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Hyacinth: adored by Ovid

Sunday, 20 December 2009

hyacinthHyacinth is the dark-yellow or red, or crimson translucent kind of zircon. The primary color of the mineral is red. In the East, hyacinth is believed to be the «brother» to diamond. Pliny the Elder depicted the hyacinth as the very different from amethyst, although the color is rather similar. The biggest disparity is that bright purple color, which is so luminous in amethyst, while the hyacinth looks diluted. Hyacinth possesses fascinating properties: its lovely luster is lost when exposed to fire and ... bad weather. Stone is amazingly responsive to changing weather, and truly addictive to the climatic changes.

It is thought that the hyacinth as a stone refers directly to miserable love, and if it's ever been, it could estrange a lover. Perhaps, the conviction is directly related to the legend, poetically told by Ovid.

The story of the stone that Ovid described in his «Metamorphoses» is as follows. The King of Sparta, Amikla, and his wife, Diomedes, had a son, Hyacinth, amazingly handsome and graceful person. The young man was a friend and favorite to the God Apollo, but the God of the west wind, Zephyr, felt very jealous of this friendship. However, to be precise, it was not so much envy as jealousy since Zephyr himself was in love with Hyacinth. One day, obsessed and overwhelming with jealousy, Zephyr saw Apollo teaching Hyacinth to throw discs, and the God of the west wind changed the flight path of the disc gently nudged him. He had the power to do that, you know. The disk bounced off the ground and struck Hyacinth on the head. The young man fell and started bleeding. Apollo, seeing that his friend was dying, whispered in despair that his heart would live as long as people would think and bear in mind Hyacinth. And then curls of Hyacinth became of that beautiful scarlet color, and the blood spilled on the ground, petrified and turned into a precious gem of a wonderful beauty. Flowers and stones retained marvelous beauty of youth of him.

That's such a beautiful legend about the appearance of hyacinth in the world. Definitely, we never know the favorites of Apollo, but the myth of Hyacinths lives in the heart of people not for a single one millennium.

It is believed that the hyacinth is mentioned as a stone to be the eleventh base of the walls of the Heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation, XXI, 20). But the absolute confidence is not there to talk about hyacinth, those days blue gems and other stones of a yellowish or pink (beryl, topaz, etc.) was called hyacinth.

Hyacinth has always been regarded as a talisman. It was used to improve memory and increase intelligence, as an amulet of scientists and travelers (it attracted some people to science, and protected others from snakes and wild animals). Hyacinth was called the stone of sorrow and grief, and it was also attributed calming effect, like an antidepressant. For example, Gerolamo Cardano would wear hyacinth as a means from insomnia. He alleged that the stone was really sleepy, but did not do too effectively. As the possible reasons for this «failure» of hyacinth Cardano accused of the quality of the stone, he complained that his hyacinth was defective. But the Mother Superior of the monastery Hilde-garda from Britain of XII century recommended hyacinth from edema of eyes. The stone should be heated in the sun, moistened with saliva and attached to the sore eyes.

In the XIX and early XX century hyacinth was very popular as the stone of merchants and artists. The largest hyacinths can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute (USA, Washington) as brown minerals of 118.1 and 87.6 carats and yellow stones of 23.5 carats from Sri Lanka, and the 102.2 carats blue stone came from Thailand.

Mostly hyacinths are mined in alluvial deposits of Sri Lanka (almost fully developed), Thailand and Madagascar.

Now the fame of hyacinth is back again, not so much as a mascot (although the passion for esoteric sciences draws attention of the mystery admirers to the hyacinth), but as ornaments of astonishing beauty. Especially hyacinth is good in rings, bracelets and necklaces, crowded with other stones and gems only to highlight the delicate charm of hyacinth.

With return of the Byzantine splendor of fashion jewelry, the leading jewelry houses have begun to actively employ the hyacinths in their collections. So, Roberto Bravo, included the stone in the jewels collection elegantly matching classic grace with a riot of colors of precious stones, and Leon Hatot also boasted with hyacinth whose jewels are famous for romantic elegance.

The designers use hyacinths as a trimmer, for example small hyacinths around a large central stone like ruby or amethyst look perfect. The other options are possible when large hyacinth is surrounded with other finer stones. Hyacinth is mostly worked up with cabochon, and acquiring such a decoration, you should be careful since fakes are common. Main difference of fakes from the real stone is uneven color, thus, be careful.

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