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2825 Sand Hill Rd
Menlo Park, CA, 94025

(650) 292 0612

Stephen Silver is renowned for our extraordinary ability to procure, design and handcraft the world's finest jewelry and gemstones.

The Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry Estate Collection includes some of the finest pieces from the Edwardian, Victorian, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Retro eras. Signed and period pieces are the company's specialty; many of which are from prestigious jewelry houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., and Harry Winston.

The Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry Signature Collection exemplifies modern day luxury combined with old world elegance to produce true works of art. Exquisitely handcrafted in platinum and 18-karat gold, using only the very finest diamonds and colored gemstones, our Signature Collection is exceptional in quality and extraordinary in style.

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Jewelry

Spinel — the New August Birthstone — Has Been Fooling Royalty for Centuries

Annena Sorenson

Fourteen months ago, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) announced that spinel — the great imposter — would be joining peridot as an official birthstone for the month of August. It was only the third time in the past 105 years that the modern birthstone list had been amended.

The industry associations noted at the time that they were responding to a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones. The spinel was designated for August because of its historical significance and its rich, red color.

Spinel has been called “the great impostor of gemstone history” because some of the most famous “rubies” seen in crown jewels around the world are actually spinels. According to the Smithsonian, it wasn't until 1783 that spinel was recognized as a mineral distinct from corundum (ruby and sapphire). Ruby is composed of aluminum oxide, while spinel is made of magnesium aluminum oxide. Both get their reddish color from impurities of chromium in their chemical structure.

For centuries, royal jewelry "experts" could not tell the difference between a ruby and a spinel.

For instance, the 398-carat ruby-red gem that tops the Imperial Crown of Russia commissioned by Catherine the Great in 1763 was thought to be a ruby, but turned out to be a spinel. The 361-carat Timur Ruby, which was presented by the East India Company to Queen Victoria as a gift in 1851, was also later identified as a spinel. And the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby, which is prominently displayed on the Imperial State Crown of England, was, in fact, an uncut spinel.

While spinel is best known for its ability to imitate the color of ruby, the gem comes in a variety of vibrant colors, including soft pastel shades of pink and purple, fiery oranges, and cool hues ranging from powdery gray to intense blue. It is a durable gem with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs scale. By comparison, diamond rates a 10 and ruby rates a 9.

Shown in the image, above, are three spinels from the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The first and third gem were sourced in Sri Lanka and weigh 22.2 and 29.7 carats, respectively. The spinel in the center is from Myanmar and weighs 36.1 carats.

The bracelet shown here contains 98 natural spinel crystals set in a double row in yellow gold. The stones were sourced in the Mogok region of Myanmar and the piece is currently part of the National Gem and Mineral Collection.

Myanmar is known to produce some of the most beautiful spinels — especially the pink, red and orange-red varieties. Spinels are also mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Cambodia, Kenya, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.

Credits: Gem photo by D. Penland/Smithsonian. Bracelet photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian.

Hawaii’s Amazing Green Beach Is Blanketed With Olivine Crystals Eroded From an Ancient Volcanic Formation

Annena Sorenson

Imagine walking barefoot on a blanket of sparkling green sand that owes its astounding color to olivine crystals eroded from an ancient volcanic formation and delivered to the shore by ocean waves.

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Russian Luxury Brand Introduces Solid Gold Fidget Spinner; Price Tag: 999,000 Rubles

Annena Sorenson

A Russian luxury brand famous for its blinged-out, over-the-top iPhones and accessories has just introduced a solid gold version of the world's most popular toy — the fidget spinner.

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Actress Vivien Leigh's Jewelry and Other Personal Items to Hit Sotheby's Auction Block in September

Annena Sorenson

Gone with the Wind fans will get a fascinating glimpse at "the real, and unexpected, Vivien Leigh" when Sotheby's London brings to auction 250 of the illustrious leading lady's personal items on September 26.

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Rose Gold Is a Rising Star, But How Does the Precious Metal Get Its Blush?

Annena Sorenson

It's been a symbol of "tech luxury" since the Apple Watch arrived in 2014 and the metal of choice for Pinterest's most-pinned engagement ring style of 2017. It's a material that conveys opulence, elegance, and its warm glow complements any skin tone. The summer sensation that's grabbing all the headlines is rose gold.

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Baseball's True Holy Grail: Babe Ruth's 1927 World Series Ring Sells for $2.1 Million

Annena Sorenson

Babe Ruth's 1927 World Series ring marking his record-breaking season playing for what is universally considered the best baseball team in history fetched $2.1 million at the inaugural Lelands.com Invitational Auction on July 1. The auction house had called the ring "baseball's true holy grail."

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Aussie Pensioner Lands 151-Ounce Gold Nugget, Fulfilling His 37-Year Dream of Finding 'The Big One'

Annena Sorenson

Syd Pearson, a 68-year-old metal detector hobbyist from Down Under, dug up a 151.6-ounce nugget at a secret location near Bendigo, Australia, fulfilling a 37-year dream of finding "The Big One." The golden treasure netted a $227,000 windfall for the pensioner.

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18.4-Carat 'Rockefeller Emerald' Sets World Auction Record at Christie's in Rockefeller Center

Annena Sorenson

The 18.4-carat “Rockefeller Emerald” set a new world auction record for the highest per-carat price ever achieved for an emerald when it fetched $5.5 million yesterday at Christie's New York, which is headquartered, quite fittingly, in Rockefeller Center.

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De Beers Launches State-of-the-Art Diamond-Seeking Vessel

Annena Sorenson

Outfitted with state-of-the-art sonar technology and drilling devices, the mv SS Nujoma is ready to start probing the ocean floor for valuable diamond deposits off the coast of Namibia. It's the sixth and most advanced vessel in De Beers's growing fleet.

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World’s Most Popular Engagement Ring Boasts 103,900 Saves on Pinterest

Annena Sorenson

Social media has been a game changer for bridal jewelry, particularly on Pinterest, where the most popular engagement ring on that image-sharing platform has garnered an astonishing 103,900 pins and worldwide attention.

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