Stones photo gallery

What is the name of a stone that shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow?

“Gem of the Rainbow” – Tourmaline is called this way thanks to an old Egyptian legend, which says that tourmaline absorbed all the colors of the rainbow on its way from the earth to the sun. Tourmaline in the East is considered a symbol of wisdom, faith and spiritual quest. The name “tourmaline” comes from the Sinhalese word “tormalli”, which refers to various gemstones in Sri Lanka. Tourmaline colors range from red to green, and from yellow to blue. Each pebble is different from the other. Tourmaline – one of the most beautiful gems, each variety is interesting in its own way. The number of shades reaches 50. The color is distributed throughout the crystal in a curious way: at different viewing angles, the color intensity changes slightly, and the stone shimmers beautifully in the light; There are minerals with the effect of asterism, or “cat’s eye”, with the alexandrite effect, as well as minerals that change color depending on the nature of the lighting. Tourmaline minerals of different colors have different names. The classic color is green. Transparency: transparent to opaque. The most popular of them are presented below. Dravit, the name comes from the Dravet deposit in Austria. The color of the stone varies from yellowish brown to dark brown. Chromedravite – from dark emerald green to greenish black. Schorl – the black. Polychrome elbaite – multicolor tourmaline crystals. One variety of polychrome tourmaline is watermelon tourmaline, which has a red or pink core and a green outer portion. Elbaites: – says (translated from Italian means “green stone”) – various shades of green. The most common of tourmalines. The emerald green variety is the most prized. – achroite (translated from Greek means “without color”) is a rare colorless or almost colorless variety of tourmaline. The most precious is white tourmaline. – indigolite – so named because of the stones found in various shades of blue. Blue tourmaline. – rubellite (translated from Latin as reddish) stones range in color from pink to red, but ruby-red stones are most valued. In Russia, where these stones came from distant India, tourmalines immediately gained enormous popularity. At the same time, tourmalines appeared in our country back in the 16th century; they were widely imported from the East and were used for inlaying goblets and caskets, embroidering barm and shoulder straps of royal outfits, decorating church utensils, frames for icons and crosses. (Barmas of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich XVII embroidered with gold and stones) One of the most beautiful tourmalines is considered to be the “Caesar’s Ruby”, presented by the Swedish king Gustav to Catherine the Great. Catherine II not only loved jewelry, she truly adored it. In 1777, the Swedish King Gustav VIII presented her with a skillfully carved crimson-red grape bunch weighing 255 carats, framed by green enamel leaves, as a sign of friendship and respect. The huge, iridescent stone looked like a sweet delicacy that I just wanted to taste – it was the most unusual of the Historical stones, which is still stored in the Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation. In the old days it was called “Caesar’s Ruby”, but later it was found out that the gem is not a ruby ​​at all, but, perhaps, a much more interesting and unusual stone. Tourmaline weighing 500 carats adorned the crown of the Russian Empress Anna Ioannovna. Placed under an irregularly shaped diamond cross, the dark red tourmaline was purchased in 1676 from the Chinese Bogdykhan by decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and subsequently adorned several royal crowns in turn. The weight of this unique piece is one hundred grams. Empress Elizaveta Petrovna was crowned with the same crown 20 years later. The best representative of tourmaline is considered to be the “Jolly Green Giant”, which is kept in the State Museum of Natural History in New York. Tourmaline is the only crystal of its kind among all that exist on Earth, which has a constant electric field. A unique property of tourmaline is that it is able to release negative ions – anions. We all know how easy it is to breathe right after it has rained. This can be explained very simply: the air after rain is cleared of dust flying in the air and is actively filled with oxygen anions. Tourmaline is something truly special in the wonderful world of gemstones. Its availability and its incomparable color splendor have made tourmaline one of the popular natural stones. A selection of materials from the Internet. Opals are valued primarily for their hologram effect: this stone plays with all the colors of the rainbow. This unique property is called opalescence. It’s all about its unusual internal structure. It does not have a traditional crystal lattice of atoms and molecules, but it has its semblance: a more or less regular structure of silica microparticles. Opal consists of silicon and water, and it can contain up