Journal of Geography (Chigaku Zasshi)
Online ISSN : 1884-0884
Print ISSN : 0022-135X
ISSN-L : 0022-135X
Review Articles
Minerals and Gems
Takeshi MIYATA
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2022 Volume 131 Issue 2 Pages 275-288

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Abstract

 Gems must meet three requirements: be beautiful, be durable, and be rare. The concept beauty depends on personal values. It is, therefore, not something that is objective and separate from human society. Gems have relationships with society and have requirements. That is, it must be determined whether a gem is genuine or fake. Gems are essentially natural materials. They are generally minerals that are naturally occurring solids formed by geological processes. However, gems have a cultural aspect depending on how they are used. In a historical review, how these two aspects of gems have become the subject of scholarship is briefly elucidated. Currently, artificial gem materials are classified according to their growth history, and whether they are synthetic, man-made, imitations or composites. The task of defining these categories, in addition to natural gems and treated gems, is gem identification, which is based on gem variety, genesis (natural or artificial), treatments applied, (quality) origin (locality) and individual recognition. The development and current status of gemology is reviewed from the viewpoint of mineralogy.

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