Did you know that...?
Sapphires and Rubies are technically the same gemstone
That's right! They are both corundum, a mineral. What differentiates them in the industry, is their color. Red corundum is labeled "ruby", all other colors are called sapphires. The blue variety of corundum, which most people think of when you mention sapphire, is actually slightly harder than the other colors. Oh! The other colors? Well, sapphires come in every color of the rainbow - except red. When corundum is red, it is a ruby.
Your Grandma didn't own a Smoky Topaz --- and neither do you!
Wait a minute - don't get all upset. Even jewelers used to say "smoky topaz", but the stone is really smoky quartz. It is usually a greyish-brown, and makes lovely jewelry, but it was never a topaz, and no matter how many people told you so, it's just not true.
Emeralds and Aquamarines are technically the same gem - "sort-of"
Sorry to burst your bubble again, but aquamarine is the bluish variety of beryl, so named for its uncanny resemblance to the water in the ocean, and emerald is the green variety of beryl.
You can scratch glass with more gems than a diamond!
Don't let anyone con you into buying a "diamond" from them, with an impressive demonstration of how it will scratch glass. Diamonds are NOT the only gemstone that will cut glass. You can cut glass with: diamond, sapphire, ruby, topaz, citrine, cubic zirconias ( synthetic) and several other gems.
There are LOTS of beautiful gems mined in the United States of America
True, and I'll bet you'll be surprised at which ones! In our very own borders, the 50 states of the U.S., there are no less than 75 different gemstones that have been mined. We have pearls, too! Pearls are not REALLY gemstones, but they are used as gemstones in jewelry, all the same. Gems to be found in the U.S., are sapphire, emerald, diamond, alexandrite, ruby, onyx, peridot, opal, garnet, spinel, aquamarine, turquoise, tiger eye, moonstone, carnelian, amethyst, fluorite, tourmaline, lapis lazuli, and a lot more!
Baby Oil and Opals Don't Mix
I couldn't begin to tell you how many of our customers have been taught by jewelers, to put a coating of baby oil on their opals to keep them in good condition. That is totally WRONG! Bad advice, to say the least. Oil and water don't mix, and oil and opal don't mix. The oil is foreign to the nature of the opal, which has water molecules in it. To keep your opals in excellent condition, wash them with mild dishsoap and water, and occasionally give them a coating of glycerine.
Hematite looks metallic grey, but it is actually blood-red
Another anomaly of the gem kingdom, this iron oxide assuredly looks grey to the eye, but when subjected to grinding, or sliced very thin - it is RED. The ancient Greeks knew this - hence the name "hema"- tite meaning blood stone.
You CAN crush a diamond!
We all know that diamond is the hardest gemstone known to man, but did you know that you CAN chip, break, and actually crush a diamond? Due to its molecular structure and cleavage, a sudden, sharp knock against just about any surface, can chip crack, or actually crush a diamond. As durable as they are, they are brittle. Too much pressure being applied to the girdle of the stone, can also break a diamond. They can, and DO break...I know...I crushed one. Thankfully, it was mine.
Wax will not stick to Carnelian
Carnelian is a lovely honey-amber colored variety of chalcedony. It is the only commonly set gemstone which will not adhere to beeswax, which jewelers use to pick up gems, to mount them. This unique property made it very popular many years ago, for signet and seal rings. Carnelian carves well, and intricate seal rings were made with it, to stamp an impression of the wearer's personal insignia into melted wax, used to seal letters. Another very interesting bit of trivia concerning carnelian, alternately called "cornelian", is that it was the only gemstone that Julius Caesar would allow to come into contact with his body. (We don't know WHY!)