25 FACTS ABOUT GEMSTONES
1. Each specific gem’s name characterized the scarcity or monetary value in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and even Rome.
2. Gems were divided into two categories in ancient India – the major gems and the minor gems, resulting to the category of divine gems.
3. Divine gems are known to be tied to astrological signs, such as pearl (Moon), blue sapphire (Saturn), red coral (Mars), and diamond (Venus), to name a few.
4. There are now three separate categories of Gems: Precious Gemstones, Semiprecious Gemstones, and Organic Gemstones.
5. Diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires are all examples of Precious Gemstones, as seen below.
6. Less than 20% of the gems worldwide are of true gem quality.
7. Emerald is one of the most difficult gems to cut due to its rough crystals and inclusions, as see below.
8. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that diamonds were made of tears from the Gods and splinters from twinkling stars.
9. Turquoise is an example of a Semiprecious Gemstone.
10. Turquoise coined its name from the Greek word “Turkois”, meaning “Turkish”, because it was first brought from Turkey.
11. Turquoise is the wedding anniversary gemstone and is traditionally given on the 5th and 11th years of marriage.
12. Amethyst was once considered a precious gem, but when scientists found large reserves of it in Brazil, its value decreased and became a semiprecious gem.
13. Organic gems are gems that were created by living organisms and have been mineralized.
14. Natural pearls, cultured pearls, and conch pearls are some of the most popular and commonly known organic gems.
15. In the United States there are pearl farms in Hawaii (2) and Tennessee (1), among many others worldwide. Below, an example of a farm in Hawaii:
16. Moonstone, a Semiprecious Gemstone, is considered to be of good fortune and success in India.
17. Crystal healing is a type of alternative medical technique where gemstones are used to cure certain illnesses
18. Aquamarine has been said to stop toothaches while Rose Quartz is used to assist in weight loss, to clear acne and protect against wrinkles.
19. In Ancient Egypt, Lapis Lazuli was used as an eyeshadow after crushing it to its powdered form.
20. Also used by artists such as Da Vinci and for paintings in the Sistine Chapel, Lapis Lazuli was ground up and mixed with oils in the 14th century and was only allowed to be in the possession of royalty.
21. Amazonite is called the “Prosperity Stone” and is said to bring in new business, whether it be hung over a doorway of a store or worn around the neck of a gambler to attract money.
22. To enrich color, almost all amethyst are heat treated before being sold to obtain its highest quality.
23. The largest loose diamond in the world is the Paragon Diamond, weighing in at 137.82 carats.
24. Sold for $83 million, the Pink Star Diamond is the most expensive gemstone to ever be sold.
25. The red color in rubies are caused by traces of chromium, and is known to be a symbol of life and love.