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The 4 Classic Stones

DIAMOND, RUBY, EMERALD, and BLUE SAPPHIRE are the 4 classic stones. They are considered the costliest gems; they are also known as the gems of nobility.

SPARKLING DIAMONDS

diamondMillions of years ago, under enormous pressure and heat, like the boiling magma of a volcano, pure carbon was crystallized to form the diamond. Its matrix, or mother stone from where it attaches is called Kimberlite. This mineral stone was first found, 3,000 years ago, in Golconda area, India. Diamond is harder than steel, only a diamond can cut another diamond, for this durability, De Beers cartel, the biggest diamond mining firm in South Africa, if not the world, which control its price, says, “Diamonds are forever.”

The scarcity of diamonds makes it so costly. In order to produce a one carat polished diamond of gem quality, approximately 250 tons of ore must be mined and process. Pricing of a diamond depends on the four characteristics that determine its quality and value, the basic criteria universally known as the 4CS, for Carat weight, cut, color and clarity. Carat -weight is the stone’s weight measured in carats. One carat is divided into 100 points, so that a diamond of 25 points or one fourth carat weighs .25 carats. The bigger the diamond, does not mean, the higher the price, but depending on the other 3 cs. A diamond’s cut determines the brilliance of a diamond; too deep or too shallow cutting disperses the light and won’t be reflected. Round single cut diamond has 18 facets while the double cut has 58 facets. The other 5 most popular shapes are heart, marquise, pear, emerald, and oval. Diamonds come in all colors. The best diamond color is no color; the least priced are the yellow and brown. The rare red, pink, blue, green, canary yellow and other colors are called “fancies”. To determine a stone’s clarity, it is viewed under 10-power magnification or loupe. Inclusions or flaws in the stone bring down the price of the diamond.

RUBY, Jewels of Kings

Ruby_hsRuby, the red variety of corundum, due to chrome in aluminum oxide, is the second hardest mineral. Mogok, Burma, is the source of the finest pigeon bold rubies Flawless rubies in excess of 3 carats, are very rare; its’ per carat value increases with size. Color distribution is often uneven, in stripes or spots. Mogok, Burma, is the source of the coveted purplish red, pigeon’s blood rubies; Thailand rubies in Chantaburi district are brownish red and are sometimes mistaken for garnets, while Ceylon rubies are light red, bordering on the pink. Ratnapuraof Sri Lanka, and Tanzania are other major sources of rubies. A considerable range of synthetic rubies is now made by the Verneuil laboratory process. Other mineral stones that simulate rubies are red spinel, pyrope garnet, and tourmaline.

SAPPHIRE

blue sapphireThe name of the gemstone is derived from its’ blue gem quality of corundum, which in turn gets its’ coloring from titanium. Sapphire can be faceted cut or en cabochon if the stone is a star sapphire that produces a twelve or six ray star, like the star ruby. Kashmir, India, in the Himalayas produces the milky pale blue;Mogok, Burma, now, supplies the corn flower blue, The Star of India, 536 ct, star sapphire and the Midnight Star,116ct black star sapphire can be found in the New York’s American Museum of Natural History while the Star of Asia,330ct star sapphire ,is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

EMERALD

emeraldFrom the beryl group comes the emerald, its’ Greek word smaragdos, means green stone. Flaws in the emerald attest to nature’s imprints and evidence as to the genuineness of the stone as compared to the synthetic Chatham emerald. Emerald has poor resistance to wear. It is brittle and easily breaks. It is history’s most romantic gem, as betrothal ring. Cleopatra’s mine in Upper Egypt is known for emerald. Rome’s Nero used the first sunglasses, made of emerald to watch the arena fight. Deep green is the best color for emerald; Muzo, Colombia is the source of the best Colombian emerald.

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