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Gemstone Education center

            
Precious and semi-precious gemstones occur in an infinite color range from subtle to vibrant. Color gemstones have been sought after for centuries, valued for their natural beauty and rarity, worn as symbols of wealth and status, and eternally possessing a mystery of mythology and lore. Colored gemstones commemorate birth months, anniversaries, the healing arts and the Signs of the Zodiac. Specific gemstones have been attributed mystical powers, or healing powers, as well as the power to protect the wearer from a variety of life's perils.
 
Emerald Sapphire Ruby Tanzanite Ametyst Garnet Citrine
 
Peridot B.Topaz Iolite Tourmaline Rubelite Rhodelite C.Zirconia
 
               
The Emerald is probably the best known and rarest member of the Beryl family of Gemstones. Emerald, like other beryl occurrences, has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. Although emeralds have been found in Russia, Australia, and Africa, Columbia is the Emerald producing capital.

The most desirable color of Emerald tends to be the deeper green color, so it is logical to assume, that the lighter the color of green the less valuable the Emerald. But as with all gemstones color alone does not exclusively determine value.

It is also not unusual to discover that even the most prized Emeralds may have some inclusions, often described as the "watery forest". As with all gemstone inclusions, less is more, but unlike other gemstones the inclusions in an Emerald are an accepted reality. However, one should be aware that these internal fractures, in spite of a hardness of 8, increase the potential for damaging this gemstone should it sustain a forceful impact or be exposed to sudden extreme temperature changes.

Emeralds may be treated either with an oiling process to enhance their color or fracture filling techniques to hide the internal flaws. Unless otherwise certified by a grading laboratory, it safe to assume that an Emerald has been treated by an enhancing process.
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The Sapphire is a multi-colored member of the Corundum family of Gemstones. Sapphire production occurs in Africa, Kashmir (India), Sir Lanka, Thailand, Australia, and the United States.

In addition to the recognizable blue occurrence of corundum it is also represented in pinks, oranges (the rare orange-pink is known as padparaschah), yellows, greens purples and white colors; in actuality the Ruby is really a red Sapphire. The Sapphire, like other corundum occurrences, has a hardness of 9 on the mohs hardness scale, the second hardest gemstone after the Diamond.

The main rocks associated with Sapphire occurrences are Marble, Basalt, and Pegmatite. The most desirable color of Sapphire is described as "cornflower blue" or the Kashmir Sapphire.
 
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The Ruby is the distinguished red member of the Corundum family of Gemstones. Ruby, like other corundum occurrences, has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, the second hardest gemstone after the diamond.

Although Rubies have been found in Thailand, India, Madagascar, Brazil and Afghanistan, all producing fine gem material, the prized Burma Ruby from Mogok, Myanmar is the most valuable of gem quality Rubies.

With a color range from bright red to a dark reddish brown, the "pigeon blood red" or "Burmese Ruby", as it is often referred to, is a bright red color with slight bluish hues. This color is considered exceptional in the Ruby. A large Ruby from Burma of several carats that is flawless and possesses this exceptional color can be worth millions of dollars.

Most Rubies do not fall in this exclusive category and are of a brownish-red hue and are from Thailand. These stones can be heat-treated to enhance color and transparency. Unless otherwise certified by an independent gemological laboratory as a natural Ruby you should consider the stone to have been heat-treated.
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Tanzanite was not considered a gem material until 1967. Originally known as Blue Zoisite, it was renamed by Tiffany's in 1969 to Tanzanite, named after the East African state of Tanzania

Possessing a strong violet-blue color, Tanzanite has become a popular and less expensive alternative to the Kashmir-blue sapphire.

