Agate
No gemstone is more beautifully striped by nature than agate, chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colors and textures. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock. As a result, agate is often found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. The bands sometimes look like eyes, fanciful scallops, or even a landscape with trees. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are generally associated with volcanic rock and can also be found in certain metamorphic rocks. When cut transversely, agate exhibits a succession of parallel lines that give a banded appearance to the section. Such stones are known as banded agate, riband agate and striped agate.

Birthstones
January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Moonstone or Alexandrite
July: Ruby
August: Peridot
September: Sapphire
October: Opal or Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Turquoise or Blue Topaz or Tanzanite

Pearls
Pearls are organic gems, created when an oyster covers a foreign object with
beautiful layers of nacre. Today most pearls are cultured by man. Shell beads
are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the
pearls are later harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre.

Most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the
South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian
black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured
in mussels, mostly in China. The quality of pearls is judged by their soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre, and luster, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Factors which affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and color.

Spessartite Garnet
Spessartite belongs to the large and varied mineral group of garnet. The fiery
sunny-orange stone is popular for its hardness, 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Its brilliance is due to its high refractive index. Until recently, spessartite garnet was rarely seen in jewelry. Gems with the highest spessartite content are a light orange. Those with almandine content are reddish to red brown in hue. Like most garnets spessartite garnet is not artificially enhanced in any way.

Sphene
Also known as Titanite, sphene is a brilliant yellowish-green, green or brown
gemstone of high luster, unique color shades and, with a brilliant cut, an intensive fire that can approximate diamond. While in demand for a long time,
sphene has been a rare gem on the market. New deposits have now increased
market quantities. Sphene is named from the Greek word for "wedge", because
of its typical wedge shaped crystal formation. The mineralogical name
"Titanite" derives from its titanium contents. With a hardness rating of 5-5.5
on the Mohs scale, sphene is a relatively soft gemstone that needs care and
qualifies best for pendants, earrings or brooches. Sphene color can be changed
to red or orange through heating, but most sphene is untreated. Crystals of
sphene are fairly small and typically don't exceed the two carat range.

Spinel
Spinel was recognized as a separate gem species as early as 1587. Now treasured for its own sake, spinel is a favorite of gem dealers and collectors on
account of its brilliance, hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale and wide range of
spectacular colors. In addition to beautiful rich reds, spinel can be found in
a range of pastel shades of pink and purple and in beautiful blue tones called
cobalt spinel, but these are very, very rare. The main factor preventing the
spinel from achieving greater recognition is its rarity; fine spinels are rarer
than the rubies they used to imitate. Spinel is a durable gemstone, perfect for
all jewellery uses and most often faceted in oval, round, or cushion shapes.

Tanzanite
Tanzanite, a blue variety of the gemstone zoisite, is named after the East
African state of Tanzania, the only place in the world where it has been found.
Upon its discovery in 1967, it was enthusiastically celebrated by the specialists
as the "gemstone of the 20th century." Its deep blue with the slightly purple
tinge is one of the most extravagant gemstone colors.Tanzanite consists of calcium aluminium silicate and has a value of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. For that reason, it should always be worn carefully and never placed in an ultrasonic bath for cleaning or brought into contact with acids.

Tourmaline
Tourmalines are gems with an incomparable variety of colors. This gemstone
has excellent wearing qualities and is easy to look after, for all tourmalines
have a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Tourmalines are found almost all over the world with major deposits in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South and
South-West Africa. Tourmalines are also found in the USA, mainly in California
and Maine. Although there are plenty of gemstone deposits which contain
tourmalines, good qualities and fine colors are not often discovered among
them. For this reason, the price spectrum of the tourmaline is almost as broad
as that of its color. Its high availability and its glorious, incomparable color
spectrum make it one of the most popular gemstones.

Turquoise
Turquoise is an ancient stone that has once again found itself back in fashion.
In many cultures it has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy
stone, a bringer of good fortune or a talisman. Turquoise, a copper aluminum
phosphate with a hardness of 6 on the Mohrs scale, occurs in a range of hues
from sky blue to grey-green. The blue color is created by copper, the green by
bivalent iron and a certain amount of chrome. Often, turquoise has veins or
blotches running through it, which are brown, light grey or black depending
on the location where it was found. These lively patterns are known as "turquoise matrix". The most well-known deposits are in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and China. Because of their sensitivity, turquoises are almost always subjected to a preparatory treatment of one kind or another. For this reason, turquoises which have a good natural color and are simply hardened with colorless wax or synthetic resin have a much higher value than stones whose color has been "improved" artificially. So it is more advisable to purchase valuable turquoise jewelery from a jeweler.

Precious Metals
Precious metals are rare metals that have been used in making jewelry for
several thousand years. Because of their luster, malleability and resistance to
oxidation, they have been prized by all civilizations. Once used as currency,
they are now used mainly for investment and adornment.

At George Kelly we primarily work with 14K and 18K gold, platinum and silver
for our designs, but have now moved heavily into working with palladium
as well. We often combine some metals together for the look and in consideration of the melting temperatures that are important in the fabrication
process.

Fabrication is the way jewelry was made long before the process of metal
casting was developed. It is a demanding method that employs a few simple
tools, like saws, files, pliers and hammers, to shape the component pieces,
which are then soldered together with a torch. Jewelry fabrication is the only
way to create original, one-of-a-kind pieces. Casting jewelry, by comparison,
gives the jeweler the ability to replicate the same piece as many times as
desired.

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