Category Archives: Stone

Green amber

  • November 10, 2021
  • 0 Comments

If grateful humanity decides to erect a monument to a precious stone, then amber will take the first place in the queue for the pedestal. Because, at least, the acquaintance with electricity, without which there is nowhere, happened with the help of amber.

What color should the sculpture be carved in honor of the ancient companion of mankind? Honey, say adherents of the classic amber variety. Green, will be clarified by deep connoisseurs of beauty – and they will be right!

Green amber is rare and uniquely beautiful. But what kind of green amber are we talking about? Let’s try to figure it out.

Different greens of different amber

The lion’s share of amber mined in the Baltics, central and northern Europe is honey-yellow. In some cases, the mined stones turn distinctly green – retaining, however, a yellow or yellow-brown hue.

Mineralogists explain such color deviations by special conditions of “storage”. Some specimens of newly formed amber, on a whim of fate, fell into swampy water full of decaying organic matter. And they spent enough time in them for the interaction of tree resins with nitrogenous compounds.

As a result of slow natural nitrogenation, ordinary honey amber acquired the color of a dead grass. Such greens are far from emerald green, but greenish European amber is in demand: after all, they are beautiful, and even rare … Curious samples of fossil resins are mined on the island of Sicily. Most of them are red, some cast an obvious blue, sometimes with a noticeable green tint. Even more beautiful stones were once dug in the lignite deposits of Saxony: they were distinguished by their transparency and golden-green color. However, all European green amber “fade” before Dominican amber.

The most beautiful and expensive

Nature decreed that the tree resins, fossilized in the geological conditions of the island of Haiti, became similar to the marine environment. The massif of stone is similar in color and transparency to sea water. Frequent foreign inclusions imitate sandy mounds and bottom vegetation.

Some of the Dominican amber is more blue than green. But the most beautiful and most expensive are famous for their beautiful green color with a slight bluish tint. The cost of the best copies can be calculated in tens of dollars per gram.

Fortunately, local miners of green amber are not prone to handicraft damage to the stone, and they do not really like to grind gaudy figurines from precious materials. However, if you find yourself in the shopping streets of Santo Domingo, shopkeepers will try to foist you on stale illiquid assets. Feel free to bargain, dropping the price five to ten times, and then in any jewellery workshop in Europe, roughly hewn skulls and figurines of chimeric insects will be turned into decent cabochons by your order.

High price as an incentive for chemical creativity

Emperor Nero gave a young and strong slave for a small piece of green amber. Therefore, even in ancient antiquity, artisans got the hang of turning ordinary amber into the green. Most of the stones cracked from heating in unrefined olive oil, but the color of the amber shards changed to green.

A good effect is also observed with dry heating of amber under conditions of limited oxygen access. The heated stone is tightly wrapped in foil and placed in the oven. After processing, the amber becomes glassy and literally shines with a golden-green color.

To enhance the chromaticity, medieval craftsmen came up with the idea of ​​processing the lower side of jewellery inserts hidden from the user with a dye paste. Green substrates for warm amber were also practised.

In modern conditions, green amber is produced everywhere. The difference in the chemical composition of amber mined in different deposits determines the variety of stone processing technologies. A multistage exposure is used in heated gaseous and liquid media. The saturation of fossilized resins with metal ions is carried out. Intense irradiation with a hard electromagnetic spectrum makes it possible to achieve the effect of luminescence in the thickness of the stone.

Researchers, however, note that the most attractive green color of amber is obtained not by the introduction of impurities, but by high-temperature exposure. Atomic aggregations arising under the influence of high temperatures change the light transmittance of the resins. The longest wavelengths (red) are absorbed, and the light passing through the array acquires a green tint.

Fully artificial imitations of green amber

Modern imitations of green amber are devoid of any disadvantages inherent in processed natural stone. If heated Baltic amber cracks with its characteristic internal “confetti” and acquires a rusty-green hue, then bernite and blizzard shine with emerald beauty, are distinguished by their strength and durability.

