History of Diamonds

diamond historyThe diamond is more than just aesthetically beautiful—it’s an enduring symbol of love, romance, and commitment. The stone’s name is derived from the Greek word adamas, which translates to “unconquerable.” This symbolic meaning lends itself well to the diamond’s historic commemoration of eternal love.


Diamond History

The earliest diamonds were found in India in 4th century BC, although the youngest of these deposits were formed 900 million years ago. A majority of these early stones were transported along the network of trade routes that connected India and China, commonly known as the Silk Road. At the time of their discovery, diamonds were valued because of their strength and brilliance, and for their ability to refract light and engrave metal. Diamonds were worn as adornments, used as cutting tools, served as a talisman to ward off evil, and were believed to provide protection in battle. In the Dark Ages, diamonds were also used as a medical aid and were thought to cure illness and heal wounds when ingested.

Surprisingly, diamonds share some common characteristics with coal. Both are composed of the most common substance on earth: carbon. What makes diamonds different from coal is the way the carbon atoms are arranged and how the carbon is formed. Diamonds are created when carbon is subjected to the extremely high pressures and temperatures found at the earth’s lithosphere, which lies approximately 90-240 miles below the earth’s surface.

Until the 18th century, India was thought to be the only source of diamonds. When the Indian diamond mines were depleted, the quest for alternate sources began. Although a small deposit was found in Brazil in 1725, the supply was not enough to meet world demands.

In 1866, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs was exploring the banks of the Orange River when he came across what he thought was an ordinary pebble, but turned out to be a 21.25-carat diamond. In 1871, a colossal 83.50-carat deposit was unearthed on a shallow hill called Colesberg Kopje. These findings sparked a rush of thousands of diamond prospectors to the region and led to the opening of the first large-scale mining operation which came to be known as the Kimberly Mine. This newly discovered diamond source increased the world’s diamond supply substantially, resulting in a significant decrease in their value. The elite no longer considered the diamond a rarity, and began to replace this “common” stone with colored gemstones. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires became more popular choices for engagement ring stones among the upper class.

In 1880, Englishman Cecil John Rhodes formed De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd in an effort to control the diamond supply. Although DeBeers was successful in their efforts to control the supply of diamonds, demand for the stone was weak. By 1919, diamonds were devalued by nearly 50%.

Diamond Engagement Ring History

The use of rings as a symbol of commitment dates back to ancient history, specifically to the betrothal (truth) rings of the Romans. These early rings, often formed from twisted copper or braided hair, were worn on the third finger of the left hand. The placement of the ring was significant, as Romans believed that a vein in the third finger (vena amorous) ran directly to the heart. For Romans, betrothal rings were given as a sign of affection or friendship, and did not always represent the rite of marriage.

The history of the engagement ring began in 1215, when Pope Innocent III, one of the most powerful popes of the Middle Ages, declared a waiting period between a betrothal and the marriage ceremony. The rings were used to signify the couple’s commitment in the interim. It was around this same time that rings were introduced as a major component of the wedding ceremony, and it was mandated by the Roman government that all marriage ceremonies be held in a church. In addition to serving as symbols of an intention to marry, these early rings also represented social rank; only the elite were permitted to wear ornate rings or rings with jewels.

The first recorded presentation of a diamond engagement ring was in 1477, when Archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed marriage to Mary of Burgundy. Although engagement rings were common at this time, diamonds were a rarity and were reserved for royalty and the upper elite class.

A Modern-Day Resurgence

In 1947, DeBeers commissioned the services of leading advertising agency N.W. Ayer, and the slogan A diamond is forever was coined. The premise of this large-scale marketing campaign was the suggestion that diamonds should be the only choice for engagement rings. The DeBeers advertising campaign was wildly successful, and was a contributing factor to today’s widespread embracing of the tradition of diamond engagement rings. In today’s fine jewelry market, more than 78% of engagement rings sold contain diamonds.

With the surge in popularity of the precious stone, many companies and organizations began campaigns to educate jewelers and consumers about what to look for when selecting a diamond. As jewelers experimented with ways to enhance the diamond’s visual appeal and presentation, new cutting techniques were adopted to help increase the stone’s brilliance. Over time, several prominent shapes emerged as the most popular varieties, including round, oval, marquise, square (princess), and rectangular (emerald).

