The Jewelry Box

The Jewelry Box

Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry

The Case of the Jade Dragon - Kama'aina Metals helps catch theives that robbed a 90 year old man!

A few months ago, we had a very unique jade dragon walk into our office.  What seemed like a regular day turned into quite an eventful one!   So eventful, in fact, that KITV4 made us the lead story on the 6 o'clock news! Click here to see the segment and learn more about the case of the Jade Dragon!

Birthstone Guide -Three Things we love about Sapphires!


The Logan Sapphire is a 423 carat blue Sapphire that was donated to the Smithsonian in 1960.

Sapphires are the birthstone for September, and with the market being flooded with an influx of so many basic inky blue sapphires in modern times, some may be unaware of how mesmerizing, juicy, and colorful a good quality sapphire can be.  Since our last blog about Peridot really seemed to take off and get some interest, we thought we would continue this month with Sapphires. 

A great example of Sapphires being used to inspire Royalty is the large blue Sapphire egg on the Prussian Crown.

1.  History.  Sapphires have an ancient history that rivals any other gemstone on the planet.  And by ancient, we mean "cradle of civilization" ancient.  Sapphire has four root words, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit "sanipriya" meaning "Dear to Saturn" which is the planet of wisdom, integrity and discipline.  Sapphires are believed to rule responsibility, leadership, ambition and wisdom from experience. This is why many Princes and Kings were adorned with precious sapphires.  In Indian mythology the transit of Saturn causes man much calamity, but ultimately ends in prosperity.  Saturn also represents spiritual journey.  Ancient Buddhists believed that the sapphire created a desire to pray in its wearer and King Solomon’s seal stone ring is said to have been carved from a sapphire.


Rough Padparasha Sapphire

2.  Variety.  Sapphires are made of corundum (the same material Ruby is made of.  Ruby is the red variety of Sapphire.).  Sapphires come in yellow, blue, purple, blue, pink, orange, green, etc.  They can exhibit two colors together like Padparasha Sapphires (Pink-Orange). 

Sometimes nature's work of art is best seen through a Parti-colored Sapphire.

There are even gemstones that show three of these colors simultaneously, these are called Parti-colored Sapphires.  This makes for an endless combination of colors which might remind you of a painter's pallet.  Blotches of brightly saturated colors swirl together inside these translucent Sapphires and make each gemstone a unique work of art.

Natural Golden Star Sapphire from Burma

3. Asterism.  Sapphires sometimes exhibit a type of inclusion: "silk" which causes a phenomenon in the stone called "asterism".  These stones are called star sapphires.  Almost all star sapphires have a rounded face, and are not faceted because this cut is the best way to display the gemstone's star.   This cut is called cabochon.  The most common colors are black star sapphires and blue star sapphires.  There are however relatively rare star sapphire colors such as: green star sapphires, purple star sapphires, and golden or yellow star sapphires. 

Vintage 14k earrings with natural black star sapphires available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry.

There are many star sapphire simulants on the market (such as the ever popular Linde star sapphires) and lab created star sapphires, so if you are shopping for a natural star sapphire be sure to consult your trusted gemologist before making a purchase, and be very careful purchasing anything online. 


November - All the many colors of Topaz!

Gigantic Golden Topaz crystals and facetted gem on display in the Smithsonian Museum.


When we say Topaz the color that most people think of is what is called "London Blue" Topaz.   Most of the blue topaz on the market today is heat treated, and natural blue Topaz is extremely rare.   Most natural blue Topaz is very pale and looks almost like aquamarine.  Topaz was commonly pink, champagne, golden, and pumpkin tones until the 1950s when it became common to heat Topaz which turned them blue.   November's birthstone is traditionally this beautiful golden-orange color, however for those who adore the ocean-toned blues, modern times now offer us hundreds of shades of Topaz from which to choose!

Golden Topaz earrings at Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry

Rare Natural blue water-worm Topaz from Nigeria

London Blue Topaz Earrings available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry

Mystic Topaz is a type of lab treated white Topaz.   The treatment can produce some amazing and otherworldly colors, hence the name!  Mystic Topaz is relatively affordable and comes in all of the colors of the rainbow.

This is the typical color of Mystic Topaz. 


Imperial Topaz is the Rarest color of Topaz

Along with Topaz, Citrine was eventually added as November's birthstone because it is a less expensive alternative and was historically mistaken for Topaz.   So along with all of the many colors of Topaz, Citrine (which is basically yellow or orange Quartz.) is another gift alternative. 

14k Citrine and Diamond set at Kamaaina Metals

If you are looking for the perfect gift for someone born in November, not only do we have great selections of Topaz and Citrine jewelry, we also have loose gemstones for sale if you would like to work with our Gemologist and Designer to create your own masterpiece! 

Birthstone Guide - Four reasons to love Peridot!

Peridot is the birthstone for August, and while the typically uniform green coloring that we see in most jewelry stores can make many august-borns wish for a more glamorous gemstone, there are tons of reasons why peridot a is fitting stone for the fabulous Leos of the world.  So in honor of all of the august babies we'd like to offer four things that make peridot so special.  

In Ancient times, Peridot was often mistaken for Emerald.

1.  Not all peridot is the same hue.  Peridot is the only gemstone that comes in only one color.  Yes, it is true that approximately 90% of all of the gemstones you will see in jewelry stores will have about the same transparency and color saturation.  The standard color can be described as yellow-green or simply a brilliant light green.   But peridot's more prized hues can include olive green, bottle green, and deep chartreuse.  Iron in the stone is what causes the shade and depth of the green color in peridot; simply put - the darker the color, the smaller amount of iron is present.  The more valuable peridots are often mistaken for emeralds for their luxurious color.  They have been coined "evening emeralds" because some specimens are known to glow under the night sky.  Most peridots are not treated to enhance their color in any way, which means the richness of the color in any peridot that is exceptional is completely natural.  These darker colors are rare, and because of this haven't been seen with any frequency on the market. New sources of peridot may change this as there are now stones of exceptional quality coming from Arizona, Mexico, Oregon, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, and Sri Lanka!

Tumbled Peridot crystals found in the sand of our beaches here in Hawaii.

