A look at Prominent Diamond Cuts since 13th Century

Going back to the 12th century, we will find the first instances of how diamond cutting became a trade of respectable position in the society. As royal families and noblemen began to showcase their pomp and glory through silk and gemstones, diamond slowly began to raise its head as one of the most precious items of collection in the treasury. The first diamonds were cut in manner that resembles the modern Point Cut. We are not talking about the trend in the year 1970, but in 1287. 

Here are some truly antiquated diamond cuts that still retain their place in modern day gem cutting trends.

Natural Points

Diamonds that crystallised in octahedral and do-decahedral crystal lattices are left uncut. These are natural crystals and have remained so for millennia. Before America and Australia were discovered and conquered, the only source of diamonds was the Indian sub-continent. A Point Cut diamond is actually a misnomer as there are no tools involved in the machining. 

Pyramidal Point Cut

Grinding became a regular gem cutting and polishing technique, especially after 15th century. Big diamonds were smoothened and polished without taking away their size. Out of multiple girdle profiles, a lapidary artist would choose the one with the largest contour in diamonds. Diamonds have always carried the charm of bestowing magical and healing effects on the person wearing them. Keeping them untouched and natural was no longer a fashionable trend. Hence, slight polishing using Pyramidal Point Cuts made at shallow planes compared to natural points became more popular. 

The Burgundian Point Cut

Burgundian Point Cut is preferred for diamonds with dodecahedral crystals structure. This crystal lattice has many irregularities and requires intensive polishing. The dodecahedron crystal is aligned in a way that the four faces seem as if rising upwards. 

Table Cuts

A remarkable refreshing cutting pattern, diamonds were first cut in Table Cut using diamond dust itself! The first Table Cut diamond was shaped like alphabet “M”. It was probably the first engagement ring ever gifted. Not to forget, before Rose Cut diamond became the symbol of love and romance, Table Cuts were the fashionable items.

Old Mine Cushion Cuts

Europeans dug out new sources of diamond gemstone. Amazon and Sahara became the diamond potboilers for traders. The new cutting models for vibrant diamonds beads meant embracing an indigenous gem shaping technique. Old Mine Cushion Cut took birth in the 18th century bearing an uncanny resemblance to what we know as Modern Brilliant Cut. They gave birth to the aristocratic cuts like marquise cut/navette cut.

Old Mine Cushion Cut was produced using bruting machine powered by steam, and later motors. English Round Cuts were born from the improvements in diamond bruting machines, some of which produced 58 flawless facets in a single diamond gemstone!

Asscher Cut 

Named after the world renowned gem cutters, the Asscher Brothers of Holland (they cut the world’s largest diamond- Cullinan), this is very similar to what we call Square Emeralds bearing large facets, small table and an elongated crown.

The World of Diffusion Sapphire Gemstone

Sapphires can be artificially treated in labs in many ways. One of the most prolific technologies to produce these gemstones is lattice diffusion. So let us do a quick review on the lattice diffusion sapphires.

What is lattice diffusion after all?

Lattice diffusion is a commercial gemstone treatment process that involves use of heat and chemical agents to diffuse the ingredients into a gemstone so that it will change colours as per requirement. The best part of using this technology is that gemstones of any colour can be produced. Sapphire gemstone showcasing myriad colours like vibrant red, fiery purple, electrifying blue, silky yellow and pitch dark blacks are produced using diffusion through the crystal structure.

In some cases, sapphire beads are treated with lattice diffusion that can have shallow embeds of colours superficially exhibited on the surface. In others, the colours can penetrate deep into the very core. It all depends on the conditions and impurities already present in the crystal structure that interact with each other randomly during diffusion.

Is lattice diffusion for sapphire legal?

Heat treatment is a legal and accepted technique used on sapphires and rubies. Lattice diffusion however, require regulation from top gem laboratories and trade organizations as far as production and selling are concerned. Lattice diffusion, in no way, adds monetary value to the gemstone. It only improves the brilliance and clarity with a more consistent appearance. 

It is legal, and is very different from the process of dyeing and stabilizing. The molecules added to the crystal structure can’t be detected even under the most powerful microscope. Hence, a gemstone dealer has to necessarily produce a certificate labelling the stone with lattice diffusion.

