Two Antique 19th Century Genuine Natural One Third Carat Hand Crafted Siberian Neon Blue Apatite Semi-Precious Gemstones.
CLASSIFICATION: Handcrafted Russian Apatite.
ORIGIN: 19th century Kola Peninsula, Siberia, Russia.
SIZE: 3 1/2mm square. Thickness: 2mm. Measurements approximate.
WEIGHT: 0.61 carats (the pair).
NOTES: Upon request we can set your gemstones as a ring, pendant, or as earrings (click here for more information).
DETAIL: In the ancient and medieval world apatite gemstones were worn by athletes and soldiers who believed it useful in helping improve their coordination and to strengthen muscle, and to help suppress (what else?) appetite. On the other side of the spectrum, it was also worn by academics, who believed it would enhance one's insight, learning abilities and creativity, and would yield increased self-confidence. The name “apatite” comes from the Greek "apatein", which means "to deceive", “to cheat”, or "to be misleading", as in the ancient world apatite was often confused with other minerals such as topaz, beryl, sphene, peridot or tourmaline. The Greek name “apatein” also is associated with “Apate”, the Greek goddess of deceit, benefactor of politicians. A minor goddess in the Greek pantheon, she was the daughter of Nyx, and one of the spirits inside Pandora's box.
Here are two very uncommon, good quality vividly hued, neon blue apatite gemstones from the Koa Peninsula of Siberia. These particular gemstones were hand crafted 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. Produced for indigenous jewelry in the nineteenth century, apatite gemstones of this size and quality are exceptional. Apatite is usually found just as small disseminated grains no larger than sand particles. Large well formed crystals whether cats eye or otherwise are rare, though enormous deposits are in the Kola Peninsula, (Siberia) Russia (see here).
Apatite is a frequently clear gem that also comes in many colors, including green, yellow, blue, violet, and yellow-green. The name apatite comes from the Greek word "apate" that means, "to deceive", as it has frequently been confused throughout history with other valuable gems such as tourmaline, peridot and beryl. This particular specimen is exceptionally nice. There are of course rutile (hair like) blemishes just barely visible in these photo enlargements, but theses are very common to apatite, and cannot be discerned with the unaided eye. Apatite is valuable for its bright, almost "neon" color, and while the better grade gemstones are transparent, as is this gemstone, they nonetheless typically possess rutile inclusions. In fact these rutile inclusions are what produces the rather pronounced “cat’s eye” effect in apatite catseye, another very collectible gemstone from the same mines in the Koa Peninsula.
These particular specimens are of exceptionally good quality and are absolutely, stunningly beautiful. Under magnification the gemstones show 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, possessed 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 that approach flawlessness in a perfect finish, the cut and finish of handcrafted gemstones such as these are the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.
These gemstones have great luster and sparkle, and to the eye are transparent and absolutely eye clean. However the gemstones are not absolutely flawless, as in these photo enlargements you will see (as is common to the gemstone) some minute rutile blemishes composed of colorless crystalline material. True, to the eye the gemstones are without discernible blemish. However magnified as they are here in the accompanying photo enlargements you can see these minute blemishes within the gemstones and as well, occasional irregularities in the finish. But 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.
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. This is why 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 minute blemishes which by and large, are only visible under magnification.
APATITE HISTORY: Apatite is a fairly uncommon and rare gemstone. Though apatite itself is an exceedingly common mineral, transparent gemstone quality specimens are no common. Apatite is the mineral that makes up the teeth and bones in all vertebrate animals, from fish to man to dinosaur as well as their bones. In fact apatite is an elemental component of every living cell, plant and animal. Virtually all the phosphorus in the world today has either come from or is locked up in this one mineral, apatite, or what is called phosphate rock. It is quarried for use as a phosphate fertilizer. Apatite gemstones are found in a variety of locations worldwide which include Russia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, the USA, Spain, Brazil, Burma, Ceylon, India, Israel, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
Apatite gemstones are most typically found in blue, but the range of colors includes colorless, pink, yellow, green, brown, red, purple and violet. The most valuable form is a purple-colored variety found in the state of Maine, USA. Some of the blue and yellow apatite show chatoyancy (the cat’s-eye effect) and can be cut as cat's-eye cabochon gemstones. The name “apatite” comes from the Greek "apatein", which means "to deceive", “to cheat”, or "to be misleading", as in the ancient world apatite was often confused with other minerals such as topaz, beryl, sphene, peridot or tourmaline. The Greek name “apatein” also is associated with “Apate”, the Greek goddess of deceit, benefactor of politicians. A minor goddess in the Greek pantheon, she was the daughter of Nyx, and one of the spirits inside Pandora's box.
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. In the ancient and medieval world apatite was believed to enhance the wearer’s insight, learning abilities and creativity, and to give increased self-confidence. It was also believed useful in inducing deep states of meditation. Athletes and soldiers believed it useful in helping improve their coordination and to strengthen muscles, and to help suppress hunger (or “appetite”) and ease hypertension. Wearing apatite was also believed useful in treating hyperactivity or its opposite, lethargy. It was believed that an elixir of apatite could be prepared by allowing apatite gemstones to sit outdoors overnight, preferable under a full moon, in a glass container of water. The elixir was then drunken to help strengthen bones and heal and prevent joint pain.
Contemporary healers and mystics believe that apatite is highly psychic, facilitating intuition and ESP, as well as enabling the wearer to make contact with and commune with the higher self. Regular meditation with apatite is said to steadily improve the wearer’s concentration and memory, while also enhancing intuition. It is also said to facilitate visions of the future. Apatite is also believed to increase stability and common-sense, helping the user to “keep their feet on the ground” and help plan for success. Apatite is believed to foster peace and harmony through enhanced communication. Encouraging intellectual pursuits, apatite is said to stimulate thoughts and ideas that enhance the intellect, as well as aid focus, learning, and clarity of concentration. It is also used to foster acceptance, oceanic consciousness and unconditional love.
Both green and blue apatite are said to encourage the wearer’s humanitarian side, aiding the wearer’s effectiveness along the path of service. Blue apatite in particular is believed to help with self-expression, communication and creativity as it assists in defining and understanding the meaning and uniqueness in this life. It is used to help in the release of difficulties and to clear mental confusion, and is also thought to stimulate clairvoyance and help one receive past life insights. Green apatite is said to help one accept and appreciate one's full worth. Yellow apatite calms anxiety and speeds up one's thought processes when anxious and pressed to find the right solution to a problem.
Physically, apatite may decrease hunger and has been used to help control weight gain. Apatite is believed useful for healing, regeneration and to provide the stamina and courage needed to face difficult problems or a long-term illness. Apatite gemstones are worn to help bones heal faster and stronger, and to treat the pain of arthritis. It is also believed to aid the absorption of calcium from the foods you eat, which helps to keep bones and teeth strong. It can also be worn to lower blood pressure, as high blood pressure is often related to calcium.
Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $14.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $18.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.
We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).
We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset.
Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today.
Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."