I’ve compiled a list of popular gemstones in alphabetical order.
Alexandrite is a version of chrysoberyl that is known for its color-changing effects. In daylight, it appears to be green to blue-green in color. Under incandescent light, it appears to be red to purple-red. Along with the pearl, alexandrite serves as one of June’s birthstones. It is very rare and highly desired, but lab-grown alexandrite is affordable and widely available.
Amazonite is a trade name given to a gemstone that is a colored variety of microline which belongs to the feldspar group. To be amazonite, it will be a green-blue to blue-green in color and will often have streaks and inclusions of feldspar or white quartz. It is used to make cabochons for craft use and tumbled stones. It is rarely used as a gemstone in fine jewelry.
The purple variety of quartz is called amethyst, and it is the most popular purple gemstone in the world. Amethysts come in a range of purple and reddish-purple hues. They are excellent for jewelry because of their affordability and durability. Amethyst is very prevalent in geodes.
This gem is very interesting because it is a bicolor quartz gemstone that is comprised of citrine and amethyst together in one quartz crystal. Depending on how ametrine is cut, it will have a beautiful array from yellow to purple. It is extremely rare to find ametrine occurring in nature, but it is produced commercially in a mine in eastern Bolivia. It can be obtained rather inexpensively and works well in all types of jewelry.
This rare, organic gemstone is made of the shell material of ammonite fossils. One piece can contain the entire spectrum of colors. Because ammolite is very thin, it is often used in triplets in jewelry. A triplet contains a backing piece usually made of shale, then a thin layer of ammolite, followed by clear quartz or spinel as a transparent cover.
Andalusite is a rock-forming mineral whose gem-quality specimens are excellent choices for faceted gems and cabochons. It is found most often as red-brown, but it can also be white, gray or olive green. Transparent specimens can be cut in a way that makes them appear to have different colors depending on the direction from which they are being viewed. This quality makes them fascinating gemstones for jewelry.
Anyolite is a beautiful version of the gemstone zoisite. It is comprised of green zoisite, but it also has red and often black crystals as well. Anyolite is used to make ornamental items and small sculptures. It is also produced into cabochons and tumbled stones. Rough pieces are also sold as specimens for gem collections.
While apatite is too fragile for many types of jewelry, it is very popular among gem collectors for its beauty. When cut into cabochons, it can have the look known as cat’s eye. It can also be cut into faceted gemstones to be used for earrings or pendants that do not get a lot of wear. It is most often found in pink, yellow, green, blue, brown, violet or colorless.
Aquamarine is the name for the greenish-blue to blue gem-quality pieces that come from the mineral beryl. It has a large saturation range from nearly clear to rich and vibrant. The most popular, rare and valuable aquamarine pieces are rich blue in color. Aquamarine is an excellent choice for jewelry because of its durability and hardness.
This translucent quartz is known for its inclusions that reflect light and produce a sparkling effect. Aventurine occurs most often in the color green, but it also occurs in many other colors which makes it a highly sought after gemstone. It is available in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, white and gray. The inclusions come in many different forms, adding colors of red, pink, orange, yellow, brown, purple, silver or gray. With so many beautiful variations and a high level on the hardness scale, aventurine is perfect for all types of jewelry.
This rare mineral is named for its deep blue color and is compared to winter landscapes or evening skies in the desert. It catches people’s attention and is highly sought after. It is also a soft gemstone, so it is recommended for earrings, pendants and brooches that do not get a lot of wear. Naturally, azurite occurs commonly near malachite. Pieces that contain both minerals are known as azurmalachite.
Azurite and malachite come together to form this stunning blue and green gem material, azurmalachite, that is also known as bluebird. Depending on how it is cut, it may have a blue background with green bands and concentric patterns, or it may have a mainly green background with green adornments. Azurmalachite is known to have astonishingly striking color patterns and is highly sought after in the marketplace. As a gemstone, it is soft, so it is often treated with resins to help harden the surface and to make it less vulnerable to wear and tear. It is used for unique jewelry pieces as well as small ornamental pieces.
