Category Archives: Minerals

The Turquoise Stone in Native American Culture

Two Native Americans playing a traditional musical instrument

Like most gemstones, turquoise possesses mystical qualities that make it a highly valuable gem, especially to people who believe in the metaphysical nature of these stones. This alluring blue stone is chemically a hydrous sulfate of copper and aluminum, meaning it’s a mineral amalgamation of copper and aluminum sulfate with water. 

The Turquoise Stone: A Brief Overview of Significance

The turquoise stone holds immense significance in the world of alternative medicine. Many spiritual healers, chakra healers more than others, believe in the gem’s ability to nurse the human soul and use it in their therapeutic procedures. If you have ever been to a holistic therapy session, you may have seen various stones that the masters use throughout treatment, depending on the ailment. While many gems are used for alternative cures, turquoise is the top contender, especially when combating negative energies and evil spirits. 

This December birthstone is believed to bring serenity into a person’s life. They believe that people suffering from anxiety and exhaustion can also hugely benefit from the turquoise stone. 

The turquoise gemstone
Photo by Sophie Louisnard on Unsplash

This azure gem can supposedly prevent panic attacks and instill inner peace in people who feel lost and directionless. Aside from the apparent extraterrestrial benefits of turquoise, plenty of physical gains are obtained from the stone. For instance, many proponents of turquoise believe that it facilitates the absorption of food in the body and deals with various gut problems. Moreover, the blue gem is considered a mystical cure for inflammation and toxicity. This mineral is widely recognized for its superior features, but not everyone is a fan. 

With that said, a large majority of traditionalists do believe in the supposed physical and metaphysical benefits of the turquoise stone, but none revere it more like the Native Americans. The indigenous people of America are said to have associated the turquoise stone with a lot more than just protection from evil. Let’s take a look at the relationship between the blue gem and its number one admirers to acquire a better understanding of their belief in this precious gem. 

The Native Americans and the Turquoise Stone 

Native Americans believe that the earth is a living, breathing entity and everything inside it is precious and praiseworthy. Since the people venerate the world profoundly, they regard every natural element highly and the turquoise stone is no exception. 

However, it must be noted that this birthstone is not only valued because it’s a natural crystal; if that were the case, then native Americans would deem every naturally occurring mineral sacred. Although they consider all gemstones blessed to some extent, the turquoise mineral holds a superior status among all others, via a myth that is responsible for elevating the position of the stone in the eyes of Native Americans. 

The Turquoise Myth

Legend has it that the Navajo tribe of the indigenous community of America believed that after a long period of drought, when it finally rained, human tears would seep deep into the earth, becoming turquoise eventually. Many continue to believe the myth to this day.

For Native Americans, the stone represents life and nature. This belief stems partly from the widespread myth and the sky blue color of the gem.

Since turquoise carries shades of blue that are reminiscent of the colors of the earth and sky, it becomes a manifestation of life in the form of crystals. Moreover, the Navajo also believed that a turquoise crystal was a piece of the sky fallen on the earth as a blessing; therefore, it must be cherished and celebrated like no other stone. 

Mystical Properties of Turquoise Believed by Native Americans

Native Americans consisted of multiple communities, such as the Aztecs, Acoma Pueblo, Maya and Navajos. And all these tribes regarded turquoise higher than most other gems and associated several metaphysical properties with it. Among all the commonly believed mystical powers, these were touted as undeniable. 

The Native Americans believed that the appealing blue stone brought good fortune and wealth to people. They would keep it close in hopes of acquiring money and status. Furthermore, they would exchange it as a gift frequently, as doing so was supposed to bring prosperity to the recipient. 

The Navajo tribe thought that the gods of rain like the turquoise stone and would throw it in river water when trying to appease the deities.

According to the historical archives, the Navajos were the fondest of the turquoise stone among all Native American tribes. They would use the gem as a talisman and send it along with warriors to the battlefield to ensure victory. 

Another Navajo related turquoise tradition that demonstrates how much the said tribe venerated the crystal is paying homage to Estsanatlehi, a goddess during all Navajo coming of age ceremonies. Legend has it that she was made with the turquoise stone; hence, possessed more extraordinary powers and the right to be worshipped. 

Apache, another Native American tribe, associated the December birthstone with rain and thought it came from the ends of a rainbow. The people of Apache would use it to stay safe from evil energies and gain strength, especially during war. 

The people of Pima regarded the stone as a source of skill learning. They would use it to gain expertise in any field as it was supposed to stimulate the mind’s creative ability. 

The Hopi thought that it was the waste product of lizards that travels between the earth and heaven. The supposed transcendental nature of the stone made it all the more vulnerable for the said community. 

One property that was universally associated with the turquoise stone in the Native American population was its ability to keep the human soul protected from demons. Almost all tribes, big and small, including Maya, Aztec, Inca, and Zuni, believed that turquoise bearers would always be safe from evil spirits. Therefore, people would strive with all they had to get their hands on a piece of turquoise. They would travel far and wide to find turquoise in order to ward off evil spirits. 

Zunis believed that the different shades of cool colors featured on a turquoise stone, namely green and blue, represented females and males respectively-another connection between the crystal and life. 

Although there is no scientific proof to back the rampant theories related to the turquoise, people continue to believe in the mystical powers of the turquoise gemstone.



How to Pick the Right Gemstone

There are thousands of varieties of gemstones. When deciding on one, it can be quite an overwhelming task. That is why it is important that you are not impulsive and instead look at the various factors that can help you choose the right one. 

From color to cut, many different aspects come into play. Keep reading this gemstone reading guide that covers eight different factors that will influence your buying decision:


Assortment of gemstonesColor is of the utmost importance when it comes to gemstones. If you want to wear a gemstone, you should choose a color that suits you best and resonates with your personality. 

Every gemstone has its unique shades of colors and some even come in a variety of them. Colors can greatly affect your mood, emotions and attitude and therefore, the gemstone you pick should be a color that brings out positivity and good vibes. 

In addition to that, some believe that colors also have healing properties. For example, blue gemstones are known to have a calming effect and relax the body, whereas an orange gemstone is said to promote feelings of happiness, wisdom and creativity.


Most notable with diamonds, it is a term used to measure the weight of a particular stone. Carat is an important factor to consider when picking out the right gemstone. Most gemstones are available in various sizes; however, sometimes your options may be limited in certain stones. 

