Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chrysocolla

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Greek words “chryso” and “colla” which means gold glue.
Meaning of the Stone: Gemini Strasign
Classification: semi-precious
Family: silica mineral
Region: USA, Mexico, Peru, Canada, South Africa, Congo, Zimbabwe. Russia
Color: blue-green, blue, emerald green, turquoise
Transparency: Translucent to Opaque
Fracture: Sub-conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 2.5-3.5(1.9-2.4)
Crystal System: Orthohombric
Similar Minerals: azurite, limonite

1. Legend and History:

Chrysocolla received its name from the Greek words chryso and colla, which literally means gold-glue as it was used as a substance to stick gold parts together; The first mentioning of this stone was by Theophrastus in 315BC.
Native Indian tribes used Chrysocolla as a healing stone, as they believed it strengthened the body’s resistance to illness.
In addition, it is said to help in the prevention of stomach ulcers, mitigate spasms, encourage clarity, and decrease nervousness. Furthermore, when applied to an affected area this stone may help the healing process for infections, high blood pressure, burns, and cramps.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chrysocolla is a rather common stone to be found in nature, however, the semi-precious variety of chrysocolla is considered somewhat of a rarity as it is not often encountered. Major deposits of this gemstone exist in the US, specifically New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Arizona.
Chrysocolla is a minor ore of copper, as it forms in the oxidation zones of copper ore bodies.
It is usually cut into cabochons or used for micro sculpting; due to its relative softness it is not often used in order to create jewelry, however, in some cases where it is found in quartz deposits it becomes hard enough to polish and create jewelry with.

3. Interesting Facts:

Due to the specific color of this gemstone, it is often confused with turquoise.

4. Care and Storing:

Chrysocolla must be kept safe from knocks and other harder minerals as it is a very soft gemstone, thus it is recommended to store in a presentation box alone, or with other stones of similar hardness. To clean this gemstone only water and soap is necessary, it must however be kept in mind that sudden alterations of temperature do not benefit the stone.

Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye

Other Names: Chrysolite
Origin of Name: Greek “chryso” meaning gold, and beryl
Meaning of the Stone: Gemini starsign
Classification: precious
Family: Oxide Mineral
Region: Sri Lanka,India,China,Madagascar,Zimbabwe, Brazil,USA,
Color: colorless, yellow,gold,brown,golden-brown
Transparency: Translucent,Transparent
Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 8.5( 3.68-3.80)
Crystal System: orthorhombic
Similar Minerals: alexandrite,cymophane

1. Legend and History:

Chrysoberyl received its name from its color, as chryso means gold in Greek, therefore, as gold variety of Beryl.
It is believed to hold great soothing powers, and the yellow variety of this gemstone is used to heal spasms of the stomach; It was considered in the past to be a gemstone which protects it’s wearer from any disastrous situation, but also promote concentration and the ability to learn and enable clear thinking.
Chrysoberyl cats eye in particular is said to have all the aforementioned attributes, yet even further enhanced as it is one of the most beautiful gemstones naturally produced.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chrysoberyl is the third hardest natural gemstone at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness; it occurs as a result of pegmatitic processes.
Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye, or chatoyant Chrysoberyl, is a variety of Chrysoberyl which once cut with this specific method, shows a beautiful streak of light running through the middle, thus resembling the eye of the cat. It shows a magnificent play of light and is most appreciated due to the fact that this is a natural occurrence. As with Chrysoberyl, cat’s eye varieties may be cut in various shapes, although in order for the beautiful natural streak to be more evident, a rounded cut is more fit, and may be used to create rings and necklaces which display the effect to the fullest.
5. Interesting facts:

In the past, Chrysoberyl was considered to be mere beryl, and was used for simple jewelry.

6. Care and Storing:

As Chrysoberyl is one of the hardest natural gemstones, storage and cleaning of this stone is relatively easy, but it must however be stored away from softer gemstones in order not to damage them.

