Sunday, September 30, 2012

Semi-precious Gemstones - Properties and History

- a bright blue metamorphic rock, composed of minerals such as lazurite, sodalite, pyrite and calcite. The best quality lapis lazuli have a potent dark blue with small areas of white calcite and metallic pyrite.

Characteristics of the Gem- The intense dark blue stone is somewhat soft, 5.5 on Moh's scale. Luster is vitreous to oily and crystal structures vary depending on the mineral composition.
Holistic Properties- is for mind/body/soul connection to the higher spiritual self. Is said to lessen anxiety, create overall body/mind relaxation and changes darkness to light/ negative to positive, also called 'night stone'
Folklore- Known by the Romans as a strong aphrodisiac. In the Middle ages it was used to keep the arms and legs in good health and release the soul from envy, fear or error.
Sourcing- Afghanistan mines the best quality deep colored stones, also, lighter stones found in Chile, Russia and the US
History- In Renaissance paintings, the beautiful blue stone was ground up and put into the pigment ultramarine, which was used to paint sky, sea and anything blue. It's existence in trade is evident in the ancient city of Ur as early as 4th millennium B.C. Lapis Lazuli is also seen from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome in adornments for royal jewels and other amulets.
Topaz -from Sanskrit 'tapas', meaning fire.
Description- Topaz exists in an earthly palette. Deep golden yellow and pink have the highest value. Blue Topaz exists, with color enhancement through irradiation.
Characteristics of the Gem- Topaz has an orthorhombic crystal structure and rates 8 on Moh's scale. Topaz occasionally has tear-shaped cavities encompassing a gas bubble or varied immiscible liquids. Some have diamond-shaped cross-section attributes with striations running the length of the stone.
Holistic Properties- A formidable healing stone that encourages well-being. It attracts love, enables creativity and promotes self-expression. Topaz has medical benefits in easing insomnia, asthma and hemorrhages.
Folklore- The Greeks believed it made the wearer invisible when used in emergency. Topaz was used to banish enchantment and aided in correcting eyesight. Its esoteric and restorative attributes were controlled by the waxing and waning of the moon.

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