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Fascinating Facts About Our Gemstones

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Fascinating Facts About Our Gemstones

Have you ever wondered what the word 'diamond' means? Or how pearls are formed? Or the difference between a ruby and a spinel? Every gemstone is a fascinating piece of nature. Today, these gemstones are tirelessly crafted into the precious jewelry that mark significant milestones and events in our lives. At Lucy & Mui, we offer a variety of stones, each with its unique identity and symbolism. Here are some lesser-known (but very intriguing) facts about them.

The word ‘diamond’ comes from the word ‘adamas,’ a Greek word that means indestructible.

Made of almost 100% carbon, the diamond is the hardest natural stone known on earth, with a score of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means that no other gemstone can scratch a diamond, besides itself. Seeing its everlasting durability, this gemstone certainly received a name fitting of its quality.  

Tea Rose Diamond Earrings, USD510

 

Naturally-occurring moissanite is extremely rare.

While they can be found, naturally occurring quantities of moissanite are extremely rare and minute. This sparked a quest to recreate the beauty and brilliance of this stone in the lab. In 1995, more than a century after it was first discovered, Charles & Colvard partnered with Cree to become the world’s first manufacturer and distributor of lab-created moissanite. Through a combination of science and art, scientists were able to thermally grow silicon carbide crystals (the same crystals found in natural moissanite) to create this beautiful gemstone. 

Olive Solitaire Engagement Ring, USD1,350

Today, moissanite gemstones are 100% ethically made and conflict-free. Standing at 9.25 on the Mohs scale, it is the second hardest stone of all, falling just behind diamond. The brilliance refractive index (or BRI) of moissanite ranges from 2.65 to 2.69, meaning that it displays more brilliance than diamond (with a BRI of 2.42) or any other popular gemstone. This beautiful gemstone’s exceptional qualities make it a highly sought-after diamond alternative for fine jewelry pieces.  

  

Morganite was known as ‘pink beryl’ when it was first discovered in 1910.

A year later, Tiffany & Co’s chief gemologist George F. Kunz proposed to name the stone in honor of American wealthy financier and avid gem collector J.P. Morgan, to pay tribute to his gemological and mineral contributions. It was then that the “morganite” was born.

Morganite’s subtle pink color is caused by traces of manganese. These stones are often heat-treated to improve the color, removing the yellow or orange tint they sometimes carry. The end result is a pretty pink – and a stable color that won’t fade.

 

Emerson Morganite Tapered Diamond Ring, USD1,250

Morganite stands at 8 on the Mohs scale, falling slightly behind its gemstone counterparts. A small trade-off for the beautiful blush, but when treated with care, it can last a lifetime. Because of its everlasting brilliance and enchanting pink hues, it’s become a great choice for engagement rings – a perfect emblem to solidify a lifetime promise.

 

Pearls are the only gemstones in the world that come from living animals.

Saltwater pearls, also known as Akoya pearls, are extracted from oysters, whereas freshwater pearls are collected from mussels. Harvesting one pearl is a long and tedious process, ranging between a year and three years.

A pearl is formed after numerous layers of nacre build up around a foreign tissue that enters a mollusk. It is this nacre coating that not only gives the pearl its luster, but also its rather gritty texture. A synthetic pearl, on the other hand, will feel smooth as silk, because it lacks the tiny crystalline platelets that form a genuine pearl.

The Pearl Diamond Space Necklace, USD450

A common way to differentiate a genuine pearl from a synthetic one is the tooth test, which entails gently rubbing the surface of the pearl against your teeth. Because pearls are very soft – rating no more than a 3 on the Mohs scale – do be careful when doing this to avoid scratching the pearls’ delicate surfaces.

 

Sapphires and rubies are structurally identical.

These two gemstones are part of the corundum family. The only difference is that rubies have an exquisite red color, whereas sapphires appear in an array of colors, including pink, orange, yellow, green, and most commonly, blue.

These gemstones are very resilient, registering 9 on the Mohs scale. Rubies are believed to symbolize power and protection. A modern allusion to this belief is in The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy’s ruby slippers were worn to protect her from harm. 

Seis Classic Ruby Ring, USD195

Sapphires, on the other hand, have long been associated with royalty and nobility. Perhaps the most well-known sapphire is that of the late Princess Diana’s engagement ring – a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire. Today, it is worn by Prince William’s wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, keeping her legacy alive through this beautiful blue gem.     

 

Ivy Sapphire Ring, USD420

 

Many crown "ruby" jewels of royal families were actually spinels.

These include the famous 14th century Black Prince’s Ruby, which now sits on the British Imperial State Crown.

Although extremely similar to the naked eye, the biggest difference is that ruby is a doubly refractive material, while spinel is singly refractive. This means that when light passes through, it is split into two rays in ruby, but only one in spinel. Because of its single refraction, spinel tends to have a purer and more vivid red hue compared to rubies.

Midnight Spinel Diamond Ring, USD950

Just like sapphires, spinels come in a rainbow of colors. Rated 8 on the Mohs scale, it is also a very durable gemstone. A little extra care goes a long way in preserving its beautiful color and luster, making it a uniquely perfect choice for engagement rings.

 

Gemstones aren't just the picture-perfect centerpiece for your jewelry. They are vibrant and beautiful in their own peculiar ways, and each holds a special meaning and unique story to tell, just like its wearer. If you have more questions about our gemstones, feel free to reach out at hello@lucyandmui.com or leave a message on Instagram and we'll get back to you right away. 

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