THE ELEGANT PEARL – JUNE BIRTHSTONE

“Who comes with summer to this earth
And owes to June her hour of birth
A pearl should wear against her skin
Who’s innocence many a heart shall win.”

From one of the most modest of life forms, the mollusk, comes the pearl — a gem of unrivaled beauty and elegance. Historically, this exquisite nugget has been employed as a fanciful adornment for centuries. It is believed that the origination of assigning it as June’s birthstone dates back to biblical times, when people wore particular gemstones assigned to each month. In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers created an official list, allocating the magnificent pearl as June’s birthstone.

The sophistical pearl brings to June-born its persona of unpretentiousness and purity. The simplicity of its form contradicts the iridescent color that lies just beneath the surface. Like its wearer, the pearl is radically understated, but at the same time is irrefutably precious. By nature, pearls have a beautiful luster and its semi-transparency makes it one of the most preferential gemstones among women. They appear in a variety of colors, dependent on the type of mollusk that yields it, along with the environment in which it resides. The most notorious of pearls is the time-honored, milky-white hue, but they are also produced in silver, cream, white, green, lavender, black, blue and golden shades as well.

Pearls are symbolic of wisdom acquired through experience. They are believed to draw wealth and good fortune, as well as offer protection to those wearing them. Recognized for their calming effect, pearls can balance one’s karma, along with fortifying relationships. It is also said that the gem denotes wholesomeness, generosity, integrity, and loyalty. Pearls are thought to be very effectual in treating a variety of health issue including the stomach, heart and spleen. Not only do they pacify the mind, but additionally stabilize mental steadiness.

Throughout the ages, pearls have been a passion, and even an obsession of people from all walks of life. In consort with being a beloved inclusion to a diverse assortment of jewelry pieces, they have adorned crowns, clothing, and even temples. They remain steadfast, being viewed as a mark of excellent taste and refinement. They are often given to celebrate a marriage or the birth of a child, in conjunction with being the symbolic piece of June-born persons. Pearls are truly nature’s perfect gift, suitable to be worn with jeans and a t-shirt, or for an elegant evening out!!

The Diamond… King of all Birthstones

Arguably the most popular gemstone on earth, the diamond is recognized as the birthstone for the month of April.  Although it is uncertain how various stones became connected with specific months, some speculate it dates back to biblical times when priest’s breastplates were adorned with assorted gems.  As time passed, the gems became associated with the zodiac and the months connected to it, thus starting a tradition of wearing a different stone each month, as sort of a good luck charm.

If you or a loved one was lucky enough to be born in the month of April, you have bragging rights to the diamond being your birthstone.  Adopted from the Greek work “adamas”, meaning invincible, diamonds are known to be the hardest and most

resilient gems on earth.  They come in a wide variety of colors including black, blue, green, pink, red, purple, orange and yellow.  However, the clear, colorless diamond

is the most highly revered and renowned stone employed when recognizing

April-born babies.

 

As an Aries (the zodiac sign for the month), you are considered to be an innocent person that shows a great amount of affection towards those you hold near and dear.  You are very strong-willed, yet kind and caring.  Your diamond birthstone is in theory presumed to be a direct reflection of these fervent, yet delicate character attributes.

 

For the fortunate individuals born in April, your diamond birthstone signifies love,

clarity, strength, and everlasting affection.  No wonder it’s a staple gemstone in engagement rings and wedding jewelry.    It is believed to bring good luck, protecting

its wearing from any type of misfortune.  During the middle ages, diamonds were thought to hold healing powers as well.  By heating the crystal and taking it to bed, it was believed that the stone had the power to draw out harmful toxins from the body, curing ailments of all kinds.  To this day many remain steadfast in this belief, regardless of whether it is their birthstone, or not.  Today’s diamond is also acknowledged for having an effect on an individual’s balance and clarity, and offers boosts of energy

when coupled with other gemstones.  It is also traditionally associated with mystery, romance, power and magic.

 

The April diamond birthstone has garnered the hearts of people worldwide, and since medieval times has remained the most coveted crystal to date.  It is the most famed

and fabled of all gemstones, famous for its sparkling fire attributes, durability, and rarity.  Deemed the King of all birthstones, the diamond is unequivocally the most prized and sought-after of all gems, making it the ideal choice for April birthday gifts.  No gemstone contains as much allure and interest as does the diamond!!

Aquamarine “Water of the Sea” Gemstone

Did you know Aquamarine is not only the birthstone for March-born babies, but it is also the stone of choice given as gifts for 19th wedding anniversaries?  But, putting all of this aside, the stone has only grown in popularity among all people, in large part due to of its broad range of blue hue color variations.  The diverse range of the blue shades make the Aquamarine stone a perfect complement to spring and summer fashion wardrobes.