Beryl is a silicate mineral that is found in igneous and metamorphic rocks around the world. Beryl comes in many colors and some of the best-known gemstones are actually colored beryl that is called by a specific name to that color. For example, green beryl is known as emerald, and green-blue to blue beryl is known as aquamarine. Beryl gemstones also come in shades of yellow, green, pink, orange, red and colorless. It rates high on the hardness scale and is excellent for all types of jewelry.
Benitoite is a barium titanium silicate mineral that is extremely rare. While it is usually blue in color, it will range from nearly colorless to a deep violet-blue. It can also be treated with heat to create an orange version. Benitoite gemstones work well in all types of jewelry, though it is much softer than its sapphire look-alike.
A member of the chalcedony family of cryptocrystalline quartz, bloodstone is dark green with splatters of red. There are often bands or dots of white, orange, brown and yellow as well. Bloodstone is a popular choice for men’s jewelry.
Blue diamonds are simply diamonds that are naturally colored blue. They are extremely rare as well as extremely valuable. Their high clarity and rare color make them unique and in-demand. The most famous example of a blue diamond, The Hope Diamond, resides at the Smithsonian Institution. Other sources of blue diamonds that are not rare or valuable are lab-grown diamonds and diamonds that have been treated in order to look blue in color.
Rocks that contain patches and thin seams of opal surrounded by its host rock are known as boulder opals. When the opal is cut, some of the host rock will be left with the opal to show how they have combined. There is great beauty in the juxtaposition of the rock and precious opal. Some boulder opals contain a mere streak of precious opal, but it truly stands out to form a unique gemstone.
Diamonds that appear brown in color are known as brown diamonds. Once used mainly for abrasives, brown diamonds are also used as gemstones today. The color can range from a yellow-brown to orange or even red-brown. Brown diamonds are perfect for any type of jewelry, and they are affordable. They are a popular choice for men’s jewelry.
Opals that exhibit chatoyance are called cat’s-eye opals. A chatoyance is a line of reflected light that goes just beneath the surface, across a cabochon-cut stone. It makes the gemstone resemble a cat’s eye. These are often shades of yellow, orange or brown.
This vibrant purple silicate mineral is used for gemstones as well as for ornamental stone. Charoite has beautiful swirls, bands and other interesting effects from traces of other minerals.
Chrysoberyl is a mineral known only for being a gemstone. It rates high on the hardness scale, so it is an excellent choice for all types of jewelry. It produces a very distinct cat’s-eye effect because it contains many fibrous inclusions. Colors range from pale yellow to brown, yellow to green and green.
Chrysoprase is another beautiful green gemstone that belongs to the chalcedony family. It ranges in color from yellow-green to bright green. It often contains traces of nickel which give it a green color. Exceptional pieces are cut into faceted stones that are translucent. Chrysoprase gemstones have been found in artifacts from the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Citrine is a form of amethyst that has had its color modified through a heating process. Sometimes this heating is done naturally, but most often it is done by humans in order to make citrine. Citrine is yellow to gold in color and sometimes has a touch of green as well.
The common opal does not have the flashes of color that precious opals have. They are found in an array of pastel colors and are very common in pink, green and blue. They will have some white mixed in as well. The common opal is very affordable because it simply it not well-known.
Found in igneous and metamorphic rocks, cordierite is a silicate mineral that is blue to violet in color. While geologists refer to this mineral as cordierite, jewelers call it by a different name. When a specimen is found that is transparent and quality gem material, then it is referred to as iolite. It’s high clarity and level of hardness make it a great choice for all types of jewelry.
Composed of carbon, diamond is a rare mineral. It occurs naturally and is known as the hardest natural substance. Diamonds are thought to be colorless, but there are colored versions as well. Clear diamonds are the world’s most popular gemstone and are the number one choice for engagement and wedding rings. Synthetic diamonds have become popular substitutes for natural diamonds, though they hold little value in comparison.
A novelty gem, dinosaur bone is comprised of a petrified bone in which the cell cavities have been completely filled. Also, the cell walls must be completely replaced by chalcedony. Dinosaur bone is available in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, brown and black. Dinosaur bone is very popular for use in creating men’s jewelry. Cuff links and rings are among some of the most popular uses.
