Clodius and Co. Blog
May 22nd, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you wonderful tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Philadelphia R&B legends Boyz II Men sing about a long-lost love in their 2014 release, “Diamond Eyes.”



In this power ballad about a man longing to be reunited with the dream girl of his past, the soulful singers croon, “And then the sun rose, our bodies unfroze / And it turned us both gold / Your diamond eyes glowed, yeah.”

Songwriter Coley O'Toole uses the precious metal reference to symbolize the innocent and exciting “goldenness” of youth, an idea first invoked in the 1923 Robert Frost poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay." Her diamond eyes connote strength, brilliance and perfection. In the end, the song's protagonist says he will never lose hope that she will be found.

"Diamond Eyes" was the first single released from the group's 12th studio album, Collide. The album reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #37 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart.

The four-time Grammy-winning act, which features the sweet harmonies of long-time members Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris and Nathan Morris, has sold more than 60 million recordings and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. The group was named by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) as the most commercially successful R&B group of all time.

Originally known as Unique Attraction, Boyz II Men was founded in 1985 by friends Nathan Morris and Marc Nelson at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. The original group often rehearsed in a school bathroom due to its excellent acoustics.

By the early 1990s, Boyz II Men earned international fame with a series of Top 5 releases, including "Motownphilly" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." The group originated as a quartet, but became a trio when Michael McCary had to leave the group in 2003 due to multiple sclerosis.

In 2017, a section of Broad Street in Philadelphia was renamed “Boyz II Men Boulevard.” That section of Broad Street happens to be the home of the high school where the boys got their start.

Check out the audio clip of Boyz II Men performing “Diamond Eyes.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“Diamond Eyes”
Written by Coley O'Toole. Performed by Boyz II Men.

When we were young, our hearts were strong,
And they beat as one, till the day had come
When I thought that you were gone

And then the sun rose, our bodies unfroze
And it turned us both gold
Your diamond eyes glowed, yeah, ohhhhh

When we were young, our love was strong
We beat as one, till the day had come,
And I thought that you were gone

And then the sun rose, our bodies unfroze
And it turned us both gold
Your diamond eyes glowed, yeah

I would search near and far
Drag the seas and mine the dark,
Search through every place I think you are
I would search near and far
Drag the seas and mine the dark
And never losing hope that you be found, ohhhh

And then the sun rose, our bodies unfroze
And it turned us both gold
Your diamond eyes glowed, yea,
your diamond eyes glowed,
your diamond eyes glowed,
your diamond eyes glowed, ohhhh


Credit: Image by Lunchbox LP from Culver City, CA, USA / CC BY.
May 21st, 2020
Be prepared to be blown away by the next stop on our virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. Featured today is an amazing topaz exhibit featuring four stones ranging in size from 12,555 carats to 251,744 carats.



Previous stops on the tour have included the Logan Sapphire, the Dom Pedro aquamarine and the Steamboat tourmaline.

The Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals typically hosts more than six million visitors annually. But with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we're offering this virtual tour of the hall.



Here's how to navigate to the topaz exhibit.

— First, click on this link… The resulting page will be a gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1.” The topaz showcase contains two mammoth crystals and two smaller faceted gems.

(Touch the plus sign to zoom in. Touch the “X” to close the map to get a better view of the gemstones. You may restore the map by clicking the “Second” floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)



All of the gems in the showcase were sourced in Minas Gerais, Brazil, but the most famous of the four specimens is the colossal cushion-cut American Golden Topaz, the third-largest faceted gemstone in the world. The stone is seen, above, just in front of the little girl.

Tipping the scales at a whopping 22,892 carats (10.09 lbs), the American Golden Topaz was cut by Leon Agee over a period of two years in the late 1980s from a 26-pound stream-rounded cobble owned by Drs. Marie L. and Edgar F. Borgatta.

The final product has 172 facets, a warm honey-gold color and is the size of a honeydew melon, measuring 6.9 x 5.9 x 3.7 inches. The gem was donated to the Smithsonian Institute in 1988.

