Gemstones are among Earth’s rarest and most beautiful creations. They have been called the flowers of the mineral kingdom, but unlike the ephemeral glory of a blossom, the beauty of gemstones is undiminished with time. It is this that distinguishes gems from most other objects desired by people. Gems accumulate history. The very stone that once adorned a king or queen might today be set in someone’s finger ring and if it is not destroyed, will still sparkle as brightly thousands years from now.
Since ancient times gems have been coveted because they are valuable, probably more so per volume than any other artifacts from or on the Earth. They are history’s preeminent symbols of great wealth and tokens of power, used not only in objects of political signification but also as amulets, talismans and charms. Stones have always fascinated mankind. It has been worn upon the person since prehistoric times. Stones play the principal part in most of Jewellery. In former centuries they were reserved for the ruling classes only. Today everybody can afford beautiful stones for jewellery and adornment.
Definition of Gems:
The general accepted definition for the term gem or gemstone, that they all have something special, something beautiful about them. Rarity, beauty & durability are plays a role in the classifications as gemstone. For some gemstones the source of specialness and beauty is the colour, an unusual optical phenomenon, or the sine that makes them stands out in comparison to other stones. For other stones it is the hardness or an interesting inclusion that makes them special.
The most important factor that increases the value of gems is its Rarity. World famous diamond possessors are ready to sacrifice everything for their possession as they know they possess a thing which is one of its kinds. We all know that Koh-e-noor (Kohinoor) was owned by India, it was one of the greatest jewel possessed by us, but even though not with us, reason… simple it is rare and exemplar. So it was intrigued out of India. It could have been with us if it was not rare and magnificent. Another reason is natural things are God’s best gifts to us. That is to say even if we have clone of Kohinoor, it won’t be as beautiful as real Kohinoor. That is even today’s latest technology, and this synthesized world cannot satisfy our demand of, so we wander or steal natural things. Same story goes with gemstones. Real gemstones are real one.
Rarity of a gemstone also play a key role in determining the value of gemstone, it will be highly priced if it is rare. Colour, clarity and carat weight of gemstones are the traits that specifies its rarity. Even a rare gemstone that has a rare colour is appreciated & highly prices by traders.
Durability is the attribute of gemstone, which determines how long cans a gemstone last. More durable stone it has more long lasting capacity. Of course every buyer likes to have gems, that remaining with him forever. This is the reason why diamonds are most durable than any other gems on earth. Gemstones are inactive towards atmosphere and other elements in nature. As a result stones possess durability and their beauty doesn’t perish with time. Among many factors responsible for durability, hardness is one of them.
Hardness of the gems can be tested by Mohs’ scale. Mohs’ scale was discovered by a Viennese mineralogist Friedrich Mohs (1773-1839). Moh scale determines the scratch hardness of stone. Moh setup a comparison scale using tem minerals of different degree of hardness. No.-1 is the softest and no.-10 is the hardest degree. Each mineral in series, scratches the previous one. And return is scratched by the one which follows after.
Stones that possess hardness degree 1 & 2 are considered to be soft; those of the degree 3 to 5 are medium hard and stone having hardness 6 and more than 6 are considered to be hard.
Talk has the hardness degree 1 it is the softest of all mineral; it is so soft that it can even be scratched by our nail. Ruby ranks 9th on Mohs’ scale and diamond occupy 10th position with the title of hardest mineral known on earth.
The most important trait that attracts us towards gemstones is their beauty. A beautiful thing catches everyone’s attractions. Gems are clear example of beauty, rarity & durability. Rare things are precious possession of every beauty. Beauty is the only attribute that attracts men & women of every aura towards it.
Types of Gems:
Most gemstones are minerals, mineral aggregates or more rarely rocks and some are organic formations. Minerals: A mineral, by definition, is any naturally occurring, inorganic substance, often additionally characterized by an exact crystal structure that is solid and stable at room temperature. Its chemical structure can be exact, or can vary within limits. Native elements that occur naturally are also considered minerals.
All minerals belong to a chemical group, which represents their affiliation with certain elements or compounds. The classified chemical groups are known as: Elements, Sulfides, Oxides, Halides, Carbonates, Nitrates, Borates, Sulfates, Chromates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates, Tungstates, Molybdates and Silicates. Some of these chemical groups have sub-categories, which may be categorized in some mineral references as separate groups.
All minerals belong to one of the six crystal groups, classified according to the way the atoms of the mineral are arranged. Minerals also have distinctive properties, such as color, hardness, crystal habit, specific gravity, luster, fracture and tenacity. Many of these properties can vary among a single mineral, within limits. Many minerals exhibit certain properties that others do not, such as fluorescence and radioactivity.
Minerals are an economic commodity; they are mined because of the need for a valuable element they contain or an intrinsic property they may have. Other minerals are mined for their beauty and rareness, thus giving many specimens an accepted worldwide value. There are over 4,900 known mineral species; over 4,660 of these have been approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The silicate minerals compose over 90% of the Earth's crust. The diversity and abundance of mineral species is controlled by the Earth's chemistry. The vast majority is not known to professional mineral collectors, because they are rare, have no economic purpose, and for the most part do not make good specimens. Diamond, Ruby, Emerald are mineral.
Mineral aggregate: means rock or gravel or sand or a blend thereof, which may or may not be crushed, screened to size and blended for different uses.
Rarely rocks: A rock is an indefinite mixture of naturally occurring substances, mainly minerals. Its makeup may vary in containment of minerals and organic substances, and its composition is never exact. Rocks can be composed of tiny microscopic grains of minerals or organic substances to coarse mineral agglomerates where the individual minerals are easily discernible. Rocks may range in size from tiny pebbles to huge mountains. Rocks make up the earth's crust. Many rocks are not solid, such as magma, soil, and clay. Different mineral deposits can be found in related rock formations, providing use by estimating what minerals rock formations may contain. Organic Gems: An organic gem derived from animal or plant life technically not a stone, is related to living things either it is past or present.
Gems have been worn upon the person since prehistoric times and in most jewellery. Gems play the principal part and are used to make jewelry or other adornments. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity until the 19th century engraved gems and hard stone carvings such as cups were major luxury art forms.