

    Other popular colors are yellows, purples and pinks, although the gem comes in every color. Black spinel is found in many pieces, and once again, is often confused for other black gems like hematite, black diamond and black onyx.

    The spinel is a gem of mystery and intrigue due to its’ rather unconventional past. But that doesn’t damper its’ beauty or dull its’ shine! The spinel is an enduring gemstone, and deserves a peek if you haven’t seen it before.

    The gem is mined in many locations, including Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (formerly Bruma) Brazil, Sweden, Pakistan and Russia, among others. It can even be found in the USA.


    Additionally, small crystals have been found on meteorites, a trait spinel shares with the other August birthstone, peridot.

    For a gemstone many have never heard of, it might be the most famous of all.

    It is the hidden star of the show, silently shining on as the world ignores it or mistakes it for another stone altogether.

    But spinel is worth a first, and second, glance. With spectacular colors, excellent durability and an amusing history, it’s the perfect addition to anyone’s gem and jewelry collection.


    Spinel truly deserves the title of The Coolest Gem You’ve (probably) Never Heard Of.

  • (Inter)Stellar Gemstones!

    March 2, 2018 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin
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    Gemstones are beautiful. Everyone knows that! They are flowers of the mineral world, treasures from deep within the Earth.

    Most of the time.

    There are some gems that are a special breed of stellar minerals. Interstellar minerals that is!

    That’s right, there are some amazing gemstones that come from the stars above, or have been found on other planets. These gems aren’t just rare, durable and beautiful; they are (literally) out of this world!



    Opal is comprised of a silica gel substance, usually with a small percentage of water present. The silica forms microscopic spheres that stack upon each other to form opal.

    Opal deposits are usually found in cracks and fissures; places where the silica was allowed to seep long ago. Usually, the “gel” is a byproduct of an acidic water-based compound. We know of our opals here on Earth, but what about on Mars?

    In 2007, the Mars rover Spirit discovered many deposits of a silica-based rock that looked an awful lot like opals. NASA confirmed it was silica by using false color imaging and the spectrometer, which collects approximately 544 colors (wavelengths) of reflected light to detect minerals on the surface. The minerals are most prominent on outcroppings and in cliff basins in one section of the planet.

    These were a surprising and important find on our neighboring red planet because it proves there was, at least at one time, water on the surface.

    Perhaps someday they will be able to obtain a sample of this Martian Opal and take a closer look. Will it look like our opals or will it stun us with a different kind of beauty?

    For now, they often call it Opaline Silica and eagerly study what they can of this Martian feature as it might hold clues to Mars many ages ago.



    Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine with the chemical formula (Mg, Fe)2SiO– magnesium, iron, silicon, and oxygen. It’s the birthstone of August and is famous for its almost shockingly energetic green color.

    On Earth, this gem is found in igneous rocks. Not on Earth, you might see it on a meteorite!


    The gems have been on pallasite, and around, meteorite impact craters.

    The interesting thing to note is that peridot can’t handle super high temperatures, so the outer “shell” of meteorite must have protected it and burned off instead, as it entered the atmosphere.

    It is also been observed as interstellar dust. This “dust” is seen in the tails of comets, the disks around young stars, and at the sites of impact craters.

    This evidence suggests that the mineral olivine quite possibly was present at the creation of many planets. Perhaps even our own.

    Usually, the peridot found on meteorites is small and pale in color, due to the extreme conditions from once it came. GIA laboratories ran a series of tests on the “space” versions of peridot and found key differences in the chemical makeup of the stones, meaning they can always tell if it’s an Earth grown peridot or a visitor from the stars.

    The gemstone is often called the stone of sun, maybe that’s a little more literal than we thought.


    Quartz and Feldspar

    Quartz and feldspar are two of the most common minerals found on Earth, and makeup not only gemstones such as amethyst, citrine, chalcedony, and moonstone (among others,) but also sand, marble, ceramics, and plastics.

