Monday, February 13, 2012


Everywhere you look this season you see minerals and crystals being used in design, whether it be gorgeous agate bookends or fashionable cuffs and earrings, you can't deny that minerals are the new craze. Do yourself a favor and visit the American Museum of Natural History "Hall of Minerals" it is the most beautiful collections of every type of mineral out there and very informative. Here''s a little tidbit.. to be considered a mineral it must have been formed naturally. Laboratory created gems (synthetic diamonds, rubies, etc.) don’t count.
1. Barite is a common mineral and makes very attractive specimens. It often is an accessory mineral to other minerals and can make a nice backdrop to brightly colored crystals. The name comes from the Greek word barytes that means "heavy," while the "Ba" stands for soft, silver-white, metallic element.

2. (Natural) Citrine is a quartz with a yellow included color. Crystals are usually stubby.  Most citrine are heat treated amethyst or sometimes smokey quartz that is heat treated. Natural citrine is more subdued and is relativaly scarce.
3. Most people consider tourmaline to be a single mineral. But in fact it is a group named for several different, but closely related minerals. Their rich and varied colors can captivate the eye.  Tourmalines are cut as precious gems and carved into figurines.
4. Citrine Quartz is a yellow to reddish orange, greenish yellow form of quartz. 
5. Fluorite is well known and prized for its glassy luster and rich variety of brilliant colors. Fluorite earns the reputation as "The Most Colorful Mineral in the World". The rich purple color is by far fluorite's most famous and popular color.
6. Pyrite is the classic "Fool's Gold". There are other shiny brassy yellow minerals, but pyrite is by far the most common and the most often mistaken for gold. It can have a beautiful luster and interesting crystals.
 7. The very poplar Amethyst belongs to the quartz family, it is the purple variety. The ancient Greeks attributed various powers to amethyst, notably that of protecting against drunkenness and passion, but also those of controlling evil thoughts and enhancing shrewdness. 
8. Quartz is the most abundant and most common mineral on the Earth. It is found in almost every geological environment and also it is at least a component of almost every rock type. It has a hexagonal crystal structure and is made of trigonal crystallized silica. 
 9. Dioptase is a very beautiful mineral and it is one of the few minerals that can capture the color of emerald's deep green. It is rather soft and therefore is not usually cut as a gemstone. The mineral specimens that dioptase produces, however, are truly a treasure for anyone that likes deep green colors.