2.  The ancient Hawaiians revered the green stones as they were born of the volcanic fire of their Goddess, Pele.  They are often referred to as Hawaiian Diamonds.  Ancient Hawaiian folklore says that peridot is actually the hardened tears of a goddess named Pele who as a deity, was associated with fire, lightning, and volcanoes. Pele was in many stories a destructive goddess but, as the Hawaiian Islands themselves were formed from the explosion of the volcanoes beneath them, Pele was known to be generous as well. Peridot is one of the gifts it is said the goddess gave to the Hawaiian people.  



3. Peridot has been the official birthstone for August since 1912 but its history goes back much further than that and rivals that of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.  Not only were they loved by Hawaiians but some historians believe that Cleopatra's famous emerald collection was actually comprised mainly of peridots.  These stones can still be found in Egypt.  From a port small boats are used to cross the more than thirty miles of shark infested water to reach an island called Zabargad (Arabic for Peridot). After going through the ancient diggings, one can find the fissures lined with crystals measuring up to several centimeters wide.  They have been said to bring good luck and dignity to the wearer, and to act as talismans against evil.  Christian crusaders are known to have returned home from Israel with large peridots as part of their loot.  Fine gems from these mines remain today in a number of European sanctuaries including the Treasury of the Three Magi in Cologne and the Vatican. The precious stone and jewelry collection in the Tower of London also contains large peridot gems.


Palladot - An Extraterrestrial Peridot.


4.  Peridot is the first gem found in outer space!  That's right, it's other-worldly.  Basically most peridot was formed early in the solidification of the Earth. As the earth’s magma slowly cooled to form igneous rock, peridot was born. Parts of the magma which cooled particularly slowly created large and clear specimens of peridot. These can mostly be found around areas that have experienced seismic activity and eruptions.  It is correct to then say that in fact peridot is one of the oldest materials on the planet earth...  but what about other planets?  Well it seems about six years ago a world renowned meteorite hunter happened upon the mother "lode".  He discovered a large deposit of Pallasite meteorites.  These are considered extremely rare in the meteorite world, but what made them even more-so was that deep inside these meteorites were beautiful gem quality olivine crystals! (more commonly known as peridot). These crystals made an unimaginable trip through space, and after a fiery fall through the earth’s atmosphere they landed on our planet.  Since these crystals are so unique, they have garnered their own special name – Palladot.  To quote G.I.A.'s Chief Gemologist John Koivula “To possess one of these beautiful rarities, you are basically wearing a part of creation around your neck when you're wearing this because this is the interior of a planet…."  Also, by owning a palladot gemstone you would be owning a peridot gem that was older than our planet Earth.  Talk about amazing!


Peridot - A Gemstone just as unique as you are!

So there you are, our August born friends, no other birthstone can boast such unique accomplishments!  Revered by our
ancient ancestors, some peridot specimens are older than the Earth!  They are the Tears of the Goddess Pele, prized by Christian Crusaders, and used by both Priests and Pirates to ward off evil, Peridot is far from boring.  So Happy Birthday to all, for a stone as unique as you are, peridot truly is a treasure.

1948 London Olympics Medal in Kamaaina Metals museum!

A glimpse into our Olympic Past: Thelma Kalama - An Olympic Gold Medalist,  A member of the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame, and Local Hero. 

Olympic Medalist and Hall of Fame Swimmer Thelma Kalama (1931-1999)

Thelma Kalama-Aiu's Olympic Gold Medal available for viewing in Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry's Museum!

When the Medal came into the store we were lead to believe it was a participation medal, not an Olympic Gold Medal which we have now discovered.   But after a lot of research it was discovered that this medal looked nothing like the one given to the participants, and in fact because of the low budget for the 1948 Olympics, the Gold Medals were made out of Silver! 

The photo above shows Gold Medalist David Bond from the 1948 Olympics in a photo with his Gold Medal made out of silver.  It is identical to the one we currently have in our museum.


People in the stands of the 1948 London Summer Olympics.

Sixty-four years ago and against all odds The International Olympic community bonded together to make the 1948 London Olympics a reality. The Summer Olympics were originally to take place in 1940 in London, England, but were cancelled due to World War II.  In 1948 London, England was in shambles, having endured bombings, invasions, and having lost the lives of many soldiers.   Once WWII ended, it was only fitting that the Summer Olympics return there.   England put the 1948 London Olympics together as an International sign of perseverance and endurance, on a shoestring budget, while housing most of the visiting Olympians in their military barracks.

Thelma Kalama at The A.A.U National Swimming Championship

Thelma Kalama swam for Coach Soichi Sakamoto as a part of the Hawaii Swim Club.  She was seventeen at the time, and thoroughly enjoyed surfing as well.  Thelma even taught fellow Olympic Medalist Bill Woolsey (1952 Gold & 1956 Silver) how to board surf!  Thelma graduated from Kaimuki High School on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii.  It was so important to the local people that Hawaii was represented in the 1948 Olympics that Duke Kahanamoku, along with the Waikiki Beach Boys, took up a collection to send her to London to compete. She qualified and won the 4×100 m freestyle relay, together with Marie Corridon, Brenda Helser and Ann Curtis.  Thelma Kalama-Aiu was the second female swimmer from Hawaii to bring home an Olympic Gold.   The first was Mariechen Wehselau in 1924. 


The year after winning an Olympic Gold Medal, Thelma Kalama-Aiu continued competing.  Along with her 1948 Olympic gold medal, Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry has her A.A.U National Swimming Championship medal for taking 1st place in the 800 m. women's relay.  Check out this from the International Swimming Hall of Fame showing the 1951 A.A.U. National Swimming Championship. 


Here are some of the other Hawaiian A.A.U. Medals in the Thelma Kalama-Aiu collection:

1948 200 Meter Freestyle (1st)

1949 300 Meter Med. Relay (1st)

1950 1500 Meter Freestyle (1st)

1950 100 yd. Freestyle (2nd)

1951 100 yd. Freestyle (1st)

1951 300 Yd. Freestyle Med. Relay (1st)

1951 1500 M. Freestyle (1st)

1951 100 yd. Backstroke (3rd)

1951 400 yd. Freestyle (3rd)


In short, she was an amazing athlete and an inspiration to all of the future athletes of Hawaii.  In the future months Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry will be putting together a more comprehensive booklet of information about this young Hawaiian Olympian to view along-side her medals in our museum.  We are proud to be housing a piece of her athletic history, as well as other amazing pieces of local history, available for everyone to view in our in-store museum!   So, if you have some free time, and feel like being wow-ed,  please stop by!   We would love the chance to show you all of the amazing things that Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry's Museum has to offer. 