The tallest stones in the case are the 251,744-carat (111 lbs) Freeman Uncut Topaz and the 158,757-carat (70 lbs) Lindsay Uncut Topaz.



Positioned behind the American Golden Topaz is the fascinating Topaz Sphere, which weighs 12,555-carats (5.54 lbs).

Natural topaz is found in a wide array of warm colors, including brownish-yellow, orange-yellow and reddish-brown. Other topaz colors include white, pale green, blue, gold and pink.

Credits: Photos by Chip Clark/Smithsonian. Virtual tour screen capture via naturalhistory2.si.edu.
May 20th, 2020
The 28.86-carat D-color diamond that is slated to headline an online auction in June has been named by Christie's as one of the "10 Jewels That Made History — and Changed the Market."



The emerald-cut gem, which is estimated to fetch between $1 million and $2 million at Christie's Jewels Online sale, June 16-30, joined the likes of the $58 million Oppenheimer Blue diamond, the impossibly rare Hancock Red diamond and the world's most famous natural pearl, La Peregrina, in a feature article published last week at Christies.com.

While the 28.86-carat online offering doesn't carry the gravitas of the other gems spotlighted by Christie's, it is very significant in other ways. It is not only the first gem to be offered online with an expected sale price of at least $1 million, but it is also the highest-valued lot ever offered for sale online at Christie’s.

The value of the gem signals a move by the famed auction house to move higher-ticket items to the online sales platform.

“This year has presented unprecedented circumstances, enabling Christie’s new opportunities through our enhanced digital platform,” said Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewelry at Christie’s. “Year-over-year, we have seen an increase in online participation and the value threshold for transacting online. Recognizing greater client confidence, we are proud to announce the highest valued lot ever to be offered for sale in our June 2020 Jewels Online auction.”

The D-color diamond boasts a Type IIa purity grading, a designation earned by fewer than 2% of all gem diamonds. Type IIa diamonds have exceptional optical transparency and are the most chemically pure variety of diamonds. They contain no measurable trace of other elements, such as nitrogen, which could alter the color.

The Oppenheimer Blue diamond made Christie's list because it is the most expensive diamond in auction history. It sold for $57.97 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva in May of 2016.

The Hancock Red diamond turned heads when it became the top lot at Christie's New York in April of 1987. Weighing just under 1 carat, the fancy-color purple-red diamond was described as "so rare that experienced diamond dealers would consider themselves extremely lucky to handle more than three in the course of a lifetime." It sold for $880,000 and was, at the time, the most expensive per-carat gemstone ever sold at auction.

With a 500-year history that linked royals, empresses and Hollywood stars, the perfectly pear-shaped La Peregrina natural pearl sold at Christie's New York in 2011 for $11.84 million. It was discovered off the coast of Panama in 1576 and soon became part of the Spanish Crown Jewels. In 1969, actor Richard Burton purchased the gem at auction for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, on the actress's 37th birthday.

Credit: Image courtesy of Christie's.
May 19th, 2020
Mounted high above the lobby of the six-star Imperial Palace Saipan are two bejeweled dragons fighting over a flaming pearl. The installation spans more than 60 meters, weighs 40 tons and sparkles with 2.5 million Swarovski crystals.



Czech design firm Lasvit is hoping that its massive undertaking will be recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest pieces of jewelry.



“In this project, we approached the limits of what is both technically and physically possible," noted Leon Jakimič, Lasvit’s founder and president. "Master glassmakers and metalsmiths brought the know-how of hundreds of years of craft tradition while their work was backed by a high-tech design process throughout.”



Jakimič added that the "Saipan Dragons" installation took more than three years to complete and required the expertise of hundreds of technicians from the Czech Republic. It's the company's largest installation to date.



Dragons battling to clutch the elusive pearl is a theme deeply rooted in Chinese mythology. The dragons are divine mythical creatures that symbolize strength, good fortune and transformation, while the pearl — often depicted as a red or white sphere ringed by a fiery blaze — represents wisdom, enlightenment and spiritual essence.