Constant replenishment of the market for polyester resins, cured with special additives or ultraviolet radiation, opens up great opportunities for green amber counterfeiters. Handicraft jewellery imitating green amber is becoming more and more perfect every year …

Healing properties and History of Azurite stone

  • October 25, 2021
  • 0 Comments

According to lithotherapists, azurite is a remedy for all diseases, it is enough just to apply a stone to a sore spot. It is useful for hormonal problems, hypertension. Like any blue stone, azurite relieves eye strain and is used as a prophylactic agent for decreased vision. Azur-malachite has even greater healing power. It is placed on the “third eye” area (that is, in the middle of the forehead) to harmonize the emotional state of a person.

Horoscope

Azurite is most suitable for Taurus, Libra and Sagittarius.

History

The term “azurite” was introduced into use in 1824 by the French scientist-mineralogist Francois Bedan. Despite the fact that the stone has been known since ancient times, for a long time, it was confused with a similar mineral – lapis lazuli. So, for example, Aristotle in his writings described the properties of these two gems, not noting any differences between them.

In the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli and its “double” azurite were actively used to create natural deep blue paint. Moreover, the latter was used even more often, because its processing required much less time and effort. The disadvantages of azurite paint have already been revealed in our time. It turned out that with prolonged exposure to air and under the influence of moisture, the mineral gradually turns into malachite. It is this physical property of the stone that explains the predominance of green in the paintings of ancient artists.

The largest azurite in history is called the “Singing Stone”. A nugget weighing more than 4.5 tons was found in the United States and is today exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Interesting facts and features

The term “azurite” was introduced into use in 1824 by the French scientist-mineralogist Francois Bedan. Despite the fact that the stone has been known since ancient times, for a long time it was confused with a similar mineral – lapis lazuli. So, for example, Aristotle in his writings described the properties of these two gems, not noting any differences between them.

In the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli and its “double” azurite were actively used to create natural colors of deep blue color. Moreover, the latter was used even more often, because its processing required much less time and effort.

The disadvantages of azurite paint have been revealed already in our time. It turned out that with prolonged exposure to air and under the influence of moisture, the mineral gradually turns into malachite. It is this physical property of the stone that explains the predominance of green in the paintings of ancient artists.

The largest azurite in history is called the “Singing Stone”. A nugget weighing more than 4.5 tons was found in the United States and is today exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Azurite stone and its properties:

  • October 25, 2021
  • 0 Comments

Azurite (from French “azur”) – azure, (from Persian “lazard”) – blue. According to ancient descriptions, azurite was often confused with dark blue lapis lazuli, which was highly prized in the East. The words azurite and lapis lazuli come from the same Arabic root “azul” – blue, and the Persian “lazard” – azure, where the initial “l” is just an article. This stone is also called copper azure and mountain blue. In Europe, azurite was called Shessilite, because it was mined in the French town of Chessy.

Origin and chemical composition

Azurite is a copper ore that is less common in nature than lapis lazuli but is less valuable in the industry. The mineral is formed in deposits with a high content of copper sulphites as a result of their oxidation. Basically, nuggets have a cryptocrystalline form, natural stone crystals are very rare. Azurite often forms pseudomorphs with malachite. This breed is called Azur-malachite. In terms of chemical composition, azurite is aqueous copper carbonate.

Price

The average price for azurite cabochons on the market is $ 3-7 per gram. Given the complexity of processing, the cost is significantly affected by the size of the stone – the larger it is, the more expensive it is. Azurites from Zaire are considered to be of the highest quality, where large nuggets can often be found.

Physicochemical properties of azurite

  • Chemical formula – Cu3 (CO3) 2 (OH) 2.
  • Color – light blue, blue, purple.
  • The system is monoclinic.
  • Hardness – 4 on the Mohs scale.
  • Density – 3.5-4 g per cm3.
  • The fracture is conchial.
Processing and use

Jewellery with azurite inserts is practically not found on the market, which is due to the increased fragility of the stone (cracks even with a slight mechanical effect) and unstable color. Azurite is primarily of interest to mineral collectors. Small azurite cabochons, due to their affordable price and the characteristic color, often become the first exhibits in the collections of aspiring collectors. Less often they are used as an ornamental material. In the jewellery industry, azur-malachite has found application, devoid of the shortcomings of pure azurite, but no less beautiful.