Birthstone Guide - Rubies in July !

Rubies have earned their place in history as one of our most revered and beloved gemstones.  The pink, purple, and red hues of rubies have inspired poetry, and songs, and have been the subject of many historic events!  Rubies were even the focus of one of the world's most interesting heists.

The Famous De Long Star 100.32 Carat Ruby


In 1964 the Delong Star Ruby as well as the Star of India were amongst the jewels targeted in a notorious burglary. Jack Murphy who is know as Murph the Surf heisted the stone along with two accomplices. They ransomed the stones for $25,000 and both were recovered. The Delong Star Ruby was found in a phone booth in Florida which was the designated drop off site. 

Estate Platinum Diamond and Ruby Cocktail Ring available for sale at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry

Known for its on unprecedented color it is no surprise that the name ruby comes from the latin word "ruber" which means “red.”  The ruby is a variety of corundum (sapphire is too!), and are one of the rarest and most sought after gemstones. Over the centuries rubies have come to be associated with stories, beliefs, and great legends. In the ancient and sacred language of India, Sanskrit, ruby was often called ”ratnaraj” translated to “King of Gems.” Believed to protect and give peace to its possessor amongst enemies, rubies often adorned  soldiers in battle as believed it would make them invincible in battle. During the medieval times rubies were desired and worn by royalty to provide wealth, wisdom, health and love.  In ancient times rubies were even used as bullets in blowguns!

Craft quality loose Ruby Gemstones available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry

The history of Ruby mining dates back more than 2,500 years ago.  The most beautiful crystals are thought to be from Burma, but quality Rubies are also found in India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States. It has been said that the Ruby's red glow comes from an internal flame that cannot be extinguished, making a gift of this stone symbolic of everlasting love.  With its hardness and durability, it is a perfect engagement gem.  And if worn on the left hand, ancient lore has it that the Ruby will bring good fortune to its wearer, too!


Large Ruby Pendant with Carving of a Monkey and a Gourd - Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry

Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry has an inspiring collection of rubies, and ruby jewelry both for sale, and in our museum.  Come see all of the wonderful things we have to offer, and speak with our gem specialist with over 40 years of experience!  We'd love to help you on your journey to designing the perfect piece!  We sell loose gemstones so finding the perfect ruby for you would be our pleasure.   Until next time! 



Mysterious moonstone : The lunar legacy

14k Rose-Cut Diamond, Seed Pearl & Moonstone Brooch

When the subject of moonstone is broached most modern minds immediately drift to visions of new age designs and carved faces, and almost always set in silver.   Many do not realize the artisan role moonstone has played in antique jewelry.  The legacy of moonstone bridges more than a few hundred years is favored for it's shimmering adularescence, which is the optical quality moonstone has that makes the feldspar so entrancing.  In ancient times moonstone was favored for it's lunar similarities, and had many mystical properties attributed to it.  It has also been called water-opal, fish-eye, and wolfs-eye.  Moonstone was said to make the wearer invisible, foretell the future, and control emotions.   Almost every ancient culture known to possess the stone attributed it to have powers related to the moon and it's lunar cycle.  

14k Diamond & Moonstone Ring carved with the face of the Goddess Diana

In fact, moonstone lore crosses cultures. The ancient Greeks called the gem Aphroselene in honor of the goddesses Aphrodite and Selene. The Romans claimed the goddess Diana could be seen in every moonstone.  In ancient Asia, they believed the gem was a solid ray of moonlight filled with good spirits. Moonstone was revered in India as a symbol of the third eye. Europeans gazed into moonstone to invoke prophetic dreams during the Middle Ages.  Amulets of moonstone were hung in fruit trees to encourage an abundant harvest season. In Victorian times couples wore the gem to help them have a happy future without strife. It was believed that two people could fall passionately in love if they saw each other during a full moon while one of them wore moonstone so moonstone rings were often used as engagement rings.

14k Diamond, Ruby, and Moonstone Brooch

Whether used as talismans for healing or spiritual properties, or simply because of their luscious beauty, moonstone has often been the canvas many skilled artists throughout centuries have chosen.  Because of this many antique pieces with moonstone are whimsical, breathtaking, and unique.  We hope to inspire our readers to take a second look at this mystical stone with ties to ancient and modern artisans, and discover something wonderful!  Look forward to our last blog in the June birthday series on Alexandrite, and learn more about the Royal history of this amazing gemstone!

Queen Elizabeth Brooch with hand cut diamondes, rubies, sapphires, and an intricately carved moonstone head.


Pink Perfection - The Rare Queen Conch Pearl

Conch Pearls come in different sizes, shapes and colors.  

The conch pearl (pronounced "conk") is a highly sought after gem found only in the Queen Conch Pearl.   Queen Conch meat is a prized delicacy which has lead to the over-fishing of this delicate resource.  In 1992 the Queen Conch (also known as Strombus Gigas Linnaeus) was put on the endangered species list.  This has put restrictions on fishing and exporting Queen Conch products such as it's meat, pearls, and other byproducts.  

Close-up of Conch Pearl showing superb "Flame-structure"

Queen Conch is mainly sought after for its tender tasty meat, quite appreciated in cuisine all over the world.  The miraculous find of a conch pearl occurs during the cleaning and processing of the meat and does not happen often, therefore, conch pearls are considered an occasional by-product of this industry.  They are such rare and unique gems they can be far more expensive than any other natural pearls. Technically speaking, they are not true pearls, as these may be described as 'nacreous encrusted foreign bodies'.  Instead, they are calcareous concretions formed inside the animal's flesh in response to tiny holes drilled in the shell by marine worms. Moreover, they are not easy to find; although the ratio in the wild of one pearl in ten thousand shells is widely regarded as true, recent studies suggest it may be as many as one in a thousand. Still very few, specially taking into account that only one out of ten such pearls reaches 'gem status'. This adds to their rarity and high value. Unlike nacreous pearls, which have been cultured since the 1920s, a method for culturing conch pearls has been developped very recently by scientists from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI).The research team claims be able to produce both nucleated and non-nucleated pearls, however these cultured Conch Pearls have yet to appear on the market.