Saipan, which is an island in the western Pacific Ocean about 135 miles northeast of Guam — lies within an active seismic zone. For that reason, the main bearing part of the dragon is made of a stainless-steel truss structure which forms the complete shape and winds throughout the dragon’s body.



The dragons are covered with 13,000 golden scales and 2.5 million Swarovski crystals, which are illuminated by concealed multi-hued LED chips. The dragons have the ability to change color almost instantly.

Check out Lasvit's video, below.


Credits: Images courtesy of Lasvit; Screen capture via Youtube.com/Lasvit.
May 18th, 2020
Even though the Hyatt Regency Seattle had to suspend its normal operations due to COVID-19 health concerns, the brand new 45-story hotel at 8th & Howell has been lighting up the sky with love.



Each evening for the past six weeks, the 500-foot-tall, 1260-room landmark — the largest hotel in the city — has been honoring Seattle's first responders and health care workers with a giant heart rendered by lighting individual rooms on the upper floors.

On Thursday, the hotel was happy to oblige a special request by Seattle resident Mitesh Munot, and the lighting configuration became a 21-floor love letter to his girlfriend, Apoorva Prasad.



Right at dusk, the simple heart shape was amended to say "I Love You, AP," with the heart standing in for the word "love."

From the balcony of his home on 2nd Avenue, and with the Hyatt specially lit in the distance, Munot popped the question and Prasad said, "Yes."

Munot told komonews.com how he came up with the idea for the sky-high proposal.

"We can see the beautiful heart sign that the hotel shows with the use of lights in individual rooms," Munot said. "It would probably be the best proposal that I could ever hope for!"

The Hyatt's social media team got into the spirit with an Instagram post that included a photo of the couple and a caption that read, "Love is in the air! Congratulations on tonight’s engagement! Thank you for letting us be a part of your joyous celebration!"

Commenting on the post, Munot, a senior account executive at Amazon, wrote, "@hyattregencyseattle, I can’t thank you enough for making this happen for us! Thank you for giving us a memory we will cherish forever."

Prasad, a senior manager at Amazon, was more than delighted, commenting, "@hyattregencyseattle, your team is incredible! We’ve always loved Hyatt, but you’ll now hold a place in our hearts forever. Thank you!"

The Hyatt Regency officially opened in December of 2018, but was forced to temporarily suspend its normal operations due to COVID-19. The good news is that the hotel was given the green light to start serving customers again on June 1.

Credits: Images via Instagram/hyattregencyseattle.
May 15th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you chart-topping songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square fall in love, get engaged and tie the knot in their semi-autobiographical 2010 hit, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not."



As the song begins, Keifer and Shawna are talking about "everything under the moon" on the roof of her mom's house. He's remembers the intoxicating smell of honeysuckle and her perfume. He also recalls how he was totally panicked — way too shy to make the first move.

Lucky for him, Shawna looks him straight in the eye and asks, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?" Later in the song, Keifer realizes that he wants the relationship to last forever, so he buys a ring and asks for her hand in marriage.

Keifer and Shawna share this key verse: "So I took a chance / Bought a wedding band and I got down on one knee / And you smiled and said to me / Are you gonna kiss me or not? / Are we gonna do this or what? / I think you know I love you a lot / I think we've got a real good shot / Are you gonna kiss me or not?"

Written by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" sold more than two million copies and zoomed to #1 on both the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart and the Billboard Canada Country chart. It was the second single released from Thompson Square's self-titled debut album.

The song also earned Grammy nominations for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song.

Even though Keifer and Shawna didn't write the song, its theme very closely mirrored their own love story.

"The first time we heard it, we fell in love with it," Keifer told The Boot. "We knew we had to record it. It was semi-autobiographical. We just gravitated towards it. We were definitely blessed to get a hold of it."

