Prehnite gemstones - Wonderfull gems especially for cabochons
Hobbyists and specimen collectors love the Prehnite gemstone because it is an excellent cabochon material. It has lovely hues of green and greenish blue, and these range into yellow tones. It is an extremely rare material which has a completely transparent clarity, which makes it a darling to gemstone lovers. There are notable deposits in an area in Quebec called Asbestos. The gemstones from Australia have a wonderful greenish to yellow translucent characteristic which makes it very popular for faceting and placing in jewelry; the pieces made of this Prehnite, have a velvety appearance which is soft and rich in color. There have been reports of cat’s eye Prehnite gemstones and these are also extremely rare. There have been Prehnite stones mined in Scotland which have yielded faceted stones, but these have always been below 5 carats in weight. Prehnite is also found in grey and white tones and the gemstone is also found to exhibit chatoyancy characteristics.
When you look at the nomenclature of gemstones, most are named after their places of origin and others are named after the people who discovered them; other stones are named according to their physical and chemical characteristics, while other names are just coined autonomously. Prehnite, is one of the first gemstones in the whole world to be named after an individual. In the 1700s, a Dutch mineralogist found and described the gemstone in South Africa, and it was subsequently named in his honor. The name of the person who discovered Prehnite was Colonel Hendrik Von Prehn, and he found the deposits at the Cape of Good Hope, where he served as the governor on behalf of the Dutch government. Another notable fact is that this was also the first gemstone from South Africa to be named and described, long before the country was considered an important source of important gemstones including diamonds.
A feature that is considered prominent in Prehnite is the fact that it has an interesting luminosity which exhibits the kind of luster that you find in mother-of-pearl. Prehnite is considered to be pretty hard, with a value of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale; this means that it can be worn fairly often without undergoing any damage.
Physical and chemical properties of Prehnite
Prehnite occurs naturally in the form of prismatic crystals which have tapering ends and the gemstone is very rare. Where it is found, it is massive and occurs in stalactites, crusts and druses. It has a pale green color, with several tones including dark green, yellowish green, yellow white colorless and gray. It has a vitreous appearance which can vary to look like a pearl. It has a hardness factor of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale and must therefore be protected from damage by using a bevel when it is set in jewelry. This hardness value also ensures that it can mainly be cut as cabochons, or kept as specimens, although the larger stones can be faceted and set in jewelry. It has a cleavage that is perpendicular, and has uneven fracturing, which makes it very brittle; this means that the cutter has to be very careful when making a faceted gemstone, and this is another reason why it is usually cut as a cabochon.
When it comes to the size of the rough stones, they can be found in large masses, with some of them weighing in at several tons, and these large masses are usually found in the trap rocks found in New Jersey. There have been single masses reaching up to 400 pounds which have been collected in Australia; the large stones found in Australia have a very good clarity value and they are priced for making jewelry, with most of them yielding finished gemstones weighing in at 30 carats or more.
The luminescence of the stone will manifest as a dull brown to yellow color when seen in UV and X-rays, and it does not have any Pleochroic characteristics.
The occurrence of Prehnite gems
Prehnite is one of the minerals that are found in areas with low temperatures, even if it was formed through volcanic action. The waters flowing through volcanic basaltic rocks, which are also associated with zeolites, finally crystalize and form this wonderful mineral. The crystals are also known as hydrothermal crystals and they are also formed in the rock cavities that contain acid; the rock cavities are found in igneous rocks and in serpentine rocks due to what is known as late-stage mineralization of the water that has seeped through from the surface.
In the United States of America, prehnite is found in Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan and California. There are other deposits found in Connecticut. In New Jersey, Prehnite can be found in the basaltic rocks mentioned before, especially those associated with zeolites. In Canada, you get some of the largest stones, with some measuring up to 3 inches in length, and these are found in Asbestos, Quebec, along acidic dikes. There are fine green Prehnite stones found at the Fairfax Quarry, located in Centreville in Virginia. Other places around the world where Prehnite is mined include Australia, Scotland, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, France, Germany and Austria.
Specimen collectors have the belief that Prehnite serves as an interpreter of dreams allowing someone to know what a dream he or she had, meant. It is also said to improve the memory capabilities of the wearer. The gemstone is said to give the wearer some sort of predictive capabilities which allow the wearer to prepare for certain situations; the most accurate predictions that can be made using Prehnite are those that are associated with the personal and spiritual growth of the individual.
The story of Prehnite
One gemstone enthusiast has a very interesting story to tell, in order to illustrate how beautiful the Prehnite is. This is an enthusiast who writes profiles and histories of gemstones, and this is what he had to say.
At times, he would get lost for words when trying to describe a certain gemstone, and he would turn to his wife for inspiration. He would ask the wife any question which he though would elicit an answer which would jumpstart the creative process in his mind. Every time he wanted to get his wife’s opinion, he would show her a picture of the gemstone in question and he would ask her what she thought about it; whether she would like it in a ring or another piece of jewelry. Usually, she would give a measured a quiet observation, the kind that one would get if she was being out under a polygraph test. She would answer in short phrases such as “It looks nice” or “it is pretty”.
However, one day, he showed her a picture of a Prehnite, and he was astonished by the answer he got. The wife immediately had an excited and hair-trigger response, when she gushed that this was a gem that she would love to have. Clearly startled by this sudden change in opinion, he asked her why she loved it so much, and she said that she could wear it with anything in her wardrobe, and she said so like he was a very daft person for not seeing the glaring fact right in front of his eyes. She went on to describe various outfits that she owned and how the gemstone would fit in well with each of them
Now you may wonder which gemstone had brought about such an excited response in someone who was usually so reserved about her opinions about other gemstones. This is a gemstone that not many people are aware of, and this particular gemstone aficionada had not come across it until earlier in that year. The gemstone that excited his wife was Prehnite, a green-colored gemstone that is now the focus in the gemstone world as a gemstone to rival the emerald.
