Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gemstone of the Week- Aventurine

I love green aventurine.  There's a certain luminous quality to it that is not usually present in opaque stones. Some say there is a glint of gold, but I think it just has fairy dust in it!  I love it so much that it is probably the bead I use the most.  The fact that it is also very affordable helps too!  I made an Etsy Treasury East collection that links below:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/bd24b47bd9efca4bd7826100/adventures-in-aventurine

So what is this stone?  It's actually a variety of quartz chalcedony, so it's chemical composition is silicon dioxide.  Technically it is a rock, not a mineral, with a hardness around 6.5, which makes it strong in jewelry applications.  Aventurine has small inclusions in it, usually mica, that give it that glimmer called aventurescence.  The man-made goldstone is thought to be an imitation of natural aventurine, when Italian glassmakers dropped copper shavings into molten glass "a ventura" ("by chance"). IMHO, the real thing looks much nicer.  Most aventurine comes from India.

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