Hessonite Garnet

The name, 'hessonite', was derived from the Greek word 'hesson', meaning 'inferior' - in reference to the fact that hessonite has a density and hardness lower than that of most other forms of garnet.

Hessonite can be easily distinguished from other garnet types by its distinctive color and the presence of manganese.

Hessonite colors can range from deep yellow or golden orange to cinnamon brown. Its color is owed to traces of manganese. Hessonite often contains tiny honey-colored inclusions. These inclusions typically do not detract from the value of the stone. The most desirable color is bright golden orange; lighter stones exhibit more brilliance.

Diamond

As with many legendary diamonds and gems, there are contrasting stories and rumors regarding the origin of the Koh-I-Noor. Some believe it was a gift to the earth from Surya (the god of the sun), and that evidence of its existence can be found in ancient Sanskrit writings, dating back over 5000 years. Some Hindus believe it was stolen from the great god Krishna as he lay asleep, whilst others say the Koh-I-Noor was, in fact, the Syamantaka Jewel, another famous precious stone from Indian mythology, believed to have been blessed with great magical powers.

The first real evidence of the Koh-I-Noor can be found in the memoirs of Barbur, the founder and first leader of the Mogul Empire. Barbur recorded the diamond amongst the treasures of Ala-ud-deen (better known to some as Aladdin), and it was said to have been won in battle in Malwah, in 1304 AD.

In 1526, it was obtained by the Moguls. Then it was said to have been at its original weight of 793 carats but after some awful cutting and polishing by the Emperor's jeweller, Borgio, the stone was reduced to just 186 carats, and Borgio was said to have been severely punished!

In 1850 the British thought it fitting that the new Maharaja, Duleep Singh, should personally present the Koh-I-Noor diamond to Queen Victoria, after which it became the centre piece of 'the Great Exhibition' staged in Hyde Park, London, which displayed the large diamond in full public view.

In 1852, Prince Albert ordered for the diamond to be re-cut, reducing it to its current weight of 105 carats, and increasing its brilliance, soon after which it was set in a royal tiara with over 2000 other diamonds.

The Koh-I-Noor currently resides with the rest of the crown jewels, set in a crown created in 1937 for the coronation of the then Empress of India, Elizabeth, who would later be known as the Queen Mother.

Most diamonds form under extreme pressure and at very high temperatures, typically at depths of over 140 kilometers inside Earth's mantle. On average, diamond formation occurs over periods of 1 to 3.3 billion years, until they are surfaced through deep volcanic eruptions of a rare type of magma called kimberlite. Kimberlite is a ultramafic potassic igneous rock that also contains many other minerals like olivine, diopside, calcite, serpentine, garnet and small amounts of apatite, as well as various other upper mantle minerals. The kimberlite magma erupts from rare volcanic vents known as pipes or diatremes.

 

Opal

Opal is famed for its ability to diffract light. The exact cause of opal's unique properties was only recently discovered by Australian scientists in the 1960s after analysis with electron microscopes. It was discovered that small spheres of silica gel caused interference, refraction and diffraction of light, resulting in opal's distinctive play of color. The varying refractive indices of the spheres and spaces between them dissect the light on its passage through the stone. As light enters the opal, it bends around the tiny particles or 'spheres' of hydrated silica, as well as 'chips' of silicon and oxygen suspended within the stone. Light is comprised of all visible colors and can produce an entire spectrum of colors when it is diffracted.

Precious opal is known for its remarkable ability to diffract light, which results in rainbow-like colors that change with the angle of observation - known as 'play of color'. Fire opal can sometimes exhibit slight color play, but it is better known for its vivid body color. Common opal is usually opaque, rarely translucent, and lacks play of color. It is often found mixed with other gemstones, such as agate opal or moss opal. Common opal is known to exhibit 'opalescence'. The term 'opalescence' is often mistaken for 'play of color'. Opalescence should technically only be used to describe the optical effects seen in common opal.

Opalescence is caused by the reflection of light and appears as a sheen of light, typically milky-bluish in color. It is a form of adularescence, whereas 'play of color' is iridescence caused by light diffraction.

Blue Topaz

Blue topaz can be found in both lighter and darker tones, usually known in the trade as sky blue topaz, Swiss blue topaz and London blue topaz. As in the case of other blue gems, the more saturated blues tend to have a higher value. So in topaz it is the London blue that usually regarded as the most valuable.

London blue topaz is a medium to dark grayish blue, sometimes described as "steely" or "inky". Many London blue gems have a slightly greenish tone when viewed from certain angles.

The reason why blue topaz is so reasonably priced is that topaz is a very abundant material. But natural topaz occurs mainly in white (colorless) and brown; natural blue topaz is actually very rare.

