A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks and organic materials that are not minerals are used for jewelry and are therefore considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic. Apart from jewelry, from earliest antiquity engraved gems and hardstone carvings, such as cups, were major luxury art forms. A gem maker is called a gemcutter; the traditional classification in the West, which goes back to the ancient Greeks, begins with a distinction between precious and semi-precious. In modern use the precious stones are diamond, ruby and emerald, with all other gemstones being semi-precious; this distinction reflects the rarity of the respective stones in ancient times, as well as their quality: all are translucent with fine color in their purest forms, except for the colorless diamond, hard, with hardnesses of 8 to 10 on the Mohs scale.
Other stones are classified by their color and hardness. The traditional distinction does not reflect modern values, for example, while garnets are inexpensive, a green garnet called tsavorite can be far more valuable than a mid-quality emerald. Another unscientific term for semi-precious gemstones used in art history and archaeology is hardstone. Use of the terms'precious' and'semi-precious' in a commercial context is, misleading in that it deceptively implies certain stones are intrinsically more valuable than others, not the case. In modern times gemstones are identified by gemologists, who describe gems and their characteristics using technical terminology specific to the field of gemology; the first characteristic a gemologist uses to identify a gemstone is its chemical composition. For example, diamonds are made of carbon and rubies of aluminium oxide. Next, many gems are crystals which are classified by their crystal system such as cubic or trigonal or monoclinic. Another term used is habit, the form the gem is found in.
For example, which have a cubic crystal system, are found as octahedrons. Gemstones are classified into different groups and varieties. For example, ruby is the red variety of the species corundum, while any other color of corundum is considered sapphire. Other examples are the emerald, red beryl, goshenite and morganite, which are all varieties of the mineral species beryl. Gems are characterized in terms of refractive index, specific gravity, cleavage and luster, they may exhibit double refraction. They may have a distinctive absorption spectrum. Material or flaws within a stone may be present as inclusions. Gemstones may be classified in terms of their "water"; this is a recognized grading of the gem's luster, transparency, or "brilliance". Transparent gems are considered "first water", while "second" or "third water" gems are those of a lesser transparency. There is no universally accepted grading system for gemstones. Diamonds are graded using a system developed by the Gemological Institute of America in the early 1950s.
All gemstones were graded using the naked eye. The GIA system included a major innovation: the introduction of 10x magnification as the standard for grading clarity. Other gemstones are still graded using the naked eye. A mnemonic device, the "four Cs", has been introduced to help the consumer understand the factors used to grade a diamond. With modification, these categories can be useful in understanding the grading of all gemstones; the four criteria carry different weight depending upon whether they are applied to colored gemstones or to colorless diamonds. In diamonds, cut is the primary determinant of value, followed by color. Diamonds are meant to sparkle, to break down light into its constituent rainbow colors, chop it up into bright little pieces, deliver it to the eye. In its rough crystalline form, a diamond will do none of these things. In gemstones that have color, including colored diamonds, it is the purity and beauty of that color, the primary determinant of quality. Physical characteristics that make a colored stone valuable are color, clarity to a lesser extent, unusual optical phenomena within the stone such as color zoning and asteria.
The Greeks, for example valued asteria gemstones, which were regarded as powerful love charms, Helen of Troy was known to have worn star-corundum. Aside from the diamond, the ruby, emerald and opal have been considered to be precious. Up to the discoveries of bulk amethyst in Brazil in the 19th century, amethyst was considered a precious stone as well, going back to ancient Greece. In the last century certain stones such as aquamarine and cat's eye have been popular and hence been regarded as precious. Today such a distinction is no longer made by the gemstone trade. Many gemstones are used in the most expensive jewelr
A ring is a round band of metal, worn as ornamental jewellery. The term "ring" by itself always denotes the finger ring, but when worn as an ornament elsewhere, the body part is always specified, e.g. earrings, neck rings, arm rings, toe rings. Rings always fit snugly around or in the part of the body they ornament, so bands worn loosely, like a bracelet, are not rings. Rings may be made of any hard material: wood, stone, glass, gemstone or plastic, they may be set with other types of stone or glass. Although people wear some rings as mere ornaments, or as conspicuous displays of wealth, rings have symbolic functions in relation to marriage, exceptional achievement, high status or authority, membership in an organization, the like. Rings can be made to sport insignia to be transferred in an impression in a wax seal, or outfitted with a small compartment in which to conceal things. In myth and fiction, rings are endowed with spiritual or supernatural significance. Finger rings have been found in tombs in Ur dating back to circa 2500BC.
