Monday, November 14, 2011

Guangzhou Wesly Jewelry Co.,Ltd

Glad to inform you that we can offer very good quality shamballa bracelet and earing as below:

If you are interested pls send for quotation.
We also support loose shamballa beads. For more details pls don't hesitate to contact me.
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Best regard,
Cathy
Guangzhou Wesly Jewelry Co.,Ltd
Tel: 86-20-34381179
Fax: 86-20-84390206
Email: weslyjewelry@163.com

Sister Company(semi-precious stone manufacturer)
Lily Beads Co.,Ltd
www.lilybeadhouse.com
Tel: 86-20-34387294
Email: jewellery@lilybeadhouse.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Diamondsafe.com Introduction

Welcome to DiamondSafe.com, where you can find quality certified diamonds for less. We are part of a leading diamond and jewelry design and manufacturing group with over 30 years of experience in the diamond jewelry manufacturing industry. Of paramount importance to DiamondSafe.com, our cutters use the latest techniques to create the most brilliant diamonds and our master jewelers to create magnificent rings, pendants, wedding bands, earrings etc., to set these diamonds for our clients. At DiamondSafe.com., we purchase diamonds only from legitimate sources (no conflict diamonds).

Diamond Rings
Diamond Rings serve an even greater purpose than as symbols of beauty. Diamond rings have been cherished as love tokens since the earliest of times. Mary of Burgundy was the first woman in recorded history to receive a diamond engagement ring for her wedding in ancient India. The traditional gift of diamond rings has existed for centuries and will continue to grow with each new couple's love.
Diamonds

Diamond Earrings
Why not surprise her with the unexpected? A stunning gift of diamond studs to accompany her to all those special occasions and memorable events you two will share. DiamondSafe.com's exceptional diamond earrings incorporate incomparable beauty with an unbelievable price.

History of Diamond engagement rings

Have you ever wondered why the diamond is the engagement ring of choice? Where did the idea originate from? Why is the diamond considered the ultimate symbol of love and adoration?For centuries, diamonds have been widely known as the universal symbol of eternal love and commitment. This is mainly due to the fact that diamonds are beautiful, strong, and durable, much like the tradition of a lasting marriage.
It is believed that the tradition of gifting an engagement ring featuring a diamond stone or centerpiece originated in 1477. This is the year in which Archduke Maximillian of Austria gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy.

After this proposal, giving a diamond engagement ring became a widespread trend among the wealthy and famous. Around the globe, the upper classes began to follow suit and give the sparkly gems to their beloved and betrothed.

Over the next few centuries, giving diamond engagement rings was relatively limited to only the richest and noblest families. However, in 1870 several diamond mines were discovered in South Africa. This greatly increased the availability and affordability of diamonds to the general public.
As supply increased, declining costs allowed even those who did not don a crown to invest in diamonds. The market was flooded with a newfound diamond supply, and sales flourished in Europe and the United States.

In the late 1930s, the United States became the premium marketplace for high-quality diamonds, effectively making diamond engagement rings a common choice in America. Focus on marketing the diamonds was transferred to the U.S. as sales in Europe reached an all-time low just before World War II.
Though both continents were still experiencing the effects of the Great Depression, Americans clung to the idea that diamonds would last forever and be able to be passed down for generations to come. Since then, Americans have consistently purchased diamonds for engagement rings and other commemorative jewelry.
When an engagement ring is given, it is customary to wear both it and the wedding band on the left ring finger. This ancient tradition originated from Greece, whose citizens believe that the vena amoris, a vein located in that finger, is a direct line to the heart.

Prior to the tradition of choosing a mate before purchasing a ring, many men in the Middle Ages would do just the opposite. They typically kept a ring tied to their hats, and would give it to their chosen wife-to-be once she was found.

These betrothal rings in the Middle Ages were frequently inscribed with love poems and other messages. Also called “posy” rings, they remained popular until the Victorian Era.
Also popular prior to diamond engagement rings were “gimmel”, or twin rings. During the Renaissance period, parts of this ring were worn by both the bride-to-be and groom-to-be, and sometimes by a third party. The three parts were united on the wedding day to become the wedding ring. In 1525, Catherine Bora wed Martin Luther with an inscribed gimmel ring


Customary in earlier ages, many mates were chosen and agreed upon by the families of the bride and groom. Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII, was betrothed to the infant Dauphin of France, heir to the throne of France, when she was only two years old. The engagement, which took place in 1518, resulted in a gift of a diamond set in a tiny gold ring. This was the smallest engagement ring ever recorded.

During the rule of Louis XVI, from 1754 to 1793, the popular engagement ring style included a diamond cluster shaped like a long, pointed oval. These remained quite popular for the next 150 years.
Diamonds and rubies, signifying eternity and love, were commonly combined in rings used in the 17th and 18th centuries. Styles also featured many heart patterns, a popular symbol during that time.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, colored stones still remained quite popular in engagement jewelry. Themes used in many rings would include several stones which spelled out a word or name with the first letter of each stone. For example, “dearest” would be represented in a ring containing a diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, epidote, sapphire and turquoise.

Serpents were considered a symbol of good luck, and used in many engagement rings in the same time period. Queen Victoria was given a ring using this motif.

Solitaire settings, as one of the most popular styles of engagement rings were not introduced until the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, the “princess ring”, which features multiple diamonds, became popular in the U.S. This served as the original influence for the currently-popular three-stone style.
Platinum became the metal of choice in the early 20th century for engagement rings due to strength and durability. Later, during World War II, white and yellow gold was used for bridal jewelry because platinum was restricted to military use only.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ceylon Gems

Sri Lanka Jewellers brings you the highest quality natural gems from Sri Lanka. A ‘high quality’ gemstone is one that has beauty (good colour and clarity), rarity and durability. We provide a wide range of gemstones that include blue, white, star and fancy sapphires, chrysoberyl cat's eye, spinel, tourmaline, garnet, topaz, moonstones and zircon.

A beautiful, high quality gem is something you can appreciate and enjoy for a lifetime and hand down to the next generation. Our natural, high quality gemstones come to you from Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon), a country blessed with dazzling gemstones of legendary beauty and amazing variety

Gems make wonderful gifts to your loved ones. They are the perfect gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or any other special occasion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ruby and Sapphire - Identification and differences

In nature, impurities of all kinds are simultaneously present. For instance, iron adds a yellow tinge that turns a pure red ruby into an orange (padparacha) specimen that is cheaper. Similarly, when iron enters a blue sapphire, the yellow admixture produces green or blue green overtones that are not very desirable. Most sapphires are of this colour and attempts are made to change it to pure blue. Iron may give a ruby a brown tinge and the presence of titanium and vanadium in ruby turns it purple reducing the value of the stone.

Corundum is doubly refracting and a ray of white light passing through it breaks up into rays, each polarised in a different plane and travelling in slightly different directions, depending also on the colour of the ray. An object viewed through the stone therefore appears as a double image. As the stone is rotated, the colour of ruby and sapphire may also vary somewhat because of an effect called dichroism or pleochroism. Ruby and sapphire are therefore cut to exhibit the best colour a deep red or a royal blue when viewed from the top or table facet.

Seen through a magnifying lens, natural corundum exhibits inclusions that resulted from slow crystallisation in nature. The inclusions are generally like 'feathers' or fingerprints. Liquid inclusions looking like lace are also sometimes visible. A specimen without these inclusions would almost certainly be a synthetic stone or even a piece of glass. Sapphires also have a silky sheen caused by needles of titanium oxide (rutile). The rutile needles from Sri Lankan sapphires are longer and wider spaced than the stones from Burma. Montana sapphires show long rods or tubes ending in projections, while Australian sapphires have liquid filled cavities and dark flat cavities with strong zonal colouring.

The appearance of both sapphire and ruby can be altered by heat treatment in a proper environment. It is estimated that virtually all blue, yellow and golden sapphires are heated to intensify their colour permanently (see chapter on 'Gemstone Enhancement'). Except for white sapphire, all sapphires turn rich yellow to orange yellow when irradiated with gamma rays but the colour fades on exposure to light. Irradiation intensifies the colour of pale yellow sapphires, but the sapphires are unchanged or become a blue-tinged amber colour.

Synthesis of ruby and sapphire is done on a large scale, as large ruby rods are required to generate laser beams. Synthetic rubies and sapphires are very common in the market and many traders sell them as naturals in order to earn fast money. The synthetics show bubble-like inclusions under magnification and so can be distinguished from the natural gems. The better synthetics sometimes have feather-like inclusions, but shine abnormally under light as compared to natural stones.

A recent technical development gives ruby a rich red colour that penetrates into the stone and is not totally removed by polishing. Heavy elements like chromium can be diffused into sapphire and ruby, given enough temperatures and long enough time. The process apparently takes several days at a temperature of 1,600C, but the time reduces rapidly if the temperature is increased somewhat less high 2,070C, the melting point of corundum. Even at this high temperature, iron, titanium or chromium diffuses only to a few tenths of a millimetre in a reasonable time. Diffusion treatment is done on a cut stone and only light polishinng folllows diffusion and nickel diffusionn gives a yellow colour, while chromium and nickel together give a padparacha effect. These colours are all stable, even if the stone is heated. Apparently the diffusion can be detected by examining the stone in methyl iodide solution.

