Jewellery Blog, Gemstone Information

June 5, 2009

Gemstone Knowledge – Amethyst

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 9:38 am

Amethyst

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Amethyst
General
Category Mineral variety
Chemical formula Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2)
Identification
Color violet
Crystal habit 6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid (typical)
Crystal system rhombohedral class 32
Twinning Dauphine law, Brazil law, and Japan law
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal
Mohs Scale hardness 7–lower in impure varieties
Luster Vitreous/glossy
Refractive index nω = 1.543–1.553 nε = 1.552–1.554
Optical Properties Uniaxial (+) (Positive)
Birefringence +0.009 (B-G interval)
Pleochroism None
Streak White
Specific gravity 2.65 constant; variable in impure varieties
Melting point 1650±75 °C
Solubility H2O insoluble
Diaphaneity Transparent to translucent
Other Characteristics Piezoelectric

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used as an ornamental stone in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek a- (“not”) and methustos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

Birthstone

Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February. It is also associated with the astrological signs of Pisces, Aries (especially the violet and purple variety), Aquarius, and Sagittarius. Its the official zodiac stone of pisces. People born in February on the 19th or later have amethyst as both their birth and zodiac stone. It is a symbol of heavenly understanding, and of the pioneer in thought and action on the philosophical, religious, spiritual, and material planes. Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office.

Lore

The Greek word “amethystos” (αμέθυστος) may be translated as “not drunken”. Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. In greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, which the goddess Artemis granted and transformed her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos’s desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

Variations of the story include that Dionysus had been insulted by a mortal and swore to slay the next mortal who crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wrath. The mortal turned out to be a beautiful young woman, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to Artemis. Her life is spared by Artemis, who transformed the maiden into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears then stained the quartz purple. Another variation involves the goddess Rhea presenting Dionysus with the amethyst stone to preserve the wine-drinker’s sanity.

Geographic distribution

Amethyst is produced in abundance from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in South Korea. The largest opencast amethyst vein in the world is in Maissau, Lower Austria. Many of the hollow agates of Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks. Many localities in India yield amethyst. One of the largest global amethyst producers is Zambia with an annual production of about 1,000 t.

Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States, but these specimens are rarely fine enough for use in jewellery. Among these may be mentioned Amethyst Mountain, Texas; Yellowstone National Park; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Haywood County, North Carolina; Deer Hill and Stow, Maine. It is found also in the Lake Superior region. Amethyst is relatively common in Ontario, and in various locations throughout Nova Scotia, but uncommon elsewhere in Canada.

Chemistry

Amethyst is the violet variety of quartz; its chemical formula is SiO2.

In the 20th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it is capable of being greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate was suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

More recent work has shown that amethysts’ coloration is due to ferric iron impurities. Further study has shown a complex interplay of iron and aluminium is responsible for the color.

On exposure to heat, amethyst generally becomes yellow, and much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be merely “burnt amethyst”.

Synthetic amethyst is made to imitate the best quality amethyst. Its chemical and physical properties are so similar to that of natural amethyst that it can not be differentiated with absolute certainty without advanced gemological testing (which is often cost-prohibitive). There is one test based on “Brazil law twinning” (a form of quartz twinning where right and left hand quartz structures are combined in a single crystal which can be used to identify synthetic amethyst rather easily. In theory however it is possible to create this material synthetically as well, but this type is not available in large quantities in the market.

Composition

Amethyst is composed of an irregular superposition of alternate lamellae of right-handed and left-handed quartz. It has been shown that this structure may be due to mechanical stresses.

Because it has a hardness of seven on the Mohs scale, amethyst is suitable for use in jewelery.

Hue and tone

Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and/or blue. The ideal grade is called “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80 percent, 15–20 percent blue and (depending on the light source) red secondary hues.

History

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios. The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication.

A huge geode, or “amethyst-grotto”, from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was exhibited at the Düsseldorf, Germany Exhibition of 1902.

Alternate terminology

Several descriptive terms have been coined in the gem trade to describe the colors of amethyst. “Rose de France” is usually a pale pinkish lavender or lilac shade (usually the least-sought color). The most prized color is an intense violet with red flashes and is called “Siberian”, although gems of this color may occur from several locations other than Siberia, notably Uruguay and Zambia. In more recent times, certain gems (usually of Bolivian origin) that have shown alternate bands of amethyst purple with citrine orange have been given the name ametrine.

