Amethyst is one of the most popular and mystical gemstones: worn by the ancient Romans as a talisman; written about by Leonardo da Vinci who said the gem had the power to protect against evil thoughts and sharpen intelligence; and to this day, amethysts are featured in the Tibetan rosary as the Buddhists believe the gem enhances the peace and tranquility of meditation.
Amethysts come in a variety of shades and colors, from pink to the deepest royal purple which is the sweet flavor of Le Vian®'s Candy Colors® Amethyst. Brazil and Zambia are the major producers of gem quality amethyst.
Very large sizes of rich, deep color amethyst are very rare. An amethyst which weighs more than 1,000 carats can be seen The Smithsonian Institution, whose gem gallery is home to some of the most famous Amethyst gems in the world dating back to the early 1900's. Other famous amethysts housed at The Smithsonian include: the 96-carat heart-shaped Morris Amethyst brooch; a 56-carat square, cushion-cut amethyst necklace that displays a deep purple color with flashes of red.
DEEP SEA BLUE TOPAZTM
Legend has it that topaz dispels all enchantment and helps improve eyesight. In ancient times, it was believed that topaz had the power to increase strength and make the wearer invisible. Today, the gem is favored for its exquisite blue hue which can range from cool icy blues as featured in Le Vian®'s Ocean Blue TopazTM to the deep, Mediterranean blues in Deep Sea Blue TopazTM.
An interesting characteristic of topaz is its ability to build up a distinct electrical charge from heat or friction that it will retain for several hours. Blue is the most popular topaz color which is obtained through a diffusion treatment that is permanent.
PASSION FRUIT TOURMALINETM
Tourmaline as a gem has been around for centuries but until modern mineralogy, the dazzling colors of tourmaline were identified as another gem based on its coloring. Even the name given this gem, tourmaline, which comes from the Sri Lanka Sinhalese word "tura malli" meaning "mixed gems", identifies the confusion that surrounded the early days of this gem. Tourmaline is found in a rainbow of colors and various shades of each color - one of the widest color ranges found of any gem species. While all tourmaline colors share the same crystal structure, each color has its own set of complex elements that attribute to the color. In pink and red tourmaline, it is manganese.
Pink Tourmaline in History: In the early 1900s tons of tourmaline were exported from Southern California to China to satisfy the Empress Dowager Tz'u His's craving for pink tourmaline, her favorite gemstone.
Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 and named for the only area in which it is found - Tanzania, Africa. What makes this gem so popular is its vivid color, high clarity and tri-chronic qualities (it shows different colors when viewed in different directions). Le Vian® loved the lush flavor of tanzanite so much that, in the 80s, the company imported over 50% of tanzanite to the U.S. Today, that stockpile which best displays a unique chorus of tri-chronic blue. pink and purple flavors are sweet Blueberry Tanzanite® - the 2015 Gem of the Year.
Among the world's most famous tanzanite designs are the $2 million tanzanite and diamond evening sandals created by Le Vian® which feature over 185-carats of museum quality oval, cushion-cut and tear drop shaped tanzanite ranging from 6 to 16 carats. The shoes won the "Fashion Accessories" category in The Tanzanite Foundation's Celebration of Life Jewelry Design Awards.
The journey of a diamond in the rough to the sparkling diamond design you love is a fascinating story, one that began billions of years ago, deep within the earth where a diamond has formed under extreme heat and pressure. Its ascent from its natural home is forced by nature or man where it is then cleaved, cut and polished revealing its natural beauty. Diamonds are the hardest material on earth and the only gem that is composed of only one element, carbon.
Vanilla Diamonds® are specially selected to adorn Le Vian® designs – from breathtaking one-of-a-kind red carpet favored designs in Vanilla Gold® to the trendsetting combination of Strawberry ‘N Vanilla® featuring the blushing hue of Strawberry Gold® topped with Vanilla Diamonds®.