Diopside is a rock-forming mineral occurring in metamorphic and igneous rocks in many different locations all around the world. Gem-quality specimens are turned into faceted gemstones and are used in jewelry. Diopside is available in gray to white, light blue to purple, light green to vivid green, brown or black. When enough chromium is present, then diopside has a rich green color that can be compared to emerald.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful agates, dryhead agate is known for its nodules and banding. They are often red, pink, white, orange or brown and are often contrasted by a dark brown matrix. Found in one area of Montana, there are few new dryhead agates to be found. They are extremely rare and very valuable to the right gem collector.
Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl which contain deep green color that can range from yellowish green to bluish green. The most common is simply dark green. Emeralds have a great hardness level for jewelry. Emeralds, sapphires and rubies comprise what economists call the “big three” because together they bring in more revenue than all of the other colored gemstones combined.
We usually think of sapphires being blue, but the mineral corundum also produces gems in other colors. The reds are considered rubies, the blues considered sapphires and all of the rest are called fancy sapphires. They can be pink, orange, yellow, green or purple. When referring to one specific fancy sapphire gemstone use its color name followed by the word sapphire. For example, say yellow sapphire or green sapphire.
A fire agate is a brown agate with striking flashes of iridescent red, orange, yellow and green. The light enters the stone and reflects these colors to cause the beautiful flashes of color. Fire agate is not mass-produced. It is carefully added to jewelry settings that are crafted to accommodate its unique qualities by skilled artisans.
A fire opal is a type of opal with a bright background color of red, orange or yellow. Most fire opal does not have the fiery color flashes that precious opals have, but a few of them do and are referred to as precious fire opals. There are both translucent and transparent varieties. The translucent ones are cut into faceted stones while the transparent ones are cut into cabochons.
Also known as fluorspar, fluorite is an important industrial mineral. When exceptional specimens are found, they are used to make ornamental pieces or are cut into gemstones. It can occur colorless and also in many colors including red, yellow, green, blue, purple and black. With only a rating of four on the hardness scale, fluorite is best suited for earrings or pendants that will not get a lot of wear.
This beautiful green gem comes from a rare nickel carbonate mineral. It is yellow-green to bright green and usually contains a brown matrix. Tumbled stones and cabochons are popular ways to find gaspeite being used.
Garnets are best known as red gems that are cheaper to obtain than rubies, but they are actually part of a large group of gems that contain many other colors. Garnet is available in red, pink, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown and black. There is even a colorless specimen.
The most valuable variety of chalcedony is the rare gem silica. Its color is green-blue to blue-green, and it gets its color from copper being present. Gem silica is so rare that only a handful of high-end jewelers work with it.
Geodes are not gems themselves, but they contain arrays of beautiful gems. They are rock structures that have minerals cavities inside of them that produce gems. Small geodes can be sliced and used for jewelry like pendants or earrings. Larger pieces can be used as bookends or a beautiful decoration.
Goldstone is a manmade glass gem with highly reflective glittering inclusions. The most common color is red-brown, but it is also made in dark shades of green, blue and purple. The glitter effect makes goldstone popular for all types of jewelry.
Colorless beryl is referred to as goshenite. It is found in large crystals and displays exceptional transparency and clarity. While goshenite is of great interest to gem collectors, it is seldom used in jewelry. This is because its overall appearance is far inferior to diamonds and white sapphires.
Green diamonds are one of the most rare and valuable natural diamond colors. They are so rare, in fact, that most people will never see one unless it is in a museum exhibit. Due to the rarity of the natural green, some colorless natural diamonds are treated to have a green appearance. Others are produced in laboratories. These will not have the same value as one found in nature.
Helenite is the name given to man-made colored glass that was created from the volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens. It is available in red, green and blue and is used in many different types of jewelry.
Heliodor is a specimen of the mineral beryl that contains a yellow color. The color will range from golden-yellow to yellow-green. It has good clarity and is higher on the hardness scale, allowing it to be suitable for all types of jewelry. Sometimes heliodor is inaccurately referred to as a yellow emerald. While they are both types of beryl, heliodor is less expensive and should not be confused with the more expensive and more in-demand green emerald.
