Agate is a microcrystalline variety of quartz (silica), chiefly chalcedony, characterized by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. It is beautiful mineral that occurs in an amazing variety of colors, shapes and patterns. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks but can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.

Agate is extremely beautiful and most noted for its banded and multicolored schemes. For instance, the bands on many Agate stones wrap around the stone like a tree’s rings in various colors. These stones have been sought after since the beginning of time and through the ages man has given them mystical qualities such as making one invisible or protecting one from sickness. Today, Agate comes in many different varieties on almost any type of jewelry piece.

Although Amber is usually categorized as a precious gemstone due to some of its qualities, it is actually a fossilized resin. Amber has been known to man since the beginning of time and since Amber forms naturally around the world, it has been used mainly as ornamental jewelry. The largest deposits of Amber are located near the Baltic and Black Seas; in fact, today you can take a net and actually fish for Amber. Usually Amber comes from the floor of the sea that has been fossilized between 30 million and 90 million years ago.

Amber was also given magical powers in ancient and medieval times. For instance, Amber is associated with good luck and the cycle of life. Amber is considered good for longevity, it is also said to make the person wearing Amber more electric or magnetic, ultimately more attractive. It is also said that Amber protected one against rheumatism and gout, as well as a snake bite. Many newborns were given Amber to wear as infants, in order to guard themt from evil forces witches, the devil and witchcraft.

AMBER Treatments
The famous Vienna amber factories which use pale amber to manufacture pipes and other smoking tools, apply a specific procedure when working amber: it is turned on the lathe and polished with whitening and water or with rotten stone and oil, the final lustre being given by friction with flannel. During the working a significant electrostatic charge is developed.

When gradually heated in an oil-bath, amber becomes soft and flexible. Two pieces of amber may be united by smearing the surfaces with linseed oil, heating them, and then pressing them together while hot. Cloudy amber may be clarified in an oil-bath, as the oil fills the numerous pores to which the turbidity is due. Small fragments, formerly thrown away or used only for varnish, are now utilized on a large scale in the formation of "ambroid" or "pressed amber". The pieces are carefully heated with exclusion of air and then compressed into a uniform mass by intense hydraulic pressure; the softened amber being forced through holes in a metal plate. The product is extensively used for the production of cheap jewelery and articles for smoking. This pressed amber yields brilliant interference colours in polarized light. Amber has often been imitated by other resins like copal and kauri, as well as by celluloid and even glass. True amber is sometimes coloured artificially. Often amber (particularly with insect inclusions) is counterfeited using a plastic resin similar in appearance. A simple test (performed on the back of the object) consists of touching the object with a heated pin and determining if the resultant odor is of wood resin. If not, the object is counterfeit, although a positive test may not be conclusive owing to a thin coat of real resin. Often counterfeits will have a too perfect pose and position of the trapped insect.

Amethyst is a gemstone that is crystallized quartz. Amethyst is known throughout the world for its beauty. This crystalline gemstone usually comes in beautiful colors such as violet and purple. It is also important to note that Citrine is created from heat treated Amethyst, Citrine’s color is yellow orange.

Amethyst is the most valuable of the quartz minerals. Amethyst is only used for ornamental jewelry, due to its beauty, hardness and attraction, however it has been coveted for many reasons going back to legends and folklore.

For the most part, Amethyst can be cut to various shapes and sizes and can be found as earrings, on bracelets, charms, and rings. Amethyst was believed to have many special qualities, including the ability to prevent intoxication, for this reason many cups or glasses are bejeweled with Amethyst especially antique glasses from ancient Roman and Greek times.

Amethyst is also the birthstone for February. It is extremely popular during this month as it is given as birthday gifts, usually as ornamental jewelry. It is also popular as a gift for those that are into Astrology. Amethyst is popular with those that are Aquarians and Pisces.

Amethyst has had many uses in ancient and medieval times. For instance, it was used to overcome addictions. Many people that had a hearing disorder, headaches or pain used Amethyst as a way to treat it. Amethyst was also used for insomnia and to stabilize mental disorders.

Cat’s Eye is usually a term used for a property in a gemstone or mineral. Cat’s Eye can be found in many different materials including Quartz, Beryl and ChrysoBeryl. The Cat’s Eye

The Cat’s Eye is mainly used as ornamental jewelry and does not have any industrial uses. The Cat’s Eye is mainly used for ornamental jewelry and has been treasured for thousands of years.

Cat’s Eye is associated with wisdom, truth and psychic abilities. For people looking for a great gift for a philosophical person, a Cat’s Eye is sure to please. Cat’s Eye can be fashioned into many types of ornamental jewelry but mostly likely purchased as a ring or charm.

