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.
The name citrine comes from the French word "Citron" meaning lemon, its color ranging from a juicy lemon yellow to orange brownish orange. Le Vian® Cinnamon Citrine® comes from the Rio Grande Del Sul region in Brazil, each gem selected for its spicy orange brown flavor. This popular neutral gem is the most affordable of the earth-toned gemstones and pairs perfectly with Le Vian® Honey GoldTM.
In ancient times, citrine was worn to deter from snakebites and the even more powerful venom of evil words and thoughts. This gem garnered a big following in the 40s in retro jewelry, with its sun kissed color and large stones brilliantly set against the bold gold of the era. Joan Crawford was often seen wearing an emerald-cut citrine ring that was more than 100 carats!
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.
GREEN APPLE PERIDOTTM
Peridot, nicknamed "emerald of the evening" by the Romans and "gem of the sun" by the Egyptians, is thought to have magical powers and healing properties. Peridot forms deep inside the earth and are brought to the surface by volcanoes. Peridot has also been found in meteorites, although these are especially rare. The Natural History Museum in London has a 146.10 carat peridot in its collection.
Peridot comes in several color variations ranging from yellowish green to brown, but the most attractive are the bright lime greens and olive greens. The intensity of the color depends on the amount of iron present. Le Vian® Green Apple PeridotTM is mined in Brazil and Africa.