CARAT or ct. is a metric unit of weight, used for precious gemstones. One carat is 0,2 grams. One carat is further divided into 100 points.
CORAL Precious coral or red coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. Owing to its intense and permanent colouration and glossiness, precious coral skeletons have been harvested since antiquity for decorative use. Nowadays it’s still in high demand, but precious coral is rarely used in contemporary jewellery since trade is restricted to protect the wildlife. Due to its softness coral is usually cut en cabochon or used as beads. The origin of coral is explained in Greek mythology; While Perseus placed Medusa’s head on the riverbank to wash his hands, her blood had turned the seaweed into red coral. Link Rowan
CORUNDUM Ruby and Sapphire are the mineral species corundum, which is aluminium oxide in a specific crystal form. Pure corundum is colourless. The colour depends on which type of chemical impurity is present in the gem crystal. If the contamination is chromium, the corundum crystal is a vibrant red and is called ruby. If the corundum crystal is any colour other than red, it is called a sapphire To be defined as a gemstone, or “gem”, a mineral must possess a combination of beauty, durability and rarity. Ruby and sapphire tick all the boxes. Regarding beauty, a well-cut fine quality ruby or sapphire possesses both exquisite colour as well as brilliance. Durability is a combination of hardness (the ability to resist scratching) & toughness (resistant to breakage). With score 9 on Moh’s 0-10 scale, korund is the 2nd hardest gem with outstanding toughness. Top quality larger size rubies are much rarer and much more expensive than high quality larger size diamonds. The overwhelming majority of modern gemstones is heat treated to improve their colour and clarity. Link Cartier Clip with Montana Sapphire.
IVORY is creamy white, opaque to look, hard and grainy to feel. It is made up of layers of dentine. Ivory from the now endangered Indian Elephants is banned. African ivory sold and purchased from legal sources is allowed with strict regulations to protect the wildlife. Though ivory in its original sense meant only elephant tusks, today it carries a wider circle of animals like Walrus, Boar, Hippopotamus and some seeds resembling ivory within its fold. Link Rowan.
NATURAL PEARLS, or ‘orient’ pearls, formed without human intervention, are rare. When a parasite enters the shell of a mollusc, the irritated mollusc covers the intruder with nacre, mother of pearl; which is the same material it uses to line its shell. This secretion process is repeated many times, thus producing a pearl. The unique lustre of pearls depends upon the reflection and refraction of light on these successive transparent layers.