    Quartz and feldspar are massive groups of minerals, and since it’s abundant on Earth, we fully expect to see it elsewhere in the universe!


    But what might we see if we find these rocks far, far away?

    Will we find a bright blue quartz, naturally colored?

    A giant moonstone spire that stands taller than a skyscraper?

    An entire planet of nothing but crystal?

    No one is sure but the possibilities are endless!

    The presence of these minerals tells us that other worlds may not be as different as our own, despite appearance. They were all formed in the same universe, after all.



    Many types of “diamonds,” or something kind of like them, have been found. Some of these minerals are made of carbon but form in a different crystal structure. Since the crystal structure is unique to diamonds and is partially responsible for how tough and durable diamonds are, these stones have a key difference.

    Others are small pieces, considered dust. There’s even some that form flat-like sheets, instead of how they form here on Earth.

    There’s a bit of a debate if any of these can truly be called “diamonds,” but either way, they are unlike the gems we have here on Earth.



    Multiple forms of glass have been found at impact craters, but the interesting thing about them is that they are often colored. We tend to think of glass as clear, transparent, but the majority of “natural” glass formed by impacts is green! Some of this is called Moldavite.

    Discoveries are happening daily about the world beyond our own, and who knows what’s next.

    Perhaps someday in the near, or distant, future, we’ll be talking to clients about setting “space” stones into rings, and working on marketing some rare mineral from a million light years away.

    With the variety of minerals on Earth alone, the sky’s not even the limit on what we could discover!

    Here’s to the rare, durable and beautiful gemstones that make our planet special.

    And, apparently, other planets, too.


    This article has been recognized and published in the American Gem Society's website blog and in their "Brilliance" e-newsletter.  Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin is the author of all articles featured on the Panowicz Jewelers website blog.

  • 2018 Pantone Color of the Year: Ultraviolet

    January 8, 2018 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin; Staff Gemologist
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    Is it blue? Is it purple? Is it violet?

    Yes, and no, to all of the above!

    Ultraviolet is this year’s Pantone color of the year. A cousin of a hue often called indigo, it is a mysterious shade of bluish-purple design, named after the color range just beyond visible light.

    Pantone says they chose ultraviolet as it represents individuality, creativity and an emphasis of things yet to come. Indeed, the color invokes such images, with it’s subtle yet striking duality.

    On a painter’s color wheel, violet is the color next to purple. It leans to its’ neighbor blue, while true purple hues lean towards red.

    By now, a few gemstones have probably already come to mind when setting eyes on this color.

    Amethyst, still the most popular purple gemstone, fits into this color nicely. Even though it often leans towards the warmer purple, rather than cooler violet, tones, it complements ultraviolet nicely.

    Amethyst has been a popular gem for ages. Often linked with wisdom, creativity and the divine, it embodies the color of the year.

    Another popular and alluring gem, tanzanite, is another top candidate for an ultraviolet gemstone. This beauty nails the color to perfection. Tanzanite, as a newer gem to the market, has less of a lore-based history then most, but it is still considered to be a powerful gemstone of light and life. It is said to be another stone of divine power.

    More gemstones that show off this year’s color would be iolite, and the corresponding purplish sapphires and spinels.

    All these stones offer insights into thought and perception.

    The color of ultraviolet hovers just outside our realm, intriguing us with possibilities. The name might seem otherworldly, from a fantasy or sci-fi story, and while there are such elements to it, the color violet is actually very grounded.

    Historically, the color has been with us from time in memorial.

    It is one of the first colors recorded as being used in ancient cave drawings. The pigments that made these were derived from bugs or plants, crushed and mixed.

    In Rome, emperors would wear purple or violet togas, while in the Middle Ages, the color was reserved for bishops and professors.

    In Chinese art, the color was used to represent the harmony of the universe, since it was made up of the colors of Yin and Yang (red and blue).

