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Gemology / Gemología

Gemology or Gemmology is the science dealing with natural and artificial gems and gemstones. It is considered a geoscience and a branch of mineralogy. Some jewelers are academically trained gemologists and are qualified to identify and evaluate gems. The gemologist must know several disciplines such as crystallography, optics, mathematics, crystal chemistry, analytical chemistry, synthetic and imitation gems, among others.

Therefore, the Gemology allow us to know the species composition and mineralogical characteristics of the gems. Also you must know stoning teach carving a raw material to highlight the beauty of the gem and adapt it into a form that by design will have been created previously. Finally, the appraisal will establish a market value of our work, composed of rocky materials and metals.

1. History, The use of gem minerals is as old as mankind, we have always sought to have in our possession copies larger, brighter, purer and more rare that adorn.  In the first tribes contemplate the need to highlight the other, with necklaces of pearls, turquoise, shell or ivory, as well  as group distinction as well distinction of social status. The power and wealth has been demonstrated in all civilizations through metal ores and minerals gems.

The first indication of use of a material such as perforated gem dating back 100,000 years (Nassaruis Krausianus) in South Africa. Kings, Emperors have possessed the best pieces of their people, given away as gifts or tributes, and discussions have been increasingly improved technique purging itself all over the world.

According to the tastes and materials specific to each geographical area are organic, minerals, transparent, translucent or opaque gems. Man has always used any mineral with a certain beauty and hardness to decorate your objects in life and in death.  Many cultures as the Egyptians buried their aristocrats and wealthy with treasures that were proportional to the greatness of the person life.

The oldest scientific texts found are the Egyptian recipe for making imitations of minerals (Leyden and Stockholm Papyri) dating from the I and IV but known to be copies of texts from Egypt. The gemstone most characteristic of the Egyptians was Turquoise used 4000 years ago.

The jade was used by Eastern cultures and more specifically by China over 5000 years ago. Many of the objects used in religious and secular material and we have some exceptional displays thanks to archeological finds.

Thales of Miletus (600 AD) found in the Greek culture of the static property of amber. Also in Greek culture made a classification of minerals according to their color and in addition to classifying texts referencing the gems and assembling heating techniques to improve their appearance.

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance are treated using therapeutic mineral alchemists magical properties relating them more or less adjusted to reality.

In Spain, one of the most prominent was the lapidary of Alfonso X “the Wise” (1278), described the nature of the stones and their properties derived from the constellations of governing.

Other notable works from s. XVI:

> Erasmus Stella (1517) Interpretamenti Gemmarum Libellus.
> Gaspar de Morales (1598) Of the virtues and wonderful properties of gemstones.
> Anselm Boethius (1609) Gemmarum et lapidum history.
> Thomas Nicols (1652) Lapidary or History of Precious Stones.

We must make special mention of Arabic literature on gems, deserving of a separate issue with writers such as Al Kindi, Al Biruni, Al Razi, Al Rumi Yaqut …

Gems have been central to the economy and the progress of civilizations and currency. Have been the cause of many disputes between neighboring peoples greed and wars have caused these treasures. Currently are essential for technological progress and thanks to the development of synthetic gems are made electronic components such as chips, improving telecommunications, industrial abrasives, etc …

2. Scientific Aspects, In mineralogy, an inclusion is any material trapped within a rock or mineral and are crucial for identification in almost all occasions. Tell us how was its genesis, when and if they are natural or synthetic.Includes many aspects of gemology developed in many ways throughout history. The deposits have historically been found by chance and scientific knowledge have occurred after their operation.Europe bought precious stones to distant countries, data from these sites were reported by travelers and scientists in numerous documents. He alluded to legends like the case of diamonds, on which was said to lay in inaccessible valleys and to bird capture is worth and then pick them up more easily. A true story also important did Marco Polo recorded by Tavernier (1675) on his trip to Turkey, Persia and India, which described many gems and Indian Golconda mines where they came from all of them.