Today, the world’s diamond deposits are slowly becoming depleted. Less than 20% of the diamonds mined are of gem quality; less than 2% are considered “investment diamonds.” 75-80% of mined diamonds are used for industrial applications, such as grinding, sawing, and drilling. Typically, more than 250 tons of ore must be mined in order to produce a one-carat, gem-quality stone.

The diamond’s rarity, beauty, and strength make it a fitting symbol of the resilience and longevity of marriage. In addition to engagement rings, diamonds are traditionally given as gifts to commemorate the milestone of the sixtieth anniversary. With their rich history, sense of permanence, and lustrous brilliance, diamonds are a natural choice to signify a lasting union.


Andalusite stones

andalusite stones

Andalusite stones or andalusite is an aluminium neso-silicate mineral with the chemical formula Al2SiO5. Andalusite is trimorphic with kyanite and sillimanite, being the lower pressure mid temperature polymorph. At higher temperatures and pressures, andalusite may convert to sillimanite. Thus, as with its other poly-morphs, andalusite is an aluminosilicate index mineral, providing clues to depth and pressures involved in producing the host rock.

Andalusite is sometimes called “The Seeing Stone” because it is used in metaphysical works to calmly see the various parts of one’s character without bias. It is also reported to be helpful to see the different sides of a problem, and is used for scrying.
Andalusite is named after Andalusia, the Spanish autonomous community where it was first discovered. Andalusite is an aluminum silicate, closely related to both silimanite and kyanite. In fact, all three minerals are polymorphs, which means they share the same chemical composition, but possess different crystal structures. Andalusite is a strikingly beautiful gem, but it is largely unknown to the general public and considered to be one of the lesser-known gem types in the trade.

Andalusite stones have a very distinct combination of colours, and a very pronounced level of pleochroism, which results in the exhibition of different colors when viewed from different angles. Andalusite most often occurs translucent to opaque, with transparent gemstone-quality specimens being very rare. For many years, andalusite has primarily been a collector’s stone, but it has recently gained a lot of attention from many jewelry designers. It is becoming increasingly popular in jewelry designs. Andalusite possesses a good level of durability and hardness, making it suitable for any type of jewelry application. The attraction of andalusite is greatly owed to its play of color, which can be seen during changes in its viewing angle. Similar effects are also seen when lighting strikes the gem from different directions.

There are only a few gem types that could be mistaken for andalusite, including tourmaline, chrysoberyl, sphene, smoky quartz and idocrase. Pleochroism in gems occurs in varying strengths; weak, distinct or strong. Pleochroic effects are the result of differing absorption of light rays, and the phenomenon can only occur with doubly refractive crystals. Andalusite is considered to be strongly pleochroic, along with iolite, kyanite, kunzite, sphene and tanzanite. Andalusite has trichroic pleochroism; when light enters the stone, it is parted into three sections, each containing a portion of the visible spectrum. Pleochroic gems, such as kunzite, possess dichronic pleochroism, which means that they display only two different colours.

Andalusite stones typically occurs in placers, gneisses, and schists as a result of argillaceous sediment that has been metamorphosed. Andalusite rarely occurs in granite or pegmatites, but it does, it tends to yield the largest crystals. Andalusite deposits can be found in many locations, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Spain (Andalusia), Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar and the USA (California and Colorado).

Andalusite stones colours depend on the orientation of the crystal, but they typically occur yellow, yellow-green, green, brownish red, olive and reddish brown. Each gemstone possesses two colours that differ in intensity, and often the colours blend together, especially with square and round shapes. Shapes with a long axis, such as oval, pear, marquise or emerald cuts, tend to show one colour near the center and a second, usually darker colour toward the ends of the crystal. Typically, when cutting pleochroic gems, cutters attempt to minimise pleochroism and maximise one desirable colour. However, with andalusite, cutters do the exact opposite and try to orient the gem to result in a pleasing mix of colours, such as orangey-brown and yellowish-green or gold.

