Sunday, February 3, 2008
There are only four precious stones in the world!
There are only four (4) precious stones in the world, contrary to what many people believe. The word precious has evidently two meanings - and both being adjectives - can definitely confuse even to the most knowledgeable person. The funny thing about it, is that some varieties of these precious stones may be as pretty, and even more expensive than a precious stone. The value of these specimens is a function of their purity, quality, color, perfection of its crystals, size, durability (thanks to their hardness), and so forth. So don't be surprised next time you see an opal from Coober Pedy Australia in or around thousands of dollars.
In summary, these are the only four precious stones in the world, everything else even though look precious, are semiprecious stones. Of course, for the mineralogist, and experience rock collector, there are also semi-ugly and very ugly stones (good to practice pitching). What makes them gain such qualification is the opposite of the adjectives of a precious stone. Following are the only four precious stones in the world:
Diamond (multi color, sapphire (blue), emerald (green) and ruby (pink to red). Following is the description of each and every one.
Chemical Formula: C
Composition: Carbon 100.00%
Molecular Weight = 12.01 gm
Environment: Gas rich, ultra-basic diatremes from mantle depths (>30 km), and alluvial placer deposits derived from the Kimberlite (in honor of Kimberley, South Africa) rocks. Kimberlite consists of olivine, garnet, pyroxene, and calcite.
Localities: Kimberly, republic of South Africa. India. Brazil. Ural Mountains, Russia. Murfreesboro, Arkansas, USA.
Name Origin: From the Greek, adamas, meaning "invincible" or "hardest."
Chemical Formula: Al2O3
Composition: Aluminum 52.93% and Oxygen 47.07%
Empirical Formula: (Al2O3)
Environment: Contact and regionally metamorphosed rocks.
Locality: Tchainit and Yakutia, Russia.
Name Origin: Probably derived from the Sanskrit, kuruvinda, meaning "ruby."
Synonym: Leucosapphire - colorless (I do not agree, but that is what you find in the Dana classification). If it does not have the beautiful blue color, it's just plain and simple: is everything, but a sapphire!
Soon Emerald and Rubi.
In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend, the remaining of it, and enjoy the super bowl.
Oscar G. Shelly