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Garnet is the name of a family of minerals, which similar crystal structure and related chemical composition. They grew in popularity in the late 18thC and are still widely used today, in either cut or polished cabochon form. Garnets are popularly believed to be red stones, but this is not always the case. Not only are garnets found in a whole variety of red hues, but also in green (though these are rarer). The main representatives of the garnet family are:

Turquoises come from the Sinai Peninsula and Iran; they have more recently been found in Mexico. They were very popular in the late 18th and the 19thC because of their fashionable colour and afford ability.

Silver has been used for jewellery since ancient times and is mined all over the world. It was widely used in the late 18th Century for setting diamonds because its white colour complimented the colourless stones better than gold. Apart from for peasant jewellery, silver did not become a widely accepted metal until the latter half of the 19th Century, after the discovery of huge deposits in Nevada in 1860. This sudden availability was coupled with increasingly well-off middle and working classes with money to spend on inexpensive jewellery.

The term sapphire is applied to all types of the mineral corundum (an aluminium oxide) except the ruby, Sapphires are much more common than rubies, and stones exceeding 10ct are not rare. Deposits are found in Kashmir, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia and Montana...



Gold has always been regarded as the most important metal for jewellery because of its rich colour, malleability and durability. The main producers of gold are South Africa, the former Soviet Union, the United States and Canada.


Did you know?

Magma is the source of all minerals. It compromises all of the basic elements found on earth.