Carat is also important because it reflects the purity and rarity of a piece. This can come in use later if you’re going to sell the stone. Carats may vary from stone to stone. For example, when it comes to diamonds, size is less important than the quality of the diamond; people prefer larger carat weights due to their higher status and value.


Fine Cut DiamondProbably the most important factor of a gemstone, especially with diamonds. The cut is more significant than the shape and refers to the appearance of a gemstone. It refers to the way the proportions, polish and symmetry of the stone are put together, which includes a rating of excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor and references how much light is reflected from the stone. 

The way that a gem is cut can strongly affect its overall value due to its influence on color. Well-cut stones are known to bring out the beauty of a stone, therefore, enhancing its overall grade. On the other hand, poorly cut stones will cause the light to leak out of the stone instead of being brought back to the viewer’s eye.

The cut is that element that ties the stone’s color, clarity and carat weight together. Choose a stone that is visually appealing and one where light spreads evenly across it instead of it having lifeless dark areas.


Clarity or the absence of flaws is another crucial factor that will affect your buying decision. Choose a stone that is sparkling clean without any imperfections. Clarity is judged on the stone’s species and variety. This is done to keep in mind the differences in the formation of environments for different minerals. Different stones have different clarity grades, so you might want to do your research before choosing one.


Another determining factor for many people when picking a gemstone is their birthstone. If you’re wondering what this is, a birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person’s birth month and the personality traits associated with it. Even though it is considered to be a modern concept, the origin of birthstones dates back to biblical times. Many traditions and cultures continue to follow the tradition of the birthstone even today and for many, it is just a fashion statement. 

Here is the list below:

January- Garnet
February- Amethyst
March- Aquamarine
April- Diamond
May- Emerald
June- Alexandrite|
July- Ruby
August- Peridot
September- Sapphire
October- Pink Tourmaline
November- Topaz
December- Blue Topaz


Let’s not forget this one. The prices of gemstones vary and some can be ridiculously expensive, depending on their rarity and quality. Some, such as the pink diamond are said to be $1.19 million per carat! Before setting your heart on one, find out the price and see if it’s in your budget.


Apart from how it looks, the quality and durability of the stone are of utmost importance too. You want it to last, right? When looking at durability, you can check the hardness of the stone. The hardness is what will determine the ‘wear and tear’ of the stone. If your gemstone is likely to come into contact with surfaces, this is especially true for rings and bracelets, then remember to pick one that has a Mohs hardness rating of seven or higher. The hardness is essentially the stone’s resistance to scratching. You don’t want to wear a stone with scratches all over it.  The harder it is, the better.

Healing Properties

You must have heard of healing crystals as they are all the hype right now. If you’re wondering what they are, they are basically gemstones that are said to have different kinds of powers or healing properties for the mind, body and soul

As a result, lots of people buy them based on believing that they have many physical and emotional benefits and can help get rid of negative energy. Even though science has not yet provided evidence for healing crystals, they go way back in history where they were used as alternative forms of medicine. They also play a huge role in many religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. 

An example of a healing crystal is a clear quartz, which is known to be a master healer. It is said to balance the body and regulate the immune system. 

You now know the basics about how to pick the right gemstone. Remember, you have to be practical and look at a variety of factors and not just base it on appearance. Each stone has its beauty, but pick one that resonates the most with you.  Happy shopping!



11 Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

Ruby Necklass

In the movie The Titanic, a magnificent but fictional gem called The Heart of the Ocean, which is the origin of the story is based on the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond.

One of the world’s most valuable diamonds, it is said to be worth a whopping $350 million.

Its history is intriguing. Initially, it was 67.125-carat, blue colored diamond and is believed to have been curated in India. It made its way to French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1666 who then sold it to King Louis XIV in 1668. 

The king was eventually executed, along with Marie Antoinette, which led to the theft and disappearance of the gemstone. 

Experts believe that it was subsequently cut and the result was the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond. Interestingly enough, the Hope Diamond is now the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other noteworthy and expensive gemstones in the world and  what makes them so expensive From ruby to emerald, here’s a list of the most expensive gemstones in the world:

1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 million per carat

The blue diamond holds the record for the most valuable price per carat at $3.93 million. This special gemstone is just as the name suggests, a diamond except that it is blue in color. Blue diamonds get their color from the amounts of boron that debase the structure of their crystalline mesh. They are part of a category called fancy color diamonds.

2. Emerald – $305,000 per carat

It is no surprise that this gorgeous green gemstone is one of the most expensive in the world. It gets its color from the amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium that is embedded within it. Emeralds are found in all parts of the world, but the majority of the supply comes from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Columbia.

Most emeralds have some kind of minor imperfection. So when a flawless natural emerald is found, it is sold at a ridiculously expensive price. An example of this is when John D. Rockefeller purchased one for his wife. Several years after the death of the couple, their son put it up for auction at Christie’s, where it sold for $5.5 million or $305,000 per carat. This made it the most expensive emerald ever sold.

3. Jadeite – $3 million per carat

This stone is one of the rare ones. It is the most vivid in the Jade family. Jadeite is found in a variety of colors, such as red, yellow and black; however, those that are green are the most famous. Jadeite was used in the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, which is comprised of 27 huge jadeite beads. This necklace was then auctioned off and sold for $27.44 million to Cartier Jewelers. 

Mineral Taaffeite4. Taaffeite – $35,000 per carat

Another rare mineral, this one is commonly confused with spinel. It was first discovered in Dublin, Ireland in 1945 where it was already cut and polished. During this time, it was already being called spinel and when it was further inspected, they came to the conclusion that it was a new gem. This rare mineral can be found in alluvial deposits in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

5. Pink Diamond – $1.19 million per carat

At this point, we can see that those gems that are of a high value are denoted by their color, so it is no surprise that another expensive set of gemstones are called pink diamonds and are among the rarest gemstones in the world. In fact, only 0.0001% of the diamonds that exist are pink.

The highest that this diamond ever sold for was a record-breaking $71.2 million, which amounts to $1.19 million per carat. This was at an auction in Hong Kong in 2017. It came to be known as the ‘Pink Star’ diamond which is the only pink diamond in existence that is totally flawless. No doubt its rarity and flawless cut are why this pink diamond is so expensive. 

