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date: 07 August 2020


  • Ken Scaratt


Minerals, usually of crystallized matter, used for personal adornment (e.g. Jewellery) or for decorating such items as textiles and liturgical objects. Rubies, sapphires, diamonds and emeralds are regarded by the layman as the high monetary value gems, while such stones as opals, topazes, tourmalines and garnets, and the organic gems Ivory, Amber, Jet and Coral are considered to be of lesser value. The value of any gem is dependent upon its beauty, rarity, quality and size: a diamond, for example, may be of lesser value than an emerald of a similar size, and a mediocre to poor-quality ruby may be of a lower value than an example of demantoid, the rare green variety of garnet. Such rare and lesser-known gems as alexandrite and chrysoberyl cat’s-eye, two of the members of the chrysoberyl family, can also command very high prices depending not only upon rarity, quality and size but also upon the market in which they are sold: a chrysoberyl cat’s-eye sold in England may have a lower market value than if it were sold in Japan....

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