Therapeutic properties

What gemstones are Corundums?

All jewelry connoisseurs, when talking about corundum, are primarily interested in whether it is a precious stone or not. Its two varieties are precious – ruby ​​and sapphire. In fact, without specifying the variety, corundum refers to stones with a quality lower than jewelry, which are often refined, as well as synthetic inserts. For the latter, the tag may indicate either “corundum” or “synthetic”. ruby”/”synth. sapphire”.

History of the stone

The term “corundum” – comes from the ancient Hindu word korund, the meaning of which is unknown – began to be called the stone that was first brought to Europe from India. Its precious varieties have been known since ancient times. Even the ancient Tamils, a people in South Asia, found hard, opaque stones of a grayish color, and they called them “corundam”. Archaeological finds indicate that 2000 years ago rubies were already valued in India and were used as talismans. There is a version that red corundums have been mined in Burma since at least the XNUMXth century BC. e. In medieval Rus’, rubies and sapphires were called yakhonts, scarlet and azure yakhonts, respectively. The fact that sapphire and ruby ​​are related was only established by Europeans in 1800. And a hundred years later they learned to synthesize them.

Physical and chemical properties of corundum

Corundum in its formula is aluminum oxide (alumina). Various impurities give the mineral a particular shade, which allows it to be classified as a specific variety. Corundum is a very hard mineral. The hardness of both ruby ​​and sapphire is 9 on the Mohs scale, surpassed only by a 10-point diamond. At the same time, the minerals of the group are fragile. Corundums can be either transparent or translucent or completely opaque. Only the first ones claim to be of the highest quality and are suitable for jewelry purposes.

Corundum deposits

The main deposits of gem-quality stones are Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Mozambique. Many colored sapphires are found in Madagascar, and Myanmar is the main supplier of pigeon’s blood rubies. In Sri Lanka, among other things, Padparadscha sapphires are mined in large quantities. Rubies and sapphires are also mined in Cambodia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Australia, Nepal, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

Varieties and colors

Red varieties of corundum are called rubies, all others (colorless, blue, violet, green, yellow, orange, pink) are called sapphires. In general, the following varieties are distinguished for corundum as a mineral species: · Ruby is a red stone of various shades; rubies of the “pigeon’s blood” color are especially in demand. · Sapphires – come in blue, cornflower blue and colored (yellow, orange, pink, green, purple). Leucosapphire is a colorless sapphire. · Padparadscha is a pinkish-orange sapphire, although its color has a more poetic definition: the color of “a lotus flower in the rays of the setting sun in Sri Lanka.” · Star ruby ​​and star sapphire are gemstones with the effect of asterism, which is manifested by observing the shape of a six- or twelve-pointed star when light hits a cabochon-shaped surface. · Ordinary corundum is an opaque coarse- or fine-grained stone of a grayish color. · Emery is a granular corundum rock of gray-black color. · Synthetic (artificial) corundum – lilac-pink varieties are called “French rose” or “rose of France”. The red color of ruby ​​is due to an admixture of chromium, and the blue of sapphire is due to an admixture of titanium and iron. The yellow color is due to the presence of ferric iron.

Application of corundum

Precious sapphire and ruby ​​are widely used in jewelry, but the use of corundum is not limited to this area. Thus, large crystals are collectible exhibits. A mixture of corundum and magnetite (emery) and artificial corundum are used as an abrasive material. Synthetic corundum was once used to make acoustic styli for record players. High-quality “synthetics” are used to make precision mechanisms, lasers and other optical devices. Vacuum-dense corundum ceramics are used as an insulator with high thermal conductivity in the production of radio tubes and microcircuit packages. Burners for high-pressure sodium lamps are made from artificially produced leucosapphire. Ordinary corundum, having a high melting point, is used as a refractory material and in the manufacture of enamels.

artificial corundum

In 1892, the French chemist Auguste Verneuil – although attempts had been made by scientists before him – developed a process for synthesizing corundum crystals from pure aluminum oxide. The first synthetic mineral that began to be artificially grown on an industrial scale and used instead of natural stones for technical purposes and jewelry production was ruby. The scope of application of ruby ​​and white sapphire has expanded, which required the development of methods for growing them that would make it possible to obtain crystals that were structurally perfect and fairly large. Such methods have been found: abroad they were based on the Czochralski method (growing crystals from a melt), and in Russia on the zone melting method. Methods have also been developed for growing ruby ​​and leucosapphire crystals from solutions in a melt (flux method), from the gas phase and under hydrothermal conditions. Today, jewelry uses mainly synthesized corundum of red and blue colors, and to a lesser extent stones of other colors. Interestingly, the synthesis of even star rubies and sapphires is possible. In Soviet gold jewelry, all rubies, unfortunately, are synthetic, so they cannot be sold profitably.