Purple corundum, or sapphire of amethystine tint, is called Oriental amethyst, but this expression is often applied by jewelers to fine examples of the ordinary amethystine quartz, even when not derived from eastern sources. Professional gemological associations, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gemological Society (AGS), discourage the use of the term “Oriental amethyst” to describe any gem, as it may be misleading.

The Second Book of Pseudo-Albertus Magnus, Of the Vertues of Certaine Stones, refers to amethysts by the name Amarictus.

Value

Traditionally included in the cardinal, or most valuable, gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald), amethyst has lost much of its value due to the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil. The highest grade amethyst (called “Deep Russian”) is exceptionally rare and therefore its value is dependent on the demand of collectors when one is found. It is however still orders of magnitude lower than the highest grade sapphires or rubies (Padparadscha sapphire or “pigeon’s blood” ruby).

May 27, 2009

Rings in the UK

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 11:50 am

There are large numbers of different companies in the UK competing in the UK’s jewellery marketplace.  Jewellery products are almost everywhere in the UK.  The jewellery market has  several different items, such as bracelets, necklaces, pendants and earrings. However, rings in the UK are purchased on an extremely large scale and take up the majority of the jewellery market.

Different metals are used in rings.  The most common metal types are yellow gold, silver, white gold. The majority of the silver used in rings is sterling silver. There are also many choices for gold. Among them, 9ct and 18ct gold are the most popular ones.

Different rings have different stone types. The most common stones are cubic zirconia and diamond rings, whilst sapphire, pearl, and ruby, topaz, tanzanite, opal, garnet, swarovski crystal, aquamarine, peridot and quartz can also be purchased.

Different stone shapes can be found at a variety of retailers.  Some of the most common shapes include brilliant, round and heart, whilst oval, emerald, marquise, princess, baguette and square can also be found. Colour is another factor which can make a ring look completely different from the next.

Rings can also be bought for different occasions, and some of the most special ones are made specifically as engagement rings and wedding rings.  These can be however, at the top end of the market and are only ever purchased for the occasion.

Obviously, some are better than others but again it always comes down to what each individual customer wants and what they like best. Again, different styles appeal to different consumers.  Some consumers like big square rings to go with their own style whilst other, perhaps more sophisticated ladies will only ever wear princess cut rings. It is always the individual’s decision which one to buy but a decision will be made with all the necessary information to hand and based on which one they like best.

May 26, 2009

UK’s top ten online jewellery websites

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 3:47 pm

The UK’s top ten online jewellery websites list is produced based on a recent online survey. All surveyees were asked to rate UK’s jewellery websites by  product range, website usability, VFM(Value for Money), customer service and return policy.

Here is the result of this survey.

1. Ernest Jones

H. Samuel is a UK Jeweller with an extensive collection of diamond, gold and silver jewellery, as well as the most popular watch brands.

2. H. Samuel

Offers fine selection of gold and diamond jewellery, premier and designer watch brands, including Rolex, Cartier, Omega, Gucci, TAG Heuer and many other reputable watch brands.

3. Gold Smith

Ernest Jones is the UK’s diamond, jewellery and watch Specialist which offers a wide range of wedding rings and jewellery in classic and contemporary designs.

4. F. Hinds

One of the UK’s leading independent jewellers with over offers extensive collections of diamonds, jewellery, watches, collectables and gifts direct online at local store.

5. Astley Clarke

Astley Clarke is an online boutique for Designer Jewellery, where you can find the most gorgeous pieces of Contemporary Jewellery from around the world.

6. Gemondo

Gemondo is the UK’s largest online jeweller which offers over 5000 pieces of top quality gold, silver gem-set jewellery and wedding Jewellery at amazingly low prices!

7. Warren James

At The Warren James website you can buy a good selection of the products which are on offer in their stores.

8. Jewellery TV

A UK’s independent e-jeweller offers precious luxury and style jewellery through a fantastic selection of pieces, all at great value.