Andalusite stones are typically occurs translucent to opaque. Opaque specimens are known as chiastolite. Dark inclusions in chiastolite produce cruciform-like shapes within the stones and these are often referred to as ‘Cross Stones’. Chiastolite usually occurs white, gray or yellowish and is rather soft compared to transparent andalusite. Transparent andalusite is quite rare and only a small percentage of yield is of gemstone quality. Most specimens contain some inclusions, with the most common being rutile needles. When polished, andalusite has a vitreous to matte luster.



Ammonite stones

polished ammonite nfspam4Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals. The words ammonite and ammonoid are both used quite loosely in common parlance to refer to any member of subclass Ammonoidea. However, in stricter usage the term Ammonite is reserved for members of suborder Ammonitina (or sometimes even order Ammonitida). The ammonite mollusc was a shelled cephalopod, usually appearing in a coiled, spiral shape. The extinction of ammonites coincided with the extinction of dinosaurs. Ammonites inhabited the world’s oceans and now appear as fossils in marine rocks. Because of their rapid evolution and wide distribution, ammonite fossils provide a useful tool for indexing and dating rocks. It is said that the original discus used by the ancient Greeks in their Olympics was in fact a fossilised ammonite. In India, ammonite fossils are identified with the god Vishnu and are used in various ceremonies. They are mostly collected in Nepal, from the bed of the River Gandaki where it cuts through Jurassic sediments. These fossils are known as “shaligram shila”. The word ammonite is derived from Ammon, an Egyptian god who took the form of a ram. Ammonites are similar in appearance to a ram’s horn.

Ammonite activates metaphysical powers and inter-dimensional exploration. Ammonite is particularly effective when placed on the third eye chakra. It represents coming full circle and knowing a place for the first time. Ammonite has the souls path encoded within it and it a useful support for rebirthing.

This stone takes you deep into your centre and into completion. lt activates personal empowerment and the spiritual will. Ammonite converts negative energy into a gently flowing positive spiral. This stone is a powerful Karmic cleanser if placed on the third eye this stone releases your mental obsessions and past life imperatives.

Psychologically ammonite stimulates your survival instincts and the knowledge that you will get there if you persevere.

Physically ammonite is excellent for anything that needs structure and clarity, relieving birth trauma that interferes with the energy flow. This stone is ideal as an earth healing stone.

Feng Shui masters call ammonite the seven colour prosperity stone. It is believed that it stimulates the flow of qi, life force through the body. This stone is exceedingly fortunate and it is suggested that you keep one in your home to bring wealth, health, vitality and happiness. If placed in the business premises it will promote beneficial business dealings. When worn, ammonite will impart charisma and sensuous beauty to the wearer.

Ammonite is helpful for overall well being and longevity, depression, lbour pains, cell metabolism, osteomyelitis and tinnitus. Ammonite awakens Kundalini energy and cellular memory. It stabilises the pulse and overcomes degenerative disorders. It supports the cranium and inner ear, lungs and limbs.

Ammolite on the other hand, is an opalized version of the Ammonite; found primarily along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains from the US and Canada.   These are the fossilized shells of the Ammonite; the opalization is formed by minerals filling in the sedimentary rocks or veins in rocks; it has also been known to replace organic materials in fossils, wood and shells, even bone.  The ‘opalilzed’ or iridescent Ammolites are comprised primarily of Aragonite, which is the same mineral that creates a nacreous Pearl.  Ammolite was given the official gemstone status in 1981 by the World Jewelry Confederation. This iridescence would not have been visible during the animal’s life. It is simply the coating or replacing of the shell by the opal.


Ametrine Stones or Trystine

Ametrine_cutAmetrine, also known as trystine or by its trade name as bolivianite, is a naturally occurring variety of quartz. It is a mixture of amethyst and citrine with zones of purple and yellow or orange. Almost all commercially available ametrine is mined only in Bolivia. The colour of the zones visible within ametrine is due to differing oxidation states of iron within the crystal. The different oxidation states occur due to there being a temperature gradient across the crystal during its formation.Artificial ametrine can be created by differential heat treatment of amethyst. Legend has it that ametrine was first introduced to Europe by a conquistador’s gifts to the Spanish Queen, after he received a mine in Bolivia as a dowry when he married a princess from the native Ayoreos tribe. Most ametrine in the low price segment can be assumed to stem from synthetic material. Since 1994, a Russian laboratory has perfected the industrial production of discoloured quartz crystals that are later irradiated to bring out the typical ametrine colours. Green-yellow or golden-blue ametrine does not exist naturally.

