Category Archives: Gemstones

Ametrine

Other Names: Bolivianita
Meaning of the Stone: Birthstone of February and November, as it is a mix of amethyst and citrine
Classification: precious gemstone
Family: Silica, Quartz
Region: Bolivia (although easily found, there is only one deposit)
Color: Violet and yellow
Transparency: Transparent
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 7 (2.65)
Crystal System: Amorphous
Similar minerals: amethyst, citrine

1. Legend and History:

Ametrine is a relatively new found crystal upon which not many historical events and legends have occurred; It is however said to hold the attributes of both amethyst and citrine and combine them with its own unique powers.
It is believed that ametrine reaches to the root of problems, thus allowing for it’s wearer to easily speak and solve his inner problems with people close to him.Furthermore, it’s cleansing abilities are said to dissolve negativeness, and toxins from the body.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Ametrine is a natural mixture of amethyst and citrine; the exact occurrence of the mixture is not fully known in the scientific community, and it may take decades for the exact reason of formation to be known, it is thought however to be formed by a combined effect of high pressure and temperature in deposits which hold both amethyst and citrine, thus causing the later to fuse with the first and adopt a partial area of its color. It is also considered possible that the bi-coloration of the gem is due to a difference in temperature and pressure in the course of one stone meaning in layman’s terms, that only a part of the crystal has heated to the extent to which it adopted the color of amethyst.

Most ametrine crystals are shaped in an emerald cut, however, when one cuts such crystals significant consideration must be given to the percentage of colorations; most gem cutters aim to achieve a 50-50 cut in order to preserve an equal amount of both colors, this method however quickly became too classic for buyers, but also left much ametrine unused.
Furthermore, another fact which must be known in reference to the Ametrine stone, is that much of the ametrine being sold nowadays comes from Russia, and therefore is synthetic; it has many similar physical properties to true ametrine as it is it’s natural counterpart, thus causing difficulties in identification processes. Easily identifiable “fake” ametrine however is that which seems to contain combinations of green and yellow, or light blue, as these colorations do not naturally occur.

3. Interesting Facts:

Ametrine is found in one deposit, that of the Anahi mines, in Bolivia; The Anahi mines received their name in a rather interesting manner. It is said that in the 17th century, a Spanish respected political figure received the mine as a marriage settlement of a princess from the Ayoreos tribe, the Indian tribe which lived in that area; The name of the princess was Anahi.

4. Care and Storing:

As has been mentioned above, only one deposit of ametrine exists, thus the timeframe in which such crystals will be around for is unknown, meaning that owners of such beautiful bi-colored stones should store them safely in a soft presentation box or velvet pouch, and clean the frequently with warm water and a soft cloth, paying attention to the detail, and not using toxic or alcohol based solutions.

Danburite


DanburiteOther Names:
Origin of Name: Location, Danbury, USA
Meaning of the Stone: Leo starsign
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Tectosilicates
Region: USA, Mexico, Bolivia, Japan,Russia,Madagascar
Color: colorless, yellow(light-faded) grey,brown,pink
Transparency: transparent, translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 7-7.5 (2.97-3.03)
Crystal System: orthohombric
Similar Minerals: Topaz, Apatite, Citrine

1. Legend and History:

Danburite is a relatively newly discovered stone carrying no historical or legendary matters; It was first discovered in 1839 by Charles Upham Shephard in Danbury, Connecticut, USA, and this is where it’s name derived from.
Danburite is said to be a stone of strong spirituality and an excellent crystal for the relief of stress and worries. In addition, it is said to help with restless sleep disorders, stimulation of the heart, and bring on its wearer a positive outlook on life.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Danburite is a common mineral, but rather rare as a semi-precious gemstone. Honey colored crystals are known to be excavated in Baja, California, while colorless crystals, of up to 10cm high are found in Charcas, Mexico.
In addition, Russia, Bolivia, and Burma also have Danburite deposits where large white, yellow and green crystals have been found.
This gemstone is usually cut en cabochon or with flat sides to be put on jewelry as it resembles topaz and citrine both which are rather expensive and rare.

3. Interesting Facts:

Danburite has often been referred to as the stone of “joy and celebration”.

4. Care and Storing:

Danburite is best stored in a presentation box or soft cloth pouch; It is cleaned with water and soap. Danburite must not be cleaned with steam or use of ultrasound.

