Influences of Gemstones
Gems have intrigued humans for at least 10000 years. The first known, used for making jewelry , includes Amethyst, rock crystal, amber, garnet, Jade , Jasper, Coral, lapis lazuli, pearl, serpentine, emerald, turquoise. These stones were reserved for wealthy and served as status symbols. Ruler sealed documents with their jewel- encrusted seals. Such treasures can now be admired at many museums and treasure- vaults.
Today gems are worn not too much to demonstrate wealth, but rather jewelry is bought increasingly for pleasure, in appreciation of its beauty.
A truly modern problem is the imitation of gemstones that have become more and more sophisticated. Although the replica of precious matter have always existed, it is our modern times that imitating has turned into a booming economic sector with an often disreputable background.
There is no specific definition of the term GEM or Gemstone, but they have something special , something beautiful about them. Most gemstones are minerals ( E.G. Diamonds). mineral aggregates(lapis lazuli ), or rocks(Onyx marble ), an other gem material of synthetic origin.
For some gemstones source of specialness and beauty is its color, an unusual optical phenomenon, or the shine that makes them stand out in comparison to other stones. for other stones it is the hardness or an interesting inclusion that makes them special. Rarity also plays a role in the classification as gemstone.
The Nomenclature of Gemstones
The Oldest names of Gemstones can be traced back to oriental languages, Greek and Latin. Greek names especially have left their stamp on modern gem nomenclature. The meaning of old names is not always certain especially where the first meaning of the word has been changed.
Original names referred to special characteristics of the stones such as color, place of their discovery( agate - in river in Sicily), or mysterious powers (amethyst - protection against Drunkenness ). Nomenclature has been viewed scientifically only since the beginning of the modern age. Because of the discovery of many unknown minerals, new names had to be found.
Ref.- Walter Schumann