Antique Edwardian Conch Pearl and Old Mine cut Diamond Necklace

There are no historic records of the use of Conch Pearls in jewelry before the mid 1800s. The subtle yet lively touch of pink blush of a pink conch pearl can enhance platinum jewelry like no other gem. Edwardian designers of the late 19th century were quite aware of this, and Art Nouveau jewelers of the early 20th century incorporated them gracefully in their nature-inspired pieces.  After World War I, the interest in conch pearls faded out and it was not until the 1980s that they regained the attention of designers. In 1987, Elizabeth Taylor endorsed Harry Winston's jewelry by wearing a conch pearl necklace and earring suite. Following Mikimoto Pearls' launching of a special line of Conch Pearl jewelry on a yearly basis for a full decade, the Japanese market has significant consumer awareness of conch pearls.


Conch Pearls come in various colors and shapes. 

Due to their color, shape, and the occurrence of chatoyancy called "flame-structure" in the business, Conch Pearls truly are unique.   Colors range from magenta, salmon, gold, pink, or even white. Most conch pearls have an oblong or oval shape, and spherical or near-round specimens are extremely difficult to find. The appearance of a flame-structure is not present in all conch pearls with gem quality.  The ideal and most valuable conch pearls are pink in color, oval-shaped and display prominent chatoyancy (flame-structure).


Silver over Gold Edwardian Necklace with Conch Pearls and Diamonds

The usual size of Conch Pearls is no larger than 2 or 3 millimeters in diameter.  Conch Pearls in sizes and quality suitable for jewelry are extremely rare.  They are quite hard and resistant to scratching.   The hardness is variable, pink being the hardest and scoring between a 5 and 6 on the mohs scale.  The Conch Pearl's toughness is much higher than that of oyster pearls.  They do tend to have a sensitivity to light and have been known to fade under harsh sunlight.  For this reason it is best to wear this gemstone mostly at night.


Conch Pearls in the Museum at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry

We hope you enjoyed the first installment of our blogs about June's many splendorous birthstones!  The entrancing fire of a Conch Pearl is something that we think everyone should get to experience in person!   Because of this Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry has several Conch Pearls on display in .  While there are many amazing treasures to feast your eyes on in our online museum, there are hundreds more in our Museum.   The Museum admission is free, and open during our .  Up next: What's so mysterious about Moonstone?


June's Birthstones - Pearls, Moonstone, and Alexandrite!

Conch Pearls - The Rarest Pearls in the World!


June is an exciting month, and June born babies are a lucky few as they get their pick from three beautiful, unique, and enchanting gemstones.  This month we will be posting more about each gemstone in a blog of their own.  There is a lot to look forward to this month:  We want to tell you about the rarest pearl known to man, which is available for viewing in our very own Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry Museum, the  history of Moonstone, and the wonders of Alexandrite!   But since June's birthstones are such a large subject matter,  there are THREE of them, we wanted to take the time to point out the fascinations of each one individually.  First up:  The rarest of all pearls:  The Conch Pearl! 

Dr. Benilous and the Isabella Emerald

The Psychic that helped to pinpoint The Cortes Shipwreck, and Dr. Victor Benilous.

They say that Art imitates life, but all too often in the case of Hollywood magic, real life seems to fall a little short.   Well not in this case!   Meet Dr. Victor Benilous.  He is the President of Archaeological Discovery Ventures, who is currently credited with the discovery of the oldest shipwreck in the western hemisphere: . He and his team of world renowned experts are in search of a German U-boat full of unimaginable treasure, and they have recovered some of the world's finest diamonds meant as a gift from Mussolini to Hitler.  ADVL's code of ethics, company philosophy, and extensive resume seems to imitate what you would expect of a real life Indiana Jones!  To quote their website; "Our goal is NOT to find and sell fine treasures from days of old. Instead, we feel that history is precious in its own right and should preserved and shared with everyone, not just a select few who have the financial ability to make a winning auction bid."  Dr. Benilous and his wife Sue have been credited with some of the world's most impressive discoveries, the Isabella Emerald being one of their greatest.  This is the story of the Isabella Emerald. 


Emperor Montezuma

In1519, two Civilizations collided.  One survived and one vanished in an event that changed the world forever.  500 years ago "America" was an advanced civilization reaching back thousands of years. It was a world of soaring pyramids and mystic religions that worshiped creation, the stars and galaxies, and a panorama of awesome Gods. It was a world ruled by the Emperor Montezuma, an immensely powerful "living god" who had an Empire of over 30 million people. The Old World never even knew such a Civilization existed!


Hernan Cortes sure looks like a white man with a red beard!

The Aztecs had a prophecy that the great God Quetzalcoatl, a white man with a red beard, would return from the East on floating islands to reclaim his empire in the Year Reed One. As if to fulfill the prophecy, in 1519,(coincidentally the Year of Reed One,) Conquistador Hernan Cortes, a white man with a red beard, landed from the East aboard massive ships onto the shores of the magnificent Aztec Empire. To prevent his army of only 500 men from retreating, he burned his ships. They now had no choice, but to journey into an unknown world.  The Aztecs believed the 2000 year-old prophecy was coming true before their very eyes and that Cortes was the true reincarnation of Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent.  This historical meeting was not just the meeting of two men, but the meeting of two Gods; two alien civilizations. It was a bringing together of two worlds, the Old and the New.  As Cortes gazed upon Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), he stated that it was as if God had carried out two separate creations: one in the West and one in the East.  Montezuma presented Cortes with a wealth beyond imagination, a great treasure of gold and emeralds including a large mystical emerald called the Stone of Judgment.


The Isabella Emerald was considered the largest faceted gem-quality emerald.

The Stone of Judgment was the most powerful instrument of the Aztec Culture, destined to be reclaimed by their god Quetzalcoatl upon his return in the year Reed One as proclaimed in their Aztec Codex.  It was witnessed in the Hall of Judgment by Cortes that as Montezuma stood in his Court in judgement of his people, the emerald would communicate by radiating with an inexplicable luminescence from on top of a crystal skull.  Cortes described the Emerald in a letter to Queen Isabella as “a mystifying powerful emerald crystal so large that it would fill the palm of her hand".  Cortes felt he could entice the Queen to bestow on him the title of Governor of New Spain and finance him with ships, men and suppliesds of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, King of Spain, and his Queen Isabella. To his disappointment, Charles V was bankrupt from financing wars against England, France, and Italy. Queen Isabella would only covet the emerald, to become her  namesake, as Cortes was persuaded to gift it to his betrothed.  History shows that Queen Isabella never forgave Cortes.  These events changed the name of the Emerald of Judgment to the Isabella Emerald.


