Jewels have been objects of desire from the earliest days of mankind. The enduring value of gems and pearls is largely a result of their beauty, durability, and rarity. It is this last aspect that has pushed humans to create less expensive alternatives to the natural product. These include imitations such as glass, fully synthetic counterparts of natural gems, and enhancements that modify gems and pearls to make them more valuable.
For more than 4000 years, the deep "green fire" of emeralds has been treasured as a symbol of eternal spring and immortality. Shrouded in myth and lore, the birthstone for May isn't just a beautiful gem. Emeralds are also ornaments of power and politics that have created legends and molded world history. Prized by Egyptians, Romans, Aztecs, crowned heads of Europe, and today, gem connoisseurs the world over, emeralds, more than any other precious gemstone, have sparked the eternal fires of our collective imagination.
Dionysus, known for his love of grape juice, was the Greek god of wine; however, after a few goblets, he became a little confrontational. One day in the forest, with goblet in hand, the tipsy Dionysus took insult from a passing mortal that refused to show him respect. The incident provoked his wrath, and Dionysus swore revenge on the next mortal that he saw...
Some sources have estimated that the total production of gold from ancient times to present could be placed within a 25-meter cube. A similar cube for platinum would be substantially smaller, barely exceeding six meters. Due to their rarity and value, gold, silver, platinum and members of the platinum group have earned the special nickname of noble metals.
Most jewelry is crafted from individual components. The pieces are often created on the jeweler's bench and then skillfully joined together. The components needed in most types of jewelry are incredibly simple.