Tanzanite is known to be a trichroic stone, giving off different colors when viewed at different angles, allowing for a variation in color ranging from blue to violet to reddish brown.
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A purplish variety of the Quartz family of gemstone occurrences. Commonly a transparent gemstone and available from a light lilac color to a vibrant dark purple. It has a Mohs hardness scale of 7 that makes it a very durable gemstone for daily wear. Fine examples may be acquired at moderate prices. Amethyst gem lore suggests that the wearer of this gemstone will enjoy peace of mind.
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Garnet is a diverse group of colored minerals, with color variations from the most recognized reds with brown (pyrope) or violet (almandine) tints to the less recognizable colors of orange with red/brown tones (spessaritite) to the green varieties (grossular, demantoid, uvarovite) with the most notable green Garnet, with the Tiffany's given name of Tzavorite. Other popular named garnets are the Rhodilite and Malaysian garnets.
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. Citrine, the stone for the month of November is considered as an alternative to Topaz.This shimmering yellowish gem derives its name from the color yellow of lemon and is a member of the large quartz family.
One of the most desirable gemstones, Citrine is considered to be a coveted stone for jewelry making.A durable, easily available and affordable gemstone, Citrine is found in various shades ranging from yellow gold, orange-brown of transparent quartz. In olden days, Citrine was used as a protection against evil thoughts and snake poison
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Peridot is French and derived from the Arabic word "faridat", meaning gem. Ancient Egyptians called Peridot " the gem of the sun," although, due to their brightness, the stones were supposedly invisible under the desert sun. At night, or in darkness, they were said to give off a light all their own. This lovely stone ranges in color from light yellow-green to the intense bright green of new grass, to a more olive hue. Found in various parts of the world, the oldest known source is St. John's island on the Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt. The largest known faceted peridot is a magnificent 310-carats stone that is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. It has a Mohs hardness of 6.5-7.
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The family of gemstones known as Topaz comes in a variety of colors ranging from colorless to yellow, yellow-brown, yellow-orange, orange to orange-brown, pink to pinkish-brown, green, the rarer red and more common light blue to a medium to dark blue (the pink and blue color is most often heat treated although there is no way to distinguish treated stone from a natural topaz). Topaz is a durable stone with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, usually transparent to translucent
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Iolite - Gem of the Vikings. When legendary Viking explorers ventured far out into the Atlantic Ocean, far away from any coastline, they had a secret gem weapon: iolite. The Viking Mariners used thin pieces of iolite as the world's first polarizing filter. Looking through an iolite lens, they could determine the exact position of the sun, and navigate safely to the new world and back.
The property that made iolite so valuable to the Vikings is extreme pleochroism. Iolite has different colors in different directions in the crystal. A cube cut from iolite will look a violetish blue almost like sapphire from one side, clear as water from the other, and a honey yellow from the top. This property led some people to call iolite " Rubellite, water sapphire" in the past, a name that is now obsolete.Pleochroism may have been helpful in navigation but it makes things difficult for a gem cutter. If iolite is not cut from exactly the right direction, no matter the shape of the rough, its color will not show to its best advantage.The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. Iolite is usually a purplish blue when cut properly, with a softness to the color that can be quite attractive.Iolite is readily available and surprisingly affordable. The better and richer the blue, the better. It is mined in India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Brazil. The Vikings probably mined iolite from deposits in Norway and Greenland.Iolite is relatively hard but should be protected from blows. With its attractive color and reasonable price, it may become a jewelry staple in the future..
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Tourmaline has a special place in the hearts of mineral collectors as well as in that of gem and gemstone enthusiasts. Its nearly universal popularity is based on two very important facts: It is a bright and beautiful gemstone that can be found in just about Materials that are of acceptable quality are affordable to most purchasers.
The word "rainbow" is used figuratively to describe tourmaline. In reality, it is a well-recognized fact that tourmaline's diversity in color is not limited to the seven colors of the rainbow.
Tourmaline can be colorless to just about any color, hue, or tone known to man. And if the range of colors among different tourmalines is not enough, individual crystals can vary in color along their length or in cross-section.
The variations in color along a crystal's length give rise to the bicolor and tricolor tourmalines which have multitudes of color combinations
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Rubellite, a rare variety of tourmaline, comes in red color. It is more valuable than any other varieties of the red tourmaline. The name has been derived from the Latin word " rebellious," which means " reddish." In gem trade, it is also known as " another gemstone red tourmaline.another gemstone, rubellite do not change color under different light source. It shines brilliantly in both natural as well as artificial light. Sometimes it is treated with fillers to increase the clarity of the stone.Pink Rubellite is believed to bring love and friendship. It is thought to be the stone with feminine energy. Red Rubellite is said to instill courage and strong will power in the wearer. Watermelon colored rubellite balances the male/female energies and it stimulates the Heart Chakra. Natural healers use this rubellite to heal heart and emotions. It also reduces nervousness and anxiety. This most desirable stone is mostly found in Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan, and even in few locations in the United States.             
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Rhodolite is the name applied to a mixture of pyrope and almandite. It tends to be lighter in color than most other kinds of red garnets. It can be easily confused with rubies because of the similarity in color.Rhodolite garnets should be differentiated from its darker cousins red-like almandine and pyrope. The mixture of red and violet in rhodolites is highly desirable and popular. Purple or purple-red is the most expensive and sought color for rhodolite and large clean transparent stones are uncommon and valuable            
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Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic gemstone, ZrO2, used in jewelry as a diamond simulant. The cubic zirconia diamond is extremely hard rating an 8.5 on the Mohs scale, to the naked eye it is flawless and has no color. It can be created in colors such as pink, purple, green, red, basically any color. Because of its durability, and similarity to a diamond, created cubic zirconia stones have remained the most important diamond simulant since its discovery in 1976. Its main competition as a synthetic diamond is the more recently cultivated material, Charles and Colvard's moissanite. When these CZs are compared to fine diamonds, many experts can not distinguish the difference without the aid of sophisticated gemological equipment. CZs have a dispersion greater than diamond, and this produces an abundance of color play & "fire".

 

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