Gems by Jael
The Hospital For Sick Children
555 University Avenue
In this section, from time to time, we will post some interesting and fun snippets related to the jewellery.
In 2005, peridot was found in comet dust brought back from the
Stardust robotic space probe. Far Out!
In 1554 Francisco Spinoza’s expedition discovers “Brazilian emerald”: the first recorded green tourmaline crystal.
This December birthstone has been cherished for millennia. The Pharaohs and other rulers of ancient Egypt adorned themselves with it. Chinese artisans carved it more than 3,000 years ago. This turquoise birthstone also played an important role in the lives of Native Americans. The Apache thought turquoise could be found by following a rainbow to its end. They also believed that attaching the December birthstone to a bow or firearm made one’s aim more accurate. The Pueblo maintained that turquoise got its color from the sky, while the Hopi thought the gem was produced by lizards scurrying over the earth.
Richard Burton, often on a whim, showered Elizabeth Taylor with fabulous jewellery. Amongst his many gifts was a collection of Bulgari Emerald and Diamond pieces as seen above.
In December of 2011 they were auctioned by Christie's in New York for a record breaking $23.25m!
Pearls are organic gems that grow inside the tissue of a living saltwater or freshwater mollusk (either an oyster or a mussel). Natural pearls form when the mollusk secretes a substance called nacre around an irritant such as a piece of sand or a parasite that has invaded its shell. Cultured pearls are a product of human intervention. Technicians implant a piece of mantle tissue alone (common for freshwater cultured pearls) or with a mother-of-pearl shell bead (all saltwater) into a host mollusk. The mollusk covers the irritant with nacre, just like a natural pearl. Cultured pearls are raised in pearl farms – saltwater or freshwater operations where the mollusks are cleaned, protected from predators and eventually harvested. Thousands of years of pearl fishing have decimated the natural pearl beds, so cultured pearls account for the vast majority of pearl sales today. These cultured pearl birthstones come in a dazzling array of sizes, colors and shapes.