上原亚衣ed2k
June 29th, 2020
An artisanal miner in Tanzania struck it rich last week when he sold two enormous tanzanite crystals for $3.4 million.



Saniniu Laizer had discovered the crystals — one weighing 9.2kg (46,000 carats) and the other 5.8kg (29,000 carats) — in Tanzania's Manyara region, not far from the country's Merelani mining site.

The two rough gems are believed to be the largest tanzanites ever found in Tanzania. The previous record holder weighed 3.3kg.

In a highly promoted ceremony on Wednesday, the 52-year-old Laizer revealed his finds to the international press.

"There will be a big party tomorrow," he told the BBC.

Laizer also promised to invest his windfall in the local community of Simanjiro.

"I want to build a shopping mall and a school," he said. "I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can't afford to take their children to school."

Calling into the celebration by phone, Tanzanian President John Magufuli commented, "This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich."

When Magufuli came into power five years ago, he promised to safeguard the nation's mining sector and ordered the military to build a wall surrounding a Manyara mining site.

Tanzanite is said to be rarer than diamond by a factor of 1,000 times due the fact that this unique and beautiful variety of the mineral zoisite is mined in only one location on earth. The area measures 2km wide by 4km long and the remaining lifespan of the mine is less than 30 years. Tanzanite’s color is an intoxicating mix of blue and purple, unlike any other gemstone.

Artisanal miners like Laizer are permitted to work outside the confines of the Manyara mining site as long as they carry a government-issued license. In 2019, Tanzania established trading centers to allow these miners — most of whom work by hand — to sell their gems to the government.

In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite to the jewelry industry’s official birthstone list. Tanzanite joined turquoise and zircon as the official birthstones for December.

Credit: Image ? Tanzania Ministry of Minerals.
June 26th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Swiss singer-songwriter Luca H?nni pursues the 110-carat girl of his dreams in his brand new release, "Diamant," which means "diamond" in German.



The official music video, which is performed in German and spotlights the talents of dancer Christina Luft, premiered on YouTube 15 days ago and already has been viewed more than one million times.

With the help of a Google translation, we learn that H?nni is trying desperately to win the heart of a young woman who may be a little out of his league. He likens her to a 110-carat "diamant."

He sings, "Du bist hundertzehn Karat / Deine wundersch?ne Art / An dich kommt niemand ran / Du bist ein Diamant / Hundertzehn Karat / Und mein Herz schl?gt Alarm / Ich will dich an der Hand / Wie ein Diamant."

The rough translation goes something like this: "You are 110 carats / Your wonderful style / Nobody can match you / You're a diamond / 110 carats / And my heart sounds the alarm / I want you by the hand / Like a diamond."

The multi-talented 25-year-old from Bern, Switzerland, tells his love interest that she is brighter than light. "Du bist ein Juwel für mich (You are a jewel to me)," he sings.

H?nni got his big break in 2012 when he won the ninth season of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Germany Seeks the Superstar), the German version of the Idol franchise. He was the first non-German and youngest competitor to win the title.

H?nni has since released four studio albums and 13 singles. In February 2020, he was named Best Male Act at the 13th Swiss Music Awards and then finished third in the 13th season of Let's Dance, a German talent series. His dance partner was Luft, who you can see in the official video of "Diamant," below. The lyrics here are translated from German to English.

上原亚衣ed2k
Written by Mathias Ramson, Choukri Gustmann, Lukas Loules and Nebil Latifa. Performed by Luca H?nni.

(Translated by Google from the original German.)

Shine in the eyes
You don't see me
How long do I have to dig
Until you speak a word to me?
You are accomplished (accomplished)
Brighter than light (brighter than light)
You are not like the others
You are a jewel to me

I don't need a ring
No luxury, no bling-bling
But I only have you in mind
And I follow my instinct

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me

Are we at home
I unpack you like mon cherie
Love is so heavy in the stomach
And every gangster wants such a bride
I'll make sure no bandit ever steals you

I don't need a ring
No luxury, no bling-bling
But I only have you in mind
And I follow my instinct

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me

Next to you I can get on with my life
Nothing is as it used to be
Next to me is a diamond

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me


Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com / Luca H?nni.
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June 25th, 2020
More than 3.5 million Swarovski crystals are integrated into the architecture and decor of the Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon, British Columbia, making this venue a jewelry-lover's fantasy.



Owned by Swarovski family patriarch Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the $122 million, state-of-the-art spa facility reflects crystal-infused opulence from every angle.