Wearing Ametrine jewellery may be helpful to you, and may provide you with ways to let go of stress, as they help to create peace and inner harmony. It is an extremely useful tool for those in the healing profession to utilize. As well it is also very helpful for the average person to use, to work on themselves at home.

Once you have connected to its energy, keep this crystal on you all day, as it will aid you overall in your life. Using this crystal to make a spiritual connection is powerful, as once a connection is made it will align the solar plexus with the crown chakra. This may help you to enhance both your mental and spiritual clarity, and plan to live life from a perspective of Divine Will. It is easy to buy jewellery made from this stone including lovely pendants. It is easy and useful to keep a piece of this crystal within your aura, for as long as possible during each day. It often has quite striking golden yellow colours within the purple, and these stones are very attractive and have excellent metaphysical properties.


Amethyst Stones


Amethyst is a violet stone from quartz widely used in jewellery. The name came from ancient Greek amethystos which means not intoxicated there is a belief that they protect its owner from drunkenness. In ancient Greek times they used to decorate drinking vessel with amethyst in order to prevent intoxication. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.

Quartz (sio2) and iron impurities are the main reason for purple or violet colour of amethyst and some trace elements which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. They are hard in nature as same as quartz hence suitable to the use in jewellery.Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue. The best varieties of amethyst can be found Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the far East.


Buying Colored Gemstone Jewellery

When selecting coloured gemstone consider the following:

  • Do you love the colour?
  • Does the gemstone have brilliance and fire?
  • Does the gem have light throughout the stone, or are their flat areas?

Some jewellers offer loose coloured gemstones and will help you create a personalised mounting. You may prefer to buy a finished jewellery item. Discuss how you see yourself wearing the piece so that your jeweller can help you select mountings consistent with your lifestyle. This will provide the best safeguard for your purchase.
You have the right to know what you are buying, whether it is a natural gemstone, an enhanced or treated gemstone, or a synthetic gemstone. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has established guidelines for the jewellery industry stating that jewellers must disclose any treatment that is not permanent, that creates special care requirements, or that affects the gemstone’s value. Likewise, if a material is synthetic, it must be disclosed. Jewellers, who are members of Jewellers of America, uphold a high code of professional practices and commit to disclosing all such information, in the belief that a well-informed jewellery purchaser is a satisfied purchaser.


Amber stones

baltic-amber-stoneFrom neolithic age amber is a  important gemstone in industry. Amber is a fossilised tree resin.Amber can be made into number of objects, amber is used as an integrated ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as a jewellery.

There are five lasses of amber defined on basis of their chemical constituents because it originates as a soft,sticky tree resin, Amber sometimes contains animal and plant materials as inclusions.Amber occurring in coal is also called resinite, and the term ambrite is applied to that found specifically within NewZeland coal seams.

The word ‘amber’ was derived from the Middle Persian word ‘ambar’. It was originally used to describe a hardened waxy substance found within the intestines of sperm whales called ambergris. Ambergris is used in the production of fragrances because it has a very appealing aromatic smell. During the 14th century, the use of the term amber shifted from reference to ambergris to the gemstone. Amber and ambergris were often confused with one another because both can be found washed up on beach shores. The two are easily distinguished by density. Ambergris has a much lower density and floats in freshwater. Amber gemstones do not float in freshwater, but float in saltwater.

The formation process of amber begins with transformation of resin to coal. The transformation is triggered by high temperatures and pressure of overlying resinous sediments. The exposure to heat and pressure repels terpenes, which can cause deterioration and decay. Through time and resistance, the resin eventually hardens and becomes fossilised into amber. Many trees produce resin, but most will not actually produce amber. The tree resin must be very resilient and resistant to decay. The majority of resin deposits cannot handle prolonged exposure to sunlight, rain and extreme temperatures.


