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Imitation Stones
THE beryl glass mentioned in the previous chapter marks the transition stage between manufactured stones which in all essential characters are identical with those found in nature, and artificial stones which resemble the corresponding natural stone in outward appearance only.
Precious Stones
DIAMOND has held pride of place as chief of precious stones ever since the discovery of the form of cutting known as the ' brilliant' revealed to full perfection its amazing qualities ; and justly so, since it combines in itself extreme hardness, high refraction, large colour-dispersion, and brilliant lustre.
Occurence Of Diamond
THE whole of the diamonds known in ancient times were 0btained from the so-called Golconda mines in India. Golconda itself, now a deserted fortress near Hyderabad, was merely the mart where the diamonds were bought and sold.
Historical Diamonds
THE number of diamonds which exceed a hundred carats in weight when cut is very limited. Their extreme costliness renders them something more than mere ornaments ; in a condensed and portable form they represent great wealth and all the potentiality for good or ill thereby entailed, and have played no small, if sinister, role in the moulding of history.
Colored Diamonds
The largest of coloured diamonds, the Hope, weighs 44 1/8 carats, and has a steely- or greenish blue, and not the royal-blue colour of the glass models supposed to represent it.
Corundum - Sapphire, Ruby
RANKING in hardness second to diamond alone, the species known to science as corundum and widely familiar by the names of its varieties, sapphire and ruby, holds a pre-eminent position among coloured gem-stones.
Beryl - Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite
THE species to be considered in this chapter includes the varieties emerald and aquamarine, as well as what jewellers understand by beryl. It has many incontestable claims on the attention of all lovers of the beautiful in precious stones.
TOPAZ is the most popular yellow stone in jewellery, and often forms the principal stone in brooches or pendants, especially in old-fashioned articles. It is a general idea that all yellow stones are topazes, and all topazes are yellow ; but neither statement is correct.
Balas-Ruby, Rubicelle
SPINEL labours under the serious disadvantage of being overshadowed at almost all points by its opulent and more famous cousins, sapphire and ruby, and is not so well known as it deserves to be.
THE important group of minerals which are known under the general name of garnet provides an apt illustration of the fact that rarity is an essential condition if a stone is to be accounted precious.
Tourmaline - Rubellite
TOURMALINE is unsurpassed even by corundum in variety of hue, and it has during recent years rapidly advanced in public favour, mainly owing to the prodigal profusion in which nature has formed it in that favoured State, California, the garden of the west.
THE beautiful bottle-green stone, which from its delicate tint has earned from appreciative admirers the poetical sobriquet of the evening emerald, and which has during recent years crept into popular favour and now graces much of the more artistic jewellery, is named as a gem-stone peridot—a word long in use among French jewellers.
ZIRCON, which, if known at all in jewellery, is called by its variety names, jargoon and hyacinth or jacinth, is a species that deserves greater recognition than it receives.
CHRYSOBERYL has at times enjoyed fleeting popularity on account of the excellent cat's-eyes cut from the fibrous stones, and in the form of alexandrite it meets with a steadier, if still limited, demand.
ALTHOUGH the commonest and, in its natural form, the most easily recognizable of mineral substances, quartz nevertheless holds a not inconspicuous position among gem stones.
Chalcedony, Agate
Chalcedony and agate are found the whole world over, but India, and particularly Brazil, are noted for their fine carnelians and agates.
THAT opal in early times excited keen admiration is evident from Pliny's enthusiastic description of these stones: For in them you shall see the burning fire of the carbuncle, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the green sea of the emerald, all glittering together in an incredible mixture of light.
THOUGH second to none among minerals in scientific interest, whether regarded from the point of view of their crystalline characters or the important part they play in the formation of rocks, the group included under the general name felspar occupies but a humble place in jewellery.
Turquoise, Odontolite, Variscite
OF all the opaque stones turquoise alone finds a prominent place in jewellery and can aspire to rank with the precious stones. The colour varies from a sky-blue or a greenish blue to a yellowish green or apple-green.
Jade has of recent years been imitated in glass, but the latter is recognizable by its vitreous lustre and inferior hardness, and sooner or later by its frangibility.
Spodumene, Iolite, Benitoite Spodumene
TILL a few years ago scarcely known out-side the ranks of mineralogists, spodumene suddenly leaped into notice in 1903 upon the discovery of the lovely lilac-coloured stones at Pala, San Diego County, California ; they shortly afterwards received the name kunzite after the well-known expert in gems, Dr. G. F. Kunz.
Euclase, Phenakite, Beryllonite
Owing to the rarity of the mineral good specimens command high prices for museum collections, and it is seldom worth while cutting it for jewellery.
Green Garnet
THE small green stones which accompany the diamond in South Africa have been cut and put on the market as green garnet. They are, however, in no way connected with garnet, but belong to a mineral species called enstatite.
Cassiterite, Anatase, Pyrites, Hematite
THOUGH usually opaque, this oxide of tin, corresponding to the formula SnO2, has occasionally, but very rarely, been found in small, transparent, yellow and reddish stones suitable for cutting.
Obsidian, Moldavite
TWO forms of natural glass have been employed for ornamental purposes. Obsidian results from the solidification without crystallization of lava, and corresponds in composition to a granite. The structure is seldom clear and transparent, and usually contains inclusions or streaks.
Ornamental Stones
SPACE will not permit of more than a few words concerning the more prominent of the numerous mineral species which are employed for ornamental purposes in articles of virtu or in architecture, but which for various reasons cannot take rank as gem stones.
Pearl, Coral, Amber
ALTHOUGH none of the substances considered in this chapter come within the strict definition of a stone, since they are directly the result of living agency, yet pearl at least cannot be denied the title of a gem.
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