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Information on top and semi precious gemstones

Here are different gemstones

Agate consists of silicon dioxide which was sediment in ancient times to form beautiful flowing bands of different texture and colors. There are always many layers and bands of differing materials in all sorts of designs and colors - in quartz, chalcedony, jasper, or iron oxides - making agate one of the most intriguing gemstones for lapidary.

They have been popular in talismans over the centuries. Beautiful specimens of concentric rings are found at Winona, Minnesota. Heating agate artificially produces even more spectacular colors.  There are  many different kinds such as: Moss or Seaweed Agates, Coral, Crazy-lace, Plume or Scenic, Tree, Onyx, Eye and Rainbow or Iris Agate.


Amber  The name is Arabic but it has come to us from the French and in Greek it means 'electricity'. Pliny asserted amber as the sap of certain trees. It is now confirmed to be the fossil resin of an extinct species of pine tree of the Tertiary period. . It frequently preserves within itself plant structures and insects. In prehistoric it was used as a talismanic charm against disease and also burnt as incense.

It has a peculiar electrical property discovered by Thales, one of the 7 sages of Greece, when it is subjected to friction on a natural woolen material to demonstrate an electro/magnetic power. Amber is found in colors from green to gold and orange, brown and even red. It is found either clear or opaque in nature with any cloudy appearance caused by imprisoned bubbles.

Amber was also employed as an essence or scent and still is used as an ingredient in modern perfumes.


Amber has wide distribution in Europe, Sicily and the Adriatic, Australasia, America and Russia, Siberia, Greenland, U.S, Mexico, Burma and Romania . It is occasionally washed up on beaches.

Amethyst is a form of quartz usually grown on a rock or colored rock crystal consisting of silica. It has a a beautiful color in the pink to violet spectrum, amethyst is widely available and even as it is not expensive there are some crooks who are painting this crystals. This is very common in Morocco where they offer this stones at the roadside especially on the roads from the center to the south off the country, more.

Aquamarine is a transparent pale blue gemstone of the beryl family, the iron contamination gives the green / blue tiny. The stone is quite low priced but looks very good. Often used in a composition with other previous stone and with silver or white gold, more.


Beryl is used as a copper alloy and also in constructing the atomic bomb. Beryl and Aquamarine differ only in color - Beryl is bright blue to white and Aquamarine is sea green to deep green.

Best known is the deep green form of beryl, the precious emerald. The yellow beryl is the heliodor and pink beryl is morganite and there is also an extremely rare Red Beryl. Beryl is known for its huge crystals.

At Madagascar a single crystal weighing nearly 40 tons far surpassing the 18-27 foot monster ones previously obtained from New England.

Bloodstone is opaque and always cut as a cabochon, or un-faceted stone. It is a variety of green Jasper with many blood red specks in its composition. These are formed by iron oxide with which it is impregnated. Ancient Egyptians highly valued bloodstone amulets. It was once very popular in cutting seals and cameos.

Found in India, Siberia and Russia. The Chinese believe it produces best results when set in gold.

201 carat watch by Chopard
201 carat jewelry watch by Chopard

Carnelian (Cornelian)

This is a translucent, orangey-red chalcedony sometimes found in yellowish tones and white, frequently with two combined. On
exposure to the Sun the hues become brighter but not in artificial light. It is capable of high polish which was why it was considered as the best stone to use as a seal, according to Pliny. The transparent red type of carnelian is known as Sard and comes from Arabia, India, New Zealand, Europe, Mesopotamia, Surinam and Siberia. Many ancient Etruscan and Egyptian scarabaei have been found carved from this stone. Buddhism includes this in sacred 7 stones -Tibetans call it A-yu and as talisman has occult properties.

coral necklace jewelry and turquoise beads
Coral necklace jewelry and turquoise beads


Coral is formed by calcium carbonate in the skeletons of colonies of soft bodied mollusks in tropical waters. It ranges in color from the rare black, to pink and reddish-orange, the classical "coral" of fashion. It is also found in a blue color.

Carnelian backlit by the sun
Carnelian backlit by the sun

The ancient Romans and Greeks used corals in ornamentation. Red, pink, white and blue corals are made of calcium carbonate but black and golden corals are formed of the horny substance conchiolin. In all  corals the skeletal structure is visible as delicately

striped of spotted graining. Red and pink corals from the Mediterranean. were popular for centuries and often used in rosaries. There was an extensive trade through Europe into Arabia and to India where coral was also used medicinally. The black and golden coralsfished off Hawaii, Australia and West Indies are more recent discoveries.