Cortes' signet ring was discovered in the wreckage.

Eventually the Aztec Empire totally vanished and the Spanish Empire grew in its place. It became one of tremendous wealth and power, and the descendants of Cortes became very wealthy.  In 1757 the Cortes descendants requested that King Ferdinand VI bestow on them larger land grants in the new world.  A courier bearing the signet ring of Cortes arrived in Cartagena to escort a treasure trove including the mystical Isabella Emerald, a hundred chests of emeralds, Gold and Jade Death Masks of the Aztec Emperors, Gold Idols, mysterious crystal skulls and instruments of human sacrifice, as a persuasive gift in exchange for larger territories.   According to eyewitness accounts the ship carrying the courier and his delivery caught on fire and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.  This ship with its many secret treasures and contraband was lost at sea.


Hernan Cortes' Gold and Emerald Cabochon cross found in the shipwreck!

In 1992 a descendant of Hernan Cortes approached Dr. Benilous  with a proposition.  He had information that was passed down in his family that was previously undisclosed.   He asked Dr. Benilous to locate the lost Cortes Shipwreck and find the famed Emerald treasures.  But the information the descendant had provided was too vague.  The only lead they had was the log of a Captain aboard another ship.   You see, the ship was mysteriously lost at sea and witnessed by another ship's captain to have caught on fire and burnt somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. The ship's entry was recorded in the captain's log as being so many hours and minutes from the last time they had seen land.  He noted "...yet another ship lost mysteriously in these strange waters."  Dr. Benilous was farmiliar with spanish navigational routes but was still unable to determine the speed of the second ship that viewed Cortes' ship burn and sink.   He could not use the Captain's log to find a precise location of the wreckage.  And so he decided to use a more unconventional method.  



Jade Mask discovered in the Cortes shipwreck!

He approached two psychics with whom he had excellent results with in the past.  Creating a plastic overlay map of the suspected area, ADVL shipped it to both remote viewers for their input.  When the maps came back, they had independently identified an area of less than 5 centimeters apart.  The results were incredible, within a 5-mile radius seven ships were discovered.  Two were immediately eliminated when identified as being of Spanish Colonial period. With five shipwrecks left, Dr. Benilous invited a psychic to come aboard ADVL's mothership. When he was brought into the area, the psychic called out that there was something there of incredible power and force that was like a giant beacon calling out to him.  He pinpointed, with unimaginable accuracy, a position where Dr. Benilous later discovered the only known 6-sided Star Rose Quartz Crystal Skull next to a silver bar stamped with the date 1757.  In a matter of months, ADVL had uncovered the 964-carat Isabella Emerald, the world's largest emerald crystal, and seven more crystal skulls. Since 1992, ADVL has continued to recover over 100,000 carats of cut and uncut emeralds and hundreds of pieces of treasure including hidden contraband Mayan and Aztec jade masks and gold artifacts previously lost to the unprotected International waters of the Caribbean!


The only six star rose quartz crystal skull of it's kind!

Chest full of cut and un-cut gem quality emeralds!

An Aztec Artifact: a golden mask found aboard the sunken ship.

The Treasure of Cortes is one of the most important Treasures ever discovered. It is a time capsule that preserves the material symbolic of the moment of first contact between two Civilizations, when Hernan Cortes met Emperor Montezuma and entered the great Capital of the Aztec Empire.  Furthermore since the descent of the Aztec Empire many of it's culture was lost.   The treasures that Dr. Benilous rescued from the perilous sea could give us a new understanding.  They have gone on public record saying their ultimate goal is to present the treasure, in its entirety, as an archaeological exhibit to be shared with and enjoyed by the public and scientific communities.  Much like , and the it should be an experience worthy of your bucket list!  Until next month!

Emeralds: Green as the Garden of May!

Emerald is both the May birthstone and the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Cancer. They are said to bring patience, understanding, and foresight.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle was a great fan of emeralds, and wrote much about it's effects.  Emeralds were used as amulets to ward off epilepsy in children and were thought to cure diseases of the eye. Folklore suggests that these stones will improve memory, intelligence, and enhance clairvoyance.  This gem is suggested as an anniversary gift for the 20th and 35th Anniversaries.

Emerald is the green variety of Beryl.  Other Beryls include Aquamarine (blue), Morganite (pink), Bixbite (red), and Heliodor (yellow) which is named after the Greek for Sun (helio) and gift (doron). It's no wonder that Emerald is the most famous of the gemstones in this category, as it's vibrant green colors have been admired throughout history.  It's unparalleled color is caused by traces of chromium and iron.  Unlike other beryl gemstones, emeralds usually contain inclusions.  Instead of being looked down upon for it's imperfections, these flaws are revered for the character they bring to the gem.   The french coined the phrase "Le Jardin", which means "The Garden" to describe the viney growth apparent inside some emerald stones. It's inclusions are also an assurance to the purchaser that they have a natural and true emerald.  Emerald is relatively hard with a 7.5 on the Moh's hardness scale, however due to it's many inclusions it is also very brittle, and care should be taken when wearing or cleaning them.


rdian Platinum Old Mine Cut Diamond Earrings with Emeralds from the KMJ Museum


Emeralds usually contain many cracks, fissures, and inclusions, so the majority of the stones on today's market are "oiled". This means that they are immersed in oil reducing the visibility of the inclusions and improving the clarity. Oiling is almost universal and because it is so common today, it is not considered necessary to disclose.  It should however be expected from trusted family jeweler who should also be able to identify if your stone has or has not been treated.


According to Indian mythology, the name emerald was first translated from Sanskrit as “marakata,” meaning “the green of growing things.” The name we know now is believed to come from an ancient Persian word, translated to Latin as “smaragdus,” which means "green stone" and later, the french term "esmeraude".  They can be found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil are the major producers in modern times, and Columbia is recognized as the source for the finest stones.  It is said a Colombian emerald can be identified by it's slight bluish cast.  They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States.


