- The use of CZ (as it is usually abbreviated) in jewelry began almost immediately after it was being mass produced. It is similar to diamond, optically so close that only a trained eye can tell the difference. A comparison of the two substances:
- On the Mohs scale of hardness, diamond is the hardest substance known with a rating of 10. CZ rates from 8.5 to 9.
- CZ is virtually flawless, while even the best of diamonds have minor flaws.
- Pure CZ is colorless. Only the most rare diamonds are colorless.
- The facet shapes of CZ are different than diamond.
- CZ is heavier than diamond. A CZ stone compared to the same size diamond weighs 1.7 times more.
- CZ is one of the most efficient thermal insulators known, while diamond is one of the best thermal conductors. This difference is one of the tests to differentiate diamond from CZ.
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Cubic Zirconia - Too Perfect To Be A Diamond
Sunday, April 25, 2021
Mother Of Pearl - Opal Of The Sea
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Gold - Beauty, Value And Function
- It will not rust, tarnish or corrode.
- Is the most malleable of any metal. It can be hammered so thin to be almost transparent. An ounce of pure gold can be hammered out to make a 300 square foot sheet.
- Can be drawn into wire finer than a human hair.
- Is very soft and easily workable.
- Has good bonding properties with other metals.
- Is biologically inactive, and has been used for dental work and other medical applications.
- Is highly reflective and is used for shielding for outer space equipment.
- Yellow Gold is an alloy of silver, copper or zinc and pure gold.
- White Gold is an alloy of white metals like silver, palladium and pure gold. It is usually plated with Rhodium to give it a more pure white color.
- Rose Gold is a gold alloy containing only copper and gold.
- Green Gold is an alloy containing only silver and gold.
- Black Hills Gold is an alloy combining copper, silver and gold.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
The Many Faces of Quartz
- Purple quartz is called amethyst
- Yellow quartz is called citrine
- Black quartz is called onyx
- Brown quartz is called smokey quartz
- Tiger's Eye
- Rose quartz
Monday, April 5, 2021
Amethyst - Named By The Ancient Greeks
The color of the stone can range from deep violet to pastel purple. The stone is found in various amounts in many places of the world, with most of the amethyst mined in modern times coming from South America. It is the birthstone for the month of February.
Origins Of The Name
The name amethyst comes from the ancient Greek word amethystos that means 'not intoxicated'. In ancient times it was thought that if a person drank alcohol from a cup made from amethyst they would not get drunk. This also led to the sprinkling of ground amethyst into wine to make the drinker immune from alcohol's effects.
These attributes for amethyst in turn derive from ancient Greek stories. One of these stories tells that the Greek god Dionysus was in love with a Greek maiden named Amethystos. She did not return his love, and prayed to the Greek goddess Artemis to protect her and her chastity from the drunken god. The goddess answered the prayer and turned Amethystos into crystals of white quartz. When Dionysus discovered what had happened, he wept for his lost love and poured his goblet of wine over the crystals, thus they were dyed purple.
From ancient Greece to modern times the rich purple hues of amethyst have made it a very popular gemstone. Formerly reserved for the rich and powerful, modern discoveries of large deposits of the stone in South America have made the beautiful stone affordable for more people to own and enjoy.
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Amber - The Gemstone of Millennia
Gemstones of every color have attracted the eye of men (and women) since the dawn of time. Their attractiveness also made them items of great value. One of the oldest known of these 'pretty rocks' is also one of the few gemstones that have its origins as a substance from a plant. It began as resin that seeped from certain types of trees. In a combination of pressure and chemical changes, the gemstone amber was produced. Amber can be many millions of years old.The Amber Road developed that brought amber from the Baltic Sea all the way to Italy. This trading route lead to the possession of amber in many areas of the ancient world. Amber artifacts have been found in areas of ancient Greece, Egypt and England.
When the resin seeped from ancient trees so many millions of years go, sometimes it would trap various objects within it. These items are called inclusions, and can be a variety of insects, leaves, twigs, and other organic matter. These inclusions can contain insect and plant species that are no longer found on earth, and they add to the value of the stones.
Amber comes in many different colors such as orange, red, yellow, white, green, brown, blue and black (black is merely very dark shades of one of the other colors). It can also range in clarity from clear to cloudy. Seawater Amber, as its name implies, is found either floating in seawater or entangled in beds of seaweed. The beaches and seaweed beds of the Baltic Sea was the greatest source of amber in the ancient world, and was the starting point for the original Amber Road. The stone is also mined on land, and is the greatest source of amber being used today, mined in this manner it is encrusted with other minerals and rocks, while sea amber has been polished smooth by water. Sea Amber is of greater value than the version found on land.
Much of the amber found today still comes from the Baltic Sea region of Eastern Europe and Russia, with many of the richest deposits found in Poland and Lithuania. Other major deposits are also found in The Dominican Republic and different areas of Asia. Small localized areas of amber deposits have been found in The United States, with the largest U.S deposits being found in Arkansas.
The ancients credited amber with many magical properties. It gave the wearer strength, helped ward off evil, aided in healing, and enhanced the power of magicians, among others. The beauty of the stone still has the power to attract the human eye, and amber jewelry remains very popular. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, said the poet. In its many colors and forms, amber was a thing of beauty for the ancients. It remains a thing of beauty for us.Amber Jewelry
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Tanzanite - Gemstone Of The 20th Century
It was first marketed by Tiffany and Company in New York City. It was first given the name blue zoisite as it is a variety of the mineral zoisite, but Tiffany changed it to Tanzanite because they thought it would help it sell better. For ten years Tiffany had the exclusive rights to the stone, but in the 1970's the Tanzania government nationalized the mines, and now the government restricts the export of rough Tanzanite stones. There are other entities that own parts of the mines and the supply of the gemstone is strictly controlled, thus the price has rose steadily over the years.
The color of Tanzanite can range from purple to blue. The rough stone is usually a reddish brown, and the rough stones are heat-treated to bring out the blue color. Almost all Tanzanite is heat treated at more than 900 degrees Farenheit and heat treatment has no affect on the value of the stone. The best quality stones range in color from ultramarine blue to sapphire blue with the most popular color being saturated blue which shows a purplish tint to it. It is a relatively soft stone, and scratches more easily than many other gemstones. Care in wearing it and cleaning it is required. In 2002 The American Gem Trade Association announced the Tanzanite has joined Turquoise and Blue Topaz as their birth stones for December.
Tanzanite is a beautiful stone, and considering it is found in only one 5-mile square place on earth, it is by its nature a rare gem that will only get rarer. But it continues to be a popular stone, and has made its mark in the world of gemstones in a very short time.