The Geek word „amethystos“ may be translated as „not drunk“. The amethyst was seen as a cure for drunkenness for a long time. That is also the reason why wineglasses would often be cut from this gemstone. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that an amethyst can help in dispersing bad thoughts and increasing intelligence. Colored by iron, the amethyst is a variant of crystal quartz, which will glow crimson in a transparent light. The darker the tones of the crimson, the more valuable the gemstone becomes. Amethysts were already used by the Ancient Egyptians, the Romans and the Greek.
The amethyst is a widely found mineral, however, pure examples, which one may use to make jewelry, are only found in relatively few places. Those gemstones will be found between mineral fields, inside granite stone or in agate geodes. Many hollow agates in Brazil and Uruguay contain amethyst crystal. Pure amethyst comes from Russia, especially nearby Mursinka in Ekaterinburg, where it can be found like druses in granite rocks. Amethyst has also been found in India, and also as rubble on the shores of the nearby Sri Lanka. There is a belief that amethyst has the power to transform anger into balanced calm. Furthermore, the gemstone is said to protect the beholder of psychological stress and convert bad energies into positive ones. As a gemstone with many qualities, the amethyst is assigned the power to cleanse the mind, the body and the soul.
Blue – the most popular color around the world – is known for its calming effect. None of the tones on the spectrum are as cool and calm as that of the aquamarine. The name comes from the Latin “aquamarina” (water of the sea). The gemstone embodies this naturalness in a very special manner. The colors of the aquamarine range from pastel blue to light green. Its nuances remind of an emerging, vitalizing breeze.
During Antiquity the aquamarine was seen as the gemstones of great visions. That is why it was often used to form the eyes on large sculptures, which symbolized power and wisdom. Legend has it that men and women who gazed upon those statues were to become people of great wisdom and even the ability to see the future. Sometimes the statues would be placed near the shore, where they were supposed to appease the wrath of Poseidon and thus make sure of a safe return of the boats. Aquamarine is the gemstone variant of beryl and is closely related to the emerald.
Aquamarine is often found, where beryl is sourced and mined. Some of the finest sources are in Russia. Yet, for decades it was Brazil who dominated the export market. There, the region around Marambaia is the most valuable sources of pure variants. However, some African nations, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia and Madagascar are offering a possibly even larger array of just as pure aquamarine. The largest aquamarine ever found, was mined in 1910 near the city of Marambaia. It was over 110 kg heavy and was 48,5cm long and had a diameter of 42 cm.
Named after the French word for lemon “citron”, many of the gemstones do show a strong lemony yellow color. Albeit the darker gemstones, also called “Madeira Citrine” after the color of the wine, are favored by many and thus priced accordingly, some people would prefer the lighter versions, which are best to combine with pastel tones. The citrine is a type of quartz, just like the amethyst. It has inclusions of iron, and is seldom found in nature. Brazil is the leading producer of naturally sourced citrine. The largest part of production is based around the area of the river Rio Grande do Sul. A large part of today’s high quality citrine comes from Uruguay and many African nations. Natural citrine can otherwise be found in the Russian Ural Mountains, in Dauphine in France as well as Madagascar. During Antiquity one wore citrine in protection of snakebites and resentment.
Generally known as “black magic”, the name stems from the Greek word for fingernail. A story tells of a day where Venus was sleeping and Amor cut her fingernails, and left the trimmings laying around the floor. Because no part of a goddess may ever rot and die, the gods decided to make the pieces into gemstones, which later became famous as onyx. It is a variation of frost stone, a cryptocrystalline form of quartz.
Onyx was very popular in Ancient Greece and Rome. In Greek Antiquity almost all color variations of frost stone from white to dark brown and black were called onyx. The Romans later limited the term and onyx only referred to the darker tones. Today, when we speak of onyx, it is used to differentiate the black shades from the reddish brown, greenish and striped versions. Onyx is sourced in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Uruguay and the USA. It is said the gem heightens your energy and strength during problem analysis, and thus makes a solution much easier. Furthermore, the onyx is said to sharpen your business senses and give better management qualities. Crystal healers even believe that onyx can restore our faith in life and love, and thus reestablish lost joie de vivre.