9. Tiffany & Co

Tiffany & Co is one of the world’s most famous jeweller’s brands. You can browse and buy their latest collections of jewellery, watches, diamonds, tableware, accessories and gifts online.

10. SWAG

SWAG offers a selection of diamond, dress & wedding rings, earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, pendants and birthstones online.

May 12, 2009

Where gemsontes are found

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 11:56 am

The finding of a gemsonte can be a very exciting event, especially when it leads to the discovery of a rick new gemstone source. The origins of gem minerals diverse from place to place.

Many gemstone minerals crystallize at high temperatures and presssures deep in the crust and underlying mantle. For example, diamond forms more than 150 km undergroud, where temperatures are more than 1200 ‘c.  Most gemstones are found worldwirde, suck as quartz and garnet. However, others are rarer, such as diamonds and emeralds. A few areas on our planet are rick in both the variety and quantity of gemstone minerals, for instance, Minas Gerais in Brazil and Mogok in Myanmar. Other localities yield a single gem species of superb quality, as typified by Colombian emberalds. Most deposits are small and rapidly exhausted, but a few, such as those of Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, have been in production for many centuries.

The kimberlite roks of southern Africa are mined in a modern, large-scale way, producing vast quantities of diamonds for both industrial and gem use.

China, Japan and Vietnam are main production place of  pearls in the world, where they have the ideal conditions for farming peral oysters. Pearls are organic gems, and therefore independent of geological conditions.

THe rick mineral deposits of Mogok in Burma have yielded some of the world’s finest rubies, although extraction is by traditional methods. Sapphires are also mined here.

In gemondo jewellery website, you can find all kinds of Gemstone jewellery at amazing low price.

May 7, 2009

Search Engine Optimisation Open University

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 3:47 pm

Search Engine Optimisation Open Univeristy is another  SEO Blog run by myself. The primary objective of having this blog is to summarise my SEO knowledge into a website and experiment my SEO on a brand new website.  In SEO Open University I will be writing some latest information of SEO, share some my pratical experience with SEO.

Since I started my full time job in Gemondo, I have been picking up some basics knowledge about SEO, and gained some practical experience in search engine marketing. During this process, I benefited a lot from all sorts of SEO blogs by different  SEO exports from all around the world, such as Search Engine Land, SEOBooK, SEO Moz, and Matt Cutts.   In order to let more people on the Internet to benefit these free but useful resources, especially for my fellow Chinese who don’t read English very much, I decided to write a blog to summarise all these helpful information in this SEO Open University.

So welcome to my new blog.

April 9, 2009

Happy Easter Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 11:54 am

I’m going to Belgium to spend my Easter weekend. Cannot wait now!
And happy Easter weekend to my dear girlfriend. I drew this especially for you!easter-madness1

April 1, 2009

Happy Easter

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 1:51 pm

Happy Easter

January 6, 2009

My first day on Twitter

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 4:49 pm

I decided to open my Twitter account after I read the post on copybolgger.com, How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business. After read the article, my first impression towards Twitter is that it’s another networking website like Facebook or Myspace.com. The approach of following somebody sounds like joining a discussion group or post message on someone’s wall on Facebook. Nevertheless, the article gave me a feeling that Twitter is much easier to use.

I’ve never be afraid of trying new stuffs, hence, I created my own Twitter account to give it a go!

It’s very easy to register with Twitter, only a few clicks. I didn’t even need to go to my e-mail box to verify my account, however, I didn’t hesitate for a minute before I enter my e-mail password.

The actual page layout is very clean, only a couple of links, unlike some other social networking websites, such as Facebook and Delicious. I started with talking to myself, since I didn’t invite any of friends to it. I also tried to talk to people by replying to their post, however, no one seems to be bothered to talk to me. By the time I wrote this, I still haven’t heard from anyone yet.

In general, Twitter is very easy to use. It’s not like a blog, one doesn’t need to spend a lot time to think about what to write and how. Nevertheless, it’s not a place for self entertaining, one need to interact with others.

BTW, if you feel like talking with someone,  or just say hi, Click here to start.

Before finish, I want to rise a question here, what’s the difference between Twitter and Internet Chat Room?

December 22, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pangsheng @ 10:35 am

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