Chalcedony gemstone

CHALCEDONY

ANATOLIA’S BLUE GOLD

chalcedony

Kal • ce • do • ni

noun:  chalcedony;   plural noun:  chalcedonie

 

 

Gem Facts, History, Myths, Designers & Curiosities

 

Because of its beauty, relative abundance and suitability for carving, chalcedony has been widely used in jewelry and cameos (carved above the surface) and intaglios (carved below the surface) since ancient times in Europe and the Middle East.

 

Named after the ancient seaport of Chalcedon, now Kadikoy, Turkey, has a long history in jewelry. Greek seafarers in the third or fourth century AD wore chalcedony and carbuncle amulets to prevent drowning.

 

Chalcedony was also used as a talisman by the Assyrians and Babylonians as far back as 4000 B.C. in the form of a seal, or signet, carved into a cylindrical pendant and engraved with religious or mythological subjects. Worn suspended from the neck or wrist, it not only protected its wearer, but its imprint on a document legitimized a contract.

 

Chalcedony is reputed to be the Speaker’s Stone, the stone of one who must measure his words. The great Roman orator, Cicero, is said to have worn one around his neck.

 

In the eighteenth century, chalcedony was to night-time apparitions what garlic was to vampires. People believed someone seeing the nocturnal phantoms took in disease or evil humors through their eyes, but the content of chalcedony removed them.[/vc_column_text]

Miniature statuette of Herakles, made of chalcedony. Roman 2nd Century CE. Princeton University Art Museum
Miniature statuette of Herakles, made of chalcedony. Roman 2nd Century CE. Princeton University Art Museum
A Roman Chalcedony Cameo with the Head of a Grotesque.
A Roman Chalcedony Cameo with the Head of a Grotesque
Instagram post : Christie's onlineonly.cristies.com
Instagram post : Christie's onlineonly.cristies.com ROMAN RING
Gemology of chalcedony

Chalcedony is a mixture of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz and moganite. (Some specimens of this material are free of moganite). In common practice, only the translucent, single-color types of this material are sold under the name “chalcedony.”

 

General high value points for all chalcedonies would be strong color saturation and high translucence.

 

The colors of chalcedonies are a result of metallic impurities (such as iron, nickel, copper, and titanium) present during crystallization. Chalcedony is a tough gemstone, good for all jewelry applications. Hardness is rated at 7 on the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness.

 

Chalcedonies are usually cut as cabochons or carved,  although an exceptional, near transparent piece may be faceted.

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Ethereal, captivating, cool, serene, mystical, and subtle: All of these words apply to Blue Chalcedony. Its shades range from greyish blue to sky blue and the lavender blue. It is the color of shallow pools of water reflecting the sky as winter gives way to spring. It marks the beginning of life and emotion, and is a color of faith and trust.

Platinum, White Gold, Chalcedony, Sapphire and Diamond 'Flower-Head' Necklace, Suzanne Belperron, Paris
Platinum, White Gold, Chalcedony, Sapphire and Diamond 'Flower-Head' Necklace, Suzanne Belperron, Paris
The Duchess of Windsor wearing a Belperron Chalcedony parure.
The Duchess of Windsor wearing a Belperron Chalcedony parure.
belperron flower jewel drawing
Belperron flower jewel drawing

Chalcedony’s popularity has varied but it is always in style.

Antique, Victorian, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Modernist and 40’s jewelry.

 

 

Cartier, Suzanne Belperron, René Boivin and Verdura all passionately used this gem.

 

 

Van Cleef and Taffin are just a few of  the contemporary jewelry maison that have designed around it…….

Blue Chalcedony and Sapphire Clip by Suzanne Belperron, Paris, circa 1940.
Blue Chalcedony and Sapphire Clip by Suzanne Belperron, circa 1940.
Van Cleef Chalcedony
Van Cleef Sautoir
Chalcedony Cufflinks by Taffin
Chalcedony Cufflinks by Taffin

Kathaline Page-Guth has also develloped a passion for blue Chalcedony. Following are two pieces she designed using this

subtle, cool and serene, ethereal yet solid gemstone, from latest collection.

Gold Pansy bangle bracelet detail chalcedony ruby
Gold Pansy bangle bracelet detail by Kathaline Page-Guth,Chalcedony, sapphire and Ruby.


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