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    Chinese Picture Jasper

    The image above shows raw picture jasper stone before it is cut, shaped and polished. Chinese Picture Jasper Liuzhou Prefecture, Guangxi Zhuang A. R., China Liuzhou is located on the banks of the winding Liu River Liuzhou has a history of more than 2,100 years. The city was founded in 111 B.C. when it was known as Tanzhong.

    Historically, Jasper is traceable to all ancient peoples and civilizations. Worn by shamans, priests and kings, it was considered sacred and a powerful protection stone, for both the physical world and in the spiritual realm. Amulets of Jasper were carved by the Egyptians with symbols and inscriptions from the Book of the Dead and buried with mummified remains for safe passage in the afterlife. It was highly utilized in many cultures for engraving cylinder seals, signet rings, and special talismans depicting astrological and religious images. It was the twelfth stone in the Breastplate of the Jewish High Priest, and the apostle Peter is supposed to have derived his name from Jasper, the rock upon which Christ would build his church. To the medieval world and the Native Americans, Jasper was “the rain bringer” and highly regarded as a stone for dowsing. [Mella, 87-88][Melody, 344-345][Kunz, 90, 122, 226-229, 276][Fernie, 199]

    Picture Jasper, a remarkable form of Brown Jasper, is characterized by masterful “scenes” and landscape patterns formed by Nature, and is believed to contain hidden messages from the past. It was revered in many cultures of the world for its deep connection to the Earth, its protection during shamanic journeying, and its ability to divine the land and the future. It is perhaps more closely connected to the planet than any other Jasper and is known today as the Stone of Global Awareness.

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    Brazilian and Himalayan Quartz

    Quartz has been known and appreciated since pre-historic times. The most ancient name known is recorded by Theophrastus in about 300-325 BCE, κρύσταλλος or kristallos. The varietal names, rock crystal and bergcrystal, preserve the ancient usage. The root words κρύοσ signifying ice cold and στέλλειυ to contract (or solidify) suggest the ancient belief that kritallos was permanently solidified iceThe earliest printed use of "quertz" was anonymously published in 1505, but attributed to a physician in Freiberg. Germany, Ulrich Rühlein von Kalbe.

    By 1530, Agricola used the spelling "quartz" as well as "quertze", but Agricola also referred to "crystallum", "silicum", "silex", and silice". Tomkeieff (1941) suggested an etymology for quartz: "The Saxon miners called large veins - Gänge, and the small cross veins or stringers - Querklüfte. The name ore (Erz, Ertz) was applied to the metallic minerals, the gangue or to the vein material as a whole. Minas Gerais is a state in Brazil and its name translated into English means General Mines. Many of the localities and photos here on Mindat are for specimens that have come from several rather distinct geological settings in the state. Probably the best known of these are the pegmatite minerals like tourmaline, beryl, quartz etc that come from the pegmatites in the north west granitic region of the state and whose center, business wise if not geologically is the town of Governador Valadares.

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    Pure Amethyst from Uruguay

    Beautiful Uruguayan gem quality deep purple clear crystals amethyst specimen
    Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- ("not") and μέθυστος méthystos ("intoxicated"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels decorated with it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.

    The mining in Artigas Uruguay start on the middle of 19 century. At the beginning the working way was some groups of people with an long piece of iron put into the land and when they heard some crystal noise they start to dig in this place. They used to make a big holes about 3 meter wide by 3 or 4 meters deep. After they get the stones send them to Germany to the Idar-Oberstein city. The export quantity at this time was not much per year, just in the beginning of 1980 the mining companies start to buy small machines to work in the land according on supply the demand from the different countries. These machines work during from 1980 to 1999 so the production became more than 19 century.

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    Peruvian Pyrite

    The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, also known as fool's gold, is an iron sulfide with the chemical formula FeS2. This mineral's metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold, hence the well-known nickname of fool's gold. The color has also led to the nicknames brass, brazzle, and Brazil, primarily used to refer to pyrite found in coal.
    Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals. The name pyrite is derived from the Greek πυρίτης (pyritēs), "of fire" or "in fire",[7] in turn from πύρ (pyr), "fire".[8] In ancient Roman times, this name was applied to several types of stone that would create sparks when struck against steel; Pliny the Elder described one of them as being brassy, almost certainly a reference to what we now call pyrite. By Georgius Agricola's time, ca. 1550, the term had become a generic term for all of the sulfide minerals. Pyrite enjoyed brief popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries as a source of ignition in early firearms, most notably the Wheelock, where the cock held a lump of pyrite against a circular file to strike the sparks needed to fire the gun.

