Know your gemstones!

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By definition, gemstones are mineral crystals that are cut to create precious ornamentations. Gemstones have been used to signify a person’s health, wealth and social status.
History:  Gemstones such as Amber, Turquoise, Coral, Lapis Lazuli and Malachite were initially used as ornamentations for humans because of their easy availability and flexibility. The loose gemstones could be molded into any jewellery as per preferences.

Types of gemstones:

Traditionally gemstones have been classified into two categories- Precious and semi-precious. This concept evolved a couple of centuries back. 
  • Precious Stones:  The term ‘precious stone’ was coined in the mid 1800’s used specifically to refer four stones- Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires. They originate from rocks and minerals and are highly attractive. Precious stones are translucent and are valued because of their richness in color and beauty. They are highly expensive and a symbol of elegance and classiness.
Diamonds: Derived from the Greek term ‘adamus’, which means ‘invincible’ Diamond is the most popular and expensive gemstones of all times. This mineral compound is made of pure carbon. Diamonds are the hardest known substance and only a diamond can cut or polish another diamond.
Emeralds: Emeralds were mined as early as 2000B.C. in Upper Egypt and was known to be Cleopatra’s favorite gem. Bright green in color the outer surface of the stone is brittle which makes it difficult to shape. In recent days, emeralds are mostly extracted from Brazil, Zambia and Columbia.
  Ruby: The good luck stone was believed to be the sign of protection from evil. Today Rubies are considered to symbolize love and passion. The term Ruby has been derived from the Latin word ‘ruber’. They are generally pink to deep red in color.
  Sapphires: Traditionally, Sapphires are blue in color and represents peace and purity. Sapphires are mined throughout Africa and Asia, but can be found in Australia and the U.S.

• Semi-precious Stones

The stones that are known for their beauty and charm. They are comparatively less expensive that the precious stones. There are many semi-precious stones. Some of which includes:
  Amethyst: Highly authentic Amethyst is generally deep purple in color and is said to bring good luck and radiate love. Belongs to the quartz family, Amethyst gets its color because of the traces of manganese, titanium and iron.
Citrine: This lemon yellow stone derives its name from the French word ‘Citrine’ which means ‘yellow’. They are available at a reasonable price range and highly durable. Citrine can be used for daily wear jewelry because it is insensitive to scratches.
  Onyx: The term has been coined from Greek vernacular which means nail or claw. Onyx is composed of a variety of Quartz-Chalcedony.
Pearl: An organic gem composed of Calcium Carbonate which is generally secreted by an oyster when it traps any foreign substance. It takes five to eight years for a natural pearl to gain its shape and size. They are mostly white or with a creamy or pinkish tinge, but may be tinted with yellow, green, blue, brown, purple, or black.
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