How to distinguish natural corundum from synthetic corundum

In the photo there is a ring with blue synthetic corundum – you can visually distinguish it from a real sapphire without reading the information on the tag, except by the price. To determine the nature of a stone, experts use a microscope, a refractometer and other instruments, because it is impossible to distinguish a natural stone from an artificially grown one by eye. Rubies, unlike sapphires, have ultraviolet luminosity. If you shine an ultraviolet flashlight on the sample, both natural ruby ​​and “synthetic” will glow, but the latter is much brighter. Natural red corundum contains multiple inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.

How to care for products

Stones in jewelry will not lose their shine and original appearance longer if you follow simple recommendations: · Remove rings when performing household chores and washing hands. · Make sure that the jewelry does not come into contact with creams and perfume – let them absorb before putting on the ring or necklace. · Use non-abrasive products specifically designed for this purpose when cleaning jewelry.

Cost of jewelry

Large rubies are among the most expensive stones. Large red corundums are extremely rare, so a stone weighing 3 carats or more can be purchased for $30 per carat. The price for stones weighing no more than 2 carats ranges from $500 to $2000 per carat. Large sapphires are more common, so their cost is lower. Yellow and other varieties of corundum are in low demand, hence their low prices. The cost of a blue star sapphire starts at $150 per carat. The cost of synthesized corundums is incomparably lower than natural ones.

Corundum: who is suitable according to the zodiac sign

In astrology, it is believed that ruby ​​is subordinate to the planet Mars – the ruler of energetic, determined and passionate people belonging to the element of Fire and born under the signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. The stone is best suited for representatives of these zodiac signs. Red corundum can become a talisman for Capricorn. Blue sapphire is considered the stone of Saturn, the planet of karma. According to astrologers, the stone is suitable for the signs of the Air element: Libra, Gemini and Aquarius.

The magical properties of the stone

Certain magical properties are attributed to precious varieties of corundum. Thus, it is believed that ruby ​​awakens hidden talents, helps to demonstrate leadership qualities and reach a new professional level. It especially helps people who have reached a high position in society, who are accustomed to making their own way. Increases the social status of the owner. It is not recommended for people with a quick temper to wear a ruby, as the stone can increase their temper several times. They believe that blue sapphire helps to clear your head of unnecessary thoughts and concentrate on the main thing, accept reality as it is, and make a choice. The stone is indispensable in finding your own purpose. And yellow sapphire helps in creative endeavors. Neither one nor the other gemstone is recommended to be worn constantly. And for the mineral to have an effect, it must come into direct contact with the skin.

Medicinal properties

From time immemorial, people have noticed that blue corundum can lower blood pressure, while red corundum, on the contrary, increases it. In addition, owners of sapphire jewelry note that the stone has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. https://miuz.ru/guide/stones/dragotsennye-kamni/korund/ Corundum – description and properties of the stone All jewelry connoisseurs, when talking about corundum, are primarily interested in whether it is a precious stone or not. Its two varieties are precious – ruby ​​and sapphire. Essentially, corundum without further specification. What can be common between a laser responsible for guiding a rocket, a drill on a dental drill, a glass cutter and a mechanism in a Swiss watch? What could be the difference between sandpaper and the crown of the British monarch? All this is united by such a material as corundum. Inside the laser, this mineral is responsible for generating, amplifying, and focusing the light beam. In drills and sandpaper, corundum is used as an abrasive. How is it used in the creation of Swiss watches? Thanks to properties such as strength, reliability and non-abrasion, miniature bearings are made from it. They are mounted on rotating axes in a precise mechanism, and craftsmen easily cut glass sheets using a corundum glass cutter. What connects corundum and the royal crown? It is decorated with shining corundum in the form of a blue St. Edward sapphire, which symbolizes the highest status of power.

What is the strength of corundum?