"We got real lucky with Thompson Square," Collins admitted to The Boot. "They're husband and wife, and it was kind of their story — how they fell in love, even though I don't know if it was exactly up on the roof! When we wrote it, I thought it was a good song. But when I heard their record, the way they cut it, I thought, 'Man! This could be a hit!'"

Born in Miami, OK, Keifer Thompson met his future wife, a native of Chatom, AL, at a singing competition in Nashville, TN. Together, they have produced three albums and placed 10 singles on the Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts.

Please check out the video of Thompson Square's live performance from the Bing Lounge in 2013. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"
Written by David Lee Murphy & Jim Collins. Performed by Thompson Square.

We were sittin' up there on your momma's roof
Talkin' 'bout everything under the moon
With the smell of honeysuckle and your perfume
All I could think about was my next move

Oh, but you were so shy, so was I
Maybe that's why it was so hard to believe
When you smiled and said to me

Are you gonna kiss me or not?
Are we gonna do this or what?
I think you know I like you a lot
But you're 'bout to miss your shot
Are you gonna kiss me or what?

It was the best dang kiss that I ever had
Except for that long one after that
And I knew if I wanted this thing to last
Sooner or later I'd have to ask for your hand

So I took a chance
Bought a wedding band and I got down on one knee
And you smiled and said to me

Are you gonna kiss me or not?
Are we gonna do this or what?
I think you know I love you a lot
I think we've got a real good shot
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

So, we planned it all out for the middle of June
From the wedding cake to the honeymoon
And your momma cried
When you walked down the aisle

When the preacher man said, "Say I do"
I did and you did too, then I lifted that veil
And saw your pretty smile and I said
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Are we gonna do this or what?
Look at all the love that we got
It ain't never gonna stop
Are you gonna kiss me or not?

Yeah baby, I love you a lot
I really think we've got a shot
Are you gonna kiss me or not?


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com/987TheBull.
May 14th, 2020
Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered a 171-carat, gem-quality, white stone at its Lulo alluvial mine in Angola, the same mine that produced the famous 404-carat “4 de Fevereiro” diamond in 2016. That unusual thumb-shaped stone, which nearly ended up as road filler at the mining plant, was eventually cut into a 163-carat emerald-cut stunner that sold at auction for $33.7 million.



The Lulo Diamond Project in Angola, which is owned by Lucapa and its partners — Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P. and Rosas & Petalas — has earned a reputation for producing some of the largest and highest-value diamonds in the world.

Since commercial diamond production went online at Lulo in 2015, the mine has generated 15 100-plus-carat diamonds. The 171-carat gem, shown above, is the second 100-plus-carat diamond found in 2020 and the fourth-largest ever recovered at Lulo.

Upstream of the Cacuilo River valley, Lucapa is testing five kimberlite pipes that were likely the hard-rock sources of the exceptional Lulo alluvial diamonds.

“The recovery of this 171-carat, gem-quality, white diamond continues to underpin the potential of the kimberlite-exploration program,” said Lucapa CEO Stephen Wetherall.



Back in 2016, we recounted the wild story of how Angola's most famous diamond was nearly discarded at the Lulo mine by mistake.

On February 4, 2016, as Angola celebrated its national independence day, a thumb-shaped 404-carat rough diamond miraculously found its way through a hole in the sorting screen at the Lulo processing plant because it was oriented vertically, not horizontally. It was aptly named the “4 de Fevereiro” (February 4th in Portuguese) and continues to retain the honor of being the largest diamond ever found in Angola.

Had the gem — which was eventually sold for $16 million — passed through lying flat instead of standing up on edge, it would have been rejected and discarded. It would have likely joined the other rejected, oversized “rocks” Lucapa had collected and used to fill the road beds throughout the Lulo project.

The diamond recovery plant had been configured to capture diamonds up to 280 carats in size. Before that day in February, no rough diamond larger than 278 carats had ever been recovered from the mine.



The 404-carat stone was eventually cut by de Grisogono into a D-flawless, 163-carat emerald-cut stunner that became the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace that fetched $33.7 million at Christie's Geneva in November of 2017.

