For this double Rock Appreciation Day we have…
TOURMALINE & EMERALD GEMSTONES
Tourmaline is one of the most varied gemstones out there. It ranks a 7-7.5 on the hardness scale, and can come transparent to opaque, in any colour (colourless to black). The tourmaline gem is actually a group of mineral species, but because some of these minerals vary with varying colours, they are simply termed “tourmaline”. Because there are so many colours, tones, and opacities to tourmaline, it can be mistaken easily and is usually termed solely by colour. There are many different varieties, for instance bi-colour, watermelon, chrome, etc. Rubellite tourmaline is a very rare type that was often mistaken for rubies in Russian crown jewels of the past. Tourmaline can hail from many places, including the USA, Russia, Sri Lanka, Africa, Brazil, Australia, and so on. Tourmaline has strong pleochroism, which means you can see different colours or depths of colour when viewed at different angles, such as when you rotate the stone in the light. Different varieties tend to have different clarities. Those of the blue/green variety can be eye clean, while the pinks of reds of the spectrum almost always have eye-visible inclusions. Tourmaline can come natural, or is sometimes heat-treated to bring out colour depth.
Tourmaline is both pyroelectric and piezoelectric. If a specimen is put under a pressure or temperature change, it will generate an electrical charge (how cool is that!?). When this happens, dust particles become attached to the crystal ends. For a long time tourmaline was known in Europe as aschentrekker (ash puller) as the stone was used by the Dutch to pull the ash out of their meerschaum tobacco pipes.
May birthstone, ranking a 7.5-8 on the MOH’s hardness scale. Personally one of my all time favourites… but being a May baby with green as a favourite colour, I’m biased. The colour of emerald (aka ‘emerald green’) is so unique it earns its status as one of the four “traditional” precious gemstones, along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire. The colour of emeralds is caused by small amounts of chromium and vanadium. It is in the Beryl family, and is essentially just the highest quality of beryl that can come transparent to opaque. Emerald is a particularly brittle gem. Natural emeralds almost always have inclusions and should be handled more gently. They are also almost always treated with oils, resins, or waxes. Exceptions are made for this treatment and for inclusions more than other gemstones. Inclusions and flaws are not always seen as negative, and can be an assurance that the gem is natural. Quality is determined by colour, and occasionally geographical origin. Emeralds can come from Africa, India, Russia, Brazil, Peru, among other places. Columbia is the center for mining emeralds, and South America in general produces the highest qualities. There a many stories and myths circling the emerald. The Egyptians mined it near the Red Sea, and it was said to be a favourite of Cleopatra. The Aztecs and the Incas both collected and valued emeralds, possibly regarding them as symbols for good luck and foresight.
OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS:
My work load has become exceptionally large, and I can no longer be accepting any custom orders from May through the end of July. Unless I have already started conversations with you regarding a project, I simply don’t have the extra time for them right now. This doesn’t include “made to order” items. Essentially what is listed in the Etsy Shops is what’s available. This hiatus does not apply to wholesale or consignment orders.
A congratulations to the two winners of my Instagram Giveaway! For those of you unfamiliar with the application, you can do a little snooping and follow me @thestrayarrow, or check updates by clicking on the photo below.
LAST BIT OF NEWS:
10% OFF ALL OF MAY!
For the entire month in the Main Shop, there is a 10% off deal on your order with the coupon code in the photo below. PLEASE do not forget to apply the code at purchase. I cannot issue refunds for those that forget to do so. Enjoy!
Merry May all!
xx Stray Arrow