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Antique Nineteenth Century Genuine Natural Handcrafted Siberian One-Third Carat (Plus) Faceted Sparkling Green Beryl (Aquamarine) Oval.

CLASSIFICATION: Faceted Green Beryl Oval.

ORIGIN: The Ural Mountains, Siberia, Russia. 19th Century.

SIZE: Length: 5mm. Width: 4mm. Depth: 3mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 0.38 carats.

NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings .

DETAIL: Most everyone is familiar with emeralds and aquamarine. But did you know both are varieties of the gemstone beryl? Dark green beryl is known as emerald, and tends to be infested with inclusions. Light blue-green beryl on the other hand, aquamarine, tends to be transparent, lightly colored, and more frequently found eye clean to flawless. Take away the blue from blue-green aquamarine, and what is left is "green beryl". Green beryl is aquamarine, except that whereas aquamarine light blue-green color comes from iron impurities, the light green of beryl comes from vanadium. Like aquamarine, green beryl is generally found in better qualities than emerald, which is generally heavily included and fractured. There's many other members to the fabulous beryl family, including Morganite (pink beryl); Goshenite (colorless beryl); Heliodore (yellow beryl); and Bixbite (red beryl).

This particular specimen is a gorgeous, light mint green beryl semi-precious gemstone from Siberia, the Ural Mountains of Russia. The color and clarity of pale green seawater, gorgeous, vibrant, and delicately hued, this striking gemstone is of good quality and possesses breathtaking luster. The gemstone was hand crafted and faceted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. The result is a flashy, sparkling gemstone which resembles sapphire or diamond in brilliance. Good gemstone quality green beryl is in short supply and can be very costly. However the Ural Mountains of Siberia, Russia have been producing green beryl (as well as aquamarine and emerald) for centuries.

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today's computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. For most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are only visible under magnification.

This gemstone has great lusterm brilliance, and fiery sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent and clean to the eye. Even in these 500% photo enlargements it is difficult to pick out any blemishes. However the gemstone is not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". Even to close scrutiny with the unaided eye it is indeed without blemish. However magnified 500%, as it is here, you might be able to just barely pick out one or two slight blemishes within the gemstone, barely perceptible even at such high magnification, and as well occasional irregularities in the faceting and finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Keep in mind that two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification.

HISTORY: The most widely recognized varieties of beryl are aquamarine and emerald. The origin of the name "aquamarine" is Latin; "aqua", for water; "marina", for sea. Ancient Greeks believed Aquamarine held the essence and spirit of the sea. Wearing this stone as a talisman was believed to protect from adversities at sea, prevent sea sickness, and promote courage and a strong will, and to quicken the intellect. Ancient Greek jewelers made extensive use of aquamarine, which came to them via Arabian camel caravan and ocean-going Mediterranean galleys. To Christians from the earliest times through the Medieval era, aquamarine symbolized harmony, happiness, innocence, youthfulness, and purity. It was held for its amuletic properties, believed to help protect against evil and conquer wickedness.

Emeralds were amongst the earliest gemstones traded by mankind, since the 5th millennium B.C. Prominent in ancient Babylon's gemstone markets, one of the earliest sources for these precious gemstones were Egyptian emerald mines near the Red Sea, first worked in the 3rd millennium B.C. The Greeks worked the same mines from the time Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. The last ruler of the Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, was often depicted and described wearing fabulous emeralds. The remains of "Cleopatra's Mines" were discovered in 1817 near Aswan on the Red Sea coastline. Emeralds were also quite favored in the Roman Empire, especially by Roman Emperors. Emerald mines in Upper Egypt provided medieval and Renaissance Europe with emeralds up through the 16th century. Emeralds were the most prized of the Russian Crown Jewels during the centuries long-rule of successive Russian Czars.

There are other members of the beryl family much less known then their famous cousins. Pale green beryl is essentially a green version of aquamarine. Pink and peach beryl, colored by manganese impurities, is known as morganite. Morganite was discovered late 1800's and is named after gem collector extraodinaire J.P. Morgan. Golden Beryl is colored by uranium impurities, and is known as heliodor. The rarest variety is red beryl, also known as "bixbite", and also derives it color from manganese impurities. The colorless variety of beryl known as goshenite is little used as a gemstone, however it played a very important role in history. In antiquity beryl was used for the lenses of spectacles - and was the source of the German word for spectacles, "brille". Goshenite is very brilliant, and has been used occasionally as a diamond substitute. In fact the word brilliance is probably derived from the ancient greek word for beryl, "berullos", which means crystal. Both pale green beryl as well as pink beryl (morganite) - as well as aquamarine and emerald, are found in Russia.

Beryl had been used as a physician's tool and gazing stone since ancient times. Those beliefs persist today. Beryl is metaphysically attributed with the ability to cure a number of intestinal and stomach ills, such as nausea, ulcers, and seasickness. Legend says that Beryl was used to ward off demons and evil spirits. Ancient literature notes that Pliny used powdered beryl to cure eye injuries. It is said to protect travelers from danger and to treat disorders of the heart and spine. Other legends about Beryl indicate it was used to promote cheerfulness and marital love, to retard laziness, and maintain youthfulness. Beryl is also the principle source of beryllium, which is used in the manufacture of light-weight metal alloys of high tensile strength and superior hardness and fatigue resistance.

SHIPPING OPTIONS: All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. Most of these antique gemstones were originally part of two collections, one originating in India principally composed of gemstones originally mined in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Siam, and then hand faceted in India. The addition of a second accumulation of antique gemstones originally mined in the Urals in the mid to late 19th century (including alexandrite) completed the collection. These gemstones as well were hand finished. The Urals have been one of the world's major sources of precious and semi-precious gemstones for many centuries. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers in Eastern Europe and Asia. These antique gemstones are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery.

We ship inventory from the USA order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipping within 48 hours of payment. A certificate of authenticity is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). We will accept PayPal payments. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE".