Precious gemstones

Precious gemstones

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Credit: LAWRENCE LAWRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Precious gemstones of ruby (red), sapphire (blue), emerald (green) and peridot (light green, bottom centre). Gemstones are solid crystalline substances (minerals), formed by natural processes, which are prized by collectors and often used in jewellery. Cut and polished stones, in a variety of shapes, utilize light's property of refraction to enhance their appearance. Ruby is a red variety of corundum (aluminium oxide) and sapphire is a non-red variety. Emerald is a variety of beryl (beryllium aluminium silicate). Peridot is an olivine mineral (magnesium iron silicate) and often confused as emerald.

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Keywords: aluminium oxide, beryl, beryllium aluminium silicate, blue, corundum, cut, earth science, emerald, emeralds, gem, gems, gemstone, gemstones, geology, green, magnesium iron sulphate, many, mineral, multiple, natural, olivine, peridot, peridots, piled, polished, precious, red, rubies, ruby, sapphire, sapphires, scattered, stone, stones, valuable

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