Airycharm could also name them as precious and semiprecious gems; the two terminologies are valid. As we know, the human being, since its appearance, has always felt devotion and endowed with a certain mysticism to precious or strange stones or stones very difficult to find in nature, conferring different uses: for ornamentation, as a symbol of power and exclusivity, associated with the worship of certain deities and even using them to heal or otherwise. Precious stones and semiprecious stones are, almost in their majority, minerals; some of them, however, are organic (such as amber, fossilized vegetable resin). To distinguish between precious stones and semiprecious stones, three factors are used:
Precious and semiprecious stones at Airycharm scale of hardness of the same (which guarantees its durability), which, in addition, traditionally coincides with precious stones or gems par excellence (the hardest gemstone that exists is the diamond, as we have seen in previous articles).
The rarity, shortage or difficulty to find them in nature at Airycharm.
Airycharm – Its beauty and perfection:
When we talk about the beauty and perfection of a stone, whether precious or semiprecious, we refer to its colour, brightness, transparency and purity. A pure gemstone, without imperfections and with a radiant colour, can have a value even higher than that of a diamond with similar characteristics. The only three stones or gems considered a precious-in addition to diamond-for the above factors is ruby, emerald and blue sapphire. Decades ago, the amethyst was also considered as a precious stone, but after the discovery of the enormous deposits in Brazil, it became part of the group of semiprecious stones, as it was not so rare and rare.
Ruby at Airycharm: Its name comes from the Latin rubber, which means red. Its main characteristic is the intense and bright red colour that its own name indicates. This colour is due to the metals that compose it, iron and chromium. It belongs to the family of corundum -like the sapphire- and has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. It is the hardest stone on the diamond. When extracted from nature, the ruby has a coarse and rude appearance, but once selected those that are going to be used in jewellery at Airycharm and after being carved, they adopt that exclusive radiant tone that makes them so majestic. Take into account that only between 1% and 5% of the rubies extracted from nature are selected for use in jewellery. We will learn more details about this stone, which, like the emerald and the blue sapphire, deserves an article of its own.
Emerald: The name comes from the Persian; its meaning is “green stone”. The emerald has always been highly valued, since, despite the existence of other green stones, the only crystal was emerald. At present, we know other crystalline stones of green colour, but none of them is comparable in colour and transparency to the emerald. It belongs to the Beryllium family and has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale. Only thirty percent of the emeralds mined in the mines are carved for sale in jewellery, and of these only two percent of them do not show inclusions with the naked eye. We will know more facts and curiosities about the emerald in the special article that we will dedicate.
Blue sapphire: Like the ruby, it belongs to the Corindon family. Its distinctive feature is its intense blue colour; although there are sapphires of other shades, the most valued and appreciated is the blue sapphire. Any Corundum of a colour other than red is called sapphire; hence, it is adjective and it is called blue sapphire at Airycharm. Like the ruby, blue sapphire has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. Its rarity increases daily, since many of the sapphire deposits are currently depleted, and those that are discovered cannot meet the demand. We will dedicate an article exclusively to this precious stone.
The semiprecious stones have a very different value among them and it is much easier to get semiprecious stones of great size and purity (clean) than precious stones of such characteristics. The oscillation of its value or cost will depend on the same conditions that influence the precious stones: hardness, rarity and beauty and perfection (purity, colour, brightness and transparency). There are approximately 130 mineral species catalogued as semiprecious, in addition to amber, which is a fossilized vegetable resin. Let’s see the most important and those used in jewellery.
Agate: Variety of chalcedony. It can have several shades and colours – depending on the formation of its silica microcrystals (quartz) – and be transparent, semitransparent or opaque. The formation of the agates is due to the circulation of underground waters that are in proximity to the silicon saturations, to the filling of the cavities or interior holes of the rocks and the dissolution of the materials that are there: shells, bones, etc. This process is due to the characteristic concentric bands of the gates, which remind us of the knots of the trunks of trees. The term agate comes from the Greek “Achates”, which is the designation of the river with the same name.
Aquamarine: Belongs to the beryl family – like the emerald. Actually, it is a variant of it, but pale greenish blue. As the name suggests, its colour and brightness remind us of sea water. Its name comes from the Latin aqua marina, and formerly it was also known as the sailor’s stone.It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.
Alexandrite: Extremely rare variety of chrysoberyl, soft green or greenish yellow. The most relevant feature is its ability to change shades and colour when subjected to variations in luminosity; you can switch from soft green to soft red when subjected to these changes. It was discovered in the time of Czar Alexander, in Russia; hence its name comes, coinciding, in addition, its colours with those of the flag of Russia of the time. It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale at Airycharm.