Zircon and some of its properties.
Zircon is a zirconium silicate well-known for its popular gem-quality stones. The name derives from the Arabic word “zargun” meaning ” golden colour”.
Zircon is a source of the metal zirconium, which took its name from the mineral and is now used in the production of nuclear reactors.
This gemstone is the very creation of beauty. After all it started its journey at the very moment our world began to spin.
Zircon is said to be the oldest gem on earth and it is far older than even the most ancient Diamond. A series of tests were done in 1988 and were able to ascertain that it was 4.27 billion years old. By studying the construction of the gem, scientists have been able to gain a far better understanding of how the earth was actually created.
In the middle Ages, Zircon was believed to induce sleep, and encourage honour and wisdom. It was also thought to bring prosperity to its owner and to drive away plagues and evil spirits. During the Black Death it was worn as a protective talisman.
Zircon was believed to increase ingenuity, glory and wealth and would prevent travel sickness. It is still used by some healers to this day.
Gemology and Gemstones
In Gemology, Gemstones are the precious stones pieces naturally; these are then polished and finished for the various purposes. The most common purpose of using gemstones is for creating jewellery. There are different varieties of gemstones that seem same but they are different in their composition. Gemologists, who describe gems and their characteristics using technical terminology specific to the field of gemology, identify gemstones.
The first method preferred by a gemologist is to identify a gemstone by its chemical components. As there is no such grading system for any gemstone universally, other than white (colorless) diamond, this gemstone is graded using a system developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In olden times, all such gemstones were graded by simply checking their color appearance and visibility. In the early 1950’s the GIA system introduced a technical system for this purpose, the prologue of 10x magnification as the standard for grading clarity. Some gemstones are still graded using the old methods or simply by the naked eye. This is Gemology.
Gemstones have been divided into two groups; precious and semi-precious. These days diamond, ruby sapphire and emerald considered as “precious”, these categories was mainly based on trend and the composition of these two lists has changed frequently over time.
Color, cut, clarity and carat are the parameters decided as an aid to help the consumer in understanding the factors that were use to grade a diamond. With few alterations, these specified groups can be useful in understanding the grading of all gemstones.
The four criteria carry different weight that depends on their application to colored gemstones or to colorless diamond. In case of diamonds, cut is the most important determinant of value followed by clarity and color. Diamonds has the property to sparkle, to break down light into its constituent rainbow colors, chop it up into bright little pieces and deliver it to the eye (brilliance). This is a basic function of cut. The original rough form of a diamond, is crystalline and will not exhibit these properties. After its proper fashioning or “cutting”, diamond show these properties. In case of colored gemstones, including colored diamonds, the purity and beauty of that color is the primary determinant of quality.
Turquoise is the lovely blue gemstone that is used in December birthstone jewelry. It is a bluish green stone that has been used since at least 6000 B.C. when the Egyptians used it in mosaics and decorative work and in the jewelry worn by their Pharaohs. It was also used more recently by Aztec kings, in masks, shields and knives, and by Native Americans and the Persians in beautiful ornamental pieces and jewelry. Turquoise is a relatively rare gemstone. Turquoise of gemstone quality is mined in Australia, Iran (formerly Persia), Afghanistan and in the US in New Mexico, Arizona and other Southwest regions.
The name turquoise is thought to come from the French word meaning Turkey as it was mistakenly believed that the gems were mined in that country as they were traded in the bazaars to European merchants. In reality they almost certainly came from the Iran or the Sinai Peninsula. It may possibly also have arisen from the French word for dark blue stone, pierre turquin. It is usually found in copper deposits generally in arid, dessert conditions.
Before turquoise was found in the USA the finest quality gems, with an intense blue color, were found in Persia and ‘Persian Turquoise’ is still used these days to signify the finest quality gemstones. In the last years of the nineteenth century turquoise was found in the United States with deposits that were the equal of the quality of the Persian gemstones. Nowadays the USA is the major producer of this gorgeous precious stone.
One of the first gemstones to be mined, Turquoise has long been prized for its intense colour, which varies from sky-blue to green depending on the quantities of iron and copper within it. Turquoise is commonly found in microcrystalline, massive form, usually in encrustations, in veins, or as modules. It is opaque to semi-translucent light and very fragile, with conchoidal fracture. Some material is very porous, leading to fading and cracking, so it may be impregnated with wax or resin to maintain its appearance.
Ruby and its properties.
Ruby is a very rare gem. They exist in many shades of red, from pinkish to purplish or brownish red. The red colour is determined by the amount of chromium, which further enhances the colour by causing a red fluorescence.
Most rubies show purplish red to orangey red hues. However the overall colour (colour being a combination of hue, tone and saturation) can provide gem dealers with an indication of the stone’s original geographic origin. Burmese Rubies tend to be purplish red in colour, while Thai stones tend to be brownish red.