The Hittite civilization produced rings, including signet rings, only a few of which have been discovered. People in Old Kingdom Egypt wore a variety of finger rings, of which a few examples have been found, including the famous scarab design. Rings became more common during the Egyptian middle kingdom, with complex designs. Egyptians made metal rings but made rings from faience some of which were used as new year gifts. Native styles were superseded by Roman fashions during the Ptolemaic dynasty. Archaic Greek rings were to some extent influenced by Egyptian rings, although they tended to be less substantial and were not for the most part used as working signet rings. A lack of locally available gold meant that rings made in the eastern colonies tended to be made from silver and bronze while Etruria used gold; the classical period showed a shift away from bronze to wider adoption of gold. The most typical design of the period involved a lozenge bezel mounting an intaglio device. Over time the bezel moved towards a more circular form.
During the early and middle imperial era the closest there is to a typical Roman ring consisted of a thick hoop that tapered directly into a wider bezel. An engraved oval gem would be embedded within the bezel with the top of the gem only rising above the surrounding ring material; such rings are referred to Henig II and III/Guiraud 2 in formal academic parlance or as Roman rings by modern jewellers. In general Roman rings became more elaborate in the third and fourth centuries AD. During this period the fashion was on each finger. Rings during this period were made from copper based alloys, silver or gold. Gems became common after 1150 along with the belief that certain gems had the power to help or protect the wearer in various ways. Engraved rings were produced using Lombardic script until around 1350 when it was replaced by Gothic script; some of the inscriptions were devotional, others romantic in nature. For romantic inscriptions French was the language of choice. An increasing use of contracts and other documents that needed to have formal seals meant that signet rings became more important from the 13th century onwards.
The fourth digit or ring finger of the left hand has become the customary place to wear a wedding ring in much of the world, though in certain countries the right hand finger is used. This custom was established as the norm during World War II; the use of the fourth finger of the left hand is associated with an old belief that the left hand's ring finger is connected by a vein directly to the heart: the vena amoris or vein of love. This idea was known in 16th and 17th century England, when Henry Swinburne referred to it in his book about marriage, it can be traced back to ancient Rome, when Aulus Gellius cited Appianus as saying the ancient Egyptians had found a fine nerve linking that particular finger to the heart. Rings have been re-purposed to hang from bracelets or necklaces. While the ISO standard defines ring size in terms of the inner circumference in millimeters various countries have traditional sizing systems that are still used. After several thousand years of ring manufacture the total number of styles produced is vast.
Cataloging the rings of a single civilization such as the Romans presents a major challenge. As a result, the following list should be considered to be limited. Iffland-Ring, held by a series of German-language actors since the 18th century, presently held by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz Hans-Reinhart-Ring, a Swiss theatre award Ring of the Fisherman, the signet ring of the Pope Chequers Ring Ring that belonged to Elizabeth I of England Ring of Gyges, a legendary ring of invisibility, mentioned by Plato Andvaranaut, in Norse mythology, a cursed ring that can make gold Magic ring, a ring that has magical properties Draupnir, a self-multiplying gold ring depicted in Norse mythology The One Ring, from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Arm rings Neck rings Toe rings are smaller rings worn on any of the toes Earring Pinky ring Birthstones Ring of O Smart ring Seal of Solomon Titanium ring Jewellery cleaning Metal casting
An engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married in Western cultures. A ring is presented as an engagement gift by a partner to their prospective spouse when they propose marriage or directly after a marriage proposal is accepted, it represents a formal agreement to future marriage. In Western countries, engagement rings are worn by women, rings can feature diamonds or other gemstones; the neologism "mangagement ring" is sometimes used for an engagement ring worn by men. In some cultures and women wear matching rings, engagement rings may be used as wedding rings. In Anglo-Saxon countries, the ring is customarily worn on the left hand ring finger, but customs vary elsewhere across the world. Neither the engagement nor any other ring is worn during the wedding ceremony, when the wedding ring is put by the groom on the finger of the bride as part of the ceremony, sometimes by the bride onto the groom's finger. After the wedding, the engagement ring is put back on, is worn on the outside of the wedding ring.
