Sunday, 1 June 2014
I spent 12 years working in a lab converting white powders into normally brown tars and then trying to get white crystals back out with varying degrees of success. Now I've switched to making jewellery but do I as a scientist look at gems and see the same thing as a non scientist jeweler? Do they look at stones and think 'oooh high levels of chrome in that stone' or 'copper (II)!'? Probably not. Do they skip round the mineral galleries at the natural history museum, pressing their noses to the glass and wondering if it is possible to set the samples and if anyone else would buy the result? Doubt it (but seriously go and have a look next time you're in London). In this blog I hope to explain some of the science behind the sparkle and maybe wean you off the classic stones and onto something more unusual.