6. Grandidierite – $20,000 per carat

This unique beauty of this marvel was first discovered in Madagascar in 1902. It is a rare piece that goes up to $20,000 per carat. It is most often located on aluminous boron rich rocks. 

7. Ruby—$1.18 million per carat

This delicious red gemstone is one of the most stunning gems there is. It is much sought after, so much so that the most expensive ruby ever sold was for $30 million at an auction. It is called ‘The Sunrise Ruby’ and is a 26 carat stone that comes close to being a perfect red.

8. Alexandrite – $12,000 per carat

Alexandrite Mineral
Alexandrite (variety of chrysoberyl)

First discovered in the Ural mountains in Russia during the 1830s, this beauty has the unique ability to change color, according to the light that shines on it. In the light, it appears to be emerald and in the darkness a ruby. Most of them are indigenous to Russia, however, they have also been found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and even India. The biggest and most expensive one ever discovered was in the US. A 65.08-carat gemstone priced at $4 million.

9. Black Opal—$9,500 per carat

This stone is dark just as the name suggests and differs from its lighter sibling. It is also the more expensive opal. It is extremely rare, so much so that it is only found in one single region of the world, i.e. the Lightning Ridge of New South Wales in Australia.

The biggest and most valuable black opal called ‘the Royal One’ is 306 carats and is valued at just over $3 million. It was first found by a miner who kept it a secret and hid it at his home, for fourteen years until he came out with it. 

10. Red Diamond $1,000,000 per carat

You now know that diamonds are among the most expensive and valuable gemstones. We have looked at the blue and pink ones but the red diamond is one of the most expensive. It is sold for over $1 million per carat. The reason is that it is a rarity; there are less than 30 red diamonds across the globe and most of which are less than half a carat. It gets its red color from the plastic deformation of the crystal mesh. The largest red diamond in the world was the Moussaieff stone found in 2011 for $8 million.

11. Red Beryl – $10,000 per carat

Just as the name suggests, this gemstone is a variety of beryl. It is extremely rare and has only been found in very few locations. Some of these include Beaver County, Wah Wah Mountains, New Mexico, etc. It is sometimes also marketed as “red emerald “.

Each of these 11 gemstones is unique and absolutely stunning. There’s a reason that they have been sold for so much! 








Fascinating Gemstone Fables

Variety of gemstones on a matGemstones have been the center of attention in the world of glamour since the beginning of time. And while they have primarily only been a source of wonderment and awe for divas worldwide, some tales surrounding the glitzy sparklers are rather bizarre and worth learning about. However, that’s not to say that all strange gem stories are grim or spine chilling; many are amusing and glaringly mundane (considering they involve some of the biggest names in the elite circle), which in itself is pretty much a treat for a pop culture consumer. 

For instance, you’ll find that a mercenary gifted his wife a chunky block of a stunning crystal to make up for calling her masculine. Likewise, a widely popular super sultry seductress lost her oh-so-expensive set of one of a kind earrings while taking a dip in the sea. The world of gemstones is full to the brim with such seemingly banal anecdotes that make for a good laugh if nothing else. 

So, here is a quick run-through of some of the most entertaining gemstone moments over the years. 

The Taylor Burton Diamond

Known for his saccharine voice, the welsh actor Richard Barton has been a man to many women, which is why he has been behind some of the most whimsical gemstone tales. The first story involving the superstar is quite commonplace for a husband because he had to buy his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, a massive piece of diamond to make up for calling her hands ugly and masculine during a spat at dinner time. The missus used her husband’s (crystal clear) momentary lapse in judgment to her advantage. She demanded the biggest possible diamond on a ring as a compensatory prize that would make her manly hands look small and slender. Consequently, Richard got Elizabeth a 64.27 carat Diamond as an act of penance on his part. 

La Peregrina Pearl

The luxuriant necklace landed in possession of the American royalty Elizabeth Taylor in 1969 after passing from the hands of Spanish, French, and English royalty. Elizabeth’s doting husband, Richard Burton, got the jewel for her at an auction by outbidding a prince. However, the American actress carelessly misplaced the magnificent piece of jewelry at a hotel in Las Vegas for a while, only to find it later in her dog’s mouth. 

The Taj Mahal Diamond

Yet another diamond tale involving the welsh heartthrob, Richard burton. The Taj Mahal (not the architectural wonder that the Mughal emperor Shahjehan commissioned for his wife Mumtaz) is a blocky, heart-shaped table-cut diamond necklace that was a gift from husband Richard to his wife, Taylor. The power couple made their extravagant purchase public via a press conference. 

The Duchess of Windsor’s Panther Bracelet 

The remarkable onyx and diamond panther bracelet was the pride and joy of the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson. Also, a notable American socialite, Wallis got the jewel as a gift from husband King Edward VIII, who left the British throne to marry the woman of his dreams. 

The Empress Eugene Brooch

Currently, a source of attraction in the French museum, the louvre, the Empress Eugene brooch was once a flashy buckle before becoming a pinnable item. Featuring approximately 26,000 diamonds, the blinding clasp attained its current state at Empress Eugene’s request. Nobody knows why the monarch chose to modify the jewel, but one thing is an established fact that she absolutely loved her large gemstone possession and would often wear it. 

The Tiffany Diamond

Sporting a refreshing yellow color, the Tiffany diamond was mined in South Africa in 1877. The 126-carat diamond necklace is in possession of Tiffany and Cos and has adorned only one neck till now. Audrey Hepburn wore it for a shoot when promoting the campaign for breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

Prince Soraya’s Engagement Ring

Another fascinating gemstone story involving a loving husband and his leading lady. The Iranian princess became the proud owner of the 22-carat diamond ring in 1950 when the shah of Iran presented it to her. The glorious ring, along with all of the princess’s belongings, were auctioned off in Paris in 2002 after Soraya had passed away. 

Grace Kelly’s Engagement Ring

Prince Rainier III of Monaco initially gave the love of his life a two baguette diamond ring from Cartier to affiance her. But when he later realized that everyone in Hollywood had much chunkier rocks on their fingers, he ordered a 10.5-carat emerald cut diamond ring from Cartier for his then-wife Grace Kelly. 

