Category Archives: Gems

Bring Uniqueness and Style to Your Jewelry With Moissanite Rings

If you are looking into having a unique gem for your ring, you can look into getting a moissanite gem.  Moissanite rings are gaining in popularity due to its properties and price, making it an alternative to diamonds.  These gems are more affordable, and ethically produced.  The characteristics of this gem, and its background, are also good reasons to get this gem.

Moissanite was discovered in 1893 by Dr. Henri Moissan in a meteor crater in Arizona.  Dr. Moissan also became a Nobel Prize winner later on–imagine getting a gem discovered by a Nobel Prize winner?

Moissanite rings can be bought online. There are websites that specialize in these gems.  One option is to get moissanite gems in color.  There are three popular colors–yellow, green, and pink.

These colors are light and can be partnered with different metals.  The subtlety of the colors work with yellow gold, white gold, titanium and platinum, with the settings dependent upon what particular design you have in mind.  Moissanite rings can be set with only one gem, a combination of gems, or it can even be done in an eternity setting.  The sparkle of the moissanite gem is enough to take anybody’s breath away.

Since moissanite was originally associated with a meteorite, you can say that it is a piece of a star.  Star colors work well for either men or women.  It all boils down to the design and the setting.  For men, it works best to have the band wider and the gems will act as an accent.

In designing moissanite rings, you can go to your jeweler and describe what you like, your jeweler will be able to do an illustration of the ring before you can finalize it and have it done.

Related Posts:
Learn about moissanite

Share This

Finding Amethyst Crystals

If you are looking to add some amethyst crystals to your mineral collection, then you have a few choices. You can head down to the local hobby shop frequented by rock hounds and shell out some cash for a few dollars in exchange for some amethyst.

You can head to your local store for New Age supplies and related materials and rifle through their crystal bins. They’re sure to have some stones as well that you can purchase.

But if you are a hardcore mineral collector – whether you use your stones for health and wellness or simply to admire cool rocks – then there really is no substitute for heading into the field on your own. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of digging up your own specimens.

The trouble is, when it comes to amethyst, that’s a bit trickier than finding, say, a few samples of quartz. These days, the biggest deposits of natural amethyst are located in Brazil. Yes, you can find some in other parts of the globe but you have to be ready to hire a geologist!

Still, it’s not the worst way to spend one’s vacation. You can spend a few days taking in the culture of Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, then throw on your Indian Jones duds and see if you can’t score some quality amethysts. Either way, you’re going to return home tanned and with a few good stories.

But if you don’t have the time or the money to head into the Southern hemisphere, you still have some options. One is to simply buy a lot of geodes from Brazil. Geodes are hollow rocks inside of which minerals – such as amethysts – are formed. They’re like a rock enthusiast’s ultimate holiday gift. Break one open and see what you got!

There’s no guarantee, of course, that your geode will contain any amethyst, much less an amethyst for which you would actually pay money. But that’s the joy of buying in bulk – after a while, the law of large numbers pretty much ensures that you’re going to find something.

If you do it his way, you have to remember that what you get are not likely to be jewelry quality gemstones. You won’t be making any money, in other words. But the odds are much more likely that you will turn up some pretty good crystals that most collector’s would envy.

Any amethyst collection takes time to build. Your short-term goal should be to acquire some lower or mid-range quality stones. Use those to trade up for one or two higher quality crystals. After a while, between trading and cracking geodes, you’re likely to have the sort of collection that even the experts would admire.

And remember – amethyst is worth a little effort!

Share This

History of Russian diamond production

Because Russia is such a cold country, for many years it wasn’t really cost effective for Russian miners to go to the trouble of extracting diamonds from the cold Russian tundra. It is only in the last half a century that Russia has been mining and producing Russian diamonds, although the diamonds have, of course, been under Russian soil for much longer.

The impetus for the decision to mine diamonds – the ultimate symbol of luxury –was ironically that they were needed to boost the industrial output of the communist Soviet Union. As well as being sparkly, diamonds are important for use in industry – they make extremely hard and long lasting drill tips. They also have military uses, which made them extremely attractive to Soviet planners.

