Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Andrea R. Cooper grew up creating stories and never stopped. Now she’s married with three kids and hundreds of make-believe characters. Learn more about Andrea and her books at her webiste and blog. 

Costume Jewelry or Not

I love gemstones. When I was a kid, my mom bought me a birthstone ring. For hours on boring car rides or sitting in church during long-winded sermons, I would watch the light catch the garnet.

When my grandmother passed, I inherited a few of her of her pieces of jewelry. One was a dark purple gemstone necklace. Everyone said it was fake, but I wanted to make sure. I took it to the jeweler and found the gem was a blood-red garnet. Not worth a ton, but more than just a piece of glass. I was so excited that it was also my birthstone, almost like it was meant to be mine from my grandmother.

And in case you missed it, a woman on Hard Core Pawn brought in her grandmother’s gems for appraisal. She was hoping for fifty or a hundred dollars to help pay for the funeral. All but one of the stones was worth anything. All but one were glass. But the last one was a Burmese Ruby and they offered her $10,000. The price per carat of this beauty is $15,000—so worth a lot more than they offered her. This story ended happily because the woman took a chance to find out if her grandmother’s stones were worth anything and received more than enough to cover the funeral expenses.

A Burmese Ruby is pictured above.

Most people think of diamonds, rubies, and sapphires as the most expensive gems, but I pulled the top ten most expensive gemstones in the world. And while a diamond is in the list, it’s unique.

10. Tanzanite – Only found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Cost: $600-1000 per carat.

9. Taaffeite – Few gems ever found so far.
Cost: $1,500-2,500 per carat.

8. Black Opal – Black in opal is rare
Cost: $2,300 per carat.

7. Benitoite – another rare stone and not usually more than a carat.
Cost: $3,000-4,000 per carat.

6. Red Beryl – also called scarlet emerald because it’s made of beryl as are emeralds, but the color is rare and expensive.
Cost: $10,000 per carat (when cut)

5. Alexandrite – a color-changing gem
Cost: $12,000 per carat

4.  Jadeite –  not to be confused with jade.
Cost: $20,000 per carat

3. Musgravite
Cost: $35,000 per carat.

2. Painite
Cost: $50,000-60,000 per carat.

1.Pink Star Diamond – Of course, a diamond had to make the list, right? The Pink Star diamond was found in South Africa and was 59.6 carats. It sold for $83,187,381— which I’m pretty sure is the most anyone’s ever paid for a diamond or any other rock that I know of.
Cost: $1,395,761 per carat.

So next time you think a piece of jewelry is fake or glass, it might not be. The only way to tell, unless you’ve bought it yourself, is to get an expert to examine it.


Stolen Hearts
Secrets can’t be hidden forever.

Trained to be a thief from a young age, Crystal is driven to do whatever it takes to find evidence against the man who had her parents murdered. She's given up her name, love and even her face in pursuit of justice. When Crystal is forced on a blind date with the cop who is investigating her, she finds herself playing a dangerous game of hearts that could land her in a prison cell.

Kade is in search of a new life, after losing his partner. He's taken a new job, in a new city, and met a new girl. In order to keep his fresh start, he will have to catch an elusive thief targeting one of the largest corporations in the country. Desperate to forget the failures of his past, Kade has no intention of failing.

When Crystal steals Kade’s heart, will this thief pay for her crimes?

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