Peridot August Birthstone

August Birthstone – Peridot

The birthstone for the month of August is peridot.  Peridot is the gem quality of the mineral olivine.  It is usually an olive green color but can look yellowish-green or brownish-green. It can have a greasy luster.   Peridot has a Mohs’ hardness of 6.5.


To clean peridot, avoid ultrasonic, boiling and steam cleaning as it can damage the stone.  It can be cleaned in soapy water.

Origin Story

Peridot was originally mined in the Egyptian island of Zabargad (a.k.a St. John’s Island) in the Red Sea.  It was mined for about 3500 years and now is mined throughout the world. Egyptians believed to be the gemstone of sun, and was worn as protection against evil spirits.  In the past, peridot was sometimes confused for emeralds and topaz.  It was brought to Central Europe by crusaders in the middle ages.

Metal Arts Guild

Metal Arts Guild – Board Member

I joined the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco last year to be part of the community of metalsmiths and jewelers. When they said they were looking for people to fill some board positions, I decided to try it out.  So….I am the new Hospitality Chair. I’m very happy to be further involved. It’s a great group of people and I’m looking forward to get to know them better.

Monica Fiorella Jewelry on Jewel Street

I’m on Jewel Street!


I’m so happy to announce you can now find Monica Fiorella Jewelry on

JewelStreet is a UK based online retailer of fine and luxury fashion jewelry by over 500 designers worldwide. JewelStreet handpicks and curates all the designers on the site, so you know you’re getting a selection of the best jewelry designers.

JewelStreet talent scouts found my jewelry online somewhere and invited me to open a boutique on their site. It is a great honor to be invited to join such a talented selection of designers from all over the world.  I  hope you  take a look at my new boutique.


Aquamarine March Birthstone

March Birthstone – Aquamarine

The birthstone for the month of March is aquamarine.  Aquamarine is a type of beryl. It can be sea green, green-blue, light to dark blue. The preferred color is a strong dark blue.  This gemstone is often naturally bluish green and is heat treated to look light blue.  Aquamarine crystals are large and usually have few inclusions.  The price of the stone will drop quite a bit if it does have inclusions.  Aquamarine has a Mohs’ hardness of 7.5 to 8.  It is brittle and sensitive to pressure.


Aquamarine should be safe to be cleaned using steam or ultrasonic unless it can inclusions. It can be cleaned in soapy water.

Origins Story

The name aquamarine is from Latin, meaning “water” (aqua) “of the sea” (marina).  According to lore, it was believed to be mermaid treasure and was used as talismans for good luck and protection of sailors.  Aquamarine was also said to bring eternal youth and happiness.  It was first used in Greece between 300 and  500 B.C.

Amethyst February Birthstone

February Birthstone – Amethyst

The birthstone for the month of February is amethyst.  Amethyst is a type of quartz.  It can be a beautiful light to deep purple gem with tones of warm reddish purple to cool bluish purple.  It commonly has color zoning, meaning you might be able to see zones of light color and zone of darker purple in the same stone.   As with other quartz gemstones, amethyst also has a Mohs’ hardness of 7.


To clean amethyst, avoid steam cleaning since amethyst should not be heated. Be careful with ultrasonic cleaning, as it can damage certain stones. It can be cleaned in soapy water.

Origin Story

The name amethyst comes from Greek, meaning “not drunken.” The story is that the god, Bacchus, was insulted and became angry and stated that the first person he met would be eaten by tigers. It so happened to be that person was a woman called Amethyst who was on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess Diana. As the tigers were about to eat her, Diana transformed Amethyst into a transparent crystal. Bacchus was so remorseful, he poured wine onto the crystal as an offering, and it turned purple.  The ancient Greeks believed the gemstone amethyst prevented intoxication, calmed anger and relieved frustrated passion.

Peridot for the year!

Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2017 is “greenery.”  For jewelry lovers, one of the best examples of this color is peridot. Also the birthstone for the month of August!  See the Pantone article for more info.

The following are jewelry pieces with peridot to help you feel beautiful, feminine, confident.

Teardrop Shadowbox Earrings with filigree and peridot

Teardrop post earrings shadowbox style with filigree and peridot

wavy 14k peridot pendant

14k gold pendant with sterling silver filigree and oval peridot



How to Clean Your Jewelry at Home

The holidays are coming up and that mean parties! We all want to look our best and make sure our jewelry looks fabulous under those lights.  You don’t need to buy special cleaning solution.  Simply put in a few drops of a mild liquid detergent into warm (not hot) water and let your jewelry soak for a few minutes.  If needed, use a clean soft bristle toothbrush to get into the little spaces.  Then simply rinse in clean warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.  I keep an extra lens cloth (like the kind for wiping your eye glasses)for just this purpose.

Be aware, though, some materials are delicate, and may not take too well to this method.  When in doubt, ask your jeweler for advice.



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November Birthstones

The birthstones for November are topaz and citrine.  Here is some information of each.


Citrine November Birthstone

Citrine is a quartz gemstone whose color range is pale yellow to brownish or orangey. It’s fairly readily available, and is a good stone to wear in jewelry.  A lot of citrine is amethyst (also a quartz) that has been heat treated to show the yellow color.  It has a Mohs’ hardness (1) of 6.5 – 7, so it’s fairly durable against scratches.  It has a good toughness (2). Avoid steam cleaning it, but can be okay in the ultrasonic.  Note that these are just general recommendations. How you clean your citrine really depends on your specific gemstone.





Topaz November birthstone

Topaz gemstones come in a variety of colors, including colorless, yellow, orange, redish brown, blues, pinks, and greens.  It has a Mohs’ hardness of 8, so it’s pretty durable. But it’s not very tough and has perfect cleavage. So it can chip or crack.  Nonetheless, if it is cut well, it should be okay to wear in jewelry.  Avoid steam and ultrasonic cleaning.

Blue topaz is easily mistaken by aquamarine. A lot of it is actually colorless topaz which is irradiated to look blue since naturally occurring blue topaz is rare.  Colorless topaz makes a good diamond alternative.



(1) Mohs’ hardness is a scale from 1 through 10 which indicates how easy it is to scratch this stone by another stone. So for example, diamond has a Mohs’ hardness of 10, but rubies are 9. So a diamond can scratch a ruby, but a ruby cannot scratch a diamond.

(2) Toughness is the ability to take mechanical shock, such as being bumped against something or getting hit by something.




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