These regal earrings are sure to become a favorite accessory! Each earring showcases a lustrous white zircon set in front of the lever backs. From the zircon is a purple tanzanite in a 10-prong setting that frames your face in opulence.
Gemstones may vary in color and/or pattern. Please allow for these natural variations. All weights pertaining to gemstones, including diamonds, are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. Click here for important information about gemstone enhancements and special care requirements.
Each year, 75% of the world's mined gold is used to make jewelry. Gold is a symbol of enduring love and heritage, making it the coveted choice for jewelry that will be passed from generation to generation. As well, it has earned its place as the traditional gift for 50th wedding anniversaries.
The unrivaled permanence and emotion attached to gold result from many factors. The most obvious is that gold is aesthetically pleasing. The warm golden color is much loved, as are alloys that can be used to create a rainbow of different shades of the metal. Gold is extremely rare, requiring several tons of ore to produce just one ounce of gold. In fact, estimates are that all the gold ever mined could fit beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris!
Gold's durability gives it an incredibly long-lasting value. Ancient gold jewelry, coins and artifacts on display in museums worldwide are testament to gold's enduring beauty. Additionally, gold is a heavy metal. In fact, one cubic foot weighs half a ton! When alloyed with other metals, the relatively soft metal becomes exceptionally strong, durable and indestructible. As well, gold is a pure substance resistant to the effects of air, heat and moisture. Thus, it resists tarnish and remains pleasing to the eye for lifetimes and beyond.
In spite of gold's strength and heaviness, it is very malleable, making it easy enough to work with that just one ounce can be worked into a continuous strand approximately 60 miles long. As well, it can be melted or shaped into an infinite number of designs, making it quite versatile for creative and beautiful jewelry designs.
History & Significance
Gold has been romanticized in popular culture for eras, used as currency and treasure in great civilizations, and even ascribed miraculous powers. Gold's long and winding history has traversed the world many times over. The Etruscans crafted objects by hand with threads of gold. Ancient Egyptians reserved gold's use for pharaohs only, equating it with the sun. The Incas called gold "the sweat of the sun" and the Chinese thought of gold as the sun's yang.
Chinese and Indian culture today remains that brides wear 24K gold on their wedding day for a lifetime of luck and happiness. Furthermore, in some cultures people eat gold to treat ailments that include arthritis, tuberculosis and ulcers.
In addition to gold's historical value, the tangible lasting value of gold has been established by its use as currency. Gold has been used for more than 5,000 years as currency. It holds its value and boasts a sense of permanency that paper currency does not. People tend to buy it in large quantities during times of crisis.
Beyond even the historical and monetary value of gold, the rare precious metal is an alluring aesthetic material with which some of this world's finest and most prized jewelry is crafted.
Finishes on Gold Jewelry
Gold jewelry is often "finished." This refers to surface treatments for gold jewelry, creating patterns and designs. Different types of finishes are often used in tandem to create contrasting effects.
Brushed: A satiny finish produced by a stiff metal brush applied in linear or circular patterns.
Diamond Cut: Tiny angled cuts into the surface create a bright faceted look.
Diamond Laser: Hammering the surface with a faceted, diamond-tipped tool creates a highly reflective finish.
Embossed: A relief pattern shaped in sheet metal.
Enameled: Colored glass fused onto a metal surface.
Engraved: A design cut with a sharp tool.
Etched: Chemical or hand-created designs or patterns cut into the surface to make a textured finish.
Filigree: Delicate patterns created by twisting together fine wires and flattening and bending them into intricate designs; these patterns are surrounded by a sturdy gold framework.
Florentine: Parallel lines are engraved in one direction with lighter perpendicular cross-hatchings or curved strokes; these lines are deeper than on brushed or satin finishes.
Granulated: Small and round gold particles hand-placed on a gold surface, then fastened by heating.
Hammered: Varied light to deep hammering applied directly to the surface to create a design.
High Polish: Bright and shiny, highly reflective finish.
Matte: Velvety finish lacking shine but boasting a soft luster.
Satin Finish: Soft and lustrous appearance resulting from light parallel lines that sharply reduce the metal's reflections.
Zircon often suffers for its name’s similarity to “cubic zirconia,” the simulated diamond. The stone zircon, however, is actually a beautiful natural gemstone. It is named from the Persian word “zargun,” meaning “gold-colored.” This is despite the fact that it comes in a wide range of rainbow colors . The majority of zircons are brown or yellow-brown, while pure red and green are the most valuable colors. The yellow-red to reddish-brown variety is called “hyacinth.”
For many years, the most popular type of zircon was the colorless variety. More than any other natural stone, colorless zircons produce a brilliant sparkle similar to diamonds . The most popular color today tends to be the bright pastel blue variety. Sometimes called “starlite,” blue zircon has recently become considered an alternative birthstone for December.
Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, meaning that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight. It ranks a hardness between 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale and is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and Australia.
Travelers during the 11th century wore zircon amulets for protection and to encourage welcome greetings on their journeys. In the Middle Ages, the stone was said to bring wisdom and prosperity to its owner. Hindu mythology even mentions the gem when referencing the Kalpa Tree, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit and leaves of zircon.
No other gemstone discovery has made a bigger impact on the jewelry market than the recent newcomer, tanzanite. Its luscious color, and the fact that the stone is found in only one location throughout the world, makes tanzanite an exceptionally rare, valuable and highly sought-after gem.
Tanzanite’s mesmerizing saturation of color is what has made the stone so popular. It is the blue variety of the mineral zoisite and occurs in a beautiful range of colors. Rarely pure blue, the gem almost always displays signature overtones of purple. In smaller sizes, it tends toward light tones such as lavender, while in larger sizes, the gem typically displays deeper, richer blues and purples. The finest quality tanzanite is usually deep blue or violet, which is extremely spectacular in sizes above ten carats.
Tanzanite is pleochroic, meaning it shows the appearance of several colors in the same stone, depending on perspective. From different angles, the gem can appear blue, purple, yellow, grey or brown. Most rough crystals show a large proportion of brown shades, since tanzanite in its natural form is typically brown with red, orange, yellow or bronze hues.
Gem cutters may change this coloring by heating the stone to 500°C. This heat treatment releases the intense violet-blue colors for which the stone is famous. According to legend, the effect of heat on tanzanite was first discovered when brown zoisite crystals were caught on fire by a lightning strike. Local cattle herders noticed the beautiful blue crystals sparkling in the sun and picked them up, becoming the first tanzanite collectors.
The gem was first discovered near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Merelani Hills of east-African Tanzania in 1967. This breathtaking location is the only known mining site on Earth for tanzanite. Right after its discovery, New York jeweler Louis Comfort Tiffany was presented with the first stones. Knowing it was going to be a sensation, he recommended finding a new name for the gem, since the gemological denomination “blue zoisite” reminded him of the word “suicide.” Tiffany suggested the name tanzanite, derived from its place of occurrence, and the new name quickly became established on the market. Tiffany & Co introduced the stone to the public in a spectacular promotional campaign two years after it had been discovered. It was enthusiastically celebrated as the “Gemstone of the 20th Century.”
A noted 122.70ct faceted tanzanite dubbed the “Midnight Blue” is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In 1996, a 255.00ct tanzanite crystal was discovered near Arusha, but because of its many inclusions, it proved to be of little market value. Tanzanite ranks a hardness of 6.5-7.0 on the Mohs Scale and has become the traditional gift for couples celebrating their 24th anniversaries.
High-quality and larger-size tanzanites can be sold at extremely premium prices. Although demand for this beautiful gem continues to grow, supply shortages in recent years have hampered production and caused price fluctuations. In 1998, the weather phenomenon known as “El Nino” soaked Tanzania with heavy rains during what should have been the drought period. When the monsoons hit, the groundwater swells were high and caused devastating floods. Mines caved in and all hopes of finding additional tanzanite rough were swept away.
Because it is such a new gemstone, there is little folklore, superstitions or healing properties surrounding tanzanite. Some believe the stone helps people to be more practical, realistic and honest. It is thought to uplift and open the heart while helping one cope with change.
Earring Back Types
Butterfly Back: A double looped piece resembling a butterfly that fits over a post. Variations on this design are called push back clasps. The basic post and butterfly back are usually used for stud earrings and lighter weight drop earrings.
Hinged Snap Backs: This clasp features a hinged post that snaps into a groove on the back of the earring. It is commonly found on hoops. Sometimes the hinged post is curved to provide more room to fit around the ear, sometimes called a saddleback.
Hook Backs: This earring backing is simply a long, bent post that fits through the piercing. Hooks have several variations, most notably the shepherd's hook and the French hook. While thin wire hooks reduce the weight of long earrings, making them more comfortable, they aren't as secure as other clasp styles.
Lever Back: A hinged lever snaps shut against the curved post to form a closed loop around the ear lobe. This clasp is very secure and good for large or medium sized styles that drop just below the ear.
Omega: Also called French clips, this clasp has a straight post and a looped lever. The hinged lever closes around the post and is held against the ear with pressure. The omega clasp is the most secure clasp, especially for the larger, heavier earrings.
Screw back: This backing is a slight variation of the standard post and butterfly nut back. Instead of pushing on the back, the nut twists onto the threaded post. A screw back post design is often preferred for expensive diamond stud earrings that require increased security.