- Rock Crystal or Frozen Water has always been considered a pure stone and once used as a divining stone and in modern fortune telling when the gypsies keep the tradition alive in using a crystal ball, a custom which is said to have begun in Persia. The stone is traditionally associated with mystical properties and linked to the moon. It is one of the 7 sacred substances of Buddhism. Its crystal has 6 sides and rarely is it found in large pieces - but the largest quartz crystal ever found was in Brazil - it was over 5m long and weighed more than 48 tones! Synthetic rock crystal is manufactured in Japan for industry and also jewelry.

Diamond  The beautiful and most popular precious stone consists of pure carbon which crystallizes at enormous pressures and high temperatures, sometimes from depth of 150 km in the earth. Apart from a diamond unique flashes of light and color from its faceted stone, the

Quartz egg - crystal
Quartz egg - crystal

diamond has special properties and is the hardest of all stones, a ruby diamond engagement ring is some of the most precious gifts. The best gem quality diamonds are colorless and transparent with a slightly blue tint but pink and other colors are becoming popular too.

History indicates that they have first been found in India more than 2000 years ago. Previously they were known but never cut because it was believed that it had magical properties were destroyed. In Europe cutting began after 1300 AD. Lasers are now used, but the only mineral capable of cutting a diamond is another one.

Top world producers now are northern Australia which supplies 1/4 of the world's needs - particularly for industrial purposes and also the champagne colored plus the South African Kimberley  region. In terms of hardness, this is top and second is ruby, both together give great rings.

The emerald is such a beautiful gemstone its hardly to beat. Maybe a great piece of imperial jade somehow can match a emerald in beauty and value in the green color spectrum.

71.65 carat white and yellow bracelet and 40 .17 carat intense yellow cushion cut ring
71.65 carat white and yellow bracelet and 40 .17 carat intense yellow cushion cut ring
loose emerald
Loose emerald

The largest perfect stone known was the Tsar of  Russia's with 30 carats. The Crown of the Andes made in 1593-99 in South America had 453 emeralds the largest being of 45 carats. However synthetic in modern times have plausible inclusions so testing must be done carefully in determining the quality of stone.

Emeralds are the most popular green gems for all kind of jewelry. Buy a loose one and have the jewelry shop make a great piece of jewelry for you, with some creativity and a little help of a designer you could get a real unique necklace, rings or pendants etc., maybe with the classic cut. Ad some diamonds and white or yellow gold and a great piece of jewelry is created. Many people have heard about the classic cut which is also used with almost every other gemstone.

Carved Emerald
Carved Emerald

Amethyst gemstones and Garnet January birthstones Pendant
Amethyst gemstones and pendant
Photo by

Garnet  are found in various colors from brown to purple.

Its dark red garnet variety is valued as a precious stone although the mineral is quite common.

Garnet crystals are 12 faced. The stones have been prized in jewellery for over 5000 years. When many garnet crystals are gathered in a rock cavity they are likened to a ripe pomegranate.

Cut as brilliants, they are used as ring stones with large ones as pendants, often with cabochon cut and carved, they are January birthstones.

Star versions are found in Australia.

Garnet Gemstones Pendant
Garnet Pendant by crystalmoon1



Jade - This is the name given to both nephrite and jadeite which are tougher than steel although not particularly hard. Myanmar or Burmese Jade is the best, New Zealand and Alaska supply good Jade, in Brazil it occurs naturally Used since Neolithic times for weapons and tools and later for delicate carvings Aztecs used jade. In ancient Egypt the stone was called Nemehen.

Pure Jade is white with impurities causing different colors and most pieces are mottled. It is generally translucent or opaque green in color and is lustrous rather than brilliant. The most prized of all jades is "imperial jade" the transparent emerald green colored by chromium. It has been always revered in China as a sacred stone. Its quality as a gemstone is judged by the intensity of the green color and its coolness to the touch.

The imperial jade version of Jadeite is the most valuable and Myanmar remains the only commercial source for it, there are also sources in China, Canada and elsewhere but that is nephrite of a lesser quality. Much of the Central American mineral originates in Guatemala. Soapy is the term for the inferior grades used commonly for carving decorations, lamp stands etc.

