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Newsletter Winter 2008

Winter Issue 2008

Cozy Up!
Welcome to GEMaffair.com's Winter 2008 Newsletter, a mini-glance at how jewelry might spice up the dull winter months. Imagine snuggling up to your loved one, watching the fire glow, while the vicious wind and snow stir about outside. For most of us, we don't have to dive into our imaginations, rather we can just take a peek outside. While the winter months may seem to drag on, some exquisite jewelry may bring just what the weather can't; a warm glow and a smile to the lips of that special somebody. Winter is the perfect time to rekindle a lost love or add sparks to one that already exists.

Winter Ideas
Winter gems, in their splendor, are far from harboring feelings of gloom and cold. The warm garnet stone of January leads to the royal amethyst of February, ending with the cool, fresh color of March's stone, aquamarine. If birthstones are not up your alley, you may opt for symbolic jewelry to represent love for Valentine's Day or luck for St. Patrick's Day. Speaking of Valentine's Day, it is right around the corner. Why spend your money on temporary gifts such as candy or flowers when you can show your love and devotion through a gift that lasts?

January's Gemstone - Garnet
Have you ever indulged in the succulent taste of a pomegranate? Perhaps you haven't, but you know the Greek myth about Persephone, the spring goddess who is destined to live in the underworld half of the year with Hades because she eats seven seeds from a pomegranate. It is not surprising to discover that the word garnet (definition) is actually derived from the Latin word granatus, which means seed or grain. Just like the enticing seeds of the pomegranate fruit, the garnet stone carries the same allure. For many, the sophisticated appearance of the red garnet is difficult to deny.

Although deep red is generally the color that comes to mind when referring to a garnet gem, a rainbow of hues would better describe the color assortment of the garnet. It may surprise you to learn that this January birthstone comes in bright oranges, soft yellows, rose-colored pinks, emerald greens, and violets. In addition to the garnet's matchless beauty, no jewelry guru can deny its suggestive powers. Archaeologists have found remnants of garnet jewelry dating back as early as the Bronze Age. For years the garnet has been believed to deliver protection to travelers. When given as a gift, garnet represents love and one's wish for the safe and swift homecoming of a loved one. If the pomegranate, which is linked to the garnet, has the power to coerce a goddess to the gloomy and drab underworld for part of the year, every year, then it certainly has earned its status as a prestigious jewel.

Proud to Be An American January kick starts the caucuses and primaries of 2008 that will eventually lead to the 2009 presidential Inaugural Speech. For many Americans, the media coverage of the presidential race, which began as early as the spring of 2007, has led to campaign fatigue. Contrary, though, is the fact that this race to presidency is one of the most exciting in decades and shows great promise for positive change in our country. America may be a flawed nation, but it is the best in the world. Within our democracy, we, the people have a duty to register and vote in both the primary and main elections. We here at GEMaffair.com encourage all eligible voters to get out there and vote. While we can't guarantee that your favorite presidential candidate will win the election, we can guarantee your happiness and satisfaction with our patriotic jewelry.

February's Gemstone - Amethyst

I need only to think of my mother to remind me of the symbolic protection shed by February's birthstone, the amethyst. Not only is my mother's birthday in February, she has the ability to restore a sense of comfort and security in me. Seemingly, for many, the amethyst (definition) does much the same. In ancient Greece, amethysts were believed to protect people from intoxication. In fact, the Greek word amethystos, from which amethyst is derived, means sober. Still today those suffering from addictions rely on the stabilizing force of the amethyst to reach recovery.

The purple amethyst has been long associated with royalty, dating back as early as the ninth century. Since purple dye was rare and very expensive in the past, it was set-aside for only kings and queens, thus giving the amethyst its association with royalty. It is not surprising to find that a great amethyst exists among the strictly guarded gems in the British Crown Jewels. Despite common perception, the amethyst is available in another color as well. Amethysts come in green, known to gemologists as prasiolite (definition). Green amethysts are often confused with tourmaline (definition) or peridot (defintion) and are often referred to as several different names. One may see a green amethyst referenced as lime citrine, green quartz, or vermarine.
Despite the confusion that may accompany the amethyst, one thing is for certain; February's birthstone represents protection and the strength to conquer obstacles. Many believe that the amethyst will bring two people in a loving relationship closer and actually help form a stronger bond of love between them. That is why the amethyst is often chosen as an anniversary gift or as an engagement ring. Moreover, the amethyst is believed to symbolize spirituality and religious dedication. Regardless of what you believe the amethyst has the power to do, you will definitely feel like royalty when you wear it.

