The Love of Gemstones

Posted by Eva Simone on

Love By Eva Simone Gemstone Jewelry and Gifts BlogAuthor: Eva Simone, MSCP

Think of your all-time favorite gemstone or healing crystal. Does the thought bring a smile to you face?  If so you are in the right place. 

First a Fun Quiz!

How well do you know you gems?

As there are hundreds of different types of minerals used as gems, it is quite often that people get them confused. Can you tell the difference between these gems below? (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the answer.)

1) Is it Yellow Tourmaline or Citrine?

 

2) Is it Emerald or Peridot?

3) Is it Coral or Jasper?

Remember when you fell in love?

When you think of a gemstone what comes to mind? Is it a polished pink sapphire? Or perhaps a rough, purple amethyst? I first became keen on gemstones when I watched the Wizard of Oz for the first time as a four year old.  Who can forget the moment Dorothy slips on those coveted ruby red slippers? I was captivated by the way the light glinted such that the shoes sparkled magically. I needed to know more about rubies. I remember my mother showing me a ruby for the first time in what was then our only search engine, the encyclopedia.  “Beautiful.” I thought as I looked at the singular color photo of a ruby. From that moment on I knew there was something special about rubies and other gems. I was hooked. 

      
(Photo credit: people.com/movies/wizard-of-oz-ruby-slippers)
Rubies are an iconic gemstone. Famous for its characteristic red color.

  Over the years, and much to my delight, I began discovering new gemstones.  Fast forward to present.  One of my current favorites is Watermelon Tourmaline. Nature’s tribute to color, Watermelon Tourmaline captivates through its display of multiple colors.  Like the fruit, Watermelon Tourmaline has a pink core surrounded by a thin band of white.  The outer edge is vibrant green. It is a true marvel in my opinion.  A gem among gems. Watermelon Tourmaline is not only beautiful, it also has meaning and purpose. True to its name this gemstone shifts from sweet pink to paradise green. Tourmaline was first discovered on an island off the west coast of Italy.1 

A Watermelon Tourmaline personality.

Do you know a person who is calm, centered and generally in a good mood? This person has an uplifting spirit and amazing vibes. Perhaps this person may be you. If so watermelon tourmaline will make an excellent complement as it is associate with calming the mind and emotions as well as stress relief.  This gem would also make an excellent gift for those prone to anger as it is associated with easing feelings of resentment and countering unpleasant emotions.2

Watermelon Tourmaline. The colors displayed in this gem is due to the way the light travels through its crystal structure. Gem that show three colors are called "trichroic." Watermelon Tourmaline has the characteristic core of pink, surrounded by a ring of white, and an outer ring of green. 

Tourmaline Spiritual Meaning and Uses

Positive energy in, negative energy out.  Tourmaline is a stone known for its cleansing abilities. A good cleansing of the mind to refresh one’s spirit sounds like an excellent idea.  Use Watermelon Tourmaline during mediation practice, prayer, or any other activities that may be enhanced by clarity and calm. Allow in inspiration, hope, and love.

Use healing crystals such as tourmaline in meditation practice.  

Tourmaline offers a variety of gorgeous colors such as yellow, blue, and turquoise. Jewelry is a great way to carry your stones with you all day.

Tourmaline can be found in Nambia, Tanzania Russia and the United States (California) to name a few.3  

Gemstones What are they and where do they come from?

We use the word “gem” in everyday language to refer to things that have special or unique characteristics.  Throughout history gems have been valued and esteemed.  Today, some of the world’s most precious and coveted gemstones can be found in museums or guarded in royal palaces.  For thousands of years humans have associated gemstones with everything from wealthy and power to deep spirituality, and healing.  They have been used as tools, talismans, and even crushed to blend into elixirs.

Throughout history gems have been associated with everything from spirituality and love to power and wealth.  Some cultures have attributed magical powers to gemstones while others have used them for medicine.  Marco Polo, the well-known Italian traveler collected sapphires on his journeys.1

Did you know? Marco Polo was a gem collector, sapphires specifically.

What is a Gemstone? The sources are many.

Gemstones form in several different ways.  In short, Gemstones are minerals that form in rocks and sediments. But what does this mean?  The type of gem depends on chemical makeup, temperature, pressure and several other factors.  Let’s take a further look.

Rock Type #1 - Igneous

Igneous rock forms as a result of volcanic or magmatic activity.  The minerals form as changes occur in the temperature and pressure produced from molten lava. When the lava cools minerals form inside of the rock.  Pretty cool huh? Examples of igneous gemstones are peridot, ruby, sapphire, moonstone, obsidian and topaz.1

Obsidian is a type of extrusive igneous rock.  It is a popular stone for men’s jewelry.

 Shop Mens Obsidian Jewelry

Rock Type #2 - Sedimentary

        Sedimentary rock forms by erosion and weathering of other rocks. Examples of Sedimentary rocks are turquoise, agate, and amethyst.

