A gemstone is a precious mineral naturally found deposited on the earth surface or beneath. They are beautiful and highly valued gifts of nature that are found across Europe; from the length and breadth of the continent, starting from Portugal to Russia in the Far East. Some countries in Europe have little compared to some others that have a diverse range of gemstones.
Minerals on the earth crust form different types of crystals that are pleasant to the eyes. These gemstones only become highly valuable and beautiful after they are refined. The brilliance, luster, and shining look doesn’t occur naturally and the mineral must be cut and polished to make it into a gemstone.
Europe may not be endowed in gemstones as much as other continents like South America, Asia, and Africa, but it does have a lot of its own gems. Here are a few of the gemstones in Europe and areas where they can be extracted:
Alexandrite is a special type of Chrysoberyl. It is hard and durable in nature than all mineral species except Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire, the hardest known substance. One of the unique properties alexandrite is famous for its color change, which can take a different appearance in the day and in the night. The color change can go from green like the color of emerald, to purplish-red or brown, during the day and in an incandescent light respectively. For this reason, it is specially described as “emerald by day, ruby by night.”
It has a Refractive Index of 1.746 to 1.755, Specific Gravity: 3.73 and Mohs Hardness: 8.5, among other properties.
This precious gemstone is one of the most expensive of its kind in the world. The best of the Alexandrite gemstones are found in Russia, much more than any other European country or region in the world. Due to the hardness and durability of this gemstone, it is used for a variety of designs on rings, pendants, pins, necklaces, and earrings.
As Jewelry, it beautifies and gives a look of elegance which is just what you deserve. The basic maintenance care you should ensure is to avoid direct heat on your Alexandrite.
Amber which is actually more of an organic matter than a mineral is made up of tree resin that has been fossilized. It occurs in different colors, ranging from light or pale yellow to a form of dark orange. A lot of times, it is found to contain insects, leaves, moss, lichen or foliage in its natural extract form.
There are varieties Amber in terms of color. Some are brown, green, blue, yellow, red, orange, and even white. This unique gemstone mostly comes from Poland. The central European country has the highest quality amber in the world, which is found in a huge deposit along the Baltic sea’s coastline. And it can also be found in other European countries like Spain, Ukraine, Russia, Sweden.
When you are buying Amber jewelry, you should not be deceived by any insect or fossil that may be trapped inside. Some of the ways to recognize an original and authentic amber product are to
- Ensure the amber jewelry you are buying has a warm feel and not a cold one. If cold, it could be a plastic imitation.
- carry out the salt water test. Genuine amber has a physical property of floating on salt water, so you might just need to carry out this test.
- try the burn test. Genuine amber will never melt in a fire, while the common plastic and coal imitation will surely melt. You should also perceive a pine scent if the amber is original. This test is the most reliable.
Amber has a Refractive Index of 1.539 – 1.545 and a Mohs hardness of 2 – 2.5among other properties
Fluorite, also called fluorspar is the mineral form of the occurrence of Calcium Fluoride. It is categorized as a halide mineral that occurs in a wide range of colors and their shade (blue, red, brown, white, purple, pink, green). It could even occur as a colorless stone. The rarest of them are the pink ones and the whites.
This gemstone is found in different regions across Europe, with The United Kingdom, France, Russia, Switzerland, and Germany as leading producers on the European continent. A special type of this gem, “Blue John” is found in England. Today, only a few kilos of the mineral is mined yearly for lapidary and ornamental uses in Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern, due to its scarcity. Fluorite has various uses which are of importance in the ceramic, metallurgical and chemical industries. Its pieces of high clarity are also used in the manufacture of lenses for cameras, telescope, and microscopes in areas of optics.
Fluorite has a Refractive Index of 1.434, Specific Gravity of 3.2 and a Mohs hardness of 4.
After Diamond and Moissanite, Sapphire is the hardest known substance and the blue stone with the highest value of the corundum family. Though the typical color of this precious stone is blue, it also occurs in other colors like purple, black, pink, orange, green and yellow colors.
Due to the hardness and durability of this precious stone, it is suitable for all types of jewelry; be it pins, earrings, pendants or bracelets. It is the special birthstone for the month of September and of the Libra zodiac sign. Sapphire has a Refractive Index of 1.762 – 1.788, Specific gravity 4.0 – 4.1, and Mohs hardness of 9.0.
To many people today, Garnets are a low-value gemstone, but it’s been valued as a major gemstone in the past more than it is today. It is a collective name for minerals of similar properties. Each member of this group of stones called garnet have differences in their chemical properties and composition but possesses structures that are similar to one another.
The garnet family is divided into two groups, namely the Pyralspite which is the garnet free of calcium and Ugrandite which is the garnet-rich in calcium. Garnet gemstones can be found mostly in Russia, Europe. Russia has been said to be the origin of demantoid garnets, which are the most valuable and precious garnet gemstones.
Garnets have a Refractive index of 1.72–1.94 and a Mohs scale hardness of 6.5–7.5.