Types of diffusion methods 

 

Apart from lattice diffusion, certain gemstones are also treated using Surface Diffusion and Pipe or Channel Diffusion.

Surface diffusion

It is the addition of natural colouring elements like iron, copper, titanium and chromium to the shallow surface of a gemstone during heat treatment. 

It is sued largely on corundum and silica-based gemstones after cutting is done.  

The colour penetration is usually less than 30%.

It is done at melting point of the element so that it diffuses evenly into the crystal up to a depth of 1 millimetre. 

Surface diffusion is done for blue sapphire beads and rubies. Colour obtained on a gemstone using the surface diffusion could be lost due to re-polishing, scratching or resetting.

Channel Diffusion

Also called as pipe diffusion, this heat treatment technique is applicable to feldspar and Labradorite gemstones. It is done using copper as the diffusing element. The diffusion occurs along the channels and can be easily detected under microscope. 

Identification of surface and channel diffusion sapphires is done by studying the bands and zones running parallel to the crystal facet.

Unlike the gemstones that are heat treated using chemical dyes and fillers, those produced using lattice diffusion are relatively sturdy and long lasting. They cost a little less than other varieties but exhibit the same brilliance and clarity. Moreover, they are easier to machine and cut.

 

How to identify the treated and untreated Sapphire gemstones

In gemstone market, it is very hard to find an untreated piece because of the lack of interest from the buyers. Untreated sapphire gemstone is often mistakenly referred to as natural. The treatment process has nothing to do with the origin of the gemstone in any way. Lapidary units create eloquent sapphire gemstones using elaborate treatments. 

Let us find the real differences between the two families. 

Untreated gemstone

The stone that has been developed from the ground and never cut or polished in any way in a lab is labelled as ‘natural’. When the natural stone is not subjected to any chemical or heat treatment, it qualifies as an untreated gemstone. 

Heat treatment, optical irradiation and chemical treatments are done on various gemstones to achieve brilliant colours, clarity and some times better refractive index. Sometimes, a treated natural gemstone is easier to cut and polish than the untreated ones due to better clarity and machining properties.

What happens in gemstone treatment process?

All stones available in the market are subjected to treatments in some form or the other. Heat treatment process changes the colour and clarity. It is during this process that additives and glue are added to fill cavities, fractures and cracks. 

How to identify a pure gemstone?

Gemstone buyers should know certain tell-tale signs to identify 100% pure and natural stones. Regardless of the tag, here are some of the signs you can check to verify the claim of authenticity.

1. Naked eye test 

A true natural stone will reflect light and exhibit lustre. There are many stones that have a dull, waxy and shiny surface. There are some with greasy and silky appearance. High quality stones will reveal rings, stepped granules, splinters and sometimes clear waves inside them. Any polarised chipping in the stone highlights its synthetic origin.

2. Hardness and clarity

Most gemstones have hardness close to diamond. They can’t be scratched or cracked easily. Artificial gemstones, bordering at being fake, are created in the lab and resemble glass. A gemstone from natural treated family will have pure clarity and no cracks. In case of fake artificially treated stones, you can clearly see speckles and minute cracks within the structure arising due to intense heat and pressure

3. Density 

Original stones even after heat treatment will retain their density. Synthetic stones that are subjected to heat treatment gain a few points and actual weigh heavier than the natural stones. This is how lapidary and stone collectors verify Blue sapphire gemstone.

4. Crystal layers

Most gemstones from the natural deposits have a parallel layer running inside the surface. This is what gives the stone its saturation and intensity. For warm coloured stones, look for brown tinge. Reject the stone if you see even the dullest shade of greyness.

The colouring dyes and reinforcing agents diffuse completely throughout the crystal structure uniformly. Some heat treatments produce dramatically altered gemstones that not only look brilliant but also compound the original hardness.

How to identify a genuineAquamarine gemstone

Aquamarine is blue green gemstone cut in variety of shapes. Cabochon, Fancy and Emerald step-cut are popular among the gem cutters, who cater to the demand of the art galleries and collectors from across the world. But are Aquamarines worth the attention they get in the gem market? 

Here is how you can find and authenticate a genuine Aquamarine and stay clear from disputes.

