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Stones and precious materials: introduction to gemmology

 

Multicoloured gemstones, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, tanzanite, tsavorite garnet, jade...

Stones and materials that are traditionally considered to be precious are called « gems » and the scientific study of them is gemmology.
Gems and other materials like pearls, coral or amber are sought out for their exceptional qualities: beauty, rarety and intemporality.
The secrets of this attraction lie in their colour, their brilliance or their shimmering or iridescent effect.
The name of each stone corresponds to a precise chemical, cristallographic constitution. However, to belong to a gem family does not make each specimen precious. It is thus possible for some rubies or diamonds not to be qualified as « gems ». For example, some grey or brown diamonds are used in industry for sawing or crushing. These stones are not expensive. They may be interesting for designers, but they are not considered to be precious stones.

Until recently, the denomination « precious stone » was restricted to diamonds, rubies, saphires, emerauds and pearls, on condition that they had good colour and cristalisation quality.

To be continued