Semi-precious gemstone beads .....

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Sharing the little I know and believe in ...........

Most semi precious gemstones are cut, shaped and polished forms of mineral crystals. Occurring naturally for centuries they have been linked to certain cultures and its beliefs, mythology, horoscopes, birth months and so on . . . . . 

Some believe that gemstones have healing properties, though I'd wager a bet that most gemstones are used ornately - within jewellery, carvings and statues etc. However used, they are special with meaning for most of us.

The term "semi precious"  is applied to all of the  gemstones / minerals that are not defined or classified as "precious", like our diamonds, rubies and sapphires etc. It doesn't rightly mean they are less valuable, I personally believe it reflects their "rarity / availabilty"  as opposed to their monetary value, with that said I think it is fair to say that all gemstones have beautiful and unique qualities. 

I am by no means a gemologist, neither do I own or use technical equipment to determine the chemical composition of any gemstone. What I do is scrutinise my beads for their characteristics ~ hardness, cold to the touch, luster and inclusions etc ~ those material flaws that just might be present within a stone. The colour of any stone is important, some materials exhibit different colours  when daylight "hits" it and even some gemstones / minerals occur naturally in different colours.

Reality is that a lot of gemstones nowadays are treated ~ via heat, waxing, oiling etc. This is done simply to enhance the colour and/or the clarity of the stone. A good example of this is Aquamarine - most of the Aquamarine today is heated to remove its yellowy tones and change its green colour to the desirable blue. The treatments are widely accepted because they result in a more "stable" stone. 

Few gemstones are used in their natural state, the form in which they are found. Most are cut and polished for usage. Grinding wheels and polishing agents are used to grind, shape and polish them so the result is a smooth usable object. 

Gemstones / minerals that have "transparency properties", for example Citrine, Moonstone etc are usually faceted. A method used to optimise and illustrate the properties of the stones interior and to maximise reflected light ~ resulting in the sparkle most of us love. The facets must be cut at the correct angles else little or no light will be reflected. 

I have been buying gemstone beads from the same supplier for over 6 years now.  I also create and craft jewellery and other ornate items using semi precious gemstones. Unusually bright, perfect, flawless beads strung on a cord or string tinged with colour, will alarm me and I have experienced this when I have tried to purchase from "cheaper" suppliers in the past.

I am by no means an expert but thought I would write this. I have myself looked at listings in the past and they have to put it politely, waffled on ~ That said I try now to keep things simple, factual, short and sweet. Sometimes short and sweet doesn't allow for a glimpse of the person, thoughts and views behind it ~ hence I'm sharing mine.



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