|Ostro Stone - 2 kg topaz|
* "gem" "diamond" Always insert the triphthong in "diamond" as these could be similar when hastily written
A week ago we visited the Natural History Museum in central London where we saw many real gemstones. We wanted to see some historical wildlife paintings that were on a time limited display. Having seen those, we had a mind to revisit the dinosaurs nearby but the place seemed to be filling up rapidly with crowds of school children on their school trips, so instead we went upstairs to the minerals department. It was quite a contrast there, we had it to ourselves most of the time, empty and quiet, with row upon row of flat glass cases containing every mineral in existence, in all their varied forms. We had to be methodical about viewing it all, so we decided to go up one side and down the other. In the end we managed to see about a third of it and decided to save the rest for another day rather than cram in a tour of all the cases.
|Welcome Stranger, replica gold nugget|
* "truly" Helpful to insert the first vowel, as this could look similar to "utterly"
* "nugget" Note that "ingot" is written with full N+G+T strokes, to differentiate
* "Pindar" This is the dictionary outline, but I would prefer to write with all full strokes (P+N+D+Ar), so that the 2nd vowel can be shown, otherwise this could equally be "Pinder" or "Pinter"
There were many examples of polished gemstones, displayed alongside samples of their original state, dull rocks looking grey and lumpen, with no hint of what lay inside to the casual and ignorant observer. I was of course on the hunt for beryls of all types, and found every variation from small cut gems to enormous murky looking crystalline structures. My shorthand dictionary defines it as a kind of inferior emerald. In its pure form it is colourless and the colours come from impurities in the mineral. I was interested to discover that in the 13th century the first eyeglasses were made of beryl or rock crystal, before they had the knowledge to make lenses of glass, hence the German word for them “Brille”. The word means a sea-green blue colour, and the mineral is related to the aquamarine. To prevent myself being an inferior green version, I only need to run round the block and then I become a very rare and expensive red beryl. As the element beryllium, I am happy to aim for strong and lightweight but keen to avoid being steely grey and toxic. It might also be a disadvantage for me to be transparent to X-rays.
|Aurora Pyramid of Hope - diamonds|
|Star dust diamonds|
|Beryl - bad hair day|
* "mineralogy" The second version shown is an optional contraction
* "extracting" Insert the middle vowel, and the 2nd or 3rd vowel in "extricating", as these have the same outline and similar meaning
* "pearl" A R-hooked stroke with this particular vowel is considered complete without a vowel sign
|Hope Chrysoberyl - This is more me|
|Not lettuce, more celery|
Reminder of pairs to be differentiated: gem/diamond; garnet/granite; nugget/ingot; silver/sulphur; extract/extricate; truly/utterly