Saturday, May 18, 2013
Emeralds, Tourmalines, and Tsavorites, OH MY!
I know I am not alone in the sentiment "I can't believe it's the middle of May!" Time flies by so fast, and we are already well into Spring, whether it feels like it or not. As a Jeweler, it's important to know the Birthstones for every month by heart, and in my career infancy, I would remember gorgeous Emerald as belonging to May, the month where everything turns green... hopefully:)
What is Emerald?
Emerald is a variety of the mineral Beryl, other varieties of Beryl include Aquamarine and Morganite. By most regards, Emerald is considered to be one of the most rare and valuable of all the Gemstones. They are prized for their vivid green color! However, They are naturally included stones, and usually treated by "oiling" to improve appearance. Large crystals with few inclusions are extremely rare, highly sought after and can "break the bank" so to speak. Emeralds are a 7.5 to 8 on Moh's hardness scale, so I don't recommend them for everyday wear, and special care should be taken when wearing and cleaning them. But like Dorothy to Oz, who can resist a gorgeous Emerald?!
Emeralds are not the only gorgeous green gemstone though....
What is a Tourmaline?
Tourmaline is a group of mineral species that comes in virtually all colors, including Chrome Tourmaline, which is a fine intense green! The oval center stone above is a very good example. This is one of October's Birthstones. Whereas Tourmaline is considered a semi-precious gemstone, that is not a term this Gemologist likes to use. Here's why; Chrome Tourmaline is highly rare and thus highly valuable! There is nothing semi-precious about this stunner. What creates this amazing rich green? You can thank vanadium, as well as chromium, which also produces the green color of Emeralds. With a hardness of 7 to 7.5, Tourmaline also requires the wearer to be gentle. Most Chrome Tourmaline comes from Tanzania which transports us to our next exotic location on our journey of the gorgeous green gemstones...
What the heck is a Tsavorite?
Tsavorite is variety of the Garnet group species grossular. That is right, it's a Garnet! (Also colored by vanadium or chromium.) There is nothing semi-precious about this gemstone either. Garnet is the Birthstone for January. After it's discovery in Tanzania, the deposit was found to extend into Kenya, specifically into Tsavo National Park, which is where it gets it's name from. Due to a hardness of 7 to 7.5, well, you know the rest. Personally, Tsavorite is my favorite of the gorgeous greens. Why? Ohhhh, the life this gemstone possesses, so hard to put into words... They are just SO pretty! See the stones flanking either side of the Tourmaline in the picture above. To this Gemologist, Tsavorites are reminiscent of Spring grass, covered in morning dew, sparkling in the sunlight.
This leaves me with just one question... What is you favorite green gemstone???
Please send me any questions you may have!!!
HAPPY SPRING!!! ~Lisa