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THE MAGAZINE ABOUT A CHARITABLE WORLD - page 65 / 66

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Pearl. One of the earliest precious stones known to man, adornments made from pearl have been found from nearly prehistoric times – as ear- ly as 6000 years ago.

Pearl is an extraordinarily “live- ly” semiprecious stone: light, deli- cate plays of color that almost go un- noticed, a bright spot of light on the smooth, matte surface, a sleek, natu- ral spherical shape... it's not by acci- dent that pearl has come to be syn- onymous with all that is beautiful and perfect. Pearl is frequently associated with love, success, happiness, humil- ity, chastity, and purity, and is a very popular wedding gift.

Care: Protect from heat and open flame (since 2% of a pearl's compo- sition is water, heat can cause a pearl to crack and lose its sheen), from acid, abrasives, vapors, and cosmet- ics. Pearls should be worn often and always stored in a clean place. They should be cleaned only with a mild soap, but can also be lightly polished with potato starch to remove excess moisture and dirt.

Ruby is a beautiful red stone with gleams of magenta. Ruby represents passion, and as a talisman brings hap- piness in love. Astrologers advise, “If you want your love to be requited, give your beloved a ruby the color of flame to ignite the fire of love in his or her heart.”

The ruby is an extremely rare and expensive stone — until the begin- ning of the 20th century, it was val- ued much higher than even diamond. Large rubies are found in nature signifi- cantly less often than raw diamonds of the same size. The most prized ruby is “blue-blooded” — dark red with light magenta tints. The largest and most beautiful rubies come from Myanmar (Burma).

Care: Protect from high heat.

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