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 Post subject: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:25 am 
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This is a place to post all kind of unusual, weird, bizarr or other "out of the norm" gemstones!


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:48 am 
And your contribution is??? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:42 pm 
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i'd suggest freakingcat to repost here the samples he posted on the other thread, otherwise they'll be difficult to find again, just a wild guess.
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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:08 pm 
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Will do first thing tomorrow. In Thailand it's now 1 am - Cat needs sleep :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:00 pm 
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arsenic.jpg
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If you haven't called us mad yet, now it's the time. We present a piece of facetted Arsenic - Arsenic is notoriously poisonous to multicellular life due to the interaction of arsenic ions with protein thiols. Of course we are aware of the dangers of Arsenic and our cutters have not been exposed to any health hazards.

If you want to facet Arsenic, you have to take precautions, wear a mask, gloves, best preform, facet and polish the material outside and rinse afterwards all equipment. Store the faceted gem out of the reach of kids, who might think it's a nice shiny candy :P


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Of course, as the body gradually builds up a tolerance for arsenic, you could lighten up your safety regimen over time. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:50 am 
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I can see a good market for faceted arsenic in the segment of gifts for ex-wives, mothers-in-law, etc. :idea: You can also use one of those Chinese Cadmium-based alloys mountings, to save some $ and make the gift truly "special"...

Anyway, luckily my piece of potentially facet-grade realgar (not too toxic anyway) is still safe (and appreciated as a mineral specimen) and of no use to me. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:15 pm 
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In former Ceylon a tradition of peace rings existed. One ruler gave a ring with a nice Ekanite buzzing with radiation to another ruler. Took some time until the radiation killed the gift recipient. Battle won! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:06 pm 
maialetto wrote:
I can see a good market for faceted arsenic in the segment of gifts for ex-wives, mothers-in-law, etc. :idea: You can also use one of those Chinese Cadmium-based alloys mountings, to save some $ and make the gift truly "special"...

Anyway, luckily my piece of potentially facet-grade realgar (not too toxic anyway) is still safe (and appreciated as a mineral specimen) and of no use to me. :D


After the death of Napoleon in exile and under guard on St Helena in the middle of the S. Atlantic, it was a popular French myth that that the perfidious Brits has slowly poisoned him to death with Arsenic. I believe that it was only quite recently that this myth has been comprehensively disproved (by the French authorities who are the custodians both of his mortal remains (Des Invalides, Paris) and also, I believe the house on St Helena where he was kept under arrest and died.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Is that a piece of Arsenopyrite?


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:44 pm 
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Another beautiful member of the Arsenic family. Realgar, α-As4S4, is an arsenic sulfide mineral, also known as "ruby sulphur" or "ruby of arsenic". It has only a hardness of 1.5 to 2 and was a challenge to facet!

The rough crystals sometimes come in big sizes, incredible beautiful, but they might have some invisible hairlines and cleavages. The only way to be able to facet them is to hit the crystal gently on the table so that it breaks along the cleavage lines. If not, the real gar will definitely break during the polishing process. On long exposure to light, realgar disintegrates into a reddish-yellow powder, requiring that specimens be protected from light exposure. So best to keep it in the darkest corner of your vault!


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:45 pm 
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esjayp wrote:
Is that a piece of Arsenopyrite?


Yes very likely, even the rough which came from an old collection by a well known gemologist was only labelled Arsenic


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:06 pm 
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Kerensky wrote:
After the death of Napoleon in exile and under guard on St Helena in the middle of the S. Atlantic, it was a popular French myth that that the perfidious Brits has slowly poisoned him to death with Arsenic. I believe that it was only quite recently that this myth has been comprehensively disproved (by the French authorities who are the custodians both of his mortal remains (Des Invalides, Paris) and also, I believe the house on St Helena where he was kept under arrest and died.


I thought I read somewhere the Little Emperor's bedroom walls on Saint Hilaire were lined with malachite or at least had some green paint tinted with malachite.......


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:49 am 
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I remember hearing that the "poisoning" was debunked, as the high levels of arsenic were normal for folks in that day & age.

The wiki article on Napoleon rehashes the stories, ending with the findings that he died of stomach cancer.

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 Post subject: Re: Unusual Gemstone of the Day
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:28 pm 
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Potassium alum, potash alum is the potassium double sulfate of aluminium. Its chemical formula is KAl(SO4)2 and it is commonly found in its dodecahydrate form as KAl(SO4)2·12(H2O). It is commonly used in water purification, leather tanning, fireproof textiles, and baking powder. It also has cosmetic uses as a deodorant and as an aftershave treatment. This gemstone dissolves in water!


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