USES OF CLEAVAGE, PARTING, AND FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION-I

Structural failure of a mineral crystal can occur by cleavage, by parting, or by fracture.  The characteristics of any of these failure modes exhibited by a mineral can be useful as tools towards its identification. In this Blog I’ll discuss the properties of cleavage and their use in identifying minerals and follow with a second. . . Read More

GALLERY OF CHINESE CARVED JADE ART

To the great advantage of the beauty of their art, Chinese carvers of jade were guided by themes and decorative motifs in the shaping of their carvings and the choices of decorative motifs adorning them[Ref1-7].  In the Neolithic Era of China ritual jade carvings found in burials reflecting the cosmology of the heavens and the. . . Read More

HISTORY OF JADE CARVING IN CHINA

From the late Neolithic Age (circa 3500 BC-2070 BC) into today the crafting of jade art objects in China has produced beautiful and magnificent art objects which exhibit remarkable diversity of both color and form as shown by the carved nephrite jade pendant with phoenix pattern and the funerary Bi Disc with rain pattern in. . . Read More

MINERAL STUFF: THE GEMSTONE JADE

Since ancient times jade[Ref1] has been used by artisans to create beautiful jewelry and works of art. Art objects of jade have been carved in China for more than 6000 years[Ref2] as exemplified by the jade dragon carved during the Zhou Dynasty (5th – 4th century BC) as shown in Figure 1. In Central America,. . . Read More

PALEONTOLOGY OF AMBER

In this Blog I’ll describe how biomaterials including animal and plant fossils are included and preserved in amber formed from tree resin, which by its stickiness can entrap objects which contact its surface as shown in Figure . With further addition of the resin the object is sealed within the resin and out of the. . . Read More

MINERAL STUFF: AMBER, THE GEM

Amber is a hard resin formed from tree sap by fossilization and is many millions of years old[Ref1]. Since Neolithic times (about 9000-3000 BC) and before the Copper Age[Ref]2) amber has been highly valued as a gemstone and used to create beautiful jewelry and artworks. Wide use of amber in Early Europe and in the. . . Read More

Meteorites

Meteorites are stuff from outer space; each is a solid piece of debris which formed from dust within the protoplanetary disc or from object such as an asteroid, planetesimal, or planet, and which travels through space and falls through the atmosphere to the surface of earth. As alien objects which fall dramatically they have evoked. . . Read More

Precious Coral

Both precious red and black corals are bottom-dwelling sessile marine branched animals that have been harvested at depths between 60 and 20,000 feet [Ref 1, Ref 2]. They have provided lapidarists and other artisans with materials they use to create extraordinarily beautiful jewelry and objects of art, as witnessed by Figures 1 and 2.  In. . . Read More

Art Deco Rubies

Art Deco is my favorite style of jewelry, with its flair of design and the use of unusual combinations of gemstones. Art Deco is a style of architecture and design which first appeared in France just before World War I, reached its high point during the 1925 Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts, and extended into. . . Read More

Ancient Rubies

In this continuation of blogs about the corundum gem varieties, sapphire and ruby, I will first describe the trade routes that first brought the gems, from their mines in the East, to the Roman Empire, then to the rest of Europe. I will also present a gallery of ruby jewelry and artworks designed and made. . . Read More