Monday, July 26, 2010

Pyrite, The Fools Gold.

Pyrite is a very common mineral. Due to its yellow color, it is called fools gold because there was time when miners confused it with gold. Pyrite is often used in ornaments and jewelry. Jewelry made out of fools gold is called Marcasite jewelry. It makes it very confusing because there is a stone called marcasite, but the stone is more brittle then pyrite. Marcasite is never used as a gem, unlike pyrite.

Coeurdepierres' pyrite necklace on Etsy

PS. Today is a good day. I am going on a vacation soon and I got a present from one of my co workers. An engineering scale, a really nice one too.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emerald, the stone of successful love.

Emeralds are green colored Beryls. They are essentially the same stone as Aquamarine. Some other stones from Beryl family are Red Emerald, Heliodor and Goshenite. In Greek, emerald is smaragdos, but in Middle English the stone was called esmeralde.
Egyptians associated the stone with the rebirth and fertility due to its green color. It was thought to help in childbirth and improve fertility. Most natural emeralds have some flaw in them because they grow in other minerals. Emerald is also a birth stone of May. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Copper, the man's eternal metal.

Copper has a very wide variety of uses. It is literally everywhere. It is present in electrical wiring, cars, computers, etc. In addition to that, copper is used to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. One of the biggest and most famous examples of copper is the Statue of Liberty, it contains about 180,000 pounds of copper. The metal origins contradict with its wide technological use. The name copper comes from the Latin word cyprium, Island of Cyprus. The Island is the sacred Island of Aphrodite,  the goddess of love. The metal was named after the island in Roman times because a lot of it was mined on Cyprus. Before that it was known as chalkos. In alchemy the symbol of copper is the symbol of Venus.

Brass is made when Zinc is alloyed with Copper.
Copper jewelry by catchalljewelry

Garnet, that beautiful fruit.

Red, is the most popular color for garnets. The name of the stone comes from the fruit pomegranate, in Latin granatum means pomegranate seed. Originated from Greek mythology, garnets were used as symbols of long lasting love and to ensure a quick return when lovers are apart from each other. The story begins with Hades taking Persephone to the Underworld and her mother Demetra looking for her. Because Persephone ate six seeds of pomegranate she had to spend six months in the Underworld. Because of those six seeds, the lovers were reunited for six months every year.

Red garnet earrings on Etsy

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is one of the most popular metals used for jewelry making. In Latin, silver is called Argentum, In Greek is was argyros. In alchemy the moon was the symbol for silver. Due to its shiny and reflective surface, silver was used to make mirrors. It was also the earliest and most used metal to make coins. That’s why in French to say that you have money is j'ai de l'argent. Nowadays gold is about 50 times more valuable then silver. However, in ancient Egypt and in Middle Age Europe silver was considered to be more valuable.

Sterling silver chain earrings on Etsy