“Hold it right there” I can hear you say. “Gold is a metal, not a stone!” Well, you’re right, but the subject today is not gold, it is the substance goldstone. Notice I said substance, not mineral. That is because goldstone is man-made.
According to legend, a couple of monk-chemists were trying to make gold. To make gold, where do you start? With the color, of course. So they got some copper. And then they got a couple other things, and, the result was basically not gold. But, the end result was not useless, rather it was beautiful and sparkly.
I don’t know how they made it then, but this is the process today: Silica grains (beach sand, also the primary ingredient for making glass) are mixed with copper oxide and a few other metal oxides. This mixture is placed in an airtight furnace and heated until the silica melts and becomes molten glass. The metal oxides interact with the copper oxide and chemically react to isolate pure, elemental copper. Now the heat is carefully watched, so that it is still hot enough to keep the glass molten, but not so hot that the slowly forming copper crystals oxidise or melt. Once the crystals seem to be at their prime, the furnace is slowly cooled down and the large mass of glass is brought out and inspected for the best and highest quality parts, which are gently whacked off and sent to jewelers all around the world.
Even though this ‘stone’ is man-made, I do not feel like it is an imposter, rather a stone that is one of the semi-precious gemstones, not a lowly quartz pebble, and yet content not to be one of the precious gemstones.