Chrysoberyl

Other Names: Chrysolite
Origin of Name: Greek “chryso” meaning gold, and beryl
Meaning of the Stone: Gemini starsign
Classification: precious
Family: Oxide Mineral
Region: Sri Lanka,India,China,Madagascar,Zimbabwe, Brazil,USA,
Color: colorless, yellow,gold,green,brown,golden-brown
Transparency: Translucent,Transparent
Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 8.5( 3.68-3.80)
Crystal System: orthorhombic
Similar Minerals: alexandrite,cymophane

1. Legend and History:

Chrysoberyl received its name from its color, as chryso means gold in Greek, therefore, as gold variety of Beryl.
It is believed to hold great soothing powers, and the yellow variety of this gemstone is used to heal spasms of the stomach; It was considered in the past to be a gemstone which protects it’s wearer from any disastrous situation, but also promote concentration and the ability to learn and enable clear thinking.
Chrysoberyl cats eye in particular is said to have all the aforementioned attributes, yet even further enhanced as it is one of the most beautiful gemstones naturally produced.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chrysoberyl is the third hardest natural gemstone at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness; it occurs as a result of pegmatitic processes.
Chrysoberyl and cymophane are both gemstones which have been known for many years, mainly in the mines of Ratnapura in Sri Lanka. Colorless Chrysoberyl stones are more easily found in the region of Mogok, Burma, but also China.
One of the most fascinating Chrysoberyl gemstones ever found however was in Sri Lanka, weighing 475 carats, belonging to the British Imperial Treasure. It is a relatively hard gemstone which is found in a range of colors, and thus is able to be used in the creation of jewelry and ornaments, as it is fairly easily cut in to various shapes and sizes.

4. Interesting Facts:

In the past, Chrysoberyl was considered to be mere beryl, and was used for simple jewelry.

5. Care and Storing:

As Chrysoberyl is one of the hardest natural gemstones, storage and cleaning of this stone is relatively easy, but it must however be stored away from softer gemstones in order not to damage them.

Chrome Tourmaline

Other Names: toramelli,thuramali
Origin of Name: Toramelli, from the Sri Lankan dialect
Meaning of the Stone: Pisces Zodiac sign
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Cyclosilicate
Region: Brazil, Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Afghanistan,Mozambique, Madagascar,Russia
Color: colorless, green, dual colored
Transparency: translucent to opaque
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5(3.02-3.41)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: amethyst,chrysoberyl, sapphire,ruby,topaz,zirkon

1. Legend and History:

The name Tourmaline derives from the Sri Lankan expression “tura malli” which literally means, stone of many colors; As there is a range of colors in which tourmaline is available, and some stones even show bi-colorations, it has been called the “rainbow gemstone”, especially in Ancient Egypt where the popular belief was that when Tourmaline travels from the depths of the earth, to the surface it brought with it a rainbow in order to announce its arrival, but also color itself.
Due to Tourmaline’s electrical properties it has often been used to transfer energy.
The Dutch first brought over Tourmaline to Europe in 1703, as at that time it was sparsely used as a gemstone, they also used it however in order to clean their pipes, due to the piezoelectricity which it exhibits, allowing for it to attract small particles of dust and ash.
In addition, Tourmaline is believed to stimulate artistic assets of its wearer, and thus has gained the belief to be a spiritual stone.
Chrome Tourmaline is considered to be of the most valuable variety of green tourmalines, as is also extremely rare.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Tourmaline is mainly found in pegmatites, granite, and metamorphic stone, i.e marble. It is a cyclosilicate mineral and is found with elements such as aluminum,iron,magnesium and potassium. Some of the world’s most beautiful Tourmaline gemstones are excavated in Brazil, and more specifically the Minas Gerais mines; One meter in length crystals have been found in 1978 in an area called Rocket,Rose of Italiaia.
Tourmaline however comes in certain species and varieties, such as, the Dravite species, Schorl species, Elbaite species, all receiving their names from the specific localities in which they were found.

4. Interesting Facts:

A unique tourmaline gemstone is found in Russia, and is 255 carats; At first however this gemstone was thought to be a ruby and was part of Rudolph II collection in Prague, possibly arriving from Burma.

5. Care and Storing:

Tourmaline must be cleaned only with soap and water; Steam or ultrasound is not recommended in order to care for such a gemstone. Colorful gemstone varieties of tourmaline are extremely fragile around the areas in which the colors change, thus must be treated with care and stored in presentation boxes away from harder stone.

