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This month's birthstone is citrine. Natural citrine is a pale yellow quartz crystal, but also can be found with an orange or reddish cast. These are typically amethysts that have been converted to citrine by applying high temperatures to the stone. Citrine stones are often confused with the topaz which is an alternative birthstone for November.

This month's birthstone is the Opal. Opals are typically white or black with flashes of yellows, oranges, greens, reds and blues. Black opals are the most expensive of the opals. 97% of opals come from Australia and they are famous for their magnificent black opals. Fire opals were first mined in Mexico, but can also be found in Nevada. Opals are formed in near-surface volcanic rocks, inside cavities and cracks. In volcanic ash rock, water dissolves silica that eventually forms the opal.

Peridot, a vivid green gem, is the birthstone for the month of August. It comes in several color variations ranging from yellow-green to brown, but the purer green a peridot is, the higher the value. A high-quality peridot is cut to maximize its color, not for its size. The Peridot has a few unique stories surrounding it. In Hawaii, it was once believed that Peridots were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. Peridot is a gem that forms deep inside the Earth and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. The natives discovered these crystals in the black sands of the islands.

Each week, Hemming Plaza Jewelers is featuring an item in the store for 50% off! View the gallery below to see some of the items we've previously offered at this amazing discount. And be sure to check our website or Facebook page for this week's...

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.