A wide range of gemstones is consisted of minerals with a crystal like structure but we must keep in mind that all gems are not gemstones as they have an organic origin. They take their shape because of biological processes that can be animals or plants as well.
These organic gems are not found in a wide range but they include some usual varieties that are considered very important in the gem business. Amber, coral, jet, ivory and pearl are some member of this organic gem family.
Amber is considered as the fossilized toughen organic substance of the pine tree that came into being almost 50 million years back. The use of amber in jewelry, religious objects and amulets is as old as hills; it has been used in these things since prehistoric times. There is addition of insects, plants or pyrites in the pieces of amber which are considered the most prized. Kaliningrad in Russia is the place where the largest deposits of amber are found in the world. There are also large reserves of the amber in the seabed of the Baltic.
Coral is counted as a branching skeleton-like formation that used to build by small sea animals that were called as coral polyps. Reef-forming corals are the workers behind forming gem-quality coral. Mediterranean, Red sea and coastal plans in Japan are the places where the most valuable coral variety is found. Bright to dark, red to orange-red pink, white black and blue are some well-known color ranges of Corals. Unpolished coral is dull but once it shines it gives an attractive glassy luster.
During 19nth century Jet was very popular but it’s quite unique. A bituminous coal that can be polished is called a Jet. Jet’s fame is related to Queen Victoria of England who wore jet as her mourning after Prince Albert’s death. Due to its light weight long necklaces of jet beads were popular enough among the women during 1920s.
Usually, the material of elephant’s tusk is referred to Ivory but these days teeth of hippopotamus, walrus, wild boar and some other mammals also serve as ivory. Ivory, just like bones, is consisted of calcium phosphate. In the past when plastic wasn’t commonly found, cutlery handles, billiards balls, some musical instruments and carved ornamental items were formed with ivory. But many animals that have ivory tusk were killed to get their tusk and that was the reason that import and sale of ivory was strictly banned in many countries of the world.
Pearl is considered the king of all organic gems. The use of pearls was quite obvious even more than 6000 year back. There was a considerable pearl trade in China even by 2500 B.C.
The best quality of pearl is that they need not any processing the give their best unique features and full luster in their natural state. Pearls are grown or cultivated in hinged shell mollusks of the oyster type. Pearl are widely searched in different seas and streams.
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