Lapis Lazuli is blue silicate lazurite with variable amounts of calcite and the brassy gold  flecks of

fine imperial jade pendant with diamonds
Fine imperial jade pendant with diamonds

pyrite which is more abundant in the poorer quality material. Afghanistan has the best quality that consists mostly of lazurite and is deep blue. In ancient times it was also known as "sapphirus".

The Egyptians used to ground it into pigment to use in paintings, murals and eye shadow and used in manufacture of amulets and symbols, particularly in the representations of the goddess Horus. Later it was ground for use as pigment in religious paintings for the glorious blue of Madonna's robes.

In China, royal seals and carvings were made from it. It is considered a sacred stone in Buddhism. It is one of the most ancient in items of jewellery - having been known and used for over 6000 years. It was mined in Afghanistan and Siberia near Lake Baikal, but nowadays produced profusely in Chile.

Lapis Lazuli Afghanistan Gemstones
Lapis Lazuli Afghanistan Gemstones

Moonstone is a Feldspat, comprised of calcium sodium or potassium aluminum silicates. Sri Lanka is the most important source of Moonstone. India produces strongly colored stones as beige, pink, green, yellow, grey, white and brown.

Moonstone is considered to be a sacred stone in India and by tradition, it is always cut as cabochon. It is an important stone in Ayurvedic medicine. Beautiful sheens come as with other stones, with subjected light and its particular sheen is called "adularescence" and most prized when the sheen is bluish in color.

Throughout the world they are associated with the Moon and a very popular semi precious stone, used in jewellery everywhere. Their fascination lies in their gentle glowing and elusive sheen and above all the softness of their quality, compared with the strength and brilliance of faceted jewels, moonstones are June birthstones.

Semi precious Moonstone Rainbow Pendant moonstones are June birthstones
Moonstone Rainbow Pendant from Madagascar

Opal is one of the few gem minerals which is non crystalline, they are referred to in history and in legend. Pliny is said to have liked it and Orpheus is said to have declared that the opal 'fills the heart of the gods with joy". Shakespeare refers to ... "this miracle and Queen of gems". The mineral consists of pure silica (silicon combined with oxygen) with traces of numerous compounds which explains the many differing types. They were rare in antiquity. It is thought to have become commonly known only after the time of Alexander the Great. The only known mines in the earliest times were the Carpathian Mountains. The stone is extremely porous with the weight varying in proportion to the amount of contained water. The colors are determined by structure and the light which causes ever changing effect. Finest material and opalized wood and fossils are found also in Australia at Coober Pedy and Andamooka. France also supplies

Opal from Australia
Opal from Australia

some and also Idaho... They are usually cut as en cabochon. Their varieties include from Hungary which are very fine and once popular in Europe. Mexico has a fine transparent variety, black opals are extremely vivid flashes of color including red, with dark background and of highest value milky or white opals are opaque with smaller and less spectacular softer markings and colors. Fire or Harlequin is the finest quality and variety, water opal is clear and colorless with internal play of shades. Rose has a beautiful pink color but opaque. Hydrophane is opaque but appears colorless in water.

Peridot -
is somehow unique, it is found in several places on planet Earth and also be found on Mars. Peridot is the softest gemstone. That's probably the reason why Peridot is less popular than the other gemstones. Peridot has a vibrant green color somehow better than emeralds. In ancients times people believed it has the power to reduce a personís anxiety, helps create a successful marriage, change dreams into reality, keeps away nightmares and evil spirits, and gives power to enable a person to communicate well. Peridot comes in a variety of colors, ranging from light yellowish green to deep olive color. Like emeralds, the greener the color, the higher the value.

Peridot is clearer than emerald and it comes in various shapes, sizes and hues. Its value is higher if the texture and surface is clear and the color is deep green. It has a rather oily and greasy appearance. Like an emerald it can have inclusions in form of bubbles and flaws, means clarity is very important in looking for a good quality stone.
Using it for jewelry it should be considered that peridot is a sensitive gemstone and can be damaged easily.  High temperature should be avoided and acids can damage the stone..

