Gemmology
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Sunday, 20 October 2019


Gemmology — gemstones — characteristics, classification, specimens, library
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GEMMOLOGY — GEMSTONES

characteristics, classification, specimens, library

As gemstones we accept cut specimens of crystals of natural mineral species having a visible transparency and certain durability. From over 4800 known minerals (according to data of the International Mineralogical Association), approximately 150 satisfy the above conditions and form crystals of sufficient size to be cut.

The section ‘Classification’ presents descriptions of 171 different kinds of natural gemstones (106 mineral species). The Nickel-Strunz systematic order (10th edition) is used. Since gemmology does not always follow the systematics of minerals in naming, many popular varieties or just ’names’ are listed.

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Classification
Featured

Cerussite

— Common in the oxidised zone of lead deposits, where it may constitute an important ore (Anthony et al., 2001—2005). Faceted specimens are very rare. The largest faceted stone is a 408 carat from Tsumeb, Namibia (Arem, 1987: 64).
Cerussite

The section ‘Repository’ contains data and photos of 760 specimens of gemstones. The smallest is just 1.96 mm (0.02 ct) ruby from Mozambique, and the largest — 70.11 mm (326.60 ct) rock crystal from Africa. Besides there are 8 specimens of synthetic stones.

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Repository
Zoisite — specimen 0387

Some exceptional specimens of gemstones from our ‘Repository’

More specimens of gemstones
Variscite — specimen 0076
Variscite — specimen 0077
Rose quartz — specimen 0079
Petschite — specimen 0081

— More from ‘Repository

Currently there are 283 bibliographical references and abstracts to publications with gemmological or mineralogical thematics in the ‘Library’. The section comprises also a glossary with 391 terms.
Library
Glossary

serpentine jade — a rock; see serpentine jade in ‘Classification’
shale — a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite
sheen obsidian — variety of obsidian
shield — rare shape in faceting a gemstone
Publications

Anthony, J. W., Bideaux, R. A., Bladh, K. W., Nichols, M. C. (Eds), 2001—2005 — Lizardite — Features the data of lizardite; from ‘Handbook of Mineralogy’.
Whittaker, E. J. W., Zussman, J., 1956 — The characterization of serpentine minerals by X-ray diffraction — Published in 1956 in ‘Mineralogical Magazine’; contains the original description of the mineral lizardite.