Surface Mining for Minerals & Metals

Surface mining is a method used to extract minerals and metals which are near the surface of the Earth.
There are three basic types of surface mining: open pit mining, strip mining, and quarry mining. These methods are much more economical than underground mining, yet they can have a more Read more

Jet Imitations


Anthracite is found in many places around the world and is a compact and brittle carbon material. Less durable than Jet it polishes well but has not been extensively used for jewellery. Miners were known to fashion small ornaments and carvings from it, mainly as a hobby.
It has a Read more


Jade is a name that was applied to ornamental stones that were being brought to Europe from China and Central America. It wasn’t until 1863 that it was realized that Jade was being applied to two different minerals. The two minerals are both exquisite for the purposes that jade Read more

Guide to Jet

Jet is fossilized wood formed from a species of Araucaria (the monkey puzzle tree). It is synonymous with the colour black and can be highly polished to give an intense black colour that never fades. When polished the material is so reflective that pieces of Jet were even used Read more


Formerly called fluorspar, fluorite has a wide range of colours including yellow, blue, pink purple and green. It is an interesting and beautiful stone because often more than one colour occurs in a single stone. The ancient Egyptians used flourite to carve statues and scarabs. The Chinese have used Read more


A dark green to black variety of Jadeite. Jadeite is one of the minerals recognized as the gemstone jade.
The most highly valued colours of jadeite are the most intensely green, translucent varieties, though traditionally white has been considered the most valuable of the jades by the Chinese, known for Read more


Carnelian also spelled Cornelian, a red variety of chalcedony, much used as an ornamental stone, especially for seals. The old name was cornelian, said to have been. given in reference either to the horny appearance of the stone (Lat. cornu, horn ) or to its resemblance in. colour to Read more

Blue John Stone

Blue John Stone is the Peak District’s Unique mineral and is not found anywhere else in the world but amongst the rocks of Treak Cliff Hill, Castleton and exists in only two caverns: Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern.
This mineral, a colour banded form of fluorspar, has been Read more

Blood Rubies

Known for their strong fluorescence, Burmese rubies – the most expensive gems per carat are cherished the world over for their clarity, quality and above all their lush red ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ hue. Rubies like these exist nowhere else on Earth.
Pure corundum, from which rubies are formed, is colourless. Rubies Read more


March—Aquamarine or bloodstone
June—Moonstone, pearl, or alexandrite (the latter of which changes colours depending on the type of light hitting the stone and in gem quality is considered more valuable than diamond)
August—Peridot or sardonyx
October—Opal or tourmaline
November—Topaz or citrine
December—Turquoise or zircon

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