Titanium oxide and iron oxide mixtures are also deposited on a sapphire to crete a blue stone. The heating is done in a reducing atmosphere; sometimes after diffusion in air, the stone is heated in a reducing atmosphere to bring out the colour. This process was patented by Linde and is widely prevalent in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

The value of star rubies and sapphires in influenced by the intensity and attractiveness of the body colour and the strength, sharpness and uniformity of the star. Diffusion can be used to make a star gem out of a sapphire or ruby. Aluminium titanate is mixed with borax and silica as a flux and filler and painted on to the stone. The stone is then heated to 1,750 C for several days for the titanium to enter the stone is again heated to 1,300C to develop a good star. Fractured stones unsuitable for cutting are chosen for this treatment. The stars so produced are very sharp and of uneven colour.

Gemstone Trading in India

Another trading centre for gemstones was in Goa. Many merchants and miners went there to sell the best they had, for they were given full liberty to sell whereas in their own countries, they were compelled to show their output to the kings and princes and sell gems at whatever price the rulers ordered.

During the nineteenth century, Crawfurd (1827), G,d'Amato (1833), Oldham (1855) and Bredermeyer (1868), among others, have reported in detail on the Burmese mines. The rubies produced were generally very small, less than 0.25 rati because Chinese and Tartar merchants had smuggled out the larger pieces. The few big stones they left behind were flawed and valuable stones were rare. A full account of the ruby mines in Burma is also given by Scott and Hardiman in the Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, Rangoon of 1901 and the Imperial Gazetteer of the same year. Dr Ball locates the principle mines in three valleys, Mogok (Mogout), Kathe and Kyatpyen. The elevated tract including these valleys was situated at a distance of about one hundred and forty kilometres from Mandalay at an elevation of about eighteen hundred metres above sea level. The ruby tract covered a very beautiful but malarial area of twenty-six sq kilometres with the mining in around two thirds of this area. Sagyin, only twenty five kilometres from Mandalay, had also some ruby mines, but the stones obtained there were of inferior quality.

Several other gemstones were found in this mining area, sapphires, emeralds, amethyst, topaz, white sapphires, spinel, zircon (hyacinth), iolite and rubellite (a variety of tourmaline). Only about one per cent of the corundum was ruby. Caves in the marble hills of the area contained ruby clay from which the finest stones were extracted.

Located in thick jungle, pure red rubies from the Mogok Stone Tract in Burma, one of the richest gem bearing areas of the world, are now in constant demand. Ruby and sapphire deposits lie within thirty metres below ground and Burmese ruby miners sift out gravel obtained by digging short tunnels into the hillside where deposits have been located. When deposits are found in old river beds, small tunnels of about ten metres are dug and the watery sludge is panned to retrieve the heavier gem concentrates. Final sorting is by hand. Large mining enterprises carry out open cat mining by eroding the rock and earth with strong water jets. The wet slurry is then washed and sieved to separate the gemstones. Such mining leaves the dug out area in the form of terraces.

Corundum has a specific gravity of 4.0, a refractive index of around 1.765 and a hardness of 9 on the Moh's scale (on this scale, diamond is the hardest substance with a value of 10). The elementary crystal is barrel shaped, with six oxygen atoms surrounding each aluminium atom. Because of this complex crystal structure, ruby and sapphire cannot be cleaved or split like a rough diamond and cutting or sawing may often cause the stone to crack during grinding. While it is being polished overheating often leaves parallel cracks that run from facet edges.

The impurity elements that colour corundum are usually iron, chromium, titanium and vanadium in concentrations of a few parts per million. When they occupy interstitial sites displacing the aluminium atoms, these impurities cause defects in the crystal lattice-this can produce extra energy levels in the crystal which the takes on a colour that ranges through pink, blue, yellow and orange, the varied hues of sapphire and ruby.

The purity of the colour of a sapphire depends greatly on the concentration of iron as an impurity. If only iron is present, the stone assumes a yellow tinge that is in great demand in India and is known as 'Pushkraj'. The presence of vanadium and titanium atoms in close proximity within the aluminium oxide crystal causes a deep blue colour in the stone- termed 'Neelam' in India. When only Chromium is present as an impurity, corundum becomes a pure red ruby through pink and violet sapphires indicate the presence of chromium in the stone. The Chromium content in ruby usually varies from 0.05 per cent in the palest pink stones to about 0.5 per cent in the deepest red, at which point the colour saturates. Black sapphire is coloured by an admixture of magnetite, hematite or spinel. The value of corundum depends mostly on its colour and clarity. The best corundum does not have much 'fire' or lustre, but blue pure yellow sapphire and the red ruby are the most valuable in this category.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rubies and Sapphires

Ruby and sapphire belong to the mineral family called corundum. Chemically they are both aluminium oxide in a crystalline formthat was made deep underground into clear and beautiful gemstones under high pressure and heat. Impurities within the crystals give it the attractive, glowing colours. Good specimens of these gems are perhaps almost as valuable as diamonds. All colours of corundum except red are known as sapphires. The colourless variety is called white sapphire and was once a cheap substitute for diamond. Yellow, purple, pink, green or white sapphires are called 'fancy' by the trade. Red corundum is now termed as ruby but there was a controversy some years ago on the difference between ruby and red or pink sapphire. In 1991, the International Coloured Gemstone Association ruled that even the lighter shades of red corundum should be termed ruby.

Sapphire and rubies are found all over the world and are mined in Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, U.S.A. and Zambia, but the gemstones from India, Myanmar, Thailand and other countries in the Far East were and still are renowned for their pure, rich colour and quality. Good quality stones have been found all over India, from Tamil Nadu in the south to Kashmir in the North. The blue sapphires from the very inaccessible mines of the Zanskar valley in Kashmir are the finest in the world. Discovered in 1880 after a huge rock slide, they have a pure intense blue colour, with a slight measure of silk or milkiness. The oldest sapphire mines were in Sri Lanka and gems found there are light to medium blue in colour. Sapphires from Madagascar are of high quality with some exceptional yellow and pink stones. Brazil has unearthed some good blue to purple and pink stones recently.

Corundum was mined in the East for centuries and there are fascinating reports on the ruby mines by European travellers at the end of the fifteenth century and by Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. The red coloured corundum got its name from the Latin word, 'rubrum' or 'ruber' meaning red. The great French traveller of the seventeenth century, Tavernier found that the coloured stones of Eastern Asia were only mined in the kingdom of Pegu (now Myanmar) and in the island of Ceylon. The first Pegu mine was on mountain called Capelan, twelve days journey from Ava, the capital of Pegu. It was a long and tiresome journey after landing at the port of Siren, or Syriam or Siriam, some ten kilometres east of the present day Rangoon. The trip from Ava to Siriam had to be made at the time by boat because the jungles teemed with wild animals. Wonderful rubies, sapphires and spinels came out of the Pegu mine, but Tavenier never saw any that were of good quality and size, and 'not one heavier than three or four carats'. This was because the Burmese King there kept all the largest and best stones. In those days, all the coloured stones from Pegu were called rubies, irrespective of their colour. The sapphire was a blue ruby, the amethyst a violet ruby and the topaz a yellow ruby.

Ruby, spinel, yellow topaz, blue and white sapphire, amethyst and other stones were also found in Capelan, or Kyatpyen, about one hundred ten kilometres north-east of Siriam. Sapphires also came from a river that flowed down from high mountains in the middle of the island of Ceylon. About three months after the spring floods, the local people searched the river banks, and found these precious stones in the sand. The stones from the river were generally cleaner and more beautiful than those from Pegu. Inferior stones were found in the beds of streams around Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla and some of the small rivers in the south. But the more precious gems such as ruby, sapphire, topaz, alexandrite and catseye had to be sought within a rubies of fifty kilometers of Ratnapura, thought rubies are occasionally found in Uva.

Tavernier also mentions that rubies were found in Camboya (Cambodia) and from this kingdom came 'balas' rubies, spinels, sapphires and topazes, apart from gold. By balas rubies, Tavernier meant not the spinels that are characteristic of Baluchistan, but any rubies of light colour resembling them. Other travellers found rubies mined in Chantabun (Chantanburi) and Krat and at Mounth Klung.

The stones were then exported to Masulipatam and Golconda in India, where they were sold by the weight called rati (0.875 carat). The coinage in these places was the pagoda. A ruby of 1 rati was sold for 20 pagodas; that of 2.5 rati cost 85 pagodas; for 3.25 rati the price was 185 pagodas, while a 5 rati stone was worth 525 pagodas; and 920 pagodas would buy a 6.5 rati stone. The price pf a heavier stone was negotiable. The dealers were so particular about their profit in trade that they would not open a parcel of fine rubies unless they were promised beforehand that in case the sale was not made, they would get a present such turban or a waistband. A liberal buyer would then be able to see all their stock and could then transact some business.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Other Large and Famous Diamonds

The Braganza from a Brazilian mine is reported to be the largest diamond ever found and weighs 1680 carats. It is part of the Portuguese crown jewels, but is not available for testing. Some sau it is not a diamond, but a colourless topaz.
The Presidente Vargas of 726.6 carat is the largest Brazilian diamond ever found in that country.
The Jonker diamond was discovered in 1934. The 726-carat stone, said to be flawless purity, was cut into twelve smaller stones.
The Star of Africa, is the largest polished diamond in the world. It weighs 530.2 carats and has been cut with 74 facets.
The Victoria, Imperial, or Great White weighing 457.5 carats came from a South African mine and reached Europe in 1884. It was cut to a beautiful 180 carats and valued in 1900 at 6,200,000.
The Pitt, supposedly the most perfect and beautiful diamond ever known, was found in Patiala in the Punjab in 1701. William Pitt, then Governor of Madras, had the rough stone of 410 carats cut to a perfect brilliant of 163.9 carats. Duc d'Orleans, Regent of France, bought it and Napolean Bonaparte wore it on the pommel of his sword. The gem was said to be the key to his success.
The danau Rajah, a stone from Borneo found in 1787 and now in the treasury of the Rajah of Mattan in Borneo, is reported to weigh 367 carats. In 1868 gem experts found it to be only a rock crystal, but the story was spread that an imitation was submitted for the examination.