Kim Kardashian’s $75,000 Earring

The American socialite almost lost her $75,000 earring in Bora Bora. On a family vacation to the splendid island, Kim’s then-fiancé, Kris Humphries, threw her in the water as an act of endearment but what followed his folly was anything but endearing. After giggling for a second in the Bora Bora waters, Kim reached for her earlobe only to find it bereft of her $75,000 earring. Upon the grace revelation, the American model started bawling hysterically before conceding the unlikelihood of finding a tiny piece of jewelry in the massive ocean. Amazingly though, Kris and Kendall Jenner somehow stumbled upon the lost earring the same day during a round of swimming. 

The Krupp Diamond

And the chronicles of Taylor-Burton diamonds keep surfacing! 

In 1968, Richard Burton gifted his wife Elizabeth a colorless 33-carat diamond ring, which the actress flaunted as a token of love by her beloved husband. But her prized possession became the recipient of a rather unmerited jibe by Princess Margaret at a wedding where both divas were in attendance. The British monarch called Elizabeth’s ring vulgar until she was offered to try it on herself. Indeed, envy can make anyone do irrational things!  

The Black Orlov Diamond 

Stolen by a monk in India from the eye of a Brahma idol, the sleek and sparkly black diamond now hangs from a gorgeous white chain. However, the mystifying jewel is regarded as a cursed object by many as it has been known to bring violent deaths upon its owners. It was last seen in London during a diamond exhibition at the Natural History Museum in 2005. Supposedly the Orlov diamond now belongs to a mysterious private collector who remains unknown to this date.


So gemstones are not just glitz and glory; they have pretty sensational stories to their credit that are worth a read and now that you know about these gem follies, why not run down to your local jewelry store and get one for yourself? Say what? You don’t have that kind of financial wealth! Well then, welcome to the rest of us who account for 95% of humans on this planet, but hey, they are nice to read about! 


8 Noteworthy Gemstone Rings

Aside from devouring movies, shows, and music, ardent pop culture enthusiasts also love to follow the lives of their favorite celebrities. From breakups and patch-ups to secret trips and weddings, diehard fans like to keep an eye on everything related to their stars and that too, in great detail.

While all aspects of stardom interest showbiz aficionados, they particularly love celebrity engagements, weddings, and everything about them. And by everything, we mean every minor and significant detail about a couple’s nuptials and the most intriguing bit for a large majority of admirers remains the chunky piece of exquisite stone that sits atop the engagement ring. 

When it comes to jewels owned by celebrities, none attracts as much attention as engagement rings. That could be so because of what an engagement ring signifies or the fact that when it comes to honoring partners, pop stars like to go BIG, which is why most circlets adorning high-profile fingers carry exotic, blinding gems that leave onlookers in awe. 

Promise rings worn by the luminaries of the entertainment industry have always been the talk of the town as people love to admire those magnificent jewels while yearning to own a similar, if not the same, band someday. 

That said, unfortunately, getting a big block of any precious gem over a metal loop might not be in the cards for everyone. But that doesn’t mean they can’t admire the enthralling splendor of the gorgeous, glistening beauties that embellish the ring finger of many star beaus. 

And hence, here’s a list of the most popular gemstone engagement rings that shine like the brightest star in the galaxy. 

Victoria Beckham 

When people hear the name of this gorgeous beauty, the first thing that comes to mind is a diva. Victoria Beckham is undeniably the embodiment of grace, elegance, and sensuous femininity, so naturally, David Beckham had to give her a ring that would match her grace.

While that could have been a confounding job, the famous footballer definitely executed it perfectly, gifting his lady not one, not two, not three, but 13 breathtaking rings over the course of seventeen years of their marriage. And out of the thirteen jewels, three feature gemstones, including ruby, sapphire and emerald. 

Penelope Cruz

The beauty is undoubtedly among the top goddesses of Hollywood, and her husband, Javier Bardem, makes sure he treats her like one. Penelope Cruz wears a vintage sapphire engagement ring that is classic and contemporary in equal measure. The three-carat glorious oval gem sits at the center of a flower-shaped diamond band, making the ring an awe-inspiring piece of jewelry. 

Jessica Simpson 

The late 90s teen idol, Jessica Simpson, is known for winning the hearts of music lovers worldwide with her songs. But her soccer husband, Eric Johnson, knew very well how to win the songstress’s heart as he gave her a beautiful red ruby engagement ring. And mind you, Jessica is July born, so her birthstone is ruby. Talk about being thoughtful! 

Elizabeth Hurley 

The fantastical love tales of Australian cricketer Shane Warne and American beauty Elizabeth Hurley did the rounds for a while back in 2011, after the actress’s split from husband Arun Nayar. Though the couple decided to call it quits only two years after getting engaged, the ring Shane gave Elizabeth stuck in people’s minds for much longer.

The Australian sportsman presented his American beau a jaw-dropping nine-carat sapphire gemstone ring, which, as everyone knows, is the go-to stone choice among the British royalty since the time of Lady Diana. 

Besides the splendid sapphire, Elizabeth’s ring also featured two 2-carat trillion-cut diamonds for an added effect. Rumor has it that the ravishing ring cost about $100,000 at the time. 

Halle Berry

The 2004 Catwoman is known for her riveting acting, but some jewelry lovers also remember her for her mesmerizing engagement ring. Halle’s husband of four years, Oliver Martinez, gifted her a hand-forged ring by a noteworthy Parisian artisan, Robert Marzio. Since the couple is no longer married, the Call actress doesn’t wear her ring anymore, but that doesn’t make it any less splendid.

The glorious green ring sported a four-carat emerald that sat on top of a yellow gold band. Rumor has it that this beautiful emerald stunner carried arcane codes that only the couple understood. Butterfly-inducing-ly romantic, right? Yeah, we thought so too. 

Olivia Wilde 

The Tron legacy actress is engaged to comedian Jason Sudeikis, who is hopelessly in love with his partner and their engagement ring is enough proof of that. Olivia’s ring contains a six-carat clear diamond stone surrounded by a halo of green emeralds, which, according to the actresses’s paramour, reflects the green in her eyes. Now, if that isn’t adorable, we don’t know what is? 

Ashlee Simpson 

Sibling to Jessica Simpson, actress and songwriter Ashlee Simpson has been lucky in the matters of the heart as her sister, and that’s evident from her Edwardian style ring. Ashlee’s husband, Evan Ross, gave her a one of a kind ruby and diamond-encrusted ring that pays a nod to the Edwardian era. Evan hired the famous jewelry designer, Neil Lane to design a unique engagement ring for his now-wife.

