This is the gemstone that is not a stone at all.

Amber is not really a gemstone. It is the fossilized resin from ancient fir trees. This is actually apparent if you heat it a little bit, you will smell pine. Just imagine walking through a pine forest and rubbing the tree bark, your hands get very sticky with wet resin. That is what amber is..

The origin of Amber goes back millions of years. Amber resin is from trees, that went solid then became fossilized… over many, many thousands of years. Around 45 million years ago, pine trees in the Baltic regions, the Scandinavian countries… discharged resins. The resin eventually found it’s way to the oceans where it fossilized. Then much later it was brought to the surface by glaciers and deposited on the land, where it has been found since that time.

Rare Baltic Amber

Rare Baltic Amber

Amber amulets and talismans have been found in stone age excavations, it has been loved for centuries because of it’s color and calming influence.

Amber occurs in a range of different colors. As well as the usual yellow-orange-brown that is associated with the color “amber”, amber itself can range from a whitish color through a pale lemon yellow, to brown and almost black. Other uncommon colors include red amber (sometimes known as “cherry amber”), green amber, and even blue amber, which is rare and highly sought after.

The oldest amber found is over 125 million years old and was discovered in Lebanon.This type of amber has become known as Jurassic amber.

Quite often insects have been found embedded in amber. In August 2012, two mites preserved in amber were determined to be the oldest animals ever to have been found in the substance; the mites are 230 million years old and were discovered in north-eastern Italy.

Amber jewelry has been worn for centuries and was once only worn by nobility,as it was not affordable for the masses. When being made into modern jewelery, amber is heated to deepen color and add “sun spangles”

It is used in teething rings and has a great calming influence producing a positive effect on the heart, kidneys and nervous system.

Baltic amber, usually the best quality is not used for teething rings but when worn against your skin warming with body heat will reduce pain. that is because it contains succinic acid, a natural analgesic and healing agent.

It is also thought to bring good luck.. You can even wear your amber in the swimming pool.

The problem with amber it is very easy to fake. So be aware of what you are buying. One way to test the authenticity of your amber is to drop it into some water. Real amber floats, plastic does not, although these days I am sure modern imitations will probabaly float. Not too helpful.

Here is also a note from “www.greencrafts.com”

“Natural amber for jewelry is never cut to a regular shape – it is only tumbled and polished on surface. These tumbled pieces are called “chips” and have various irregular shapes. Holes may be drilled in them to create a necklace. Any amber piece with a regular, unnatural, geometric shape is a pressed piece.
Pressed amber commonly exhibits the so called “sun spangles” or “fish scales” – round fissures that are residues of trapped water or air bubbles which have collapsed under pressure at elevated temperature. Natural amber can exhibit also some fissure-like imperfections, but there are much less and they are less “glistening”. ”

*** Sources: Wikipedia, mindat.org, “Colored Gemstones” by Antoinette Matlins, and greencrafts.com

 

 

** Great place to shop for all kinds of Gemstone Beads

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Discovered in Greenland in 1896, Hackmanite is a vibrant pink variety of sodalite,
This unusual stone faded to colorless when brought to light. it returns to it’s original color when left in the dark for an extended period of time, or when exposed to short wave ultraviolet light. This ability is called tenebrescence or reverse photochromism. (This is what happens to eyeglasses that darken or lighten when exposed to different lighting.)

This variety of sodalite was named Hackmanite after Axel Hackman, a Finnish geologist with the University of Helsinki.

What I find fascinating about Hackmanite is that the color change in hackmanite found in Quebec and Greenland changes from pink or violet to white, yet the Hackmanite found in Afghanistan and Myanmar changes from creamy white to pink, red or violet in sunlight! It reverses….why is that??  When heated though, you kill the color change altogether.

 

Blue and pink hackmanite

Natural colors in the dark

Researching Hackmanite I got a little side tracked, wondering what causes the color change in some minerals but not in others. Apparently something called F-Centers are the cause.

An F-Center is a defect in an ionic lattice (a structure of millions of atomic formations of an ionic substance, structured like building blocks into a three dimensional formation.(Wiki answers) This defect occurs when an anion leaves as a neutral species,leaving a cavity and a negative charge behind. (An anion is an atom that has gained electrons. Since they now have more electrons than protons, anions have a negative charge.They are termed so because they get attracted towards the anode or positive electrode (Thanks wikipedia) The negative charge left behind is shared by neighboring positive charges in the lattice.
In Hackmanite it is believed that some of the negatively charged chlorine atoms are missing,allowing free electrons to become trapped in the vacancies. This the basis of the F-Center. In Hackmanite this center asorbs green, yellow and orange light as well as some amounts of blue. There we have the cause of the various shades of Hackmanite and the fading results.

Got carried away with the chemistry lessons, sorry about that. The more you study natural things the more wonderful and fascinating the world becomes.

Hackmanite is the higher vibration of sodalite so all healing and spiritual qualities are considered to be much stronger, especially in the throat and third eye chakra, accelerating intuition and clairvoyant abilities.

Resources: Wipedia, Wiki answers, gemology online, Mindat.org

 **A place for gemstones and jewelry making…..**

 

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The Gemstone “Jasper”

After a long sabbatical from my gemstone blog, I am back to my research into gemstones.

 “Jasper” is a very interesting gemstone that I’ve just been introduce to.  Jewelry made from this is extra beautiful.
Being such a touchy stone to work with, it is amazing what craftsmen have done with it.

“Jasper” is a variety of quartz, but is put in it’s own category because of  the unique structure of veins and splotches.
The word jasper  is from the Greek language meaning “spotted stone”. In ancient times the word referred to green, transparent stones.