3. Physical properties of Gem, They are important in two aspects:

a. The gems must have Color, Beauty, Rarity, Purity, Brightness and Durability.
b. Are also the basis of the identification of these.
The first physical descriptions date back to the lapidary in the Middle Ages. Later more books are published. In “lapidary” of Alfonso X, references are made to: The color, The Shining, The hardness.

4.  The Classical Gemology,  Characterized by study of the optical properties of minerals. This knowledge is made a book  in 1978 with the work of Kurt Nassau. Currently, accurate color matches using color. Knowledge of physical, optical, beautiful gems allowed to apply scientific criteria to improve their appearance.

The best known example is the design of the size of the diamond brilliantly. The round-cut diamond was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, with this kind of size is achieved in a manner calculated mathematically balance the brilliance and fire of this gem from their optical properties. Calculated for every ray of light coming from the crown (top) is reflected and returned to the observer maximizing brightness. At the same time the angle of dispersion of color occurs causing what is known as fire.

The evolution of size has been parallel to the scientific and technological development and so it has gone from simply forms the current size polished faceted, brilliant type of computer design and where you can see the results before carving copies. Source: Wikipedia.


Gemología es la ciencia multidisciplinaria que sirve para identificar y evaluar gemas. Está considerada como una rama de la geología y mineralogía.

El gemólogo debe conocer varias disciplinas como: cristalografía, óptica, matemáticas, cristaloquímica, química analítica, síntesis e imitación de gemas, entre otras.

Por tanto, la Gemología permitirá que conozcamos la composición de la especie mineralógica y rasgos característicos de las gemas. Además se debe conocer lapidación que enseñará a tallar un material en bruto para resaltar la belleza de la gema y adaptarlo a una forma que mediante un diseño se habrá creado previamente. Por último, la tasación permitirá establecer un valor de mercado de nuestra obra, compuesta por materiales pétreos y metales.

1. Historia, La utilización de minerales gema es tan antigua como la humanidad, desde siempre hemos buscado tener en nuestro poder los ejemplares más grandes, más brillantes, más puros y más raros con los que adornarnos.En las primeras tribus contemplamos la necesidad de destacar de los demás, con collares de perlas, turquesas, conchas o marfil, bien como distinción de grupo bien como distinción de estatus social. El poder y riqueza se ha puesto de manifiesto en todas las civilizaciones por medio de los minerales metálicos y minerales gemas.

Los primeros indicios de utilización de un material como gema perforada datan de hace 100.000 años (Nassaruis Krausianus) en Sudáfrica. Reyes, Emperadores han poseído las mejores piezas de sus pueblos , regalados como favores o tributos y los trabajos realizados han sido cada vez mejorados depurándose la técnica en todas partes del mundo.Según los gustos y materiales propios de cada zona geográfica podremos encontrar gemas orgánicas, minerales transparentes, translucidos u opacos.

El hombre siempre ha utilizado cualquier mineral con cierta belleza y dureza para ornamentar sus objetos tanto en vida como en la muerte, muchas culturas como la egipcia enterraban a sus aristócratas, personas importantes y pudientes con tesoros y estos eran directamente proporcionales a la grandeza de la persona en vida.Los textos científicos más antiguos constatados son los recetarios egipcios para fabricar imitaciones de los minerales (papiros de Estocolmo y Leyden) que datan del siglo I y IV pero se conoce que son copias de textos de Egipto. La piedra preciosa más característica de los egipcios fue la turquesa ya hace 4000 años. El jade fue utilizado por las culturas orientales y más concretamente por China más de 5000 años.

Utilizados en numerosos objetos tanto en materiales religiosos como laicos y de los que tenemos alguna muestra excepcional gracias a los hallazgos arqueológicos.Thales de Mileto( 600 d.c.) descubrió en la cultura griega la propiedad de la estática del ámbar.También en la cultura griega se realizaron una clasificación de los minerales según su color y además de textos clasificando las gemas referenciando técnicas de calentamiento y montaje para mejorar su aspecto.En la Edad Media y Renacimientoaparecen tratados de utilización de minerales para tratamientos terapéuticos de alquimistas relacionándolos con propiedades mágicas más o menos ajustadas a la realidad.En España uno de los más destacados lapidarios fue el de Alfonso X “el Sabio” (1278), describió la naturaleza de las piedras y sus propiedades derivadas de las constelaciones por las que se rigen.

