The history of their formation goes back up to 4.5 billion years – Fascination minerals and crystals from the bowels of the earth. How did gemstones become such an important part of our jewelry collection?
From the ring on your finger to the brooch on your grandmother’s favorite coat – gemstones seem to be everywhere. Their shimmer draws the eye to a passing wrist, a necklace on a graceful neck, floating earrings to complement a ball gown, and their many stories of times past draw us to museums around the world. Precious stones are considered the epitome of wealth, power and beauty: from diamonds to rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls to amber. Enthusiasm from colorless to colored jewels because of their aesthetics, uniqueness, beauty and workmanship, set in precious metals know no boundaries of time, space, personality and occasion of their journey to the appropriate jewelry box. How are the different gemstones formed, what is part of their history of creation until they become famous with special properties?
Humbert and Son – Purveyor to the Court of Kaiser Wilhelm
Together with Torsten Humbert, precious metals expert from Berlin, we take a look at all these questions. Since 1990 Torsten Humbert is successfully active in the market in the trade for precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium in the purchase & sale of valuable jewelry with his Berlin company Deutsche Schatzkasse GmbH. That Torsten Humbert in the world of the noble metals and stones is at home, comes not by chance, he reveals in the discussion. The jeweler line of the Humbert family goes back to the ancestor Jean Pierre Humbert, born in Berlin in 1725. The 1st Humbert family of goldsmiths opened a jewelry store in 1765 in the house Schloßfreiheit 2 in Berlin and this jewelry store is considered the starting point of the famous companies „Humbert & Sohn“ and „Humbert & Heylandt“. „The Berlin goldsmiths and jewelers family Humbert & Sohn gained fame through the production of numerous pieces and in particular as a supplier to the court with the production of the crown for Emperor Wilhelm II, which today is kept in the treasury of Hohenzollern Castle near Hechingen (Baden-Württemberg),“ recounts Torsten Humbert.
Tears of the gods to fiery red
Gemstones have been mined for centuries, all over the world. Almost every culture used gemstones as jewelry or as a sign of various powers. Researchers prove that the first gemstone finds were made in the Middle East, China and Africa. Torsten Humbert points out that jade was discovered in China as early as 3600 BC, and gemstones were synonymous with wealth and power more than five millennia ago. Historically, the history of gemstones includes ancient Egypt and its connection to the pharaohs. From elaborately decorated masks to intricate pieces of jewelry, such as the death mask of Tutankhamun or the golden breast plate with a striking yellow-green shimmering scarab, still pose mysteries today, explains Torsten Humbert. Jewelry has a long tradition in both ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Finds prove that rings, necklaces and pendants were characterized in particular by the carefully crafted work. The most popular gemstones in Greek jewelry making were amethysts, pearls, chalcedony, corneol, garnet and emeralds. The Roman Pliny (23-79 AD) called garnet carbunculus (small coal), this term was used for the fiery red gemstones such as ruby, spinel and garnet. „The rarity and beauty of gemstones witnessed power and reached a very great cultural value. To this day, monarchies around the world have extensive collections of priceless jewelry with unique gemstones,“ Humbert says.
Rituals with gemstones worldwide
More recently, gemstones have also become associated with certain rituals. From healing stones to birthstones. „The origin of birthstones goes back to the breastplate of Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites (1396 B.C. – 1273 B.C.). Today’s selection of one stone for each month of the year comes from the Jewelers of America in 1912, who established the assignment,“ explains precious metals expert Torsten Humbert. Through knowledge and dissemination, more and more people gained access to gemstones as healing and decorative stones. In the Middle Ages, Hildegard von Bingen (1098 to 1179) gave great impetus, she used the stones in therapeutic applications, as did the city physician Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, called Paracelsus from Basel (1493 to 1541).
Treasures of the Earth: Shine and Fascinate
Gemstones are minerals like numerous types of rocks. But diamonds, sapphire, emerald and ruby stand out for their composition, hardness and symmetrical internal structure. Diamond is probably the most famous, expensive and hardest gemstone on the market. Diamonds were formed over millions of years under enormous pressure. To form a diamond, certain temperatures and pressures must be reached inside the earth. „Diamonds represent imperishability, wealth and power through their perfection and beauty. Their brilliance, purity and rarity continue to fascinate today,“ Humbert says. Rubies are often a deep, enchanting burgundy and are also created by heat and pressure. Their beautiful color is the result of minerals taking the place of aluminum atoms in the rock, with chromium giving rubies their characteristic red glow, Humbert adds.
„Similar to rubies, the presence of aquamarine or green in emeralds is the result of minerals such as vanadium. The impurity of beryl gives emeralds their famous color,“ says Humbert, explaining that all naturally colored gemstones is the result of unusual chemical changes that alter the nature of a stone. This is how sapphires get their blue, jade their green, and opals their gorgeous multicolor. The value of a gemstone is based on numerous criteria such as its clarity, color, hardness, size and availability. Gemstones in wearable jewelry shows the fascinating beauty from the womb of Mother Nature.
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Morgan Anne is an English student pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in International Politics at the University of London Institute in Paris. Morgan Anne joined ABOWI-Reputation.com in 2022. She aspires to work as a communicator in the future, whether in journalism or for a political group. Her interests are in health and fitness, travel, biology, and politics. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the company:
Deutsche Schatzkasse GmbH and Kessef antique & modern silver, based in Berlin, is active in trading for precious metals, the purchase and sale of gemstones and jewelry. Mr. Torsten Humbert is considered a proven precious metals expert and has spent his entire professional life since 1990 as a trader and merchant in the field of precious metals. After the apprenticeship in a technical field followed the self-employment in the purchase and sale of precious metals and valuable jewelry, based on the historical family branch of Humbert & Sohn. For more information, visit https://schatzkasse.de/
German treasury GmbH
Phone: +49 30 2000 90 700
Fax: +49 30 88 71 30 88