Corundum is considered the standard stone, given a hardness rating of 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale. Scientists compare its hardness to diamonds. However, corundum abrasive blades are used to process this gemstone. And the process itself requires a competent and individual approach in order to get the best possible result.

Corundum work clothes

There are a huge number of industrial deposits of these crystals, which resemble inconspicuous grayish minerals in appearance. They are capable of transmitting light, can be yellowish and blue, and in their natural form are unlikely to attract attention. According to its chemical composition, corundum is aluminum oxide. Geologists call it crystalline alumina. Microscopic examinations made it possible to determine that the mineral contains components in the form of quartz, magnetite and hematite. Huge drilling machines have corundum tips capable of piercing kilometers of the earth’s crust. This is carried out for oil and gas production. If the builders of the subway tunnels had not used corundum teeth, the rocks would have remained intact as many thousands of years ago. In addition, abrasive corundum paste is used to polish optical lenses, mirror telescopes and metal elements on precision mechanisms and instruments that require a perfect fit. Pressed and fired corundum alloy combined with ceramics is used for the manufacture of:

  • thermal protective shield for spacecraft;
  • refractory laboratory crucibles;
  • thermal jackets on a nuclear reactor intended for a submarine cruiser.

Abrasive for processing ancient jewelry

Even in ancient times, a considerable number of corundum mines were found located on the territory of the Greek island called Naxos. Pausanias and Pliny wrote about these deposits, from which solid minerals were extracted.

The Greeks called corundum myris litos. It is an opaque gray stone with a grainy texture. For many centuries it has been used to polish jewelry. It was used to cut out the finest images on gems from semi-precious minerals. To examine samples of ancient cardolite and agate gems made using corundum, it is worth visiting the Hermitage.

Corundum palette

Nature is a great master, capable of creating incredible transformations and carrying out amazing transformations. Even in ancient times, it could demonstrate a real miracle, since depending on the additives that may be present in it, its shade and properties change.

For example, corundum, located in the depths of the earth, where hot magma flows and there is high soil pressure, the crystal becomes transparent and acquires a luxurious palette of shades. It is this gift of nature that becomes an amazing gem.

Transparent stones with a fiery scarlet, blood-red color were called Kuruwinda by the ancient Indians. To this day, no information has reached us about how this term was interpreted, but it was this term that became the basis for the name of the corundum stone. For many centuries, red crystals were considered rubies, and they acquired this shade due to the presence of chromium.

Blue or dark blue stones are called sapphires, and white or colorless stones are called leucosapphires. There are a number of sapphires and rubies that are not cut, but cabochon-cut. This is done when there is a sign of asterism in the stones. As a result, under the light rays, the inside of the gems flicker like hundreds of small stars.

What is Magnum Opus?

According to the legendary magicians and alchemists of past centuries, all transformations of corundum are a great deed. Many scientists have sought to recreate the structure of the mineral in the laboratory, studying its various types, as well as other crystals similar to it in chemical composition. They spent many years trying to make the ideal substance – the philosopher’s stone.

In a book of information for the knowledge of jewelry, created in 1038 by a Persian magician, encyclopedist, astrologer and scientist, ruby ​​corundum was described as one of the most valuable and beautiful gems. In ruby, Biruni was able to distinguish shades of crimson, garnet, purple and saffron, and precise information was also provided about the deposits, cities and countries where the mines were located.

Indian magicians created castes, exactly the same as those that existed in society, and corundum of a certain shade belonged to each caste, and therefore certain rubies were used in magical rituals and healing procedures.

In turn, Albertus Magnus in the 13th century called this crystal Et lapide pretioso or, in other words, the stone of all stones, which became the focus of transformation and the pinnacle of the Magnum Opus.

Places where the mines are located

Almost 2 thousand years ago, corundum gemstones of various types were mined in the depths of mines located in the mines of an island called Ceylon in Sri Lanka. It was there, in the mountainous province of Sabaragamuwa, that a gigantic blue mineral was found that weighed 19 kilograms.

Nowhere else in the world have such sapphires been discovered that could surpass this one in parameters. There is another Ceylon treasure – the Padparadscha sapphire, which has a pink-orange color. Bright blue sapphires are mined in the depths of the mines in Montana, green ones are supplied from Australia, but the advantage and popularity remains with blue ones, which are dominated by substances such as titanium and iron.