This gemstone, which, like the aquamarine, is part of the mineral family of beryl, was already a status symbol with the Egyptian pharos. The name smaragd comes from the Greek word “smaragdos”, which means green precious stone. Similarly to ruby and sapphire this name was used for all green gemstones up until the scientific advances of the 18th century. Smaragd is considered the most precious of the beryl family. Its green is so luminescent and unforgettable that there is a colour named after it.
The important substance that colours this stone is chrome. Thus handling has been modified especially, as the stone is extremely prone to damage when prodded. It is polished in the step cut. Here all four corners are numbed by facets. The smaragd manifests through the combination of uprising magma and metamorphic stones. The density of smaragd is similar to that of quartz. Sources are thus mostly composing sites. The smaragd is considered one of the most precious jewels and was used by many royal households as a symbol of power. One of the most famous smaragd is to be found in the Vienna Chamber of Treasury. This unique piece, the largest cut stone known, in a shape of a small vessel, counts a whole 2080 carat. The Colombian stone got into the hands of the Habsburg dynasty at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1641 Emperor Ferdinand III asked the famous stone smith Dionysio Miseroni to work the stone. It took nearly two years until Miseroni was able to present the finished piece to the Emperor. The largest sources of smaragd are in Colombia, Ghana, Afghanistan, Australia, India, Tanzania, the USA, Malawi, Madagascar, Namibia as well as Pakistan and Nigeria.
The name topaz comes from the Greek „topazos“, which means „to seek“. Topazos was the name of an island in the red sea, which was hard to find, and on which the yellow tone was sourced during Antiquity. Today, however, one believes that the stone there was in face the yellowish olivine, and not the topaz. During the Middle Ages the name topaz was used for almost all yellow gemstones, but today it is only used for the here mentioned silicate (a flint and acid combination). The topaz is a mineral, a nesosilicate of aluminum and fluorine. A typical topaz is whine or straw yellow. It, however, can also come in white, grey, green, blue, rosé, reddish yellow or even be transparent.
Following the trends of the jewelry market, more and more blue topaz stones are currently being used. Colours such as sky blue, and the more intensive London and Swiss blue are becoming ever so popular. Topaz is being sourced in the Ural Mountains, the Czech Republic, Saxonia, Norway, Ialy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, the USA and in Mexico. It is said that the topaz helps in securing trust, and aids in making decisions and in following through with those, too. It is thus often believed, that this gemstone can let wishes come true. The topaz is also in itself a romantic stone – often the stone even appears in Titles of romantic Novels or features in plays. The name thus stands for beauty, rarity and wealth and thus symbolizes certain timelessness.
Tourmaline is a very precious gemstone, which displays an unrivalled array of colour variations. An old Egyptian legend says that this array of colour roots in the tourmalines journey from the centre of the earth to the sun, on which he passes the rainbow and collects all the colours imaginable. That is why we still call it rainbow gemstone today. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese expression “tura mali”, which means stone of mixed colour. Tourmalines are a mixed crystal from aluminum and borosilicate, which can vary greatly in their make-up. And the smallest changes in the composition may result in great colour variations.
Tourmalines are red and green, but may also be blue or yellow. Often there are two or more colours combined in one stone, which is highly sought after for extravagant jewelry. It comes as no surprise, that one says that this gemstone has magical qualities. Tourmalines ought to have a great influence on friendship and love, especially in respect to stability and durability. Tourmaline can be found all over the world. There are extensive sources in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South and Southwest Africa. Other sources are in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Known as „gemstone of the sun“ in Old Egypt, the peridot was the most favorite stone of Cleopatra. The name comes from the French word peritot, which means unclear. Peridot is gemstone variant of the forsterite olivine. The gemstone can be found in Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Burma, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the USA. High quality peridot can also be sourced in the lava fields of Saudi Arabia. A special variant from Pakistan is called “Kashmir Peridot”. Old tales say that the stone brings success, peace and peace. Peridot has been found in Ancient Egyptian jewelry collections from around 2000 BC.