Otras obras destacables desde el s. XVI:

  • Erasmus Stella (1517) Interpretamenti Gemmarum Libellus.
  • Gaspar de Morales (1598) De las virtudes y propiedades maravillosas de las piedras preciosas.
  • Anselmo Boecio (1609) Gemmarum et lapidum Historia.
  • Thomas Nicols (1652) Lapidary or History of Precious Stones.

Hay que hacer especial mención a la literatura árabe sobre gemas merecedora de un tema aparte con escritores como Al Kindi, Al Biruni, Al Razi, Yaqut Al Rumi…

Han sido fundamentales para la economía y el progreso de civilizaciones y moneda de cambio. Han sido las causantes de muchas disputas por la codicia entre pueblos vecinos y han provocado guerras por estos tesoros. En la actualidad son fundamentales para el progreso tecnológico y gracias a la elaboración de gemas sintéticas se realizan componentes electrónicos como chips, mejorando las telecomunicaciones, abrasivos industriales, etc…

2. Aspectos Científicos, En mineralogía, una inclusiónes cualquier material atrapado en el seno de una roca o de un mineral y son determinantes para su identificación en casi todas las ocasiones. Nos dicen como fue su génesis, cuando y si son naturales o sintéticas.La gemología incluye muchos aspectos desarrollados de múltiples maneras a lo largo de la historia. Los yacimientos históricamente se han hallado de forma casual y los conocimientos científicos se han dado después de su explotación.

Europa compraba piedras preciosas a países lejanos, los datos de estos yacimientos fueron relatados por viajeros y científicos en numerosos documentos. Se aludían a leyendas como el caso de los diamantes, sobre los que se decía que yacían en valles inaccesibles y para poder capturarlos se valían de aves para luego recogerlos más fácilmente. Un relato verídico también importante lo hizo Marco Polo recogido por Tavernier (1675) en su viaje a Turquía, Persia e India, donde se describían multitud de gemas y también las minas indias de Golconda de donde procedían todas ellas.

3. Propiedades físicas de las gemas, Son importantes por dos aspectos:

  1. Las gemas tienen que tener Color, Belleza, Rareza, Pureza, Brillo y Durabilidad.
  2. También son la base de la identificación de estas.

Las primeras descripciones físicas se remontan a los lapidarios en la Edad Media. Posteriormente se publican más libros. En “El lapidario” de Alfonso X, se hacen referencias a: El color, El resplandor, La dureza.

Proporciones de un diamante cortado en facetas tipo Brillante.

4.  La Gemología Clásica,

Caracterizada por el estudio de las propiedades ópticas de los minerales. Sobre este conocimiento se realizó un libro en 1978 con el trabajo de Kurt Nassau. Actualmente se precisa el color por medio de concordancias cromáticas. El conocimiento de propiedades físicas, ópticas, belleza de las gemas ha permitido aplicar criterios científicos para mejorar su aspecto.

El ejemplo más conocido es el diseño de la talla del diamante en forma brillante. La talla redonda de diamantes fue desarrollada por Marcel Tolkowsky en 1919, con este tipo de talla se consigue de manera calculada matemáticamente equilibrar el brillo y el fuego de esta gema desde sus propiedades ópticas. Calculada para que todo rayo de luz entrante desde la corona (parte superior) sea reflejado y devuelto al observador potenciando al máximo el brillo. Al mismo tiempo el ángulo de salida produce la dispersión de color originando lo que se denomina como fuego.

La evolución de la talla ha ido paralela al desarrollo científico y técnico y así se ha pasado de formas simplemente pulidas a la talla actual facetada, a la de tipo brillante y al diseño por ordenador donde se pueden ver los resultados antes de tallar los ejemplares. Fuente: Wikipedia.

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