Visitors approaching the resort will immediately notice a lobby fa?ade with angular window panes "faceted" to look like a brilliant-cut gemstone. Gemstone themes are also prevalent in the signage, lighting, sculptures, floor coverings, furniture, stairs, ceilings and mirrors.



Swarovski crystals hang like icicles from gigantic chandeliers in the hotel's atrium-style lobby. Each room features a crystal-shaped soaker tub and the indoor pool has glass walls and a Swarovski-crystal, starry sky ceiling.



Langes-Swarovski opened the facility in 2010 to fulfill the mission of educating and facilitating his guests’ personal journey to whole body wellness and enhancing their overall quality of life.



Guests receive exclusive access to KurSpa’s amenities, which span 40,000 square feet. These include seven uniquely themed aromatherapy steams and saunas, indoor pool and hot pool, outdoor infinity pool, Kneipp hydrotherapy, tea room and serenity room.

Located atop a granite bluff overlooking Okanagan Lake and featuring 36 holes of championship golf in wine country, the picture-postcard, 149-room resort is a 30-minute drive from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) in British Columbia, about 400km east of Vancouver.

Credits: Images via sparklinghill.com.
June 24th, 2020
Celebrity chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Castellon have taken their relationship to the next level — and the Food Network star has a dazzling ring to prove it.



Guarnaschelli took to Instagram on Saturday to show off her new emerald-and-diamond engagement ring and post the simple caption, "Ok @chefmike808, you’re on!" She punctuated the post with an engagement ring emoji.

Castellon, who is best known for winning Season 35 of Chopped, popped the question on Guarnaschelli’s birthday.



He also posted a photo of his fiancée's ring on his Instagram page. Instead of a standard caption, he strung together a series of hashtags, when combined, spelled out his sentiments. He wrote, "#she #said #yes engaged #boom #luckiest #guy #ever #happy #happy And #happy #bday @guarnaschelli"

Guarnaschelli revealed in a People magazine story that her boyfriend of four years delivered his surprise proposal after convincing her that he had spotted a baby deer near the side of the road. They had just finished a grocery run when he pulled the car over so they could take a closer look.

She told People, “So he's like, 'Shh. Come see it. It's so cute.' And I'm like, 'We're going to have to do something. We're going to have to call the animal welfare.' I'm already rolodexing the situation… And he goes, 'There's no deer.' I turn, and I look and he's on one knee. And he said, 'There's no deer.' He's like, 'This is why I have to marry you because you just believe me every time.' He said, 'Will you marry me?' and he gave me the ring."

The white-metal ring is set with a large emerald-cut emerald flanked by round, white accent diamonds. Guarnaschelli, who is the executive chef of Butter in New York City and has appeared on the Food Network's Chopped, Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, revealed on her IG stories that the ring is a Castellon family heirloom.

Affectionately called Chef Mike, Castellon appeared on Guy's Grocery Games?and Iron Chef America. He is also an executive chef in New York City.



The couple met four years ago when Guarnaschelli dined at the restaurant where Castellon was working. Apparently, it was love at first sight.

"I went in to meet him and tell him the steak was delicious and that was it," she told People.

Guarnaschelli also dished that she and her fiancé are in no hurry to tie the knot, but when they do, it will be "a blowout" in the New York City area.

"I want a tri-state rager," she said.

Credits: Images via Instagram/guarnaschelli; Instagram/chefmike808.
June 23rd, 2020
An exhibit titled "Gifts from Napoleon" is the subject of today’s virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. Two very special pieces gifted by the French emperor to his second wife, Marie-Louise, are prominently featured in a wall case on the second floor of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. One is a majestic silver and gold necklace set with diamonds weighing 263 carats and the other is a diadem glistening with 540 carats of turquoise and 700 carats of diamonds.



Normally, the hall hosts more than six million visitors annually. But with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been offering these virtual tours. Previous stops on the tour have included the colorful “Stars and Cat’s Eyes” exhibit, the Logan Sapphire, the Dom Pedro aquamarine, the Steamboat tourmaline and a collection of enormous topaz.

Here’s how to navigate to the “Gifts from Napoleon” exhibit.

– First, click on this link… The resulting page will be a gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1.”

– Click the double-right arrows once to navigate to the gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 2.”

– Click and drag the screen 180 degrees so you can see the back wall of cases.

– Touch the Plus Sign to zoom into the exhibit titled “Gifts from Napoleon.”