Modern jasper is very different today.  It is a dense stone with up to 20% inclusion (foreign material) that make up its color, streaks,blotches and grainy appearance.

This jasper is found in Egypt, Australia, Brazil, India, Canada, Russia, Uruguay, United States and still more countries…
It is not an easy stone to work with as it tends to crack along the layers of veins.
It is often called “blood jasper”  or “Bloodstone”  but I have just found out that “bloodstone” is a totally different gemstone,although the colors are much the same.

Jasper is found in a variety of colors. From yellow,brown or green blended to fine grained black and pink to light red and cloudy. There are at least 50 varieties, each having it’s own coloration.

Poppy Jasper

One of the most sought after types is “picture Jasper”. This gemstone actually comes out of the ground  with markings resembling trees or landscape scenes. At present “Biggs Jasper” is the most common source.  It is found in Oregon, USA.  You can visit Biggs Junction, Oregon and see picture junction being mined, with a little help you can pick some yourself.

Picture Jasper is petrified mud that has dripped into gas pockets of molten lava ( as the earth was formed) then solidifying  creating the unusual veined patterns.

In modern literature jasper is assigned to the planet Mars, in the Zodiac it belongs to Aries and it is also the state rock of Massachusetts USA.

In ancient times the stone was thought to bring rain.  It also was the protector against spiders and snakes. Even now there are as many positive powers given to the gemstone as there are varieties.

 

***A place for gemstones and jewelry making….***

**Research:  Online: wikipedia  Offline: “Colored Gemstones” by Antoinette Matlins and “Gemstones of the World” by Walter Shuman as well as information picked up at a marvelous little store here in Guelph. called “Harmony”

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A unique variety of Opal found in only one place in the entire world – Opal,Butte, Oregon. When faceted it flashes dusky blue-violet or yellow-orange.  In some pendants, it is transparent, resembling an underwater scene.

Oregon Opal inspires imagination, rediscovery of self, joy and peace!! This is high quality gem grade material. One of my personal favorites!

Opal has been known for many years to be an emotional body stone, thought of as flowing water, because it is amorphous (with out crystal structure).

Resource “The Fossil Cartel Inc”  http://www.fossilcartel.com

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Ammonites are the ancient equivalent to the modern-day chambered Nautilus. These sea faring squids built a chambered shell in which they would pump air into the empty chambers and float at different levels of the ocean in search of food. This unique ability to float at different depths of the ocean is what inspired Jules Vern (the famous science fiction writer) to call the first submarine the Nautilus. Ammonites lived approximately 400 million years ago.

Source:  http://www.brenardine.com/fossil-jewelry.htm

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Note:  Nov.2013 – Pandora has a new group of gemstone charms called “The Essence Collection”  The video alone is worth looking at.  Check it out and enjoy.  http://www.pandora.net

Imagine the conversations among your friends when you create your
own beautiful Pandora Bracelets with precious or semi-precious
gemstones.

 

Pandora is perhaps known best for its bourgeois twist on the
classic charm bracelet, introduced in 2000.

Pandora bracelets have a patented threading system that allows
charms to be placed, added and rearranged. Pandora has created
more than 800 handcrafted charms, available in sterling silver,
14k gold and murano glass, sometimes with semi-precious stones or
precious gems. Other accessories for the bracelets include spacers
and clips, which secure the loose beads in place and prevent them
from falling off the bracelet when it is opened. It also helps
with the distribution of weight allowing for minimal stretching.
One must screw each bead onto a small section at the beginning of
the bracelet and across two small fixed threads along the
bracelet. This allows for the separation of beads, creation of
patterns and prevents the beads from falling off. A safety chain
can also be used to prevent charms falling off and allow for extra
security and makes it easier to apply the bracelt onto a person’s
wrist.

In 2008, Pandora introduced “LovePods,” jewelry made of 18k gold
and gemstones such as diamonds, amethyst, peridot, citrine, spinel
and topaz. (Wikipedia)

Why not use precious stones and create your own Love Pods.

http://www.pandora.net

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A woman is suspected to be behind theft of jewellery worth 1.70 lakhs from a Thane shop. Police is investigating the case on the basis of cctv footage.

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It has been hacked out of the earth, cut, polished and bought and sold along the way — to finally be shown in all its glory. These bits of mineral formation from the mines of South Africa, Burma, Brazil, Colombia, Russia or Canada have now arrived — on the red carpet, at gem exhibits and at the premier shops around the world. They are admired, and ultimately bought and shown off, although the mammoth diamond mining concern DeBeers says the current diamond market will depend on the U.S. economy — now struggling. The U.S. is the largest diamond jewelry market in the world. Nevertheless, throughout history precious stones have meant something and still do. VOA's Sonja Pace has this final segment of our series.

Leave a reply


A woman is suspected to be behind theft of jewellery worth 1.70 lakhs from a Thane shop. Police is investigating the case on the basis of cctv footage.

Leave a reply


It has been hacked out of the earth, cut, polished and bought and sold along the way — to finally be shown in all its glory. These bits of mineral formation from the mines of South Africa, Burma, Brazil, Colombia, Russia or Canada have now arrived — on the red carpet, at gem exhibits and at the premier shops around the world. They are admired, and ultimately bought and shown off, although the mammoth diamond mining concern DeBeers says the current diamond market will depend on the U.S. economy — now struggling. The U.S. is the largest diamond jewelry market in the world. Nevertheless, throughout history precious stones have meant something and still do. VOA's Sonja Pace has this final segment of our series.

Leave a reply