Imperial Topaz

The Egyptians said that topaz was colored with the golden glow of the mighty sun god Ra. This made topaz a very powerful amulet that protected the faithful against harm. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, who also is the god of the sun. Topaz sometimes has the amber gold of fine cognac or the blush of a peach and all the beautiful warm browns and oranges in between. Some rare and exceptional topaz are pale pink to a sherry red.

Wear topaz only if you wish to be clear-sighted: legend has it that it dispels all enchantment and helps to improve eyesight as well! The ancient Greeks believed that it had the power to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency. Topaz was also said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink. Its mystical curative powers waxed and waned with the phases of the moon: it was said to cure insomnia, asthma, and hemorrhages.

Perhaps the most famous topaz is a giant specimen set in the Portuguese Crown, the Braganza, which was first thought to be a diamond. There is also a beautiful topaz set in the Green Vault in Dresden, one of the world's important gem collections.

 

Cats Eye - Chrysoberyl

In the world of gems and crystal healing lore, chrysoberyl is a stone of discipline and self-control. It is thought to increase concentration and learning ability, while enhancing a desire for excellence. Chrysoberyl can help increase self-confidence and bring peace of mind. It is believed to enhance creativity, imagination and intuition. Chrysoberyl is believed to bridge the gap between both the physical and spiritual world. It is known to carry a strong and warm healing energy and is thus associated with the crown chakra. Since ancient times, chrysoberyl has been regarded as a protection stone and is often associated with money and wealth. In fact, Russian legends claim that color change chrysoberyl can bring good luck, fortune and love to those who wear it.

Chrysoberyl is a very rare mineral and gemstone quality deposits are even rarer.is a rare and exotic family of gemstones first discovered in 1789 by renowned geologist, Abraham Gottlob Werner. The name Chrysoberyl was originally derived from the Greek words, 'chryso' and 'beryl', meaning 'golden' and 'green', respectively. For many years, chrysoberyl was often referred to as Chrysolite, a historical name used to refer to any golden-green to olive colored gemstone.

 

 

Alexandrite

The history of alexandrite is quite controversial, dating back to the times of Imperial Russia. It is said that the stone was named after the Russian tsar, Alexander II (1818 - 1881), but was discovered by a French mineralist called Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792 - 1866). When Nordenskiöld first discovered alexandrite in 1834, it was initially thought to be an emerald because it was discovered in emerald mines located in Russia's Ural region, near the Tokovaya River. The specimen was later identified as a chromium bearing, color change variety of chrysoberyl. Legends claim that the discovery of alexandrite was made on the very day the future tsar of Russia became of age. Inevitably, the red and green color change stone was to be declared the official gemstone of Imperial Russia's Tsardom.

Alexandrite is one of the rarest of all colored gemstones available today. More specifically, it is an extremely rare color change variety of chrysoberyl.

It can display emerald green, red, orange and yellow colors depending on which angle the stone is viewed from.

 

Aquamarine

In Ancient, as well as Modern times, the aquamarine is said to have countless positive effects on the wearer. The attributes of aquamarine were first recorded by Damigeron in the second century BC.

Aquamarine is derived from the Latin word ‘aqua marina, aqua:  water, marina: of the sea; as its colours resemble the ocean. Aquamarine has been adorned in jewellery back far as 500 B.C. It was a famous talisman for the sailors, as they believed it would keep them safe from the danger. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family, rated 7.8 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it a durable stone for any jewellery.

Like seawater, aquamarine can be light-blue, dark-blue, blue-green and green-blue. The more saturated the color, the higher the value, although almost all aquamarine is typically a lighter blue tone. A deeply saturated blue is the most desirable color, but it is very rare in larger specimens.

Labradorite

According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights are captured in the minerals on the coast of Labrador. This is not surprising considering the magical, iridescent colour of labradorite. Labradorite is thought to be a magical stone that possesses powerful protective properties and helps its wearer to find their true path in life. It is thought to "bring light" to the otherwise unknown, and thus provide its wearer with insight. Additionally, labradorite is credited with having the ability to bring out the positive in people and calm overactive minds, bringing peace to its wearer. Labradorite is also thought to soothe menstrual problems, aid disorders of the lungs, prevent colds, help with digestion and regulate both metabolism and blood pressure.The throat chakra is associated with hearing, speech and self-expression. Wearing labradorite is thought to contribute to true and honest expression. Labradorite is said to facilitate communication between the spiritual and physical world, helping its wearer to recall dreams and experiences from past lives. It is therefore thought to help bring out psychic abilities.

 The most highly valued labradorite is material that shows the full spectrum of colour in its labradorescence. Labradorite that does not exhibit labradorescence can still make beautiful gemstones because of aventurescence, which is a glitter caused by diffraction of light from mineral platelets.

Rhodolite - Garnet

Rhodolite garnet is a raspberry-red, purplish-red or rose-coloured garnet. It is a mix of pyrope and almandine in composition. Rhodolite garnet gets its name from the Greek word, "rhodon", meaning "rose coloured", which refers to its pinkish hue.

