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This Week's Scuttlebutt

What are Gems?
Some minerals are highly prized because of their exceptional radiance and color. The main physical properties of gemstones are color, luster, how light passes through, and hardness. The gem form of corundum is a ruby, but non-gemstone corundum is used as an abrasive (emery) in sandpaper.

Metaphysical Properties of Crystals and Gems
Minerals have been worn as amulets and talismans for centuries. These minerals have been programmed to provide protection to the wearer against psychic attack.

Amber helps the body heal itself by absorbing and negative energy and changing it into postive energy. Amber cleanses the environment and has often been used in birthing rooms.

Gold symbolizes the pure spiritual aspect of "all that is" and helps improve character through learning.

Opals are said to help a person recognize the self's creative powers by allowing the release of inhibitions. Opals have been used to awaken both psychic and mystical qualities. They have often been used by Native American and Australian aborigine shamen to invoke visions.


Mineral Gem form Color Where Found
Diamond diamond many Australia, India, Brazil, Uganda
Corundum ruby sapphire red
Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Australia
Beryl emerald aquamarine green
Colombia, Brazil, Siberia, Madagascar, and United States
Topaz topaz clear,
and blue-green
Brazil, Mexico, Japan, United States
Quartz crystal amethyst clear
Europe, Brazil, Japan, United States

Small, industrial diamonds, called "grit" can now be manmade by heating certain carbon compounds to 4,900F (2,704C) at pressures of 1.5 million pounds per square inch (105,000 kilograms per square centimenter).

In 1812, Friedrich Mohs developed a scale that showed the relative hardness of minerals. The hardness of a mineral could be identified by scratching a smooth surface of the mineral with an object whose hardness is already known.

Level Example Field Test
1 talc leaves soft, greasy flakes on the fingers
2 gypsum easily scratched by a fingernail
3 calcite cuts easily with a nail, can be scratched by a penny
4 fluorite scratched easily by a knife
5 apatite can be scratched by a knife, but with difficulty
6 orthoclase can be scratched by a steel file
7 quartz will scratch a steel file
8 topaz can scratch quartz
9 corundum --
10 diamond --

Familiar objects ranked according to Moh's Scale of Hardness:

0.7 graphite
1.3 asphalt
2.5 fingernail
3.0 copper penny
3.5 brass
5.5-6.0 knife blade
5.5-6.0 plate glass
6.5-7.0 steel file

Beryl is a very common mineral, but an emerald, a form of beryl, is the rarest and most valuable of all gems.

What Makes a Mineral?

  1. Minerals are inorganic.
  2. Minerals are formed in nature.
  3. Minerals are solids.
  4. Atoms in a mineral all have the same crystalline pattern.
  5. Chemical composition of a mineral stays the same with only minor variations.

Metaphysical Properties of Minerals
One way to charge crystals is to place the crystal in sunlight and/or moonlight. If done during the day, charge the crystal during the summer or winter solstice or the vernal or autumnal equinox. If charging the crystal by moonlight, do so during a full moon or a new moon.

Basalt comes from igneous volcanic rock. It helps a person go through changes and provides stability.

Moonstone is a stone for hoping and wishing, and can bring flashes of insight and stimulates intuition. Moonstones have been worn, carried, used as an elixir, and applied topically.

Saturday, April 19, 2003 15:00