AMETHYST
Amethyst is a transparent purple quartz. Origin of name from the Greek -amethystos- "not drunken". Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness. Greek legend tells the story of a maiden Amethystos who was pursued a drunken god called Dionysus. She prayed to the goddess Artemis to remain chaste. The goddess granted her prayer, transforming her into a white stone. Filled with remorse Dionysus cried tears of wine over the stone turning it purple.
Different localities can produce a unique amethyst to that particular region or even to that particular mine. It is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries. Very dark amethyst, mostly in small sizes, is also mined in Australia.
Colour : the colour range varies from pale lilac to deep purple.
Hardness: 7
AQUAMARINE
Aquamarine belongs to the gemstone family of Beryls. Origin of name Latin "aqua"meaning water and "mar"sea. Legend has it that Mermaids tails were made of aquamarine. Aquamarine is usually free of inclusions and possesses a superior brilliance. The more intense the colour of an Aquamarine, the higher its value.The principle supply of aquamarine stones comes from Brazil, Russia, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan 
Colour : pale blue to light greenish
Hardness: 7.5-8
CITRINE
Citrine is a form of quartz with ferric iron impurities and is rarely found naturally. Origin of name from the French word "citron" meaning lemon. Also called citrine quartz. Most commercial citrine is in fact heat treated amethyst or smoky quartz. Brazil is the leading producer of naturally mined citrine.
Colour: the different shades range from yellow, gold, orange brown shades of transparent quartz.
Hardness:7
N.B. Citrine and Amethyst are the exact same minerals, the only difference is the level of oxidation of the iron contained in the mineral. As this can be done artificially by heat or irradiation a large majority of Citrine sold today is heat treated amethyst. There are currently no scientific ways to determine if Citrine was changed artificially
CORAL
Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum. The hard skeleton of red coral branches is made up of mostly calcium carbonate and is durable and intensely coloured. Coral can be polished to a glassy shine. Usually deep water corals have light colour and shallow water corals have deep colour. Coral jewellery has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burials and continues to be made to the present day. Due to its softness and opacity, coral is usually cut as a cabochon or used to make beads.
Hardness:3.5
EMERALD
Emerald is a valuable Beryl that owes its colour to chromium or vanadium, which make it the bright green. Origin of name emerald is said to be a Sanskrit word meaning green (Sanskrit is a classical language of India). Emeralds can have many inclusions and flaws so can be brittle and liable to break.The value of an emerald depends on cut, colour, clarity and carat. Clear stones with vibrant colour command the highest prices. It is found in Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, East Africa, India, Madagascar and Columbia, at this point in time the best emeralds come from Colombia.
Colour: Emeralds come in many shades of green and bluish green.
Hardness: 7.5-8
N.B. Many emeralds are treated to hide surface-reaching breaks and improve transparency.
GARNET
Garnets are nesosilicates. 0rigin of name: from ancient Greeks as colour reminded them of the pomegranate seed or granatum. Garnets do not show cleavage (the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite planes, creating smooth surfaces) so when they fracture under stress, sharp irregular pieces are formed. Because the chemical composition of garnet varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. The harder species are often used for abrasive purposes. It is found in the regions of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Spain.
Colour: virtually all colours
Hardness:6-7.5
 
 
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