Tag Archives: minerals

The Great Masquerade

The story of the Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby of the Crown Jewels of England both being enormous spinels is not new. The great deception was merely a case of misidentification and misunderstanding. It was always known that the two gems were “balas rubies,” i.e. rubies from Balascia: the ancient Latin name of…

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Moonstone – June Birthstone

Something that is steadily growing in popularity is moonstone. Moonstone, however, is not a newly discovered gemstone, and it’s been entrancing beholders with the mysterious, silken light of a full moon for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Ancient Hindus and Romans once believed moonstone was actually crystallized moonlight. Every myth and legend associated with…

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Marc Aronstam on: gemstone hardness versus toughness

The more you know about gemstones, the better you understand and appreciate the gem stones in your personal jewelry collection. That’s why I’d like to blog about two properties of gem stones you often hear about: hardness and toughness. Although they sound similar, hardness and toughness of a gem are two separate, unrelated physical characteristics…

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