1. Heat treatment for colour enhancement 

Aquamarine gemstones are heat treated to enhance the colours and impress the consistency. Many untreated aquamarines are also available in the market, but they exhibit translucency and opacity to a certain degree. High quality Aquamarine gemstones are identified by their lighter shades, which means they may not have been heat treated. The stones heat treated to 450 degrees centigrade are often found to have darker shades, but may not be a high quality beryl.

Note: Aquamarines heated beyond a specific high temperature lead to irreversible discolouration. Thus the spectrum of authenticity is very small as far as gems heat treatment range is concerned.

2. Is an aquamarine only blue in colour? 

Aquamarines fall in the category of clear blue and clear green beryl family. The coloured Aquamarine and Chrysoberyl resemble very closely to each other. The colourless variety is called Goshenite, but is now tagged as colourless beryl.

3. Specific Gravity is higher than other stones 

Aquamarines are heavier than other gems. The stones extracted from Latin American mines have a specific gravity ranging between 2.66 and 2.80. The ones mined from Asia and African mines have higher density due to greater presence of alkali ions. 

Gems are immersed in liquids with higher density and the results are noted. Whether the gemstone floats or sinks into the liquid decides the authenticity of Aquamarine. 

4. Refractive indices 

Aquamarines beads have a refractive index ranging between 1.572 and 1.590. It exhibits a brilliant and unhindered impression when exposed to white light.The originality of the stone is established by placing it under Refractometer. Here are different optical phenomena observed in the real Aquamarine. 

Pleochroism

Aquamarines can exhibit colour dichroism owing to the presence of more than one colouring ions like chromium, iron and copper. The strength of the colour depends on the percentage of the ions. Birefringence can range between 0.005 and 0.008, which represents the saturation of the colour.

 

Iridescence 

Conchoidal fracture in Aquamarine can cause rainbow effect. It is caused due to diffraction combined with interference. 

The Cat’s Eye effect

Aquamarine exhibits chatoyancy due to the presence of rutile in the crystal structure. Rutile is composed of titanium dioxide and can be found in traces in gemstone families like quartz, beryl, chrysoberyl, charoite, tourmaline, feldspar, Labradorite, moonstone, apatite and tourmaline.

Asterism 

Asterism in Aquamarines is a rare phenomenon, but not an exception. Polished, untreated Aquamarines from Brazil show 4-ray star patterns sparingly.

There are different closely linked beryl gems that can be confused with Aquamarine. Study the colour and the crystal lattice under a microscope for further verification.

Exotic Purple Gems Come From Amethyst Treatment

A rousing gemstone in its purple brilliance, amethyst is one of the key items used in jewellery. Essentially quartz, amethyst gemstones is derived from Greek, which translates to “protected from intoxication”. Its natural colour ranges from light pink to deep overtones of purple, often resembling pigeon’s blood. 

In the market, finding a brilliant purple amethyst gemstone from natural deposits is almost impossible. Amethyst gemstones are produced abundantly from the mines of Brazil, to be precise, at Minas Gerais. A place in South Brazil that is revered for its rich paleontological importance, the mines produce largest deposits of the Sobriety Stone. 

In order to exaggerate the light shaded amethyst stones produced from mines elsewhere other than Brazil, the gems are treated synthetically. The colour and the properties attained after undergoing the treatments remain irreversible. 

Why is Amethyst Purple?

Amethyst is quartz with iron and aluminium impurities impregnated in the structure. Closest siblings to amethyst are Golden citrine and Ametrine.

Here are different amethyst treatments and the effect they have on their commercial value and pricing.

Heating

The finest quality of amethyst stones exhibits a strongly reddish purple to light pink with zero zoning on them. Gem dealers prefer to display only amethyst stones with saturated reddish purple with a bright radiance. Natural dark amethyst may look blackish when observed in dim lights.

This is where heat treatment is brought into the picture. Very dark amethyst gemstones are gased in high temperatures to lighten the shade. When done in controlled temperatures, gem manufacturers actually manage to produce light but more saturated shades. 

Heating is done at 400 degrees to produce astonishingly stable shades of royal purple. It causes tiny inclusions due to expansion of fractures already existing in the crystal structure. The process imparts a permanent colour that will last forever. All dramatic coloured amethysts have undergone heat treatment at some point of their life.