When it comes to color, Prehnite is in a niche of its own. This is a hydrated calcium aluminum silicate, which has a wonderful pale green color, which remind one of the color of sea foam, and it is a great example of a stone that would be a favorite among people who love a gemstone that is not too vivid, and has sweet and subtle shades of green.
From the year 2004, designers and manufacturers of jewelry have been bitten by the Prehnite bug which has a spread a spring fever within the gemological world. Nobody van blame these people since the smoky tomato, pear and apple green colors are irresistible. Despite being such a beautiful gemstone, the price is quite affordable to most people, and hardly goes above $10 per carat.
A designer with Rosen Block of New York, going by the name of Ron Rosen, while on a trip to Bangkok in 2004, came across cabochons which had a milky sheen, and a soft celadon color; he actually thought that they were moonstones, but he was wrong because they were not. He was informed that they were rare gemstones going by the name of Prehnite, and they had been found in large quantities in Mali. As is the case with all designers who come across a new gemstone, he decided to use this stone in some of his designs.
Rosen, has since that time used the Prehnite in many of his designs and they have become a darling to New Yorkers and other jewelry aficionados all over the world. He puts the cabochons of Prehnite in settings of 18 carat white gold, and adds diamonds; the sets include rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces, which go for retail prices ranging from $5000 to $6000. Rosen acknowledges that this is quite a steep price for people to pay for a semiprecious gemstone, but the fact that he has sold over 60 sets since Las Vegas 2005, is a testament that his retail customers do not think that the price is a hindrance to owning a Prehnite piece of jewelry. Since the sets are sold as His & Hers sets, when a lady buys the set, she gives the other pieces to the significant other; this is a gift that encourages impulse buying, given that the stone is rare, and the set brings about cohesion between the couple.
According to Rosen, the Prehnite has a shimmering and unique feminine sophistication. The colors of the soft green stone will make a woman think of the many soft things that she would love to wear with the soft pastel green of the stone. The fact that this is just an obscurity will not matter to the lady, since the fact that the stone is obscure will translate to the fact that it is rare. Women have a lot of common jewelry, such as diamond studded earrings and they will be looking for earrings that have an obscure and rare stone like the Prehnite. Rosen states that this is a stone that is both a colored stone and a fashion phenomenon.
How the Prehnite translated from being a collector’s item and become a consumer gem
Before the year 2004, Prehnite was commonly known among collectors and was not used as part of consumer jewelry. It was mainly common in Australia and northern New Jersey. The variety that is found in Australia is described as being yellow, but there are green varieties too. The variety that comes from New Jersey is mainly bluish green in color. The beautiful specimen that comes from Mali has a variety of greenish shades, which have the distinctive pearly appearance that jewelers and designers describe as apple, lime, mint and pear.
Ron Hoffman, who works at the Riverside California branch of Gert Helmuth, a gemstone company that is based in Pforzheim, Germany, says that there is nothing quite as beautiful as this color. The company has been using Prehnite to make jewelry for more than a year, and they are not about to sop. The gemstone is a leader in a niche that no other stone belongs to and this makes it unique; couple this with the fact that it is rare, and you have a gemstone that is destined to be great.
It is said that the stone was discovered in South Africa by the governor of the colony of Cape of Good Hope, and it was named after him; whether the stone was every used for jewelry purposes before then is not documented. The Smithsonian boasts of having an 8.51 carat Prehnite gemstone and they say it is one of their prized possessions.
This is a gemstone that does not have any family ties such as the beryl or quartz gemstones. It is not so hard and can be treated just like the way a tanzanite should be treated during cutting. It is almost always cut in the form of cabochons, which bring out the milky luster of the gemstone. However, there are designers who are beginning to facet the stone, in an effort to bring out some interest in people who love faceted gemstones. Most of the gemstones do not cost more than $5 per carat, but given the rising demand, they will soon cross the $10 mark. This gemstone is now catching on as a jewelry piece, but before then it was used to sculpt figures and motifs, so it will not be a surprise when pendants earrings and bracelets made from this stone hit the market.
Some consumer information about Prehnite Gemstones
The Prehnite is a rare and young gemstone, and you probably have never seen it before, so when you go to your jewelers and want a piece with this stone, here is some information that you can use:
The color of Prehnite ranges from yellowish green, through several shades of green and end up as a brownish yellow tint. This is a translucent to opaque stone and does not exhibit any fire at all.
This is a fairly rare gemstone, but with new deposits found in Australia, and also in China, they will soon be common in most jewelry stores.
Since the gemstone has a hardness of about 6.5, you can wear it as often as you would like; the milky and translucent nature of the stone means that you do not have to worry about the loss of luster or clarity.
Prehnite is a fairly priced semiprecious gemstone which has a price similar to that of a nice item having Lapis Lazuli of the finest quality.
This is not a birthstone, given that it was recognized in the world of jewelry at around 2004
Before you go shopping for the gemstone, you should be aware of buying any stone on auction sites such as eBay. Since this is a very rare gemstone, you will not be able to easily find it being sold in the open markets. You should go to gem shows and jewelry shops, when you want to buy an authentic Prehnite item. With this information, you can go and look for Prehnite jewelry sets and pieces and wear them with any outfit that you have, thanks to their colorful versatility.