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RARE 19thC Antique 3ct Orthoclase Feldspar Gemstone from Spain Canary Islands #57901

Cost: $ 199.99

Antique Nineteenth Century Three Carat Genuine Natural Faceted Yellow Orthoclase Feldspar. Contemporary High Quality Sterling Silver Ring (Size 7 – Resizing Available).

ORIGIN:  Spanish Canary Islands.  19th Century.  Handcrafted in or near Yekaterinburg, Russia.  19th century.

SIZE:  Length:  11 1/2mm.  Width:  9 1/4mm.  Depth:  5 1/4mm.  All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT:  3.02 carats.

NOTES:  Resizing is available. 14kt solid gold setting is also available. If you would prefer a different setting style, odds are we have many different setting styles available which would fit this stone(s) which could be substituted for no or very little additional cost. Write us for pictures and prices.

DETAIL:  A very rare gemstone, a transparent yellow orthoclase feldspar.  Though geologists estimate that feldspar makes up 60% of the earth’s crust, facetable, transparent crystals are very rare.  The two most common facetable crystal feldspars are orthochlase (as is this specimen), and andesine, another rare feldspar which is actually treated as a distinct gemstone from orthoclase (though they are related, as are for example the quartz gemstones amethyst and citrine related to one another, but treated as “different” gemstones).   The most common feldspar gemstone is moonstone, though is generally not in transparent crystal (but rather translucent), and so is cut and polished as cabochons or beads, not faceted.  Faceted orthoclase feldspar (as well as andesine) are rare and uncommon gemstones.   The gemstone was hand crafted and faceted 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.

This is a very fine, delicately colored pastel yellow semi-precious gemstone.  As you can see from the photo enlargements here, it is absolutely transparent and very beautiful and to the unaided eye, is without discernible blemish.  That is not to suggest that it is absolutely flawless, as intent inspection of the photo enlargements here will reveal a few very minute blemishes composed of colorless crystalline material…quite common to feldspar crystals.  Of course absolutely flawless gemstones are the hallmark of a synthetic, man-made gemstone.  Natural gemstones tend to be blemishes as a result of the formative processes by which other nature creates her masterpieces.The setting is of contemporary origin.  It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers.  It is constructed of solid sterling silver.  We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested.  Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid gold.

Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted.  The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone.  These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, ipossessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones.  Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone has great luster and sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent, but it is not absolutely flawless.  True, the blemishes it possesses are virtually invisible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean".  To the view of the casual admirer the gemstone is seemingly without blemish.  However magnified five times over as it is here, you can see slight blemishes within the stone. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone.  An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature.  Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic, as perfect gemstones are the realm of laboratory-produced gemstones, not Mother Nature.  You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish.  Of course, 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 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.  For these reasons 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 miniscule blemishes and cutting imperfections which are inherent in antique, hand-cut gemstones, and which are by and large, are only visible under high magnification.

FELDSPAR HISTORY:  From the perspective of the gemstone world, it would seem like quartz (amethyst, citrine, quartz crystal, aventurine, etc.) is the most abundant mineral in the world. But from the point of view of mineralogy, it is feldspar that is the most common mineral. In fact feldspar makes up nearly 60% of the earth's crust. Despite being so common it is rare for feldspars to occur as gemstone.  The most common use of feldspar however is not for gemstones.  Feldspar is most commonly used in glassmaking and ceramics. In glassmaking, alumina from feldspar improves product hardness, durability, and resistance to chemical corrosion.  The alkali content in feldspar acts as a flux lowering the glass batch melting temperature and reducing production costs.  In ceramics, the alkali in feldspar also acts as a flux, lowering the melting temperature of a mixture. Fluxes melt at an early stage in the firing process, forming a glassy matrix that bonds the other components of the system together.  Feldspar is often used as an anti-caking agent in powdered forms of non-dairy creamer.  Granite, an important building material, contains up to 50% to 70% of alkaline feldspar (giving granite its characteristic pink undertones).  In earth sciences and archaeology, feldspars are used for argon, optical, and thermoluminescence dating.

The name “feldspar” is derived from the German terms “feld” (field), referring to the mineral's abundance and the fact that as it breaks up it becomes a major component of soil, and “'spar” (a term for a rock that splits easily).  Gemstones of the feldspar family include include orthoclase feldspar, amazonite, moonstone, labradorite, sunstone and andesine.  Feldspars which are crystalline in form and transparent are generally orthoclase feldspar or andesine (a type of labradorite).  Feldspar is also one of the minerals found in unakite.  The most common transparent feldspar gemstone is orthoclase, and though most often occurs in yellow or pink, is also found colorless, as well as light green, greenish blue, green, white, black, and brown.  Orthoclase as a mineral is a very common feldspar, but when described as a gemstone it usually refers to a rare transparent yellow or pink form of the mineral orthoclase.  Orthoclase feldspar gemstones were certainly used in the ancient world (such as in the mask of Tutankhamun), however few records exist as feldspar was not identified as such, and was likely confused with other gemstones such as citrine.

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.  Under what name orthoclase feldspar was known in the ancient world is indeterminable.  Orthoclase feldspar was likely misidentified as citrine, pink tourmaline, etc.  Though some types of feldspar were well known in the ancient world, such as moonstone, sunstone, labradorite, etc., transparent feldspar was not identified in ancient literature as feldspar.  It was used in the ancient world.  Many examples of feldspar have been found in archaeological remains, the most prominent example of which is Tutankhamun’s mask.  However outside of other feldspar varieties such as moonstone, history is silent as to how transparent orthoclase feldspar crystals may have been used for healing or for mystic or shamanic purposes.

However it is possible that the beliefs which modern practitioners hold pertaining to orthoclase feldspar crystals may reflect ancient beliefs.  It is common for such beliefs to be carried forward in folklore.  Orthoclase is used for crystal healing purposes.  Orthoclase is said to be of help at heart ailments, to strengthen bones, improving the wearer’s concentration, lowering blood pressure and strengthening the body's natural defenses against stress.  On the metaphysical plane, orthoclase feldspar is considered by most to be a “lunar stone” that encourages the development of clairvoyance and clairaudience (the ability to see and hear spirits).  It is believed that wearing an orthoclase feldspar helps to boost the wearer’s energy levels, and to enhance adaptability and the ability to cope with change.  It is considered helpful to hose feeling stressed by the pace of life, dealing with loss, grief or changes that are disrupting emotionally or causing one to feel that their foundations are no longer stable.  Feldspar is believed to help the wearer cope with the minor, everyday pressures of life as well as the major traumas.  Another of orthoclase use is to use it during meditation due to its calming and soothing properties.

11/12/2016 12:00:00 AM
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