birthstones

Most of the writing I have done in the past few weeks has been about birthstones, a boring topic if ever there was one.  But sometimes we need a starting point, and I  was needy!

Interesting facts I learned:

There are five species of garnet (I guess I already knew that) and it comes in every color of the rainbow even the recently discovered blue!  Amethyst was once one of the “cardinal” gems, expensive and rare, but discovery of new deposits took the price down dramatically.  Aquamarine is associated with mermaids.  Some diamond sales finance human rights abuses.  It is acceptable trade practice to “oil” emeralds.  Alexandrite was named for one of the Russian czars.  Synthetic rubies were used in lasers.  The most prized peridot is a golden green in color.  Sapphires can be any color except red (that’s called ruby).  Australia produces 90 percent of the world’s fire opal.  Saint Hildegarde claimed to read by the light of a topaz (a stone thought to generate its own internal light).  Blue zircons and other zircons are often confused with zirconia but the two substances have entirely different chemical compositions.

I just wrote these off the top of my head without referring back to my notes. I do hope to research a more interesting topic soon.

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