According to Neil, Ashlee’s blinding sparkler is nothing like anything she has seen or created before. It’s an inarguably a rare and refined piece of jewelry. 

Kate Middleton 

Though not part of the entertainment industry, Kate Middleton is famous all the same; hence, she deserves a shoutout for her ethereal ring. Prince William proposed to the Duchess of Cambridge by giving her lady Diana’s sapphire ring. The sparkling blue ring that now sits on the Duchess’ ring finger features an 18-carat sapphire stone encircled by a halo carrying 14 diamonds. Moreover, the royal ring is set in 18-carat white gold and is regarded as one of the most prized family heirlooms in history. 

All the mentioned bearers of the most elegant gemstone rings are undoubtedly blessed to wear (have worn at one time) such stunning sparklers. 

Building a Great Mineral Collection: How to Care for Gemstones

Close-Up Photo Of Assorted Gemstones

You purchase a beautiful emerald for your mineral collection but forgot to maintain it properly. One year later, you find it in your drawer with much of its luster lost. Why? In our recent blog, we discussed guidelines for investing in gemstones. Now, let’s take a look at how to care for your investment. You need to be aware of the dos and don’ts regarding the maintenance of gems. One wrong move and they can lose their shine (and value) for life.  

Gem Maintenance Overview

In addition to a mineral’s rarity and alluring beauty, they are prized for their durability. In fact, their natural toughness is one of the main reasons why gemstone collections have become such a popular mode of investment today. However, you would be wrong to think that given their literal rock-strong build, these ornate stones don’t require any maintenance. 

Whether you plan to sell them down the line or not, it’s essential to know how to care for them. Improper storage and negligence in cleaning these minerals regularly or with the wrong substance are rookie mistakes many gem collectors make. This can have an adverse effect on the beauty and brilliance of these stones. This, in turn, can greatly reduce their total worth and hence, any potential profits you can make by selling them.

Here are some important tips on how to look after your gemstones and maintain their exquisite beauty.

Cleaning Your Gems

A 2 carat diamond being held up by tweezers

It doesn’t matter whether they are tucked away safely in a box or displayed openly on your shelf. Gemstones need to be cleaned periodically. Cleaning is quite easy and should only take a couple of minutes. 

Generally, all you need to do is rinse them with lukewarm water. This washes off the dirt and dust that may have settled on the surface. In some cases, you might need to add a bit of soap or other mild detergent to remove hard stains. 

If you have just mined a piece from a public gemstone dig site, you will need to clean it more thoroughly to get rid of all the soil and grime. 

Depending on the size and texture of the stone, a small cleaning brush with soft or medium-hard bristles would suffice. Most of the time, a toothbrush or paintbrush works well, so grab one and gently scrub.

Clean it in a slow, circular motion. Avoid scrubbing too harshly as it can scratch the stone. 

For very small-sized gems that are hard to clean with a brush, dip them in a bowl of soapy water. Then rub each piece gently between the tips of your fingers to remove the dirt stuck to it.

Once clean, immediately dry the stones using a soft, lint-free cloth. 

Pro tip: Never wash your gemstones directly in the sink as you risk losing them easily.

Cleaning Specific Gemstones

The Diamond
“Diamond” by nikilok is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The above method of cleaning is generally safe for most rock minerals and crystals such as emerald, jade, granite, amethyst, corundum and others that are similar in chemical composition. 

However, you should try to research about the nature of each gem in your collection. This is because some of these tend to be of quite a sensitive nature. Cleaning your minerals too frequently or with water that isn’t at the right temperature can dull their luster permanently.

For example, turquoise and amber have a relatively lower resistance than most gemstones. Using detergents or warm water to clean them can result in a change in color due to chemical reactions. 

Here are some important considerations for some of the common minerals that require extra care to handle:

  • Peridot – Peridot is quite soft compared to an average gemstone. Avoid putting too much stress otherwise it may crack.
  • Turquoise – Store it in an airtight box or plastic bag as moisture from the air can stain its surface over time
  • Garnet – Garnet is heat sensitive so avoid prolonged exposure to warm water
  • Pearls – Wash them with plain lukewarm water. Dipping them into chemical solutions can discolor the outer layer
  • Aquamarine – Keep in a soft pure cotton cloth after cleaning as aquamarine is prone to scratches. 
  • Opal – Do not wash it with warm water as it is extremely sensitive to heat. Wrap in a soft fabric before storing it. 
  • Sapphire – Keep it away from stones like diamond and ruby as their hard edges can scrape its soft surface 
  • Diamonds – Being the hardest of all gemstones, they bear heat and pressure well. Mechanical cleaning is often the go-to method for restoring their shine. However, always hand clean it properly first to avoid scratching during the mechanical cleaning process.

Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Some expert level gem collectors like to use special equipment such as ultrasonic cleaners. These home kits are basically made for cleaning crystal and stone-embedded jewelry. Most of them have a steam and boiling system to take your gems from dull to dazzling in no time.

It is quite an efficient and effective way to maintain a large assortment of gemstones in prime condition. But it is usually not recommended for beginners.

The heat and concentrated chemical solutions used in these cleaners can damage your stones if there is a slight oversight on your part. Plus, it is not suitable for all types of stones. If you want to use such advanced methods to restore the shine, it’s better to leave it to the professionals. 

Take your collection to a jeweler and they can clean it for you.

How to Store Gemstones

Opal sterling silver bracelet
Opal sterling silver bracelet hand made in Belize

When it comes to storing your gemstones, just remember this one cardinal rule: keep them away from heat and sunlight at all costs. 

Heat and light, especially ultraviolet rays in sunlight can have an adverse effect on the color and durability of these minerals.

Stones like amethyst and quartz can become dull and tarnished if kept under direct sunlight. Storing your gems in a high temperature environment can also dry up their natural moisture. 

Microscopic water droplets play an integral role in holding the structure of mineral rocks together. Reduced water content can cause a fracture in these stones. 

Also, remember to always wash your hands thoroughly before touching any gemstones. Chemicals from hand moisturizers, perfumes or even the natural salts and other compounds in our sweat can be damaging for their natural glitz. 

