Monday, August 01, 2005

Today's Word: Coruscate

Coruscate is brilliant!

It is a verb that describes polished gems and eloquent soliloquy equally. It should evoke faerie-dust and fireworks in its use.

Coruscate means to sparkle!

From the Latin for "quick movement", 'coruscate' is a word that binds the visual and tactile to the intangible.

A gemstone coruscates due to the way light refracts and reflects as it passes through the crystal structure. A poorly cut diamond won't coruscate at all!

A stone isn't just cut for shape and size, no! Each facet on a gem is set at just the right angle so that the maximum light is reflected. The goal of the expert stone-cutter is to create a network of angled planes that bounce incoming light in such a way that the only exit is the top of the stone! The flashes of light that you see from the inside of the stone are the result or proper placement! Every type of crystal is different, so a cut that works to magnificent effect on one type may produce a flat and lifeless stone on another! (Amazingly, even in this era of computer guided lasers and ultra-precise technology, the majority of precious stones on the market are still cut by hand, using a primitive method called 'jam-pegging'. Sure, there are fancy faceting machines with dials and gauges - but the Jam-Peg is the undisputed king of gem production! The key to its success? Simplicity! The main component in the Jam-Peg is a board with pre-drilled holes in it that have been pre-calibrated for perfection! The jam-peg operator cuts each stone to exacting specifications, relying mainly on the sound of each stone as it is cut to determine proper depth. Take that, technology!)

Coruscation is not a constant light or a source of illumination. You can't read by it, so don't try!

Rather, it is the peculiar and energizing glitter of a sudden surge of energy. With that in mind, 'coruscate' is often used to describe particular and inspired genius. It describes a perfectly honed expression that vitalizes a page or the uninhibited riff of a blues guitarist.

Coruscate is a great word!



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