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You do not have to be Dorothy on a quest to leave Oz in order to appreciate ruby accessories. Historically, rubies have been worn for both war and peace, and have been linked to love, health and wealth. If you were born in July, you probably think of rubies simply as pretty birthstones. However, this powerful, captivating gem is deserving of the title "the king of birthstones."

This month's birthstone is the lovely pearl. Pearls are organic gems that are made of a product called calcium carbonate and is drawn from the water by the mussel that the pearl is formed in. Pearls have been used as adornments for centuries and were one of the favorite gems of the Roman Empire. They are unique because they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty. There are many less expensive pearl imitations on the market, but there are several ways you can determine if your pearl is real.

Stop by Hemming Plaza Jewelers on June 6, 2012 for the Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk and check out the paintings on display by Jef Taylor. To see a preview of his work, be sure to check out his website at www.jeftaylor.com.   About the artist: While Jef has spent most of his life studying the arts, his intensive study spanned from 1994 to 2001 at the University of North Florida where he studied under Paul Ladnier, Larry Davis, and Ed Hall and finished with a degree in mathematics and studio painting. Jef then moved to Nantes, France where he spent another year studying at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts under Bernard Plantiff.

This month's birthstone, the Emerald, was Queen Cleopatra's most treasured gem. She was quite often adorned in the jewels and during her reign, she claimed all the great Emerald mines of Egypt for her own. The Emerald's color is a rich green. This is due to trace amounts of chromium found in the crystal. They grow slowly in metamorphic rocks which restricts their size, making them rare and costly.

Join us May 2, 2012 at the Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk and see some really wonderful artwork by Steve Miller. While your there, be sure to enter our drawing for one of his paintings. About the artist: Steve was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but has lived most of his life in Jacksonville, Florida.  Steve has had an interest in art all of his life, which he began expanding upon more extensively approximately 15 years ago by taking classes at Florida State College at Jacksonville and with various private teachers, including Tony Wood, who is known in the local art community.  Additionally, he has studied figure drawing for the past 12 years.  Previously, Steve himself taught art to children in elementary through high school at The Foundation Academy.

Don't miss the latest line of Hershey Kiss pendents! There's a kiss for every month. Each pendant is sterling silver with CZ stones and an adjustable chain. And just for Mother's Day, each pendant comes with a lovely crystal Hershey's Kiss shaped trinket box.! [gallery link="file"...

From now until Mother's Day, get this lovely fresh water pearl earring and necklace set for just $39.00. Simple and elegant, this jewelry is perfect for any occasion and it's sure to please Mom. Visit our store today!  ...

Don't miss your chance to win our St. Patty's Pot of Gold contest! We have three great prizes up for grabs and, of course, each piece of jewelry will compliment your St. Patrick's Day attire. All you have to do is visit our website, www.hemmingplazajewelers.com,...