End Note

Building a gemstone collection is fun and exciting. But you must remember that although mineral rocks have high resistance, they are not indestructible altogether. To maintain their beauty, you need to store them properly and clean them periodically.

Follow these tips on how to care for gemstones and rest assured they will retain their shine and luster for years to come. 

Salt Domes – An Economically Significant Geological Formation

Enlarged view of salt crystals

What is a Salt Dome?

A salt dome is a geological formation deep under the surface of the Earth. It is a vertical column of salt which protrudes upwards into the layer of sediments called the caprock. Salt formations are typically horizontal, but when in a sedimentary basin where a thick layer of salt is covered by a layer of sediments of heavy mineral, salt formations can rise vertically. 

How is Salt Domes Formed?

A phenomenon known as diapirism takes place beneath the surface of the Earth. It allows lighter material to force its way upwards through denser material. In the case of a salt dome, salt has a lower density compared to the rocks above it. When a gravitational force, tectonic force, and a combination of various other forces act upon salt, this results in the deformation of salt. As a result, the salt flows upwards like a viscous liquid. 

For the formation of a salt dome, the pressure on the salt must be high enough to allow the salt to penetrate through the layer of sediment above it. Once the salt begins to flow, the process will continue as long as the pressure on the salt is more than the forces acting against it, but once the forces are in equilibrium, the flow of salt will stop. 

When conditions are favorable, salt domes can grow thousands of feet above their core. They can also reach the surface of the Earth and result in the formation of salt glaciers. The formation of salt domes does not occur overnight. It is a long process which can take centuries. The process begins in an isolated marine inlet. When the water evaporates, it leaves concentrated salt. Geologists believe that the evaporation process should occur multiple times. This will help achieve the required concentration of salt essential for creating a salt dome

Once the large deposits of salt are created, wind and other external forces will come into play. Over time, sediments are deposited on the salt. Once the sediments have completely covered the salt formation, the forces acting on the salt will become stronger. Since salt is a mineral with lighter density, it will find its way upwards through the sediments. 

Size of the Salt Domes 

Salt domes are often very large structures. The diameter of the salt dome can range from ½ a mile to over five miles. The origin or the parent rock from which the salt dome rises is typically found thousands of feet below the surface. A typical salt dome rises at least a mile from its origin and some are known to be higher than six miles.

Economic Significance of Salt Domes 

Salt domes are important due to various reasons. They serve as a reservoir for oil and gas. They are also a critical source for sulfur and salt. Once the salt is extracted, the remaining salt dome holes can be used as an effective underground storage and waste disposal site for hazardous waste. 

Oil and Gas Reservoirs 

Salt domes have a unique significance in the oil and gas industry. As the salt is rising vertically, it exerts pressure on the rocks above it. The caprock, which is the layer of sediment above the salt, is arched upwards. This upward arch serves as a structural trap and can reserve oil and gas. As the caprock is arched upwards, oil and gas migrate towards the salt dome. Salt is an effective trap rock as oil can come to rest up along the salt. 

This upward arching of the rock and collection of oil and gas in the arch allows better flow rates of hydrocarbons. This helps in the extraction and recovery of fossil fuels trapped along the salt dunes. The extraction of hydrocarbons along the salt dunes is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly compared to conventional drilling. A single salt dome can have numerous reservoirs of oil and gas at various depths and locations around the salt dome. 

A Source of Salt and Sulfur 

Since salt domes are salt formations, they can be exploited through mining. Salt is used as an essential raw material in numerous industries. It is widely used in the chemical industry and for treating snow-covered highways. Apart from commercial use, salt also has domestic applications as well. 

Another important mineral that can be recovered from salt domes is sulfur. Sulfur is not a part of the salt dome but an important component of the caprock. It occurs as a crystalline material and is known to be formed as a result of bacterial activity. The caprock of certain salt domes contains enough sulfur that can be recovered economically. 

The process of recovering sulfur from salt dome involving drilling a well and treating the rock with superheated water and air. However, as of now, this method of recovering sulfur is not cost-effective. Therefore most of the sulfur which is produced today is a byproduct of refining hydrocarbons. 

Underground Storage and Waste Disposal 

When the salt, sulfur and hydrocarbons are extracted, this leaves large holes which can be used for underground storage. Some of the mines which are developed into salt domes are sealed and can be used for the storage of oil and gas. In the US and Russia, salt domes also serve as state reservoirs of helium gas. This is because salt is the only type of rock that has very low permeability. As a result, it can hold the tiny atoms of helium gas. 

Since salt has low levels of permeability, it also restricts the flow of any type of liquid into the soil. These properties make salt domes very effective for the disposal of hazardous radioactive waste.


Salt domes are a distinct geological formation with great economic value. Though it takes centuries to form, once formed, humans can continue to benefit from them for years.  

Clear Quartz Crystal: The Master Healer

Photo by Jason D on Unsplash

Clear Quartz, part of the biggest and most diverse family in the mineral kingdom is the most iconic crystal of the quartz family. Clear quartz is abundantly found all over the world, as it can develop under different climatic conditions.

Also commonly known as the Rock Crystal or Ice Crystal, this gemstone is valued by not only healers and spiritual leaders, but by scientists as well. As this beautiful clear rock has extraordinary characteristics, it has long been considered the source of light for humanity.


Various cultures all over the world have included clear quartz crystals in their traditions and ceremonies. The crystal gets its name from the Greek word krystallos, which means ‘ice.’ It was named as such because the ancient Greek philosophers thought that it was a permanent form of ice, frozen so hard, preventing it from thawing.

Clear quartz has been held in high regard by each culture with a unique meaning. The Japanese thought of it as a symbol of purity, patience, and space, calling it the ‘prefect’ jewel.’ Native North Americans believed the rock to be animate, breathing once every hundred years. 

Some cultures used it as a religious talisman and included it in funeral rites, considering it as an urn for the spirits of their ancestors, and used to carve out the crystals shaped like human skulls. Some people also used the rock for its metaphysical power to heal illnesses.

Types of Quartz Crystals

There is a wide variety of quartz crystals other than the clear crystal found on the Earth. Some of the most popular types are listed below:


Also referred to as the Bishop’s Stone, the stone’s color ranges from soft lavender to deep purple. Representing royalty and spirituality, the stone is thought to promote creativity.


The Lucky Merchant’s Stone ranging from shades of transparent and pale to golden yellow, is believed to attract joy, success, and all the good things in life.

