Experts debate this fact, but some believe that emeralds are the most expensive. Others believe alexandrite. However, a 6.04 carat blue diamond was auctioned by Sotheby's in Hong Kong and fetched $7.98 million, setting a record as the most expensive precious jewel of its kind ever sold. It easily surpassed the previous record holder, the .95-carat "Hancock Red" diamond, which sold for $926,000.
In early times, opals were considered very lucky. The Romans established it as a precious gem and believed the opal was a combination of the beauty of all precious stones. Throughout Roman history, the Caesars gave their wives opal for good luck. Over time, though, opals became associated with black magic, the plague, misfortune and bad luck. Today, with superstitions and myths dispelled, opals, especially black opals, are highly regarded as rare treasures.
They register 10 on the Mohs scale – and although only a diamond can scratch another diamond, they can chip or crack if not properly taken care of .
According to legend, Cleopatra dissolved an extraordinarily valuable pearl in vinegar and drank it to prove to Marc Antony she could throw the most elaborate and expensive banquet of all time. According to modern science, the calcium carbonate in pearls does dissolve in vinegar, but how fast depends on how big the pearl is. If it's crushed it will dissolve more quickly.
Although "blue" diamonds are sometimes regarded as the most expensive, there are actually several things that should be considered in combination when purchasing a diamond -- color, cut, clarity and carat weight are all important no matter what the color is.
This is a hotly debated statement in the world of gemology. Although first found in Brazil, these beautiful tourmalines are now also mined in regions of Africa like Nigeria and Mozambique. The Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC), an international group formed by seven major labs to create standardized report language determined that the term "paraiba" can be used to describe the color of the stone, not just its provenance. However, this characterization was and still is controversial. Ultimately, not only the geographic origin of tourmaline but also the quality of the gem is important in determining valuation.
Although colored diamonds, called "fancy" diamonds, can be extremely rare, diamonds in general are not. Although some believe alexandrite and red diamonds to be the rarest, The Guinness Book of World Records states that painite is the rarest gem mineral.
This is only somewhat true. The world's main vein of "fine blue moonstone" in Sri Lanka has run bone-dry. Although still available from other mines around the world, these moonstones occur in a variety of colors aside from blue, like white, yellow, gray, pink or green. For example, moonstone has been found in Tanzania, Africa, but it possesses more of a white color. Blue moonstone has also been found in India. However, the sole source for the most brilliant blue sheens, Meetiyagoda in Sri Lanka, ceased production in 1987. Because of this, blue moonstone jewelry is becoming exceedingly rare and therefore more costly.
Well maybe, but it's not a good idea. The truth is, gold is a relatively soft metal and human teeth are strong enough to leave a mark. The purer the gold, the softer it is. However, unscrupulous people have been known to paint lead with gold color to fool buyers, since lead is just as soft.
While these colors are commonly referred to as gold, the only true gold is yellow. Colored gold is actually a mixed metal compound called an "alloy", made by mixing pure gold with iron, silver, platinum, copper or aluminum creating the various colors often used in jewelry. In fact, all yellow gold, with the exception of 24 karat gold, are also alloys since they're mixed with other metals in different quantities.
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