It’s all go in the world of gems this month, as we have not one, but three exciting events for you!
First off we have an update to our gemstone glossary, know as Gemopedia. We have been working hard to expand this to give you all the your extra information you need on the gemstones you covet and – when you are treating yourself – buy.
So we have added another six glorious gems to our glossary: topaz, tourmaline, quartz, moonstone, spinel and garnet. To find out where these stones originate, little know facts, and history and lore, head over to Gemopedia to get some gemstone knowledge!
Then – yet more excitement – we can reveal that Saturday 17th January at 4pm will see the new launch of an up-to-the-minute gemstone collection – Lapis Lazuli. Stunning gemstones set in contemporary wearable designs, this range has something for everyone, whether you like big and bold stones or a subtle touch of colour. Read on for our lapis lazuli fact-file:
A deep blue with golden inclusions of pyrite, this opaque gemstone is formed by multiple minerals, mostly lazurite, sodalite, and calcite. Lapis lazuli was highly regarded in ancient times because of its beautiful color and the valuable ultramarine dye it can produce.
Top quality lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan where it has been mined for centuries. It is also found in Siberia, Chile, the U.S., Pakistan, and Canada.
THE SCIENCE BIT:
Lapis is formed by contact metamorphism occurring deep below the earth’s surface, a natural process which happens when magma finds its way deep into cracks in the earth’s crust, and the intense heat of the fluid causes chemical changes in the rock surrounding the intrusion.
HISTORY & FOLKLORE:
Lapis lazuli was obtained from the oldest mines in the world, worked from around 4000 B.C. and still in use today. Referenced in the Old Testament as sapphire, lapis lazuli is most likely the fifth stone in the original breastplate of the High Priest.
It was among the most highly prized stones in Ancient Egypt – the golden sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen was richly inlaid with lapis, as were other burial ornaments of Egyptian kings and queens.
BIRTHSTONE: An alternative December birthstone, lapis is also the planetary stone for Capricorn and the Zodiac stone for Libra.
WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES: 7th & 9th
DID YOU KNOW:
- The name is derived from ‘lapis’, the Latin word for stone, and either the Arabic word ‘azula’ or the Persian word ‘lazhward’, both meaning blue
- Lapis Lazuli is technically a rock, not a mineral, because it is made up of various other minerals
…and if that isn’t enough gems for you, we also have our Gem Fest event coming up on Wednesday 21st January, when you can join us at 9pm for three packed-to-the-brim hours of gemstones galore.