It was particularly popular during Roman times when it was carved with all manner of different images and used in both marriage and seal rings, surviving examples of which can be seen in the British Museum.

It was believed to posses protective qualities so was also used to carve amulets and charms which were carried by soldiers and given to children. Its beautiful fiery colour continues to make it a popular choice and today the finest gems are found in Brazil, Uruguay, India and Madagascar.


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