Diamonds have been coveted and revered throughout human history. The ancient Greeks believed that Diamonds were splinters from fallen stars; other ancient cultures saw Diamonds as being the tears of God. Today Diamonds are used to symbolise eternity and love hence their use in many engagement rings.Read More
1. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the nation's No. 1 city again, and No. 2 in the world, according to the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.
The recognition comes at a time when residents are increasingly worried about the peninsula's capacity to handle more visitors.
The results of this year's survey were released Tuesday morning. Readers were asked to rate cities they had visited on sights/landmarks, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, shopping and value.
This is the fifth consecutive year the magazine's readers have named Charleston the nation's top city. Charleston was the top city in the world last year. This year San Miguel de Allende in Mexico took the top global spot.
Two of Charleston’s hotels, The Vendue and Zero George, ranked among the top 15 in the country this year. The city's top restaurants also consistently get national attention, but restaurants were not included in these survey results.
Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, has a rich color and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. Its mesmerizing color ranges from pale to deep blue and are reminiscent of the sea. A perfect birthstone for March, the Aquamarine creates a beautiful accent to spring and summer wardrobes.
THANK YOU to everyone who nominated us for Best of Charleston 2018! We made it to the finals!!
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Amethyst's are said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning “sober.” and they are said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage.
Amethyst has been thought to have many attributes throughout history, and all of them are good. The stone was thought to control evil thoughts, quicken intelligence, make a shrewd man in business, preserve soldiers from battle wounds, aid the warrior to victory, help the hunter in search of his game, protect the wearer from contagious diseases, and put demons to flight if the figure of a bear is inscribed on the jewel. Amethyst was known as a gem that would bring forth the highest, purest aspirations of human kind. Chastity, sobriety, and control over one’s thoughts were all attributes heightened by wearing the stone. The gem would guard against the anger of passion, and the violent or base nature of its wearer. The stone encouraged calm, bravery, and contemplation.
Just like Fluorite, Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to promote calm, balance, and peace. It is also used to eliminate impatience.
This gem is available in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron.
Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet is the birthstone for January but with its stunning variety of colors and its mystical powers it has been given as a gift for all occasions for centuries.
The folklore on garnet is extensive. Legend has it that the garnet can bring peace, prosperity and good health to the home. Some even called it the “Gem of Faith,” and it’s believed that to those who wear it and do good, more good will come. (Conversely, it was also said to bring very bad fortune to those who commit bad acts while wearing it.
The garnet also symbolized deep and lasting friendship. With that legend in mind, give a garnet to someone whose friendship you deeply value.
No matter why or how you wear garnet, this beautiful gemstone is perfect for those who share January birthdays and get to start each New Year with a sense of goodwill, happiness, and purpose.
If you’re looking to purchase a garnet for yourself or a loved one, it is a great way to celebrate friendship, toast a 2nd wedding anniversary or recognize the wearer’s January birthday.
Remember, garnets commonly come in a wide spectrum of reds, but can also be green, pink, colorless or blue. The price of the piece will likely increase for more rare colors like green or blue.
Garnets can also be judged along some of the same parameters as diamonds, with clarity and cut affecting the beauty and value of the stone.
It should be noted that some garnets have inclusions that are part of the beauty of the overall stone (like “horsetails” in Demantoid garnets, or Hessonite garnets which sometimes have a “turbulent” look). So you may discover that you like the unique look these inclusions bring to the piece.
Try to find a cut that spreads light evenly over the surface of the gemstone. This will help to bring out the overall beauty and color of the garnet.
No matter which stone or piece you choose, remember that the garnet is known for its durability and richness of color, so your investment will not only have great emotional value but could be a piece that stands the test of time.
Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise.
As shown in the photo above, each carries a unique blue tone making it a perfect birthstone for December winters.
Turquoise is among the oldest known gemstones, treasured by both the pharaohs of Egypt and the Native Americans. It is currently a very popular blue gemstone, available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and tones of blue, but rarely in pure blue. Tanzanite almost always displays its signature overtones of purple. Tanzanite also comes in extremely rare and highly collectible fancy colors: golden, green, lilac and peacock (blue and green).
Tanzanite can only be found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a unique color--a velvety blue with a rich overtone of purple.
Zircon can be found in a variety of colors--beautiful earth tones of green, dark red, yellow, brown and orange--but the most popular colors are the blue and bright Caribbean Sea colors.In the Middle Ages, Zircon was thought by some to aid in resting, bringing prosperity and promoting both honor and wisdom in its owner.
Video by Nathan Leach Courtesy of Charleston Magazine