Azurite deposits

Azurites are mainly mined in Australia (Queensland), Chile, Mexico, USA (Arizona and New Mexico), Germany, France, Kazakhstan and Africa (Zaire, Namibia, Zambia). In terms of the quality of collectable azurite, the first place belongs to the famous Teumeb deposit in Namibia, where individual crystals reach 25 cm in size with impeccable quality. Azurites from deposits in Morocco – Mibladen and Tuissit are widely known. Interesting samples of azurite are mined at the copper deposits of the South Urals.

Imitation and synthetics

Today, as in the old days, azurite is often confused with its counterpart lapis lazuli, considering azurite to be only one of the varieties of the latter. Azurite is a completely independent mineral, which, in contrast to lapis lazuli, has a much brighter blue tone. Malachite stains are not observed in lapis lazuli, while azurite often fuses with malachite. Azurite is easy to distinguish from other stones, as it is the only mineral with a deep blue color that boils in hydrochloric acid.

The magical properties of azurite

In ancient Egypt, priests used azurite to communicate with the gods. In Ireland, the druids, with the help of native azurite sticks, helped the youth decide on the choice of life. Azurite is useful for those who are engaged in energy practices, fortune-telling and prediction. Occultists and mediums use azurite balls and crystals to meditate and enter an altered state of consciousness.

In the East, it is the “third eye” stone. According to the famous specialist in minerals Katrin Raphael, azurite products will help get rid of negative emotions, overcome fears, and relieve emotional arousal. If you are having a difficult period in your life and you cannot make the right decision, put on jewellery with azurite, and this stone will show you the best way to solve the problem.

As a talisman, azurite is suitable for people who, due to their duty, must be honest and objective – lawyers, judges, journalists, but only on the condition that the owner does not disassemble, otherwise, the stone may punish him.

Aquamarine stone and its properties

  • October 25, 2021
  • 0 Comments

Aquamarine is a stone, at first glance, discreet. The saturation of its color is not great, and a glance cast with chalk will define the blueness of the crystal as whitish, washed out, and watery. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the transparent stone, and it becomes clear: aquamarine is not easy, its dull appearance hides the advantages inherent in the noblest of the precious minerals.

The silvery inner shine of the stone was appreciated in ancient times. Pliny wrote about the high cost of crystals that matched the color of the sea wave. Paustovsky, fascinated by aquamarine, characterized it as a star-colored stone.

The aristocracy and the nobility of the whole world gladly used and uses aquamarines as a distinctive sign of their chosenness. The Armory of the Moscow Kremlin contains the sceptre of the Polish autocrat, completely carved from aquamarine. Britain, as the ruler of the seas, set the sea-colored stone into the imperial crown. Many exquisitely cut aquamarines are kept in private and museum collections in many countries.

Physical and chemical properties of aquamarine

  • Chemical formula – Al2Be3 [Si6O18].
  • The crystals are elongated-prismatic.
  • Aquamarine color is blue, bluish-green.
  • Transparency – translucent, transparent.
  • The shine is glassy.
  • Mohs hardness – 7.5.
  • Density – 2.7 g / cm3.
  • Refraction or refraction period – 1.574-1.580.
  • Cleavage: absent.
  • Fracture: conical, uneven.
  • Crystal system: hexagonal.
  • Is the mineral fragile: Yes

Aquamarine color

Not every aquamarine is the color of seawater. The stones mined in the middle Urals and beyond Lake Baikal are blue. South Ural aquamarines found in the Ilmen mountains are greenish.

The crystals of aquamarines mined in South America can have a very thick blue color. About a hundred years ago, a sapphire blue aquamarine deposit was discovered in Brazil.

Unfortunately, the color stability of these stones turned out to be even more phenomenal than the color itself. Even a short exposure to the bright sun caused the crystals to fade. For several days of “acquaintance” with daylight, the crystals changed color from washed-out blue to dirty yellow, yellow-brown and even earthy color.