Hematite is known as one of the most abundant minerals in the earth’s crust and on its surface. It is a common mineral found in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. It ranges in color from black to steel-gray or silver, red to red-brown and black. It has a beautiful metallic sheen which makes it desirable to some as a gemstone.
Iolite is a gem-quality specimen of cordierite. Its appearance is similar to both sapphires and tanzanite, so it can serve as an alternative gemstone for those at a much lower cost. While most iolite is blue to violet in color, it can also be yellow, gray or clear. It has an interesting phenomenon where it can appear to be the color of a sapphire when looked upon from one angle but appear to colorless from another angle. For this reason, it is also sometimes referred to as a water sapphire.
Iris agate can produce spectacular rainbows of color when illuminated and cut properly. When the light passes through the very thin bands of the agate, it can produce striking arrays of color. Because iris agates look best when they are backlit, they are not a popular of a choice for jewelry. They look best as gemstones when they are hung in a well-lit window or displayed in a case with backlighting.
Used for jewelry, gemstones, tools and ornaments, jade has been used for over five thousand years. Jade comes from the minerals jadeite and nephrite. While green is the best-known color for jade, it actually comes in nine other colors.
Jet is not a gemstone that is made from minerals, so it is considered an organic gemstone. It comes from organic rock and is black in color. It can be cut into faceted stones for jewelry or carved into bangles, cameos, pins and other ornamental objects. Because the look of jet is easy to replicate, it has been replaced with inexpensive plastics and glass in many modern materials.
Also known as K2 Jasper, this interesting rock contains bright white granite and bright blue azurite. This sharp contrast is eye-catching. On large pieces, it looks as if drops of blur azurite were just dripped onto the slab of rock. Polished and cut, the gemstones are one-of-a-kind.
This mineral is found in metamorphic rocks and comes in an array of colors including blue, gray, green, white and colorless. It is considered an exotic gem and will not be found in typical jewelry stores. Artisan jewelers will acquire it to make jewelry to sell in specialty shops.
Labradorite is a feldspar mineral that can be found in abundance in igneous rocks. It contains a gorgeous array of colors that comes from labradorescence. This happens when light enters the stone and strikes a twinning surface within the stone that then reflects the light. Different surfaces reflect the lights as different shades of either red, orange, yellow, green or blue. It is often used by skilled artisans in the making of unique jewelry.
While many gemstones are minerals, lapis lazuli is actually metamorphic rock. It is a beautiful, solid blue color that sometimes also contains pieces of reflective gold pyrite. It can be turned into beautiful cabochons or beads for jewelry. It can also be used for carvings and spheres.
Lepidolite is a rare mica mineral that is lithium-rich, boasting the colors of red, pink or purple. It lacks the hardness to be used in a lot of jewelry, but some piece are strengthened by the addition of quartz. These can be used in jewelry that gets little wear.
The mineral magnesite is named for having magnesium in its composition. It is most often white with some gray to black striations. These are commonly used as tumbled stones and can be dyed any color. The striations will still show through, so they can even be dyed to mimic turquoise or lapis lazuli.
Malachite is a beautiful green gem that has been used for thousands of years as jewelry and as a sculptural material. It is known for its striking array of green colors that can range anywhere from pastel green to a green so dark that it almost looks black. It often has stripes of different shades of green in one piece.
Maw Sit Sit
Maw sit sit is often confused with the gemstone jade. It is green and black, but is often a brighter green than that found in jade. It is made from metamorphic rock, containing many minerals. It is much more affordable than jade, making it a nice substitute for jade. It is rare, however. It is easiest to find online.
Thought to have been formed from the impact of an ancient asteroid, moldavite is a natural glass that makes beautiful gemstones. It comes in shades of yellow-green, green and green-brown. It can be transparent, translucent or opaque and often has inclusions as well as bubbles. It is a novelty gemstone used for less expensive jewelry and is often wire-wrapped because they are soft. Imitation moldavite that has been made to be harder is most often used in jewelry.
