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Additional recommended knowledge
Goldstone is a type of glass made with copper or copper salts in the presence of a reducing flame. Under normal oxidative conditions, copper ions meld into the silica to produce transparent bluish-green glass; when the reduced goldstone melt cools, the copper remains in atomic isolation and precipitates into small crystalline clusters. The finished product can take a smooth polish and be carved into beads, figurines, or other artifacts suitable for semiprecious stone, and in fact goldstone is often mistaken or misrepresented as a natural material.
The most common form of goldstone gives the illusion of being reddish-brown, although in fact that color comes from the copper crystals and the glass itself is colorless. Some goldstone variants have an intensely-colored glass matrix-- usually blue or violet, more rarely green-- and a more silvery appearance to the suspended crystals, whose color may be partially masked by the glass or which may be based on different metals than copper (perhaps cobalt, manganese, or chromium).
The manufacturing process for goldstone was discovered in seventeenth-century Venice by the Miotti family, which was granted an exclusive license by the Doge. Persistent folklore attributes the discovery and secret of goldstone to an unnamed Italian monastic order, giving rise to the alternate name "monk's gold" or "monkstone". Another name, "stellaria", is based on the starry internal reflections.
Curiously, goldstone is one of the few cases where a synthetic simulant provided the eponym for the similar natural stone. The original Italian name for goldstone is "avventurina" or some similar word or phrase indicating its accidental discovery, hence the mineral name "aventurine" for forms of feldspar or quartz with mica inclusions that give a similar glittering appearance. Yet another name for goldstone is "aventurine glass", but this should be discouraged to avoid confusion with the minerals.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Goldstone_(gemstone)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|