The Many Uses Of Gems And Minerals
March 30th, 2017
People have always been attracted to things of beauty. Gold, silver, glass, gems, and minerals have always held a place of worth in civilization. However, gems and minerals can serve other purposes than simply to decorate or distinguish. For example, oxide class minerals are used in mining, such as minerals that help create iron, aluminum, and titanium. Even ice is considered a mineral, something we find very important to life today. They can be used in a wide variety of roles, and depending on their rarity, can range in worth from dirt cheap to expensive.
A Lifelong Hobby
Using gems and minerals to create jewelry is a lifelong hobby for many people. The cheaper materials can be bought in bulk at little cost, and hundreds of pieces of jewelry can be crafted for less than what it costs to fill up the gas tank. Fortunately, such jewelry can then be sold at a significant profit, and these little trinkets can actually earn somebody a halfway decent living. At the very least, gems and minerals in jewelry can be used to supplement another source of income if it's only practiced as a hobby, giving folks an additional allowance of cash. While not as stable a source of income as other types of jobs, it's fairly dependable for some extra cash.
Gems can also be fitted for use in other decorations. For example, amber, or a form of fossilized tree resin, is fairly valuable and can be used to create all sorts of decorations. Sometimes, small insects get caught in the amber before it solidifies, creating fossils from them. Amber is generally a translucent brownish yellow or orange, and it's used in paper weights and other ornaments. Although just one type, there are many other types of gems and minerals with a plethora of uses. However, the ones that need to be created under natural circumstances (diamonds, for example) are typically the most valuable, while those that are plentiful are cheaper.
Until recently, there had been no standards for grading the quality of gems and minerals. A few decades ago, standards began popping up, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) system. Suddenly, the use of microscopes to achieve magnification made grading gemstones much more accurate, and these standards ensure that all consumers get what they pay for when they purchase gems and minerals. Even minuscule imperfections don't go unnoticed (although the naked eye might not be able to see them), and some great deals can be had with gemstones with these tiny faults.