Montana Moss Agate
Found only in Montana in the Yellowstone River Basin, Montana moss agate is a form of chalcedony that is transparent to translucent that is often clear with black dendrites and inclusions of manganese oxide. When the base is not clear, it will usually be yellow, red, white or gray. Their distinct appearance is unique and it makes them a great choice for gem collectors.
Gem-quality feldspar that appears to have a soft glow of light just under its surface is called moonstone. The soft glow is called adularescence and is caused by light bending through alternating layers. Moonstones are available in many colors including pink, orange, yellow, green, gray, brown, white and clear. The adularescence is either white or silver.
This variety of common opal comes from central Mexico and is known for its purple color. It is also referred to as purple opal or opal royale. Its color ranges from light lavender to dark purple. It can be found in abundance, and it is one of the most affordable types of opals. Like other opals, it is low on the hardness scale. It is best for use in pendants, earrings and brooches.
Morganite is another gemstone that comes from beryl. It is named for its orange-pink color that is caused by small amounts of manganese. It has recently grown in popularity and is a popular choice for colored gems in engagement rings.
Olivine is a group of rock-forming minerals that is also the mineral of the gemstone peridot. It is found in Earth’s crust in dark-colored igneous rocks. It crystallizes at a very high temperature, so it forms during the slow cooling of magma. It is most often olive green, but it can also be shades of yellow-green to shades of bright green. Transparent specimens are cut into gorgeous faceted gemstones for use in all kinds of jewelry.
One of the world’s most popular gems is the opal. It is known for its very colorful appearance. While there are many different types of opal, the precious opal is best known for its appearance in jewelry. It appears to have a white background with flashes of every color in the spectrum. Opals rank midway on the hardness scale, so they are best for earrings, brooches and pendants that do not receive as much wear and tear as a ring or bracelet would.
Opalized wood is petrified wood, but it is composed of opal instead of the usual chalcedony or other minerals. Nearly all opalized wood is composed of common opal, so it does not have the striking color that precious opals have. While rare, sometimes there are specimens of opalized wood that contain precious opals. Cabochons are made from opalized wood to be used in jewelry.
Padparadscha sapphire is the trade name given to fancy sapphires that are pink-orange to orange-pink in color. These are highly desired and therefore sold at higher prices than any of the other gems in the fancy sapphire classification. They are named after lotus blossoms, which is padparadscha in Sinhalese.
Petrified wood, dark brown to black in color, with cream or white markings that resemble the shape and size of a peanut is referred to as peanut wood. The interesting patterns in peanut wood make it very interesting as a gemstone.
Peridot comes from the mineral olivine and is yellow-green to bright green in color, but the most valuable version is a dark olive green. It is a very popular gemstone that is used to represent the month of August as a birthstone. Peridot is a high-quality gem that can be used in all types of jewelry.
Petrified wood is a fossil that is formed when water flows through a removes original woody material and replaces it with silica, pyrite, calcite or even opal. The details of the wood, bark and even the cellular structures are often preserved in the fossil. Petrified wood can be tumbled into polished stones that can be used in craft jewelry. It can also be cut into cabochons.
Polka Dot Agate
This translucent gem made of agate contains interesting suspended dots. The base color ranges from white to blue to pale yellow. The dots are a combination of red, orange, yellow, brown or black. The original use of polka dot agate was for tools made by Native Americans. Today they are also used as gemstones.
Most prasiolite is made by heating amethyst, which changes its color from purple to a yellow-green to green color. Only a small amount of amethyst deposits contain the right material for this color change to take place, so it is not common.
The most abundant mineral found on Earth’s surface is quartz. It is highly abundant and produced all over the world. While it occurs in nearly every color imaginable, the most common colors are pink, red, yellow, green, purple, white, clear, gray, brown and black. It can be translucent or transparent and rates high enough on the hardness scaled to be used for all types of jewelry.
This rare variety of beryl contains manganese which gives it the beautiful red color. Since it is only found in one location naturally, it is also produced synthetically. Red beryl rates high on the hardness scale and makes beautiful faceted-cut gemstones for use in all types of jewelry.
