The mineral wealth of the earth has been converted into beautiful gemstones for millennia. Within that time gemstones have garnered a rich history partly in thanks to their value and rarity. Here are some facts that come from this history.
Cleopatra’s Favorite Gemstone
The Egyptians were known to love green gemstones. But due to the limited technology of the time, people had a hard time telling the difference between the two green gemstones- emeralds and peridots. It was quite common to find people owning emeralds thinking it was a peridot and vice versa. Cleopatra was known for favouring the peridot over the emerald though she loved both of them. It is thought that she may have been adorned with emeralds thinking they were peridots.
The Softest Gemstone In The World
The lightest and softest gemstone in the world is called amber. It is so light that it can float on salt water. It is stone that gets formed from sap and resin from prehistoric trees. But only fossilised material as old as 30 million years are considered to be amber. Any jewellery made from amber is usually always made from Baltic amber, the strongest type of amber known.
The Hardest Stone In The World
The hardest stone in the world is the diamond. It is so hard that only another diamond can cut it and is considered to be hardest a gemstone can be with a 10 on the Moh hardness of gemstones. This is why it is possible to regularly wear diamond engagement rings and not have it damage over regular use.
Pearls And Time
Pearls are very popular among people probably because of their relative cheapness and beauty. They are arguably as beautiful as other gemstones. But it takes between a year and three years for a mollusc to produce a single pearl. When cultivated, pearl farmers take a small piece of shell or a bead called the nucleus and inserts into the mollusc and then waits for a couple of years to harvest it.
The Most Colourful Gemstone in the World
The title of the most colourful gemstone in the world is held by two stones- Opal and Tourmaline. Tourmaline is also called the Rainbow gem as it is the only gem known to come in all colours. Opals are found both colourless or with flashes of colours within the usual black or white background appearance.
The Largest Gemstone in the World
The largest weighed gemstone in the world is a Topaz found in Brazil weighing in at a whopping 37,000 carats.
Sapphires Aren’t Just Blue
Sapphires are commonly known for their vibrant blue colour. But in fact, sapphires can come in all sorts of colours ranging from blue to yellow, pink and many others.