GEMSTONE EDUCATION

Sapphires and rubbies


APATITE



SCIENCY STUFF:

Apatite is derived from the Greek απατείν (apatein), which means to deceive or to be misleading, as it was often mistaken for other minerals like Paraiba tourmaline. Belongs to the group of minerals one of which is a major component of tooth enamel and bone mineral.


COLOUR VARIATIONS: 

Apatite colours range from colourless, pink, yellow, green, blue and violet.  The rarest variety is a rich purple from Maine, blue Brazilian stones are second in demand. Madagascar is known to produce a neon blue-green material that is highly desirable. Light-green apatite carries the trade name 'asparagus stone'. The colour of the best specimens of apatite can rival famed Paraiba tourmaline.


HISTORY AND ROMANCE:

Apatite is derived from the Greek απατείν (apatein), which means to deceive or to be misleading. The name was given to apatite because of its close resemblance to several other precious gemstones. As a result of many people being 'cheated', apatite became unfairly labelled as the 'deceitful stone'. Amblygonite, andalusite, brazilianite, precious beryl, sphene, topaz and tourmaline can all be confused with apatite.  Transparent gemstone-quality apatite is extremely rare.


HOW HARD:

5 Mohs scale of hardness.


WHY WE LOVE IT: 

It occurs in a rainbow of attractive colours.  Its blues rival that of Paraiba tourmaline, including Paraiba like blue green, leek green, deep purple, violet and red.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR: 

Great colour and transparency as for any other gem, colour saturation defines the value.


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES:

Apatite is not a traditional birthstone or anniversary stone.  However this stone is known for its positive use of personal power to achieve goals. Some say it clears away confusion, apathy or negativity, then, stimulates the intellect to expand knowledge and truth, which may be used for personal growth or for the collective good.


CARE:  

Extra care should be taken with this stone as is soft a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale, compared with 7.5 for tourmaline. Because of its softness, apatite is best used brooches, pendants, earrings, or jewellery settings that will protect the stone from a sharp blow or from being scratched. 



BLACK DIAMONDS



SCIENCY STUFF:

Black diamonds formed 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago and are exceptionally rare and are found almost exclusively in Brazil and the Central African Republic.  The opaque colour of black diamonds is caused by dark inclusions or, more commonly, by colour treatment. Most black diamonds are treated to become a green that’s so dark it appears black, but not opaque.

Most black diamonds are white diamonds that have been enhanced by irradiation.  These diamonds are more available and more cost effective than natural black diamonds. Natural black diamonds, like other natural fancy colour diamonds, are very rare and command a higher price.


HISTORY AND ROMANCE:

Different cultures held differing beliefs about black diamonds. In India, black diamonds were considered cursed because they resemble the eyes of snakes and spiders. However, in Italy it was thought that simply touching a black diamond could help save the marriage of a couple who were in need of reconciliation. It was believed that the problems of the couple would enter into the stone when the couple touched it. As legend has it the Karloff Noir diamond is an 88 carat black diamond that gives a person good luck, fortune, and happiness when it is touched.


HOW HARD:

10 Mohs scale of hardness


WHY WE LOVE IT:

Because you can get more for your money with a black diamond and its gothic undertones make it very on trend. Sarah Jessica Parker increased there fame by having one as an egagement ring in the sex and city series.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Béo looks for a mirror like surface without chips, nicks, scratches or cavities. If you choose a natural black diamond you can get a GIA report.


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES: 

Aprils birthstone.


CARE:  

Clean with soapy water and a soft toothbrush.



EMERALD



SCIENCY STUFF:

The intense fiery greens of emeralds are caused by the elements chromium, vanadium and iron. The presence and absence of each determine the exact colours with can be either; a warm and more intense pure green colour and also cooler, more bluish green colour.  From the Beryl family, emerald is a deep green hue is the most highly prised of the beryl family.


HISTORY AND ROMANCE:

One of the worlds most coveted stones, Cleopatra was known for her passion for emeralds, and used it in her royal adornments. Legends endowed the wearer with the ability to foresee the future when emerald was placed under the tongue, as well as to reveal truth and be protected against evil spells and make one an eloquent speaker.


HOW HARD:

7.5–8 on the Mohs scale of hardness


WHY WE LOVE IT:

For its bright fiery green hues and who doesn’t want to be more articulate.  Emerald was once thought to relieve known to relieve stress and eye strain.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Colour is the most important quality factor for emerald The most desirable emerald colours are bluish green to pure green, with vivid colour saturation and tone that’s not too dark. The most-prized emeralds are highly transparent. Their colour is evenly distributed, with no eye-visible colour zoning. Emeralds typically contain inclusions that are visible to the unaided eye. Because of this, trade members and some consumers understand and accept the presence of inclusions in emeralds. Eye-clean emeralds are especially valuable because they’re so rare.

