Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gemstone of the Week- Pretty Prehnite

Prehnite might  not be the first gem one thinks about when conjuring up a pale green pretty, but prehnite, in my opinion,is right up there with peridot, emerald, or jade.  Prehnite, first found in South Africa,  was the first mineral to be named after a person ( Hendrik von Prehn, a Dutch mineralogist and  governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony).  It is a silicate mineral, hardness of 6-6.5, making it a good candidate for jewelry.  Its milky lustrousness, translucency, affordability, and pretty color are making it more popular in jewelry, especially handcrafted pieces.  One notable feature about prehnite that would distinguish it from peridot or other similarly colored gems is that prehnite has dark inclusions in it.  Prehnite is available in all sorts of beads, faceted beads being the most lovely to my eye.  To celebrate prehnite, I created an Etsy Treasury:
Pretty Prehnite Treasury

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