Gemstones: 11 Surprising Facts About Gemstones

Gemstones have captivated human fascination for centuries, their vibrant colors and unique properties making them highly prized and sought after. While many people are familiar with popular gemstones like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, there are countless others that boast intriguing characteristics. In this article, we will explore 11 surprising facts about gemstones that may leave you marveling at the wonders of the Earth's geological treasures.

1-Gemstone From Outer Space: Peridot is one of the few gemstones known to be found not only on Earth but also in meteorites from outer space! Peridots have a lime green color and were once called "evening emeralds" because their green hue was sometimes mistaken for emeralds under artificial light.

2-Alexandrite Changes Color: Alexandrite is a truly unique gemstone prized for its color-changing properties. It appears green in daylight but can transform to a reddish-purple hue under incandescent light. This remarkable characteristic makes alexandrite a truly fascinating and collectible gem.

Facts About Gemstones

Facts About Gemstones

3-Diamonds Are the Hardest Gemstone: Diamonds are renowned for their brilliance and durability. They are the hardest natural substance on Earth, scoring a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This makes them highly resistant to scratches and abrasions.

4-The Softest Gemstone: Amber, a fossilized tree resin, is the softest gemstone. It's so light it can even float in salt water!

5-Garnet Gets Its Name From A Fruit: Garnets are not named for the color red, but instead for the resemblance they share with pomegranate seeds. The word "garnet" comes from the Latin word "garanatus," which means "seedlike."

6-Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone: Tanzanite, a beautiful blue-violet gemstone, was only discovered in the 1960s near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and it's become increasingly popular since then. Due to its limited geographic location, tanzanite is considered quite rare.

7-Pearls are the only gemstones that are formed by living creatures. They are created by oysters and other mollusks as a way to protect themselves from irritants.

8-Garnets are not just red. They come in a wide variety of colors, including green, orange, yellow, and even black.

9-Diamonds are not the rarest gemstones. In fact, several other gemstones, such as alexandrite, taaffeite, and painite, are much rarer.

10-The world's largest collection of gemstones is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The National Gem Collection includes over 25,000 specimens, representing every continent and every major gemstone variety.

11-Opals are not actually crystals, but amorphous solids. This means their atoms are not arranged in a regular, repeating pattern, unlike true crystals like diamonds or sapphires.

Extra Fact

Gemstone Treatments and Enhancements: Many gemstones undergo treatments and enhancements to improve their color, clarity, or durability. Common treatments include heat treatment, irradiation, and fracture filling. While these processes can enhance the beauty of gemstones, it's essential for buyers to be aware of any treatments when making a purchase.

In conclusion, the world of gemstones is as diverse and fascinating as the stones themselves. From their ancient connections to celestial bodies to their surprising transformations, gemstones continue to captivate us with their timeless allure and mystique.

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