Biogenic Precious Gems: What are they?

April 22, 2015 by Melissa

Biogenic precious gems include gemstones of a biological origin, developed via natural biological processes instead of geologic processes. Depending upon the stone in question, a few biogenic precious gems are fully biogenic, whereas other ones include a blending of geological and natural processes: for example, gem-quality fossils are biogenic yet additionally mineral in nature. A biogenic precious gem’s value considerably varies, depending upon the quality and the gem.

Some known instances of biogenic precious gems involve: coral, pearl, ivory, and mother of pearl. Those precious materials will be formed by various organisms for different purposes. For example, mother of pearl will form as a consequence of deposition of layers of substance referred to as nacre, utilized to expand the shells of a few marine mollusks, whereas ivory is a kind of tooth present in rhinoceroses and elephants, amongst others.

Additional biogenic precious gems such as ammolite and amber comprise of natural materials’ fossilized remains. In the instance of amber, the substance is sap, which also may trap insects and additional inclusions that make the resulting gem more interesting biologically. Ammolite (marine mollusks that swam in the oceans ages ago) will be made from fossilized ammonites’ remains. Some individuals refer to a fossilized gem as a mineral instead of a biogenic gem, as geologic processes are included in its formation.

The look of biogenic precious gems widely varies. A handful of biogenic precious gems will be translucent with inclusions and flecks, such as amber, whereas other ones are solid, as will be the instance with ivory. Colors might significantly vary, and so will hardness. A few biogenic precious gems will be highly fragile, and they have to be handled with care and carefully set to make sure they won’t cloud, crack, or break, while other ones are sturdy enough to be utilized as pool balls.