A Brief Look at Gemstones

Posted on in Jewellery Info & Advice by Jenni Franich

A gemstone is essentially a crystal that, when cut into a desirable shape or form, for instance, a bead, is used in making a range of products. The value of a gemstone largely depends on its physical properties. Although almost all gemstones are found in the form of minerals, a few – amber, for example – are used for purposes of making jewellery.

How does a gemstone reach from the mine to the jewel?

A gemstone is anything but shiny and brilliant when it is first dug out from under layers of earth. It has to go through an arduous process of being shaped before it can adorn your fingers or neck. The process of cutting and polishing of gemstones is carried by systematic abrasion using grits of harder substances. This process is called gemcutting or lapidary. Lapidary includes sawing, grinding, sanding, lapping, polishing, drilling and tumbling. An unpolished stone is said to be rough; once it is worked on, and the fragile materials are removed, it is said to be cobbed.

After being shaped to an optimum level, gemstones are categorized into groups, species, and varieties. They are also classified based on their physical properties; some of the factors considered are the particular gemstone’s refractive index, hardness, and dispersion. Another useful way of classifying them is on the basis of their water. The degree of measuring a gemstone based on its water is by its transparency; most transparent gemstones are first water, while the lesser so are second, third and so on. The better a gem scores on these parameters, the costlier it will be.

Although the most conventional way of identifying and grading a particular gemstone is by observing it meticulously, the results often show several inaccuracies. The advent of scientific gem testing labs, owing to modernized developments and advancements, has minimized the occurrence of the same. These labs provide certificates to declare the superiority or inferiority of a gemstone.

Gems and their Mystical Properties:

Gemstones are used for making a large variety of products. Most notable of these include stone carvings, engraved gems, ornaments and jewellery. In ancient and medieval times, capes, crowns and rings worn by aristocratic and royal members of dynasties and kingdoms were decorated with gemstones. Although the usage of gemstones has been, and still is, largely for decorative purposes, it also finds its value in the field of astrology. The effects of gemstones on a human body were widely studied and analyzed by astrologers and experts of the field.

When worn by a human body, gemstones affect the body through their colour and the energy vibrations they produce. These vibrations, carefully evaluated and calculated, are different for each gemstone, and are used to harmonize the negative energy imbalance created by the vibrations of the human body. The constant vibrating motion of crystals present in each stone makes its energy frequency. Their energy field is largely governed by their geometrical form and colour, among other factors.

Another branch of study, colour therapy, also relates to the adornment of particular colours, be it in the form of accessories, clothes or footwear. Colours are also used as effective psychic healing techniques. Some colours are considered lucky for particular days of the week.

Ruby, considered as one of the most valuable and effective gemstones, finds its use in a host of psychological and physiological factors, such as lack of will, receiving ill treatment from superiors, low blood pressure and lethargy. Pearl, another gem of much value, offers remedies for emotional issues. Notwithstanding its benefits, it also brings along several physical side effects, chief of which are asthma, bronchitis and other lung related diseases. Emerald is worn to improve academic proficiency and intellect.

The gemstone considered most beneficial is the sapphire. One who wears sapphire is blessed with the best in all realms and walks of life: wisdom, health, and financial superiority. Diseases such as biliousness, chronic liver complaints, gall bladder stones, diarrhoea, gastritis, ulcer, rheumatism, jaundice, insomnia, heart troubles, impotency, gout, arthritis and pain in knee joints can be remedied by wearing the stone. Associated with the planet Jupiter, it enhances vision and gives financial security. It is also used in minimizing negativity and pessimism. It should be noted that one should consult an astrologer before wearing sapphire.

Blue sapphire, however, should be advised with caution and worn with care. Although it yields favourable results, it can also bring about one’s downfall – inviting accidents and terrible misfortunes – if worn incorrectly according to the colour chart.

These were a few insights about gemstones, their procurement, and the effects they can have on human life. However, the world of gemstones is as vast as interesting. There are as many mines of knowledge as there are gems. And the knowledge about these gems is as precious as the gems themselves. So if you feel like digging deeper into the world of gems, we can assure you that there are many treasures to discover!

#John Andrew