Archive for the ‘Birthstones’ Category

The New Pandora Charms (and more) For Spring And Summer 2012

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The new Pandora spring/summer collection for 2012 was just released with a bunch of new beads and rings, as well as a few earrings and pendants. The recurring themes in all of them are flowers and hearts. And the possibility to mix and match – clip beads can be used as pendants, the rings can be stacked, etc.

Beads
The new bead collection consists of lots of sterling silver charms (the camera bead is a favorite), several with dangles (love those!), some with cubic zirconias or enamel, and a few mixed metal.

There are three new gold charms (my favorite is this clip with a dogwood flower set with a black diamond) and several very pretty Murano glass beads in “happy colors” and two different designs – the subtle “looking glass”, and the retro-feeling “Stepping stones” beads.

Pendants
There are 7 new pendants, 6 in silver with various stones (spinel, rhodolite, Quartzite, etc.), one mixed metal, and one in 14k gold with a white opal. They are all gorgeous and I’d be hard pressed to choose a favorite, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be the the mixed metal – it’s sterling silver and 14k gold with a pretty, feminine and understated flower-carved mother of pearl.

Earrings
The new earrings collection (four in sterling silver with stones and two mixed metal) features three new stud designs (which match some of the pendants), three earring charms (also matching) and one pair of silver and 14k gold ear wires with a pretty little flower and loops to hang charms from.

Rings
The new ring collection is so pretty! It consists of 12 sterling silver rings set with birthstones, 5 sterling silver and 5 mixed metal rings that match the pendants (yes, there is one that matches that adorable flower mother of pearl) and two gold. Most of the rings can be stacked.

There are also some new watches, but to be perfectly honest, I never wear a watch, so I’m not really interested in those.

In conclusion, it’s a very pretty collection, spring-inspired both in colors and designs, and price-wise, there is something for every budget, from (the surprisingly affordable) $20 spacers and $25 sterling silver beads to the $720 gold dogwood flower clip above.

All photos: Pandora

March Birthstone Charms And Pendants – Aquamarine

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

In the modern tradition, the birthstone for March is the gorgeous Aquamarine (in the mystical tradition it’s Jade and in all others Bloodstone – more on those in separate posts).

Morganite, Aquamarine and Heliodor

Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family, which also includes Emeralds (green), Morganite (pink – purple), Heliodor (yellow), Goshenite (Clear) and Bixbite (red, very rare). Pure beryl has no color – these stones get their different hues from impurities, and in the case of Aquamarine it comes from iron. The stones are also almost always heat treated which enhances the blue color by removing some of the green and/or yellow that may be present.

The word Aquamarine comes from the Latin aqua (water) and mare (sea) and it certainly is an apt description of the colors of these stones, which range from a pale light blue to deep greenish hues. They are fairly abundant and are mainly mined in Brazil, but also in Madagascar, India, Nigeria, Russia, China and the US.

The stones can come in huge sizes and it is not unusual to see large cut aquamarines of 40 – 50ct. Aquamarines can be quite affordable, but the price of course depends on size and quality. Greenish-blue ones with lots of inclusions are at the lowest end of the price scale, while clear (no inclusions), intensely sky and dark blue stones usually fetch the highest prices. Having said that, beryl sometimes have inclusions that produce rare asterism (star) and cat’s eye effects, and aquamarines with either of those can be quite costly.

Aquamarine Healing Properties

Aquamarines are said to protect seafarers, enhance communication, help you stick to your goals in life, become less self-centered, alleviate depression and anxiety, calm fears, promote tranquility and a light heart and boost creativity and intuition. Holding an aquamarine while meditating helps you focus and go deeper into the meditation. It is also believed to help with the immune system (allergies), the thymus gland, spleen, heart, throat, lymph nodes, eye inflammation, arthritis, and varicose veins.

In addition to being the birthstone of March, it is the planetary stone for Pisces, the state gem for Colorado, the birthstone for October in the Roman, Hebrew and Arabic tradition, and the 19th wedding anniversary stone.

I love aquamarine and always carry a small rondelle with me when I’m not wearing aquamarine jewelry – I find it calms and centers me, especially when I hold it in my hand. Give it try yourself and see what you experience.

As usual, I have selected a few favorite aquamarine charms and pendants:

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Handmade sterling silver and aquamarine necklace pendant by Colorado-based artist Nancy Green

2. Sterling silver Donatella flower charm with an aquamarine dangle. From Macy’s

3. Handmade sterling silver and aquamarine Tree of Life pendant by Florida-based artist Miss M. Turner of Phoenix Fire Designs

4. Vintage 14k gold bracelet with amethysts and aquamarines from Ross-Simons

5. Handmade silver and aquamarine owl charm by British silversmith and artist Caroline of Little Bird Studio 22

6. 14k white gold necklace with an aquamarine and diamond flower pendant from Angara

7. Copper, tin and brass Hamsa hand talisman with aquamarine, glass and Swarovski Crystals. From AmuletGifts.com

8. 14k gold and aquamarine bead charm from Pandora

9. Tiny sterling silver and aquamarine charm from The Black Bow

10. Handmade hammered sterling silver and aquamarine pendant by TatianaG

All content: © Charms Guide