The Nizam, a diamond of 440 carats, was said to have been picked up in Golconda by a child in 1835. Cut to 227 carats from the rough, it is part of the Nizam's collection, now with the Government of India.It was brocken up during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. It may soon be exhibited in the museum at Hyderabad.

The Star of the South, found in 1853, is the largest rough diamond from Brazil. Weighing 254.5 carats, it was part of a cluster of crystals. The Gaekwad of Baroda bought it after it was cut to a pure brilliant of 125 carats.

The Great Table of Tavernier weighed 242.2 carats and was found in 1642 near Golconda.

The Darya-i-noor or Sea of Light of 186 carats and the Taj-e-mah or Crown of the Moon, weighing 146 carats, were both cut as rosettes and were part of the collection of the Shah Pahlevi of Iran.

The Florentine of 137 carats, yellow but clear and lustrous, also known as The Great of Tuscany or the Austrian, is in the Imperial Palace treasury at Vienna. Charles the Bold lost it on the battlefield of Granson, where a Swiss soldier found it. Ultimately the Grand Duke Francis Stephen of Tuscany took it to Vienna.

The Stewart, a large diamond of 288.4 carats was found in 1872 in the river diggings on the Vaal. It was later cut to a slightly yellowish brilliant of 120 carats.

The DeBeers diamond of 228.5 carat was cut from a rough of 428.5 carats soon after the company was formed. Itw as first shown at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 and is recognised as the fourth largest cut diamond in the world.

The Millennium Star was discovered in the Congo in the early 1990s by De Beers. It took three years to cut the stone with lasers, but it is the only completely flawless, 203-carat, pear-shaped diamond known.

The Porter Rhodes, a perfectly colourless blue-white stone, was found at Kimberely on February 12, 1880. It weighed around 150 to 160 carats.

The Tiffany Brilliant, is also from South Africa. Flawless and with a beautiful orange-yellow colour, it weighs 125.5 carats.
The Nasik diamond is a triangular brilliant of 89.5 carats. The last Prince of Peshawar took it from the Shiva temple at Nasik and finally sold it to the East India Company. It is said to be in the possession of the Duke of Westminster.

The Shah of weight 88 carats, was in the collection of the Shah of Iran. It has a peculiar shape and the names of tree Persian kings are engraved on it. The Persian prince, Chosroes, the younger son of Abbas Mirza, presented it to the Tsar Nicolas in 1829.

The Idol's Eye diamond is pear-shaped and weighs 70 carats. It is said that it was used to pay ransom to the Sultan of Turkey for a princess he abducted.
The Empress Eugenic diamond of 51 carats is a beautiful brilliant that Catharine 2 of Russia gave her favourite, Potemkin. Napoleon bought it as a wedding-gift to his bride, Eugenie but it was later sold to the Gaekwad of Baroda.

The Piggott is a brilliant cut diamond of 49 carats brought by Lord Piggott to England around 1775 from India. It was later given to A1 Pasha, the Viceroy of Egypt. This stone has since been lost, and, according to rumour, has been destroyed.

The white Saxon is a beautiful square diamond, and weighs 48.75 carats. August the Strong, Duke of Saxony is said to have paid 1,000,000 thalers for it in 1707 and kept it in the Zwinger Castle in Dresden.

The Pasha of Egypt is a fine eight-sided brilliant of 40 carats, purchased by the Viceroy Ibrahim of Egypt for 28,000.

The Dresden Green, an almond-shaped diamond owned by the Saxon crown since 1743 weighs 40 carats. It is a very clear green, perfectly transparent and flawless.

The Polar Star is a beautiful brilliant cut diamond of 40 carats set in the Russian crown.

The Star of Este of 25.4 carats is absolutely flawless. The cut as a brilliant is so perfect that it appear bigger than the Empress Eugenie ot the Sancy diamond. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austrian-Este, eldest son of the Archduke Karl Ludwig bought it for 64,000 Austrian florins in 1876.

The Hortensia diamond of 20 carats has a peach colour. Named after the Queen of Holland, Napoleon Bonaparte's stepdaughter, it is set in one of the French crown jewels.

The Burton Taylor diamond weighed 244 carats when unearthed from the Premier mine of South Africa in 1966. Harry Winston cut it to a pear shaped beauty of weight 69 carats. The jeweller Cartier bought it in an auction in 1969 and sold it to Richard Burton, the actor. It was sold for around $ 3,000,000 recently to fund a hospital in Botswana.

Amazing Gemstones

There is a tradition that this lustrous blue diamond was cursed and brought bad luck to its owner. Tavernier died penniless as an obscure exile. After he acquired the diamond, Louis 14 died of gangrene after suffering unbearable pain for three weeks. It is said that the jeweller who cut the stone died of grief after learning that his son had stolen the valuable diamond; the son, upon hearing of his father's death, committed suicide. The man who found the diamond among the son's possessions, apparently died the very next day. Soon after King George 4 of England bought the stone, he was so much in debt that it was sold through private channels. Mrs. Walsh lost her brother, son, and daughter after she bought the Hope diamond.

The star South Africa was the first large diamond from South Africa and weighed 83.5 carats. The African shepherd boy who discovered it on the banks of the Orange River in 1869 bartered it to a settler for 500 sheep, 10 oxen, and a horse. After it was cut to an oval three-sided brilliant of about 48 carats, it was sold to the Countess of Dudley for nearly 25,000 and for a time it was called the Dudley diamond. It is presently among the British Crown Jewels.

The Sancy, a stone of 53.75 carats, was taken from an Indian quarry near Golconda and finally came into the possession of Charles the Bold. Charles lost his life and the diamond at the battle of Nancy in AD 1477, after which a soldier took it to Portugal and sold it to de Sancy, a French nobleman. Queen Elizaneth 1 of England acquired it around 1600. Hanrietta Maria, the Queen of Charles 1, took it back of France and pledged it with Cardinal Mazarin. In 1791, it was part of the crown jewels of Louis 14 of France. Itw as stolen in the French Revolution, and reappeared as the property of the Spanish Crown some years later. Prince Demidoff sold it to the Maharaja of Patiala in 1865 and it is presumed to be with the Patiala family today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Famous Diamonds of the World

The cullinan diamond was dug out from the ground by a native miner in South Africa's Transvaal Premier Mine in 1905. Weighing 3,106 carats in the rough, this colourless stone is regarded today as one of the greatest diamond discoveries of all time. The Transvall government purchased it and named it after Sir Thomas Cullinan, who had discovered the mine three years earlier. They presented the stone to King Edward 5 in 1907, after which it was brocken up into nine large stones and a hundred smaller ones. The pear-shaped Cullinan-1 piece of 530.2 carats is the largest cut diamond in the world and is presently set into the head of the English sceptre. The Cullinan 2, often referred to as the Star of Africa weighs 317 -carats and is in the Imperial State Crown.

The Centenary diamond weighed 599 carats in the rough and was found in 1988. Under instructions from the De Beers Company, one of the world's most renowned stone cutters, Tolkowsky cut it in the then new brilliant style to a perfectly coloured gem of 273 carats. This largest diamond in the world was presented to Queen Elizabeth 2 to become part of the British Crown Jewels.

The Regent Diamond was found in 1699 in one of the mines on the Krishna River in southern India. William Pitt, Governor of Madras at Fort St.George in Madras, bought the 410-carat stone for 20,400 and brought it to England in 1701. It was then cut and sold to the Duke of Orleans, then Regent of France. Marie Antoinette was seen wearing it, but during the France Revolution it disappeared; later it was located later in a hole in a Paris loft. The French government pawned it once to raise money from a German banker and again to guarantee a loan from Dutch bankers. Napoleon Bonaparte had it set in the hilt of the sword he carried when he was proclaimed Emperor of France, It is now in the Louvre museum in Paris.

The Darya-i-Nur is a flawless, transparent pink stone, of weight between 175 and 195 carats. Nadir Shah captured it along with the Kohinoor when the attacked Delhi in 1739 and was last seen when the Shah Pahlevi of Iran wore it for his coronation in 1967. It is the largest and most remarkable gem in the State Jewels of Iran. Set in a gold frame with other diamonds, it is topped by a crown bearing lions with ruby eyes, holding scimitars.

The Orloff is the largest diamond of the Russian collection. This stone of 195 carats weight is of an almost hemipherical rosette shape and is said to have been stolen from the Srirangam temple near Tiruchirapalli, India. It finally arrived in Amesterdam where the Prince Orloffbought it to give the Empress Catherine 2 of Russia.

