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Gemstone Secrets Revealed :
 
 
 


The mystery and magic of colored gemstones has been an integral aspect or the "Lore" of most cultures for many centuries. Here is what noted gemstone experts Antoinette L. Matlins and A.C. Bonanno have to say on the matter.

"The fascination with colored gemstones dates back to the very beginning of civilization. For our ancestors, the blue of sapphire produced visions of the heavens; the red of ruby was a reminder of the very essence of life. By Roman times, rings containing colored gems were prized symbols of power – and the most powerful wore rings on every joint of every finger!

Since ancient times, colored stones have been thought to possess innate magical powers and the ability to endow the wearer with certain attributes. According to legend, emeralds are good for the eyes; yellow stones cure jaundice; red stones stop the flow of blood. At one time it was believed that a ruby worn by a man indicated command, nobility, lordship, and vengeance; worn by a woman, however, it indicated pride, obstinacy, haughtiness. A blue sapphire worn by a man indicated wisdom, and high and magnanimous thoughts; on a woman, jealousy in love, politeness, and vigilance. The emerald signified for a man joyousness, transitory hope, and the decline of friendship; for woman, unfounded ambition, childish delight, and change.

Colored gems, because of the magical powers associated with them, achieved extensive use as talismans and amulets; as predictors of the future; as therapeutic aids; and as essential elements to many religious practices-pagan, Hebrew, and Christian."

 
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Natural gemstones are found in nature. Laboratory-created stones, as the name implies, are made in the laboratory. These stones, which also are referred to as laboratory-grown, {name of manufacturer} – created, or synthetic, have essentially the same chemical, physical and visual properties as natural gemstones. Laboratory-created stones do not have the rarity of naturally colored stones and they are less expensive than naturally mined stones. By contrast, imitation stones look like natural stones in appearance only, and may be glass, plastic, or less costly stones. Laboratory-created and imitation stones should be clearly identified as such.

Gemstones may be measured by weight, size, or both. The basic unit for weighing gemstones is the carat, which is equal to one-fifth 91/5th) of a gram. Carats are divided into 100 units called points. For example, a half-carat gemstone would weigh .50 carats or 50 points. When gemstones are measured by dimensions, the size is expressed in millimeters (for example, 7x5 millimeters).

Gemstone treatments or enhancements refer to the way some gems are treated to improve their appearance or durability, or even change their color. Many gemstones are treated in some way. The effects of some treatments may lessen or change over time and some treated stones may require special care. Some enhancements also affect the value of a stone, when measured against a comparable untreated stone.

Jewelers should tell you whether the gemstone you’re considering has been treated when: the treatment is not permanent; the treated stone requires special care; or the treatment significantly affects the value of the gemstone.

 
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Some common treatments that you may be told about and their effects include :

  • Heating can lighten, darken or change the color of some gems, or improve a gemstone’s clarity.
  • Irradiation can add more color to colored diamonds, certain other gemstones and pearls.
  • Impregnating some gems with colorless oils, wax or resins makes a variety of imperfections less visible and can improve the gemstones' clarity and appearance.
  • Fracture filling hides cracks or fractures in gems by injecting colorless plastic or glass into the cracks and improves the gemstones' appearance and durability.
  • Diffusion treatment adds color to the surface of colorless gems; the center of the stone remains colorless.
  • Dyeing adds color and improves color uniformity in some gemstones and pearls.
  • Bleaching lightens and whitens dome gems, Including jade and pearls.

In this day and age, gemstones are generally worn for their natural beauty or as a fashion statement, but there are many that "buy-in" to the mythical and mystical symbolisms of gems as well. Whatever a persons reason, the world of gems today offers an almost endless choice. Many new gems have been discovered and are widely available in reds, blues, greens and many unusual shades as well. Enjoy!

 
 
     
 
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