Some brides have their wedding rings permanently soldered together after the wedding. Although the ancient Egyptians are sometimes credited with having invented the engagement ring, the ancient Greeks with having adopted the tradition, the history of the engagement ring can only be reliably traced as far back as ancient Rome. In many countries, engagement rings are placed on the ring finger of the left hand. At one time it was believed; this idea was popularized by Henry Swinburne in Matrimonial Contracts. The story seems to have its origin in the ancient Roman book Attic Nights by Aulus Gellius quoting Apion's Aegyptiacorum, where the alleged vein was a nervus; the popular belief that an engagement ring was part of the bride price which represented purchase and ownership of the bride, has been called into question by contemporary scholarship. In the second century BC, the Roman bride-to-be was given two rings, a gold one which she wore in public, one made of iron which she wore at home while attending to household duties.
At one time Roman citizens wore rings made of iron. In years senators who served as ambassadors were given gold seal rings for official use when abroad; the privilege of wearing gold rings was extended to other public officials to the knights to all freeborn, under Justinian, to freedmen. For several centuries it was the custom for Romans to wear iron rings at gold rings in public. During this period a girl or woman might receive one of iron and one of gold; the mid-7th century Visigothic Code required "that when the ceremony of betrothal has been performed... and the ring shall have been given or accepted as a pledge, although nothing may have been committed to writing, the promise shall, under no circumstances, be broken."In 860 AD, Pope Nicholas I wrote a letter to Boris I of Bulgaria in reply to questions regarding differences between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practices. Pope Nicholas describes. At the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215, convoked by Pope Innocent III, the banns of marriage was instituted, prohibiting clandestine marriages and requiring that marriages be made public in advance.
Some legal scholars have seen in this a parallel with the engagement-ring tradition described by Pope Nicholas I. The first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in the imperial court of Vienna in 1477, upon his betrothal to Mary of Burgundy; this influenced those of higher social class and of significant wealth to give diamond rings to their loved ones. During the Protestant Reformation the wedding ring replaced the betrothal ring as the primary ring associated with marriage. In Catholic countries the transition took place somewhat later. During the Age of Enlightenment both the gimmal rings and posie rings were popular, although the latter was more used as an expression of sentiment than to indicate a formal engagement. In South Africa, diamonds were first found in 1866, although they were not identified as such until 1867. By 1872, the output of the diamond mines exceeded one million carats per year; as production increased, those of lesser means were able to join in on this movement.
However, diamond engagement rings were for a long time seen as the domain of the nobility and aristocracy, tradition favoured simpler engagement bands. In the United States, the popularity of diamond engagement rings declined after World War I more so after the onset of the Great Depression. In 1938, the diamond cartel De Beers began a marketing campaign that would have a major impact on engagement rings. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the price of diamonds collapsed. At the same time, market research indicated that engagement rings were going out of style with the younger generation. Before World War II, only 10% of American engagement rings contained a diamond. While the first phase of the marketing campaign consisted of market research, the advertising phase began in 1939. One of the first elements of this campaign was to educate the public about the 4 Cs. In 1947 the slogan "a diamond is forever" was introduced; the De Beers campaign sought to persuade the consumer that an engagement ring is indispensable, that a diamond is the only acceptable stone for an engagement ring.