Chrome Diopside

Other Names: Siberian Emerald
Origin of Name: Diopside derives from Greek, meaning two faces, Chrome refers to the ingredient
Meaning of the Stone: Zodiac sign of the pisces
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Silicate Mineral
Region: Russia,Cuba,Kenya,Madagascar,new Zealand, Australia,Japan,Finland,Romania
Color: emerald green
Transparency: transparent,translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal, irregular
Hardness (Gravity): 5.5-6.5( 3.17-3.32)
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Similar Minerals: Emeralds

1. Legend and History:

Chrome Diopside received it’s name from the greek words “dio” and “opsi” meaning two faces due to the fact that it has two ways of orienting the vertical prism; Chrome diopside is simply a better quality of diopside which in fact included chrome, thus adopting such a descriptive name.
It has only recently been used as a semi-precious gemstone and is thus rather popular in the trade, as the only stone in such a color in the past was the emerald, which was not available to a large number of buyers.
Chrome diopside is believed to enhance creativity and it’s wearers intellect;in addition it is said to protect from evil and certain chronic diseases, but also heal the heart,lungs, and circulation, along with psychological disorders and weakness.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chrome diopside is a constituent of peridotite xenoliths, grains of which are found near kimberlite, thus often indicating near-by deposits of diamonds.
Some of the most rarest and most beautiful excavations of chrome diopside have occured in Siberia, where crystals of up to ten centimeters high are considered the rarest; The chrome diopside excavated in that particular area of Siberia, Inagli, is often referred to as “Siberian Emerald”, due to it’s beautiful lustrous look, and dark green color, resembling emeralds of the finest quality. These gemstones are usually cut in a cabochon style or an edged cut, depending on the use and the specific quality. Chrome diopside is mainly used for the creation of wonderful looking jewelry.

4. Interesting Facts:

Diopside is generally considered to be an important mineral in the Earth’s mantle.

5. Care and Storing:

Due to the specific fracture of chrome diopside, it must be protected from knocks and sudden alterations in temperature. It is best cleaned with no chemicals, but rather warm water and 0Ph soap.

Chocolate Opal

Other Names: Ethiopian Opal
Origin of Name: Chocolate color of gemstone
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: Precious
Family: Mineraloid
Region: Ethiopia
Color: Brown, with colorful specs showing all around
Transparency: translucent to opaque
Fracture: Conchoidal-uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 5.5-6.5(1.98-2.25)
Crystal System: Amorphous
Similar Minerals: Opal,Agate,Onyx,Chrysopase

1. Legend and History:

Chocolate Opal, or also known as Ethiopian Opal due to the fact that it is only excavated in Ethiopia, was discovered in 1995, around 150 miles away from the capital, Addis Adaba.
This precious chocolate opal is said to hold mysterious, powerful and emotive attributes as it induces visions and stimulates original and dynamic creativity. In addition, it allows for peace and serenity of the mind and a clear view to its wearers inner world, allowing greater insight and intuition.

2. Origin in nature and use:

This precious stone of gem quality enhances a diverse play of colors when looked at from different angles;It has a high level of brightness and exhibits multiple patterns with glossy shines of color.
Chocolate opal is in fact volcanic in its origin and is found in a nodular form in volcanic ash.
It should be pointed out that estimated figures drawn up in 1995 have shown that approximately 15% of the overall opal recovered was of gem quality, and from that 1% showed the aforementioned “play of colors”. The truly rare chocolate opals which are found, and exhibit a marvelous play of color are sold at very high prices and may be used to create wonderful jewelry pieces, or simply be used as a precious gemstone on display in a presentation box.

4. Interesting Facts:

Opal’s internal structure allows for it to have the ability to diffract light, therefore, depending on conditions, it can present an array of colors.

5. Care and Storing:

Chocolate opal should be kept in a soft pouch or presentation box, as knocks and sudden changes of temperature must be avoided; It is best kept separate from other gems as it may be scratched easily and loose some of its quality colorations. In reference to cleaning, warm water and a soft cloth is recommended, rather than any chemicals or steam.