Amazonite Stones

Microcline-119096Like waters deep and ancient, Amazonite beckons in captivating shades of turquoise-green, promising to soothe the spirit and calm the soul. Its energy is as powerful as the river for which it is named, and as bold as the legendary women warriors with whom it is connected, yet it tempers aggression, tames the irrational, and stills the disquiet. It provides harmony and balance.

Called the Stone of Courage and the Stone of Truth, Amazonite empowers one to search the self and discover one’s own truths and integrity, and to move beyond fear of judgement or confrontation with others to live in alignment with those beliefs and values. It provides the freedom to express one’s thoughts and feelings, and to set strong and clear boundaries, both internally as self-discipline, and externally on what one is willing to experience or in defining personal space.

Amazonite was also worn as jewelry in pre-Columbian South and Central America, and was believed to have adorned the shields of the semi-mythical Amazonians, a formidable tribe of female warriors thought to live in the 10th century B.C. They also used Amazonite medicinally to heal wounds and illnesses of all kinds. The conquistadors prized it for adornment and its ability to be carved into cult objects. Amazonite is named for the Amazon River in Brazil and the lush jungle region surrounding it where the original “green stones” were discovered. Whether these stones were what we know today as Amazonite is uncertain, as principal deposits are not currently found in the basin area of this great river.

amazonite assists in communicating one’s true thoughts and feelings without over-emotionalism. It also enables one to see a problem from another’s point of view in order to affect peace, or to see both sides of an issue objectively to resolve one’s own inner conflicts. Sleeping with an Amazonite can bring these components into focus through the symbolism of dreams.

In the workplace, Amazonite dispels negative energy and aggravation, and protects against unfair business practices and others taking advantage. A stone of prosperity, Amazonite attracts new customers and orders to a business, and assists one in being in the right place at the right time for new opportunities.


Almandine Stoes

0bc86831efd490eb83fb32b34538a0fa00262c0dAlmandine unites the energy and passions of scarlet and red with the more muted, earthy overtones of brown, like fire reflected in a deep sultry wine. It is intimately tied to the Earth, and is a talisman of protection and unyielding strength, both physically and intellectually.

Almandine is known as a Stone of Tangible Truth. It assists in manifesting a realistic version of the physical world. Its energy helps alleviate worry, panic and fear, and assists in maintaining a calm connection to the present. It allows one to perceive the absolute support of the Universe.Types of Almandine Garnet include Carbuncle, Merelini Mint Garnet, Thai Garnet, Grandite, and Precious Garnet. Some rare Almandine crystals from India or Idaho have asbestos inclusions that create a highly prized, star-like effect when faceted. Precious, or Noble Garnet, is deep red and transparent.

It is an excellent crystal for fertility, sexual potency and libido. Emotionally, Almandine cultivates a sense of security, safety and abundance. It is associated with the First Chakra and has the healing energy to help arouse the kundalini and keep those energies grounded.

It is a stone of physical love and relationships, and a spiritual stone of psychic protection. It increases willpower and resistance to all things negative. Almandine Garnet ranges in color from light to deep scarlet, dark red, and muted shades of brown.

Garnet is the zodiac stone for those born under the sign Aquarius, and is an Enhancer Strengthener crystal. It has the properties of fire energy and is a talisman of protection.


Alexandrite stones

11614&11615.psdAlexandrite are famous for their colour changing nature. They appear green in day light or fluorescent light and brownish or purplish red in lamp or candle or incandescent light this is by their ability to absorbing light and this effect is called alexandrite effect.

Alexandrite is rare variety of chrysoberyl. It is also a pleochronic gem which means it can show different colours in different directions typically the colours are green, orange and purple red. This property is also by light absorbing property. Alexandrite are very rare gems especially in larger sizes hence it is a relatively expensive member of gem family.

They are abundantly  found in Russia’s Ural mountains. Other than Russia they are found in Sri Lanka, East Africa and Brazil. The gem got its name after Alexander 2 was an young ruler of imperial Russia. The fine alexandrites are very rare are valuable.