So, in the 1950s massive mines were started (the largest was the Mirny mine, an open cast mine that is over a kilometer wide and almost a kilometer deep and which has been made famous on the internet by people who circulate amazing pictures). The Soviet Union never did things to a small scale.

Diamond production in the Soviet Union was mainly aimed at industrial production, but it was quickly realized that many of the diamonds being mined were good enough quality to be sold as gemstones for jewelery. A top secret deal was agreed with De Beers to sell them outside of Russia, and the Soviet Union very quickly found it had another major source of income that it could use to support its ambitions.

Today, diamond mining continues in Russia – still on a grand scale. This year, in fact, it was reported that Russia is the world’s largest producer of diamonds – it produces almost one in every four diamonds in the world today, an amount which is worth well over $1billion dollars annually to the Russian economy.

Share This

A Rainbow of Jade Stone Color

Jade, a name which is used for both the minerals nephrite and jadeite, is a stone which can be extremely valuable. This stone can vary in hardness from 6 to a 7 on the Mohs scale and can have a wide variety of colors depending on the type of stone and content of foreign minerals contained within it.

Nephrite jade, the softer of the two jades, is actually the toughest of both. It measures a 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale but due to its tough, interlocking crystalline structure, is much tougher to break. It is said to come in less colors than jadeite, yet has a very large range (not just the stereotypical green which comes to mind when people think of jade as a color).

Jadeite is the harder of the two jades, and measures a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. This stone is more valuable due to its rarity. It only comes out of Burma in commercial amounts while nephrite is found all over the world (though produced in commercial amounts in British Columbia).

The colors of jade vary depending on its mineral composition. When there is a content of iron present in jade it can appear red, orange or yellow. When graphite and iron are present the jade can appear black. When chromium is present the color of the jade stone can appear green. When there is no foreign mineral content, and therefor just pure jade, the jade stone will appear white.

The color of the piece of jade can affect its price. Today, green jade is considered much more valuable. In the past it was white jade which was the most valuable to the Chinese due to its purity.

Though jade can appear in green, blue, white, red, black, orange, yellow or violet (just to name a few of the colors) the shades of each color can vary enormously. Due to this fact the price of jade is also determined on how vivid and striking the color actually is. Value is not only determined by the jade stone color but also by its translucency, depth and if any fractures are present.

Share This

Learn about Moissanite

Moissanite is an interesting gemstone that is starting to become very popular. Although it was only really introduced commercially in the last 10 years, it has been known for over 100 years. First discovered in a meteorite crater in 1893, it was not found anywhere outside of extraterrestrial origins until the 50s, and even then only tiny fragments were found in other mines.

Fortunately, moissanite is relatively easy to produce commercially. It is made by combining coal byproducts with sand and glass, and heated to over 2000 degrees. This method is used to produce large quantities of a rough form, also called carborundum. This is mainly used as an industrial abrasive.

To produce moissanite jewelry, a better quality of stone is required – however the basic process is similar. Vaporized SiC is heated and allowed to cool in a chamber containing seed crystals. This process produces very good gem quality stones in around 6 hours, and the process is much more reliable and consistent than that of producing other synthetic gems, such as lab diamonds.

Moissanite is a beautiful gemstone, but it isn’t necessarily an ideal substitute for a real diamond. Although it is nearly as hard as a diamond, it is much more brilliant and colorful. This means that it can be easily identified, particularly next to a real diamond. However that is not to say that it isn’t an amazing gem in its own right. many buyers seek out moissanite deliberately for just that reason – its fire and sparkle make it an appealing stone, that is well suited to a range of jewelry applications. Some jewelers report that younger buyers favor this stone because of its flashy, ‘blingy’ character – but at the same time, it can be used in elegant dress earrings paired with white gold.

Although moissanite is much cheaper than a diamond, it is still considerably more than it’s closest rival, cubic zirconia. But as a gem that is relatively less common, it might be worth exploring if you are in the market for something a little bit different.

Share This