Charoite

Other Names:
Origin of Name: It’s name originates from the Siberian river Chara
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious
Family: silicate mineral
Region: Russia, Yakuita Siberia (it is found in only one region)
Color: light to dark purple, violet, sometimes blue-purple
Transparency: Translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 5-6(2.54-2.68)
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Similar Minerals: sugilite

1. Legend and History:

Charoite, which it’s name derives from the river Chara in Siberia,Russia, is a semi-precious gemstone which has been used for the creation of artifacts since the 1950’s, thus having a fairly recent history. Many beautiful charoite vases have been found on the market, although the majority, of precious vases, created in Russia are still kept away as family artifacts.
Charoite is however believed to have certain healing and legendary powers, such as the ability to cleanse and purify ones energy, whilst also getting rid of negative energy existing in the body.
In addition it is believed to enhance ones self-esteem accelerate spirituality and improve the ability to love.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Charoite is found only in Russia, and more specifically in the Murun deposit of Yakutia, in Siberia,Russia, where it is found around a ten kilometer radius in alkaline veins. 90 percent of the gemstone is pure charoite whilst the remaining 10 percent is a mix of ore and metal. The most common cut used is that of cabochon, but charoite is also popular in the creation of sculptures and other household decorations, i.e vases, ornaments.

4. Interesting Facts:

Charoite did not become known to the Western world until 1978; before that it was purely used in Russia.

5. Care and Storing:

This marvelous gemstone must be kept safe from bumps and hits, and also away from relatively harder gemstones as it is easily damaged and cracked. Cleaning is recommended with warm water, soap and a soft brush.

Chalcedony

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Ancient Greek Town in Minor Asia, “χαλκηδονα”
Meaning of the Stone: Capricorn Zodiac stone
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Oxide Mineral
Region:USA,Austria,Czech Republic,Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Canada,Mexico,Iceland, Russia,Brazil,Morocco
Color: pink, blue, red, green, gray, white, yellow,black [note that there are several stones belonging to the chalcedony family, thus more colors exist, and some multicolored stones also i.e heliotrope] Transparency: transparent to opaque
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 6-7(2.59-2.61)
Crystal System: Trigonal,Monoclinic
Similar Minerals: Agate,carnelian, chrysoprase,Onyx

1. Legend and History:

Archeological findings have shown that chalcedony was in use from the Bronze Age, specifically in the Mediterranean region, i.e the island of Crete, and it’s major use was for the creation of seals.
Findings from trade routes though have also shown that the specific stone was also used to carve ring bezels, and beads, which have a Graeco-Roman influence.
This stone is thought to promote and enhance an essence of brotherhood and good mood, whilst also help in the transmission of thoughts and telepathy. It absorbs negative energy and in addition dissolves it so as to avoid further conveyance; furthermore, it is believed to help with the healing of depression and sadness but also banish fear. Also, chalcedony is believed to balance the body and ones emotions, whilst also heal the eyes, bones, spleen, blood, and circulation.
Further colorations of chalcedony however, such as those mentioned above, are thought to have added values and healing attributes; Dendritic chalcedony for example promotes clear and precise thinking, and is best used when under pressure or while under verbal attack, as it allows for a clear mind and well constructed answers. Red chalcedony gives power and helps with an ultimate achievement of goals.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chalcedony (also cryptocrystalline), from the latin word calcedonius, originating from the Greek khalkedon [χαλκηδονα] is a fibrous quartz form of silica also composed of moganite, thus allowing for a trigonal and monoclinic crystal structure. It has a waxy luster and may be found in various colors and varieties, such as blue chalcedony, dendritic chalcedony, pink chalcedony, red chalcedony, chrome chalcedony, agate, aventurine, carnelian, chrysoprase, heliotrope, moss agate, and onyx.

4. Interesting Facts:

In ancient times, chalcedony was used in order to create grails which were then silver-plated in order to prevent poisoning.

5. Care and Storing:

Although chalcedony is fairly durable, scratches may be caused to its surface, thus jewelry needs to be gently polished with a soft cloth; furthermore, the color of a chalcedony stone may be influenced by sunlight and temperature, thus it must be stored out of direct light and high temperatures, use of a presentation box may be wise for storing.

