Ruby - mineralogy - Ruby jewels occur only in varying red hues, thus the name evolved for its red colour from the Latin 'rubeus'. Rubies claim the second position on 'Moh's Hardness Scale', with Diamond being the hardest. Rubies and Sapphires share a similar crystal structure thus a Ruby is in essence actually a Red Sapphire. Rubies command the high prices of Diamonds when the gem is an extremely rare, large and high-quality specimen. Southeast Asia is a major source for the gem. The finest Rubies usually hail from Myanmar, formerly Burma. 'Pigeon's Blood' refers to the most desirable colour of Ruby. The gem's startling colour is attributable to the presence of the mineral Chromium in the gem's chemical composition. It is a rich, pure red with a hint of blue. Included rutile needles can create various special effects in cabochon cut Rubies. Parallel rutile needles can appear as a soft sheen referred to as 'silk' or produce a 'Cat's Eye' effect. When the needles are at various angles they appear as a very desirable six-pointed star or 'asterism' and move over the stone's surface when the gem is moved. The gem is then referred to as a 'Star Ruby'.
Ruby - myths and lore - The 'King of Gems', Ruby is one of the worlds most revered gemstones. The Ruby, basking in the decadence of its voluptuous, romantic, and glamorous colour is symbolic of health, wealth, wisdom, passion, and triumph in love. Rubies bring the colour red to vivid life and Rubies themselves are said to epitomize 'the spark of life' and to possess the power to light up darkness. The blood-red fire of the gem makes it easy to imagine that it is capable of such feats. Wearing a Ruby will make your most fervent wishes a reality according to Myanmar legends. Ruby amulets, according to occult tradition work most effectively when worn on the left side of the body. Many gamblers believe that a Ruby will bring them good luck. With the passage of time, Rubies have been linked to 'Tuesday', summer, and St. Matthew.
Peridot - mineralogy - Lively and dazzlingly coloured, the gemstone Peridot is also sometimes referred to as Olivine or Chrysolite. The gem is coloured an apple or lively lime green. It possesses a vitreous or 'oily' luster. Star Peridot and Cat's Eye Peridot are collected rarities. An island in the Red Sea called St. John has an important Peridot deposit that has been mined for 3500 years. When a Peridot is viewed in artificial light it appears a deeper green, thus its other name, 'Evening Emerald'. The San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona is an important Peridot source. During the Middle Ages, Peridot was introduced to Europe by the Crusaders. Its popularity greatly increased during the Baroque Period. The largest cut Peridot is housed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and weighs 310 carats.
Peridot - myths and lore - Peridot is a symbol of the sun and is among the oldest of gemstones historically used in enhancing jewellery. Magical texts say that the lively and invigorating Peridot will protect its wearer from bewitchment, night terrors, and illusions. In Egypt, Peridot was used to make beads as early as 1580 B.C. Peridot was once said to be difficult to see in the daylight, so mining was done after dark when the gem seemed to 'glow'. An amulet of Peridot is said to have the ability to quell 'night terrors', prevent feelings of jealousy or anger, and to draw the love of others. Ancient Romans wore Peridot to calm the nerves, dispel melancholy and to aid insomnia. The Hawaiian peoples treasure the gemstone Peridot and believe it to be the solidified tears of the goddess Pele.
Onyx - mineralogy - Onyx is a member of the 'chalcedony group' of microcrystalline quartz. Onyx is opaque and soft, velvety black. Onyx is often carved or used in intaglios and cameos.
Onyx - myths and lore - The dramatic, bold colour of Onyx makes an unmistakable statement : power, sophistication and authority. Onyx's main magical virtue is its ability to protect and to guard its wearer from psychic attacks. Onyx was often carved with the image of 'Mars - the God of War' by the Romans, and carried by the Roman soldiers for courage. A bold and self-assured gemstone, Onyx is purported to be able to absorb and transform negativity without storing any. Amulets of Onyx may prevent misfortune, increase spiritual wisdom, or subdue the passions.
Sapphire - mineralogy - Sapphire is a member of the 'Corundum Group', of which Ruby is also a member. Sapphire is Greek and means 'blue'. Sapphires occur in all of the colours of the spectrum, except red (which is Ruby) . Sapphire shares the second spot on Moh's Hardness Scale with Ruby. Sri-Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, and Kashmir are all sources for fine-blue Sapphires. Sizeable Sapphires are rare. Often exceptional stones are named - like diamonds. One of the largest cut Sapphires (536 carats) is owned by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Blue Sapphires have long been prized for their velvety, intense hues that range from the deepest midnight blue to a brilliant cornflower blue. The most desirable colour is described as 'cornflower' blue. Iron and titanium traces are the colouring pigment in blue Sapphires.
Vanadium colours the Sapphire jewels violet. Natural purple Sapphires occur in the subtle, soft shades of calming lilac to lavender to a velvety violet. A genuine wonder of nature, the colour perfectly balances the royalty of purple with the vitality of blue.
A small amount of iron produces yellow and green gems. Bright and cheerful, the brilliant citrus like hues of yellow Sapphire range in shade from a medium lemon yellow to bright lemon-lime to warm, dark golden yellow.
Chrome introduced into the chemical composition results in pink Sapphires. Soft rose to an intensely passionate hot-pink, natural pink Sapphires are becoming a popular sparkling alternative to pink Diamonds.
Orange-pink Sapphires are called 'Padparadschah' (Sinhalese for lotus flower) . The major source for this attractive gemstone is Madagascar. Natural orange Sapphires run the gamut of orange based hues including all shade of silky pale orange to rosy salmon, juicy peach and brilliant fiery orange.
Black and blue 'phenomenal' Sapphires are a treat to the eye and offer a unique 'mystery' to the gemstone. Some Sapphires occur with needle like inclusions, which when cut 'en cabochon' display a six-pointed white star. The Star Sapphire is said to represent faith, hope, and charity. Rutile needle inclusions can also result in a silken sheen (chatoyancy) or a Cat's Eye effect. Gem quality synthetic Star Sapphires have been sold since 1947.
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Sapphire - myths and lore - Sapphires symbolize peace and harmony. They are a longtime symbol for and guardian of purity. Sapphires are often worn by clergy 'to avoid temptation'. According to lore, Black Sapphires will aid in finding or maintaining employment. The colour blue has endlessly fascinated humans. Blue Sapphire - showcasing in its depths the powers of the sky and sea, was believed by ancients to have influence over the world of spirits and to make warring parties come to 'peace'. The calming nature of blue has made it a symbol for trust and loyalty - one reason why so many women world-wide chose to wear engagement rings showcasing the shimmering gemstone.
Green Sapphires will help you to recall your dreams, yellow Sapphires are believed to guard against poverty and from serpents, and a Star Sapphire will attract good luck and enhance the wearers' wisdom. Sapphires were thought to transform stupidity to wisdom and peevishness to good humour by the 13th century French.
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