Back then it was sourced on the volcanic St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. Hawaiian natives believe that the peridot was molded from the tears of the goddess Pele, whereas Biblical passages say that peridot was one of the twelve gemstones to adorn the breastplate of the high priest of the twelve tribes of Israel.
The Ancient Greek originally called the quartz „krystallos“, thus „ice“. This term was soon used for all crystals. The modern word quartz, is in fact based on the Saxon word „Querklufterz“ meaning cross-veined ore. The Roman physicist Pliny believed that quartz was permanently frozen ice. He based his theory on the fact that quartz was mostly found in Alpine regions, near to glaciers. Thus, large pieces of the stone were often made into many small ones in order to cool off hands. Pliny also knew of the ability of quartz to refract light into a spectrum. Quartz is a widely used material, and is thus one of the most interesting gemstones. Approximately 12% of the earth’s crust are made of quartz, which can be found enclosed in many different rock and stone types.
The gemstone variant of quartz has been used for thousands of years to adorn jewelry and other precious objects. Ancient Indian sources tell of the ability of quartz to save and transform energy. UP until this day, quartz is being used during meditation for its healing and metaphysical powers. It is said that quartz can attract positive energy as well as peace and love. His subtle energy ought to balance feelings, give inner peace and harmony, and strengthen the bond in relationships. Furthermore, it is said to temper aggressions and raise self-esteem.
Quartz is a flint acid compound and can be found in a variety of forms, such as amethyst, citrine, onyx, pink-, lemon quartz and cairngorm. It can be found around the globe. The Minas Gerais in Brazil are the most famous source of quartz. Other places where one can find quartz are in the USA (Arkansas), Sri Lanka, Mexico and France. According to scientific articles there were findings of quartz in gravel that was brought back from the moon.
There is one word that captures the beauty of light hitting the surface of this light green quartz the best. This word is “impressive”! Lemon quartz is a lemon yellow variant of quartz. It is more citrus yellow than citrine, which shows more orange nuances. Like many other quartz, this variant is sourced in Brazil. As described above, the crystal of quartz (silicon dioxide) can be found around the globe. Good, utilizable pieces of the stone are however rare to find. Lemon quartz is a relative of the amethyst, which is crimson coloured. Quartz is said to structure, focus and strengthen thoughts and information. The colour yellow symbolizes a clarity of things, luck as well as strong communication. Hence the lemon quartz is said to have to ability to activate, balance and strengthen communication, clarity and luck.
Smoky Quartz / Cairngorm
The cairngorm is, too, a popular variant of quartz. It has an unusual colour for a gemstone, can thus be easily recognized and is widely popular with the public. The colour of the cairngorm goes from brown to black. In some cases there are smoky, grey colour inclusions within the cairngorm gemstone. The reason for this smoky colour is not entirely clear, however with next to no doubt one thinks that it appears through the natural radiation of the earth. Natural cairngorm is often found in granite rock and can be found around the world. Some of the most important sources are in Brazil, which is the largest vendor, in Pikes Peak in Colorado/ USA, where it can be found together with the green amazonite, and in the Swiss Alps, which have produced tons and tons of first class cairngorm.
Rose quartz is one of the most favoured variants of quartz. The pink colour is completely unique and so different from any other mineral type. The colour comes through an iron and titanium pollution of the stone. Rose quartz can be found in Madagascar, India, Germany and in a few paces in the USA. Large quantities were sourced at the famous mines near Custer (South Dakota). Today, however, most rose quartz is distributed from Brazil.