The Lion Emerald crystal, feature on Thorn & Vine blog with gemologist and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Inspiring Emerald Gem Discovery

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There’s been some neat discoveries coming up on my radar as a gemologist, and I love to collect these tidbits for inspiration for stories, especially if it involves emeralds. I thought you’d like to share some of the most dramatic ones of late. My love of emeralds Emeralds have always fascinated me, even before I […]

Mashka Jewelers with Gemologist and Author Elizabeth Van Tassel, books with gems displayed.

Mashka Jewelers, San Francisco

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I discovered wonderful Mashka Jewelers, truly a new favorite treasure by the historic area of Fisherman’s Wharf, where seagulls fly high, swimmers brave the brisk waves with Alcatraz in the distance, and fog burns away to reveal historic vessels and blue waters. I was with friends visiting San Francisco at the iconic Ghirardelli Square, the […]

Great Fake, Great Escapes – Royal Wedding Repost

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In honor of the Royal Wedding, I’m re-posting this fun tidbit about the royal crown. Did you know there’s a mystery right there? What are your plans for the wedding this weekend? Did you know that the large ruby, called the Black Prince’s Ruby, on the front of Britain’s Imperial State Crown isn’t a ruby […]

The Allure of pink diamonds with gemologist and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

The Allure of Pink Diamonds

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To celebrate spring, we’re starting a new series with a gem of the month beginning with pink diamonds. My personal favorite gem stone is very rare, and even a bit mysterious. Perhaps as a gem mystery/fantasy author, that’s why I like it so much. I first saw the gem while I was in school to […]

Fourtané Jewelers delights with stories behind gems

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On a cold, rainy day in Carmel, CA, I tucked inside and found a whole other world with the wonderful, historic Fourtané Jewelers. As a gemologist, I’m always looking for exceptional jewelry, and as a resilience expert I love to focus on beauty. I was especially thrilled to spend time with their master jeweler who […]

Enter A World of Gems with Eiseman Jewels

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Join me for a special visit to Richard Eiseman Jewels, where I used to work as a gemologist, in Dallas, Texas. It is a joy to introduce you to some of my favorite people and an exceptional purveyor of fine jewelry and watches. Come get up close to gorgeous pearls, diamonds that capture a ray […]

A Dog with Diamonds

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A Dog with Diamonds? An intriguing curse? A miserable queen? Could so much adventure be wrapped up in the Hope Diamond? This may sound like a storyline for Raiders of the Lost Ark, except this all involves  one very famous gemstone called the Hope Diamond. It is an extraordinary deep blue color and weighs 45.53 […]

San Francisco Christmas Gem Tour

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As a little holiday gift, I’m taking you gem shopping in San Francisco. In addition to being a resilience expert, I also am a graduate gemologist and write gem-filled mysteries for teens and tweens. It’s been a good year, and together we’ve tackled tough topics in life, bringing new insights together for more resilience in […]