I love to discover new things about gemstones all the time .. and I am completely fascinated with the way they grow and form. Oh, how I love the jewelry industry because of my love of all things sparkly and colorful. Although my birthstone is the ruby, I have been known to rock an occasional diamond, sapphire, emerald, opal, or Labradorite (among many others gemstones) every now and then as well. There are so many interesting facts that make me love gemstones, and I’ll list my top 10 here for you!
Here are a few of my favorite gemstones facts which I share with my clients.
Largest Gemstone With Facets
The largest faceted gemstone in the world is a record-holding topaz that was found in Brazil and weighs almost 37,000 carats … WOW.. that is crazy!!
Striped by Nature
Nature stripes .. The agate is a gemstone that has natural bands of colors, creating stripes that give the stone individuality and creativity. These stripes appear because of other minerals, such as quartz or chalcedony, within the actual gemstone that give it a “banded” appearance.
The Largest Diamond
The largest diamond discovered within the United States is known as the Uncle Sam Diamond. It originally weighed more than 40 carats and was found in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, in the early 1920s at the Prairie Creek Pipe mine. The man who discovered the diamond was Wesley Oley Basham, but his buddies called him Uncle Sam, creating the new name for his discovery, the Uncle Sam Diamond. Wesley Basham worked for the Arkansas Diamond Corporation. The mine was later renamed Crater of Diamonds State Park. The stone was eventually cut into a magnificent emerald-cut diamond that weighs more than 12 carats.
Most Colorful Gemstone
The opal and the tourmaline both hold the record for the most colorful gemstone. The tourmaline is also known as the “Rainbow Gem” because of the fact that it is the only gem that can come in every color. The opal is also a colorful stone, but some opals can be colorless. Opals can have flashes of color within their black or white background appearance and are known to change color as well.
Pearls Take Time
Think about how many beautiful pearls are being worn by jewelry-loving people all over the world. Every time I think of Pearls, I think about Jackie O! Each one of those pearls took between a year and three years to come to fruition. When a pearl is cultivated, a small piece of shell or a bead, also known as the nucleus, is planted within the mollusk in order to grow into a beautiful pearl. These pearls are then harvested in a couple of years after they grow into the perfect size to create a wonderful piece of pearl jewelry.
The Softest Gemstone
The softest and lightest gemstone on earth is amber. It is so light that it is able to float when in saltwater. It is a stone that is a result of the sap and resin from prehistoric trees that have been fossilized, which I believe a tree is bleeding. In order to be considered the gemstone that is amber, the fossilized sap needs to be at least 30 million years old. Most jewelry created with amber is made of Baltic amber, which is known to be the strongest type and truly beautiful.
The Hardest Gemstone
What color is diamond dust? Of course, we all know the hardest gemstone is the diamond. The only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. It measures a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale for gemstones, which means it is as hard as a gemstone can be. This is why diamonds are suitable for everyday wear in an engagement ring because not much will damage the actual stone unless another diamond rubs against it!
Cleopatra’s Favorite Gemstone – peridot or emerald?
The ancient Egyptians treasured and valued green gemstones. During that point in time, people found it hard to tell the difference between the two beautiful green stones, emerald, and peridot, so they occasionally mistook one for the other. Cleopatra was known to favor the peridot. Although she also loved emeralds, since they can look similar, she may have accidentally been adorned with emeralds as well as her favorite.
Garnets and Pomegranates
It is believed that the garnet’s name was derived from a word meaning “blood” because of its deep red color, however, the garnet is named from the pomegranate fruit which bears the blood-red seeds that are found on the inside of the fruit. The pomegranate is believed to represent one’s own life, dying, and rebirth.
The Star of Asia
Star of Asia is a beautiful cabochon star sapphire that currently resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. It is a 330-carat stone that came from the Mongok mine in Burma. Its color is rich and the stone is clear, and it is one of the biggest star sapphires on earth. It came from the maharajah of Jodhpur to the museum in the early 1960s.
Well.. I hope you enjoyed some interesting facts about gemstones and I am sure there are many more but I like to keep it short and simple!