March is the month of the water sign Pisces, as the sun transits the Pisces constellation from February 26- March 20 in 2021. As the last sign in the zodiac cycle, Pisces are often associated with the theme of reflection. Pisces signs are known to be compassionate, intuitive, creative, and empathetic, but can also be overly emotional, impressionable, and closed off. The gemstones of Amethyst, Labradorite, and Ruby have the ability to help amplify and enhance these positive Pisces qualities, while improving their weaknesses. Even if you weren’t born under this sign, the energy of Pisces will affect every sign while the sun is in the constellation, so these gemstones can help everyone tap in with these traits!
This stone is considered one of the traditional cardinal gems-- the most coveted of gemstones. Throughout antiquity, Ruby’s blood-red color led people to associate the stone with life and vitality, and in more modern times, it is believed that Ruby can stimulate energy and enhance motivation. The theme of reflection is especially relevant here: Ruby gives us the strength to rise up after making mistakes, preventing us from dwelling in a negative mindset, while giving us clear hindsight to see how these mistakes were made in the first place. Being emotionally closed off due to past hurts is one of Pisces’ weaknesses, and rubies help to open up the heart, allowing us to share loving energy once again.
One look at the beautiful flashes of rainbow colors that appear in Labradorite, and you’ll know: Labradorite is a stone with strong spiritual powers. These rainbow flashes are often associated with the Aurora Borealis, which is most active around March. Labradorite is often known as the stone of transformation, connected to its abilities to change colors in different lights and angles. Labradorite is also associated with expression-- through not only verbal communication but also creative expression. For those who want to tap in more with their intuition and psychic abilities, Labradorite aligns us with different states of consciousness, allowing us to see more deeply both into ourselves and externally at others.
Amethyst’s royal purple hues are deeply connected with the mind. Pisces, like all the water signs, is prone to being overly emotional and moody-- qualities which Amethyst, a stone of self-control and mood-stabilizing, perfectly counters. These qualities of mental peace and inner strength can also help with past trauma that makes us emotionally distant, allowing us to work through and face these issues. Amethyst is another stone associated with intuition and instinct, especially in the sense of the divine, helping reach a higher state of consciousness and guiding us on the paths that are meant for us. It is also a powerful dispeller of negative energy-- useful for confrontations or tense situations. Amethyst also promotes restful sleep, making it a great stone to use with more energetic stones that can keep you up at night such as Labradorite and Ruby.
Red garnets have adorned the bodies of royalty all over the world throughout thousands of years-- from Ancient Egypt, to the Romans and more recent times. A garnet is said to have provided light on Noah's Ark, symbolizing hope that the struggle would soon end. This unique, powerful stone is the birthstone of those born in January, and has created lots of legends! Garnets are most famous for their beautiful red shades, but they can come in different shades of gold, orange, purple and green as well.
A highly spiritual stone, garnets can help focus creative energy and promote emotional well-being by clearing negativity. Red is often symbolized as a color of self-confidence and wearing a garnet can certainly help us feel more confident and collected in times when you just need a boost. Garnets also represent sincerity-- wear this stone to help your true intentions shine and guide you on your life's path. It is also a great gem to be exchanged between lovers, as the red color represents love and passion and can help strengthen and build a strong, passionate romantic bond.
Garnets are also widely considered a stone of protection: travelers in the Roman Empire were said to wear garnets for protection, and medieval warriors wore garnets to protect them from battle wounds. It is said to activate and strengthen our survival instincts, giving us the courage to work through the current situation at hand. Is is especially powerful when used during times when we are experiencing strong, difficult emotions as this quality can aid us in working through grief and crisis.
Turquoise has always been one of my favorite colors and gemstones to work with... it is always such a striking color on any type of skin. If you are lucky enough to be born in December, this is your beautiful birthstone!
Turquoise has been loved by so many different cultures, it's a stone accompanied by tons of fascinating lore. It is widely considered to have many beneficial healing qualities, and its healing powers are related to those of water. It is often considered a stone of rejuvenation, which can be channeled in different ways toward your personal spiritual healing. Turquoise is also a stone of communication. The stone can help you be more assertive, lead confidently and strengthen bonds with friends.
There are so many ways that you can connect with this stone to be able to harness the healing qualities of turquoise. Meditating with turquoise can assist you in getting to a state of peace and tranquility. Wearing turquoise in jewelry can also help you stay calm and emotionally balanced throughout the day!