For centuries, Ruby was said to remove sadness, prevent nightmares and protect against many illnesses. With its likeness in colour to blood, it has often been said to help stem haemorrhages and cure inflammatory diseases. Besides their obvious value as a precious gems, rubies are also used extensively in laser technology.
The great value of rubies is mentioned in the Bible. Ruby mining goes back more than 2500 years in Sri Lanka and was recorded in the sixth century AD at Mogok, Burma. The Burmese wore the stone as a talisman to protect them against illness or misfortune. Many in the ancient world believed they could predict the future based on the changing colour of the ruby they wore. The rare and highly valued “pigeon’s blood” variety now mined in Burma was previously called “blood drops from the heart of the earth” by the Burmese.
Large natural Rubies of good colour and clarity are so valuable that they often demand a higher price per carat than even the most flawless Diamonds. For example, in 1988 Sotheby’s auctioned a 15.97 carat Ruby which sold for more than $3.6 million dollars under the hammer.
Bloodstone and its properties.
Bloodstone is also known as “heliotrope” which is an opaque green variety of chalcedony. The name, Bloodstone, was chosen because of the stone’s many red spots which are caused by Haematite. This is due to the red spots resembling drops of blood.
The red spots on the normally dark green gemstones are caused by the presence of iron oxides.
The heliotrope name comes from the Greek words helios meaning “sun” and tropos meaning “turn”. This is because in ancient times they believed it could turn the rays of the sun red and, if put into water, would show the sun as a blood red image.
The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that if worn by athletes they would gain endurance. Medieval people believed that Christ’s blood dripping down from the cross caused the red spots and therefore it had special powers such as stopping a haemorrhage if touched.
Bloodstone is porous and quite soft but is a very popular gemstone, usually cut as a cabochon.
Balance a Libra Star Sign
Acquiring balance is Librans life’s quest; balancing self, balancing others and all situations that arise. These peace making folk will often be so busy striving to keep everyone they know in balance, that they fall over in a heap, tipping that side of the scale to totally unbalanced. Achieving balance often means the scales are up and down, while en-route to perfect balance. It works like this with Librans, down and up, polite then brash, open then obstinate, happy then miserable. Then, incrementally, balance is established and they are transformed into quiet, sweet and gracious souls.
Librans tend to be composed and contained, but they are capable of turning this state into outbursts if they feel something unjust may have been said.
Librans can captivate others with their sharp intellects, allowing them to entertain people for hours, they are equally awesome listeners. Making decisions can certainly be tricky as you need to analyse things carefully in order to make the very best decision which often sees the scales get tipped back and forth in the process. Continual assessment, consideration and evaluation is mentally exhausting… but with all this experience comes discernment and confidence.
Librans love beauty and because they place emphasis on the visible beauty in front of them, some can seem to be shallow, however they can also see hidden beauty in those that the majority of us would never see. Beauty comes through as a natural appreciation of music, poetry and the arts.
The classic birthstone for Libra is Sapphire, it is the perfect stone for Librans whose mind is over run, processing thoughts heard from the stories of other people. Sapphires ability to purify the mind and rid you of unwanted thoughts lightens your being. Opening your mind to beauty, it allows you to dive into its depths, bringing you fulfillment and peace. Bringing in abundance, Sapphire assists Libras to take pleasure the finer things in life. It brings authenticity to your actions.
Turquoise December Birthstone.
For those with a December birthday, a turquoise birthstone is always a perfect and safe choice for a gift, specially if one is left clueless as to what the celebrator would want or need for a present.
Birthstones are actually precious and semi-precious stones which have been associated with birth dates for centuries. They come in varying colors, textures, sizes and shapes.
Different cultures assign specific gemstones for each month based on the zodiac until there came a time when a specific gemstone was assigned for each of the month. Different cultures have different sets of twelve semi-precious and precious stones. Although the choice of stones to represent each month differ from culture to culture, one thing is certain- wearing birthstones effectively bring good luck and health. Some even believe that these stones have “powers”.
Birthstones, as a tradition, is deeply embedded in modern culture and birthstone jewelry is widely gaining popularity nowadays.
However, here in the United States, there is not a single gemstone for a particular month. In fact, there are numerous birthstones for each of the twelve months! And so, choosing a December birthstone, for one, will not prove to be a very easy task.
Turquoise may be the most popular of all the December birthstones, owing to its value and unique color. Often referred to as the modern December birthstone, turquoise actually happens to be one of the most valuable non-transparent minerals often used in making jewelry.
Its value was first discovered by Egyptians in 6000 BC. Turquoise is considered sacred by the North American Indians and Tibetans. These stones are used in rituals and ceremonies officiated by shamans because it is believed to promote spiritual and mental clarity. These stones are also believed to enhance one’s trust, understanding, kindness and wisdom.