Semi precious Tiffany Peridot plus diamond bird on a rock brooch created by Jean Schlumberger
Semi precious Tiffany Peridot plus diamond bird on a rock brooch created by Jean Schlumberger

Topaz is an aluminum silicate containing about 20% water and fluorine and comes in several colors. Yellow quartz is sold today under the name of topaz and it is one of the most popular colors, although there are others which are greenish and of reddish tint. The golden version from Brazil has a brown to pink color.

The main suppliers are Brazil, Germany and Russia plus Japan. It is harder than Rock crystal and is known for its huge crystals - a colorless one from Brazil was found weighing as much as 600 pounds, well formed and clear throughout. The largest known was cut in 1977 and weighed 21,327 carats. Another is known at 36,853 carats. Found in Australia it is usually light yellow, green and blue also. Hardness 8 and orthorhombic crystals brilliant and beautiful stone found in quartz rose rocks. Associated with tin ores . Tinted by heating. Sky blue topaz found in the Scottish Highlands, Brazil and Siberia.

Semi precious topaz
Semi precious Topaz from

Semi precious Turquoise Vase
Semi precious Turquoise Vase

Turquoise is composed of aluminum copper sulphate hydrated phosphate of aluminum and copper) and is only medium hard. Egyptians are the first people known to mine it in Sinai over 6000 years ago.

The finest is said to be found in Naishapur,  Iran, where it has been mined for about 3000 years also found also in Turkestan and Tibet. The colors range from pale blue to deep green/blue. Water content affects the color of the stone. It responds to human touch and warmth and in the  Middle East is used as a reflector of babies' health

Beautiful Turquoise Bracelet
Beautiful Turquoise Bracelet



in the crib etc.

The mineral is relative soft and has a waxy luster. It is porous and its color may deteriorate if skin oils and cosmetics are absorbed during wear. It's famous for its change of color when difficult influences are near and for this reason was attached to cradle of babies to reflect the child's vitality and to alert them to any change in tone and color. Some believe it becomes moist and changes color when warning against poison. The gem is regarded as a pledge of true affection and drawing evil influences. The green variety is found in New Mexico and in Australia.

What's on other minerals?

The Rochester Mineralogical Symposium was held for the 21st 

year. This event has grown in stature through the years and is regarded as one of the best mineralogical symposia in the country. Although there are dealers, it is still, first and foremost, a symposium. All dealers must close their doors during the lectures and scheduled activities. Plenty of time is allowed for shopping breaks, have a look for ruby gemstones, and collectors can use their silver picks in the evenings when dealers doors stay open late.

There is a refreshing emphasis on minerals like this beautiful Heliotrop. It is always good to see material from old localities where I used to collect while growing up in Connecticut. Northeast dealers were not the only ones there though. Cal Graeber Minerals (P.O. Box 2347, Fallbrook, CA 92088) had some of the superb peridot crystals that have been coming out of Pyaung Gaung, Myanmar (= Burma) recently. The crystal faces are rough, as though etched, but the interiors are extremely gemmy and of a fine green color. Some of these were available at the Tucson Show.

The Bennett mine in Buckfield, Maine produced some fine specimens last season. These included mil quartz crystals, cassiterite, columbite, hydroxylherderite, pollucite and cookeite. The most exciting crystals were the multicolored elbaites in shades of green and pink. Both Jim Mann (Box 597, Bethel, ME 04217) and Cal Graeber had some of these elbaites

Semi precious Heliotrop - photo by pustule
Semi precious Heliotrop - photo by pustule

Leonard Himes of Minerals America had a pleasant surprise---a fine group of emerald crystals from North Carolina having several small rutiles attached and included.

The whole specimen stands 4.8 cm high. Leonard also had several specimens from the Zomba-Malosa Complex, Chilwa Alkaline Province, Malawi (see the article in the January-February issue). The best known mineral from this locality is aegerine, which Leonard had in crystals up to 16 cm long, plus several zircon crystals, sometimes attached to the aegerines.

Pakistan continues to produce interesting new minerals, or just better ones than from other localities. Dudley Blauwet of Mountain Minerals International keeps on top of these things. He had some rather nice zircon from Buibin, near Astar, Waziret district, Northern Areas. They are clean, reddish brown dipyramids in what appeared to be a very impure marble, in crystals up to 1.5 cm. Some of these have been available recently, but as loose crystals with no matrix.

