The luster and color of the gemstones is the same as it was thousands of years ago and what it will be thousands of years ago. In a world in perpetual transformation, it is a constancy which has an undeniable charm, appreciated since always.
Expression of great discernment, this quote from the famous author and gemologist George Frederick Kunz, who worked for Tiffany, has lost none of its relevance today. The fine stones make our most intimate fibers resonate deeply within us. Their mystical beauty, their rarity, their permanence were once veritable enigmas for humanity. In a world where men age, where the flowers fade and where the sun disappears in the evening on the horizon, the fine stones alone remained immutable. The only possible explanation was that they must have been of divine essence, and especially Chamal Gems have always been linked to the spiritual. It is a heritage that we find in all major religions – Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam … For our ancestors,
Along with mythology, the history of gemstones and the science of gems, it is important to understand the cultural significance of the stones. Legends are an invaluable source of information, allowing us to know how our ancestors viewed gems and what meaning they attributed to them. Even today, many people believe in the “healing properties” of fine stones. There is no denying that some New Age beliefs and the metaphysical properties that are attributed to gems are fascinating, but remember that there is very little scientific evidence to establish their merits.
Gemstones formed between three billion and tens of millions of years ago, in the bowels of the Earth. What a way they have come since! Their journey begins around the time of the birth of our planet. The oldest known object in our world is a tiny fragment of zircon discovered in Western Australia and 4.4 billion years old. It is particularly impressive, when you think that the Earth was born less than 150 million years ago!
If certain fine stones can form in several different environments, it is still possible to distinguish four types of formation: in volcanic rocks and liquid substances (for example amethyst, emerald, garnet, ruby and sapphire), via environmental changes (e.g., andalusite, kyanite, lapis lazuli, tanzanite and tiger’s eye), in surface rocks (e.g. agate, opal and turquoise), and finally the formation in the earth’s crust (for example diamond and period).
In ancient times, gemstones were usually discovered by chance when they were exposed on the surface of the Earth. Even today, gemstones can only be discovered by observation and with a certain amount of luck. Compared with the intensive scientific methods used for diamond extraction, the approach used for colored gems is particularly primitive. Leaving mechanization aside, the extraction of these gems is essentially the same as it was thousands of years ago. Tenacity, hand tools and sweat are the essential components.
The place where the gemstones are found is called a deposit. When mining begins, the deposit becomes a “mine”; however, there can be many mines on a single deposit. The most common form of gemstone mining is alluvial mining. In this process, the gemstones are extracted from sedimentary deposits; these are called “secondary deposits” because the stones do not appear in the rock where they were first formed. These deposits are the product of erosion of the parent rock. Prospecting is done in the beds of rivers, in sedimentary deposits in the ground, and at the bottom of the seas. To remove the raw gems, the extracted soil is either washed with water or sieved. In general, the rough stones of alluvial deposits are polished, and they have scratches and cracks due to weather conditions. However, it can be considered advantageous since the less valuable specimens have thus been eliminated naturally. Compared to the very long duration of its formation, the extraction of a fine stone and its transformation into jewelry takes place relatively quickly. From the time of extraction until it is crimped and sold, three years generally pass – but it may happen that this same process takes only a few months or conversely more than ten years.
The delivery chain in the gemstones sector is long, and it is not unusual for a stone to pass between seven pairs of hands from the mine to the seller through the setting stage. In his book “Gemstones: Quality and Value, Volume 1”,e of the totality of the past production. Given the fact that the stones extracted a priori return to the market every 30 years (approximately), Suwa estimates that this annual volume corresponds approximately to that of the newly extracted stones. In addition, we are still discovering new deposits (the Paraíba tourmaline in Mozambique), and it sometimes happens that the old sites resume production (Russian Alexandrite). Staying informed on new sites and being aware of the current offer will help you make the right decisions when buying.
Peter Sundin was born and raised in New Jersey. He has contributed to Buzz Feed, Details and TODAY and served as a commentator for NPR, MSNBC and HuffPost Live. As a journalist for Morning News Ledger, Peter mostly covers national news. Aside from earning a living as a freelance journalist, Peter also works as a dog walker.