Monday, May 10, 2010

"Earth Rocks!"


"All creation is a mine, and every man a miner..." 

These are the words of Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest Presidents, in a speech in 1860, expounding upon the economics that built the United States, known as "American System" economics. 

These words are indeed true, and not only in the physical sense, but also the metaphorical and spiritual. We will discuss these ideas in a more in-depth fashion, at a future point.

Rocks, minerals and gemstones have been intertwined with the history of mankind, possibly from its inception. Minerals were used to color the elaborate cave paintings of early man, such as in Lascaux, France; shells, bone and other materials quickly became used not only as adornment in the form of jewelry, but also as embellishment of clothing. There is evidence pointing to the development in artistic design, even in mundane objects, that goes back some 40,000 years.

Very early in mankind's history, gemstones were discovered and polished or even faceted in very rudimentary form, and quickly were attributed with various powers, being used for protection in jewelry and amulets.

As mankind progressed, and new technologies introduced, new methods of making more elaborate and refined jewelry were developed; minerals and rocks began to be utilized by mankind as resources.

A some point in the dim past of mankind, there was some individual, somewhere on the planet, that tamed the use of fire for mankind. In a similar way, at some point, someone examined a rock, and discovered the concept of "ore". 

Minerals are used today in numerous ways for the benefit of mankind. Over the coming weeks ahead, we'll be investigating these attributes. This is from the perspective that although it was by the processes of creation which originally produced the raw material, it took a human being to draw minerals out of the earth--for the first time, in billions of years--and bring a sparkling crystal out into the light of day. 

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"These three things are extremely hard: steel, a diamond know oneself." 
~ Benjamin Franklin

Such are the "Elements of Life"...

In case I forget in the midst of all the excitement of writing these posts, all photos of minerals / gemstones are courtesy of: