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Read a few lines (Le Parole delle Pietre)


Dictionaries (v.) pretend to enclose all human knowledge in a single book: if a word is not there, it means that it does not exist. Gemology dictionaries are different from the others: if a word is present,  it can have incredible meanings. What does this have to do with precious stones? To answer, we should have a clear definition of what a precious stone truly is, but all gemological texts show the contrary. Furthermore, since everything is, in some way, tied to everything else, every word has some connection with every precious stone.

A B C – The first letters are the basis of the alphabet, the language, the communication system by means of words. Such is for the ABC of any branch of knowledge. What is the ABC of gemology? A series of numbers and tables? This book? “ou’ll understand when you’ll forget what you understood before.” (Italo Calvino)

Aggregation – let’s take gold. It is a metal that is found in its natural state, it is not damaged by acids or alkalis, it does not easily enter into chemical combinations with other elements. For these reasons we’ve come to think that it always resembles itself; that it is always the same molecules that occupy the same places in the same nugget. So the mountain crumbles, the gold nuggets are carried downstream by the torrent, and on their way, they flatten, break, become thinner, more and more they become finer dust, to reach the sea in the form of free molecules, scattered ions. But then the seas rise and form new mountains and, within the latter, the gold, instead of scattered around in its ions, we find it again in lodes, as nuggets in clusters which are more or less crystalline! How come? What has happened? I know we had access to geological eras, but what has caused the formation of this new gold? Let’s take an electroplating bath: between the cathode and the anode there are no transfers of any kind, and eventually one of them will get thinner, and the other will be burdened metal again. A well-calibrated electric current has accelerated what is a normal process by which elements of the same species tend to aggregate together; moreover, in nature there are magnetic and electric currents everywhere, so do not be surprised if the dissolved gold ions are returning to aggregate in much the same way as a common salt crystal. On other occasions we have said that gold has the age of the last Big Bang; here, we do not prove ourselves wrong, we affirm that some gold-bearing formations may have the most diverse ages, from a few million years, to who knows how many!

Alphabet – It is the basis of a dictionary (v.), just like point (v.) is at the basis of geometry. The sounds with which we express ourselves were encoded in many ways, and each language has its own rules. By combining several sounds together, words take form, then sentences, and so on. It ‘s clear that words and dictionaries are a very inaccurate way to express all concepts; also, definitions vary from dictionary to dictionary, from edition to edition, and each decade will have different definitions for concepts which in turn have become more differentiated. From here you see how alphabets and dictionaries are completely unnecessary.

Food – In order to grow, a crystal needs to be nourished in some way by elements of the type of those that constitute it. Even for a crystal, as for any other living organism, a process is triggered, of metabolism, of transformation of certain type things into completely different things. What was there before, like it or not, has given away its existence at that precise level of its expression, exactly like a rabbit which is roasted for a day of celebration, and lettuce its decoration.

Question – What is expected after a question? An answer? Not a chance! In the present civilization, more commercial than cultural, to a question supervenes an offer!