Tag Archives: gemmology

A gift from nature: The 10 optical phenomena of gemmology

What is an optical phenomenon? Plainly put, this term embodies the result of the way light interacts with the crystalline structure, inclusions, and/or internal structure of a gemstone. It is, in essence, the reflection, diffraction, absorption, and/or diffusion of that light. Without even knowing, we encounter these phenomena on a daily basis, whether in opal, moonstone, alexandrite, or cat’s eye chrysoberyl—that said, one should be careful not to confuse optical property, such as dispersion in a diamond, with optical phenomena.

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Pearls: Royalty’s best friend

The pearl is among the oldest known gems of our world. Historically, they were considered divine gifts, rich with love and royalty. Kings and crowns harboured natural pearls as a sign of power, purity, and wealth—almost as though the gems would bring prosperity and long life to those who possessed them.

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