(You may touch the “X” to remove the map. This will give you a better view of the jewelry. You may restore the map by clicking the “Second” floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)

A wall panel next to the exhibit explains how Napoleon gifted the jewelry to Empress Marie-Louise: "The diadem was a wedding present in 1810. Napoleon gave his wife the necklace a year later to celebrate the birth of their first son. Both were made by Etienne Nit?t and Sons of Paris. Louise, who was Austrian born, bequeathed the two pieces to the royal family of Austria."

We've got all the details below...



Empress Marie-Louise Diadem features 70 cabochons of Persian turquoise and 1,006 old mine-cut diamonds. Interestingly, the emperor’s wedding gifts — which had included matching earrings and a jewel-encrusted comb — were originally set with emeralds.

According to the Smithsonian, Marie-Louise (1791-1847) bequeathed the diadem and matching pieces to her Hapsburg aunt, Archduchess Elise. In 1953, Van Cleef & Arpels acquired the jewelry from one of Elise’s descendants, the Archduke Karl Stefan Hapsburg of Sweden.

During the next two years, the jeweler removed the emeralds from the diadem and sold them individually in other pieces of jewelry. Its advertising campaign at the time promised “An emerald for you from the historic Napoleonic Tiara…”

Some time between 1956 and 1962, Van Cleef & Arpels reset the diadem with sky blue turquoise. The new-look diadem was exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris along with the necklace, earrings and comb, as part of a special exhibition in 1962 focusing on the life of Empress Marie-Louise.

American socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) purchased the diadem and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1971.

(The Smithsonian clarified that a diadem is the type of crown that is not a complete circle. It usually goes three-quarters around and is open in the back.)



The Napoleon Diamond Necklace celebrated the birth of Napoleon II, the future Emperor of Rome, in 1811. The necklace consists of 234 diamonds, with the inner circle made up of 28 old mine-cut diamonds, suspending a fringe of nine "pendeloques" (five pear shapes alternating with four ovals) and 10 briolettes. Mounted above each pear shape is a small round brilliant diamond, while the four ovals are attached to motifs decorated with 23 smaller diamonds. Each of the 10 briolette mountings is accented with 12 rose-cut diamonds.

When Marie-Louise died in 1847, the necklace was given to her sister-in-law, Archduchess Sophie of Austria.

According to the Smithsonian, the necklace was bequeathed in 1972 to the Archduchess’ son, Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. The necklace remained in the Hapsburg family until 1948, when Archduke Ludwig’s grandson, Prince Franz Joseph of Liechtenstein, sold it to a French collector who, in turn, sold it to Harry Winston, Inc., in 1960.

Merriweather Post — who clearly had an affection for Napoleonic jewelry — acquired the necklace, in its original case, from Winston and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1962.

Credits: Photos by Chip Clark/Smithsonian, digitally enhanced by SquareMoose.
June 22nd, 2020
In an effort to quickly identify health risks when the NBA season resumes in Orlando on July 30, league officials are encouraging its players to wear a lightweight, titanium “smart ring.”



The rings made by Finnish company, Oura, are equipped with censors that can detect changes in the players' body temperature, heart rate, sleeping patterns and respiratory rate — and most importantly, provide early warning signs if a player is in danger of contracting the coronavirus.

Scientists at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) claim the Oura rings can detect COVID-19 related symptoms (fevers, coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue and others) up to three days before they show up.

The claim is based on an initial study by RNI that included more than 600 physicians, nurses, urgent care providers and others directly working to care for patients with COVID-19 in West Virginia. The study's second phase will include an additional 10,000 participants across the United States, including New York and California, according to RNI.

The wearable technology is synched to RNI's smartphone app, which runs the data through a complex algorithm that promises to identify at-risk individuals before they become contagious, with 90% accuracy.

Pro basketball players will be given the option of wearing the ring when they finish up the 2019-2020 NBA season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities in Orlando, Fla.

RNI believes the Oura ring could provide health benefits far beyond the NBA.

"This technology can potentially serve as a critical decision making tool to help contain the spread of the virus, safely re-open communities, strengthen the economy, and facilitate public health containment strategies," RNI noted in a press release.

“We are hopeful that Oura’s technology will advance how people identify and understand our body’s most nuanced physiological signals and warning signs, as they relate to infectious diseases like COVID-19,” added Harpreet Rai, CEO of Oura Health.



The Oura rings retail from $299 and $399 and are available in a number of metal colors.

Credit: Photos by Oura.
June 19th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Canadian-Moroccan singer-songwriter Faouzia uses precious metals to tell the story of unrequited love in her viral 2019 release, "Tears of Gold." The official YouTube video has been viewed more than 6.8 million times.