Irradiation

Sometimes when amethyst gems are not available in the market as per demand, the lapidary takes irradiation as a primary course to produce synthetic amethysts. Commonly, synthetic gemstones are made to resemble amethyst by bombarding Yellow Citrine with Gamma rays. The iron oxide particles in the crystal structure of yellow citrine re-oxidize to give it a natural looking purple shade. 

The advantages of using irradiation process to produce marketable amethyst gemstone beads are:

100% reversible process, if not subjected to heat treatment

Cheaper process if done for bulk orders

A large variety of stones can be used to produce amethyst under lab conditions 

Amethyst Treatment 

Amethyst is seldom subjected to heat treatment. The transformation of amethyst gemstones yield Vermarine or Prasiolite, as it is known more commonly in the market. Natural looking Brazilian amethysts turn to the green-coloured vermarine, at a temperature ranging between 800 to 1350 degrees. 

Treated amethyst is cut in rounds and ovals, and hardly in cabochon. Calibrated sizes of amethyst can be shaped in exotic patterns resembling hearts, trillions and shields. Ornamental carvings made of amethyst retain their shade and physical brilliance much longer.

The Story Behind the Irradiation of Gemstones

Different gemstones exhibit a varied reaction to different types of treatments. One of the most popularly used treatments to produce brilliant gemstone is the process of irradiation. Light blue topaz gemstone turns into dark brown after radiation. The same brown topaz gemstone is reversed to its original blue colour by exposing it to a controlled heat treatment under specific conditions of temperature, pressure and catalysts. 

What is irradiation?

Irradiation is just a miniature controlled nuclear attack on the gemstones. Imagine the crystal structure as the target, and a series of gamma ray bombs hit specific spots inside the gemstone. The bombardment of the gamma rays alters the colour of the gemstone significantly, without actually making little or no difference to other physical aspects like hardness or density.

Irradiation can lead to both addition and removal of certain ingredients in the structure leading to change in hue. There are certain colour centres within the crystal structure that give different shades when bombarded with gamma rays. That is why irradiation of gemstones is achieved not by trial and error, but using specific nuclear kits.

Does irradiation cause any kind of damage to the precious gemstone?

Basically, the process of irradiation is a great way to produce brilliant gemstones from rather disappointingly dull stones using no physical force. When the gamma rays hit the colour centres within the crystal structure, the cells are knocked out in a random motion. The systematic process of irradiation can produce brilliant colours which are permanently restored and made more attractive by exposing the stone to heat and pressure.

Is irradiation a permanent process?

The fact that gemstones irradiated using gamma rays are produced under intense temperature makes them a permanent item to wear. The colour is long sustaining and can possibly be reversed to its original shade by applying an equally high bounty of energy. It is certainly an irreversible colour transformation process as far as irradiated gemstones like topaz are concerned.

Is irradiation a costly affair?

Of course it is! Otherwise, all the blue topaz available in the market would look like brown speckled stones with absolutely no commercial viability. Almost 95 percent of the blue topaz are irradiated and treated with heat before they get their signature shade. 

Irradiation is done using highly powerful nuclear bombardment machines that cost millions. Only organizations having certificate to operate a nuclear machine can use it. Moreover, it requires skilled gemologists and operators who understand both aspects of gemstone properties and nuclear physics.

Thus, the cost of irradiation of gemstone is a pricey affair. But it ensures that the end consumers get only high quality gemstone produced from natural extracts and polished by skilled professionals.

Are there certificates to tag irradiated stones?

Yes, there are different certifications offered across all continents to ensure gem quality. It also ensures that none of the gemstones have turned radioactive. The major certifying units are GIA, AGS and other renowned gemstone research labs. 

 

A look into popular Lapis Lazuli Gemstone

Lapis lazuli Gemstone is known as a popular gemstone for a long time, and it is popular even today. These can be converted into jewelries, beads and carvings. The gemstone is attractive with its bright blue color, which can even be used in cosmetics and paintings. The eye appeal and contrast created by this stone is superb. Today, its jewelry is very common, and in most cases it is embedded in silver metal. Apart from women, these are also used as jewels of men. The stone has a tough nature and comes with an excellent polish. Anyone fascinated with gemstones also love this gem.