Amethyst Crystals come from sedimentary rock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gemstones make excellent home decor. For aura: Amethyst is a stone of spiritual protection and purification. Keep this stone to create a shield of spiritual light around the body. Protects against low and unhealthy energy. For the body: Amethyst is associated with healing and chakra balancing. Helps the nervous system, eases nightmares and insomnia.

 

 

 

Rock Type #3 - Metamorphic

Metamorphic rocks are formed by sedimentary and igneous rocks that have undergone pressure and temperature changes.  Examples include dark blue lapis and ruby.

Ruby forms in both igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Stones are sold in different conditions

 Natural Stones

Said to contain more raw energy.

Tumbled Stones

Rocks are smoothed and polished after being spun through a tumbler machine.

Cut Stones

Stones are cut or shaved into shapes to arrange facets.

 Watch this short video clip below to see how natural stone is cut. 

 Gemstones Can be Organic

Did you know gemstones can form from organic material such as pearls and amber? Pearls are formed from oysters and clams. 

Importance of Light

A well-polished gem needs but a glint of light to sparkle.  However, a stone that is immersed in light can truly show its full shine potential. The way light interacts with a gemstone, and the effect it produces is what makes each one unique. Light either reflects off of or passes through the gem depending on how it is cut. The more light that is reflected from the stone to the eye, the brighter the stone will appear.  The amount of light that can pass through a gem determines whether it is considered transparent (citrine), translucent (amber) or opaque (obsidian). Consider the light reflected off the following stones:

Transparent Gemstones

 

Amber is a translucent gem but not a gemstone.  It is created from hardened resin of ancient pine trees. 

 

Obsidian is an opaque gemstone meaning light is unable to pass through.  One cannot see images on the other side. 

Caring for your gemstones

Care for your gemstone depends on the variety. Stones such as opal only require a soft cloth, mild soap and room temperature water to clean. Soaking gemstone jewelry is not recommended as it can dissolve any binding that holds the gem to the setting.

The color of gemstones can change over time.  Keep stones such as Amethyst, rose quartz and kunzite out of the sun as they will become pale.  (Resist the temptation to let these gems sparkle and glisten in the sunlight.)

Gemstones in Jewelry

Only a small number of gemstones are cut for jewelry.

 Although gemstones may be found all over the world, many of them are not big enough, and have too many impurities or irregularities to make them suitable for polishing for use in jewelry. Some are brittle and fragile.1 

Blue Topaz is a popular stone for jewelry.  Click the photo to shop fine gemstone jewelry. 

Enhancements

Various enhancements can be made to improve the look of gemstones.  One of the most popular is by simply oiling or waxing the stone. Stones such as jade, turquoise and agates may be given a coat of wax to improve shine and luster.1 

Heat is another common way to improve or completely change the color of a gemstone. This method is common practice in the jewelry trade. For example, pale amethyst stones can be heated until they turn yellow.  The formally amethyst stones then look like citrine. Why do this?  Because currently, there is high demand for citrine.  Heat treated rubies and sapphires appear brighter and shinier colored than natural rubies.1 Heat treatment is generally permanent.

Rare Gemstones

You may have heard of rose quartz and amethyst, but what about Alexandrite and Kyanite? Alexandrite is rare in that it was first discovered in 1830, quite recently compared to those described in biblical times such as red garnet. For some time, Russia was the only known source until 1987 when it was discovered in Brazil.1 Alexandrite became even more difficult to find when the mines in Russia were exhausted in 1920. Alexandrite is also rare and exceptional for its optical abilities as it changes completely from blue-green in the day light to purple-red at night.1 Because of its rarity, and color changing appearance Alexandrite is the most expensive of the chrysoberyl types. Beware of synthetics as the market value for this gem is high. The value in Alexandrite is its ability to color change.  Standards for high quality Alexandrite are 85-95% color change. Deeper hues are also favored over pale colored stones. Fine Alexandrite stones can fetch around $6,000 per carat.4 

Consistent with its physical properties, Alexandrite is said to be a stone associated with adaptability and it thus favored in times of new challenges or tasks.  It opens the mind and heart assisting in brain functioning, will power and self-respect.

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Birth Stones

January

Garnet

February

Amethyst

March

Aquamarine

April

Diamond

May

Emerald

June

Pearl (alternate Alexandrite)

July

Ruby

August

Peridot

Sept

Sapphire

October

Opal

November

Citrine

December

Turquoise and blue topaz

Quiz Answers 1) Yellow Tourmaline 2) Emerald 3)

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1 Oldershaw, C. (2016). Firefly guide to gems. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books.

2www.feelcrystals.com

3Crowe, J. (2008). The jewelers directory of gemstones: a complete guide to appraising and using precious stones ...Buffalo, NY: Published in the United States by Firefly Books.

4Newman Renée. (2010). Exotic gems. Los Angeles: International Jewelry Publications.


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