#MineralMonday -Corundum

Oh, such a hard conundrum...I mean corundum. Corundum, a mineral, is the next hardest after diamond. Diamond is 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, while corundum is 9. It is used for grinding optical glass, polishing metals and some sandpapers and grinding wheels.

Our appreciation for this mineral pertains more to the beautiful gemstones that come from corundum, which is actually aluminum oxide and in its purest form, is colorless.

When it contains iron, it turns into a green or blue-green sapphire. 

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When the corundum contains chromium, the sapphire is pink.

The more chromium, the darker the pink, and when there is enough chromium to turn a sapphire red, it is then known as a ruby.

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Sapphires can be many other colors as well, such as yellow, other shades of green, pink, purple, orange and yellow.

Both rubies and sapphires can also be grown synthetically, in a lab. They have the exact same mineralization as those that are mined but they are without the flaws, clouds or inclusions often found in the natural gems. In other words, they are affordable and make perfect gems!

Check out our green sapphire pendant or the ruby ring in our shop. And stay tuned for more sapphire jewelry in the future.

#MineralMonday - Quartz

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You probably recognize most of the gemstones in the rings in this photo. In fact, most are quite popular and well known. The orange gems of various shades are citrine, also known as a November birthstone. The light and dark purple gemstones are amethyst, also known as February’s birthstone. The brown or grayish-brown stone is smoky quartz. And, lastly, the green gemstone is known as vermarine or prasiolite.

All of these gems have one thing in common. If you’ve already guessed it, then you know much more than I did when I first started making jewelry. All of these gemstones are quartz. My knowledge of quartz used to be limited to smoky quartz, clear quartz or rose quartz. Never had I considered amethyst, citrine or vermarine as being of the same mineralization, which is silicon dioxide.

Most of the citrine on the market is actually heat treated amethyst and so is the prasiolite (vermarine). Amethyst is found in many locations around the world, such as Brazil, East Africa, Arizona, California, Colorado and Canada. Brazil also produces some of the best citrine, although it is heat treated amethyst. Natural citrine can be found in Madagascar and Mexico, while prasiolite (vermarine) comes from a single amethyst mine in Brazil and, as mentioned, is heat treated. Smoky quartz and rose quartz are found in many locations.

This knowledge has certainly changed how I view these gemstones but it hasn’t changed my appreciation for their beauty.

Check out some of our gemstone jewelry at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Rock2Gems