Cut is one of the most important factors in appearance.  The most popular cut is the emerald shape due to the original shape of the crystals.  Well cut stones maximize the beauty of the colour while minimizing the impact of fissures, and creating a bright, lively stone.

Clarity: In coloured stones, transparency and clarity are closely linked. This is especially true for emeralds. The trade generally accepts eye-visible inclusions in higher-quality emeralds. But when the inclusions have a negative effect on transparency and clarity, they also dramatically reduce value.


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES: 

Birthstone for the month of May. It’s also the gemstone for twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries


CARE:

Emeralds are more brittle than a gem like corundum, due partly to those inherent fractures: This makes them vulnerable to damage during cutting, polishing, and setting, or even during careless daily wear. The emerald cut can help protect against damage because the vulnerable corners are faceted and provide a comparatively safe place for prongs. See gemstones care guide here. it’s risky to clean them ultrasonically or with steam. Ultrasonic vibrations can weaken  stones, and hot steam should not be used in cleaning. Using warm, soapy water coupled with gentle soft brush is the safest way to clean emeralds.



TOURMALINE



SCIENCY STUFF: 

Tourmalines come in a wide variety of exciting colours. In fact, tourmaline has one of the widest colour ranges of any gem species, occurring in various shades of virtually every hue. Tourmaline’s colours have many different causes;  traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colours.  Red pinks and possibly yellow hues in tourmaline are produced by Manganese.  Some pink and yellow tourmalines might owe their hues to colour centres caused by radiation, which can be natural or laboratory-induced.


HOW HARD:

6.5 Mohs scale of hardness


COLOUR VARIATIONS:

Rubellite: is a name for pink, red, purplish red, orangey red, or brownish red tourmaline, although some in the trade argue that the term shouldn’t apply to pink tourmaline.

Pink tourmaline:  Pink, tourmaline is bright punchy pink stone.

Indicolite:  dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline.

Chrome Tourmaline:  Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s collared mostly by vanadium, the same element that colours many Brazilian and African emeralds.

Parti coloured tourmaline: displays more than one colour. One of the most common combinations is green and pink, but many others are possible.

Watermelon tourmaline, is pink in the centre and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement.

Savannah Tourmalines: The bright yellow gems are also mixtures of dravite and uvite. Their colouring element is iron.

Paraíba Tourmaline:  Paraiba is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil. See more below



PARAÍBA TOURMALINE

 


 

SCIENCY STUFF:

Paraíba tourmaline rarer than diamonds and relatively new to the gemstone world.  Discovered about 20years ago in Paraiba Brazil. Cuprian elbaite is another name for the gemstone coloured by copper-coloured tourmaline, vibrantly coloured Paraíba tourmaline is one of the most favoured coloured gems with jewellers


HISTORY AND ROMANCE:

When Paraiba tourmaline first appeared in 1987, gemmologists thought these vivid blue, blue-green, and green tourmalines where was too good to be true, and laboratories immediately investigated the nature of the colour. The price for Paraiba tourmaline is higher than for any other tourmaline

But the colour is worth it—even when it became known that it probably was induced by heat. It has been shown, since the initial studies, that most Paraíbas are heat-treated, although the characteristic colours have been found in natural unheated Paraíba material.

Colour:  World renowned for its intense neon colour: Paraiba comes in an array of vivid colours often described as Caribbean blue, peacock, copper-green, neon aquamarine or swimming pool blue.  Paraiba tourmaline colours are characterised by a neon appearance. . Unless a gemmological laboratory proves otherwise, assume the stones have been heat-treated.

Qualities: Expect to see inclusions, as you would with most tourmalines. But who cares? It’s the vibrant sapphire- and turquoise-like colours that make Paraíbas so well liked.

Enhancement:  Heat treatment has not affected the value or stability of Paraíbas, but the possibility of fracture filling has sparked some concern. Fracture filling, though not a common enhancement technique, would be the logical next step, since commercial-quality tourmalines can show surface-reaching fissures. When examining any tourmaline, look for enhancement with epoxies or resins.

Pricing: Everyone knows they should have purchased Paraíbas long before now. Prices for fine and extra-fine are high because there are rare.  Expect to pay even more for the “sapphire blue.”

Other copper elbaites and imitations:  A new find of copper tourmalines was discovered toward the end of 2001 in Nigeria. These gems can be heat-treated to some of the greenish blue and bluish-green “aquamarine-like” and “mint-green” Paraíba colours. They have been labeled everything from Paraíba Nigerian tourmalines to Indogo tourmalines, named after the Edoukou mine in Oyo, Nigeria.