    During the Renaissance, the color showed up in artworks portraying angels, the Virgin Mary and other saintly and divine figures. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the color was a large part of the wealthy’s attire and considered a very desirable shade.

    As we move to more modern times, purple and violet are still seen often, considered by many to be less boring then blue, but more pleasing then red. This makes it a color of peacefulness.

    Despite its’ prominence, purple and violet dyes and pigments were extremely difficult and costly to make. Lesser quality versions could be made easily using the same bugs and plants the ancients did, but the color would fade over time. Especially in sunlight or if exposed to water.

    This made the color one of royalty and extravagance.

    The hue of violet is associated with the Crown Chakra, a focal point located just above the head. This Charka is said to elevate thinking, and transforming of the divine.

    The gemstones that call this hue their own mimic the color throughout history, with an emphasis on the celestial, ingenuity, the unseen and thought.

    Luckily for us, this color, and these gemstones, are not as hard to obtain as in times long past. Combined with other colors like blue, purple, red and even orange, it makes a striking display of true individuality.

    Or, just pick one of each gemstone that shows off this hue, so you have one for every day of the week!

    Colors do more then motivate fashion and art, they make us feel. Colors engage and inspire us. What will ultraviolet encourage you to do in the New Year?

    Will you see possibilities? Will you think outside the box? Will you do something new?

    Welcome to 2018.

    Welcome, to ultraviolet.

  • 101 Facts About Diamonds

    July 1, 2017 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin; Staff Gemologist
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    1 – Diamonds are the hardest mineral on the planet

    2 – Diamonds are made from carbon

    3 – Diamonds can contain traces of boron and/or nitrogen

    4 – Diamonds are not just the hardest mineral, they are 58 times harder than anything on the planet

    5 – Diamonds are rare; the average ratio is 1 diamond to 1 million tons of host rock

    6 – Diamonds are the choice celebration item for 60th and 75th anniversaries

    7 – Diamonds form approximately 100 miles below the Earth’s surface

    8 – Diamond’s crystal lattice is made of “covalent bonds”, the tightest formation bonding possible

    9 – Diamonds come in almost any color, from colorless to yellows, blues, reds, purples, green, browns and more

    10 – Diamond is the birthstone for April

    11 – Diamond, as a name for this mineral, comes from the Greek word “Adamas” meaning “unbreakable” or “Invincible”

    12 – Diamond growth occurs over a period of 1 billion to 3.3 billion years

    13 – Diamonds arrive at the surface through channels in the Earth known as “cratons”

    14 – Diamond is the chosen gemstone to represent the Zodiac sign Aries, the Ram

    15 – Diamond popularity rose in the 19th century

    16 – Diamonds have been known in India for 3,000 years, but some evidence suggests it is closer to 6,000 years

    17 – Diamonds so small they are microscopic (called micrometer or nanometer diamonds,) have been found at the sits of meteorite impacts

    18 – Diamonds (industrial grade) are used in the medical field as scalpel blades

    19 – Diamonds (industrial grade) are used in electronics

    20 – Diamond dust is used as abrasives for multiple industries

    21 – Diamond engagement rings became mainstream in the 1930’s

    22 – Diamonds were first given as an engagement ring in 1477, when Archduke Maximillian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy

    23 – Diamonds have inspired many quotes, such as Roman naturalist Pliny, who is quoted as having said; “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.”

    24 – Diamonds can be small or large, with the largest recorded find was named “Cullinan”, and weighed 3106 carats, the equivalent of 1.33 pounds.

    25 – Diamond lore from the Middle Ages is rich, and one surviving text says that the gems are; “Divine splendor on Earth…”

    26 – Diamonds have always been an important stone in India, and there was an old belief that each diamond was said to have a different “flavor”. Some sweet, some salty, etc.