Semi precious blue zircon and aquamarine bracelet
Semi precious blue zircon and aquamarine bracelet from Lgarrison@new.rr.com

Dassu, Baltistan, Northern Areas was represented by stellerite in white hemispheres to 2.5 cm in diameter. Most are loose groups, some with minor muscovite matrix. They are not as lustrous as the stellerites from Jalgaon, India, but quite interesting considering the pegmatite origin. Dudley also had some of the steilerites from Jalgaon, which have a beautiful luster and translucency, some with chalcedony and gyrolite on gray-blue drusy quartz.

A fairly new dealer in the business is DeTrin-Rising Sun (145-62 7th Ave., Whitestone, NY 11357) who specializes in the minerals of Russia and its former republics. I think that some of us are reaching a degree of saturation with minerals from those areas, because there has been so much available recently. Unfortunately, much of the material available these days is mediocre and/or damaged. Not so with the material of DeTrin, the owner of which seem to have a great eye for the best quality material. Most of their stock was the typical suite from Dalnegorsk, but of very fine quality. I look forward to what this dealer will bring forth in the future. Jeffrey B. Fast (19 Oak Knoll Rd., E. Hampton, CT 06424) made available a fine selection of the new material from the Becker quarry, West Willington, Connecticut. The suite includes pale smoky, tessin-habit quartz to 7 cm long, pocket almandine crystals to 2.5 cm and white magnesite rhombs to 1 cm with minor drusy pyrite. One of the minerals I wanted to see was not in the room--

Semi precious smoky quartz and Sterling Silver Pendant
Semi precious smoky Quartz and Sterling Silver Pendant, photo by crystalmoon1

the terminated pocket kyanite. Some other local mineral material was being handled by Lawrence D. Venezia (115 Coleridge St., E. Boston, MA 02128). Rare, but not particularly attractive, were masses of orange donpeacorite from Balmat, New York. From Pearl Lake, Lisbon, New Hampshire, Larry had some very clean almandine and staurolite in schist. The staurolites are up to 5 cm in length and many have small garnets sprinkled on them.

Topaz-Mineral Exploration's specialty (1605 Hillcrest, Grand Haven, MI 49417) is the minerals of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Tom Bee, the owner, besides having an eye-opening display of minerals from that area, had many for sale. He had one of the finest assemblages of well-crystallized copper that I have seen in a while, plus fine calcite with copper inclusions, half-breeds, datolite and epidote on calcite. Many of these specimens have come out of old collections. There was a buying frenzy in his room; I almost had to fight someone to photograph a piece before it was bought. Luckily the fellow and I are still friends. That fellow is Gary Richards, Keeper of the Earth (2511 N. Mason, Appleton, WI 54914). Gary is a very experienced dealer who spent a number of years helping Lance Hampel. On his own now, Gary is doing a fine job and also has a special fondness for minerals of the U.P. (Upper Peninsula), as they call it in those parts. Gary had recently bought an old collection that was heavy in pegmatite minerals, especially tourmaline and beryl. Localities included some of the common and expected--Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, California, Brazil--plus some that are not so common. These included Rabenstein, Bavaria; Namibia; Adun Chulon and Mursinka (both in Russia) and the old Gillette quarry, Haddam Neck, Connecticut. I was pleased to relieve Gary of the beryl from that last locality as well as the one from Mursinka.

Hans van Binsbergen of Classic Minerals (P.O. Box 1391, Exton, PA 19341) had been holding on to a batch of very high quality Lynch Station, Virginia turquoise that had been collected about five years ago. He offered for sale eight flats of bright blue, microcrystalline druses on quartz.

The new red grossular seen at the Tucson Show was well represented in the room of Beau Gordon (Jendon Minerals, P.O. Box 6214, Rome, GA 30162). They are from Sierra de La Cruz, Coahuila, Mexico and ranged from thumbnail to small cabinet size, all on matrix. Beau also had a nice selection of crudely crystallized gold from Mt. Kare, Papua, New Guinea. Most are slightly waterworn, small nuggets


Mongort Minerals was a new name to me, and a pleasant surprise. Raymond Sprague and his partners have opened up the old Emmons quarry, Uncle Tom Mtn., Greenwood, Maine. They have leased the property since 1990 and have produced some interesting material. Included are blue/gray to pale purple nuorapatite on albite in thumbnail sizes; and milky white and zoned, multiple and parallel grown quartz crystals, sometimes sceptered, to 13 cm. They hit one pocket 4 meters across, mostly filled with mustovite in six-sided crystals with fibrous overgrowths, associated with bertrandite microcrystals. The quarry is also producing some nice green to pink elbaite crystals up to 10 cm long. Unfortunately, most of the elbaites are broken and repaired. Ray hopes that as they get deeper below the frost line, the elbaites will be in better shape.

