Marigolds… nope … Guess Again??


These are absolutely gorgeous…. they look like Marigolds! I truly admire the cutter, planners or whoever can take a rough gemstone and turn it into something magic!! 

Sphalerite is what these gorgeous gems are called.  It is a zinc sulphide mineral (Zn,Fe)S that is the chief ore of zinc. While common as massive ore and crystals, gem-quality rough is extremely rare. These gems that display flashes of light are prized for their exceptional fire, which is the result of the dispersion of white light into separate spectral colors. Top grade gem sphalerite specimens exhibit a dispersion value of 0.156, which is 3.5 times higher than that of diamonds. This is what makes that gorgeous attraction of the gemstone. In measurements of how light passes through sphalerite, it has a refractive index of 2.37, just slightly less than diamond, at 2.42. Sphalerite is a fairly dense stone, with a specific gravity of around 4.0, so even small cut stones will weigh a comparatively high number of carats for their size. 

Most sphalerite contains iron, and the more iron that is present, the blacker and more opaque the sphalerite. Conversely, gem-quality specimens have a low iron content and thus have a high degree of transparency. Colors range from red to orange, yellowish to a golden brown, and green. It has a hardness of only 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale, it is mainly a gemstone for the rare stone collector. It is not suitable for rings due to the softness of the gem but can be used in pendants and earrings.  I cannot stop looking at this gem, it almost looks like a colored diamond…. but almost better than a colored diamond. 

The best gem sphalerite in the world came from the Aliva mine in the Picos de Europa Mountains in the Cantabria region on the north coast of Spain. The mine closed in 1989 and is now inside the boundaries of a national park. Spanish sphalerite is now quite scarce because all of the gems and gem rough on the market came from material that was mined years ago, which makes it another rare species.

Its name Sphalerite relates to the Greek word meaning ‘treacherous’. This was because it created disappointment amongst early miners, who found that it often looked similar to Galena (another similar species), a lead ore, but held no lead.  This crystal comes in quite a few colors, including black, brown, red, yellow, green, white and even colorless.  Therefore deceiving people into believing that it contained iron.

Healing properties this stone boasts are the ability to ground your nervous system that is its most beneficial characteristic.  

This stone has been said to have been used in the distant past as part of tribal rituals, and it is said that it would awaken gifts at that time, and this was said to have been accompanied by an orange spark of light.

It may assist you to discover openings for a type of job that can be perfect for you. It stimulates your intuition, aiding you to be intuitively guided as to what action you could take.


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