    27 – Diamonds in the Hindi religion were the bones of the Demi-god Vala, who was destroyed and dismembered by his fellow deities. The bones fell to Earth and fractured when they landed, leaving rough diamonds behind.

    28 – Diamonds were considered a powerful mystic’s stone capable of protecting not only the wearer, but also homes where they were placed

    29 – Diamonds were thought to keep nightmares and specters away

    30 – Diamonds are thought by some to prevent insanity

    31 – Diamonds were a traveling companion of Marco Polo, who claimed they were a talisman of protection

    32 – Diamonds are a powerful healing gem, said by some to draw poisons out of the body

    33 – Diamonds have been part of stories somewhere between reality and fiction, including the claim that powdered diamond crystals were placed in wine as part of royal assassination plots

    34 – Diamonds seen in dreams is said to signify victory over your enemies

    35 – Diamond energizes the seventh Chakra, in modern New Age mythology

    36 – Diamonds can even be mined from the ocean floor, off the coast of Namibia

    37 – Diamonds were ranked the 17th most popular stone in Medieval times

    38 – Diamonds found in impact craters of meteorite crash sites show evidence of being carried by the meteorites instead of created by the impact

    39 – Diamonds are traditionally seen as a round brilliant cut, but can be, and is, cut in many “fancy’ shapes

    40 – Diamonds that are blue have varying amounts of Boron in them

    41 – Diamonds that are green have almost always been irradiated. This can be human induced or natural from the Earth

    42 – Diamonds that are red are of the rarest color, and command the highest price

    43 – Diamonds are inert to most chemicals

    44 – Diamonds are still the most popular gemstone for engagement rings

    45 – Diamonds are mined in Brazil, Canada, Australia, Russia, India and Africa

    46 – Diamonds mined in Russia can only be mined approximately three months out of the year due to harsh terrain and extreme weather

    47 – Diamond has the 4th highest refractive index of all gemstones

    48 – Diamond shapes are always beautiful, but the top shape is still the classic round brilliant

    49 – Diamond fancy shapes show that the princess cut is still the top, though cushion and oval are close behind in recent years

    50 – Diamond is the State Gemstone of Arkansas

    51 – Diamonds can be burned, though the flames must reach a temperature of approximately 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit (or 700 degrees Celsius)

    52 – Diamonds that are a perfect octahedron shape with exceptional clarity in their rough form are called “glassies”

    53 – Diamond has such unique characteristics that it can take on a high polish, more so then most minerals

    54 – Diamond has fourteen different names in traditional Hinduism, including words that mean fire, sun, lightning and weapon

    55 – Diamond has been the subject of many texts, including the oldest dated printed book, called “Diamond Sutra” found in a cavern in China, dating AD 868. The book actually describes more of a metaphysical topic then the actual gem

    56 – Diamonds are sawed with other diamonds, as it is the hardest material on the planet

    57 – Diamond cutting can take upwards of eight hours total, for a well-cut stone

    58 – Diamonds are highly attracted to grease and oil. In fact, mines use sheets coated with grease to catch small rough diamond crystals and separate them from other minerals

    59 – Diamonds cut in the round brilliant pattern have 57 facets (58 if the culet is also faceted)

    60 – Diamonds form in the cubic crystal structure

    61 – Diamonds are found in the USA, though not mined as a large scale operation. States that have diamond mines are Arkansas, Colorado and Wyoming

    62 – Diamond mines vary from large, open pit mines, to underground shafts, to small scale rivers and lake beds

    63 – Diamonds were mined long before the “boom” of Africa, but that discovery made them famous and popular

    64 – The founder of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited was Cecil Rhodes

    65 – Diamond production was anything but steady when they first hit the worldwide market. De Beers was the first company to guide production from mine to market

    66 – Diamonds were discovered in Africa in 1866

    67 – Diamonds are sometimes used in dental tools

    68 – Diamond production and distribution is closely monitored, and the five major companies are DeBeers, ALROSA, Rio Tinto, Dominion Diamond and Petra Diamonds

