Gemstones are generally referred to in the jewelry trade as precious, referring to diamonds, rubies sapphires and emeralds; Semi-precious, referring to the large variety of other mineral, crystal or organic stones traditionally used in decorative items such as jewelry. Precious gems are traditionally cut in facets to best display their beauty, clarity and color, and are set in precious metal to show the stones to their best advantage. Semi-precious gemstones have been used in beads and cabochons for many centuries and have been used as a form of currency, called trade beads in many cultures.
Gemstone jewelry is enjoying a revival both for the simple beauty of the stones as well as renewed interest in traditional beliefs about the healing properties of certain stones. The history of the stones can be as fascinating as the color and cut. I hope your enjoy them as much as we do!
The Spaniards name platinum as ‘platina’ or ‘little silver,’ when they first encountered it in Colombia. They regarded platinum as an unwanted impurity in the sliver they were mining, and often discarded it.
The origin of platinum in the earth’s crust is form ultra-mafic igneous rocks and can be associated with minerals, which are common to these rocks, like chromite and olivine. However, platinum’s most common source is from placer deposits.
Platinum is more expensive than gold, approximately twice. Its price changes along with its availability. In the 18th century, the rarity of platinum made King Louis XV of France declare it to be the only metal fit for a king.
A native element and precious metal, Gold has long been prized for its beauty, resistance to chemical attack and workability. As it is found as a native element, has a relatively low melting point of 1063 degrees Celsius and is malleable. Mankind has used gold for thousands of years.
Gold is used as a standard for international currency and is also widely use in jewelry, electronics (where its superb properties as a conductor help offset its tremendous cost), dentistry and in photographic processes.
Gold occurs in significant amounts in three main types of deposits: veins of hydrothermal and related origin: in consolidated placer deposits, and in hypothermal deposits. It is commonly found as disseminated grains in Quartz veins with Pyrite and other sulphides, or as rounded grains, flakes or nuggets in placer deposits and in streams and rivers. Gold is often panned from such deposits by taking advantage of its high density to wash away the lighter sediments from a pan or sluice. Nuggets are (almost) exclusively hypogene in origin.