Emeralds have been the fascination of many cultures all through time.  Records show that the stone was known and sold in markets in Babylon as early as 4000 BC.  Egyptians have mined it, at one time being in possession of the largest emerald mine in history.  Greeks, Romans, and Turks have conquered Egypt to plunder these mines.  The Spanish brought large emerald stones back from their travels to South America.  There is even a famed Spanish Galleon that sunk to the bottom of the ocean full of delicately carved Emeralds, and one reported to be the size of a man's palm, never to be found.  Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs have used emeralds in their ceremonies and decorations. Alexander the Great had a large emerald set into his girdle.
Charlemagne had a collection of emeralds, and Henry II was given a large emerald ring when he was made King of Ireland in 1171.  Queen Elizabeth II has an amazing collection of emerald jewelry including an emerald diadem.  Emeralds are far more rare and valuable than gold and diamonds, some specimens have been valued up to $20,000  per carat!

From it's ancient medicinal and spiritual uses, to being adored by royalty all over the globe, emeralds have always had and deserved a place in our human history.  The Chinese believe that emeralds bring great luck, and if you were born in May you should certainly feel that way!  We are going to be sharing many more interesting aspects of the emerald for the rest of the month of May, so check back often!   And until then,  Happy Mother's Day!

A Guide to Vintage and Antique Engagement Rings


National Proposal day is May 20th, which falls on a Sunday this year.  If you have been looking for the right way to propose, or the right ring to do it with,  this guide is for you! If "the one" still hasn't popped the question, but you're confident its right around the corner, now is the time to decide what type of ring fits your personal style.  Trying to find the perfect unique engagement ring that matches her beauty and style, is practical enough for every-day wear, and fits your budget can be a challenge.  The first decision to make is whether you want a vintage engagement ring, or a modern one.  Today we want to talk about vintage and antique engagement rings. 


Vintage 14k Yellow and Rose Gold Diamond ring available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry


Many people do not realize that traditional engagement or promise ring was not always diamond in nature.  Love tokens were given in the form of rings as early as 2000 BC, according to the Roman playwright Plautus.  The practice of exchanging wedding rings was originally a Roman tradition that was then "Christianized" by the 4th Century AD.  It wasn't until 1477 that the diamond engagement ring as we know it came into being.   This was the year that the Emperor Maximilian I gave his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy a diamond engagement ring.  The ring goes down in history as the first instance of a Royal diamond engagement ring and it fueled a Europe-wide trend soon after.


Victorian Wedding band from England Cir. 1848 - come down to see this and more at KMJ's Jewelry Museum


Some two hundred years before the birth of the diamond engagement ring,  the tradition of engagement rings as we currently know it arose in the medieval era, when, in 1215, Pope Innocent III instituted a mandatory waiting period from engagement to marriage creating a real period of “engagement.”  Rubies, Sapphires,  Emeralds and Diamonds were all used in rings of betrothal in the 14th - 15th centuries. 



14k Diamond and Sapphire Ring Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry



From the 13th century on, Sapphires were the popular gemstone of choice.   It was said the intense blue color of a sapphire would change or fade if worn by one's betrothed with impure thoughts.  The Crusaders often pledged their intentions with sapphire engagement rings before their travels to test the purity of their fiancees, or as a gift once they returned as proof of their wife's fidelity.  Sapphires were most favored because they were believed to promote love, truth, and commitment. 


Ruby and Diamond Platinum Estate Ring - Available for purchase at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry



Rubies  were considered a symbol of trust and uniqueness, as well as being known as the "Stone of Nobility".  This is because every ruby has it's own unique radiance and color.  Some believe in the properties it has to bring light, contentment and peace to the wearer.  In fact, legend has it the ruby is capable of indicating and reconciling lover's quarrels.   According to the tale the stone will darken to indicate a rocky relationship and then assist in bringing them closer together.


14k White Gold Emerald and Diamond Necklace Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry



Emeralds stood for youthfulness and the permanence of love in a relationship.   It was said that it was extremely good luck for a bride to wear an emerald down the isle, or to receive one as a wedding gift.  Their entrancing green to green-blue colors were said to bring a magical calmness over the wearer.  And in fact this has been proven by scientists who have discovered that the reason why Emeralds can bring such tranquility is because their rich green hues are easier on our eyes.  In ancient Egyptian times Emeralds were believed to bring life and health to the wearer.   Cleopatra was said to be very fond of emeralds, as she possessed a great emerald mine.


Vintage 18k White Gold Diamond Cocktail Ring Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry



It's difficult to find something to say about Diamonds that hasn't already been said.  Diamonds have enjoyed six centuries of popularity!  After Maximilian's proposal in 1477, nearly every wealthy couple in Europe followed suit.  The oldest diamond rings have contained Rose cut diamonds, not to be confused with the more faceted Old Mine cut, Old European cut, and Asscher cut diamonds.  In order from oldest to newest, Rose-cut, Old Mine cut, Old European cut, and Asscher cut diamonds are now gaining momentum on the diamond market. It seems a flurry of modern designers are now replicating Victorian (late 1800s) and Edwardian (1900-1920) styles.  While antique diamonds do not conform to the industry standards of a modern round brilliant diamond, their high crowns, wide facets, and small tables lend to it a special shine and twinkle that differs greatly from the high faceted diamonds of today.  They are often said to have a softer more romantic glow than precision cut diamonds.  In fact new diamond cuts Cushion and Royal Asscher have come out mimicking the cuts of yester-year. 


D-E-A-R-E-S-T.  Our designers can help you Customize your own Victorian Ring with plenty of gemstones to choose from!


In 1870 several new diamond mines were discovered which flooded the marked with diamonds making them less expensive and more accessible.   It also had an adverse effect with the wealthy upper class who then turned to substituting the scarce and more expensive emerald, sapphire and ruby as their stone of choice.   Gentlemen often crafted promise rings to their betrothed by using popular stones of the day to spell out sentiments or phrases.  Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, Vermarine, and Emerald would spell L-O-V-E.  A more elaborate example would be D-E-A-R-E-S-T represented by Diamond, Emerald, Amethyst, Ruby, Epidote, Sapphire, and Turquoise.


