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Two hundred and fifty years ago a new artillery gun, the carronade, appeared in the service of the English navy. In Russia at that time there was nothing similar, and then the agents of Catherine II went to Scotland to induce its inventor to work for the benefit of a hostile state.
This stone is often compared to an emerald, and though it looks very similar to the precious mineral, its value is hundreds of times less. Even though you can see a star inside of it.
In the Brazilian province of Minas Gerais, 300 years ago, three Portuguese criminals exiled to the local gold mines found a transparent stone at the bottom of a dried-up river. The mineral, which had a regular shape, weighed almost half a kilogram and resembled a diamond.
The greatest inventor of ancient Greece, Daedalus, who had once fled the island of Crete from the irate King Minos on homemade wings, had to pay with the life of his son Icarus for his innovative idea. No one knows how this sad story would have ended if the Greek scientist had not stapled the wings with wax.
In ancient Greek, the name of this mineral means ”being alone, living alone”. When radioactive thorium and uranium were found in its composition, the infernal name of the stone was doubly confirmed.
The Valley of Death, the hottest place on the planet, is considered the birthplace of this stone. The air temperature here reaches 57 degrees Celsius. It was in the intermountain trough in the Mojave Desert in the western United States, in California, that Colemanite was found for the first time.
Today, this stone, considered a pariah throughout the Middle Ages, is one of the most sought-after. Without it, there would be no modern electric cars… Although his price, is the one of crippled children’s lives.
St Petersburg is, by many reasons, the peak of the summer solstice. Regardless of what they might say, people come here not for the natural phenomenon of the White Nights (as the days are even brighter in Murmansk) but for the magic of the ”patterns of the cast-iron fences”. This, as much in Russian history, would be impossible without Alexander Pushkin, without master foundry workers and without the main component of the aerial lattices.
For centuries it has been a symbol of wealth and power. Its owners have been great generals and monarchs. Today it inspires famous jewellery brands to create collections worth millions of euros.
In the old days, the inhabitants of the Urals often used this stone to visit the village baths. And today it is impossible to imagine modern aviation, the automotive industry, medicine and cinematography without it.