The name "garnet" comes from the Medieval Latin word, "granatum", which is an adjective meaning "dark-red". It is thought that this adjective could have been extracted from the word "pomegranate", due to the colour of the seed coats or shape of the seeds. However, the word could also have come from another Medieval Latin word; "granum", referring to red dye. The use of red garnet dates back thousands of years, when it was used by Egyptian pharaohs for both decorative and ceremonial purposes. The ancient Romans also wore garnet rings and traded garnet gemstones. The best rhodolite garnet gemstones are a vivid raspberry-red colour.

Rhodolite garnets can be rose pink, purplish-pink, raspberry-red or purplish-red. The most desired colour is raspberry red.

Garnet has long been thought of as a travellers' stone. In fact, Noah's Ark is said to have had a garnet lantern to help navigate during the night. 

Garnet is also thought to promote successful business, encourage compassion and aid self-confidence. Garnet is said to have the ability to heal the blood and encourage good circulation.

Spessartite - Garnet

Spessartite is an orange to red-brown gemstone that belongs to the large and varied garnet species. The name, "spessartine" comes from the Bavarian word, "Spessart", meaning forest.

In particular, spessartite garnet is said to provide its wearer with analytical and creative abilities, strength of heart and the eagerness to assist others. Physically, spessartite garnet is thought to benefit the reproductive system, the kidneys, bladder and the appetite. The healing powers of spessartite garnet are said to be good for clear communication, self-confidence and for willingness to make changes and experience new things.

Spessartite garnet can range in colour from warm yellow to orange-red. The most desired colour for spessartite garnet is a reddish-orange, which is known as "aurora red" or "mandarin spessartite". This is a pure orange without brown tints.

Ametrine

The Anahi Mine, located in Bolivia is the world's largest source for precious ametrine. The mine became famous in the 17th century when a Spanish conquistador received an ametrine stone as a gift. He had received the gift when he married a princess from the Ayoreos tribe by the name of Anahi from Bolivia. Ametrine was introduced to the rest of Europe when the conquistador presented the stone to the Spanish queen.

Throughout the Middle Ages and times of Antiquity, people believed that the cosmos was reflected in gemstones. The esoteric movement revived these ancient beliefs and many gemstone and crystal collectors buy colored stones primarily for astrological healing powers. The healing powers of gemstones have been used for centuries by healers, shamans and medicine men all over the world. Whether it's based on fact or simply a result of the placebo effect, people believe that crystals work. To achieve the most benefit from your crystal, wear the stone in contact with the skin, especially the targeted area. Ametrine is said to be of help for headaches, pancreatic disorders, backache and alcoholism.

Ametrine comes in bands of yellow and purple. It is easily identified by its unique bicoloring. Since it has a limited color range, it can easily be distinguished from other bicolored stones.

Fluorite

As a lesser-known gemstone, fluorite hasn't gained much fame or legend, other than being known as the most colorful mineral in the world. The word 'fluorite', derived from the Latin verb 'to flow', refers to fluorite's use as a flux in steel and aluminum processing. It was originally named 'fluorspar' by miners and is still called fluorspar to this day. Fluorite is also used as a source of fluorine for fluorinated water. Many people believe fluorite has a calming effect on the body. During the eighteenth century it was ground into powder and mixed with water to treat kidney disease. Ancient Romans believed that drinking alcoholic beverages out of vessels carved from fluorite would help prevent drunkenness, which is similar to the beliefs attached to purple amethyst.

Fluorite occurs in a range of colors from colorless to black. The hallmark fluorite color is purple, while other popular colors include blue, green and yellow. Rarer colors include colorless, pink, brown, black and reddish-orange.

 

Padparadscha Sapphire

Prized throughout the ages, padparadscha sapphires are as beautiful and exotic as their name.

The rarest and most valuable color in sapphire is called padparadscha. The name, as esoteric as the color is elusive, is said to be derived from the Sinhalese term for lotus flower.

In Buddhism the pink lotus is regarded as the 'supreme lotus,' and the lotus associated with the historical Buddha.

Kunzite

Kunzite was first discovered in Connecticut, USA, and was named after George Frederick Kunz (1856 - 1932), an American mineralogist.

 Kunzite is closely related to hiddenite, the yellow-green member of the spodumene family which was also discovered and named after an American mineralogist, W. E. Hidden.

The wearer of a kunzite gemstone is believed to be blessed with good fortune. Kunzite is said to help its wearer to understand and interact better with others. Kunzite is sometimes referred to as the 'evening stone' because of its sensitivity to sunlight and heat. Kunzite's pink color is said to bond the energies of the heart and mind. For this reason, it is often referred to as a 'stone of balance'.

 It occurs as colorless to yellowish, purplish, yellowish-green or emerald-green .