General Question

pallen123's avatar

What are some natural, but man-facilitated types of jewels?

Asked by pallen123 (1511 points ) December 23rd, 2009

I’m writing a short story and looking for some examples of types of precious items, such as jewels, that are either largely man-made, such as Venetian Glass, or pearls—the latter being oyster-made, but with modern aqua-farming, something that people facilitate. Both items find their way into wearable jewelry or other precious items. Can anyone think of other types of labor intensive products that end up as jewelry or other luxury items, for example, caviar?

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12 Answers

pallen123's avatar

I should clarify, I’m looking for items that either come from nature, and are quickly renewable or plentiful, such as pearls, or sand for glass, but when producedor transformed, take on new dimensions of value.

dpworkin's avatar

We can now make perfect diamonds out of carbon, much to deBeer’s dismay.

gailcalled's avatar

And there are emeralds and other precious gems made in the labs. The insides of sea-shells have nacre or mother-of-pearl that can be used for beautiful inlay work.

Synthetic gemstones

laureth's avatar

Silk.
Possibly ambergris.

lillycoyote's avatar

Isn’t Cubic Zirconia kind of a man made “diamond?”

pallen123's avatar

Oooh silk’s a good one, and sea shells too. Any others like these?

Diamonds and precious gems are less interesting just because they require very expensive machinery and chemistry—so it’s human facilitated to the nth degree. Looking for processes that are less capital intensive, more manual labor/effort.

gailcalled's avatar

Amber, small geodes, wampum, and small sea fossils like sand dollars. (I can’t imagine wearing a necklace of caviar, however.)

ubersiren's avatar

Moissanite! My engagement ring is moissanite and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We chose it over a diamond. It’s clearer and more brilliant than any diamond. They’re beautiful, and a fraction of the cost. I hope to one day have matching earrings.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

How about tequila into diamonds?

Scientists Turn Tequila into Diamonds

(PhysOrg.com)—Whoever thought that science was a dry subject might change their mind after learning about a new discovery in which tequila is turned into diamonds. A team of Mexican scientists found that the heated vapor from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila blanco, when deposited on a silicon or stainless steel substrate, can form diamond films.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There are certain very beautiful metal alloys, such as vermeil, elecktron and red gold which are made of natural elements manipulated by human ingenuity. There are also certain wooden objects where the basic shape was created by manipulating the growth of a living tree; I have a chair that was formed that way.

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