Deriving its name from the Latin words “aqua marina”, the gem was appropriately coined its title because of its many shades of blue, to blue-green, to sea-green uniformities.  The “water of the sea” gemstone has long been known to symbolize youth, health and hope, along with faithfulness, courage and friendship.  The serene color, reminiscent of the sea, is said to cool the temper, and allow those in fear to remain calm and level-headed.  Wearing such a stone allows one to stand stoic and in control, despite any provocation.  The reflective colors of the Aquamarine stone are representative of the soothing and relaxing emotions that the sea evokes in the human race.

 

The Aquamarine birthstone is mined in Nigeria, Zambia, Pakistan, Brazil, Mozambique and Madagascar, with Brazil being the largest source.  Hence, it is no wonder that in 1910 Brazil tendered the largest Aquamarine stone, weighing in at an astounding 243 pounds.  It was cut into smaller stones which yielded a total of over 200,000 carats.  Yet another of the biggest Aquamarine gems, also found in Brazil, was given the name Dom Pedro and is now being housed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, for all to gaze upon.  Without a doubt, these were, and are two of the most remarkable gems to have ever graced our earth.

 

Pisces is the zodiac sign for the month of March.  Anyone whose birthdate falls during this month is blessed to have the blue majestic Aquamarine as their birthstone, symbolic of the watery domain where the fish live, tying in with the serenity and tranquility that it brings.

 

Like the new spring that comes each March, the cool and optimistic Aquamarine stone imparts a sense of youth and hope.   Whether it is your birthstone or not, adorn yourself in the soft blue hue of Aquamarine, creating a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.  Your mind, sprit and body will thank you!!

Icons in Time — A Look at the Hermes Kelly Watch

The history of the now-famed Kelly bag — and subsequent Kelly Watch — is a storied one that spans more than half a century. Marked by the signature padlock design, the Kelly has stolen hearts around the world.

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Hermes, founded in 1837 in Paris as a purveyor of fine saddles and harnesses, quickly gained a strong reputation for its unparalleled artistry and perfection. When the equestrian mode of transportation gave way to the motorcar, Hermes adapted, creating trunks, gloves, handbags, scarves and other motorities for the well-to-do Parisians in cars.

By the mid 1900s, the House of Hermes had become a global brand name, and in 1956, when Princess Grace Kelly appeared on the cover of Life Magazine with an oversized Hermes saddlebag to cover her pregnant belly, the bag quickly gained the name the Kelly bag. The signature look has remained in high demand over the years, often with a waiting list for handbags that retail for more than $10,000.

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In 1975, the Kelly bag’s padlock motif became an adornment for the new Kelly Watch, which garnered international acclaim almost as quickly as the bag had. Today, the Kelly Watch is offered in steel or in gold with a single leather strap or a double-tour leather strap in a huge array of hand-stitched-to-perfection leathers and colors. We are happy to carry Hermes timepieces in our store, including the iconic padlock Kelly Watch, which has become a symbol of love, commitment and style.

A Look at Presidential Watches From George Washington to Barack Obama

Over the years, the Presidents occupying the White House have worn a good number of watch brands. In honor of President’s Day, we bring a closer look at how time was kept in the Oval Office.

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Our first president, George Washington, owned a Jean-Antoine Lepine pocket watch during his presidency. A friend traveling abroad in the late 1770s reportedly purchased the watch at Washington’s request. Thomas Jefferson, our third president, owned a pocket watch made by Paris-based watchmaker, Daniel Vaucher. Vaucher was known for his precision watchmaking and excellent finishing.

George Washington wore a pocket watch by Lepine. Photo courtesy NAWCC

George Washington wore a pocket watch by Lepine. Photo courtesy NAWCC.

Moving fully into the 20th century, our 33rd president, Harry Truman, owned several wristwatches, including a Vulcain Cricket alarm watch, which had gained in popularity in the 1940s. He also owned a Universal Genève Tri-Compax watch in 18-karat yellow gold.

Subsequent presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th) and John F. Kennedy (35th) also owned multiple wristwatches. Eisenhower had a Vulcain Cricket, a Hamilton, a Rolex Datejust and a Heuer. His likeness was even used in a Heuer ad. Kennedy owned a Cartier, an Omega, an interesting Bulova tonneau-shaped watch, and was reportedly gifted a Rolex watch by Marilyn Monroe, which he immediately gave away and never wore.

Universal Geneve Tri-Compax watch. Photo from Antiquorum

Universal Geneve Tri-Compax watch. Photo from Antiquorum.

Taking a more affordable watch stance, our 42nd president, Bill Clinton, was seen wearing a Timex Ironman watch, but has since been seen wearing a multitude of different watches, including a Rolex, Panerai and Jaeger-LeCoultre. President Barack Obama (44th) has been seen wearing a Jorg Gray 6500 Collection Chronograph that apparently has been inscribed on the caseback of the watch.

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 Images: Oval Office via Wikicommons.