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  • Gemstone

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    Group of precious and semiprecious stones—both uncut and faceted—including (clockwise from top left) diamond, uncut synthetic sapphire, ruby, uncut emerald, and amethyst crystal cluster. A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks (such as lapis lazuli and opal) and occasionally organic materials that are not minerals (such as amber, jet, and pearl) are also used for jewelry and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone. Apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity engraved gems and hardstone carvings, such as cups, were major luxury art forms. A gem maker is called a lapidary or gemcutter; a diamond cutter is called a diamantaire.

  • Gemology

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    A selection of gemstone pebbles made by tumbling rough rock with abrasive grit in a rotating drum. The biggest pebble here is long.Gemology or gemmology is the science dealing with natural and artificial gemstone materials. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewelers are academically trained gemologists and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems.

  • Gemstone irradiation

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    The gemstone irradiation is a process in which a gemstone is artificially irradiated in order to enhance its optical properties. High levels of ionizing radiation can change the atomic structure of the gemstone's crystal lattice, which in turn alters the optical properties within it. As a result, the gemstone's color may be significantly altered or the visibility of its inclusions may be lessened. The process, widely practised in jewelry industry, is done in either a nuclear reactor for neutron bombardment, a particle accelerator for electron bombardment, or a gamma ray facility using the radioactive isotope cobalt-60. Irradiation has enabled the creation of gemstone colors that do not exist or are extremely rare in nature.

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