Vivid apatite’s have been seen in showcases mislabelled as Paraíba tourmaline or correctly labelled as Paraíba-like apatite’s.


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES: 

Tourmaline is October birthstone


CARE AND CLEANING:

All tourmalines are (piezoelectric) electrically charged by heat and/or light and can therefore attract dust.  It’s always wise to wash tourmalines with soapy water before wiping with a cloth. Wiping a dry, dusty tourmaline can scratch and dull the polished surface.

 


RUBY

 



SCIENCY STUFF:

Traces of chromium give their red variety of the mineral corundum its rich colour.  


HISTORY AND ROMANCE:

Early cultures believed that rubies held the power of life, treasuring them and connecting the redness of the blood to the redness of the ruby.

Ruby has accumulated a host of legends over the centuries; Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered fine rubies to the god Krishna were granted rebirth as emperors.  Hindus named ruby a Brahmin which they believed would give its owner perfect safety. India communities believed that rubies enabled their owners to live in peace with their enemies. In Burma (a ruby source since at least 600 AD—now called Myanmar), warriors possessed rubies to make them invincible in battle. However, it wasn’t enough to just wear the rubies. They had to insert them into their flesh and make them part of their bodies.  Many medieval Europeans also wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.
 
Desire for ruby is just as great today as it always has been. As a symbol of passion, ruby makes an ideal romantic gift. Consumers are drawn to the lush colour because it also signifies wealth and success.  Long valued by humans of many cultures.  In ancient Sanskrit, ruby was called ratnarai or “king of precious stones”


HOW HARD:

9 Mohs scale of hardness


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES: 

Ruby is the birthstone for July and the gem for the 15th and 40th and 80th wedding anniversaries.  With the 80th anniversary generally refered to as the Ruby wedding aniversary.


CARE AND CLEANING:

See gemstone care guide. To clean warm soapy water is always safe and a damp cloth.



SAPPHIRE



SCIENCY STUFF: 

Sapphire belongs to the mineral species corundum, and depending on their trace element content sapphire varieties might be blue yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, black or colourless.  They can also show a star effect when cut when cut into a cabochon.  This happens when the white light reflects from the numerous tiny needle like inclusions. the name sapphire applies to any corundum that is not red which is called ruby.  Blue sapphire can be a pure blue but ranges from greenish blue to violetish blue.

Fancy sapphires are generally less available than blue ones, and some colours are scarce, especially in very small or very large sizes.


COLOUR VARIATIONS: 

Besides blue sapphire and ruby, the corundum family also includes “fancy sapphires.” Which depending on their trace element content comes in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, grey, black, and brown. Some stones exhibit the phenomenon known as colour change, where the stones most often change from blue in daylight or fluorescent lighting to purple under incandescent light.  

The mineral corundum is composed only of aluminium and oxygen, and it requires a growth environment that’s free of silicon. However, silicon is a very common element, making natural corundum relatively uncommon. In its purest state, corundum is actually colourless. Colourless or white sapphires were are popular in bridal jewellery due to there visual resemeblence to diamond.  Colourless corundum is rare, most corundum contains colour-causing trace elements. When the trace elements are iron and titanium, the corundum is blue sapphire. Only a few hundredths of a percent of iron and titanium can cause the colour, and the more iron the corundum contains, the darker the blue. Chromium can cause the red colour of ruby or the pink of pink sapphire.

A special orangey pink sapphire colour is called padparadscha, which means “lotus flower” in Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. Stones from Sri Lanka were initially the only ones labelled with this marketable name.


HISTORY AND ROMANCE: 

In the 1990s, discoveries in East Africa and Madagascar brought fancy sapphires widespread recognition. The new sources supplemented production from traditional ones like Sri Lanka and Madagascar and increased the availability of yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples. Traditionally, sapphire symbolizes nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It has decorated the robes of royalty and clergy members for centuries. its extraordinary blue colour has been associated with royalty and romance.  Most recently by Princess Diana in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Until her death in 1997, Princess Di, as she was known, charmed and captivated the world. Her sapphire ring helped link modern events with history and fairy tales.

In ancient Greece and Rome, kings and queens were convinced that blue sapphires protected their owners from envy and harm. During the Middle Ages, the clergy wore blue sapphires to symbolize Heaven, and ordinary folks thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. In other times and places, people instilled sapphires with the power to guard chastity, make peace between enemies, influence spirits, and reveal the secrets of oracles.
In folklore, history, art, and consumer awareness, sapphire has always been associated with the colour blue enough though sapphire comes in all the shades of the rainbow


MOHS HARDNESS: 

9 Mohs scale of hardness


BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARIES: 

September birthstones.  Associated with the 5th, 45th and 70th Wedding aniversary.