Nature’s hard stuff, which includes minerals, crystals, rocks, and gemstones, is always hard for a layman to explain the difference between these hard substances found in nature. If you are interested in jewelry and want to know more, read the brief explanation.
- Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic elements with a definite chemical composition; examples include calcite and quartz. Minerals form the basis for rocks, gemstones, and crystals.
- Rocks: these are mostly formed from the combination of minerals such as quartz, pyroxene, mica, amphibole, feldspar as well as olivine. For instance, granite is formed from feldspar and quartz.
- Crystal: crystal is a uniform body with geometric crystal lattice according to Walter Schumann’s Gemstones of the World. Examples of crystals include table salt and snowflakes.
- Gemstone: the gemstone is said to have a rather imprecise definition. Simply, it is any mineral, crystal, or semi-precious stone that has been cut, polished, and used for jewelry. Because of gemstone’s definition, more than two hundred gemstones are used for jewelry and other things as you read this article.
Thinking of getting your hand on gemstones? You will be able to find gemstones in deposits and mines located worldwide. Some famous locations, such as the deposit of tanzanite located in the Mererani Hills of northern Tanzania, and the Sleeping Beauty turquoise mine located in Arizona, USA. You can find other gemstone materials in dozens of locations all around the world, going from hand to hand before finally being beads or even gemstone crystal rings in creations.
There is a gemstone material that has been referred to as rough. Rough is excavated from the earth and thereby brought to the surface, rough gemstones always rock surrounding it, thus the rocks are cleaned off and given a preliminary grade (mostly amount fine gemstones such as ruby, diamond, emerald, and so on). The gemstone roughs are then sent to various locations worldwide for cutting.
The cutting of diamonds and other high-quality fine gems is frequently done in Europe, in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. The gemstones that are not as precious as the diamonds such as aquamarine, topaz, and garnet, are cut in different locations worldwide, usually in areas very close to mines they were excavated from. You will find gem cutters who work in places like Thailand, China, India, Pakistan, the Czech Republic, and various nations in South America.
The majority of these gemstones are found in various mines in different countries worldwide. Below is the list of the most popular gemstones and places they can be found.
Diamond is mined in South Africa, although some of the most famous diamonds (including the koh-i-noor in the British Crown Jewels) originated from India. Diamond is also found in places like Australia, Arkansas, Canada and of recent was recently discovered to be found in space.
Garnet is said to be found in all continents except Antarctica. In the middle ages, Bohemia’s mines were very famous, although some of the finest garnets at the moment come from Russia and India.
In modern days, Emerald, beautiful green beryl, is mostly found in Colombia, with the original Egyptian mines being long exhausted. Emerald can also be found in other deposits such as Zimbabwe, Canadian Yukon, Pakistan, as well as several locations in the United States of America.
Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones globally; it is purple and can be found in several places in the United States of America, Russia, Brazil, South Korea, and other locations.
Turquoise is the gemstone that launched the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. Turquoise is a blue to the green gemstone; it is a gemstone almost every jewelry maker enjoys working on. Turquoise’s most famous recent deposit is located in Arizona, referred to as the Sleeping Beauty mine.
- Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli is famously found in the kokcha valley of Afghanistan; you will find the highest quality of lapis lazuli in this valley. Although, this gemstone can also be found in other mines that have a location in places such as the United States of America, Canada, Italy, Argentina, Angola, and so on. In these mines, you will frequently find the lower grades of lapis used in interior decorating jobs, inlay work, and so much more.
Ruby is a red color, also referred to as sapphire’s sister. Ruby is one of the gemstones that are not mined in South America. Ruby is found in places such as India, Myanmar, and Thailand. Sapphire is also found in most places; the major difference between ruby and sapphire is their color.
After the beads are cut, drilled, and polished, the finished piece receives a “made in” tag, indicating where the gemstone was cut, not the mine from which it was located. I will say this is when Stuart and his well-trained team of bead-buyers come in: people such as Dev, Doreen, Num, and other members of our Merchandising group.
Dev as a person draws knowledge from being so knowledgeable about India, Doreen from being an expert in Europe, and Num from his native understanding of Thailand. All these guides their steps through overcrowded bazaars and down narrow street sides. They use their know-how to find the small and local shops and family businesses that facet, carve, and polish gemstone rough into cabochons, beads, and other jewelry components.
Afterward, each item is packaged into crates and then shipped to the United States of America, where they are stored in our warehouse. When a customer orders, it is picked up, packed, and shipped down to your address. When you open the jewelry bag, you will see the “made in” sticker, which will tell you where the family who cut your jewelry is located, which can also give a reasonable idea of where the gemstone used to make your jewelry originated from as some of this gemstone are cut not far from their location of origination.