There are only a few pure red diamonds in the entire world, declaring them as the rarest of the colored diamonds. There are some that are not pure red that are less rare. They include shades of red including orange-red, brown-red and purple-red. There is also a version of red diamond that many call a pink diamond because it appears to be pink in color. It is technically classified as light red.
This gorgeous manganese carbonate mineral is most popular in its pink specimens. It also comes in red, yellow, brown and gray. It has a white streak that allows for an endless array of patterns on the cut gemstones. Rhodochrosite is a particularly soft gemstone, so it should only be used for jewelry that does not get a lot of wear. Because it very popular, imitations have been mass-produced that are harder and hold up well in all types of jewelry.
This striking gemstone is a silicate material containing pink manganese, giving it a beautiful pink color. It also usually has black manganese oxides, which cause the contrasting black color. The combination of these colors makes a striking gemstone. Rare pieces can be found without the black color and are considered highly valuable.
Pink specimens of the mineral quartz are called rose quartz. It can be found in a range of colors from a nearly colorless light pink to a translucent dark pink. Rose quartz is inexpensive and widely used because of its abundance.
Rubies are gems that come from the mineral corundum. To be classified as a ruby, they must also be red in color. While the main color must be red, they can come from a range of shades of red from orange-red to purple-red and even brown-red. Rubies are considered excellent choices for jewelry.
Sapphires, like rubies, come from the mineral corundum. To be classified as a sapphire, they must also be blue in color. The color will range from very light blue to very dark blue and can also contain green-blue and violet-blue. Rich, dark blue gems are the most desired for jewelry.
Transparent specimens of scapolite in pink or yellow are made into faceted gemstones. There are also specimens that have internal silk that causes a cat’s eye effect. These are made into cabochons for jewelry use also.
Gemstones cut from serpentine come in many varieties of colors with additional minerals as inclusions. This causes each piece to be unique. They often contain an array of green, yellow and black colors.
Smoky quartz is a variety of crystalline quartz with an array of colors that all have some brown in them. Colors can be light yellow-brown, orange-brown, red-brown or a very dark brown that looks almost black. Some specimens also have a gray undertone. Dark browns are very popular for men’s jewelry while the orange and red tones are more popular in women’s jewelry. Easily attainable at a low cost, smoky quartz is a great choice for all types of jewelry.
This rock-forming mineral is best known for its striking color. The most popular color ranges from blue to blue-violet with white veining, though it can also be found in gray, red, yellow, green, white and colorless. Sodalite is translucent to transparent. The transparent specimens make great faceted-cut gemstones. The translucent specimens are perfect for cabochons, beads and tumbled stones.
This rock made of cuprite and chrysocolla is both gorgeous and rare. It occurs naturally when the bluish-green chrysocolla and dark red cuprite come together to resemble a sunrise. Black iron and iron oxide are sometimes present between the layers which give a look of mountains on the horizon. It is named for its sunrise looks along with its city of origin, Sonora, Mexico.
Sphalerite is a common zinc mineral found in igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. It ranges in color in shades of red, yellow, brown, green, black, white and colorless. It often contains a streak of white to yellow-brown. In its transparent form, it makes wonderful faceted stones for collectors. It does rate low on the hardness scale, so it does not make great jewelry.
Once thought to be rubies or sapphires, spinels have been showcased in many crowned jewels. Spinel often develops in marble, and is weathered out of the marble and then used for gemstones.
When spodumene occurs as shades of pink, purple, green or yellow in transparent crystals, it can be used as a gemstone. Pink and purple are called Kunzite, green is called hiddenite and yellow is called triphane. These gemstones are delicate and should be used for pieces of jewelry such as earrings.
While its appearance is very similar to a diamond, strontium titanate is man-made. It is not nearly as strong as a diamond and is suggested for jewelry that gets little impact like earrings and pendants.
Sugilite is best known for its vibrant colors. In gorgeous hues of pink and purple, high-quality specimens are in demand among mineral collectors and jewelers. Imitation sugilite can be found in abundance.
Sunstone is feldspar that has light-reflecting inclusions of copper, goethite or hematite. When light interacts with the copper, metallic flashes can be seen. It can be colorless, red, orange or yellow. Rarely found in a jewelry store, sunstone is often used by skilled artisans in creating individual pieces of artistic jewelry.