The Cat’s Eye is not associated with any birth month or astrological signs, however many people give the Cat’s Eye to a person that is Sagittarius or for those that have a birthday during the month of November to highlight the philosophical and intellectual qualities.

Citrine is a type of quartz which is associated with being yellow or yellow orange in color. It is a hard crystal that grows around a macro crystalline structure, this means that its six sided crystal shape is easy to spot with the naked eye. It is transparent and has a wonderful vitreous luster. It is important to note that Citrine gets its wonderful yellow color from small particles of iron inside the quartz. These particles are said to only number about 40 parts per million. Since Citrine is a beautiful looking stone, it is mostly used for ornamental jewelry.

Citrine and Amethyst are the exact same minerals, only the oxidation has changed inside the mineral. You can change the oxidation simply by heating it or irradiating it. In fact, because Citrine is rare in its natural state, a large majority of Citrine sold today is simply Amethyst heated up.

One of the most distinctive ornamental jewelry items around is Coral. Coral is not a mineral or gemstone per say, it is actually a secretion formed by thousands upon thousands of small organisms. Coral is calcium carbonate, which is essentially like aragonite or marble. Small Coral polyps secrete this material to create a habitat for protection in the sea.

Coral comes in many fine colors including orange, white, black, pale or pink which is called Angelskin Coral and even in a deep red, which is the rarest type and sometimes referred to as fire Coral. While the majority of Coral is used for ornamental jewelry, older Coral reefs that are now found in land are used as a building supply, called Coral rag. There are a few prehistoric Coral reefs that are now found in land on the Isle of Portland, as well as in Africa. Because calcium carbonate is a tough and strong material, it is a great product to build homes and other structures with. Since dried up Coral reefs are usually huge in scale, it is an affordable material as well.
It should be noted that while most of the Coral that is sold is natural and genuine, there are fake Coral products available as well. They are usually created either by plastic, glass or porcelain. It is easy to spot fake Coral because true Coral which is made from calcium carbonate will effervesce when it comes into contact with acid, fake Coral from plastic, glass and porcelain will not.

Garnets are a very popular mineral that has been known to man for thousands of years. Garnets are mostly known as a beautiful warm, red stone that can have translucent crystals or be grainy in appearance. Garnets have a long history and were even written about in the Old Testament as Noah Ark’s lantern.

The Garnet come is a myriad of colors including red, green, violet, yellow, and earthy colors such as cinnamon. The only color that a garnet is not available in is blue. One of the reasons Garnets are held in high esteem is the way that they shine and give off light. This is due to their refractive properties. The Garnet gemstone is a great stone to make ornamental jewelry with. It has a hardness score of 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale and can be crafted into almost any shape. They are generally stable and will keep their color for generations as long as they don’t come into contact with intense heat or radiation.

Hematite is a very common mineral, it fact, it is the major mineral that is needed to create iron. Hematite is written as Fe2O3 and is commonly referred to as iron oxide. Hematite is a mineral that does grow crystals and is similar to structure with Limonite as well as Corundum.

Hematite comes in various colors including black, gray, silver, brown, rust, reddish brown and red. Red is the color usually associated with hematite for jewelry purposes, however black Hematite is sometimes referred to as a black Diamond. Hematite is used for many functions, some of them being ornamental jewelry, face paint and it is the major mineral used to form iron. While Hematite alone is harder than pure iron, it is very brittle only having a harness rating of 5 to 6.

Today, Hematite is a popular mineral used in jewelry. Its earthy tones are very attractive to many consumers and you can also find hematite used with fabrics as well as Native American art and jewelry. While hematite is not as popular as other well known gemstones and minerals, hematite is extremely attractive and a great gift for the right person.

Jade is one of the most unique and popular gemstones in the world. While it is popular and precious in Europe and the United States, it is on a much higher level in popularity and tradition in East Asia, specifically China.

Jade is a very hard mineral stone that is actually name given to two distinct stones. Jadeite and Nephrite are both considered true and traditional Jade. It wasn’t until1863 that Jade was discovered to be created from two distinct stones. These stones are extremely similar to one another and are usually indistinguishable by the naked eye.

One of the most interesting stones available is the moonstone. Moonstone has been known to man since the beginning of civilization and its wonderful qualities is what makes it a treat to the eyes and senses.

Moonstone is made from Feldspar an extremely common stone. Feldspar covers perhaps 60% of the earth’s crust and is from the German word meaning field rock. Moonstone contains no metals or ores, but does have a crystal structure to it.
Moonstone’s most common use is that of ornamental jewelry. It has some distinct attributes including adularescence, which is the ability of light to enter into the crystalline structure and bounce back and forth creating an aura or shimmering quality. This quality is what makes moonstone the most valuable. Moonstone can come in many colors; however the most popular color is blue. Other colors that Moonstone can come in are yellow, brown, green and multi colored.