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    Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan and Chile

    Lapis is the Latin word for "stone" and lazuli is the genitive form of the Medieval Latin lazulum, which is taken from the Arabic لازورد lāzaward, itself from the Persian لاژورد lāžavard, which is the name of the stone in Persian and also of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. Lapis lazuli is a rock whose most important mineral component is lazurite[9] (25% to 40%), a feldspathoid silicate mineral with the formula (Na,Ca)8(AlSiO4)6(S,SO4,Cl)1-2.

    Most lapis lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow). Other possible constituents: augite; diopside; enstatite; mica; hauynite; hornblende, and nosean. Some lapis lazuli contains trace amounts of the sulfur-rich löllingite variety geyeriteThe name of the stone came to be associated with its color. The English word azure, French azur, the Italian azzurro, the Polish lazur, Romanian azur and azuriu, and the Portuguese and Spanish azul, Hungarian azúr all come from the name and color of lapis lazuli.Lapis lazuli /ˈlæpɪs ləˈzuːliː/ or /-ˈlæʒuːlaɪ/, or lapis for short, is a deep blue semi-precious stone that has been prized since antiquity for its intense color. Lapis lazuli was being mined in the Sar-i Sang mines  and in other mines in the Badakhshan province in northeast Afghanistan as early as the 7th millennium BCE. Lapis beads have been found at neolithic burials in Mehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from Afghanistan as Mauritania. It was used for the eyebrows on the funeral mask of King Tutankhamun (1341–1323 BCE).

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    Fluorite from China

    China is currently the most prolific producer of fluorite specimens in the world. Literally tons of superb material has been brought onto the market in the last several decades. The following describes the general nature of specimens from the chief sources. One of the earlier sources of fluorite, as far as the Western markets are concerned, is the Shangbao Pyrite Mine near Leiyang in the Hengyang Prefecture of Hunan Province. Typical from here are gemmy cubes with dodecahedral modifications; commonly color zoned colorless to pale purple. Many specimens are frosted on the dodecahedral faces whereas the cube faces remain lustrous.
    Dolomite and pyrite are common associated minerals. The largest producer is probably the Xianghualing Polymetallic District, which includes Xianghualing, Dong Po, Xianghuapu, Dongshan, Cashan, and Huangshapin mines, in Linwu County, Chenzhou Prefecture, Hunan Province. From these mines come frosted green octahedra and beautiful lustrous, gemmy olive-green cubes. Many specimens exhibit associated lenticular rhombic white calcite crystals. Pale blue-purple to dark purple cubes to several centimeters are typical of the Yaogangxian Mine in Yizhang County, which is also in the Chenzhou Prefecture of Hunan. Specimens from this locality are also identifiable by associated arseno-pyrite, chalcopyrite, dolomite, ferberite, muscovite, pyrite, quartz, scheelite, and wurtzite.

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    Rose Calcite (or Alabaster) from Mexico

    The Santa Eulalia Mining District lies in central Chihuahua, Mexico about 360 km south of El Paso, Texas and 23 km east of Chihuahua City. The district occupies the approximate center of the north-northwest elongate, fault-bounded Sierra Santa Eulalia (a.k.a. Sierra Santo Domingo) whose peaks rise up to 700 m above the surrounding plains. Maximum elevations exceed 2400 m and the numerous deep canyons carved into the limestone and volcanic rocks of the range create a very rugged topography.. The City of Chihuahua was built by Spanish pioneers on the riches emanating from Santa Eulalia over the first 200 years of mining.

    Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite, a carbonate of calcium, also known as onyx-marble, Egyptian alabaster or Oriental alabaster, in geological terms is "a stalagmitic limestone marked with patterns of swirling bands of cream and brown".[1] In general, but not always, ancient Alabaster in Egypt and the Near & Middle East is calcite. Alabaster in medieval Europe is gypsum. Modern Alabaster is probably calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to 'work' and as both are slightly water-soluble, have been used for making a variety of indoor artworks and carvings, as they will not survive long outdoors.