Friday, June 21, 2013

Russian Malachite, Baltic Amber, and the World's Biggest Colorless Diamond... What a trip it's been.


Well, it's good to be back home, but the summer's over and the work season has begun again. June brings in a lot of rainy weather as usual, so the storms are probably going to last for a while. I wonder if anyone here felt the earthquake that happened just recently... at first I thought I was just imagining the shaking, but then it sunk in around 15 seconds into the rumble.



Just for fun, I've been experimenting a bit with the look of my social networking hubs. I can't get over the vibrant allure of malachite as an artistic natural texture. I've had the chance to see massive examples of this semi-precious gemstone during my trip to Russia.


Large vase-like decor and pillars as tall as trees were just some of the magnificent examples of Russian craftsmanship through history. They made use of gold-gilded walls and statues quite a lot as well. Even the tops of many cathedrals had a large amount of gold covering them. I found out that the gold gilding process back then made use of a mercury-gold mixture poured as a hot coating over the object. The mercury would later on be separated, leaving the object to shine brightly because of the gold cover. -That's what our guide mentioned anyway.

During my month-long trip, I also took a tour through the famous amber room, witnessed first-hand diamond polishing at the Gassan diamond factory, explored the "vault" at the London national museum, and finally saw the world's largest type IIa, D color diamond- the Cullinan I, a.k.a. the "Star of Africa" in the tower of London. Too bad a lot of these places didn't allow any pictures, I would have taken a bunch of them.



In any case, I feel like Europe's old world charm is still pretty much there, despite the modernization of our times. Amsterdam has a "unique" way of looking at "tourism". London's architecture never ceases to amaze. Russia's palaces are as huge as people say they are. Estonia apparently does not serve stone soup, as I was stupidly tricked to believe. Sweden has the cleanest air in the continent, and Finland has Nokia. Yes, I saw a lot of Nokia phones there, despite the Apple and Samsung craze of the whole entire universe. Well till' the next trip, at least I have a lot of fond memories to keep busy with. Though I might have dreams of living in the amber room... I'm betting the sunrise would be quite bright in there (like the ambiance in this picture from nbc news).

5 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a great trip! I would have loved to be able to see the Star of Africa in person, such a beauty.

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  2. I have read your blog post on "Russian Malachite, Baltic Amber, and the World's Biggest Colorless Diamond... What a trip it's been". Thank you very much for sharing this awesome post. I will visit again to read more post. Raster to Vector

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  3. Europe seems to have a vast array of treasure filled palaces I need to put on my list of places to visit. Thanks for the tour. http://www.rodbecklund.com/store/p27/Blue_Heron_Sculpture_36_inches.html

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  4. Magnificent colorless diamond! Love reading your blog. What about imitating this diamond into a glass sculpture? I'm sure it would be a nice interior.

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