Cat’s Eye Tourmaline

Other Names: toramelli,thuramali
Origin of Name: Toramelli, from the Sri Lankan dialect
Meaning of the Stone: Pisces Zodiac sign
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Cyclosilicate
Region: Brazil, Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Afghanistan,Mozambique, Madagascar,Russia
Color: colorless, black,green,blue,yellow,brown, and some dual colored
Transparency: translucent to opaque
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5(3.02-3.41)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: amethyst,chrysoberyl, sapphire,ruby,topaz,zirkon

1. Legend and History:

The name Tourmaline derives from the Sri Lankan expression “tura malli” which literally means, stone of many colors; As there is a range of colors in which tourmaline is available, and some stones even show bi-colorations, it has been called the “rainbow gemstone”, especially in Ancient Egypt where the popular belief was that when Tourmaline travels from the depths of the earth, to the surface it brought with it a rainbow in order to announce its arrival, but also color itself.
Due to Tourmaline’s electrical properties it has often been used to transfer energy.
The Dutch first brought over Tourmaline to Europe in 1703, as at that time it was sparsely used as a gemstone, they also used it however in order to clean their pipes, due to the piezoelectricity which it exhibits, allowing for it to attract small particles of dust and ash.
In addition, Tourmaline is believed to stimulate artistic assets of its wearer, and thus has gained the belief to be a spiritual stone.
Cat’s eye Tourmaline is considered rather rare, and is more frequently being sought for due to its distinguishable beauty and effects and colorations which it exhibits.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Tourmaline is mainly found in pegmatites, granite, and metamorphic stone, i.e marble. It is a cyclosilicate mineral and is found with elements such as aluminum,iron,magnesium and potassium. Some of the world’s most beautiful Tourmaline gemstones are excavated in Brazil, and more specifically the Minas Gerais mines; One meter in length crystals have been found in 1978 in an area called Rocket,Rose of Italiaia.
Tourmaline however comes in certain species and varieties, such as, the Dravite species, Schorl species, Elbaite species, all receiving their names from the specific localities in which they were found.

4. Interesting Facts:

A unique tourmaline gemstone is found in Russia, and is 255 carats; At first however this gemstone was thought to be a ruby and was part of Rudolph II collection in Prague, possibly arriving from Burma.

5. Care and Storing:

Tourmaline must be cleaned only with soap and water; Steam or ultrasound is not recommended in order to care for such a gemstone. Colorful gemstone varieties of tourmaline are extremely fragile around the areas in which the colors change, thus must be treated with care and stored in presentation boxes away from harder stones.

Cat’s Eye Scapolite

Other Names: Wernerite
Origin of Name: Latin “scapus” and Greek “lithos”
Meaning of the Stone: Literally meaning rod-stone
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Tectosilicates
Region: Brazil,Tanzania, Sri Lanka,Canada, Mozambique, Russia,Finland,Sweden,Norway
Color: colorless,grey-white,grey-green,light blue,pink,purple,green-yellow,brown,orange
Transparency: Transparent to translucent
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 5-6(2.50-2.62)
Crystal System: Tetragonal-Dipyramidal
Similar Minerals: Marialite,Meionite,Analcime

1. Legend and History:

The name scapolite derives from the Latin word scapus, which means rod/shaft, and the Greek word lithos, meaning stone, and this is due to the way in which it is usually excavated, as it is in a form of stubby prismatic crystals, thus resembling some sort of rod.
Although scapolite has been described and mentioned as early as the 1800s, it has rarely been used as a semi-precious stone, but for recent years; It is not widely known as a gemstone and is also rather rare. The original discovery of scapolite occured in 1913, in Burma, more specifically the Mogok Stone Tract.
It is furthermore believed that the wearer of cat’s eye scapolite is to have good health, wealth, strong determination, knowledge and also protection from enemies.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Scapolite is found in many deposits around the world, however, due to the fact that it is found rather sparsely and in small pockets, it is deemed a rather rare stone. Major excavations of yellow,pink,purple and blue gemstones have occurred in Burma, and many of these gemstones are a cat’s eye variety.
Cat’s eye scapolite is usually cut into cabochons in order to fully display the coloration and effect given by this type of stone; a variety of jewelry can be made with cat’s eye scapolite, including necklaces, cufflinks and rings. It is a remarkable stone which can be used for the creation of many interesting pieces simply due to the effect which it possesses.

4. Interesting Facts:

The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, holds on display one of the rarest cat’s eye scapolite gems at 29.9 carats.

5. Care and Storing:

Scapolite needs to be protected from abrupt movement and hits, but also to excessive changes in its environment, including temperature. In addition it must be kept away from flames, and should only be cleaned with soap and water. Laser enhanced gemstones may also tend to fade in sunlight.