The instability to intense electromagnetic radiation of the visible spectrum and adjacent ranges is inherent in all aquamarines. Some specimens of the stone, as noted by Fersman, have indistinct color zoning. The peripheral regions of the crystalline body of aquamarine have a bluish-blue color, the central region glows with yellowness. It is the mixing of the yellow color of the inner zone of the crystal and the blue color of the outer layers that gives a green tint to the overall color of the stone.

Similar, but not aquamarine

Weakly colored blue spinels resemble aquamarine, but they cannot be compared with the famous gem in gem quality. Spinels are characterized by gaseous inclusions in the stone mass, visible as tiny bubbles. Aquamarines have no such defects.

Similar to aquamarine and topaz. However, topaz shines brighter and gives a much richer play of refracted light. From a certain angle of view, in the thickness of the faceted flat aquamarine, a silvery reflection is noticeable, in the shape of a chrysanthemum flower. Topaz is not capable of such “art”.

The high (up to 70%) quartz content in natural aquamarine gives fraudsters the hope of imitating natural stone with glass fakes. But glass tinted with cobalt salts does not have the dichroic effect inherent in aquamarine. A precious crystal (this is especially noticeable in artificial lighting) when changing the angle of incidence of light is seen differently. Tinted glass is the same for any type of observation.

Natural aquamarines of low color intensity can undergo pre-sale thermal preparation. Heating the stone to 400˚C in a muffle furnace “thickens” the color, intensifies the blue of the natural mineral. Irradiation of pale aquamarine with X-rays leads to similar results. “Improved” stones, however, often “show temper”, acquiring an unattractive color zoning or dirty tones in a uniform color.

In addition, this stone is even less resistant to sunlight than natural aquamarine.

The artificial cultivation of light blue and gem-quality beryls is not practised.

The magical properties of aquamarine

The high optical properties of natural aquamarine were used by ancient craftsmen: lenses were carved from large stones. Needless to say, in the minds of the people, aquamarine was considered, if not magical, then at least slightly supernatural mineral.

The mystical perception of bluish crystals thickened as much as possible by the Middle Ages when aquamarine began to be considered the lord of the water element. Every captain of a serious seagoing vessel was supposed to own a piece of jewellery with quality aquamarines. Repeated maritime failures were attributed to neglect of the stone.

The magical properties of aquamarine are still considered powerful today. The distinct blue color of the crystal indicates a transparent and bright perspective in the life of the owner. An unexpected color change towards green is a warning sign of possible trouble. Reducing the transparency of the stone is a warning of imminent personal troubles.

Wearing or daily tactile communication with a precious mineral makes a person bolder. The owner of aquamarine is easier to learn complex humanities – philosophy, political science, sociological disciplines.

The healing properties of aquamarine

Looking at a stone lit by fire or an incandescent lamp can help improve vision. However, aquamarine plays the main lithotherapeutic role in pain relief of the entire digestive tract. It is equally effective for toothache, liver pain, and hemorrhoidal pain.

By reducing the sensitivity of nerve endings, aquamarine helps to calm the nervous system as a whole. The beneficial effects of the stone help stabilize emotions and increase mental stamina.

Noticeable medicinal properties of aquamarine are also shown in the fight against diseases of the thyroid gland. Faceted blue crystals, collected in beads, enhance the effect of drugs, balance the synthesis of hormones, and prevent the development of thyrotoxicosis.

Aquamarine for the signs of the zodiac

The signs of Water can count on the full help of aquamarine. The stone is especially effective in relation to Pisces and Cancers. Zodiac Air signs may wear aquamarine jewellery from time to time, but Gemini is better off refraining from purchasing aquamarine jewellery.

Active Taurus cannot expect help from aquamarine: in the presence of such an energetic person, the stone closes, becomes spiritually inert. Aquamarine can bring frustration and failure to Sagittarius.

Talismans and amulets from aquamarine

Since ancient times, aquamarine has been the mascot of watermen. Whoever you work in the sea or river fleet, buy several aquamarines and keep them in your workplace or in your cabin!

Aquamarine amulet is the first assistant in smoking cessation. Less, but the bluestone also helps in the fight against alcohol abuse. Among other things, aquamarine amulets support creative and research activities. The stone, mentally tuned to good luck in solving complex scientific problems, helps to find the most rational way to solve the mysteries of nature.