    69 – Diamonds in pinks and browns are commonly from Australia

    70 – “Diamond is forever" is a phrase that was coined by DeBeers as part of a marketing campaign in the 1940's

    71 – Diamonds were supposedly named by Roman magician Damigerson, from the Latin form of "Adamus"

    72 – Diamonds were highly prized in India and used in their caste system, with certain people owning certain colors of the gem based on their stations and jobs

    73 – Diamonds were often said to make women "unhappy" by ancient cultures, or worse, cause them discomfort. Agn'es Sorel, Mistress of Charles VI, was the first woman in recorded history to wear diamonds on display in jewelry

    73 – Diamonds were said to dim when worn by someone guilty of a crime, or unfaithfulness

    74 – Diamonds were said in many legends to all come from a single valley. This valley was so deep, you couldn't see the bottom. Each legend has a different location for the valley, and also a different method, and hazard, of plucking the gems from it

    75 – Diamonds, like most gems, have been linked to everything from names to days of the week. A text by G.F Kunz even lists it as the gemstone for noon (time of day)

    76 – Diamonds are “carried” to the surface by the minerals Kimberlite and Lamproite

    77 – Diamonds in ancient India were thought to come from the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari

    78 – Diamonds that are large and flawless are sometimes called Paragons

    79 – Diamonds are primarily graded by The Four C’s, a grading chart that is only used for diamonds

    80 – Diamond Four C’s stand for; Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight

    81 – Diamonds that are flat, twinned octahedral shaped crystals are called Macles

    82 – Diamonds, despite the popular misconception, are not formed from compressed coal

    83 – Diamonds are hard, and can also resist pressures up to 600 gigapascals (or, 6 million atmospheres)

    84 – Diamonds used to fund war efforts in other countries brought about “The Kimberly Process” in 2002. The process is a set of regulations that require countries exporting diamonds to provide proof that the money from the sale of said diamonds is not funding terrorist activities

    85 – Diamonds can be made synthetically, in a laboratory. These synthetic diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties of a natural diamond, though the process to create them varies from nature’s mix

    86 – Diamonds are often sold at auction. The record setting “Pink Star” is the most expensive ever sold, (so far) and sold in April 2017 for 71.2 million dollars.

    87 – Diamonds are cut into many shapes and sizes. The smallest diamond ever cut weighed only 0.0003ct. It supposedly cannot be seen with the naked eye.

    88 – Diamonds return a lot of flashing colors to your eyes. These flashes are referred to as “fire”

    89 – Diamonds are part of many crown jewels, with the most notable being the Koh-i-Noor, found in India. It is part of the British Crown Jewels

    90 – Diamonds come in many colors, with red being one of the rarest. The largest red diamond is the Moussaieff, and weighs 5.11ct

    91 – Diamonds sometimes display fluorescence, a reaction to UV light. It causes the diamond to “glow” a different color, usually blue.

    92 – Diamonds can also Phosphoresces; this is a phenomena where the fluorescence lasts for a time after the light source has been removed. This is a very rare trait for a diamond to have

    93 – Diamonds are occasionally used in the audio business to enhance sound

    94 – Diamonds made the headlines in 2011 when a few celebrities reported having “diamond and ruby facials” done. The effects and benefits of such a thing are debatable

    95 – Diamonds, due to the extreme hardness, could not be cut by antique cultures. However, they were able to polish the natural crystal faces of the rough, leading to unique shapes but failing to unlock the true beauty of a faceted diamond

    96 – Diamonds can have many different types of inclusions within the stone; small fissures, growth patterns, clouds of tiny crystals grouped together and even other gemstone crystals

    97 – Diamond mines produce much, but only about 30% of the world-wide volume is gem quality, worthy to be set into jewelry

    98 – Diamonds are famous, or infamous. The “Hope” diamond is said to be cursed by some, due to one of its’ owner’s unfortunate life upon purchasing the diamond

    99 – Diamonds found in the USA are usually small and average. The finest ever found was named the “Uncle Sam”

    100 – Diamonds that are black are often irradiated to make them more stable

    101 – Diamonds are something that EVERYONE should own!

