Gemstones and Birthstones.
- September Birthstone: Sapphire
Attractive jewellery, particularly set with gemstones, bring us much pleasure to wear. The gemstones might attract us because of the colour, the cut or the design of the setting in which it is held. Or perhaps the item might have some connection to someone we care about. I have a light silver bracelet set with small purple amethysts, which I often wear as I love the soft colour of the amethyst, but it was also my Mother's birthstone and the quartz stone always brought her joy.
In this blog is a little information about the gemstones set in items of jewellery which you can find on the KIENA JEWELLERY website. Some of the descriptions for individual items of jewellery on the website also give some details. Individual Gemstones are also said to have beneficial health properties. We do our best to give accurate information, to give you an insight into the various stones, but we are not gemologists or geologists etc., nor natural healers, we, as so very many others, just love attractive gemstones and jewellery.
Jewellery and gemstones, of course, have been worn for centuries. Before the recording of history, people would wear adornments, for instance attractive shells, feathers, coloured stones, touch stones, which people considered to have magical powers etc.
It is thought that the earliest piece of jewellery to be found, dated approximately 25,000 years ago, was in a cave in Monaco and was made of fish bones. The first 'jewellery' - made of bone, teeth, horn etc, - came from the hunt for food and it was believed that wearing these trophies would bring luck for future forays. As the successful hunter benefitted the whole community so the hunter wearing the horn, bone or feather adornments was given both respect & privileges.
Gemstones and jewellery could also help to ward off illness and ill-fortune. Later they would be worn to show wealth or power or commitment - as in the wedding ring.
Gradually people began to work on the coloured stones which they found and gradually the skill of that craftsmanship developed, Around 1300, for instance, the skill developed of cutting a diamond to show its beauty, before which they were an unpopular stone.
Many pure minerals are colourless, being given colour by impurities - for example a bit of iron and titanium to Corundum - a crystalline form of aluminium oxide, which is naturally transparent, makes Blue Sapphire; a little chromium makes Ruby. Exceptional value can come from a tiny amount of impurity. One of the exception to the rule is the Garnet, of which there are various varieties and species. It has been used as a gemstone since the Bronze Age.
Appreciated since Neolithic times - so possibly the first gem material ever used, amber is fossilized ancient tree resin so an organic substance. Amber is normally sold by grams, not carats and is perhaps best known for the occasional inclusions of insects, the rarer form of which command higher prices. The largest known deposit of Amber is in the Baltic region. Dating from 44 million years ago, it is estimated that the forests from which it came, created more than 100,000 tons of the material. There is also a long history of Amber in China, with the first recorded record going back to 200 BC.
Amber is believed to be a powerful healer and cleanser of the body. Worn against the skin, becoming warm, Amber beads are said to release succinic acid, which, entering the blood stream acts as a natural healer / antibiotic. It can also, it is believed, assist with relieving stress and anxiety.
The Amethyst is a crystalline quartz, with a reasonable hardness and is the most valuable form of quartz. Named after the mythological Greek maiden who was turned to stone by the God Dionysus, the gemstone comes in shades from a pale lilac / lavender to a deep purple, sometimes a deep reddish purple. In transparency the Amethyst ranges from transparent to almost translucent.
The gemstone is mined in Madagascar, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, South Korea, Tibet, Russia, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.
There is also a Green Amethyst, known as Prasiolite. It rarely appears in a natural form, but an artificial form is produced when natural amethyst is heated or radiated. Formerly small quantities came from mines in Brazil, Poland and Canada but, by 2019 the only remaining mine, which was in Brazil, had nearly been mined out.
The Amethyst is thought to have important healing properties, relieving physical, psychological and emotional stress or pain: useful for treatment of addiction; an antidote for a headache of a hangover and an antidote for anger. It has been used in spiritual and religious contexts and is seen to be valuable for those practising meditation. However, it is thought to have a sobering effect on the libido.
There are a number of items of jewellery on the KIENA JEWELLERY website using purple Amethysts and the Green Amethyst, (Prasiolite)
Most Chalcedony is a mixture of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz and moganite, which is in many forms, patterns and colours. This finely crystallized, or fibrous quartz, forms rounded crusts or stalactites in sedimentary and volcanic rock. The differing colours come from metallic impurities such as copper, nickel, iron etc. While the name Chalcedony is frequently used to describe the grey, white or blue translucent type of the stone, other variations include: Agate, Jasper, Onyx, Tiger's Eye and Carnelian.
Chalcedony is said to be a nurturing stone, promoting good will, generosity and benevolence. It is also thought to increase energy and lessen the effect of dementia.
There are items of jewellery set with Chalcedony and Onyx on the KIENA JEWELLERY website.