Credits: Rough diamond images courtesy of Lucapa Diamond. Emerald-cut diamond image courtesy of Christie's.
May 13th, 2020
In a video that was posted Sunday and has already topped 8.8 million views, The Office star John Krasinski officiated the Zoom marriage ceremony of Maryland superfans, whose proposal mimicked a scene from the popular TV show. As a surprise bonus, Krasinski invited the cast of The Office to dance at their virtual wedding.



For the past seven weeks, Krasinski has brightened the lives of home-bound viewers with his YouTube series "Some Good News." During the second half of Sunday's episode, Krasinski introduced Susan and John, whose marriage proposal was "oddly familiar."

The Office fans will remember how Krasinski's character, Jim, asked Pam (Jenna Fischer) to marry him in the rain at a gas station convenience store. John's proposal to Susan matched the TV version almost exactly.

"So I knew the proposal needed to be something really special, but also really something unique," John said. "'The Office' has been something that has connected the two of us for a very, very long time so it just felt right."

Susan explained, "Then he got down on one knee and he said, 'Just like Jim, I can't wait any longer.'"

As huge fans of the popular workplace comedy, John and Susan tweeted an invitation for Krasinski to attend their virtual wedding. Krasinski took the sweet gesture one step further.



The actor got ordained via an online ministry, which allowed him to officiate the couple's virtual marriage ceremony.

Said Krasinski, "Susan and John, because you elegantly ripped off our proposal, I think it’s only fitting that you rip off the wedding too.”

At that point, Krasinski introduced a number of key players who were queued up to be revealed during the Zoom call. The actor introduced the couples' parents, some close friends, and Fischer, who played Kraskinski's love interest on the show. Kraskinski volunteered to be the best man and nominated Fischer to be the matron of honor.



After country star Zac Brown performed a special song, the couple recited their vows and Krasinski pronounced them husband and wife.

But that's not it.



To top off the virtual ceremony, Krasinski invited the cast of The Office to recreate the wedding scene from Jim and Pam's wedding in Season 6. Among the stars showing off their dance moves were Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Ellie Kemper, Kate Flannery, Brian Baumgartner, Ed Helms, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Rainn Wilson and Creed Bratton.

Krasinski said that this was likely the first and only wedding that would take place on "Some Good News."

"Because, let's be honest," he said. "How does it get better than that? It doesn't!"

Check out Sunday's episode of "Some Good News," which has a been trending as high as #2 on YouTube. The virtual wedding segment starts at the 7:20 mark. Also included below are the engagement and wedding scenes from The Office.

Some Good News

Jim Proposes to Pam

The Office Wedding Dance

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/SomeGoodNews.
May 12th, 2020
Halfway through a grueling 12-hour overnight shift at Omaha’s Methodist Hospital, registered nurse Jason Heimes popped the question to certified nursing assistant Ashley Jensen in the hospital's break room. Heimes works directly with COVID-19 patients in the North Tower's Progressive Care Unit and Jensen is assigned to the Short Stay Unit on the South Tower’s fifth floor.



Despite their shared emotional stress and exhaustion, Heimes was determined to create a memorable moment for his girlfriend of three years. Just after midnight, he proposed exactly where their love story began.



Co-worker Lucy Miranda-Gonzalez and seven other colleagues witnessed the scene as Heimes went down on one knee with a diamond ring in hand and asked Jensen to marry him. The group had been instructed by Heimes to wait outside the break room and then surprise Jensen by entering loudly at the very moment of the proposal.

On Instagram, Jensen posted a series of proposal pics along with this caption,”What a dream. Jason popped the question last night where our love story began on the progressive care unit (now Covid unit) at Methodist Hospital. Of course I said yes. I love you to the moon and back Jason. I feel like the luckiest woman alive! Thank you to all that helped Jason make this so special.”



She punctuated the post with two emojis: a blue heart and a diamond engagement ring.

