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January’s Birthstone: Garnet

While garnets can be found in all shapes and sizes, Arizona is one of the few locations that is home to “ant hill garnets”. This type of garnet stems from the unique way that these garnets are mined, by ants! While ants are constructing the underground passageways of their habitat they encounter these stones and remove them from their paths by discarding them on the surface....

December’s Birthstone: Zircon

December is an interesting month for birthstones because there is a triad to choose from. At one time or another, zircon, tanzanite and turquoise have all been appointed the birthstone of December. Most recently, the beautiful gemstone zircon has been a popular choice and with its amazing history and many varieties we can see why! Not found anywhere in the United States, zircon is mined in a dozen countries throughout the world including Australia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Mozambique and Thailand, to name a few1. If you had your heart set on finding a December birthstone that originated closer to home, Arizona is a main source of turquoise - a lovely alternate birthstone for this month.

November’s Birthstone: Topaz

Unfortunately, if you go mining for topaz in Arizona you won’t find yourself having any luck, but don’t be discouraged, because our neighbor to the north is one of the world’s best sources of this November birthstone. Utah is home to Topaz Mountain where beautiful amber topaz and pink topaz crystals are found. Other states that mine topaz are North Carolina, Colorado, California and Idaho. The world’s largest producer of topaz is Brazil but this variable gemstone can also be found in many other locales like Russia, Pakistan, China and the Ukraine.

October's Birthstone: Opal

Opal Mining in Arizona and the U.S.Rough cut of blue opal mined in Arizona.

Only a handful of states in the U.S. mine different varieties of opal and our great state of Arizona is home to two of these mines.  A few hours south of the Gilbert/Mesa area, in Santa Cruz county, precious blue opal is mined.

September’s Birthstone: Sapphire

Sapphire Mining in the U.S. Rough cut sapphires of various colors

Of the few gemstones mined in Arizona, the sapphire isn’t one of them, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t places they can be found in the U.S. The greatest source of U.S. mined sapphires come from Montana, but also come from areas in North Carolina1. Outside of the U.S. sapphires can be found in a wide variety of places including Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria and even Australia, just to name a few.

Brief Sapphire Background

It has long been believed that the sapphire has protective qualities and helps keep loved one safe from envy and harm2. In other folklore the sapphire was believed to help protect chastity, “make peace with enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of the oracles”3

Read more about the diverse sapphire!

Understanding Diamonds: Carat

What Is Diamond Carat?

The 4C Series

To complete our lessons on the 4 C’s of diamonds we reach our final ‘C’ - carat weight.  Armed with the knowledge you've gained in the previous three posts and an understanding of diamond carat weight you will be able to determine how to make your ultimate diamond purchase and confidently know you've made an informed decision.

Diamonds and Carat Weight

As you probably have figured out on your own, diamond carat weight is the amount a diamond weighs.  The higher the carat weight, the higher the price because larger diamonds are considered rarer and more desirable. Most people don't spend their time dreaming about a smaller diamond! 

Learn more about Carat in our 4C Series!

August’s Birthstone: Peridot

Peridot Mining in the U.S. Raw unfinished Arizona peridot

If you are looking for a peridot and you call Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix or any of the other Arizona cities your home then you are in luck! One of the largest deposits of the stunning bright green gemstone is located in our very own Arizona1.

July’s Birthstone: Ruby

Ruby Mining in the U.S.

Although you won’t find rubies in Arizona, there are several states that have working ruby mines. If you are looking to do a little digging of your own you can visit Alabama, Arkansa or North Carolina to visit a number of “fee mining sites”.

Understanding Diamonds: Cut

What Is Diamond Cut?

The 4C Series

Diamond ring featuring diamond cut post of the 4C's of Diamonds.