Yearly Archives: 2012

Color-Change Diaspore

Other Names: empholite, kayserite
Origin of Name: Greek diaspora, meaning scattered
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Oxide mineral
Region: Russia, Turkey, Hungary, USA, South Africa, England
Color: White, yellow, green, gray,brown, colorless ( the colors change along with the lighting)
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6-7 (3.2-3.5)
Crystal System: Orthohombric
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

The name diaspora derived from the Greek word “Diaspore” which means scatter, and was named as such due to the fact of disintegration when heated to extreme temperatures, or exhibited to naked flame.
The first descriptions of this gemstone were in 1801 in the area of the Ural mountains, Russia.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Diaspore occurs as an alteration of corundum or emery, and is most often discovered in granular limestone or other crystalline rocks.
It is a native aluminum oxide hydroxide, at often occurs as flat crystals, but in most cases as a mass.
Color change Diaspore may change its color depending on the specific lighting which exists in its environment, and thus it shows different colors in sunlight, yellow light, white light etc, thus somewhat resembling a chameleon.

3. Interesting Facts:

When Diaspore is heated to high temperatures it tends to disintegrate and scatter small pearly scales about.

4. Care and Storing:

Diaspore is not relatively high on the Mohs scale, therefore must be treated with care and kept away from harder minerals. Cleaning may be done with a soft cloth warm water and soap.

Clinohumite

Other Names: Titanclinohumite
Origin of Name: mineral humite
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: precious
Family: mineral, humite group
Region: Italy, Russia,Afghanistan ( further regions exist, but do not provide gemstone quality)
Color: red, brown-orange, yellow
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6 (3.2-3.4)
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Similar Minerals: norbergite, chondrodite

1. Legend and History:

Clinohumite is an uncommon mineral rarely found in gemstone quality. The first discovery of this “fiery” stone was in 1876 within the limestone ejecta of the volcano Vesuvius in Italy.
Later discoveries of gemstone quality clinohumite occurred in 1980 and 2000 in Pamir Asia, and Taymyr, Siberia , respectively.
The aforementioned deposits however are rather scarce and not mined too often, thus classifying this gemstone as extremely rare.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Clinohumite is a monoclinic mineral of the humite group found in shades of dark brown to orange yellow. As a product of metamorphism it occurs embedded in limestone, or as a minor component of peridotite masses in the Earth’s mantle, thus certain scientists believe this mineral plays an important role towards the Earth’s reservoir of water.
Gemstone quality deposits are scarcely found and extremely rare, thus only a few thousand Carats are known to exist in private collections.

3. Interesting Facts:

It has been reported in some cases that the same stone, but from different regions may have slight differences in reference to hardness and gravity, for example the Pamir variety has a hardness slightly higher than 6 and a slightly lower specific gravity.

4. Care and Storing:

Given the rarity of this wonderful gemstone which much mysticism surrounds, it best be kept safe, in a presentation box with cloth lining so as to be kept in its natural condition. Steam and ultrasound is not recommended to clean this stone, as is exposure to heat and chemicals. Warm water and a soft cloth will suffice to polish up the stone.

Citrine

Other Names: “stone of the mind”
Origin of Name: Latin word “citrus”
Meaning of the Stone: November Birthstone
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Quartz
Region: Brazil, USA, Madagascar, Russia, Czech Republic, Spain, France
Color: yellow, lemon-yellow, orange-yellow
Transparency: transparent-translucent
Fracture: conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7 (2.65)
Crystal System: trigonal
Similar Minerals: amethyst

1. Legend and History:

Citrine owes its name to the Latin word “citrus” which means lemon, due to its natural light yellow color.
During the Middle Ages, citrine was created by heating Amethyst, which also occurs today due to the fact that natural citrine is rather hard to find in pure form which can be cut and used as a gemstone.
This gemstone is believed to help in areas of digestion, health of the liver, kidney and heart. It is also said to promote creativity, and diminish low self esteem and destructive character.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Natural citrine is a type of crystalline quartz, and rather rare to find in its natural form; In many cases citrine is used as an alternative to topaz as it is thought to highly resemble it, although their mineral characteristics are completely different.
It is found in a variety of shapes and sizes, and is fairly reasonably priced in accordance to its beauty, thus quite often used for the creation of jewelry. It is found in various colorations of yellow, in mainly a transparent to translucent diaphaneity, and a hardness of 7.

3. Interesting Facts:

Due to the fact that pure citrine has become rather rare to find, but for certain mines in Brazil which still excavate large amounts, citrine sold on the market is in many cases heat treated amethyst or quartz.

4. Care and Storing:

Citrine is a beautiful gemstone which is best kept safe in a presentation box; although it has a relatively good hardness it is a very fragile gemstone. In reference to cleaning it is recommended to clean citrine with ultrasound, thus not losing any of its natural attributes and pure beauty.

Chrysoprase

Other Names: prase (reference to darker varieties)
Origin of Name: Greek chryso meaning gold and prassino meaning green
Meaning of the Stone: Gemstone of Sagittarius and Scorpio
Classification: semi-precious
Family: cryptocrystalline silica
Region: USA,Brazil, Australia, Tasmania, India, Russia, Kazakhstan
Color: emerald-green, blue-green, light green
Transparency: transparent to translucent
Fracture: conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6-7(2.50-2.70)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: prenite, variscite

1. Legend and History:

Chrysoprase was widely used by Ancient Greeks and Romans in order to make pins,bracelets, necklaces, and rings; In addition churches of later ages were also decorated with this stone. Chrysoprase, when worn as an amulet is said to protect from demons, jealousy and curses.
It is also believed to prevent depression, increase grace and fertility but also provide spiritual protection.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Chrysoprase is an emerald green variety of chalcedony owing it’s specific color to contents of nickel, rather than chromium which is found in the majority of green colored gemstones.
It is a fairly uncommon gemstone, however in existing deposits it is found in abundance, for example, in Kazakhstan, a recently found deposit, excavated chrysoprase mineral usually weighs at least one kilo. Russia also holds a large number of deposits, although the most important chrysoprase deposit, in reference to historical matters are those found in Poland. Chrysoprase is found mainly in USA, Brazil, Australia, Tasmania, India, Russia, and Kazakhstan, in colors ranging from emerald-green, to blue-green and light green, in many cases resembling turquoise, and thus used in the ornamental and jewelry industry.

3. Interesting Facts:

As chrysoprase is a green colored variety of chalcedony, one may often encounter colored chalcedony sold as chrysoprase.

4. Care and Storing:

The color of this gemstone may fade when left in sunlight or a direct source of heat, therefore it is best kept in a dark cool place, preferably in a presentation box; To clean chrysoprase hot water and soap is sufficient, however caution must be taken when the gemstone has inclusions.

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.