Some General Info Regarding Gemstones

By Hannah Gordon

A gemstone, also referred to as a jewel or gem, is a unique mineral piece that is used to make an adornment such as a carving or jewelry. Popular examples tend to include Opals, Pearls, Quartz, and Jaspers. Gemstones are usually polished and cut before they are used in jewelry making, although they are still considered very valuable in their natural forms.

The stones are identified and studied by researchers known as gemologists, who identify the various types of gemstones based on their very specific characteristics. First, a jewel is identified based on its chemical composition and crystal system. Diamonds, for example, are made up of carbon and feature cubic crystal shapes. They are typically categorized by their color as well.

Sometimes, certain types of gemstones are purposefully left uncut and unpolished before they're made into necklaces, bracelet charms, and earrings but the overall majority of them tend to be altered in some way beforehand. The process of polishing and cutting stones depends on what kind of gems they are. Pearls and Tiger's Eye are usually polished into smooth dome shapes and more transparent items such as rubies or emeralds are cut with a special faceting machine until their sides sparkle.

Although there isn't a simple way to copy a stone's exact mineral composition, manufacturing artificial ones is possible and has grown quite popular in most recent years. Probably the most common form of artificial gemstone is the cubic zirconia, a synthetic diamond that is composed of a material known as zirconium oxide.

The wish to make and own synthetic jewels is typically a result of the real things' cost. Real diamonds are a bit more costly than their fake counterparts yet have a lot of the same desirable features.

These items are found in areas all over the world, with some producing more than others. Gems such as Aquamarine and Opal are predominantly found in mountain regions and Australian fields.

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