The Value Of The Stone:

The color of the stone is one of the most noticeable and distinguishing factor in the stone. The deep blue shade comes with violent tones. At times, these can also be found with uniform specimens that can attain a smooth and polished surface. Inclusions of calcites often lower the value of the stone. On the other hand, pyrite inclusions can enhance the value. The quality of polish is a great factor in determining the overall value of the stone. 

Availability Of Synthetics:

Today, many large jewelry stores offer the synthetic version of the stone. While some are with pyrite, others do not contain any pyrite. It is true that these synthetics are modern inventions, yet the imitations can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian history. These are also available in artifacts with blue paints and glass backs and are carved in blue ceramic materials. This was an attempt to imitate the original stone. 

On the other hand, the stimulants of the modern era include anything from glass, enamel, plastic and various dyed gems like jasper and howlite. In this context, it is important to remember that sodalite is the only natural gemstone available in larger sizes. It is deep blue enough to convince the look of a lapis simulant.

Determining The Natural Stone:

It is often seen that acid testing is done to the stone in order to determine whether the stone is natural. A drop of hydrochloric acid on the stone will release the gas of H2S, and this will indicate whether lapis is natural or a synthetic version. On the other hand, streak testing is also done and the natural specimen of lapis will leave behind a light blue streak. Both these types of tests should be conducted only by a professional gemologist. 

Sizes And Care:

The rough blocks of lapis that come in fine color can be over the weight of 100 kg. These are mainly found in Afghanistan. The stone has the hardness of about 5-6 inches. Therefore, when it is converted into jewelry, it requires appropriate care. It is widely used in bracelets and rings. By choosing a protective setting, it can be used for occasional wearing. At times, it might even require periodic re-polishing. Soft brush and a mild soap are recommended for cleaning the stone. Make sure that you avoid mechanical cleaning with chemical solvents.      

Tsavorite Gemstone: 10 Things You Must Know

There are a lot of people that know this stone by its original name – Grossular Garnet. Tsavorite is nothing but a trade name given to this green colored emerald that makes you fall in love with its shade. The harder you try to keep your eyes away from it, the more it attracts you to itself. There are different shapes in which this gemstone is available and you can buy one, depending upon the suggestion made to you by the gemstone expert.

But wait a minute… before you buy this beautiful emerald, there are some things that you need to know:

1) There may be several gemstones that are into healing effects for the ones who wear them, but this stone heals the best. Since it belongs to the deepest shade of green, which represents Mother Nature, you feel closer to the environment you belong to.

2) This stone has its roots in East-African history. In fact, it is one of those stones with elongated geological History. The strangest part is that, despite its fame, only a few people know about its complete history and discovery. 

3) If you are allergic to animals, this stone can help you protect from it. At times, you have to compromise with your partner, who wishes to adopt a pet or take care of a few animals that you don’t like or are allergic to. Now, with the help of this stone, you can keep your partner happy, since it would not let the allergies hamper you in any way at all.

4) This gemstone was discovered in the year 1967 and since then, it has been used by several people for is healing properties. The moment someone wishes to be positive in life, this is the stone suggested to him.

5) This beautiful green gemstone was discovered in Tanzania, first. 

6) There is not just one shade in which this gemstone is available in the market; it fades from darker to lighter shades of green. Before wearing this gemstone, you need to take the suggestion of a proper professional person, who has in and out knowledge about gemstones. 

7) This stone was discovered by Cambell R. Bridges, a British geologist. It was found in the bush between Tanzania and Kenya. 

8) There are several books on gemstones and almost all of them suggest that Tsavorite beads have the best healing properties for those who want to stay away from negativities in their lives.

9) If you want to buy this stone and wear it, you have to take its care in a good way. You can’t wear it carelessly or take it off from your skin anytime you wish to; there are certain rules that you need to follow, when it comes to protecting this stone for yourself.

10) This gemstone is one of the most expensive gemstones in the market.

Now that you know so many things about Tsavorite gemstone, go ahead and find out if it can benefit your zodiac sign!