Valentine's Day
Pampering a loved one, having romantic dinners with that special someone, showering a cherished one with gifts, such as jewelry, candy, flowers; Whatever you do for Valentine's Day, you need to make that someone feel special and especially loved. But why do we devote all this energy, time, and money to this holiday? The answer may surprise you.

The history of Valentine's Day is masked in obscurity. There are several variations on the explanations of the origin of St. Valentine. Only one will be presented here: Back in the fourth century B.C., young Roman men used to participate in a rite of passage to the God Lupercus. This particular rite of passage included a lottery system where teenage boys chose the names of teen girls from a box. Each couple, chosen at random, spent the extent of a year living as companions until the next lottery took place. This merciless tradition went on for over eight hundred years, until church fathers began to question the lottery's right to exist. The church fathers found their answer in a priest by the name of St. Valentine, who had been a sacrificial victim about two hundred years earlier.

St. Valentine existed around the time that Claudius II was in power. Claudius, who could see that Rome's empire was disintegrating, began to ban marriages as he saw that men who had wives and families made for inadequate soldiers. Valentine believed the law to be unjust and began performing marriages in secret. When Claudius learned of Valentine's wrong doing, he jailed him and tried to convert Valentine to worship roman gods. Valentine refused and was later executed for his convictions.

Ironically, while Valentine was in captivity, he, through his faith, was able to heal the jailor Austerius's daughter who suffered from blindness. Just before Valentine was executed, he sent a message to the cured girl and signed it, From Your Valentine, thus coining the phrase so many of us commonly use today.

The aforementioned annual lottery some two hundred years later, became a festival in which young Roman men offered women they wished to court, letters of affection. This sharing of cards fell on; you guessed it, February 14th. Today we still send cards in the name of St. Valentine.

To Express Your Love, May We Suggest:
5. Diamond and garnet heart shaped ring. Tell her you love her with a ring. 4. Sterling silver endless circle earrings. Show how your love is unbroken and forever. 3. Ruby and Diamond flower earrings. These earrings scream passion. 2. Dancing heart gold bracelet. Let out your inner child. 1. Ruby heart earrings. These speak for themselves.

March Birthstone Aquamarine
If you have ever spent time in the Mediterranean, you are aware of the mesmerizing effects of the azure blue waters. March birthstones, known as aquamarine gems, are derived from two Roman words. Aqua means water and mare represents the sea, so it is not difficult to understand how aquamarine, which resembles seawater, gets its namesake. For centuries, sailors wore aquamarine charms around their necks to protect themselves from the dangers of the sea.

Aquamarine (definition) is the blue variety of beryl, one of the most important gemstone minerals. Beryl actually crystallizes within large igneous rocks. Beryl varies vastly in color from translucent to vibrant emerald green. Aquamarine remains an extremely durable gem for use in jewelry because the beryl mineral is so hard. Additionally, aquamarines are generally flawless.
It is fitting to find that aquamarine gems are not only physically hard but are also symbolically solid. A gift of aquamarine represents security and safety. Some people even use aquamarine as a means of awakening love and passion in a long marriage. Whatever its purpose may be, no one can argue against its compelling beauty. Just like the sea, it will beckon you.

Don't forget St. Patrick's Day On March 17th, millions of people celebrate St. Patrick's Day in honor of the patron saints of Ireland. We here at GEMaffair.com also like to recognize the Irish through our wonderful collection of Celtic jewelry. We offer anything from silver agate Celtic heart earrings to our Celtic knotwork bracelet. We could all use a little more of that Irish luck, so check out our assortment.