Coral color ranges from white to red. It grows in branches that look like underwater trees.
Beautiful coral jewelry is made and worn in many parts of the world. Most coral is found in the Mediterranean Sea or in the
Pacific. The most valuable colors of coral are red, black, and pink which is known as angel skin coral. Coral in the form
of coral stone and gold jewelry is among the most ancient of gem materials. Coral jewelry has been made in many parts of the
world and used for adornment since prehistoric times. Coral inlays and coral jewelry have been found from the Iron Age
and it has a history of religious significance.
Tibetan Lamas use coral rosaries and it is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures. Coral
jewelry worn against the skin was long thought to be powerful talisman that could stop bleeding, protect from evil spirits,
and ward of hurricanes.
Amber, which is fossilized pine tree sap, is like an ancient antique from historical times. Demand is especially strong
for amber with insects captured inside. "Amber is like a time capsule made and placed in the earth by nature herself," said
David Federman, author of The Consumer Guide to Colored Gemstones. "It has helped paleontologists reconstruct life on earth
in its primal phases. More than 1,000 extinct species of insects have been identified in amber."
The two main sources
of amber on the market today are the Baltic states and the Dominican Republic. Amber from the Baltic states is older, and
therefore preferred on the market, but amber from the Dominican Republic is more likely to have insect inclusions. Prices
of amber can range from $20 to $40,000 or more.
Fortunately for new amber enthusiasts, amber from the Baltic states
is more available on the market than in previous years due to the liberalization of the economies of eastern Europe and the
former Soviet Union. The largest mine in the Baltic region is in Russia, west of Kaliningrad.
Baltic amber is found in
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia, and occasionally washed up on the shores of the Baltic Sea as far away as Denmark,
Norway, and England. Other amber sources include Myanmar (formerly Burma), Lebanon, Sicily, Mexico, Romania, Germany, and
The turquoise is ancient, yet again and again it finds itself back in fashion. Its shining sky blue is one of the most
popular trend colours in the world of jewellery and fashion.
In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone
has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy stone, a bringer of good fortune or a talisman. It really does have the
right to be called a 'gemstone of the peoples'. The oldest evidence for this claim was found in Egypt, where grave furnishings
with turquoise inlay were discovered, dating from approximately 3000 B.C.. In the ancient Persian kingdom, the sky-blue gemstones
were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death. If they changed colour, the wearer was thought
to have reason to fear the approach of doom. Meanwhile, it has been discovered that the turquoise certainly can change colour,
but that this is not necessarily a sign of impending danger. The change can be caused by the light, or by a chemical reaction
brought about by cosmetics, dust or the acidity of the skin.
Turquoise is a copper aluminium
phosphate. considerably softer than quartz. In Nature, it occurs in the whole range of hues from sky blue to grey-green, and
it is mostly found in places where there is a high concentration of copper in the soil. However, turquoise is only really
turquoise in the very best quality; mostly, the colour is paler, or bluish-green or greenish. The blue colour is created by
copper, the green by bivalent iron and a certain amount of chrome. Often, the material has veins or blotches running through
it, which are brown, light grey or black depending on where it was found. These lively, more or less regular patterns are
known as 'turquoise matrix'. The crystals are microscopically small and can hardly ever be recognised with the naked eye.
As a rule, turquoise occurs as a fillung in veins or crevices, or in the form of nuggets. The most well known deposits are
in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The most beautiful turquoises, in a splendid light blue, come from
deposits in the north of Iran.