What is a mineral specimen?

A mineral specimen is simply a stone that is more or less crystallized.  It is when it is completely crystallized and perfectly preserved that mineral collectors and dealers start to show particular interest.

In the natural world since the beginning of time, man has been searching to bring its treasures to light, discovering increasingly beautiful, rare minerals in often remote areas across the world thus intensifying this passion.

During the search for these specimens, collectors are mainly motivated by aesthetic standards which are essential and in fact surpass the purely scientific aspects.  In order to achieve some distinction, crystallized minerals must be ultimately perfect in colour, luster and transparency.

Nature can generate wonders…

In order to understand more about the origins of a crystallized specimen, it requires taking a step backwards… the immense time scale of our planet remains elusive to our own concept of time as our existence spans over only a number of decades. The planet earth can be seen as a 4.5 billion year old grand-mother, during which time millions of transformations have taken place.

The heart of the earth is, unlike its surface, a melting furnace in constant fusion; a reservoir of  inexhaustible energy where pressure, heat and cooling systems exert extreme stress on the underground rocks and surrounding elements.

These elements, balls of chemical energy, are concentrated in the most unexpected clefts of the earth’s crust.

Put simply, the pressure exerted on the molten rocks forces these elements to collect in fault lines.  A gradual cooling down process in these rocks with water evaporation then leads to the eventual creation of crystals, as if by magic.  A certain magic which is in itself chemical and an actual real life transformation.  More than 3700 varieties of minerals may then be formed, depending on which atoms and proportional elements are involved.

Taking the example of a tea cup filled with sea water, one can observe that when water evaporates after being heated, just salt at the bottom of the cup is left. The sodium chloride has become concentrated due to the evaporation of water.   When there is less water for evaporation, the concentration of salt is increased and as a result, salt atoms begin to stick together, like magnets, and form perfect geometric shapes:  crystals!

Gemology and mineralogy are well-known for being complex sciences, but it is this simple process which enables the formation of each mineral treasure more or less, before your very eyes.

From these extraordinary pressures, exceptional crystals begin their lives with a rich variety of colours, shapes and combinations; revealing an unlimited source of imagination and giving life to the most surprising and astonishing minerals.