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Antique 19thC Handcut 15 1/2ct Neon Green Fluorite Bavaria #56782

Cost: $ 169.99

Antique Genuine Natural Bavarian (Russian Crafted) Fifteen and Two-Third Carat Faceted Neon Green Fluorite Semi-Precious Gemstone.

CLASSIFICATION:  Faceted Neon Green Fluorite.

ORIGIN:  Oberpfalz, Bavaria.  19th Century.  Handcrafted in Yekaterinburg, Siberia, Russia.  19th Century.

SIZE:  Length:  17mm.  Width:  14 1/2mm (at widest end) x 5mm (at narrowest end).  Depth:  8 1/2mm.  All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT:  15.66 carats.

NOTES:  Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings.

Most everyone is familiar with fluoride used in many countries in drinking water as a preventative measure to combat tooth decay.  It has also been useful to orthopedic specialists in the treatment of bone disease and in preventing and reversing damage to RNA and DNA.  And who has not heard of fluorescent lighting or fluorescent (“glow in the dark”) toys and light wands?  Fewer will know that fluorite has also been used since ancient times as a flux to aid in the smelting of metals.  But did you know that fluorite was popular for use in gemstones and gemstone carvings in ancient Egypt where it was used in the production of scarab amulets?  That Pliny the Elder described the use of fluorite as a gemstone in first-century Rome, describing as well its magical and medicinal uses?  Even through Renaissance and Victorian Europe colorful fluoride gemstones were very popular in their regal purple varieties; as well as a very famous and now frightfully rare banded purple and yellow variety from England!

This particular gemstone originated from one of the ancient sources of this gemstone, Bavaria, and brought to 19th century Russia where the jewelers of the Czars and of the noble and wealthy families produced the ornate jewelry of Byzantine Russia.  Hand crafted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia.  Produced for indigenous jewelry in the nineteenth century, fluorite gemstones of this size and quality are exceptional.  Fluorite is valued for its color, and while the better grade gemstones are transparent, as is this gemstone, they nonetheless typically possess blemishes, and are more often than not a bit cloudy, and this gemstone is no exception.  Though it is vividly hued, and very large, close scrutiny will reveal some small fine strands of particulate matter blemishing the gemstone, and as clearly can be seen, it is just a little bit cloudy, or “misty”.  However to the cursory inspection of the casual admirer, it is clean to the eye, or nearly so, and seemingly without blemish.

There are large deposits of fluorite in Siberia and it has often been used in the jewelry produced for Russia’s babushkas (grandmothers).  Siberian fluorite is very popular and has been for centuries.  However the more famous and costly fluorite used in the jewelry of the Czar’s was that which originated in Bavaria or another famous variety from England.  The trained eye will easily discern from the photo that the gemstone has been hand-faceted.  The coarseness of the 19th century faceting is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment.  Unlike today's computer controlled machine processes, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.  Such antique hand-faceted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.

This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and it is relatively transparent.  However the gemstone is clearly not flawless.  It is also a little bit on the “misty side”, just a touch of a light fogginess than brings to mind a hazy morning (just slightly diminished visibility).  Of course flawless gemstones are usually not the product of Mother Nature.  Flawless gemstones tend to be the hallmark of synthetic, or man-made gemstones.  The blemishes this natural gemstone possesses are not immediately discerned by the casual admirer, though anything more than a cursory glance will reveal a few blemishes.  But to the casual admirer it is simply a nicely color, BIG gemstone.  However magnified 400% or 500%, as it is here, you can see some these minor blemishes within the gemstone as well as occasional irregularities in the finish and the overall haziness.  However these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even possible then, let alone in practice, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Keep in mind that two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones.  Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then.  So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second.  The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so.  However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for included imperfections which by and large, are only visible under magnification.

FLUORITE HISTORY:  The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use fluorite as a gemstone, both in the carving of statues as well as in the production of scarab amulets.  The ancient Chinese also employed fluorite for gemstone carvings.  There are many mentions of fluorite in ancient Roman texts.  Pliny the Elder, the ancient first century Roman naturalist and historian, wrote of fluorite in 77 A.D. in his encyclopedia of natural history.  Pliny describes fluorite as one of the world’s most precious gemstones, and describes its healing and magical properties.  Pliny also relates an account of a particularly fine fluorite gemstone which was purchased by the Roman Emperor Nero (for the equivalent of about $250,000 in today’s dollars). 

Ancient Roman sources also relate other mentions of fluorite, including six valuable vases taken by the Roman Emperor Augustus from the pharaoh’s palace in Alexandria, Egypt.  Roman sources also tell of an even earlier incident where Julius Caesar’s predecessor “Pompey the Great” took six fluorite vases from Mithridates' treasure and installed them in the temple of Jupiter.  There are also descriptions in Roman literature attesting to the “fact” that drinking alcoholic beverages from vessels carved of fluorite kept the drinker from becoming intoxicated.  Recent archaeological excavations in the ruins of Pompeii have uncovered artifacts of carved fluorite.  In America archeologists discovered a figurine carved of fluorite from the Mississippi Moundbuilders era, dating between 900 and 1650 A.D.

