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Tourmaline

Introduction/Name
Tourmaline is the name for a group of related mineral species. In gemological practice, individual species names are not used. Instead all are simply termed “tourmaline.” The name is derived from the Sinhalese word “tourmali,” which means “mixed parcel.”

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Topaz

Introduction/Name
Topaz is the name for the mineral species that is number 8 on Mohs’ scale of hardness. There is some uncertainty regarding the name. Some say it comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “fire.” Others link it to the Red Sea Island of Topazios (Zabargad or St. John’s Island), where peridot has been found.
Ancient Egyptians thought the stone was colored by the mighty sun god Ra and was worn as an amulet against harm. During the Middle Ages, engraved topaz was used by clergy and royalty to promote goodwill. Topaz is the official gemstone of Texas and Utah and blue topaz is the gemstone of the 4th anniversary of marriage.

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Spessartite

Introduction/Name
Garnet is the name for a group of related mineral species. The gem garnets include:

Pyralspites (aluminum) Ugrandites (calcium)
Pyrope Mg3Al2(SiO4)3 Uvarovite Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3
Almandine Fe3Al2(SiO4)3 Grossular Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Spessartite Mn3Al2(SiO4)3 Andradite Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3

In addition to the purer end members mixed garnets such as malaia (or malaya, a pyrope-spessartite) and grandite (a grossular-andradite mixture) exist. The purplish pyrope-almandine mixture is called rhodolite.
The name spessartite (a.k.a. spessartine) is derived from Spessart, in N.W. Bavaria, Germany.

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Quartz

Microscopic examination revealed a most unusual inclusion scene: All of the beads were full of hollow growth channels and nail-head spicules (wedge-shaped, liquid-filled growth channels terminated by an inclusion on one end). Nail-head spicules are characteristic inclusions in synthetic beryl and synthetic quartz, though similar-looking inclusions have been described in some natural stones. Thus, isolated inclusions of this type do not necessarily offer proof of synthetic origin. 

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Prasiolite ('Green Amethyst')

Introduction and History

Prasiolite is produced by heating violet amethyst or yellowish quartz from the deposit Montezuma in Minas Gerais, Brazil to a temperature of about 500 degrees C. The colour change is permanent, the green colour will not fade.

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