A Happy Accident Created Sparkling Aventurine

Watchmakers use the material in both its glass and mineral forms.

Aventurine is a name used for variations of the minerals quartz and feldspar. More frequently, it is also used to refer to a type of glass said to have been created by chance.

The story goes that a Venetian artisan mistakenly mixed copper shavings into molten glass, producing what a German diplomat described in a 1614 letter as “a sort of stone with golden stars inside.” Julie Bellemare, curator of early modern glass at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York, said in a telephone interview that the letter may be the earliest reference to aventurine glass.

In recent

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