The name fluorite is derived from the Latin “fluo” or “fluere”, meaning “to flow”, in reference to its industrial use as flux in the smelting of metallic ores (written records describing such use date back to 1530 A.D.).  Some of the more significant sources of fluorite in the ancient world included mines in Bavaria (and elsewhere in Germany), Bohemia, Austria, Italy, Norway, Spain, Hungary, Switzerland, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Canada, Mexico, and some very popular and valuable multi-colored banded deposits in Castledon, Derbyshire, England.  These deposits yielded fluorite known as “Derbyshire Blue John”, beautiful purple-blue and yellow fluorite which was used for ornamental purposes.

The deposits of “Blue John” fluorite were mined by the Romans after the conquest of Britain, and then continued to be extensively mined up until the nineteenth century when the deposits were exhausted (though a few hundred pounds a year are still produced).  The name “Blue John” derives from french "bleu et jaune" (blue and yellow) characterizing its color. It is now scarce, and only a few hundred kilograms are mined each year for use in jewelry production.  In previous centuries miners in Saxony called this gemstone “ertsblaume”, or "ore flower", because its presence often indicated the proximity of more valuable gemstones.  Green fluorite was also known in centuries past as "Transvaal" or "South African" emerald.

Fluorite (also called “fluorspar”) is a mineral with a veritable bouquet of brilliant colors ranging from purple and blue through green, yellow, pink and reddish orange, deservedly reputed as “the most colorful mineral in the world”.  It is also prized for its glassy luster.  Most specimens of fluorite have a single color, but a significant percentage of fluorite gemstones have multiple colors, and the colors are arranged in bands or zones that correspond to the shapes of fluorite's crystals. To top it all off, fluorite is frequently fluorescent, phosphorescent, and even luminescent (will change color when warmed, sometimes even merely by being held).  In fact the term “fluorescent” as in fluorescent light tubes is derived from the name “fluorite”.   Fluorite lenses are also used in telescopes, microscopes, and cameras.

Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection.  Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals.  Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement.  In the ancient world it was believed that fluorite was crystallized light, and as such, could bring light into the brain (enlightenment). Ancient peoples also believed that fluorite would provide protection to the wearer traveling dangerous paths or roads.  Some ancient cultures believed that fluorite deposits were the “home” of rainbows when they were not found in the sky; that (given their brilliant color banding), rainbows sprang from the ground (or terminated in the ground) wherever fluorite deposits were found.

In the eighteenth century, fluorite was powdered in water to relieve the symptoms of kidney disease.  In the contemporary world, fluorite is used medicinally in the treatment of bones, teeth (the source of fluoridation in drinking water), and is utilized in the human body’s cell structure.  It also has been used to assist in the prevention and repair of RNA and DNA damage, and is also believed by some homeopaths to be effective in the treatment of stomach ulcers, “heartburn”, acid reflux, liver disorders, high cholesterol, colds, headaches, flu, viral infections, spinal injuries, arthritis, ear, nose and throat disorders, and respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, emphysema, pleurisy, and pneumonia. It is also said to rekindle sexual appetite, and is also said to enhance the immune system, and laid upon flesh, it is claimed that it will absorb pain from the region upon which it is laid.

Spiritualists purport that fluorite can be used as a scrying (viewing the future) tool by viewing a candle flame through the stone, and also can aid in visions of past lives and astral travel.  It is also said to eliminate the discord that causes infection and disease. This mineral's energy is purported to help the evolution of harmonious, peaceful and organized spiritual growth, as well as to aid in balancing hormones in women.  Fluorite is also believed to not only balance and focus positive energies but to absorb, alter, and release negative energies.  It has been said to help clear the mind and heighten mental achievement while increasing the ability to concentrate and enhancing meditation. Also, that it helps one to see the truth behind illusion, enable dispassionate decisions and considerations, and enhance the wearer’s intuition.

Fluorite is also believed to strengthen the wearer’s analytical and creative abilities, as well as enhance their ability to concentrate, enabling the wearer and grasp higher, more abstract concepts.  Some sources say that Fluorite lessens the wearer’s fear of failure while also boosting self confidence and belief in their abilities.  Fluorite is also believed to foster objectivity, truth, harmony, and attract wealth and abundance.  Last it is believed effective in treating emotional disorders such as substance abuse (detoxification), anxiety, insomnia, disorganization, disruptive behavior, desperation, depressions, and anger.  Purple fluorite in particular is said to increase psychic awareness, green fluorite to aid in spiritual healing, blue fluorite to empower the wearer with clear, concise communicative skills, and yellow fluorite to enhance creativity and intellect.



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