In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, every ring set with a precious stone was not considered as much a piece of jewelry, but more as an amulet that bestowed magical powers upon its wearer.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
|Orchid ring set with sapphire, amethyst, green garnet and white diamond on 18K yellow gold by Andre Marcha|
Monday, May 22, 2017
The son of the Turkish Sultan Bajazet (1447-1513) was said to have murdered his father pouring a large quantity of powdered diamond in his father's food. In l532, Pope Clement VII’s doctors dosed him with fourteen spoonfuls of pulverized gems, including diamond, which resulted in death for the patient. In the same century, Catherine de Medici was famous for dealing out death by diamond powder, and Benvenuto Cellini, the famous Italian goldsmith, described an attempt on his life by an enemy who ordered diamond powder to be mixed in his salad.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Early Victorian jewelers fancied gems like topaz, amethyst, citrine and garnets. Diamonds were considered to be matronly while young women often preferred turquoise which was popular throughout the era.
|Victorian 19th century turquoise and gold snake necklace. Fully articulated snake with hundreds of bezel set cabochon turquoise beads mounted in 18 karat gold. Finely detailed snake head completely encrusted with turquoise beads crowned with larger cabochon turquoise stone. Cabochon ruby eyes crown the head, which is accented with diamonds around the eyes and the mouth. From the original Fred Leighton|
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Under the normal pressures and temperatures we experience on the Earth’s surface, diamonds are actually thermodynamically unstable, slowly transforming into graphite. Yes, you read that correctly, diamonds are indeed turning into graphite, but thankfully for all those diamond owners out there it’s a process that is far too slow for humans to notice.
|Diamond graphite phase diagram|
Friday, May 19, 2017
Pyrite enjoyed brief popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries as a source of ignition in early firearms.
|The 16th century marked the first time a plan such as Balthazar’s had become technologically feasible. Until then, the only firearms were matchlocks – heavy, unwieldy affairs which could neither be concealed from view nor fired without a smoldering fuse, a fuse which burned at the mercy of the elements and which gave off a tell-tale whiff of smoke to any nearby sentient target. [source]|