Heimes, who has worked at Methodist Hospital for eight years, told the Omaha World-Herald why it was so important to include his colleagues in the proposal.

“They’ve always been super supportive of us,” Heimes said. “They’re like family to us.”

Miranda-Gonzalez, who captured the proposal on her smartphone, described the scene as “beautiful, fun, uplifting and heartfelt.” She said the proposal brought positivity to her and other nurses during these stressful and uncertain times.



“We are grateful that this can still happen among the chaos,” she told the publication.

Methodist Hospital gave the couple a shoutout on its official Facebook page: “Congratulations to Methodist Hospital's Ashley Jensen, CNA, and Jason Heimes, RN, from the entire Methodist family! Sending you our love and gratitude for all you do to care for and protect our community. Thank you for sharing your love story!”

Jensen noted that if she and her new fiancé can get through this pandemic together, they can get through anything.

“This will bring us all together, and we can really see what matters in life,” Jensen told the Omaha World-Herald. “And that love conquers all, really.”

Credits: Photos via Instagram.com/ashley_.jensen.
May 11th, 2020
Our multi-part virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection continues today with a closeup look at the 422.99-carat “Logan Sapphire." It's not only the heaviest mounted gem in the storied collection, but also boasts a provenance that links one of America’s most prominent families with Indian royalty.



Set in a silver-and-gold brooch and framed by 20 round brilliant diamonds weighing approximately 16 carats, the cushion-shaped Logan Sapphire was cut from a crystal mined in Sri Lanka in the mid-1800s.

Normally, the more than six million annual visitors to the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals in Washington, DC, would find the magnificent sapphire in the gallery called "Precious Gems 2."

But, with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we offer our third virtual tour of the hall. Next stop: the Logan Sapphire.

-- First, click on this link... The resulting page will be a gallery called "Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1."

-- Next, simply touch the double-right-arrow once to navigate to the gallery called "Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 2."

When you arrive, the left of the screen will be filled with a topaz exhibit. Lining the walls to the right of the gallery are jewelry showcases that include the "Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace," the "Bismarck Sapphire Necklace" and the "Logan Sapphire."



-- Click and drag the screen one-quarter turn to see the sapphire exhibits.

(Touch the plus sign to zoom in. Touch the "X" to close the map to get a better view of the jewelry and gemstones. You may restore the map by clicking the "Second" floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)

The sapphire brooch had been given to Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim as a Christmas/anniversary gift in 1952 by her then-husband Col. M. Robert Guggenheim. The Guggenheims had amassed one of the world’s largest fortunes through their mining and smelting businesses, and later became equally famous for their philanthropy.

Rebecca donated the magnificent gem to the Smithsonian in 1960 but kept it in her possession until 1971. Col. M. Robert Guggenheim passed away in 1959 and Rebecca remarried three years later, becoming Mrs. John A. Logan. This is where the Logan Sapphire gets its name. The gem went on display in Washington, D.C., in June of 1971.

Robert Guggenheim reportedly purchased the gem from Sir Ellice Victor Sassoon (1881-1961), the third Baronet of Bombay. The Sassoon family had acquired the gem from a maharajah in India.

After studying the gem in 1997, the Gemological Institute of America concluded that the Logan Sapphire's impressive color — a vibrant medium-blue color with slight violet overtones — was completely natural. It has never been heated or treated in any way.



A wall panel between the sapphire and ruby exhibits describes how both gems are members of the corundum family.

"Colorless in its pure state, corundum rarely has sufficient clarity or richness of color to be a gemstone," the panel explains. "When it does, the difference between a ruby and a sapphire is just a tiny bit of impurity. Rubies are, by definition, red. The color results from light interacting with a few atoms of chromium trapped as the crystals grew. Ruby is the July birthstone. Sapphires are corundum crystals in all colors but red. Best known are the blue varieties, tinted by iron and titanium impurities. Sapphire is the September birthstone."

Credits: Logan Sapphire photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian. Virtual tour screen captures via naturalhistory2.si.edu.