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Interesting Facts

Welcome to Timeless Treasures Antique Handcut Gemstones and their History.





We have gathered together here antique, hand-crafted gemstones of centuries past. Gathered from around the world, inventoried in the USA, and available for shipment anywhere in the world. You may choose to purchase antique gemstones unset, and take them to your favorite jeweler and have them custom set. Or you might just want to buy them and appreciate them for their beauty - even unset. Or perhaps hold them as a tangible investment. Or if you prefer, we can have your purchases set for you by our order fulfillment center right there in the USA. We have a very wide variety of settings for you to choose from, in sterling silver, 14kt white gold, 14kt yellow gold, and in some cases affordable 14kt gold fill. Whether you purchase unset gemstones, choose to have them set by us, or simply wish to browse and learn more about the fascinating lore of ancient gemstones, please enjoy yourself.

Gemstone: TOURMALINE


Tourmaline's name comes from the Dutch traders who purchased gemstones from the Celanese (i.e., Ceylon or Sri Lanka). The word "turmali," meant "mixed", and the bright rainbow collections of gemstone varieties which the Dutch purchased were called "turmali" parcels. Tourmaline has been used as gem material for more than 2,000 years. Since tourmaline occurred in many of the ancient mines that yielded other precious stones, tourmaline was most likely known by the ancient Romans, but called other names such as emerald or topaz. In fact, through the sixteenth or seventeenth century, red and pink tourmaline were thought to be ruby. However one accurate reference to tourmaline in ancient history was by Theophrastus of Ancient Greece (student and successor of Plato and Aristotle) who in 314 B.C. accurately described tourmaline as becoming electromagnetically charged when it heated, noting that it would collect dust particles, straw and pieces of wood. In fact tourmaline can also become electromagnetically charged simply by rubbing it against one's clothing, and the charge can remain for hours. There is also historical evidence which suggests that tourmaline was exported from Ceylon to ancient Israel as early as the time of King Solomon, and may have adorned the crown of the Queen of Sheba.





In the medieval world, alchemists believed tourmaline to be related to the philosopher's stone, and as such could grant enlightenment, give power over spiritual affairs, reconcile opposites and change base metals to gold. Tourmaline was also used by medieval shamans who regarded it a "receptive stone," which means it was soothing, calming, inward, and magnetic, and thus promoted meditation, spirituality, wisdom and mystical powers. During the Middle Ages tourmaline was also thought to heal physical and mental disorders as well as prevent death. Ancient mystical ceremonies in India included the use of the gem as a tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which is good, and to make known who or what was the cause of troubles or evil deeds. As well, various aboriginal tribes such as the American Indians, Australian Aborigines, and various African tribes, believed tourmaline to be a talisman which could protect against all dangers.





You may browse our antique gemstones by clicking the "gemstones" button to the left. You will find gemstones categorized for easy browsing. You may also view the settings and chains we have available as well. Navigation buttons are always to the left. Or you may choose to browse some of the special selections below.

Alexandrite Amethyst Aquamarine Carnelian Chalcedony Moldavite Diamond Ruby Garnet Emerald Emerald Spessartite Jade Peridot Tanzanite Opal Quartz Burma Ruby Star Ruby Sapphire Red Ruby Blue Topaz Tourmaline Natural Zircon Citrine

More Interesting Things To Do:


Gem Settings Fancy Rings Dangle Earrings Chains Bails
Gemstone Settings, Gold, Silver, Jewelry, Rings, Pendants, Earrings, Custom Made Fancy Rings that Do Not Require a Gemstone Dangle Style Earrings Chains Bails for your Pendant


Interested in the history of antique and ancient jewelry and gemstones? Want totally unique gemstone jewelry, unlike anyone else's? Everyone has gemstone jewelry! You can buy it at hundreds of chain jewelry stores. And as beautiful as it might be, they're all pretty much machine stamped, mass produced pieces with little character or personality. Kind of like Bic Lighters - lots of pretty colors, and pretty designs, but when you get right down to it, somehow all plastic. There is an alternative. Antique handcut gemstones from Russia...and India, Ceylon, Burma, and Siam. While most seem to be perfectly happy with today's machine cut gemstones the artisans of past centuries cut their gemstones by hand, exercising both tremendous craftsmanship and patience. Why buy an ordinary, just-like-the-others mass-produced gemstone? For less money you could purchase a piece of the past, a hand-cut precious or semi-precious gemstone produced by a real artisan. Here in Russia, fascinating precious and semi-precious gemstones have been produced for centuries. Gemstones such as color-change alexandrite, green demantoid garnet, mint green emeralds, and dazzling colors of sapphire as well as dozens of other species have been wrested free of the rocky Urals Mountains in Siberia. For centuries Russia has been famed for its production of the elaborate gemstone jewelry produced for the Czars. Gemstone cutting centers in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg have long been famous throughout Europe. And the hand cut gemstones of the eighteen and nineteen centuries are still available in the marketplaces of Siberia, such as in our home city of Chelyabinsk, just south of famed Yekaterinburg. As well, handcrafted antique gemstones can still be found in the marketplaces of India, Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

We have gathered together here antique, hand-crafted gemstones of centuries past. Gathered from around the world, inventoried in the USA, and available for shipment anywhere in the world. You may choose to purchase antique gemstones unset, and take them to your favorite jeweler and have them custom set. Or you might just want to buy them and appreciate them for their beauty - even unset. Or perhaps hold them as a tangible investment. Or if you prefer, we can have your purchases set for you by our order fulfillment center right there in the USA. We have a very wide variety of settings for you to choose from, in sterling silver, 14kt white gold, 14kt yellow gold, and in some cases affordable 14kt gold fill. Whether you purchase unset gemstones, choose to have them set by us, or simply wish to browse and learn more about the fascinating lore of ancient gemstones, please enjoy yourself. And be assured, any purchases you make here are fully guaranteed to be authentic, natural gemstones, and are guaranteed to please you. If for any reason you find yourself not entirely pleased by a purchase, you are welcome to return it for a full refund of its purchase price so long as it has not been materially altered.



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