The Moon of the Mountains, a diamond of 120 carats, once adorned the throne of Nadir Shah. After his assassination, it was stolen by an Afghan soldier. It finally ended up in the collection of the Russian government.

The hope diamond was also found in the Kollur mines. In 1642, Tavernier seems to have bought it before selling it to Louis 14 in 1668. It is possible that originally it was a beautiful violet blue diamond called the Tavernier, of a mass of 112.2 carats. In 1673, Sieur Pitau, the court jeweler, cut it to a stone of 67.13 carats. Louis 15, in 1749 then had it cut to an oval pice of 45.22 carats. It disappeared for several years after the French Revolution, but reappeared in America when it was bought by Henry Philip Hope, after whom it is named. After Henry Hope died, the diamond passed throught several owners till Evelyn Walsh McLean bought the diamond in 1911. On her death in 1947, Harry Winston, the jeweller bought it and presented it to the Smithsonian Institution where it can be seen today. The Hope diamond known as the most valuable stone in the world.

Famous Diamonds

The price per gram of diamond increases with its weight but stones beyond a certain size are so rare that they cannot be valued on this scale. The few very large and spectacular diamonds are priceless and can trace their complex and controversial history through tales of war. intrigue and love. It is, in fact, the story of their passage through the lives of several owners and not their size, lustre or other properties that determines the price that they command.

The kohinoor or the 'Mountain of Light' diamond was found two thousand five hundred years ago by a villager of Matanga in Kollur in Andhra Pradesh. Old palm leaf manuscripts record the weight of the rough stone as 1986 carats. Sanskirt legends report that Karna, the King of Anga, wore this diamond in his crown to give him invincibility during the great Mahabharata war. The stone later came into the possession of Emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain (60 BC). During the early Persian invasion of India, the diamond was apparently taken to the court of Darius the Great but after the break-up of the Persian Empire, the gem found its way back to India. There is recorded evidence that the Kohinoor was with the family of the Rajah of Malwa in India, for several centuries, having been passed down from generation to generation. When the Moghuls invaded India, Sultan Babar, the first of the Moghuls emperors, acquired the diamond in 1340 AD. It was hidden in the Moghul treasury for about two centuries and in 1526 the diamond was set as one of the peacock's eyes in the famous Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan. In 1739, Nadir Shah of Persia, invaded India and captured Delhi and seized the Peacock Throne but could not find the Kohinoor diamond about which he had heard to much. Nadir Shah later learned from informants that the Moghul emperor had hidden the stone is his turban. During a dinner party Nadir Shah suggested an exchange of turbans, a custom prevalent at the time. The Emperor could not refuse this request and reluctantly undid his silk turban, revealing the gem. Nadir Shah then named it the 'Mountain of Light'. Historians disagree about the source of the name of the stone and insist that the name was a variant on Kollur, where it was found.

When Nadir Shah was murdered, one of his bodyguards took the Kohinoor to Afghanistan. Years later, Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab acquired it in exchange for military help to Ahmed Shah, the Moghul king. After the British won the war against the Sikhs, they annexed the Punjab and the East India Company claimed the diamond as partial idemnity. To mark the two-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Company in 1850, the directors presented the diamond to Queen Victoria who wore it in a brooch after it was cut to 800 carats. It was re-cut to a smaller size of 219 carats and later cut again to a more striking oval cut diamond of 108.93 carats before it was set inn the State Crown, worn by Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth 2 wore it in 1952 for her coronation. The diamond in now part of the British Crown Jewela. The Indian government has now laid claim to the diamond as it was taken by force from this country.

The Great Moghul was also found in 1650 near Kollur in India, according to the French traveller, Tavenier. In the rough it weighed 787.5 carats. Reports say that it was presented to Emperor Shah Jahanin 1656 by Mir Jumla and so was named after the ruler. The Emperor asked Hortensio Borgis, the Venetian diamond-cutter, a lapidary who at that time was domiciled in India, to cut the stone. The work was done so badly that Borgis was forced to pay a heavy fine. When Tavernier last saw the Great Moghul in the treasury of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1665, he described it as looking like an egg and having the form of a very high and round rosette weighing 280 carats. The stone then disappeared and it is possible that it lies in some secret treasury somewhere.

The excelsior, another very large diamond, flawless with a beautiful blue-white colour weighed 971.75 carats and came from the Jagersfontein mine in South Africa. It was afterwards renamed the 'Jubilee,' to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the accession of Queen Victoria. The African who found it in a spade of gravel on June 30, 1893 was rewarded 500 in money and a horse equipped with saddle and bridle. Two years later, its value varied between 1,000,000. The rough stone, however, had a black spot near centre of its mass that was removed by cleaving the stone in two. The larger portion yielded a perfect brilliant weighing 239 carats. A smaller, 18-carat marquise stone was cut from the remaining portion.

Diamond Mining

In the conventional sawing and drilling of a diamond, diamond particles continuously chip the stone at high speed. There are occasions when this method fails, such as when a hard 'knaat' is encountered, an average packet of rough diamonds contains about three to five per cent knaats. If the knaats are more than about one millimetre in size within the rough stone, they could be seen and so rejected. Smaller inclusions are dangerous, as they could damage the saw blades or the scaifes. Again, a hard inclusion might cause vibration of the thin saw blade and shatter it, unless the cutting is slowed down so much that a five carat knaat takes several weeks to cut. Laser drilling and sawing overcomes these problems. In addition, unlike the conventional saw or drill, there is no physical contact between the laser hardware and the stone. Consequently, oil residues or material of the saw blade do not contaminate the stone.

When the focused laser beam hits the stone at a very small spot and the beam energy is absorbed, the temperature at the target spot shoots up to more than 3000C. The heating is extremely fast and so is the cooling, beacuse of the pulsed nature of the laser light. Consequently, the rest of the stone is not heated by the laser beam. To increase the absorption of the laser light by the diamond, a spot of graphite is first apllied to the entrance point of the desired hole. As the beam hits the stone this graphite spot absorbs all the energy of the laser and evaporates. The diamond below the spot becomes graphite locally because of the high temperature and, in turn, provides an absorptive spot. The diamond is therefore cut by evaporation and not by abrasion. The hole produced by the beam is V shaped and as it gets deeper, it becomes wider. However, good design of the optics of the laser system can narroe the diameter of the hole to less than ten microns. The weight loss of the diamond by laser sawing is therefore much less than by conventional sawing, provided special care is taken. Twinned or grained crystals of diamond are cut in a few hours instead of the weeks required by conventional sawing.

Laser sawing is therefore superior to conventional methods, as the cuts can be made irrespective of crystallographic direction. Accuracies of twenty-five microns are routine, limited only by the movement of the holder and vibrations of the table. When a laser is employed for kerfing, the kerf can be as thin as 0.3 micron. Kerf depths of four-hundred micron are achieved in about twenty-five seconds.

The laser beam is produced by flashing light from xenon flash tubes on to a rod of laser material. The rod absorbs this energy and emits it as an exceedingly parallel and coherent beam. The laser material is a solid rod of ruby, Neodymium glass (Nd glass) or Neodymium aluminum garnet (NdYGA,) with accurately parallel and polished faces. Carbon dioxide gas in a quartz tube also acts as a laser material but the focusing is not as fine as with a solid rod. A serious problem in all high power lasers is the overheating of the laser material and the choice of the laser equipment depends on the use that is made of the system.

A typical laser drilling or cutting machine used for diamond processing would have a pulsed NdYAG emitting light of wavelength of 1060 nm, with a peak power one to twenty five kilowatt and a pulse width of 0.2 microseconds. The repetition rate of the pulses is ten to ten housand per second. Other factors affect laser drilling, of holes than the minimal requirements of power density. Not only are the diameter and the depth of the hole dependent on the wavelength of the laser light, but they are also determined by the mode of the laser output. The lowest order mode and the shortest wavelength give the sharpest focussed spot.

World Diamond Trade

Europeans once believed that the cutting or alteration of a diamond would destroy its magical properties, but sometime after 1330 AD, cutters in Venice learned how to shape polish a diamond with an iron wheel coated with diamond dust to produce greater brilliance. The city then became the first centre for diamond trading. Over the next century, diamond traders, mainly Jews escaping from persecution, shifted to Bruges and Paris, and laser to Antwerp. They marketed their diamonds to European jewellers, who began to set diamonds in jewels and royal regalia during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The diamonds came from Indian mines. Among the merchants who sailed east seeking to profit from the sale of diamonds and spices was the great Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. He was one of the first to sail via the Cape of Good Hope, hoping to avoid the Arab pirates who roved the Arabian Sea. He landed near Goa and this port became the Portuguese trading centre in India, and a flourishing trade in diamonds developed from Goa to Lisbon and then on to Antwerp.

The discovery of diamonds in Brazil caused the collapse of the diamond market in 1725 although it was initially advertised that these diamonds came from India. India and Brazil were the main sources of diamond up until 1851. Fifteen years later, the children of an African farmer picked up a white pebble that turned out to be a 21-carat diamond. This was followed soon afterwards by the discovery of another stone of 83 carats. These finds triggered a major diamond rush in South Africa and Rhodesia that later expanded into mining for gold and copper. Deep volcanic pipes that were apparently an inexhaustible source of diamond were then located, mined and factories started production.

