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Articles

THE GLORY OF BLUE

Blue Agate is a layered form of chalcedony quartz. It is known to occur in a wide variety of colors and interesting patterns, including many shades of light to dark blue. Some popular trade names used for blue agate include blue lace agate, Mohave blue agate and blue banded agate. Many agates today may have been dyed, but unlike many other gem types, the dyeing of agate does not normally affect its value. However, any such treatment should always be disclosed by gemstone traders. Agate has excellent hardness and durability, making it one of the most versatile blue gemstones today. Blue Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and is colored by traces of iron. Its color can range from blue to bluish-green and is typically very subtle, especially when compared to more vivid and intensely colored blue gemstones such as blue topaz. Aquamarine is one of the few naturally blue untreated gemstones (although some darker stones may be heated) and it has


GEM (ORNAMENTAL MINERAL OR ORGANIC SUBSTANCE)

Gem, commonly, a mineral or organic substance, cut and polished and used as an ornament. Gems also are used as seals (items of assurance) and as talismans (good-luck charms). For birthstones, see month. Properties of Gems The qualities sought in gems are beauty, rarity, and durability. The beauty of a gem depends primarily on its optical properties, which impart its luster, fire, and color; the durability depends on hardness and resistance to cleavage or fracture. The physical properties by which gems are distinguished from each other are form of the crystal, index of refraction of light, hardness, presence or absence of cleavage, type of fracture (conchoidal, even, or uneven) in stones without cleavage, specific gravity, color, streak (color of the powder as determined by rubbing it over white, unglazed porcelain), luster (appearance of the surface in reflected light—adamantine, vitreous, resinous, greasy, silky, or pearly), and transparency. Minor properties


PRECIOUS AND SEMI PRECIOUS GEMSTONES: MYTH AND REALITY

The idea that some gemstones are precious and others are only semi-precious is familiar to every buyer of colored stones. Precious stones - diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald - traditionally command high prices due to their extraordinary color or brilliance and extreme rarity. While the precious stones are deservedly famous, the conventional distinction between precious and semi-precious gems is laden with myth and misconceptions. Let's try to sort out some of the myths from the reality. One common misconception is that the distinction between precious and semi-precious gemstones is traditional, going back many centuries. In fact it is a recent innovation, dating only to the nineteenth century. The first use of "semi-precious" to mean "of less commercial value than a precious stone" can be traced back to only 1858. Tsavorite Garnet Another misconception is that the list of four precious gems has a long history. In fact the traditional list of precious gemsto