Favorite stones: myths or reality?
The walls of Indian mines, shining in diamonds and rubies, gave birth to beliefs about how in ancient times the sky was covered with gems instead of stars; the soft luster of the pearl turned into a story about the crystal tears of the moon goddess; the colorful play of the Labrador suggested a thought about a rainbow, a piece of which our distant ancestors once brought from the sky.And the active practical application of gems contributed to the emergence of new myths – about wonderful stones, giving invisibility and eternal life, about stone vessels, turning poison into a healing drink, about powders that erased traces of time from the face … And gradually, as jewelry and stone-cutting art developed , man learned to create man-made gems – this was the beginning of the era of new legends, but not beautiful and fascinating, but depressingly unpleasant. That began a time of gossip and false rumors, based on the ingrained opinion that any gem can be copied and sold to an unsuspecting buyer, and that even having bought a natural stone, you are not insured that tomorrow it will not crumble into dust and not discolored. Probably, it is impossible to describe at once all the false and misconceptions about the gem stones that exist among inexperienced consumers. However, we tried to highlight at least some of the most popular modern myths concerning the most beloved gems. There is probably no woman in whose jewelry arsenal there is not even one string of natural or artificial pearls. But it is around this gem that the maximum amount of false rumors goes around that forces many lovers of beautiful mother-of-pearl balls to pull on their purchase, or even prefer jewelery. The first misconception is connected with the fact that real pearls are only marine and natural, obtained by divers from the bottom of the sea, for example, in the islands of the Caribbean. In fact, the largest share of pearl production belongs to freshwater pearls, which are also mined in Russia – and freshwater pearls of the sea are in no way inferior. Cultured pearls, which today use the overwhelming number of jewelers (including such famous ones as Mikimoto and Tiffany), are created in the same way as growing in the “wild” nature. Unlike natural, cultured pearls have a more even and beautiful shape, greater strength and durability. The second misconception is the fragility of pearls: they say, 100–150 years, and the pearl loses its luster, grows turbid and gradually collapses. But in reality there are pearls that are between 400 and 500 years old. For example, pearls from the treasury of the British royal house, and in Japan they even once found a burial with pearls over 1000 years old. The main thing is correct and regular care, which is to protect the pearls from fat, cosmetic and soap solutions, and also to wear it often, because it darkens when it has been in a box for years without any work. Artificial imitations of pearls, as a rule, are distinguished by absolute correctness of shape at a very low price, these are round balls of glass or plastic smeared with a composition of milled fish scales and varnish. They can usually be recognized by scratching a thin top layer under which there is plastic, as well as by a suspicious combination of price and quality. Ideal round and large natural pearls are very expensive and are sold only in large and well-known stores. Amber is one of the most beloved gems of mankind, known since the times of ancient Rome, and its fashion never passes. It is clear that imitations and imitations of amber are also often found, therefore, amber jewelery should be purchased only from trusted, reliable suppliers. Imitations are usually made from copal, synthetic resins, plastics, celluloid, or glass; usually the fake is also placed on the inclusion – internal inclusion, which increases the cost of the stone several times. However, instead of a fossil mosquito or leaflet of an ancient fern in a plastic “amber” there is a mosquito of “recent bottling” or a modern fern. Identifying a fake is easy enough – firstly, unlike natural amber, artificial crumbles, for example, in the place of the bead’s hole, and easily split off. Secondly, if these crumbs or debris are heated on a knife blade, they will produce an extremely unpleasant characteristic odor, unlike natural amber, which in ancient times was even used as an incense. The essential difference is that natural amber sinks in clear water, and in strong brine it keeps on the surface. An imitation professional will reveal even faster – a natural stone in ultraviolet rays glows with a blue light. But you should not confuse plastic forgeries and pressed natural amber – the fact is that only a small fraction of the mined amber has a fairly large size and can be inserted into the jewelry with almost no additional processing; most are small pieces of stone that are pressed.