In 1908, diamonds were found near the sea shore in South West Africa and by 1925, the stones that were found below thirty feet of sand on the coast of Namaqualand as well as north of the Orange River, proved to be the richest source of high quality gems. An unbelievable twenty-five per cent of the gathered stones were of the finest quality. Prospecting then began in the Belgian Congo; now Congo provides sixty per cent of world diamond output. Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanganyika and the diamond fields in Yakutia in Russia, too, are now rich sources of diamonds. Mir, a hundred and sixty miles from a port on the river Lena was developed and yielded diamonds of more than four carats per tonne. The total production of gem quality diamonds inthe world is around thirty-one million carats, most of it being from Zaire.

When, in 1872, the great diamond rush had more than fifty-thousand miners looking for diamonds and chaotic conditions reigned, Cecil Rhodes bought them all out and formed the De Beers Consolidated Mines Company. With the help of the British government, this company began to take control of most of the diamond activity in South Africa and later formed the Diamond Trading Company (DTC). The DTC rigidly controled and still controls the sale of all diamonds. Even a part of the Russian diamonds has to be channelled through it. This cartelisation of the sale of diamonds has benefited the customer because the company stabilises the price by restricting the supply of rough diamonds. In principle, this control by a single company should make diamonds a good investment, but in practice other market forces prevail.

The profits of diamond mines depend mostly on gem quality stones. For example, twenty per cent of the diamonds mined in Congo is of gem quality. These gemstones are sent to London, where they are sorted according to their shape, quality, colour and size into about two thousand categories. The quality of the stones is judged according to the transparency and the flaws abserved. Colour makes a big difference to the value of the stone. The best are clear 'white' or colours stones, while pink, pastel green or blue stones have a special rarity value. The yellow or brown stones are very common and do not count for much. All diamonds are valued and collected into packets and sold in London to selected buyers. These 'sight holders' are offered the packets on a 'take it or leave it' basis. No selection is allowed. Sight holders then take the stones in their packets back to their own conutries for cutting and polishing.

A number of rough diamonds originate in the disturbed war zones of Angola or the Congo. Most of these 'conflict diamonds' from Congo and Sierra Leone appear to be smuggled into Zimbabwe. Liberia and other neighbouring countries. Diamond experts believe that only about a third of Congo's annual diamond production in being sold through the country's official market. Human rights groups have been concerned that the trade in these diamonds is being used ti finance rebel groups fighting in African countries. One such group based in London showed that in October 1998, Be Beers pumped large amounts of money into rebel coffers by purchasing diamonds from unrecognized sources in the Congo and Angola. Refuting these charges, the DTC now guarantees that one of its diamonds originate from African rebels, but come instead from its own mines is South Africa, Botswanna or Namibia, or are bought from mines in Russia or Australia. However, even a powerful organization like De Beers cannot totally stop diamonds from being smuggled from the war zones in exchange for arms or drugs. Thought perhaps only three percent come from these areas, in spite of strict vigilance, some conflict diamonds from the war zones of Africa will continue to leak into the market until the diamond industry finds a way to stop it.

Gem Cutting

In laser sawing, the stone is positioned on the X-Y table and moved across the laser beam that is fixed in position. Stepping motors control the movement, while the operator watches the stone through a stereomicroscope and protective glass. Sophisticated installations use a closed circuit TV monitor and a programmed microprocessor controlled movement of the platform. The laser beam converges asymmetrically at an angle of six degrees. As the stone is cut, the computer focuses the laser beam at a lower point in place. In order to saw the diamond efficiently, the laser has to be pulsed at widths of around excessive re-condensation and cooling before the carbon escapes from the hole, while longer pulses heat the mentire stone by conduction or radiation. A ten carat octahedral diamond can be laser sawn in one hour, while mechanical saws would take ten to thirty hours for the sam job. Breakages with laser sawing are greatly reduced and the weight yield is better, particularly for knaats. The disadvantages are the high capital and maintenance costs and the safety precautions that are to be observed. Internal stresses in the stones can cause breakage of the stone but this can also happen during mechanical sawing.

Depending on the size of the stone, the platform is moved from one to a hundred millimetre, in steps of 0.02 mm. As the stone is observed on the TV monitor, it is possible to move it in different directions and so cut circles and other fancy shapes. As a working rule, the width of the cut is about 0.05 times the depth. The V-shape of the cut is inevitable to prevent shadowing of the laser beam. After cutting and de-graphitising of the stone, polishing is done by the usual mechanical methods.

The laser is also used to drill inclusions cut of a stone. The stone is then boiled in acid to dissolve the spot and then filled with clear material. Only careful inspection through a microscope can detect this repair of the stone. Another interesting application of the laser drilling apparatus is scribing, to identify selected stones. Commercial systems and sevices offer to scribe characters in sizes ranging from 0.1 mm to 2 mm in height. A laser -drilling machine operated at low power is employed to scribe coded numbers on diamonds. The power level for this purpose is around 40 watts at ten kilocyles and the scribing rate is ten characters per second. The entire process is done by suitably programming the microprocessor that controls the X-Y movement of the table carrying the stone. Another installation has a microprocessor character generating system where a reflecting mirror is moved rapidly and generates characters on the diamond, which are monitored on the TV screen.

Gem Faceting

With use, plastic flow closed up the pores of the cast iron and the cutting power of the Scarface was greatly reduced unless the surface was machined again. Diamond impregnated scaifes, though expensive, are much more productive. However, this investment is made up as the consumption of the diamond power is minimal and far less time is spent on maintenance. Resin bonded diamond impregnated scaifes and those made by electroplating an aluminum or steel wheel with nickel in a suspension of diamond powder are useless for cutting diamonds, though softer coloured stones are polished on them. Metal bonded scaifes are much harder and now used for diamond processing. They are made by splintering a mixture of diamond powder and cobalt, molybdenum, tungsten and tungsten carbide on to a steel base. This process is done by cold pressing followed by heat treatment. Cobalt is ideal as the bonding material in the metal matrix as it wets and sticks to diamond. Unfortunately, toxic cobalt dust is generated during grinding; newer models of scaifes replace cobalt by iron and tin as the matrix that bonds the diamond powder. The matrix is usually an alloy containing tungsten and other metals, the composition tailored by each manufacturer according to the requirment of the user. The diamond grit is uniformly distributed throughout the bond, so that the diamond and the matrix wear out together. Ideally the matrix should be hard enough to wear away just fast enough to expose new diamond points, Grit size, proportion of diamond and the grade of matrix should ensure a working balance; this is determined by practical experience.

Grinding a diamond with coarse powder leaves parallel scratch marks that are obvious to the eye. The final polish with fine mesh diamond powder gets rid of these lines so that examination through a lens of 10x magnification cannot see them. However, even the finest polish leaves lines whose sides slpe at about one degree or so, when the stone is observed through a microscope of very high magnification. Several new techniques to obtain an extra fine finish on the surface of a diamond have now been developed. The most straightforward way is to use finer an very uniform diamond powder. Such fine powders are made by putting the suspension of the diamond dust into an ultra-centrifuge to obtain the required uniformly. The scaife must also be ground very flat to great accuracy and must be mounted on high precision and large bearings to reduce vibrations. This ensures stability at high speeds, even when the downward pressure of the drop increases friction. Some installations are fixed on shock absorber mountings and are located far from machinery that might cause vibrations.

Softer powders give a good polish, but the polishing rate drops so fast with decreasing hardness that this method becomes expensive. Chemical etching can also reduce surface roughness; for example, an iron scaife charged with potassium nitrate or potassium chloride removes polish lines, but the scaife has to be cleaned continuously. If the diamond is allowed to char at low temperatures on the scaife and the graphiote removed, a smoother polish results.A simpler technique is to put the diamond into an acid etch solution that removes only the outstanding points.

When facets are cut on a scaife a part of the diamond is ground to powder. A narrow laser beam on the other hand, can slice facets rather like a knife on the rough stone. The application of high power lasers to the processing of diamonds has been termed as the greatest advance in diamond cutting and sawing since the high speed saw was invented in 1930. The use of a laser beam saves a great deal of time and material and so is more economical than conventional techniques. Consequently, lasers are now widely used for drilling, kerning, sawing and bruiting not only single stones, but a set of stones of similar size in one operation. Improvements in technology have made laser processing more cost effective than manual cutting and polishing, particularly for bruiting and when fancy cuts have to be shaped.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Caring for Gems & Jewelry

Caring for Gemstones

Men and women buy gemstones to set in jewellery to be worn and flaunted on special occasions. The brighter and more pure these are, the more they will enchance the beauty of the whole piece and, naturally of the wearer, too. Great care should therefore be taken to store and clean precious jewellery after wearing them. Gems and gemstones set ornaments therefore need to be carefully chosen and carefully worn, cared for, properly stored, and cleaned with caution to keep them valuable and in good condition for as long as possible.

Choosing Jewellery

Rings and bangles are used constantly and do get knocked around even if worn only for festive occations. Gemstones for these pieces should not be brittle or soft. Such stones, as for example, pearls and opals are better set in earrings, pendants or brooches. They can be set for special rings, but even then the stone should be in a closed setting fpr protection.

Diamonds are often held by four prongs or claws but this is not as safe as a six-prong setting. If one of the claws of a four prong setting breaks, the stone will fall out. When the claws get weak after constant wear, the stone should be reset instead of repairing the claw. Even during setting, the goldsmith should be warned not to overheat the stone, especially where platinum jewellery is concerned. A strong tap with a hammer can break or ship a diamond.