Faouzia explained to the music website Genius that since she was six years old she has found herself in a series of one-sided relationships. She would give and give and give and get nothing back. Her mom warned her that she'd be hurt in the end, but Faouzia could never escape the cycle.

As she penned the song, Faouzia needed a visual representation of her emotional pain. The answer: Tears of Gold.

"I wanted it to be a powerful statement," she said. "I didn't just cry for you. It wasn't just water, salts and urea. It was GOLD. I gave my literal ALL to you."

She sings, "Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you / I sit here poor for you / Collect my pennies and my dimes / That's why you love it when I cry."

In the next line, Faouzia employs a second precious metal: platinum.

She sings, "Platinum love for you / I'd give no less for you / Generosity's my enemy / So I'm broke and your heart's rich / Because of me."

The 19-year-old explained in her Genius interview that she literally Googled the question, "What is the most valuable element," and she came up with platinum as the answer.

"On the whole 'Tears of Gold' thing, I cried for you and also gave you platinum love," she said. "It wasn't just any kind of love. It was platinum."

Born Faouzia Ouihya in 2000 in Casablanca, Morocco, the artist moved to Manitoba, Canada, with her family at the age of five.

Between the ages of 15 and 17, Faouzia won a series of singing and songwriting competitions, eventually leading to a contract with Paradigm Talent Agency. In 2018, French DJ and producer David Guetta invited Faouzia to perform on his studio album, titled 7.

Just recently, 13-year-old Daneliya Tuleshova delivered an impressive cover of Faouzia's "Tears of Gold" on America's Got Talent.

Commenting on the youngster's performance, Faouzia told ET Canada that she had goosebumps the entire time Tuleshova was on stage.

"Her voice and stage presence were AMAZING," Faouzia said. "I can’t wait to see her journey through music.”

Please check out the video of Faouzia performing "Tears of Gold." And, as a bonus, we have a video of Tuleshova's cover, as well. As always, the lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Tears of Gold"
Written and performed by Faouzia.

Mama always told me that I was too naive
Gave away my trust for pennies

I said, "Don't you worry"
Didn't think that I'd be broken down and crying
Help me

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
All you do is come around
Just came here to collect

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry
Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me

Know that this is my fault
Gave a little too much
Knew that this was gonna happen

But I'm not gonna lie
You can make me cry
A thousand times
I come running back like
What is going on with my head?

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
All you do is come around
Just came here to collect

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry

Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me

And the worst part is I'd do it all over again
No, the worst part is I know it's never gonna end
I keep coming right back like a maniac
I keep coming right back like –

Oh, oh

And the worst part is I'd do it all over again
No, the worst part is I know it's never gonna end
I keep coming right back like a maniac

I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry

Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me


Bonus: Daneliya Tuleshova covers Faouzia's "Tears of Gold"...


Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com.
June 18th, 2020
A gorgeous pair of fancy-colored heart-shaped diamond rings — one blue, one pink and each valued at more than $7 million — will headline Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale on July 10 in Hong Kong. The event marks Sotheby's first live jewelry auction in Asia since the COVID-19 outbreak.



A symbol of love and affection, the heart is among the rarest and most difficult shapes to cut for diamonds. That's one of the reasons why these rings carry a premium price.

The first ring, which is expected to sell in the range of $7.7 million to $9.7 million, features a 5.04-carat fancy vivid blue diamond flanked by white diamond side stones on a white precious metal band.

An internally flawless 4.49-carat fancy vivid pink diamond is the stunning center stone of the companion ring (to be offered separately). The pink diamond is set in white precious metal and accented with white diamond side stones. The ring carries a high estimate of $8.8 million.

In total, Sotheby's Hong Kong will be presenting more than 200 lots at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In addition to the fancy-color diamond heart rings, the sale includes an exceptional pair of emerald and diamond earrings from Harry Winston, the famed "Zip" necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as a perfectly matched pair of heart-shaped diamonds...



? Famed jeweler Harry Winston designed these teardrop-shaped Colombian emerald earrings. The emeralds weigh 18.69-carats and 20.27 carats, respectively, and are framed with a cascade of marquise-shaped white diamonds. Sotheby's expects the pair to fetch between $1.5 million and $1.9 million.



? Conceived by the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s, the now-iconic "Zip" design was brought to life by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1950. According to Sotheby's, the Zip design elevated a functional item into a technically brilliant and glamorous jewel, which could be worn open as a necklace or closed as a bracelet. The Zip necklace shown here carries a high estimate of $451,000.



