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By Rich Jarrott
Pandora bracelets offer a large range of colourful beads. But what do you really know about the precious stones that make up these stunning Scandinavian designs?
A diamond is a transparent crystal of tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms that crystallizes into the diamond lattice. Diamond is the hardest known natural material on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, Diamond has a hardness of 10 (out of 10) on this scale.
Because it can only be scratched by other diamonds it maintains its polish extremely well. it is well-suited to daily wear because of its resistance to scratchingperhaps contributing to its popularity as the preferred gem in engagement or wedding rings, which are often worn every day.
Another popular stone in the Pandora bracelets range are opals. Australia produces around 97% of the world’s opals. The world’s largest and most valuable gem opal “Olympic Australis” was found in August 1956 at the “Eight Mile” opal field in Coober Pedy. It weighs 17,000 carats (3450 grams) and is 11 inches (280 mm). It is valued at AUD$2,500,000. Opals can come in a variety of colours, but those used in jewellery such as Pandora bracelets are commonly pink.
Also popular are beads featuring pearls. These hard objects are produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. A pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls occur.
The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but they are extremely rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of those that are currently sold. Pearls are harvested and cultivated primarily for use in jewellery, but in the past, they were also stitched onto lavish clothing or crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines and in paint formulations.
One traditional stone featured in jewellery is quartz. The material is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s l crust and is known chemically as siliconoxygen tetrahedra or SiO2.
There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones. Especially in Europe and the Middle East, varieties of quartz have been since antiquity the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewellery.
The gemstone Tourmaline is also used in Pandora bracelets. This is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with chemical elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. The gemstone can be virtually any colour and this is determined by the chemical elements enveloped within the stone. Tourmaline used in Pandora bracelets comes in a wide variety of colours. The name comes from the Sinhalese word “Thuramali” which is applied to the many different gemstones found in Sri Lanka.
Quartz is an ever-present material in jewellery making, so it is of little surprise that Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. Amethyst occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks.
The name comes from the Ancient Greek for the words not intoxicated a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
The ancient Egyptians used amethyst as a gemstone while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle the reason for this being that amethysts are believed to heal people and keep them cool-headed.
About the Author: The Jewel Hut offers the UKs largest selection of branded jewellery including the popular
Pandora Bracelets Range
. There are thousands of items available from 20 leading brands. Trading since 2005, the company is part of the family-owned TH Baker group that has traded continuously since 1888