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INTERESTING FACTS AND INFORMATION ABOUT GEMSTONES

DID YOU KNOW...

  • Sapphires come in all colors of the rainbow?
  • that you should never clean Iolites with an ultrasonic cleaner?
  • Amethysts and Citrines are the same mineral, only different colors, and excessive heat can change the color from one to the other?

  • we have Sapphire mines in the United States - most notably in Montana?

  • an Aquamarine and an Emerald are the same mineral?

  • you can dig for diamonds in Arkansas at the Diamond Crater National Park?

  • violet-blue Iolite has the same polarizing capability as a pair of sunglasses, and the Vikings used to carry Iolite with them and look through it to find the sun on a cloudy day?

  • when Sapphires have a pinkish to pinkish-red hue they are called "Pink Sapphire," but when the dominant hue becomes red, they are called "Rubies?"

  • ancient Greeks named Amber from the word "electron" because if rubbed Amber gives off static electricity?

  • fossilized tree sap must be at least 30 million years old to be considered Amber?

  • if you sand Malachite it can give off a poisonous dust?

  • that Obsidian is a natural glass formed during volcanic eruptions?

  • beautiful blue-violet Tanzanites come out of the ground colorless, and must be heated to attain their beautiful depth of color?

  • that Tourmalines and quartz will develop an electrical charge when heated, and tourmaline jewelry will attract dust when displayed under hot lights?

  • there is no such thing as "Jade" - green "Jade" is actually either one of two different minerals, Jadeite and Nephrite, and Jadeite is the more valuable of the two?

  • the second most valuable color of Jadeite is lavender?

  • you can dig and pan for colored gemstones such as emerald, aquamarine, moonstones, garnet, citrine, amethyst, ruby, and sapphire at Gem Mountain, in Spruce Pine, North Carolina?

  • that there is a new man-made brilliant white stone called Moissanite, which can fool a jewelry store Diamond tester?

  • that the big "Ruby" in the royal crown of England is actually a red Spinel?

  • Ivory imitations are carved from corozo nuts, tagua nuts and duom palm nuts?

  • if allowed to sit in moist or humid conditions too long, Hematite jewelry has such a high iron content it will actually rust?

  • black Jet, made popular for use in jewelry by Queen Victoria in the 19th century, is actually a type of fossilized coal formed 180 million years ago from dead trees?

  • it takes one to three years to grow a cultured Pearl?

  • Goldstones are not stones at all - they are actually glass containing copper crystals that give it aventurescence (quick bright flashes of light)?

  • "black Onyx" is actually orange and brown Sardonyx that has been dyed black, and should be cleaned carefully to avoid removing the dye and dulling this porous Quartz?

  • cultured Pearls are made by inserting a small shell bead into an oyster as an irritant, and waiting years for the oyster to cover the bead with its luscious nacre?

  • Amethysts can fade if exposed to too much sun?

  • historically, before science could tell minerals apart, all yellow stones were called "Topaz"?

  • they were synthesizing Rubies in the late 1800's and actually charging more for them than the real thing?

  • Pearls, by law, must be called "cultured Pearls" unless they are completely natural, and most Pearls sold today are cultured (made with help from man)?

  • a "Herkermer Diamond" is actually made of Quartz?

  • "smokey Topaz" is not a Topaz at all - its a misnomer for brown Quartz?

  • radiation causes Diamonds to turn green?

  • some Diamonds are artificially (and safely) irradiated to achieve a green color - but early on, before the process was refined, some green Diamonds were actually made radioactive and are confiscated by the U.S. Government if found today?

  • a new process has been recently developed to achieve a green color in Diamonds using just pressure and heat?

  • in ancient times the term "Sapphire" meant all blue stones, but usually meant Lapis Lazuli - which was considered the most expensive stone in the world?

Check back regularly as we add more interesting facts about gemstones and jewelry, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email us here at Mrs. Gottrocks.

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