? These unmounted heart-shaped diamonds are perfectly matched — with each weighing exactly 10.51 carats. The beautiful stones are expected to sell in the range of $1.8 million to $2.1 million.

Each of the items in the sale will be on public display in Hong Kong from July 5 to July 9.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.
June 17th, 2020
The biblical Aaron may have been the original King of Bling. More than 3,300 years ago, the first high priest of the Hebrews (and older brother of Moses) dazzled his followers with a gleaming breastplate fashioned with gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The inscribed gems — which included emerald, sapphire, amethyst and topaz —? were arranged in four rows and set in gold.



According to The Book of Exodus, Aaron bore the responsibility of memorializing upon his two shoulders the names of the 12 tribes before the Lord. His ceremonial costume consisted of a linen tunic spun with gold threads and a floor-length tasseled robe. Set into the breastplate were a colorful array of precious stones inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes.

The breastplate was attached to the ephod (a sleeveless garment) by gold chains/cords tied to the gold rings on the ephod’s shoulder straps, and by blue ribbons tied to the gold rings at the lower parts of the ephod.



First-century Jewish historian Josephus described Aaron’s breastplate in his book titled, Antiquities of the Jews. In the following passage, the gems are listed right to left.

“Twelve stones were there also upon the breastplate, extraordinary in largeness and beauty,” Josephus wrote. “The first three stones were a sardonyx, a topaz, and an emerald. The second row contained a carbuncle, a jasper and a sapphire. The first of the third row was a ligure (possibly orange zircon), then an amethyst, and the third an agate… the fourth row was a crysolite, the next was an onyx, and then a beryl.”

“And Aaron shall bear the names of the Children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the Holy Place.” — EXODUS xxviii.12,29.

Over many centuries, reinterpretations of the original Hebrew text have yielded other gemstone combinations. Some believe this to be the more accurate arrangement…

“The first was a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.”

Aaron’s priestly dress also contained a small pocket for “urim and thummim,” mysterious and still undefined substances or articles that would help the priest determine God’s will.



“Urim and thummim” might have been two sticks or two stones, one white and the other black, that would reveal a yes or no answer to a specific question when one was randomly pulled from the pocket.

Biblical scholars believe Aaron was born in 1396 BC and died in 1273 BC at the age of 123.

Credits: From top, artist’s conception of Jewish high priest wearing a breastplate in ancient Judah. Image from THE HISTORY OF COSTUME by Braun & Schneider / Public domain. Flavius Josephus by William Whiston (originally uploaded by The Man in Question on en.wikipedia.org) / Public domain. Ceramic replica of High Priest’s breastplate by Dr. Avishai Teicher Pikiwiki Israel / CC BY.
June 16th, 2020
Often described as an "emerald by day and ruby by night," alexandrite displays a dramatic chameleon-like color shift depending on the light source. In normal daylight, a fine alexandrite will appear bluish-green, but under lamplight or candle flame, the gem transitions to a vibrant raspberry red.



One of June's three official birthstones (the others are pearl and moonstone), alexandrite's color-changing property is attributed to the presence of chromium in the gem’s chemical makeup. The chromium allows the gem to absorb light in the yellow and blue parts of the spectrum.

Alexandrite is a relatively "new" gemstone, as it was originally discovered in 1830 in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Gem legend states that Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenski?ld (1792-1865) received a mineral sample from Count Lev Alekseevich Perovskii (1792-1856) that seemed very much like an emerald. But when the mineralogist inspected the gem under candlelight, the green gem had turned red.

The Smithsonian noted that Nordenski?ld had intended to name the new variety of chrysoberyl “diaphanite,” but the Count renamed it “alexandrite” to curry favor with the Russian royal family and Czar Alexander II, who had just come of age.



The color-change gem is rarely found in sizes larger than 5 carats, which makes the existence of the 17-carat “Whitney Alexandrite" that much more remarkable. The cushion-cut gem was a gift from Smithsonian benefactor Coralyn Whitney in 2009.

Alexandrite is extremely rare and the best-quality material is still mined in Russia. Other sources include Brazil, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, India and Burma.

The American Gem Society reports that due to its scarcity, fine alexandrite is more valuable than most gemstones, including rubies and diamonds.

Alexandrite has a hardness rating of 8.5, which makes it suitable for everyday wear.

Alexandrite joined the official birthstone list when it was updated in 1952. Also added that year were citrine, tourmaline and zircon. In 2002, tanzanite was honored as a birthstone for December and, in 2016, spinel joined peridot as a birthstone for August.

Source: Image by Александр Рудный / CC BY.