Gems and Beads
Gemstones And Our Affair With Them
Gemstones are precious or semiprecious stones that are used in jewelry for adorning the body. They are highly valuable and beautiful crystalline rocks or minerals that are cut and polished for use in jewelry. They are valuable because of their beauty, rarity, and durability and are long lasting and can be passed on as heirlooms. The types of gemstones available are amazing. There are several that are widely used in jewelry, such as a diamond, garnet, beryl, emerald, sapphire, quartz, amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, opal, peridot, ruby, spinal, tourmaline, topaz etc. These are beautifully colored and are extremely attractive.
The shape of a gemstone is determined by the natural crystal structure and how it is developed. To be able to mount them into the precious metals such as Gold, silver etc., gem cutters shape them into various shapes, ensuring they reflect light and this adds brilliance to the cut and polished stone, making it highly attractive and valuable. Gem cutters take a scientific approach to cutting a gem stone, depending on the original shape of a gemstone, going by the refractive index of each gemstone, to understand how light rays bend as they pass through the stone. In ancient times, gemstones used to be identified only by color, but now the chemical properties of the gemstone are taken into consideration.
The chemical formula, specific gravity, hardness, and refractive index are looked at for identification. For example, the green color of an emerald is caused by small amounts of chromium and vanadium. The darker the green color of the emerald, the rarer it is, and the more expensive. Gemstones are considered as birthstones too and this superstition has its origin to ancient times. There are many that follow and strongly believe the superstition of wearing the gemstone that is attributed to be their birthstone. It is their strong belief that not all gemstones are suitable to every human. Just as all types of water is not drunk and all types of air is not inhaled, similarly all types of gemstones are not considered to be good. The nine gemstones, the ruby, pearl, emerald, yellow sapphire, coral, blue sapphire, diamond, cat’s eye, and hessonite are said to provide enlightenment and power. A main factor for determining the value of the gemstones is water. Water is used to refer to the color and transparency of a gemstone.
The value of a gemstone by and large is determined by the color, clarity of a stone, cut, and carat weight. These are called the 4 Cs. Apart from this, the rarity of a gemstone is taken into consideration too. Gemstones are now set in various metals and sold as ornaments to adorn different parts of our body, like bracelets or bangles for the wrists, necklaces or chokes for the neck, rings for the fingers, and so on. There are watches available for both men and women, that are studded with gems and which cost an arm and leg. The cost is no deterrent when the look is aesthetically pleasing and exotic.
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