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American Gem Stories: Montana Sapphires

Nothing evokes the spirit of the American West for me more than cowboy boots and Montana sapphires. As pioneers and gold prospectors journeyed west in the mid-1800s in search of wealth and adventure, they found not only gold sparkling in the spring runoffs, but rounded pebbles of pale blue, pink, yellow and green sapphires.

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American Gem Stories: The Ant Hill Garnets of Arizona

Mining is hard work in any climate, but it would seem particularly grueling under the heat of the Arizona desert. There is, however, one group of miners who have been at it for millennia who don’t seem to mind the heat at all: ants. Specifically, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, the red harvester ant.


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American Gem Stories: Maine Tourmaline

When we think of tourmaline, we might think of far-flung places like Brazil or the Himalayas. But some of the world’s most beautiful (and largest) tourmalines can be found deep in the forests of Maine. The US state is probably known more for its rocky coastlines than for the shinier, more valuable rocks under its hills, more for the frights produced by Maine native Stephen King than for the beauty produced by nature.


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Here Comes the Sun: Gemstones for Summer

A few nights ago, I settled into bed before sunset, recalling childhood memories of coming in for the night at twilight while the older kids were still playing outside. I noticed the time, musing, “9:30, and it’s still light out!” Yes, it’s June, it happens every year, but it still takes me by surprise, just like daylight saving time. June 21 was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the first day of summer. As we welcome the warmest, longest days of the year, let’s take a look at some sunny yellow and orange gemstones to complement your summer looks.

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All the Colors in the Palette

I have always had a box of gemstones. It is an ever-changing assortment of colorful stones, comprised of acquisitions I purchased, with only a vague idea of how I might use them, or a design I’ll create. Most of the time, I buy what I like and know the rest will work itself out later… sometimes much later.

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