Mongort also had minerals from other localities in Maine, such as fluorapatite from the Harvard quarry in Greenwood, and microcrystals and thumbnails of perhamite from the Ski Pike quarry, Cobble Hill, West Paris.

There were a number of Canadian minerals dealers including Collection Haineault (2266 St-Alexandre, Longueuil, Quebec J4J 3T9) who had some very good material from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec.

Turquoise Diamonds and Pearls
Turquoise, Diamonds and Pearls set

Besides the fine serandite and leifite, Gilles Haineault offered a fine group of carltonite crystals as singles to 1 cm and large groups to 14 cm across.

The crystals arc of the typical blocky habit, with blue cores and white exteriors. From the Jeffrey quarry, Asbestos, Quebec there were some very nice, zoned, green to purple vesuvianite. Jim Mann is a fellow who gets around; he bought some of the better elbaites from last summer's production at Mount Mica, Paris, Maine. As I mentioned earlier in the column, he also had some of the better material from the Bennett mine, Buckfield, Maine, the most notable being the elbaites.

Also very interesting from the Bennett mine, was a rhodochrosite crystal 2 cm tall that some were claiming to be the best such crystal to come from a granite pegmatite (see photo). Although not as deep a purple as the fluorapatites of Mt. Apatite, those of Mt. Rubellite are quite fine. Jim showed me one, 1.3 cm across on a matrix of quartz prisms, that I would have been quite proud to own.

It seems that the mineral specimens lately just keep getting better from the Bunker Hill mine, Kellogg, Idaho. John Cesar had for sale some cerussite from the recent efforts at that mine. The lustrous white crystals are nicely twinned, in groups up to 11.5 cm, that could almost be mistaken for Tsumeb.

The weather was typically cold and rainy, but since few of us left the confines of the hotel for the duration of the Symposium, it hardly mattered. There was of course, a fascinating 

Semi precious Vesuvianite Pendant
Semi precious Vesuvianite Pendant by leslievnelson

group of speakers with topics that ranged from technical to entertaining to disturbing. The exhibits were inspiring and I vowed to get out and do more field collecting.The Symposium is not a big one for dealers or for new things, but it is an intense, enjoyable experience, all the more so because attendees are all serious collectors and students of mineralogy. By Scovil, Jeffrey A - Copyright Mineralogical Record. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

 only for its minerals; it was revered among Muslims as a place of pilgrimage, for Adam himself was thought to have landed there when cast out from Paradise. Bearing in mind that Muslims have dominated Sri Lanka's gem trade ( many great ruby gems came from Sri Lanka) since at least the 10th century, one can appreciate that these pilgrimages often doubled as business trips!

The Gems of Afghanistan; Fluorescence

Although early Arabs indicate Sri Lanka as the main corundum, ruby, source, the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan is frequently mentioned for its red spinel, garnet and lapis lazuli. References to Badakhshan appear in the writings of al-Muqaddasi (10th century), al-Biruni, Teifaschi and other chroniclers. One such chronicler was an encyclopedic named, coincidentally, Yaqut (corundum!). Shihab al-Din Abu Abdallah Yaqut Ibn Abd Allah Yaqut al-Hamawi al-Rumi (1179-1229) was most famous for his geographical encyclopedia. This magnum opus alphabetically lists cities and towns in the then-known world, defining location, commercial products, resources, weather conditions and so forth.(2) It is hundreds of pages long. Badakhshan is one of many places cited for gem deposits. Here Yaqut notes that the mountains of Badakhshan are renown for lapis lazuli and balkhash,  though he adds that the latter tends to be of low quality. He goes on to say that Badakhshan produces a curious stone that

glows in the dark, perhaps alluding to the strong fluorescence of ruby and red spinels. It is important to remember at this point that some of these writers-and Yaqut was no exception--felt free to recount stories and "facts" that had been passed on from earlier sources, as distorted or exaggerated as they might be.

