Many gemstones have rich and fascinating histories that stretch back hundreds and even thousands of years, so it's really no surprise that over time many myths have built up around these stones. We'd like to do our bit to dispel these false nuggets of information, so here are our top 10 jewellery myths that we hear time and time again which are simply not true.
"DIAMONDS ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE"
Diamonds are measured at 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, which means that it can only be scratched by another Diamond. However, they aren't that tough. Due to atomic planes of relative weakness known as 'cleavage planes', a blow of sufficient force in an exact direction can cause a Diamond to chip or crack.
So, despite being the hardest gemstone on Earth, it should be treated with the upmost care.
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"PARAIBA TOURMALINE ONLY COMES FROM PARAIBA, BRAZIL"
Although first found in Paraiba, Brazil, these beautiful Tourmalines are now mined in regions of Africa, such as Nigeria and Mozambique. Therefore, it was determined by a global association of jewellers that the term 'Paraiba' can be used to describe the colour of the stone, not just its provenance.
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"YOU CAN TELL IF A PIECE OF GOLD IS REAL BY BITING IT"
The purer the Gold, the softer it will be; so, this myth is somewhat true in the sense that when you bite it, it will leave an imprint. However, unscrupulous people have been known to paint lead with Gold, making a lookalike that is just as soft.
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"GOLD COMES IN VARIOUS COLOURS"
Gold colours are referred to as white, yellow, rose and sometimes even pink - however, the only true gold is yellow.
Coloured gold is actually a mixed metal compound called an alloy, which is made by mixing pure gold with Silver, Platinum, iron, copper or aluminium to create the various colours. In fact, all Yellow Gold (apart from 24 carat Gold) is also alloy, since it is mixed with other metals.
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"OPALS BRING BAD LUCK"
This myth is based on old folklore - in fact, here are many people who actually associate Opals with good luck. The Romans believed Opal brought good luck to their owners, and Australian Aboriginals called it the 'rainbow serpent' and praised its unique energy and beauty.
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"BIGGER DIAMONDS ARE BETTER DIAMONDS"
When it comes to Diamonds, size isn't everything.
The truth is that it's actually the quality of the Diamond that makes it better. As opposed to just size alone, factors such as colour, clarity, cut quality, shape and light return are all considered when determining a Diamond's value. The brilliance and fire of a small, beautifully-cut, Diamond of good quality will always outweigh a large, dull, badly-cut Diamond.
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"DIAMOND IS THE RAREST GEMSTONE IN THE WORLD"
Although large, high-quality Diamonds are rare, Diamonds are actually pretty common in comparison with other gemstones out there. Realistically speaking, the perception of Diamond rarity is more often used as a marketing strategy, as opposed to any real mining limitations.
Truthfully, contenders for the world's rarest gemstones include Grandidierite, Csarite®, Painite, Alexandrite, Benitoite, Red Beryl and Taaffeite.
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"ALL PEARLS COME FROM OYSTERS"
It may be surprising to learn that not all Pearls are born from oysters!
Although the majority of gem-quality Pearls come from oysters or mussels, there are other species that produce Pearls. The Melo Melo marine snail produces an orange-brown Pearl. The queen conch Strombus Gigas creates the Pink Conch Pearl and the blue-purple-green iridescent Abalone Pearl comes from the Haliotis Iris mollusc.
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"ALL SAPPHIRES ARE BLUE"
Sapphires can appear in the most radiant blue colour - as is the case of the iconic engagement ring worn by the Princess of Wales. However, Sapphire can also be yellow, orange, pink or green. Even Rubies are actually just red Sapphires, as they both come from the same mineral compound, called Corundum.
In fact, there is some disagreement in the gemstone industry about where Pink Sapphires end and Rubies begin.
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"PEARLS CAN BE DISSOLVED IN VINEGAR"
Legend says that Cleopatra dissolved a valuable Pearl in vinegar and drank it to show off her wealth to Mark Antony. However, we must stress to you that this is highly unlikely. Pearls are made of calcium carbonate which, granted, can dissolve in vinegar - but it would take an extremely long period of time.
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The history of jewellery and gemstones stretches back so far, we'd be surprised if there weren't various myths and legends that surround them. But, with our authentic jewellery comes complete transparency in terms of their origins, treatments and overall quality.
We will always be truthful with you about the nature of your gemstones and jewellery, but don't just take our word for it - learn more and shop for yourself!
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