There are still an incredible number of types of corundum in nature, and in the far from complete collection stored at the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg, there are about 4 dozen specimens with all sorts of shades. It contains crystals of white, yellow, blue, and also the purest green.

The most famous types of corundum

Each famous gem has a direct connection to the great rulers who owned them in ancient times, and they have certain legends and aura. For example, there is a Black Prince ruby ​​with a legendary history, and it was in the treasury of the English king in the 14th century. According to one legend, it was mined on the territory of ancient mines in the city of Badakhshan in Afghanistan and for some time the owner was the Emir of Granada.

After he was dethroned by his brother, he had to flee to Seville to take refuge under the protection of the Castilian king. But the king did not want to accept the fugitive, and also issued an order to kill the entire retinue and the Emir himself. This is how the red stone passed to the new crowned owner. It was from those times that Pedro of Castile began to be called cruel, and a few years later in 1366 he was overthrown by his own half-brother.

Don Pedro was forced to seek help from Edward, the heir to the English throne, who was nicknamed the Black Prince. For such help, Pedro presented him with treasure chests, among which was ruby ​​corundum. It was from those times that this mineral began to be called the ruby ​​of the Black Prince. Unfortunately, fate overtook Pedro and he was killed by the usurper Henry on the battlefield.

For a long time, the Black Prince ruby ​​was present at the crowning of English kings. Today, it is housed in the Tower of London. In the 20th century, it became known that the famous corundum turned out to be red spinel.

Sapphire belonging to Scottish kings

The British treasury contains another relic in the form of the legendary sapphire, which has an oval shape and a sky blue color. It is called the Stuart sapphire. In Scottish writings, the first mention of it appeared in 1214, and in those years, it was an adornment of the crown of King Alexander 2. In the 14th century, it came into the possession of the Stuart family, aristocrats of Scotland, from which later came the kings and queens of Scotland and England.

A couple of centuries later, from one of the Stuarts, the Cardinal of York, in his will he passed into the treasury of the Prince of Wales, who took the throne of the British Empire under the name George 4 in 1820. It was from that time that the stone was kept within the walls of the Tower.

Corundum and Zodiac compatibility

The ancient scientist Pliny Secundus created a five-volume description of the properties of this mineral, and in his opinion, corundum differs into female and male crystals. They could be distinguished by their shine and color. And today, 2 years later, modern experts in astromineralogy prefer to adhere to this theory.

Rubies can be excellent helpers for Aries and Capricorns, and multi-colored sapphires for Taurus and Gemini. To choose the best crystal for yourself as competently as possible, you should contact a lithoastrologer. Since the price of the stone is not small, it is important that it does not bring a negative result.

If you choose the right gem, it will be a talisman that attracts happiness, a talisman that can nourish you with energy and health for many years. For example, fish should use exclusively blue sapphires.

Features of medicinal properties

In history there was such a woman as a medieval healer and seer, a nun and contemporary of Albertus Magnus, and her name was Hildergarde of Bingen. In her opinion, where the carbuncle was located, the dark forces could not carry out their devilish deeds. They are repelled by the flickering and power of the stone, and any illness goes away.

This theory is similar to the allegorical description of a process such as crystalline ionization of air, which can destroy harmful bacteria. According to Western alchemists, traditional rubies are symbolic representations of the bloody passion of Christ, and therefore they have the ability to:

  • stopping heavy bleeding;
  • beneficial effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system;
  • preventing the formation of anemia.

Colored balm for the soul

Precious corundums can exhibit a variety of shades, which led doctors to the idea of ​​using them in the practice of color therapy. There is an opinion that each shade corresponds to a specific emotion. Due to the fact that sapphire gems undergo refraction of light fluxes in different spectra, they have additional strong energy.

Once the exact condition of the patient is identified, the lithotherapist performs a selection of minerals. A strategy is also being formed on how therapeutic massage and similar procedures will be carried out. In some cases, the essence of light therapy is that the patient is asked to contemplate the play of light inside a gemstone. This allows you to achieve peace of mind and a philosophical mood.

Corundums, which were born inside volcanoes many millions of years ago, are considered crystals that can last forever. If you think about this moment, you can understand that personal adversities are absolutely insignificant little things. To carry out the procedure you do not need to have a pile of treasures.

You should definitely find time to visit the large mineralogical museum, which houses a collection of gems. If you slowly look at the unique corundums present in the museum collection, you can feel their real power and magic.

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