The idea of stones glowing in the dark is mentioned frequently. Fluorescence may well have been the inspiration behind this kind of story. One passage in Tifaschi's book leaves little doubt that fluorescence was observed and even appreciated as a beauty factor by contemporaries of the day. The author distinguishes seven color-appearance types for ruby, singling out one in particular, which he calls alavjuani. Teifaschi defines this appearance by analogy with "a burning coal."

Gemstone Rubies in Crystal
Rubies in Crystal at a shop in gem museum Yangon

Emerald vs. Peridot; The Question of Lost Mines

Much was written about emerald during these centuries, though it seems at times to have been confused with peridot. Perhaps this confusion is echoed by al-Biruni when he says that zumurrwud--the usual Arabic word for emerald--is synonymous with zabarjad. Note that Zabarjad is the name the Arabs use even today for a certain island in the Red Sea; on English maps it goes by the name of

St. John's, a famous but now largely exhausted source for peridot, not emerald (Wilson, 197.

Elsewhere in his ten-page section on emerald, al-Biruni limits sources to "Egypt, the oases, Mount Muqattam and the Land of the Bujja." Mount Muqattam refers to a range of hills east of Cairo, and Bujja was the name of a tribe residing to the south. Al-Biruni goes on to list emerald mine locations cited by earlier writers. In a probable reference to the so-called Cleopatra's Mines of Sikkit and Zubara, he quotes one author as saying:

Verily, the emerald source is in Upper Egypt, along the southern Nile, in an open plain that is cut off from civilization. No other mine on earth is known to have emerald. Still later, al-Biruni cites a chronicler to the effect that "Emerald is borne by water and mixed with sand. It is extracted from wells, along with the sand." Finally, he relates a mining technique recorded by the Razi Brothers, who say that emerald bearing matrix is daubed with oil, making the emerald easier to spot.

The 1759 carat Guinness Emerald
The 1759 carat Guinness Emerald

Possibly the most interesting part of al-Biruni's section on emerald is the reference to mines at the oases and Mount Muqattam. Which oases is he speaking of? And were the Muqattam hills an actual source for emerald, assuming he is not confusing emerald (zummurud) with some other green stone? Was Muqattam a source for emerald in times of yore? The prospect is fascinating, as historians generally regard the area of Sikkit and Zubara as the only two sources in Egypt that yielded this material (see, for example, Bauer, 1970; Bancroft, 1984; Sinkankas, 1981. The Muqattam hills are hundreds of miles to the north, in Lower Egypt!(3) Besides sources and mining tips, al-Biruni discusses the color-grading of emeralds, imitations encountered in the marketplace, and prices. The pricing information is on a table which relates value, in silver dirhams, to carat weight. For example, a 9-carat emerald is listed at 8,000 dirhams.

Gemstones history is not ended yet and there is more to come, read more.

Gem mining
where they are hammered or washed out from the earth to the final product, a beautiful piece of jewelry, more below. Ruby and diamond mining is covered as never before, diamonds are explained from mining the gemstone to cut them and create superb jewelry out of them.

Gem mining is explained, including pictures never seen before and creative pieces of jewelry made from a ruby gemstone plus diamonds and other precious stones, gems, minerals and pearls. When you see our pictures you will understand why they say 'diamonds are the girls best friends'. Our website has a strong visual orientation, to bring out the nature of ruby diamonds and other precious and semi precious stones plus minerals. Have a look you can be almost sure you haven't seen this before. Most of the gemstones such as ruby diamond and many other are covered and explained and you will find a lot of links to find out more.

Gemstones, are great pieces of body decoration and have plenty of applications in various manufacturing, e.g. as bearings in watches and medium for lasers etc. Beautiful jewelry is made from and the rich colors are real eye candy, read more.

   ruby diamond sapphire ring hearth shape ruby

Finest gemstones including pigeon blood colored- ruby diamond and royal blue sapphire. Deep blue sapphire cut and facetted colors are available: white, pink, blue, pastel calibrated are available. All variants of jade, imperial jade, lavender, white and green jade are available at the Myanmar jewelry shops in the Bogyoke market at Yangon. Its a real jewelry and precious stones bazaar .

