Rhodolite Zircon Stainless Steel
Often referred to as the “Queen of Garnets,” rhodolite is the violet-red variety of the garnet family. Its most prized color is a beautiful raspberry, but the gem can also be found in shades of pink, red and wine. The name is derived from the Greek words “rhodon” and “lithos,” meaning rose-stone, which connects the gemstone today with the raspberry-pink flower known as the rhododendron.
Rhodolite is a combination of almandine and pyrope garnets. Although it is occasionally found in volcanic rock, the stone is most often found in alluvial deposits in the form of water-worn pebbles. For this reason, large solitaires weighing 5.00ct or more are seldom seen at retail. Most rhodolite is mined in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. It ranks a 7.5 on the Mohs Scale and is ideal for jewelry.
The ancients wore rhodolites as amulets for protection from injury or death in battles. Modern folklore says rhodolite can help one understand dreams, as well as bring about love and devotion when given as a gift.
Zircon often suffers for its name’s similarity to “cubic zirconia,” the simulated diamond. The stone zircon, however, is actually a beautiful natural gemstone. It is named from the Persian word “zargun,” meaning “gold-colored.” This is despite the fact that it comes in a wide range of rainbow colors. The majority of zircons are brown or yellow-brown, while pure red and green are the most valuable colors. The yellow-red to reddish-brown variety is called “hyacinth.”
For many years, the most popular type of zircon was the colorless variety. More than any other natural stone, colorless zircons produce a brilliant sparkle similar to diamonds. The most popular color today tends to be the bright pastel blue variety. Sometimes called “starlite,” blue zircon has recently become considered an alternative birthstone for December.
Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, meaning that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight. It ranks a hardness between 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale and is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and Australia.
Travelers during the 11th century wore zircon amulets for protection and to encourage welcome greetings on their journeys. In the Middle Ages, the stone was said to bring wisdom and prosperity to its owner. Hindu mythology even mentions the gem when referencing the Kalpa Tree, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit and leaves of zircon.
Stainless steel, also called corrosion resistant steel, is a steel alloy with added iron and chromium. The metal is low maintenance, rust-resistant, durable, highly lustrous and extremely hygienic, making it ideal for items such as cookware, knives, surgical instruments, jewelry and watches.
The nearly-indestructible and masculine nature of stainless steel is appealing for many jewelry styles. It has a similar appearance to platinum and polishes to a glistening sheen. Any scratches that may occur from day to day wear can be easily buffed away without endangering the piece. Unlike traditional gold, silver or platinum jewelry, stainless steel jewelry is not poured into molds, but is usually hand-cut from a solid piece of steel, leaving no seams or weak spots. With stainless steel, your jewelry will last a lifetime.
Stainless steel was first recognized in France in 1821 by metallurgist Pierre Berthier. He realized the iron-chromium alloys maintained resistance from acids and recommended their use in cutlery. After several corrosion-resistance related discoveries and patents in Europe and the United States, Harry Brearley in England discovered a modern blend of stainless steel alloy. When it was announced by The New York Times in January of 1915, he was officially credited with the invention of this impressive modern metal.