While these are man-made gemstones, they have taken the marketplace by storm. Available in dozens of color variations, synthetic opals can be very striking. They are significantly less expensive and significantly harder than real opals. Also, many are so well made that it is difficult to tell them apart from real opals. These attributes keep them in high demand.
Tanzanite is the blue-colored gem-quality pieces of the mineral zoisite. It was named after Tanzania, the only known location in the world to produce this particular gem. Tiffany and Company helped Tanzanite to rise in popularity. After only being discovered in the 1960s, it has already risen to fame as the second most popular blue gemstone.
Tiger’s eye is a popular gemstone that displays chatoyancy or the look of a cat’s eye. It most often occurs in an amber-brown color. Gemstones of tiger’s eye will most often be cut into cabochons to show-off the look of the chatoyancy. Beads and tumbled stones are also available.
Tiffany stone is a trade name for gem that is actually rock composed of many minerals. It can be found in nodules of beryllium that have mineralized. Most specimens contain white, blue and purple and have the look of ice cream which gives them a unique look among gems. They are low on the hardness scale, so they work best in jewelry that does not get a lot of wear. Tiffany stone is rare, being mined in only one location worldwide.
This rare mineral occurs in granite and metamorphic rocks. As a gemstone, it is also known as sphene. It can be found most often in the colors of gray, black, brown, yellow or green. Rarely, it can also be found in red, pink or orange. Sphene is popular among jewelers for its brilliant fire and high clarity. While it is too soft to be used as a ring stone, it can be used for brooches, earrings and pendants.
Topaz is well-known as a popular gemstone, particularly as November’s birthstone. It is most commonly found in blue, but blue topaz can be colorless topaz that was treated to show as blue. In nature, topaz can be colorless, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue or brown.
Tourmaline is a boron silicate mineral that contains many different varieties. It can be found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Tourmaline that is used in gemstones comes in nine different colors as well as a colorless version. A unique quality is that the color can vary within one piece. A popular version of tourmaline looks like watermelon with pink and green together.
One of the unique qualities of turquoise is that it is opaque. It comes in all of the shades available from yellow-green to green-blue. Robin’s egg blue and sky blue are the most desired colors for turquoise. Turquoise is a very popular choice for jewelry making.
This organic gem is easily recognizable by its patterns, made by fossils in brown agates. It was incorrectly identified and named for the wrong fossil and should have been named elimia agate. We still see it as turritella agate today and see it on jewelry, clock faces and even belt buckles.
Unakite is a granitic rock with striking pistachio-green and pink colors. It is popular as a gemstone because it is abundant, inexpensive and attractive. It is also used in ornamental items such as small sculptures.
This rare mineral, a hydrated aluminum phosphate, is usually green in color. It can range from yellow-green to blue-green. Often it has a matrix of yellow, brown or black in addition to the base color. This leaves many possible variations for the gorgeous gemstones.
Wonderstone forms when pieces of molted rock stick together after being ejected during explosive eruptions. It forms in various shades of red, orange, yellow, brown and maroon. Because of the different layers of molten rock being added, there are beautiful layers of color in differing patterns. Cabochons and polished stones can be made from wonderstone.
The world’s most valuable yellow gemstones are natural yellow diamonds that have a rich, pure yellow color. While a small amount of yellow may be considered an undesirable look in what should be a clear diamond, it can be quite striking when the yellow is darker and rich in color. As with other colored diamonds, there are many imposters in the form of altered diamonds where color has been added as well as synthetically produced imitations.
For almost two-thousand years, Zircon has been used as a gemstone. It is most frequently used in shades of red, yellow and brown. It is also available in shades of green, blue or gray. Zircon can also be found in a colorless variety to imitate a diamond.
Zoisite is a mineral that forms in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and is divided into several different names. It can be colorless, pink, yellow, brown, blue, violet or gray. The most famous form of zoisite is tanzanite, which is the second most popular blue gem after sapphire. The pink variety of zoisite is referred to as thulite. Anyolite is a version that is made of green zoisite with ruby crystals that are bright red and sometimes black crystals as well.