In the case of pear shaped or marquise diamonds, the pointed ends should be covered by the setting, or else the stones may chip off during wear. Closed setting are always safer, but the stone could ship 01 crack when the jewel is brocken up for resetting or redesign. Soft gold such as 22-karat is better for losed settings or else the design should allow the stone to be removed without too much effort by the goldsmith.

Caring

Generally speaking, the best and simplest way to keep gem set jewellery clean is to wipe it with a soft damp cloth after it is taken off. Perfume, perpiration, nail polih, polish removers and other beauty products leave a deposit that is hard or remove after they dry out.

The harder a gemstone, the more brittle it is. Diamonds and sapphires therefore often chip or crack and should be carefully protected, cleaned and maintained. Coloured gemstones like tanzanite, kunzite, topaz, feldspar, moonstone and sunstone are fragile and can aplit or crack if hit. Amethyst, turquise, red tourmaline, opal, malachite, kunzite, chrysoprase, citrine, flurite, rose and smoky quartz and emerald fade and discolour in sunlight. Opal, turquoise and malachite may crack if exposed to heat. These stones close set in a ring can crack when the temperature drops abruptly as for instance,when going from 40C weather into an air-conditioned building of 20C temperature.

Pearls need special care. They should be wiped and dried before storage in a silk pouch, never in a plastic bag. They should be cleaned regularly, at least once a year and re-strung ith silk or polyester thread with knots between each pearl. Any necklace strung with silk thread should never be under tension to prevent the thread from stretching. Pearls are sometimes dyed to give various colours but these dyes fade in patches with use. Once this happen, the dyes cannot be rejuvenated. Pearls, coral, and porous stones such as opal, turquise, or malachite should be kept away from dirty water and oils to avoid discoloration.

Rings should be removed by pulling on the gold and not on the gemstones. As a general rule, all jewellery should be handled as little as possible, and should be picked up by its edges.

Storage of Jewellery

Jewellery should be stored individual soft cloth bags in a strong box with compartments. It pieces are thrown one on top of the other, they may be bent, and may be scratched or dented by other pieces. Jewellery that is worn regularly should be examined to see if the setting have become loose. Even if it appears to be tight, a loose setting causes the stones to rattle when the piece is taken.

Loose gems of any kind should be stored in tissue paper packets that are folded in such a way that the stones do not fall out when inspected. Jewellers store their loose gemstones in specially lined paper packets that can be bought from the jewellery market. Pearls should be treated with great care and kept in soft chamois pourches or tisssue papaer. They should be cleaned before storage. Pearls, opal and emerald jewellery should be stored in cotton or silk cloth and never with other jewels as they are easily cracked and scratched.

Diamonds may scratch rubies, sapphires, or emeraldss or even other diamonds. They get easily coated with oil and grease, so much so that this property is used to sort diamonds out of other stones in the mines. A diamond coated with oil collects dust and loses lustre. One should therefore never touch clean diamonds with fingers.

Gems and gem quality items, improperly stored, can damage each other. Gem set jewellery should be stored in soft lint free cloth or soft tissue paper to prevent any such harm. Elaborate pieces like necklaces and bracelets should not be tangled together in storage.

Wear

When rings are never removed, as with engagement or wedding rings, they accumulate dirt within the setting. The gemstones, be it diamond or any other stone, gets coated with a grease and dust film that obscures the beauty of the jewel. For this reason, periodic cleaning of jewellery is a must. It is wise to remove all hand jewellery, rings and bangles before starting on heavy household work like dusting and washing. Other jobs like gardening, playing sports and repairing cars or bicycles may also damage a gem, even diamonds, set in a ring or bangle.

Stones such as lapis, turquoise, coral, onyx and malachite are soaked in dye to increase their colour. Emeralds are treated with oil to fill cracks and so increase their glitter. These dyes and oils will dissolve in detergents and chemicals such as nail polish remover. One should therefore remove such jewellery whille going to bathe or swim, or when working with detergents and chemicals. Opals in particular are very sensetive to heart and cold. Chemicals presennt in hair sprays and perfumes may damage organic gemstones and in particular, cultured pearls. Each time any pearls are worn they should be wiped with a soft cloth to remove any oil film. Some gemstones, even treated sapphire and kunzite, may fade in sunlight.

Cleaning

Diamond studded jewellery should be cleaned using warm water in which a few drops of liquid detergent is dissolved, and then dried with a soft cloth or tissue. Pure alcohol or better, isopropanol removes all the grease that abheres to diamonds, Soaking the item in cold water and ammonia and brushing with a toothbrush cleans dirtier settings. The piece should then be washed thoroughly and dried. This method works for alexandrite,amethyst, andalusite, aquamarine, citrine, garnet, iolite, moonstone, ruby, sapphire, spinel, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, and zircon. However, this treatment is not suitable for emeralds as jewellers sometimes fill cracks and holes with oil and when this oil is removed the emerald becomes very dull and hazy. Do not scrub amber, coral, jade, kunzite, lapis, lazuli, or turquoise with soap and water.

Opals, emeralds and tanzanite require far more care than other gemstones and should never be put into very hot water. Pearls never take to washing thought they were born in water. The silk thread often comes apart when soaked in detergent and water. The pearls should be gently wiped and put away wrapped in soft tissue or silk. Opals contain some water and so they should not be dried in sunlight. They should be merely wiped dry and stored.

Ultrasonic cleaners are sometimes recommended for deep cleansing. While these are good for cleaning pure gold jewellery, they may damage amber, coral, emerald, kunzite, lapis lazuli, tanzanite, opal, pearl, ruby, or turquoise. Organic gems like pearls, coral, amber can get damaged by ultrasonic cleaners. Tanzanite has been known to shatter and opals to craze under ultrasound. Ultrasound also removes the oil or resin that may be in emeralds and expands existing fractures.

Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery is easily scratched and distorted. The 24 karat pure gold jewellery that was once so common in south India was so soft that after a year or two of wear it had to be reworked. As the ratio of gold decreases, the metal becomes hairder. Bangles and rings made of 22 karat gold are still liable to be dented and scratched. Presently 18 karat gold is recommended for everyday wear, but even so these articles lose their shine in a year or two of normal use.

To preserve these pieces, remove all gold jewellery before bathing, swimming or cleaning the house. Soap leaves a dull film on gold jewellery, while chlorine attacks gold to a small extent. Once in six months gold bangles and rings and earrings should be cleaned with a soft toothbrush and detergent. Rubbing with silver polish followed by polishing with a soft cloth improves their appearance considerably. Finally, one could soak them in a solution of baking soda in boiling water and dry with face tissue or soft cloth.

Silver Jewellery

Siver tarnishes very rapidly in the polluted almosphere of cities. Traditional Indian silver is almost pure blackens very quickly while sterling silver is ninety-two percent pure and resists tarnishing somewhat better. Silversmiths recommend ordinary cleaning powder for restoring heavily tarnished pices, afterwhich polishing is done with a soft tissue and silver polish. Jewellers also dip silver in a zinc chloride solution before scrubbing the pieces. A soft toothbrush removes dirt and blackening from within embossed designs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ancient recipes of gem therapy

Powdered pearl, zircon, emerald and coral cured plague. Carbonate of copper, pearls, charred stag's horn and coral cured blood poisoning, malaria and malignant fevers.Powdered kidney stone of a goat with white amber, red coral, crab's eyes, powdered hartshorn, pearl and black crab's claws was a basic life-saving cordial.

A long pearl was soaked in malt or in an infusion of serpent gall, honeycomb and pumice and then pulled to a length of two or three feet. Cut into short pieces, it was used as a youth elixir and to depress appetite. Seed pearls dissolved in distilled vinegar and oil of tartar forms a sediment and this powder, rinsed with pure water and dried, was an ideal face scrub. A tincture of pure rock crystal cured dropsy, lymphatic swelling or hypochondriac melancholy.

Jade, rice, and dew water boiled in a copper pot and filtered, hardened bones, made muscles strong and supple, calmed the mind and purified the blood.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 8


Sardonyx was a cure snake bite and other poison. Topaz has the widest range of curative powers and is believed to prevent colds and tuberculosis. It relieved fear, detoxified the body, strengthened the thyroid gland and enchanced metabolism. Topaz was regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac and was often used to treat sexual dysfunction. Powdered topaz in rosewater prevented bleeding and a topaz pressed against the nose stopped a nose bleed. The gem also overcame cowardice, removed tumours, improved eyesight, aided digestion, and prevented sleepwalking and, dropped wine, countered lunacy.

Tourmaline is said heal cancer and AIDS. It was known to strengthen teeth, shrink varicose veins prevent baldness. Its tendency to develop electrical charge when rubbed with silk gave it the ability to induce sleep and relieve stress. Women were advised to avoid green tourmaline.

Zircon, otherwise known as hyacinth stimulates the heart and stops convulsions and cramps. If the stomach was massaged with zircon placed in a cloth bag,k insomnia would disappear. During the great plague, men and women hung powdered zircon round their necks.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 7


Pearl in milk were given to cure unclers, while ground pearls in wood syrup kept off the plague. The gem promotes body fluids and the blood, nourishing the body tissues and the nerves. It also strengthens the female reproductive system, improves fertility, and calms the emotions. Pearls were burnt and powdered to stop bleeding and inhaling the smoke cured headaches. It was considerd beneficial for easing indigestion, Curing haemorrhoids, and counteracting poison. Some regarded it as a powerful aphrodisiac. It increases sexual strength and makes the conjugal life happy, removes melancholy and increases fortune. It has the reputation that it offers protection from harm, inspires love faithfulness and overall ensures a happy married life.