to 30 percent water (on average 6-10%). This composition determines the characteristics of this stone: it is fragile and capricious, does not like temperature changes, its should not be dropped and should not be scratched, because it may lose color or even crumble. The name of the stone means “precious stone” in Sanskrit, and in ancient India it was especially valued, believed to aid spiritual growth. Merchants of the Silk Road brought opals to Europe, where the strange stone, as if blazing with fire and mysteriously flickering, like the starry sky, immediately came to magicians and sorcerers (and in the Middle Ages, to alchemists). Opal was believed to help see previous lives, predict fate, and even help one become invisible (which is why thieves wore it for good luck). Since the times of Ancient Greece and Rome, opals have been loved by rulers. The Roman emperors had a special passion for them, and Pliny the Elder praised them in his writings. The Victorian era brought a new round of fashion for opals. Queen Victoria adored these stones, especially black opals, which were so suitable for her many years of mourning, and she used to give her close associates jewelry with these stones. They were worn by Josephine, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, and are worn by the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II. The stone’s reputation was somewhat tarnished by Walter Scott’s novel, in which opal was portrayed as a demonic harbinger of death. However, the beginning of the 20th century, the Art Nouveau era and the jewelry of René Lalique brought the stone back into fashion. Mineralogists count more than 100 varieties of opals. They are distinguished primarily by color and pattern, highlighting several key types. The jewelry industry uses so-called noble opals with rainbow tints. They, in turn, are also different. The most expensive are black and fire opals. The first ones are distinguished by the iridescence of blue and green flashes on a black background, while the second ones resemble a blazing flame, as if given in macro photography format. Outstanding examples of these stones can be worth more than diamonds and are considered collector’s items. Interesting varieties of opals: hyalites и hydrophanes. The first ones are milky white with beautiful flashes of pink and bright blue. They occur quite often. These are the most familiar opals to our eyes. Hydrophanes could really play into the hands of various sorcerers and magicians, because these light white stones completely disappear in water, becoming transparent. Due to their fragility and internal structure, opals are not cut, but are used in jewelry as cabochons. They can be polished and even placed on another base or covered with glass to protect the surface from damage. Until the 19th century, the Carpathians were the opal Mecca. Opal deposits were located on the territory of modern Hungary and the Czech Republic, and the lion’s share of stones came from there. But when the so-called “opal rush” broke out in Australia, the European deposits were almost completely forgotten. Currently, 97% of all opals on the world market come from Australia. Other (minor) suppliers of stones are Mexico and Ethiopia. There are opals in Russia, but very few (from Kamchatka and Transbaikalia). The main difference between stones is color, which in turn is determined by impurities: manganese, iron, etc. For example, Ethiopian opals are yellow in color, while the most common Australian opals are bright blue-green. In the 1970s, they learned how to synthesize opals. This is now practiced in Japan and Switzerland. Synthetic opals are grown from the same silicas as natural ones in the natural environment, with the difference that synthetics become an improved version of them: artificially created stones are not as fragile and do not react as well to changes in the environment. However, their prices are significantly lower than natural ones. In addition to synthetic ones, there are also ordinary plastic and glass fakes, which can be distinguished from real ones with the naked eye. History knows many legendary opals. Most of them are accidental finds of Australian miners. Like the almost 4990-kilogram Australian example, the XNUMX-carat Fire of Australia, which made a fortune for an ordinary miner and his family, who sold the heirloom. There are also stones written into history. Thus, the crown of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire was decorated with luxurious milky opal, which had a luminescent effect: it glowed at night, which made both royalty and those who witnessed this natural “light show” tremble. These days, opals have a strong following, especially among independent jewelers in China and Latin America, who play up their beauty in one-piece pieces. Among the actual beneficial properties of the stone, confidently stated by lithotherapists, opals help against infectious diseases!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Weekly digest about jewelry art.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button