Mother of Pearls is an extremely common type of mineral. While these minerals are extremely beautiful and depending on their quality valuable, they are considered organic minerals because they are created by living organisms.

Mother of pearls are made from mollusks, specifically oysters and abalones. These mollusks secrete calcium carbonate which is silky to the touch and extremely beautiful. Calcium carbonate is generally a hard mineral and will stand up to daily use. While most people are familiar with pearls, mother of Pearls are the same type of mineral except not in a pearl form.

Mother of Pearls are used for a variety of applications. While they can be used as ornamental jewelry, many times Mother of Pearls are used for industrial applications such as home products including tile flooring and materials that are added to fine instruments. Tiles are created from Mother of Pearls and are typically called Tessa Rae. These are small tiles that can be put together with grout for many home applications. Another way to use Mother of Pearl tiling is for it to be attached to large sheets of fiber glass and then applied easily in a kitchen or home.

Mother of Pearls are also used as the lining of a sink and give it a beautiful luxurious luster. Mother of Pearl is white, but usually can be found with beautiful iridescent colors. The reason for this iridescence is that because the structure of Mother of Pearl is very small and very similar to the size of light wave lengths.

Mystic Topaz is usually a clear Topaz stone that has been enhanced or treated. Mystic Topaz is not a gemstone that occurs naturally and its major function is that of beautiful ornamental jewelry.

Mystic Topaz is a fairly new process for treating Topaz. Topaz is one of the more common gemstones and the Mystic Topaz is known for its clear Topaz stone that is then coated with an extremely thin layer of titanium or other type of metal on the bottom portion of the stone, commonly referred to as the pavilion. Treating the Topaz makes the Mystic Topaz refract or reflect wonderful rainbow colors which have beautiful blues, yellows, reds and greens.

Peridot, pronounced Pear-ih-doe is a wonderful gemstone that is very popular for its olive green hue. In fact, its gemstone name is Peridot, but the mineral from which it comes from is called Olivine. Olivine is mineral that usually contains many elements including most of all magnesium, some iron, silica rock or stone and oxygen. It is important to note that in particular, deep green stones usually have two element additions, nickel and chromium.

Usually Peridot is found in rocks that are high in iron or magnesium. Unfortunately, Peridot is not found in many regions around the world. This fact is possibly due to the way in which Peridot is very susceptible to weathering. For instance, high heats, water and friction can easily destroy Peridot. This is not only true in deposits in mines and under the surface, but for ornamental jewelry that is created from these wonderfully hued stones.

Topaz is a wonderful gemstone that is extremely popular and found in many regions around the world. Topaz has been known to man for millennia and the name Topaz was generally used for any stone that was yellow in color.
Topaz is a type of fluorosilicate. It is created from many elements including aluminum, fluoride, silicon and oxygen. Besides these elements, it also can include trace elements that can help create or enhance the color of the Topaz. Topaz is found usually near silica rocks that are volcanic in origin. It is also found in volcanic cavities and in pegmatites.

Zircon is an interesting mineral, especially since it is rare and usually misunderstood. Zircon is probably known most of all by its synthetic knockoff Cubic Zirconium. However, it should be noted that Zircon itself, is a natural forming gemstone that has a lot to offer.

Colorless Zircon has the distinction of being the mineral that comes closest to resembling a diamond naturally, usually due to its high refraction and fire. Some of the many regions that Zircon can be found in are Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. However, Thailand is the world’s leading producer of Zircon.

After removing your gemstone jewellery, wipe it with a soft cloth to remove dirt and other residues.
In general, all you need to clean your gemstones is warm, soapy water and a very soft brush-a soft toothbrush and mild dishwashing liquid does a good job. Remove your jewellery, let it soak in the soapy water for about 20 minutes, and then gently brush it and rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to scratch the metal of your setting. Home ultrasonic cleaners are not recommended for all of your colored gemstones. Ruby and sapphire are typically safe to clean in an ultrasonic cleaner but other gemstones are not. Because of their porous composition, opals should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. Similarly, emeralds should always be cleaned by hand.

Store your gemstone jewellery in a lined case or a soft cloth, so the gems do not touch each other or parts of other jewellery. Gemstones are harder than gold, silver, or platinum and can scratch the surfaces of your other fine jewellery if they are not kept separate.

While it's true that gemstones such as ruby and sapphire are second only to diamond on the hardness scale, it is not a measurement of their indestructibility. It means that these gemstones are able to resist scratching almost as well as diamond. Abrasive surfaces, harsh chemicals, and sharp blows can damage even the toughest gem. Your gemstone jewellery should be the last thing you put on when getting dressed and the first thing you take off at the end of the night. Store it carefully and it will be enjoyed for generations.

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