Peridot, when fashioned into a cup, intensifies the effects of medicine drunk from it. Quartz (or rock crystal) was thought to prevent dizziness. Prescribed for dysentery, it was powdered and mixed in dry wine, while nursing mothers were given it in honey. Ruby enchance blood circulation and strengthens immunity. When rubbed on the body, ruby would remove visible signs of aging.

Sapphire has been used to heal eye ailments and to protect the body from disease and a yellow sapphire enchance energy and vitality. Sapphires were used to purify the blood, fortify the heart and relieve flatulence. Mixed with milk, this gem dried up ulcers, boils, and pustules.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 6


Jet filtered out germs and alleviated headaches, toothache, stomach diseases, goitre, dropsy, hysteria and delirium caused by fever. It was applied to tumours in powdered form. The fumes of burning jet alleviated various conditions such as colds, female disorders and hysteria. Jet soaked in wine relieved toothache and fixed loose teeth.

Lapis Lazuli has been favourite cure for skin diseases and circulatory problems and against recurrent fevers. This stone was extensively used by medicine men of the Levant. Again being blue, eye troubles were healed by bathing with water in which lapis was soaked. Powdered lapis apparently prevented miscarriage, but also eased childbirth. Besides being an antidote for snake bite, it is generally worn to ward off the evil eye.

Malachite reduces stress tension and aids sleep. Malachite and honey reduced bleeding and relieved cramps. Dissolved in milk, it was given for heart malfunction. Malachite also cured ulcers and was used as a purgative. Moonstone relieves anxiety and stress in women. Traditionally it was prescribed during childbirth. Onyx helps to induce sleep. Opal is reputed to strengthen bones. Wrapped in bay leaf, opals cured diseases of the eye, heart cancer. It was also thought to be a cpntraceptive.

Pearls in milk were given to cure ulcers, while ground pearls in wood syrup kept off the plague. The gem promotes body fluids and the blood, nourishing the body tissues and the nerves. It also strengthens the female reproductive system, improves fertility, and calms the emotion. Pearls were burnt and powdered to stop bleeding and inhaling the smoke cured headaches. It was considered beneficial for easing indigestion, curing haemorrhoids , and counteracting poison. Some regarded it as a powerful aphrodisiac. It increases sexual strength and makes the conjugal life, removes melancholy and increases fortune. It has the reputation that it offers protection from harm, inspires faithfulness and overall ensures a happy married life.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 5


Garnet, as with other red and yellow gems, was thought to stop bleeding and cure blood and eye diseases and it apparently also increased the blood pressure. It was also prescribed for insomina.

Green Fluorite is helpful for hormonal changes such as PMS and menopause. Hematite cured inflamed eyelids and headaches, and hypertension. Placed anywhere on the body as a ring, pendant or necklace, it cured illness of all kinds. Hematite has a long history with eye doctors. Tumours on the eyelids wrre treated with powdered hematite in egg white or fenugreek and general inflammation subsided when treated with a solution of hematite in water. It also soothed skin injuries such as burns.

Jade strengthens the heart, kidneys and the immune system and so increases longevity and fertility. Ancient Greeks treated ailments of the eye with jade. The green gem is a good healing talisman for problem associated with the kidneys, urinary tract and digestion but it has been known to control swelling of glands in the face and neck. Jade treated kidney ailments and broke up kidney stones by placing it on the body silver, jade strengthened the lugs, the vocal organs, and the heart and prolonged life. A mixture of jade, rice and dew hardened bones, made muscles more supple, and purified blood. Jade was used for embalming bodies. Dissolved in wine, it relived bile.

Jasper alleviates cancer and other wasting diseases. It vitalises brain tissue and stimulates hormone balance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 4


Diamond heals injury, trauma, and diseases on all levels, Diamonds are said cure ailments of the kidney and reproductive organs. They also enchance sexual power and help cure diabetes, syphilis and skin and uterine diseases. It was once believed that a diamond would weat near poison and many even today have the mistaken notion that the diamond is a deadly poison when swallowed. Emperor Frederick 11 (1194-1250) died, according to legend, through a fatal overdose of powdered diamond. It is said that the son of the Turkish Sultan Dajazet (1447-1513) poisoned his father by mixing a large amount of pulverized diamond in food. When the Pope Clement 5 was ailing in 1532, his doctors dosed him with fourteen spoonfuls of powdered diamonds and other precious stones, as a result of which he said. Since then the fable has spread that powdered diamonds are poisonous. P.L. Farnese, son of the Pope Paul n3, tried to assassinate the Italian goldsmith, Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) by mixing diamond powder with his salad. Cellini apparently escaped death because the lapidary who was employed to pulverize the stone kept the diamonds for himself and substituted powdered glass! This association of diamonds with poison may have been promoted to discourage mining workers from stealing diamonds by swallowing them.

Dioptase strengthens the cardiovascular and centrel nervous systems and is used to cure ulcers, nervous stomach and hypertension.

Emerald a green stone often tinged with blue is believed to be the most powerful healing gemstone. It is generally placed on the painful area. Medicine men soaked emerald in water and bathed eyes of patients to rid them of irritation. Those with gout and liver complaints were given powdered emerald. Just holding the stone in the mouth stopped bleeding. It was also recommended for the treatment of dysentry and leprosy.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 3


Amethyst apparently prevented drunkenness when tied over the navel or when wine was drunnk from an amethyst goblet. It also cleaned poison, quickened the wits, protected soldiers, and cured gout. A lotion of amethyst was given to cure barrenness while merele wearing it increased income and protected one against witchcraft. It soothed passion and brought on spiritual uplift. It placed on the stomach or the liver it alleviated abdominal pain. It was wrapped around the joints to lessen arthritic pains.

Apatite helps to fight viruses. Aquamarine being blue, was a natural to cure eye injuries. The finely powdered stone was put in the injured eye for a while. Alternatively, the powder was soaked in water and the injured eye was bathed in the solution. Drinking this water also prevented hiccups. Aquamarine was also rubbed over swollen glands to reduce them. Just wearing it prevented spasms, convulsions, and liver ailments.

Aventurine induces blood circulation and clears congestion. It is associated with the thymus and is traditionally used for healing diseases of the eye. Beryl is recommended for ailments of the liver, stomach, glands and eyes. It is said to boost the immune system and alleviate depression, nausea, ulcers, constipation and obesity. Bloodstone was thought to stop bleeding, as it was a green gem flecked with red.

Carnelian alleviates allergies, nose bleeding and eye irritation but it must be washed after use. Citrine relieves diseases of the kidneys, colon, liver, gallbladder, digestive organs and heart. Coral increases fertility and regulates menstruation. It eases teething problems in children and is a cure for arthritis. Coral was used for most ailments, to cure wounds and ance, relieve indigestion and epilepsy. Red coral dissolved in wine was prescribed for liver disease and was a diuretic. Babies gained weight if given powdered coral with milk and this potion also fought acidity.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 2


According to gem therapists, precious and semi-precious stones can also interact with the human aura and induce changes in life and health. The theory is that gemstones carry vibrations and these effect changes on the human system that are sometimes strong and repeatable. THey heal ailments by recommending that specific gemstones touch the body or imbibe them through sipping water in which gems, powdered or whole are soaked. Indian medicine men purified gems by immersing them in salt water or holy water from the river Ganga for at least two days, chanting sacred verses over them.

Gem therapists believe that apart from the medicines that could be extracted from gemstones, ailments can be treated by merely wearing gems. When worn to heal, gems should weight at least two carats in an open setting of gold. For the purpose, flawless high quality rounded stones of natural origin that have not been treated or dyed must be used. Gemstones work when in contract with the body at the proper place. For best results, they must be placed at a proper position on the body and generally one wears hhigh quality round beads strung on silk tread around the neck. This makes sure that the gematones touches the skin.

A vast variety of gemstones have some therapeutic value. Some of these are not easy to get in India but can be purchased from gem dealers elsewhere.

Amazonite improves self-worth and self-confidence.

Amber alleviates depression and creates happiness and staring at the gem is thought to improve eyesight. It was once widely used as an oinment to improve eyesight. For this it was ground into a paste with honey. With added rose oil, it cured ear infections and even deafness. Amber oil was rubbed on the chest to relieve whooping caught and asthma and the smoke from burning amber alleviated sympoms of cold and cough. It cleansed the air and even eased the pain of childbirth. Dissolved in water with added opium, the syrup acted as a sedative. Merely wearing amber reputed to cure jaundice and reduce fever and cool the body.

