Gemstones and crystals are one of the most popular forms of jewelry today. They come in almost every color imaginable and are often associated with special occasions such as weddings and graduations.
In fact, some people even wear them just because they are super shiny and gorgeous.
The history of gemstones and crystals goes way back into antiquity. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Indians, and Japanese have always valued gems for their beauty.
Many of these cultures believed that certain gemstones had magical powers and could bring good luck and prosperity.
Today, there are still many types of gemstone that are being discovered. Some of the most common include diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, opals, pearls, and amethyst.
These precious stones are usually mined in different parts of the world. For example, Brazil produces the majority of the world’s diamond supply while Australia mines the largest amount of ruby and sapphire ore.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular beautiful shiny crystals available today:
The word “coral” comes from the Latin corallum, meaning “little rock.”
Coral is one of the rarest gems in the world (see also, ‘The World’s Rarest Metals‘). It is found almost exclusively in tropical waters around the globe, and it takes millions of years for coral to grow into massive reefs.
When you look at a piece of coral, you’re looking at a living organism that has been growing for hundreds of thousands of years.
Most people associate coral with the Caribbean, where it grows in shallow water near shorelines. But there are many different kinds of coral, each adapted to a specific environment. Some live in deep ocean trenches, while others thrive in shallow coastal waters.
There are over 700 species of coral, and they come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. They range in size from microscopic to several feet long. Some even resemble shells or trees.
Like many things in life, the value of coral depends on how much work goes into getting it. A single large boulder of stone could sell for $1 million, whereas a small piece of coral might fetch less than $100.
As we we all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend and it’s easy to understand why. Diamonds are super sparkly and come in various colors, ranging from the pure clear to yellow, gray, black, white, blue, purple, pink, orange, red, and green.
All colored diamonds contain impurities that give them their color.
Diamonds are considered the king of gemstones. The only thing they contain is carbon. When heated under extreme pressure deep inside the earth, the carbon atoms combine into a single crystal we know as a diamond.
Diamonds are super tough because each atom is bonded together with an incredible amount of force. To make diamonds, we must start with graphite, a soft metal that can easily be scratched.
We then add hydrogen gas to the graphite and fuse them together. After cooling down, we get our beautiful gemstone!
Eudialyte is part of the zircons group. It is a very rare mineral found in nature. It is usually pink or reddish.
This gemstone is often mistaken for rubellite. Rubellite is another member of the zircons family. However, it is much harder than eudialyte and therefore less desirable.
Eudialyte are most commonly found in Brazil and Madagascar. They are mined there because of the high quality and low cost.
This shiny crystal called “kunzite” derives from the German word “künstlerisch”, meaning artistically.
This is because kunzite is often found in settings where it appears to mimic the appearance of colored glass. In fact, the mineral is actually composed of quartz crystals, which are transparent to light.
When viewed under certain lighting conditions, kunzite takes on a variety of hues, ranging from pale pink to vibrant purple and violet.
The word “garnet” derives from the Latin word “granatum”, meaning “seed”. This refers to the seed-like shape of garnet crystals.Its name actually means ‘gemstone’, which speaks of its vivid coloration.
In Ancient Egypt , it was believed that the gods had given the stone to humans to protect them against evil spirits.
In Roman mythology, it was thought that the goddess Venus gave the stone to her son Aeneas to help him escape his enemies.
The word “opal” derives from the Latin opalus, meaning “wealthy.” In ancient times, the Romans called opalescent gems “the tears of Jupiter,” because they thought the color represented the god’s tears.
Today, we know that opals are formed by the mineral calcite, which is found in many places around the world. They are named after the town of Almaden in Spain where they were discovered.
The word “pearl” derives from the Latin word perellum, meaning “small ball.” In ancient times pearls were used as currency and jewelry. Today, pearls are still used as a symbol of wealth and luxury.
In addition to being beautiful and shiny, pearls are very durable. Natural pearls are formed within the body of certain types of oysters and clams. These tiny nuggets of nature are called nacre, which is composed of calcium carbonate.
When the shell opens, the nacre falls into the water where it is washed away by currents. This process takes about six months.
After several weeks, the nacre settles onto the ocean floor and begins to grow. During this stage, the nacre is called mother-of-pearl.
Mother-of-pearl is actually a thin layer of pure white colorless mineral. As it grows larger, the nacre becomes harder and starts to take shape. Eventually, the nacre hardens and forms a pearl.
As the pearl matures, it gets bigger and heavier. A mature pearl weighs anywhere from one half ounce to three ounces.
Natural pearls are classified according to size, shape, color and clarity. There are four main categories of pearls: round, oval, button and baroque. Round pearls are spherical and weigh less than 0.5 grams.
Oval pearls range from 0.5 to 2.0 grams. Button pearls are flat and weigh over 2.0 grams. Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped and weigh up to 3.0 grams.
There are many varieties of cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are grown in special tanks filled with filtered seawater.
The oyster feeds on plankton and algae, and the shells become covered with nacre. Once the pearl reaches maturity, the oyster is removed from the tank, and the pearl is harvested.
Cultured pearls come in many colors including: white, cream, yellow, orange, red, green, brown, gray, blue, violet, black, champagne and salmon.
Pearls are graded based on quality. Grade AAA is the highest grade and includes flawless pearls. Grades AA, AB and B include minor imperfections such as blemishes and scratches.
The natural sapphire stone is one of the hardest gems found on earth and is popular amongst jewelry lovers.
Its hardness makes it ideal for cutting into beautiful shiny pieces of jewelry. In fact, some believe that the diamond trade began because of the scarcity of sapphires.
Today, sapphires come in a wide array of colors, including white, yellow, brown, black, pink, orange, purple, green and even red. They are often cut into fancy shapes such as cabochons, pearls and beads.
9. Star Ruby
The Star Ruby is one of the most beautiful types of Rubies. Its name derives from the fact that it presents a star pattern on its surface.
This variety of ruby is characterized by its high transparency, making it possible to see the internal structure of the stone.
In addition to the above Star Rubies are very hard and resistant to shocks. They are usually of a reddish color, although there are some rubies that are yellowish or even greenish.
10. Strawberry Quartz
Strawberry quartz is known for its beautiful pinkish tints and red flecks. These stones are very hard and often come in large sizes. They are usually found in the form of large single crystals or clusters of smaller crystals.
The name strawberry quartz comes from the resemblance of the stone to the shape of a strawberry; this is evident from the red flecks within the stone. Some people even call it “red strawberry.”
This stone is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Many believe that wearing a piece of this stone will help you attract wealth and love.
The word “topaz” derives from the Greek word “tophos,” meaning “bright.” This stone was named because it reflects light like a star.
In ancient times, people believed that the gods had placed precious stones inside the earth to protect humans from evil spirits.
In India, Topaz is known as the “stone of wisdom” and is associated with spiritual enlightenment and good fortune. It is believed that wearing Topaz brings protection against illness and misfortune.
These shiny and beautiful crystals can be used as jewelry or decorating your home. Or you can use them as a way of healing and bringing peace and harmony into your life by using them as a meditation aid.