Here are a few ideas that are special, unique, and steeped in rich history and tradition:

14k Diamond Claddagh Jewelry - Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry!


Claddagh Rings.

These rings, part of a group called "Fede" rings, date from Roman times, when the gesture of clasped hands was a symbol of pledging vows, and they were used as love and marriage rings in medieval and Renaissance Europe.  They were popular through out western Europe.   A Claddagh ring's unique design is comprised of a pair of hands (symbolizing friendship) clasping a heart (symbolizing love) surmounted by a crown (symbolizing loyalty).  In Ireland these rings are passed down from mother to daughter throughout the generations.  They can be worn four different ways, each representing a different status.  

  1. On the right hand with the point of the heart at the fingertips, the wearer is single and looking for love. (This is most commonly the case when a young woman has first received the ring from a relative, unless she is already engaged).
  2. On the right hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is in a relationship, or their heart has been "captured".
  3. On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the fingertips, the wearer is engaged.
  4. On the left hand with the point of the heart toward the wrist, the wearer is married.

Regardless of whether it is a family heirloom or a gift from a friend or intended, a Claddagh ring is a touching and meaningful symbol of a relationship.  It has stood the test of time and Claddagh rings are still worn and enjoyed in modern times.



Example of an antique Gimmel ring with diamonds, a ruby and enamel.  Kamaaina Metals can help you design the perfect ring!


Gimmal Rings. 

Also a part of the group called "Fede" rings, In the 16th and 17th centuries such rings were fashionable in England, Germany, and other countries, and were often used as betrothal rings. The engaged couple would wear one hoop each and rejoin them during the ceremony to use as a wedding ring. With triple link rings, a third person could witness the couple's vows and hold the third part of the ring until the marriage.  This is the derivative of modern day puzzle rings.  There is evidence of early Claddagh rings doubling as Gimmal rings, where the bride would have one hand, the groom, the other.  At the ceremony the heart which the hands held would be given by the officiant to join the hands together in their complete form. 



14k Latin Poesy Ring "I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine."  Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry


Poesy Rings.

Popular during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries in England and France as lovers' gifts, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England has an outstanding collection. These rings were simple gold bands engraved with a brief sentiment or poem on the outside. They were used as a lover's token, a wedding ring, or simply as a means of showing regard or giving a gift.  Although these sentiments were originally on the outside, but during the late 16th century they began engraving them inside of the ring.  Some examples of these darling Poesy enscriptions are: "faithles to none yet faithful to one", "Many are the starrs I see but in my eye no starr like thee", and "As love hath joyned our harts together, so none but death shall our harts sever".



Rare Natural Alexandrite Ring!  Great color change!   Come to Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry to see it in person!


In a market where the retail cost of diamond engagement and wedding ring only continues to soar, and men are told the expected cost of an engagement ring should total two months of their pay, a vintage or antique ring is a practical and affordable alternative.  It allows the ability to pick out a beautiful diamond or gemstone ring which she will love and treasure to pass down to future generations as an heirloom.  Whatever your choice, be it modern or antique, remember the most important promise that you make is not with a ring, but with your heart.  With best wishes to all the hopeful soon-to-be grooms, and new brides to be, until next time!



An Engagement of Titanic Proportion!

Famous Cherub that is also depicted in the Titanic 3D Movie from the Grand Stairway of the RMS Titanic.


    Due to 1997 Academy Award winning movie "The Titanic"  being released in 3D this weekend the subject of one of the world's most intriguing tragedies has again come floating to the surface.   The movie closely follows the events of the passengers of the Titanic leading up to the fated iceberg collision and sinking of what was to be proof of man's industrial feat over nature.  The ship sinks and years later an expedition is launched on the wreckage of the sunken ship the R.M.S. Titanic to find the famed blue diamond necklace called the "Heart of the Ocean".  While it is said the actual design of the fabulous adornment was based on the Hope Diamond, the Hope Diamond was never on the Titanic.   In reality there never was one specific item deemed a  "lost treasure" to be found aboard the sunken vessel, and although Jewelers Asprey & Garrard and Harry Winston both recreated this mythical necklace after the movie, there wasn't a necklace equal to it's grandeur on Titanic.

R.M.S. Titanic boarding pass as issued by the White Star Line.

Binoculars found aboard the sunken ruin of the R.M.S. Titanic.   Perhaps the fated pair that failed to spot the Iceberg?


    Newspapers at the time reported that "there was known to be a small fortune in diamonds aboard the Titanic." Some reports stated that two brothers boarded the ocean liner and carried a shipment of diamonds from Switzerland. It is estimated the diamonds would be worth well over $200 million today. One of the treasures known to be aboard the maiden voyage of the White Star Line Titanic was a priceless copy of the Rubyiat of Omar Khayiam. This book of poetry was encrusted with 1,500 precious stones set in gold. There are also stories of family members traveling in 2nd class to avoid notice while traveling with valuable diamonds and jewels. What is known for certainty, is that many of the passengers were wealthy beyond compare and many did travel with gold and jewels.

    The movie follows the fictional love story of Jack and Rose, who meet aboard the Titanic and fall in love despite the oppressive nature of her rich Fiance she is being forced into wedlock with by her socialite mother.  In the end, love does triumph, but only long enough for the Titanic to sink and Jack and Rose to be set adrift a plank of wood, freezing in the icy depths of the Atlantic Ocean.  Jack holds on, desperate to ensure Rose's safety, and the now famous line is spoken.  "I'll never let go Jack, I Promise."  Rose says as she watches him sink to the bottom. 

Pocketwatch found on board the RMS Titanic


    One of our favorite types of artifacts found in the excavation of the Titanic are the large amount of beautiful antique wedding and engagement rings.  Case in point the true love story of Isador and Ida Strauss.  On the night of the sinking, Isidor and Ida Straus were seen standing near Lifeboat No. 8 in the company of Mrs. Straus's maid, Ellen Bird. Although the officer in charge of the lifeboat was willing to allow the elderly couple to board the lifeboat with Miss Bird, Isidor Straus refused to go so as long as there were women and children still remaining on the ship. He urged his wife to board, but she refused, saying, "We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go." Her words were witnessed by those already in Lifeboat No. 8 as well as many others who were on the boat deck at the time. Isidor and Ida Straus were last seen alive sitting together quietly on deck chairs on Titanic's boat deck when a huge wave washed over them.  When the survivors of the disaster arrived in New York City aboard the RMS Carpathia, many, including Ellen Bird, told reporters of Mrs. Straus's loyalty and fidelity to her husband.  Theirs was a love so strong and touching that it stayed strong in the minds of the survivors that witnessed.  Imagine holding the token that symbolized the love between this amazing couple as you slip it on the finger of your beloved!  Nothing could be a better representation of the timelessness of your love.