In the early 21st century, the jewelry industry started marketing engagement rings for men und
Fashion is a popular style in clothing, lifestyle, makeup and body. Fashion is a distinctive and constant trend in the style in which people present themselves. A fashion can become the prevailing style in behaviour or manifest the newest creations of designers, technologists and design managers; because the more technical term costume is linked to the term "fashion", the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy-dress or masquerade wear, while the word "fashion" refers to clothing, including the study of clothing. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous. High-flying trendsetters in fashion can aspire to the label haute couture. Early Western travelers, traveling whether to India, Turkey or China, would remark on the absence of change in fashion in those countries; the Japanese shōgun's secretary bragged to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However, there is considerable evidence in Ming China of changing fashions in Chinese clothing.
Changes in costume took place at times of economic or social change, as occurred in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate, followed by a long period without major changes. In 8th-century Moorish Spain, the musician Ziryab introduced to Córdoba sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashions from his native Baghdad, modified by his own inspiration. Similar changes in fashion occurred in the 11th century in the Middle East following the arrival of the Turks, who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East. Additionally, there is a long history of fashion in West Africa. Cloth was used as a form of currency in trade with the Portuguese and Dutch as early as the 16th Century. Locally produced cloth and cheaper European imports were assembled into new styles to accommodate the growing elite class of West Africans and resident gold and slave traders. There was an strong tradition of cloth-weaving in Oyo and the areas inhabited by the Igbo people; the beginning in Europe of continual and rapid change in clothing styles can be reliably dated.
Historians, including James Laver and Fernand Braudel, date the start of Western fashion in clothing to the middle of the 14th century, though they tend to rely on contemporary imagery and illuminated manuscripts were not common before the fourteenth century. The most dramatic early change in fashion was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment from calf-length to covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing in the chest to make it look bigger; this created the distinctive Western outline of a tailored top worn over trousers. The pace of change accelerated in the following century, women and men's fashion in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became complex. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion with confidence and precision to date images to within five years in the case of images from the 15th century. Changes in fashion led to a fragmentation across the upper classes of Europe of what had been a similar style of dressing and the subsequent development of distinctive national styles.
These national styles remained different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and peasants following trends at a distance, but still uncomfortably close for the elites – a factor that Fernand Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion. In the 16th century, national differences were at their most pronounced. Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten different hats. Albrecht Dürer illustrated the differences in his actual contrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century; the "Spanish style" of the late 16th century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, after a struggle in the mid-17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century. Though different textile colors and patterns changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman's coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady's dress was cut, changed more slowly.
Men's fashions were derived from military models, changes in a European male silhouette were galvanized in theaters of European war where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles such as the "Steinkirk" cravat or necktie. Though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France since the 16th century and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion in the 1620s, the pace of change picked up in the 1780s with increased publication of French engravings illustrating the latest Paris styles. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike. Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations, the textile industry led many trends, the history of fashion design is understood to date from 1858 when the English-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris; the Haute house was the name established by government for the fashion houses that met the standards of industry. These fashion houses have to adhere to standards such as keeping at least twenty employees
An eternity ring known as an infinity ring, is a woman's ring comprising a band of precious metal set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones to symbolize neverending love given by a spouse to their wife on the occasion of a significant anniversary after 50 or more years of marriage date Because the presence of stones all the way round the eternity ring can make it cumbersome to wear, the alternative is to have the stones across the face of the ring only. This is sometimes referred to as a "half-eternity" ring rather than a "full" eternity ring. Eternity rings featuring paste gems, white topaz or a mix of stones appeared in the 18th century; the concept of the diamond eternity ring was created in the 1960s by diamond merchant De Beers. American investigative journalist Edward Jay Epstein stated that at the time the company had a secret agreement with the Soviet Union which, in return for the creation of a "single channel" controlling the world's supply of diamonds,'required' the purchase of 90-95% of the uncut gem diamonds produced by Russia.
The prevailing fashion at the time for engagement rings, was for them to be set with a single, large diamond. The Soviet gems, were small less than 0.25 carats. To avoid stockpiling, De Beers embarked on a campaign of promotion of jewelry containing a number of small diamonds culminating in the eternity ring, aimed at older, married women. One campaign slogan aimed at husbands was, "She married you for poorer. Let her know how it’s going."