How are gems formed?
The gemstones differ mainly in their composition and quality, because stones can arise from different materials and admixtures. Furthermore, their individual history of origin ensures a distinction. Rocks can form in the following ways:
Rock Formation: Earth Forces and Temperature
- Igneous rocks or solidified rocks: Hot magma cools down either on the earth's surface or in the earth's interior and crystallizes out. For example: andesite.
- Metamorphic rocks: The starting materials are transformed at high pressure or high temperatures. For example: quartzite.
- Sedimentary rocks: Formed by water evaporation, leaching of soluble substances or by weathering. For example: Tillit.
Minerals: crystal structure and mineralization
- The minerals occur in many places on earth and usually have a crystalline structure. For example, they become precious stones through melting during volcanic eruptions or through the mineralization of organisms such as shells (biomineralization).
- The different ways in which they are formed and the starting materials also give the minerals their different appearance, which can vary in transparency and colour, for example.
- Particularly hard, rare and transparent minerals form the coveted gemstones. For example: diamonds.
Organic stones: created by the forces of nature
- Stones used in stone science can also be made from organic materials, including resins. For example: amber.
- So-called glasses are formed by the melting of organic materials, such as cooled lava. For example: obsidian.
Gemstone or precious stone?
Beautiful, natural stones were and are still used primarily for jewellery. In return, they receive artistic cuts that underline the play of light and color. Refurbished in this way, they then adorn rings, necklaces, amulets, bracelets or crowns, for example. But the appealing objects can also be used as living room accessories and decorative items. Some beautiful stones are more common in nature or possess other properties that exclude them from the gemstone category. Nevertheless, they have an attractive appearance and are traditionally used. They are referred to as semi-precious or semi-precious stones.
What are Gem Varieties?
Some gemstones can have different colorations based on their origin history and their specific composition. In this way, almost identical materials can look different and be different versions of the same parent rock. For example, the mineral corundum is the starting material for red rubies as well as for blue sapphires. The individuality of the composition is the basis for the different colors and their own names that distinguish them from each other.
3 things that tell you a gem
You can distinguish gemstones from regular gemstones because they are very rare to find in nature. Furthermore, these stones are particularly hard and achieve at least a value of seven on the measuring scale for gemstone hardness (Mohs hardness scale). That means you could use the stone to carve regular window glass. Gemstones that have a high level of transparency and purity are also particularly sought after - i.e. light can penetrate them and thus show an appealing play of color and light.
- Gemstones are rare in nature
- Gems are hard
- Gems are transparent
The term healing stone may not be used in advertising in Germany. The term includes various jewelry and precious stones, minerals as well as fossil organic and inorganic materials that are used in esotericism, chakra teaching and lithotherapy (also known as gemstone therapy). The assumed effect and the areas of application of the so-called healing stones result from old writings by scholars and physicians of the past, including Hildegard von Bingen, for example.
Lack of scientific evidence for healing stone effects
Although the term healing or health stone is mainly found in traditional records and has become established in common usage, the use of the word is not legally permissible. The reason for this lies in the lack of scientific evidence or studies on the effectiveness of the gemstones and on the mode of action and the areas of application, which originate exclusively from the traditions. The district court of Hamburg has therefore decided in a judgment that it is unfair competition that misleads customers when jewelry or precious stones are referred to as healing stones.
- Healing or health stones not allowed
- Lack of scientific evidence
- Mode of action and areas of application exclusively handed down