Priceless Edwardian Engagement Ring on display in the Las Vegas Exhibition of Titanic's Jewelry Collection


    These promise rings are the lost mementos of those lovers that perished together on what was to be the adventure of their lifetime.  They are priceless and evocative and they bring to mind a deep nostalgia of what must have been these couples great love for each other.  There is something about the secrets of  an antique wedding ring that has passed through the decades of someone's true love story that can entrance you with the relevance of it's importance in someone else's lives.  Old mine cut diamonds found in Antique diamond jewelry were hand cut and mined so long ago that they were not involved in any modern gold mining process, they cannot be blood diamonds, and have no carbon footprints.   There is no more pure an expression than presenting your loved one with an Estate ring to promise her your love.  Whether it be a Victorian, Edwardian, or Art Nouveau, a diamond ring ripened by the test of time under a hundred years of sunlight is sure to become a treasured family heirloom.  Purchasing an antique ring not only gives new life to a special piece of history, but there is also no better way to recycle!

Three stone old mine cut diamond engagement ring found on RMS Titanic

Antique Diamond ring at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry.  One of many facets of time found in our Estate Collection.  


   Make your ring as timeless as your love!  If you are looking to purchase a piece of history and would like assistance please contact us so that we may help you with your treasure hunt!  Kama'aina Metals & Jewelry has many antique and estate jewelry items available.   We have a rich selection of rings, necklaces, and bracelets.  The depth and majesty of an old mine cut diamond will set you apart from all of the modern cuts on the market today.   We also have a museum which is full of treasure lost and found.  These item's secret histories have been slowly unearthed and are now on display to help educate and entertain!  If you are a lover of antique jewelry, diamonds, or have your own timeless love story to tell, please comment with it below!   We would love to hear of how an antique and beloved heirloom has graced your family, brought you together, our bound you with your beloved for eternity.  Please share!   Thank you,  and until next time.     


If there are going to be April showers please let it rain DIAMONDS!

14k and Platinum 1.02 VVS2 Clarity, F Color, GIA Certified Asscher cut Diamond Solitaire Ring


As the famous Marilyn Monroe ditty goes:
"The French are glad to die for love,
They delight in fighting duels,
But I prefer a man who lives and gives
Expensive jewels.

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
A kiss may be grand... but it won't pay the rental on your humble flat
Or help you at the automat
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square cut or pear shape these rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend"
Well that is certainly true for every April-born lady, we have comprised a little more info and a few unknown facts about the special stone that every April girl has come to know and love.  Diamonds.

14k White Gold Swirl Necklace with .50 ctw (half a carat) of  diamonds!  For sale in our online shop  for $755.00


If you've ever been mesmerized by the dazzling rainbow reflected in a skillfully cut diamond, then you've experienced the mystical allure of April's birthstone, diamond.  Once an adornment possessed only by kings, this beautiful gem is surrounded by romance, mystery, and passion.  The ancient Hindus called the Diamond "Vajra," meaning lightening because of the sparks of light now known as fire which are thrown off by this gem.  

The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamastos," which means "invincible."  And in terms of durability, the diamond is indeed so.  Being the hardest natural substance known to man, it holds a supreme place among gems. They even believed diamonds to hold magical powers as it was thought that they were splinters of stars fallen to earth or the tears of gods.  Diamonds were worn into battle as a symbol of strength and courage, and kept as talismans against poisoning, demons, and phantoms. 

14k Yellow and Green gold Estate Ring w/ Diamond.   Available at Kamaaina Metals & Jewelry!


In sixteenth century England, uncut diamond crystals were set into "scribbling rings," and the exposed points were used by lovers to etch romantic vows into window-panes.   Diamonds have been used as cutting and engraving tools since early times, for carving cameos from stone, cutting jade, and drilling pearls. The ancient Greeks also believed that the fire of a diamond reflected the flame of everlasting love.  The Archduke Maximilian of Austria agreed and in 1477, he gave a diamond ring to his fiancee, Mary of Burgundy.  And so began the tradition of presenting the diamond as a promise of marriage.  It is also said they bring the owner wealth, happiness, and protection.

Diamonds have been used to embellish such items as crowns, swords and emblems as well as jewelry, they've even been part of national holidays.   Queen Victoria declared the celebration of her 50th year of reign a "Diamond Jubilee." 


Diamonds have also been credited for having certain medicinal properties.  During the middle ages, these gemstones were thought to heal illness, but only if the ailing person took the Diamond into bed to warm it up first!  The myth that diamond powder if consumed is in fact a powerful poison was said to have originated to deter diamond smugglers from swallowing diamonds for stealthy transport!

Platinum and diamond french clip earrings with Tahitian Pearls.  Available in our online shop for $1362!

Formed deep within the earth where there is intense heat and pressure, Diamonds are crystallized carbon.  Volcanic activity of centuries ago brought these gemstones to the earth's surface, where they are found either within volcanic rock formations or washed out into rivers.  India is thought to be the first river-bed source of Diamond mining, but today diamonds are found primarily in Australia, the Soviet Union, and Africa.  They are even found in Canada and the United States of America.

No more notable in its uncut state than a plain pebble upon the beach, the true beauty of the Diamond was not revealed until the 16th century, when gemstone cutting and polishing techniques were perfected.  Prior to this time, it was considered taboo to modify the original state of a Diamond.  Today, the value and appeal of this stone depends largely upon how skillfully it is cut and faceted.

A gift of a Diamond is symbolic of everlasting love.  There is no more convincing a promise of an enduring relationship than the brilliant gemstone that has lived in people's hearts throughout the ages. From the stunning display of stones flashed by movie stars at awards ceremonies, to the modest engagement ring of a young bride, the diamond continues to enjoy great popularity.   Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor summed up this universal love of diamonds when she remarked, "I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back."



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