Rose Quartz

Also called the Stone of Unconditional Love, its pale pink to deep reddish-pink hues symbolize love. It is said to promote loving feelings for oneself and others.

Smoky Quartz

The Stone of Power displays different shades of black and brown. A powerful grounding stone, it has the alleged ability to absorb negative vibes from the surrounding.

Tiger’s Eye

Popular for its chatoyancy and layers in rich gold, red and brown colors, this stone is a symbol of courage and the right use of power.


The orange and red warm and fiery tones of the stone helps boost confidence and motivates the person. It is believed to attract warmth and bliss in life.

Physical Properties of Clear Quartz Crystal

  • Chemical Formula: SiO2
  • Color: Clear, Multicolored, All spectrum colors, Black, Brown
  • Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
  • Hardness on Mohs Scale: 7
  • Cleavage: Indiscernible
  • Luster: Vitreous
  • Transparency: Transparent to Translucent


The clear quartz crystal looks just as beautiful as ice. The ordinary-looking gemstone tends to hold within its pure light the entire color spectrum. Although it has the term ‘clear’ in its name, it can be transparent, milky or striped.

The smooth hexagonal prism has a cluster formation. It occurs in various shapes and sizes, with naturally faceted terminations at either one or each end of the crystal. Its shape and size depending on the rate at which the crystals are formed.

Clear quartz crystal forms in compact masses and druses, and often times as dense, fibrous, or grainy formations without visible crystals.


Believed to carry the traits of the master healer, clear quartz is used by healers to open the heart and mind and balance and guide one’s inner soul. This stone is quite adaptable as it can be programmed with any intention. It gives an energy boost and aids in healing and can help to achieve any purpose. However, spiritualists believe that it’s important to cleanse this magnificent crystal.

Clear Quartz is quite useful as it has piezo- and pyroelectric properties that can transform mechanical or heat energy to electromagnetic energy. Due to its ability to direct, intensify, store, and modify energy, it is used in various technological devices.

The multifaceted and versatile rock is used to encourage self-awareness, and attract love and success. Once you feel in sync with it, the stone can help to lift the mood. It protects the aura by creating a force field of healing negative ions. 

It also improves one’s intellect, strengthens and clears the mind, helps to concentrate better and improve memory. This stone helps to sleep better and is useful to understand the meaning behind dreams. The clear quartz crystal can also be used to amplify the energy of other stones.

Physical Healing Properties

Considered the master healer crystal, it can be employed to cure several conditions. It sets the body in balance and energizes it, by stimulating the immune and circulatory system. It can prove to be useful to relieve headaches, migraines, and also stabilize dizziness.

The rock is great for providing support with exhaustion, metabolism, and reducing weight. It can be quite helpful to treat digestive issues, treat diarrhea, and infections in the kidney and bladder.

Clear quartz crystal also helps to soothe sore and wounded areas. It works wonders in treating skin problems and burns in particular.

Emotional Healing Properties

Acting as a deep soul purifier, using the stone clears the soul and mind. The crystal helps to remove the negative energy within a person and replaces it with positive vibes. It makes the user self-conscious, patient, focused and gives an energy boost.

Everything You Need to Know About Morganite


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The Morganite gemstone is something you might be hearing about a lot nowadays. It has fast become a trend and for the people that have seen one in person, it is easy for them to understand why that’s the case. The Morganite is an exquisite violet-pink to light pink gemstone that has been a favorite among gemstone lovers for a few decades. It is an affordable yet resilient gem.

Morganite belongs to a family of minerals called the beryl and is often also referred to as Pink Beryl, Cesian Beryl and Pink Emerald. Morganite is one of the rarer variations of the beryl mineral and is considered second in rarity only to the red bixbite. The gemstone is a mesmerizing stone that has a pinkish and almost salmon colored hue, which sets it apart from the rest. This characteristic color for Morganite is because of the presence of manganese within the gem. Most Morganite gems are treated with heat that enhances the pinkish salmon hue even more.   

Here is a look at everything that you need to know about Morganite.

Morganite Color

The color of Morganite varies within a range of pinkish colors. They can be found in colors ranging from pink, rose, salmon to beach. The popularity of the Morganite gemstone in the market is for the rose and pink tints that the stone has. While there is still a demand for salmon and peach hues, they are not as popular as their pinkish counterparts.

The gemstone is almost always put through treatment that enhances the pink color. The treatment isn’t something you can detect. Heat treatment effectively drives out the orange and yellow tinge that Morganite has, leaving a purer pink color. The resulting color is stable and does not fade.


Much like other variations of the beryl mineral, Morganite usually is a very clear gem. It does not have a lot of visible inclusions. The lesser clear varieties of Morganite are often cut or carved out as cabochons.   


The Morganite gemstone has a very distinct color tone. The stronger color tones in Morganite are rare. Even if there are strong hues in the mineral, it has to be cut out from a fairly large stone in order to get the finest color from it. The orientation of the rough has to be considered carefully because of the pleochroism of this gemstone. It can be cut into all the standard shapes and sizes including unique designer cuts – this is one of the reasons why it is a popular gemstone for jewelry.  

Origin of Morganite Gemstones

Morganite can be found in different parts of the world. The two most prominent producers of the Morganite are Madagascar and Brazil. There are also sources of the gemstone that can be found in Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, China, Mozambique, Russia, Namibia, China and even the United States.

Gemological Properties of Morganite

  • Chemical Formula: Al2(Be3[Si6O18])
  • Color: Pale Pink to Violet Pink, Salmon, Peach
  • Crystal Structure: Hexagonal
  • Hardness on Mohs Scale: 7.5 to 8
  • Cleavage: Indistinct
  • Fluorescence: Weak: Violet
  • Luster: Vitreous
  • Transparency: Transparent to opaque

Properties of Morganite Gemstone

For those who believe in the minerals’ emotional effects, Morganite is considered to be a stone that brings empathy, compassion, tolerance, self control and balance to the wearer. Through wearing the Morganite stone, a person can become capable of bringing stability to their life and control their emotions a lot better than before. The stone is also associated with easing up the pain of people who have gone through separation from someone significant in their life.

Morganite is a Heart Stone, which is also called the Stone of Divine Love. This stone brings love to the life of the wearer. The stone also has the potential to light the fire from an old flame and ignite the passion that one has in his or her love life.