Healing powers of gemstones - Part 1


Early Sanskrit texts describe the medicinal properties of gems. Indian alchemy made liberal use of the 'essence' of gemstones. Astrology and gemmology played a crucial role in traditional Indian medicine. Gems were not merely chemicals, but contained energy derived from the planets that helped to prevent and cure disease. All ancient texts, as for example, the Ras Ratna Samuchchaya, written a thousand years ago, have chapters dealing with the quality, properties, selection and preparetion of medicine from gems and their application in various health problems. According to the Rsaratnakara of Nagarjuna written in the eight century AD, gem minerals could change base metals to gold and silver. The very precious nine gems (navaratnas), blue sapphire (nila), yellow sapphire (pushkraj), zircon (gomeda), pearl (mautika), cat's eye (vaidurya) and coral (vidruma) - as well as topaz (pushpaka), tourmaline (vaikranta), suntone (suryakanta) and moonstone (chandrakanta) formed part of Indian medicines. There were also nineteen powerful semi-precious stones that were powerful and were greatly helpful as substitutes for the navaratnas in hardness, lustre and clarity. These were: Peridot, Tourmaline, Topaz, Amethyst, Rock Crystal, Moonstone, Garnet, Neeli (asubstitute for blue sapphire), Aquamarine, Bloodstone, Lapis Lazuli, Jade, Amber, Agate, Malachite, Jaichint, Green Onyx, Green Beryl, Red Coral and Turquoise. Indian alchemists purified these gems before use by streaming them with plant juices and then heating them on a coal fire.

In Europe too, druggists in the Middle Ages stocked remedies for common made from gemstones, among other ingredients. Pope Clement IV supposedly swallowed forty ducats worth of various powdered gems to cure his illness and Louis XIV of France regularly took pills made of pearl and coral, as prescribed by his personal physician. Here too, the stone had to touch a specific part of the body, or else it was swallowed whole, as a powder or boiled in water.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Birthstone of December (Turquoise)


December: Tarquoise is the gem of this month thought recently tanzanite was declared as an additional birthstone for December. Tarquoise is one of the oldest known talismanic and curative gems, prozed by civilization since the time of Mesopotamia. It was thought that it could predict the weather, indicate illness and warn of poison. As an amulet, it made animals surefooted and guns accurate. The stone sysmbolished success an good fortune, and often was worn as a love charm. Suspended by a string inside a glass, a turquoise would strike the glass every hour.Thought generally known to be a milky blue, it is sometimes found as a green stone. Turquoise averts the evil eye and is worn for this puepose in the Middle East, Tibet and India. Jewellery,amulets and cosmetics are made from turquoise.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthstone of November (Topaz)


November: Topaz comes in several colours and shades, the most desirable being orange and blue. The orange shade is generally presented for the twenty-third wedding anniversary and the blue on the fourth year of marriage. This stone has been known for centuries to give strength and cure ailments like asthma. It is a 'cooling' stone as it assuages anger and can even ward off sudden death. The ancients believed that topaz made the wearer invisible in times of distress and when close to a poison, it changed colour. However, the inexpensive citrine is usually passed off as topaz, thereby leaving the wearer unprotected.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birthstone of October (Opal)


October: Apart frombeing the October birthstone, opal is the gemstone to celebrate a fourteenth marriage anniversary. The stone shows vivid flashes of colour on a white, black, dark blue, dark green or grey baclground. Opal has always been a sysmbol of hope, innocence and purity. It has a positive influence promoting compassion, creativity and under-standing. In the Middle Ages, young, fair-haired girls wore opals in their hair to protect its blonde colour. Seeing the flashes of colour, the early discoveres of opal thought that it was a piece of the rainbow and ascribed it to the god of love, Cupid or Kama. The stone reflected the mood of the person who wore it and the belief was that when he or she died, the fire would go out. The black opal and the fire opal are the most expensive but are stones that would absorb the passion of love. It is said to have a beneficial effect on eyesight, a connection with the belief that opal could render its wearer invisible. Thieves and burglars therefore were partial to this stone. It is thought to banish evil spirits and favour children, the dramatic arts and friendships.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthstone of September (Sapphire)


September: Sapphire is the birthstone of September as well as the anniversary gem for the fifth and forty-fifth years of marriage. Ancient priests and sorcerers revered sapphire more than other gems, for it helped them to predict the future. The Christians believed that the Ten Commandments were written on tablets of sapphire. Marriage partners put great faith in the stone. It its lustre dimmed, one knew his or her spouse had been unfaithful. Legend has it that a sapphire will not shine if a wicked or impure person wears it. It therefore became a test for an unfaithful partner.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthstone of August (Peridot)


August: Peridot is conventionally the stone for the sixteeth year of marriage. It is a bright lime-green stone, with no brown tinge. Pirates favoured it and made amulets set with peridot to protect themselves against evil. Set in gold, it blocked the terrors of the night. Peridot, also known as chrysolite or olivine, was credited with the power of prophecy and those who wore it became gracious and loving.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthstone of July (Ruby)


July: Ruby, known as 'ratnaraja' or king of gems in India, is a pure red for the finest gems. It is presented on the fifteenth and fortieth year of marriage, as it protects a person's stature in life, his home and wealth. A ruby of good quality ensures that the owner lives in peace with his neighbours. Set in gold, it gold, it should be worn on the left side of the body.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Birthstone of June (Pearl)


June: Pearl is the birthstone of June and given on the third and thirtieth anniversaries. Choice pearls are prefectly round, large and lustrous and should be free from scratches and other spots. They are recognised as the emblem of modesty, chastity and purity and signify a happy marriage. Often moonstone substitutes for pearl, being similar in appearance but less expensive. The movement of the ray on moonstone reflects the waxing and warning of the moon. Held in the mouth during full moon, it arouses passion and tells lovers of their future relationship.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Birthstone of May (Emerald)


May: Emerald, the lovely green stone is the stone for May. It is also the ideal gift for the twentieth and thirty-fifth years of marriage. Good emeralds of decent size are almost as expensive as diamonds and generally only small sizes are commonly available. Every stone has included crystals within it forming lovely patterns. According to legend, the wearing of emerald not only cures and infertility but apparently also enables the wearer to predict the future.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Birthstone of April (Diamond)


April: Diamond may be the birthstone for this month but all men and women fancy this gem. More or less standard for engagement rings, it is bougth to celebrate the tenth and sixtieth wedding anniversaries. In India it is the gem of Shukra (Venus), whose blessing are invoked for an everlasting marriage. As it safeguarded virtue, a man would secretly place a diamond under the pillow of his wife to make her reveal secrets in her artistic quality of the person. It removes evil, creates as aura of goodness, augurs a luxurious life and enchances sexual power. For best results, a diamond of one carat or bigger should be worn set in gold platinum on the index finger of the right hand.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Birthstone of March (Aquamarine)


March: Aquamarine is the stone for March as well as a gem for the nineteenth wedding anniversary. The sea-blue clear stone without any tinge of green or grey is quite valuable. Sailors coveted this gemstone as it protected them from shipwreck. Aquamarine earrings attract love and affection. Even to dream of the stone portends new friendships.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Birthstone of February (Amethyst)


February: Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the accepted anniversary gemstone for the sixth year of marriage. Amethyst is a pale lilac to rich, deep purple variety of quartz. The best samples are a deep purple with rose-coloured flashes that give beauty and fire. The Greeks said that it prevented intoxication, whether by liquor or love. Some say that it protects the wearer from treason and deceit, and prevents baldness and inproves the cpmplexion.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Healing power of gemstones (Gem Therapy)

Gems are from worn not as mere ornaments aet in jewellery, but because of very powerful and special properties they are believed to possess. From pre historic times, with doctors and medicine men were convinced that certain gemstones had magical powers to cure disease and heal wounds. They may be some psychological truth in this belief, as the very faith in the curative properties of gemstones has cured people of debilitating illnesses. Ancient physicians used ailments over the ages. Perhaps the chemical naature of the gem was responsible for the cure, but the knowledge that the treatment was expensive might also have played a significant role in the treatment. Some believed in the psychological effects alone and treated illness by placing the chosen stone on the patient or by getting him to wear the stone in jewellery. Even today, patients generallly resort to this form therapy after other treatments fail.

The ancient Hindus believed that swallowing the powder of the highest quality diamonds would impart energy, strength,beauty, happiness, and long life. The powder of a diamond was considered poisonous and caused various ailments and diseases such as lameness, jaundice, pleurisy and leprosy. The powder of different coloured diamonds was said to have different flavours, from sweet to sour salty.

According to physicians in Europe in the fifteenth century, a diamond would heal disease if the patient warmed it with his body in his sick bed, or even breathed on it while fasting. Held in the mouth, it would stop people from telling lies. In Europe till about the eighteenth century, medicinal properties were ascribed to hems. It is true that some gemstones do alleviate disorders; for example, pearls do cure digestive disorders because they are composed mainly of chalk, but the ancient octors did not know this, though they found that the treatment did work. Five thousand years ago, Egeptian doctors placed hematite on wounds as it was the colour of blood but it is now known that it does coagulate the blood and so stops bleeding.

Gem Tip

The famous religious thangka paintings of Tibet are coloured blue with turquoise powder. Traditionally, turquoise helps the soldier and the hunter and brings happiness and good fortune to all. The ritual is to hold the stone and look at the new crescent moon after wishing for wealth, but one must carry the stone till the wealth arrives.

Birthstone of January (Garnet)


January: Garnet is the accepted birthstone for this month. The durable and brilliant stone is found in all colours from dark red, brilliant green, bright red, raspberry pink and orange. According to legend, Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. According to the Egyptians, garnet was as antidote for snake-bite and food poisoning. The tsars of Russia were fond of rare green garnets. These attractive gemstones are not very expensive and reportedly give its wearers guidance in the night and protection from nightmares, and are thought to have a special affinity with the blood. Traditionally; they assure constancy as well as riches, good health and joy.

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