Coral


Coral, Coral gemstone, Coral jewelryOther Names: Precious coral, red coral
Origin of Name: Greek Word «κοραλι» meaning coral
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Corallium rubrum
Region: Australia, Algeria, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Mauritius, Cuba
Color: Red, pink, rarely white, light blue, black
Transparency: opaque
Fracture:
Hardness (Gravity): 3.5-4 (2.6-2.7)
Crystal System:
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

Coral has been found in archeological sites which date back to 10.000BC; It was very popular in Ancient Egypt for the art of jewelry making, but also in Celtic tribes, from which it is believed to have got its name from.
Coral had a great trade associated to it in the beginning of the Christian Era, from the Mediterranean to India where it was believed to have many mystical powers.
The Romans believed that coral, when hung around children’s necks, would protect them from danger.
It is believed that coral sharpens the mind, and cleanses the urinal path but also heals problems of the eyes.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Coral, is in fact a species of marine life, and is the common name given to the specific species of corallium rubrum, It is rather durable in the form of a gemstone and used for many types of jewelry.
The hard skeleton of coral is matte in its natural form, but most often polished up to provide a glossy shine when used in jewelry. As coral is relatively soft however, it is usually cut en cabochon or used in order to make beads.

3. Interesting Facts:

In Ancient Greek Mythology, I is said that Poseidon, the God of the Seas, lived in a palace which solely made out of coral.

4. Care and Storing:

Coral should be protected from heat, sweat, and beauty products which may make it fade and loose it’s natural color. There are however techniques for coral to get back its color, mainly by dipping it into hydrogen superoxide. Soap and water is recommended in order to clean coral, while heat and ultrasound should be avoided.

Color-Change Sapphire


Other Names:
Origin of Name: Greek «σαπφειρος»
Meaning of the Stone: September birthstone
Classification: precious
Family: Oxide Mineral
Region: Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Canada, Brazil, (Tanzania is the main deposit for color-change sapphire)
Color: Varieties of blue, purple, blue-purple, pink-orange
Transparency: transparent to translucent, opaque
Fracture: conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 9 (3.99-4.10)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: Tourmaline, Topaz, Zircon, Tanzanite

1. Legend and History:

The remarkable beauty and amazing properties of sapphire have intrigued people from the beginning of historical times; In the past the majority of blue precious and semi precious stones were named sapphires. It was not until the 19th century when sapphires and rubies were recognized as varieties of corundum. In Medieval times sapphire was said to reflect the sky and the highest of spiritual values.
Sapphire is considered to be a symbol of wealth and prestige, and is said to relieve it’s wearer from pain, protect from evil, as well as bring power, honor and immortality to its wearer.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Color change sapphire is considered to be a highly rare variety of sapphire, as it has the ability to exhibit different colors in different light, thus being blue when outdoors and purple when in indoor light, but also pink and green.
Not all stones exhibit the same change in color; others change fully while others only partially, like for example a change from blue to bluish purple.
Although color change sapphire deposits are found in many regions, the main location for high quality gemstones is in Tanzania.

3. Interesting Facts:

Given the remarkable hardness that the sapphire stone exhibits, it is not only used in jewelry making; Sapphire crystal is used for most watches as it does not break easily and is fairly scratchproof. In addition, some high quality windows are made of sapphire.

4. Care and Storing:

Sapphire should be protected from high temperatures as it may lose its color and beauty. Cleaning sapphire has no true limitations and any method may be preferred, caution must be taken however when the crystal has inclusions.

Color-Change Garnet

Other Names: Granat
Origin of Name: French (pomme) grenat,
Meaning of the Stone: January Birthstone
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Nesosilicate
Region: USA, South Africa, Russia,
Color: Technically all colors (blue however is visible in specific lighting)
Transparency: transparent,translucent
Fracture: conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7.5(3.1-4.3)
Crystal System: Cubic, rhombic
Similar Minerals: Ruby, emerald, chrome diopside

1. Legend and History:

The name garnet is said to originally derive from the latin “granatus” which means seed, however, a more efficient meaning is that of the French word (pomme) grenat, meaning pomegranate as most garnet crystals look like the seeds found inside a pomegranate.
Garnet was, for many years, a very sought for semi-precious stone, as jewelry has been found which is dated back to the 6th century B.C. Plinius named all stones which had a reddish color, including garnet, carbunculi.
It is believed that garnet protects it’s wearer from enemies, stimulates the imagination and strengthens the power of love. In addition it is said to cure arthritis, rheumatism, and gaps in the memory.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Garnet is a color changing gemstone, occurring in every color except blue, which may only be seen under specific lighting and circumstances; Most varieties of garnet are named based on their color, for example pyrope garnet received its name from its red almost fire like color.
The main varieties of garnet recognized are, pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite, and andradite.
Garnet is mainly used as a gemstone to create beautiful jewelry as it may be found in many colors depending on the variety, thus resembling Alexandrite which is a highly expensive and rare stone.

3. Interesting Facts:

The rarest of the Garnet varieties, which was not discovered until the 1990s, is the blue garnet, a color thought not to exist in garnet. Although the blue color can only be seen under specific lighting and environment.

4. Care and Storing:

Garnet must be kept from sudden changes in temperature and knocks. Cleaning must take place only with water and soap, followed by a soft cloth; Steam cleaning is not recommended for garnet and should be avoided.

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.