One of the most wonderful things about the Morganite gemstone is that it is an aphrodisiac, which does not just allow the wearer to attract love but also to maintain it for the long term. It works by bringing in the caring and loving thoughts that help the two become more loving towards each other. It instills a greater feeling of wellbeing in both partners that wear the gemstone.

The beryl mineral is known to be a stone that physically heals people by relieving them of several conditions affecting the liver, their glands and eyes. Since Morganite is one of the variations of the Beryl mineral, it does not only have the aphrodisiac properties, it also enhances the properties shown by other beryl gem. Morganite also helps to reorganize the cells, oxygenating them and helps with breathing issues. It clears out lung blockages and asthma. It also has the power to cure emphysema.

Reasons Why You Can Use Morganite

Because there are so many properties that Morganite has, there are several uses that this stone can have for people. Some of these uses include:

  • Wearing it in order to relax the mind and reduce stress in your life.
  • It challenges the wearer to become the best in everything that they do.
  • It enhances a person’s level of confidence and instills a calming and peaceful feel in them, allowing for better handling of tough situations.
  • It increases a sense of gratitude in the person wearing it.
  • Wearing Morganite also makes a person grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
  • It increases the wearer’s wisdom.
  • It transforms a person’s bad experiences into challenges that they would want to take on and overcome.
  • It brings about a positive change in the wearer.

Uses of Silicon in Everyday Life

The 14th element in the periodic table, silicon is a grey, shiny metalloid with multiple uses. Besides oxygen, silicon is the second most readily available element on Earth and the 8th most common element found in the universe. Naturally, silicon occurs as a compound, bound up with other elements. 

Silicon is one of the seven elements that are known as metalloids, which refers to elements that possess the properties of both metals and nonmetals. This makes it ideal for uses in many different industries and is the main component in making alloys (mixing metals with non-metals). Silicon is not only used in the construction industry, but high tech equipment like computer chips, solar panels, and transistors are all made up of silicon. 

The fact that silicon can act as a semiconductor, by allowing control of electrical current, makes it ideal for virtually all electronic equipment. 

Facts About Silicon

Silicon is one of the most interesting elements in the periodic table. Some facts about this element are as follows:

  • Naturally, silicon is not found in its pure state and is always combined with other elements. 
  • Over 90% of the Earth’s crust is made up of silicon-containing compounds. 
  • Most meteorites contain large amounts of silicon. 
  • On the Mohs scale of hardness, silicon carbide scores an impressive 9-9.5, which is slightly less than a diamond. 
  • The hardness of silicon compounds makes them an ideal abrasive for industrial use. 
  • Silicon was first isolated to develop silicon-only crystals in 1854. 
  • Silicon has a higher density in liquid form as compared to when it is solid. 
  • Unlike most metals, the conductivity of silicon improves when the temperature increases.

Properties of Silicon 

Due to its metalloid nature, silicon does not behave like a typical metal or non-metal but shares the properties of both. Certain factors like temperature and combination with other elements affect its behavior and properties. Some properties of silicon are: 

Silicon is a Semiconductor 

Silicon does not behave like a typical metal or nonmetal. This is the reason why silicon is considered as a semiconductor. It can act as a conductor of electrical current or an insulator depending upon the temperature. As the temperature increases, silicon’s conductivity gets better.  

Melting and Boiling Points 

Though silicon is not a pure metal, it is has a very high melting and boiling point. The melting point of silicon is 1410 degrees Celsius, whereas the boiling point is 2355 degrees Celsius. 

Reaction with Other Elements 

Pure silicon is highly reactive. Since there are four valence electrons available, silicon can form an ionic or covalent bond by sharing or giving away its electrons. This is the reason why it is not available in its pure form naturally. In its solid form, silicon remains an inert element and does not react with oxygen or water.

Uses of Silicon 

The structure and properties of silicon make it a suitable element for a number of industries. Though silicon is hardly used in its pure form, silicon compounds are more commonly used for industrial applications. 

Alloy Making 

This metal is widely used in making alloys. It is produced at very high temperatures and when heated, it  can easily react with other elements like iron. Ferrosilicon is one of the most commonly used silicon alloys and is used in the manufacturing of steel. This alloy of iron and silicon gives hardness and strength to steel. It is also used as the prime deoxidizer in steel manufacturing and helps in removing impurities from the steel. 

The aluminum industry also heavily relies on the use of silicon alloys. These alloys are used in welding and manufacturing of molds.  

An electronic mother board for a computer

“Resistors and Transistors”by Andrew Mason is licensed under CC BY 2.0


One of the most important properties of silicon is that it works as a semiconductor. Its high melting point and ability to conduct electricity makes it ideal for its use in the electronics industry. 

Prior to its use for electronic devices, silicon is refined in two stages. First, oxygen is removed from the compound, and then it is further refined to produce hyper pure silicon, which is a semiconductor grade element. Hyperpure silicon is used in the manufacturing of many electronic devices, including transistors, circuit boards, and microchips which have multiple uses. 

A recent milestone in computer technology using silicon-based chips is the invention of quantum computers. These computers can outperform normal computers. Using silicon, these computers can replace normal computers in the near future. 

A recent development in medicine is the use of silicon nanoneedles. These are tiny needles which are used for intracellular drug delivery. 

Solar panels on the roof of a house

“Solar Panel”by Marufish is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Solar Panels 

With climatic changes and a high concentration of greenhouse gases, there is much emphasis on the use of renewable sources of energy. Solar energy is one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy. Using solar panels, we can easily convert the energy of the sun into electricity without damaging the environment. 

Most solar cells and solar panels are created using silicon because of its physical and chemical properties. Silicon’s ability to work as a semiconductor makes it the most suitable element for solar panels. However, pure silicon is not used as it is a poor conductor. Silicon is mixed with impurities (also known as doping) so that it can absorb the energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. 

Initially, using silicon in the manufacturing of solar panels was an expensive technology. With recent developments in research and technology, silicon solar panels are now affordable for most people. 

Nature has provided mankind with all the resources it needs for survival. It’s up to us how we harness and utilize the bounties of nature without damaging the environment. 


The discovery of silicon has had a major impact on how we live our lives everyday. Although it is not apparant, it would be hard to imagine how we would live today without the use of silicon.