How can minerals be used decoratively in the home?
We offer delicate and precious collectibles that are best displayed when showcased in a small cabinet. The majority of our inventory is a collection of pieces that can be used on tables or shelves, for people to experience up close and hands on. If you like being surrounded by the most astounding, incomparable natural art, it’s time to consider minerals.
How can minerals and stones be used in the workplace?
Minerals and stone can be used in the workplace both for decor and sustainable design. While our small cabinet pieces make for wonderful office accents and desk decor, our building stone services can also help to create a beautiful and natural foundation for your office building, surrounding your staff with something truly amazing.
What is the difference between a gem, a mineral and a crystal?
All chemical matter is composed of various combinations of the chemical elements organized on the periodic table.
There are currently 118 known chemical elements, of which 98 are known to occur naturally on earth. Common examples include iron, aluminum, oxygen, arsenic, and calcium. At its most basic unit, each element is composed of an atom, which consists of a positively charged nucleus, surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The interactions between the positive and negative charges in separate atoms lead to the formation of bonds between them, sometimes resulting in compounds that are more energetically stable than the lone elements.
When the atoms of a chemical element or compound are arranged in a repeating array over large atomic distances, the resulting material is referred to as crystalline, and the repeating unit is called the unit cell. When a crystalline material also meets the criteria that “it is normally crystalline and has been formed as a result of geological processes,” as set forth by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), then that material is considered a mineral.
Certain materials are valued for their beauty, typically as a result of their color, reflective properties, or clarity. While most gems are minerals, some, such as pearls and opals are not. The reason for this lies in the definition propounded by the IMA: pearls form as a result of biological processes not geological ones, and opals lack the long range structure necessary to be considered crystalline.
Diamonds, emeralds, rubies, tourmalines and a variety of other popular gems do qualify as minerals however. In nature, the processes that result in crystallization are often interrupted or interfered with by external factors—natural impurities or radiation can alter the color of the gem crystals, interfere with their clarity, or limit the size of their growth.
As a result, truly perfect gems are rare. Although many methods have arisen to artificially improve them, the most valued are naturally perfect. When a raw stone is found, it must then be graded, cut, and polished to optimize its yield, optical properties and size in a way that will maximize its beauty and value.
What are some of the most rare gems/minerals you have?
Aragonite Pipes: cross-sections of a 90 year old pipe that carried water from a hot spring to a spa in the Czech Republic.
Indonesian Petrified Palm Tree Bulb with Sapphire Deposits. The slice we have of this petrified wood is extremely rare, with hues of browns, yellows and sapphire blue that are hard to find on any other piece.
Black Sea Petrified Wood. Our pieces of this petrified wood are carved to accentuate the natural wood-like characteristics that still exist in the piece.
Stone Quarried Tables. We have a growing line of tables, created in collaboration with local quarry owners. These are made from some of our favorite building stones and can be exquisitely incorporated into architecture and design.
Where do you source your minerals from?
Currently, our main sourcing locations are:
United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia, Mexico,Morocco, Madagascar, China, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Argentina, Australia, Russia, Italy and England, and we are always exploring new countries to add to our resources.