Portal:Gemology and jewelry

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Gemology and jewelry portal

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Gemology (or gemmology) is the science, art and profession of identifying and evaluating gemstones. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewelers are academically trained gemologists and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems. Recently, the demand for gemological services has grown, as increasing quantities of synthetic gems such as cubic zirconia and synthetic moissanite are manufactured. Gemologists perform such work as the identification of synthetic and natural gemstones, fracture-filled gemstones, and color-enhanced or treated natural gemstones.

A gemstone is a mineral, rock, or petrified material that when cut or faceted and polished is collectable or can be used in jewelry. Gemstones are basically categorized by their crystal structure, specific gravity, refractive index, other optical properties, and hardness.

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Jewellery (or jewelry) is a personal ornament, such as a necklace, ring, or bracelet, made from jewels, precious metals or other substance. The word jewellery is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicised from the Old French "jouel" in around the 13th century. Further tracing leads back to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. Jewellery is one of the oldest forms of body adornment; recently found 100,000 year-old Nassarius shells that were made into beads are thought to be the oldest known jewellery.

Jewellery is made out of almost every material known and has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings and many more types of jewellery. While high-quality and artistic pieces are made with gemstones and precious metals, less-costly costume jewelry is made from less-valuable materials and is mass-produced.

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The mineraloid opal is amorphous SiO2·nH2O; hydrated silicon dioxide, the water content sometimes being as high as 20% but is usually between three and ten percent. Opal ranges from colorless through white, milky blue, gray, red, yellow, green, brown and black. Common opal is truly amorphous, but precious opal does have a structural element. The word opal comes from the Sanskrit upala, the Greek opallios, and the Latin opalus, meaning "precious stone." Opals are also Australia's National gemstone.

Opal is a mineraloid gel which is deposited at relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, and basalt. Opal is one of the mineraloids that can form or replace fossils. The resulting fossils, though not of any extra scientific interest, appeal to collectors.

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