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The Perfection of Peridot, part 6: The Zephyrs of Zabargad

The Perfection of Peridot, part 6: The Zephyrs of Zabargad
Despite the presence of peridot in mediaeval Europe, evidence suggests that mining operations of the island of Zabargad were still stagnant during ...

The Zing of Zircon, Part 8: Mystery of the Mountain

The Zing of Zircon, Part 8: Mystery of the Mountain
Most famous for its 79 C.E. eruption, which devastated the Roman settlements of Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located...

The Zing of Zircon, Part 7: The Story of Starlite

The Zing of Zircon, Part 7: The Story of Starlite
One of the most valuable varieties of zircon, and certainly the most popular, is blue zircon. In some cases this zircon variety may be referred to ...

The Zing of Zircon, Part 6: Terrestrial Timepieces

The Zing of Zircon, Part 6: Terrestrial Timepieces
Because zircon crystals often contain impurities of radioactive isotopes, zircon has been an important material used in the development of radiomet...

The Zing of Zircon, part 5: Fable, Formation, and Function

The Zing of Zircon, part 5: Fable, Formation, and Function
Zircon has been treasured as a gemstone since ancient times. Evidence of zircon’s early use can be found in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christia...

The Zing of Zircon, Part 4: The Curse of Cubic Zirconia

The Zing of Zircon, Part 4: The Curse of Cubic Zirconia
In the history of gemstone jewellery, white zircon gemstones were long used as diamond simulants because of their striking resemblance to diamonds,...

The Zing of Zircon, Part 2: Curious Character and Causes of Colour

The Zing of Zircon, Part 2: Curious Character and Causes of Colour
Zircon is somewhat unique among gemstones in that it occurs with a wide range of variable properties, namely its refractive index, birefringence, s...

The Perfection of Peridot, part 5: The Tale of Topazios

The Perfection of Peridot, part 5: The Tale of Topazios
The written history of peridot gemstones begins sometime during the 5th Century B.C.E. when the ancient Egyptians are thought to have first discove...

The Perfection of Peridot, part 2: A Nuanced Name

The Perfection of Peridot, part 2: A Nuanced Name
The history of peridot’s nomenclature is even more complex than its current labelling. In the 18th Century, the mineral now known as “topaz” was of...

The Splendour of Spinel, part 6: A Recent Return

The Splendour of Spinel, part 6: A Recent Return
Spinel now holds an important place in the world of bespoke gemstone jewellery, but for a large portion of history the stone was underappreciated. ...

The Splendour of Spinel, part 5: Mysterious Marvels

The Splendour of Spinel, part 5: Mysterious Marvels
The spinel mines of central Asia produced many of the world's greatest spinels, and by extension some of history’s greatest “rubies”, but among the...

The Splendour of Spinel, part 4: Tajik Treasures

The Splendour of Spinel, part 4: Tajik Treasures
During the centuries in which the spinel mines of the Pamir Mountains were at their peak of productivity, countless high quality gemstones were une...
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