Rara Avis

In the 1500s in Tudor London, a Latin expression — rara avis — became popular. Literally meaning “rare bird” — the expression was gleaned from a phrase by the Roman poet Juvenal, “rara avis in terries nigroque simillima cygno”, or “a rare bird in the...

Malaia Allure

When a strange, orangy-pinkish-reddish garnet was discovered in the mid-1960s, in the Umba Valley of Tanzania, locals and experienced gemologists didn’t know what to make of it.  The odd stone was often tossed in with parcels  of sought-after rhodolite garnets,...

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