Top Five Benefits You Didn't Know About Scapolite Gemstone

There may be several gemstones, but scapolite is one of the most commonly worn gemstones around the globe. Yellow scapolite stones are commonly seen on the fingers of different people, especially because of the kind of lustrous shine they have. The stone not only looks good on the finger of the one, who wears it, but also proves to be beneficial to him. There are several benefits of wearing this stone, but there are also some things that a lot of people don’t know about it.

Here are the top five benefits you surely didn’t know about scapolite gemstone:

1) This stone is also available in colorless shade: A lot of people believe that this stone is available in only a few colors like orange, pink, yellow and purple, but the ones, who have a deeper knowledge about minerals and stones, know that this stone is also available in crystal clear form; it is also available in colorless shade. There are many people, who are told to wear colorless Scapolite beads to reap their benefits.

2) This stone has ‘calcium:’ Believe it or not, but this stone is composed of calcium. The other minerals that this stone consists of are sodium, aluminum, chlorine, sulfate and carbonate. Even though it is difficult for people to understand the composition of this stone, the knowledgeable crowd has the idea of its composition.

3) This stone helps in improving eyesight of the one who wears it: If someone has a problem with eyesight or is unable to see clearly, he is suggested to wear this stone. It takes time for the eyesight to get healed, but thanks to the kind of powers this stone has, the one, who wears it, gets rid of his blurry eyesight. If there are some complications with his eyesight, they are kicked off with the help of this stone. Since it stays with the wearer for a long period of time, it helps in improving his eyesight and gets it back to normal. It may also help the wearer to get rid of his specs!

4) This stone has been named after the Greek word ‘Skapos:’ There are only a handful of people, who know that the name of this stone has been derived from the Greek word called Skapos, which means stem or stick. Since the size of the crystal is long and it represents a stick, it got this name. 

5) This stone helps in bringing you closer to your mind: The one, who wears Scapolite gemstone beads for a longer period of time, gets closer to his mind. It is essential for an individual to be balanced in his life, but it is not possible for all of us to have this balance. Therefore, those, who possess knowledge of gemstones, suggest a lot of people to wear scapolite stones, so that they feel closer to themselves and become more stable in their lives. This is not an ordinary stone; it is a healer!

All You Need To Know About Sillimanite Gemstone

When you talk about Sillimanite Gemstone, there are three different stones that pop into your mind. However, the most commonly observed one is Yellow in color and is circle shaped. These stones are nothing but types of aluminum silicates, which are connected to Kyanite and Andalusite. It belongs to orthorhombic crystal structure and is often found in hexagonal shape, before being shaped and fixed into rings or pendants.

But these terms can never be understood by the common individuals. Therefore, to make you understand different things related to this gemstone, here are some of the most important details that you must know about them:

Why is this stone called The Sillimanite Gemstone? 

This stone was discovered by Benjamin Silliman, who was a US geologist as well as professor. Since he is the man behind the discovery of this beautiful and rare stone, it has been named after him to let people remember him whenever they take its name.

Why do people wear such gemstones?

There is not just one benefit of wearing this stone, there are many. Some of them are:

We all go through difficulties in life; sometimes, we are so alone that we believe that there’s absolutely nobody, who can pull us out of the terrible times. However, with the help of certain stones and especially gemstones like Sillimanite, your difficulties can be healed. You gain enough strength to cope up with anything and everything that comes in your way.

If you want to improve your life, you need to get rid of all those negative energies that the others throw at you. It is simple – even if you don’t sit with negative people, you are bound to talk to different people every day; who knows which individual throws negative energies on you? Moreover, if you are a helpful person, you surely sit with different people and let them release their stress. It is a good thing to be with people, when they need you. However, it is also essential for you to get rid of the energies that they unknowingly throw at you. With the help of Sillimanite gemstone beads, you can get rid of those energies. 

Sometimes, despite all your hard efforts, you are unable to take correct decisions in your life. This is because you don’t have a clear vision about your future and you are totally confused about what to do and what not to. This is exactly where Silimanite gemstone comes into the picture to help you. It helps in clearing those mental blocks that keep you away from most of the things that you wish to do. It helps you by clearing your conscience levels and supporting you to take correct decisions in life.

If you are unable to finish tasks, this is perhaps the only stone that can help you. There are times when you are just not able to complete a task, but by wearing Silimanite beads in jewellery you not only start new things, but also finish them.