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

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

HARDNESS: A MECHANICAL PROPERTY OF USE IN IDENTIFYING MINERALS

Along with the colors and crystal forms of minerals, their mechanical properties such as the hardness. tenacity, and habits of structural failure can be very useful tools in identifying an unknown mineral. In this first Blog on the use of mechanical properties in identifying minerals I’ll focus on hardness and describe the Moh’s Hardness Scale,. . . Read More

Sapphire – Art Deco

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, reaching its high point in the 1925 Paris Exposition of Decorative Arts, and extending into. . . Read More

Ancient Sapphires

In this blog I’m displaying examples of jewelry and art objects from ancient Asia and the Mughal Empire.  I also include examples of jewelry from the Roman Empire and the Medieval Victorian Eras in Europe. ANCIENT ASIAN ANCIENT ROMAN EMPIRE MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN RENAISSANCE EUROPE VICTORIAN ENGLAND (EUROPE) REFERENCES Ref 1.  https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/ancient-jewelry-wearable-art/central-asian-gold-sapphire-finger-ring-30/63724 Ref 2.  https://www.internetstones.com/ancient-technology-sri-lankan-gemstone-beads-carvings-cameos-intaglios-carnelian-rock-crystal.html Ref. . . Read More

Corundum – From Sapphires to Rubies

Gemstones of the mineral corundum [Ref 1] offer a rainbow of colors for the lapidarist and jewelry maker as displayed in Figure 1.  Traditionally, of these, the ruby and blue sapphire, along with diamond and emerald, are considered to be the four-membered family of precious gems.  Corundum gemstones, other than the ruby and blue sapphire,. . . Read More

Beryl Art Objects

In this blog beautiful art objects, carved and sculpted in crystals of the beryl gemstones, are presented. In some, the shape of the gemstone inspired the shape of the object. In others, the color of the object is enhanced by decorating with differently-colored gems. Ancient to modern art objects are presented. REFERENCES Ref 1. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/25.78.90/ Ref. . . Read More

THE MINERAL BERYL, A MULTIPLEX OF GEMS

The beautiful blue hues of aquamarine, the rich yellows of heliodor, the deep green of emerald, the subtle pinks of morganite, the deep blue of the maxixe beryl, and the rich color of the red beryl (bixbite) span the rainbow, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The beauty of these gemstones underlies their use. . . Read More

A Short History of Emeralds

The emerald is the chromium-containing variety of the mineral beryl [Ref 1]. Its’ beautiful, vibrant, deep green color has made it a great favorite among those that create beautiful jewelry and art works from it, gem & mineral collectors and those who wear it. Witness the Hooker Emerald, set with diamonds, in a brooch, seen. . . Read More

Star Sapphires & Rubies

The star gemstones of the corundum family are either star sapphires or rubies.  Under light these gemstones exhibit asterism [Ref 1] in showing either a six rayed or twelve rayed star.  The starred gems present a beautiful and novel appearance and are highly desired by artisans, those who wear them and collectors.  In this blog I’ll briefly describe what. . . Read More