Weird & Wonderful Gemstone Trivia

    • The red diamond is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. There are less than 40 known to exist worldwide. The going price is about $800,000 per carat.
    • Tanzanite was named by Tiffany & Co. in honor of the east African country where it was discovered in the 1960s. Its scientific name is zoisite.
    • An opal can have a water content of up to 30%.
Coober Pedy Opal Doublet

Opal from Coober Pedy, Australia – Wikimedia Commons

    • Some ancient sailors used aquamarine as an antidote for seasickness.
    • It takes 1-3 years to grow a cultured pearl.
    • It’s a common misconception that diamonds are formed from coal. Actually, diamonds grow in volcanic zones deep inside the earth. Some are the product of meteor impacts.
    • The phenomenon of “cat’s eye” (or “tiger’s eye”) is called chatoyancy.
    • Tourmaline (an alternative birthstone for October) is piezoelectric, meaning it can hold a static charge. If you rub it vigorously, it will attract small debris. The opposite ends will polarize like a magnet.
    • Tourmaline also comes it a vast array of color combinations. One variety, known as watermelon tourmaline, has a dark green “rind” surrounding a bright pink interior.

Watermelon tourmaline. Mmm!

    • Some of the finest sapphires in the US are mined in Yogo Gulch, Montana. This deposit is believed to contain another 28 million carats.
    • In 1985, an extremely rare mineral known as benitoite was named California’s state gem. Its primary source is a particular kind of rock formation in San Benito County. The flourescent blue gemstone has also been found in Japan and Arkansas.

Benitoite from the San Benito headwaters – Wikimedia Commons

  • A pink sapphire is a pink sapphire – but a red sapphire is a ruby.
  • The name zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconias, or “CZ’s” are gems man-made from zirconium dioxide as a diamond simulant; zircon is a natural gemstone. Blue zircon is a stunning alternative birthstone for December.

About Faye's Diamond Mine

Faye’s Diamond Mine is an award-winning jewelry store located in the beautiful Ozark foothills in Clinton, Arkansas. We specialize in fine diamonds and our staff has consistently received national recognition for jewelry design and quality service. We are proud of our community-minded business approach and our high standards of artistic creativity. We’d love to serve your jewelry needs!

Posted on July 16, 2013, in Learning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Weird & Wonderful Gemstone Trivia.

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