Opals have always been my favorite stone and then, having both of my children born in October, the obsession continued to grow. For years when I started designing, I had to explain to people that Opals did not bring bad luck. Opals, in modern times, had become the object of many negative and unfounded superstitions. Here are the true facts of the Opal stone.
1. Opals actually contain water trapped inside them, which is associated with its absorbent qualities, helping us pick up on our feelings as well as the feelings of others.
2. Opals are associated with love and passion, as the stone can intensify emotions and release inhibitions.
3. Wearing an opal is also said to bring loyalty and faithfulness, making this stone a great gift for lovers!
4. Many ancient cultures believed that opals were the luckiest of gems to wear, since they display all the colors of the rainbow.
5. Opals have an amorphous structure (they don't form in crystals), so they are associated with transformation and change.
6. Opals are considered a great stone for meditation due to its absorbent and reflective properties.
Being a September baby makes me a lover of sapphires! Perhaps this is where my obsession of rainbows began... When I first started learning about stones, I thought sapphire meant a royal blue color but I soon learned that sapphires come in every shade of the rainbow, from light to dark. They also have many healing properties.
Metaphysically, sapphires are known as a stone associated with wisdom and prophecy. Sapphires can stimulate creativity, help with concentration and clear and calm the mind, encouraging us to look at things critically, desire knowledge and wisdom and restore balance. When placed near the throat chakra (such as in a necklace) sapphires can help to relieve frustration.
In ancient Greece and Rome, blue sapphires were often worn because they were thought to protect their wearer from envy and negativity. They were also often used in jewelry exchanged by lovers, as they were supposed to represent loyalty and truth-- and even today, sapphires are the most popular engagement ring stone after diamonds! Sapphires were a symbol of the heavens, and worn by the clergy of the Middle Ages.
Q. Where did you stay?
Arizona Inn, right near campus and very close to many shows in the area.
Q. Walk us through your first day there.
The first day is the most exciting and inspirational day, I tend to get overly excited when it comes to purchasing, lol. I begin at the AGTA show with my favorite vendors - I review their newest stones and my best selling stones. I then walk across the street to the GJX show, and do the same with my existing vendors. Throughout the day, I discover some new finds from new vendors, but mainly it is my day with my existing vendors - I save second for discovery and research!
Q. Do you go into it with a goal in mind?
I know what I need to buy because of what is selling and what I am developing, but the goals usually turn into something else that is even better and more exciting.
Q. Is there a strategy you now have after having been to the show in the past?
I definitely have developed a strategy after so many years going, but I also am flexible which allows the creative process to happen more organically.
Q. What are your top 5 favorite gems from the show and why?
This is definitely always changing, but here are my top 5 from 2020:
Chrysocolla - Color!!
Opal - I love opal and always have... every show I pick out the most amazing one of a kinds.
Azurite - The blue is one I haven't seen in any other gemstone and it is captivating.
Sugilite - This stone is so modern and cool, I love purple and this gemstone has such unusual tones of purple.
Turquoise - I can't walk by a piece of turquoise without touching it and picturing it on the skin. It will always remain my favorite.
Q. Is there a special energy from all of these gems being in one place? If so, can you describe it?
Tucson, with or without the gem show, has a special energy to it, but adding the show with all of the spiritual elements that are involved, one cannot help but feel this special energy heightened during this time.
Q. What's unique about this gem show compared to others?
There are other gem shows across the USA at different times of year, but the amount of vendors from across the world who showcase their raw materials in Tucson is the best way to find new materials and grow collections from ones that are already part of my line.
Q. Is it common for jewelry designers to hand pick their gems in this way?
Most of the other designers that I know and who have been doing this as long as me definitely pick out the first selection of a new stone. I am too controlling to not hand pick my stones out myself.
Q. Are you still finding gems that you have never seen or heard of before?
Yes! It is incredible, every year I discover new gems and because our environment is changing pretty drastically, new gemstones are forming. This year I found a gemstone from Greenland called Tugtupite - usually rare but now available because of global warming.
February's birthstone, Amethyst, is one of my favorite stones.
Amethyst comes in an array of different shades of purple & has healing powers known to help with physical ailments and emotional issues.
Amethyst, in the world of metaphysical healing, is said to bridge physical and ethereal frequencies: helping individuals awaken their souls, and ultimately tap into a higher state of consciousness. Linked to the crown chakra, at the top of our heads, Amethyst can help to purify the mind, removing negative thoughts, feelings of stress, and anxiousness-- making it a popular stone choice to have during meditation. Try wearing the gem while working to lift your energy, making you feel more focused, calm, and leading to better productivity.