  • The Pantone color of the year is…..

    March 19, 2017 - ADDED BY Isabelle Corvin; Staff Gemologist
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    greeneryThe Pantone color of the year is…..(drum roll please,) Greenery!

    It has been some time since a green hue has been chosen as the color of the year, and this version--a bright shade with just a hint of yellow--is a refreshing color indeed!

    Pantone says it was chosen as a symbolic color of new beginnings and renewal, a calming hue to soothe and relax, and a call to reconnect with the world around us.Indeed, Greenery reminds us of nature, and few things calm like plants and animals.

    The color will be coming to the forefront of all things fashionable this year; clothes, interior décor and of course, jewelry.

    Gems that embody this color are reviving peridot, versatile tourmaline, vibrant tsavorite garnet and of course, comforting emerald.In fact, emeralds have been a symbol of renewal and growth for ages, as well as wealth and status.

    Alternately, peridot is considered the gem of the sun, while garnets and tourmalines have many meanings and supposed health benefits.

    Certainly all gems that match this sublime “Greenery” represent nature at its finest.

    The color green, at its scientific core, is a color between blue and yellow, a mixture of those two opposing colors, if you will.  The name, “Green”, is thought to be derived from Middle English or possibly Germanic roots, meaning, most likely, “grass” or “roots”.

    In many cultures and languages, green and blue often have similar names associated with the color, making it a great transition from last year’s color of the year, Serenity (a soft blue).

    Science has proven that green is restful on the eyes, balancing to emotions and also helps combat fatigue.

    Green is surprisingly hard to “copy” from nature’s mix to create pigments and dyes, including food coloring.  Older methods included finely powdered malachite, another gemstone, to create stains.

    Historically, green has an interesting history; in more arid locations, the color was one of hope for things to come and rebirth.  The Egyptians used the color often, even going so far as to characterize some of their deities with green skin.

    The Greeks weren’t overly fond of the color, and rarely used it in artistic purists.  The Romans, however, linked the color to their goddess Venus, who was the goddess of love and nature, thus making the color more romantic.

    During the Renaissance, where clothing colors denoted social status and occupation, green tones were worn primarily by merchants and bankers. It was a featured clothing color in many famous paintings of the era, including Mona Lisa, who wears a shade of darker, muted green.

    greenery 2

    The Masonic orders use green to symbolize immortality of all that is divine and true. Since the natural aspect of the color is unchanging, it is considered an immutable color.

    In terms of jewelry, green was a popular color in both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. In the former, it was used for accents of sweeping, nature inspired designs that dominated the movement.

    In the latter it was often used as a striking aside to other colors, using the bolder, darker hues of the color rather than the light and airy versions.

    As we look to a brand new year, the color may seem like an odd choice…until the plants bloom once more. As spring hits, sooner rather than later, green becomes the prominent color we see. It is a surprisingly balanced color, managing to be both soft and bold. It is a romantic color, when you think about it, and invokes emotions when seen.

    We all need a connection to nature in some form, and Greenery gives us that connection with our most obvious sense; sight.

    And when it is seen, it is felt.

    To see green colors is to feel them, and to wear a gemstone that holds such a deep tie to the world around us grounds us, makes us feel.

    Wearing green jewelry is sure to help you feel at peace throughout your day. Who doesn’t need to feel relaxed during hectic and overfull days?

    Embrace a green gemstone, make it your own and begin to enjoy this year’s color; Greenery!


    This article has been recognized and published in the American Gem Society's website blog and in their "Brilliance" e-newsletter.  Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin is the author of all articles featured on the Panowicz Jewelers website blog.

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