Peridot Gemstone Properties.
Peridot is a gemstone playing its colour at full volume. Aptly named, it is the Birthstone of August, displaying sparkling, summery golden greens.
Peridot is a sophisticated gem that has rightly regained its position as one of the most popular gems in the world.
Peridot’s shades of green are caused by the presence of iron and it often has a greasy lustre. The gemstone is named from the French word “peritot” meaning “gold” because the mineral can vary towards this colour. It is normally too soft to be used as the gemstone in bracelets but is very popular for earrings, pendants, rings, clasps and brooches.
Small crystals are relatively common, but large, good quality ones are rare. Finding a stone of 5cts or more causes excitement in some mines. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, has cut a stone of 310 carats.
Some 3000 years ago the main source for Peridot in ancient times was “Topazos Island” in the Red Sea. Then the stones were used to carve talismans in ancient Egypt. Europeans brought the crystals back from the Crusades to decorate church plates and robes. It is named in the Bible as “Chrysolite”.
In the 19th century, the mines on Zebirget produced millions of dollars worth of Peridot, however today they remain almost silent. United States sources include Arizona, New Mexico and Salt Lake Crater.
This is one of only a few gems that is available in just one colour, green. The greens vary from bottle green to an almost yellowish, olive oil colour.
Birthstones: their Origin and Qualities
There are 12 birthstones representing each of the months in a year. Their origin can probably be attributed back to the biblical times, during the time of Moses, where twelve colors comprised the Breast Plate of the High Priest, which represents Israel’s twelve tribes.
After several centuries, the number “12” took on symbolic meaning such as the twelve apostles, the twelve months of the year, the twelve signs of the zodiac, the twelve foundations of the Holy City and many others.
The assignment of the gemstones to each calendar year can be traced to the Gregorian birthstone poem where each month has its own gem:
January – Garnet, February – Amethyst, March – Aquamarine, April – Diamond
May –Emerald, June – Pearl, July – Ruby, August – Peridot, September – Sapphire, October – Opal, November – Topaz. December – Tanzanite
Birthstone Jewelry makes for a perfect birthday gift. Here are some interesting facts about some of the birthstones:
1. Garnet – (January) This birthstone is also designated to be given on the second and sixth anniversaries. Deep red in color, this gemstone is made of neosilicates. It was the fourth stone in the High Priest’s Breast Plate during Moses’ time. It is known as an amulet for travelers to guard them against harm while on a journey.
2. Ruby – (July) This birthstone was known for its curative powers during the Middle Ages. Blood-red in color, this gem is made up of stable aluminum oxide. It is also known as the “rarest gem” or the “king of all gems” by Jewelers in America. It is believed to be true that owners of rubies are to have good fortune, peace and good health.
3. Aquamarine – (March) The symbol of everlasting youth and happiness, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans have regarded this gemstone as one that is of high value. It has the color of the blue sea, or blue green, having the composition of beryl, the same element present in emeralds. It is said to be an amulet for restoring lost love, increasing patience and healing laziness.
4. Amethyst – (February) According to legends, Amethyst is a beautiful young maiden turned by Goddess Diana into a pillar of quartz to protect her from Bacchus’ wrath. Bacchus is known to be the “God of Wine.” After repenting, Bacchus poured red wine into Amethyst, which gave this valuable quartz its purple color. It is known to be an amulet to prevent drunkenness and remain sober while drinking liquor. It is also known to make the owner smart and successful in business.
5. Peridot – (August) This gemstone is known for its utmost simplicity. It does not have any color variation except olive green. It is used as a talisman to ward off bad spirits and other night creatures, enhances the mood of the owner and gives them the power to have convincing speech.
6. Topaz – (November) Known as a symbol of friendship. When used as an amulet, it is believed to relieve the owner from sadness and help them with intellect and courage. It has color variations and the most common is the yellow one. Blue topaz is the birthstone for December.
Garnet and some of its properties.
Garnets give a spectrum of colour akin to that of a fireworks explosion on New Year’s Eve. This gemstone group, “garnet”, contains more than ten different gemstones with a similar chemical structure.
The main difference in the physical properties of the garnet group are slight variations in colour, density and refractive index. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin granatus meaning seed, because it often resembles small round seeds when it is found. (like a pomegranate seed).
Garnets as a group are relatively common in highly metamorphic and some igneous rocks. They form under high temperatures and pressure. This gemstone can be used by geologists as an indication of the temperature and pressure at which the rock was formed.
This gemstone supposedly has the powers to illuminate even the darkest room. It is written that Noah used the gem to light the inside of the Ark.
There are many other legends that involve its mystical powers for lighting and brightening capabilities. It has been suggested that eastern Indians rubbed Garnets gemstones on themselves in belief that the gems’ glowing qualities would be transmitted into their “glowing wellbeing”.