     radiant gemstones
     Radiant gemstones in great colors
red spinel gems

Multicolored spinel cut and facetted colors available:
Pink Spinel gemstones

pink to red size: one carat up 1.1 mm to 4.9 mm - calibrated
Ruby diamond necklace, you can also show how much you love her with a engagement ring.
Emerald gems

are such a beautiful gemstone its hardly to beat. Maybe a great piece of imperial jade somehow can match a emerald in beauty and value in the green color spectrum in gems and gemstones.

  emerald stone
Emerald gems rough and chain, pics by pustule

A emerald stone with a good cut and clearance is for sure a valuable investment into a great piece of jewelry. Emerald bracelet are typical emerald jewelry, a emerald necklace with some great cut emeralds embedded in white or yellow gold is the dream of many girls.

Emerald prices are rather high, actually the prices always depend very much on the clarity and the size of the emerald. Emerald rings with the right cut emerald stones maybe together with some princess cut diamond are just the right material for a 

12,76 carat Emerald Ring
12,76 carat Emerald Ring square with diamonds

Pearls jewelry jewelry is among the most popular and classic form of  jewelry, they come in various forms such as freshwater pearls, cultured pearls  read more.

Ruby diamond

next to diamond, rubies (and sapphires) are the most valued of the gems. Ruby is a variety of corundum.

When the corundum includes chromium, it becomes ruby, when it contains titanium and iron instead and therefore is blue - the sapphire.

Ruby gems

The world's finest ruby come from Myanmar or Burma, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Thailand, India and Ceylon .Burmese ones are exceptionally beautiful - found near

Mogok N.E. of Mandalay.

"Pigeon Blood" rubies are the highest in the scale of value. Thai Rubies are often   

found with spinel and are darker red than the Burmese Rubies.

A fine ruby

is a magnificent gemstone. Ruby has been synthetically produced successfully since 1904. But the genuine rubies are valued because of their rarity and therefore have not dropped in commercial value, in fact

ruby gems jade amber sapphire
Ruby gems, Jade, Amber, Sapphire and other gemstones
Ruby Diamond Jewelry Ring
Ruby Diamond Jewelry Ring
  ruby jewelry
Ruby jewelry rings an other gems
ruby jewelry
Jemstone and diamonds necklace
Ruby Diamond Rings from Burma
Ruby Diamond Rings and broche

have risen. Rubies are also used in Space research in connection with communication systems to cut out surface sounds of the earth and pick up beams from space. Sometimes ruby jewelry look a little bit dull what is missing is the sparkling that the time the focus moves to a ruby diamond ring, necklace, earrings or whatever. A gold ring with an attractive gemstone in a beautiful ruby diamond combination is the perfect way to express great feelings to another person. A ruby diamond ring combination creates a marvelous piece of jewelry. The presence of gorgeous red color and sparkling diamonds gives a ruby ring an astonishing aura. Any cut of a ruby gemstone fit together with diamonds and the vibrant red color and sparkling diamonds creates a really charming piece of ruby jewelry.

Combined with diamonds

is a gift for women. Itís something special and usually has a high most ruby jewelry is real eye candy, a beautiful and valuable body decoration. It come in many different styles, forms and applications such as ruby rings, bracelet, necklace and other jewelry. A popular design is the mix with diamonds, itís

ruby jewelry
Ruby jewelry with diamond and gold

the diamonds bring the sparkling fire to ruby jewelry since no matter what cut a ruby has what is always missing is the ďfireĒ and this comes in combination with diamonds.


Sapphire gems

Pink Sapphire, blue sapphire and yellow sapphire are found in Myanmar or Burma, Thailand and East Africa. Sapphire are next to diamond in hardness and therefore resistant to wear.

A very beautiful variation are Star Sapphire.

Australia is the largest producer of blue and golden sapphires. Non-blue is a white or golden stone.

The largest sapphire known

was 950 carats from Myanmar or Burma.

Star Sapphire and Star Ruby gemstone
Star Sapphire and Star Ruby gemstones.

The largest Sapphire in Australia was 886 carats from Queensland in 1934.

There are star sapphires

and star rubies found which contain fine fiber crystals giving star effect when cut as cabochon.

Diamond Jewelry with Sapphires Emeralds and gold
Diamond Jewelry with Sapphire Emeralds and gold
Gemstone and ruby jewelry
Gemstone and ruby jewelry
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