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Roy W. Macdonald FGA, DGA

Bespoke Jewellery Designer PO Box 100, Callander, FK17 8ZR Tel 07710 544321

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The Mineral Kingdom

Out of the multitude of inconspicuous rocks that make up our planet, certain Minerals stand out because of their size, shape and colour. Since earliest times these comparatively rare, regularly shaped beautifully-coloured crystals have attracted our attention.


Many people, myself included, collect them, enjoy their beauty and wonder about the forces and conditions that were responsible for their formation.  The following pages I will attempt to provide an introduction to ‘The Flowers of The Mineral Kingdom'.


We should, however, remain aware that in Nature well crystallized mineral specimens are rather the exception than the rule. Very special conditions of formation are required for the growth of good crystals, and these rarely occur.


Allproperties of gems (whether physical or optical) derive from the underlying three dimensional structureand chemical composition of the gem. Or to put it another way, the chemical elements that make up the gem, and how the atoms of those elements are put together to create its inner structure, determine all those properties that we can see, feel, and measure. There are two sets of characteristics possessed by every gemstone, and by which they are studied, identified and evaluated:

1) Physical properties.        2) Optical properties.