Amber is a translucent to
opaque yellow, golden or orange material, usually warm to the touch,
much lighter than one would expect of a gemstone. It's not a gemstone
in the truest sense--rather it's fossilized resin from trees common
about 50 million years ago. It's sometimes called "electrum" as Amber
produces static electricity when rubbed. Amber gets its name from the
Amethyst is a transparent
light lavender to deep purple form of crystalline quartz. The light
lavender variety, called "Cape Amethyst", is rapidly gaining
Aquamarine is a
translucent to transparent blue to pale green Beryl (Emerald is the
deep green variety of Beryl). Most commonly, pale, icy blue.
A form of translucent
reddish-orange to red agate, also known as Mecca stone, Pigeon Blood
Agate, Sardoine, Cornelian. The name is most commonly believed to be
derived from the Latin "carne", meaning flesh. It is sometimes
referred to as "Cornelian" rather than "Carnelian" as others attribute
the name to the Latin "cor", meaning heart.
Citrine is a yellow, golden
or orange-yellow transparent variety of crystalline quartz. It is
known by many other names, for instance, it was sometimes referred to
as "Madeira" or "Bahia" Topaz, "Cuddle Quartz" and the "Merchant's
Gemstone coral is an organic
(i.e., created from living creatures). It is usually red, orange-red
or pink. Genuine, undyed coral is quite rare and expensive.
Fire Opal is the bright
red/pink variety of opal, usually found in Mexico and therefore
sometimes called "Mexican Fire Opal".
Most commonly burgundy red,
Garnet comes in various shades of transparent to translucent red,
pink, orange-red, orange, purple and green. Garnets get their name
from the Latin "granatum", meaning "seed of the pomegranate", which
the burgundy red varieties resemble.
Aventurine, a variety of translucent quartz, derives its color from
minor inclusions of unoxidized iron minerals. Aventurine also comes in
blue and peach or orange.
Jade comes in both Nephrite
Jade and Jadeite, with Jadeite being the precious variety.
Labradorite is a shimmery
gem, usually khaki green, though sometimes gray, with characteristic
flashes of Blue Fire, called "Labradorescence". Discovered in 1770 on
the Labrador Peninsula, from whence it gets its name. The Finnish
variety is called "Spectrolite".
The most prized Lapis
Lazuli is royal blue, though it ranges in color from green to sky
blue, with characteristic glittering golden specks. Sometimes called
"sapphire" in ancient Egyptian references. The name comes from the
Latin "lapis" which means "stone" and Persian "lajuward" also meaning
"stone". It is also known as "Lazurite".
Called Moonstone for its
resemblance to the silvery moon, it comes in pure white with blue fire
(Rainbow), white, gray, peach, pink and yellow. The Greeks believed
the stone was ruled by the Goddess Selene calling it Aphroselene.
Onyx comes in a wide range of
colors. Some onyx is evenly colored while some is banded. Strongly
banded onyx is sometimes referred to as "Sardonyx".
|Peruvian Blue Opal
A true opal in
that the stone is quartz with trapped water, Peruvian Blue Opal does
not have the irridescent color play of an Australian Opal, rather
Peruvian Blue Opal is prized for the extremely attractive color. This
opal is also frightfully expensive and continues to increase in price
at an equally frightful pace.
Poppy Jasper is an
opaque semi-precious gemstone, generally brick red, with black, tan
and white patterns. Sometimes referred to as "Brecciated Jasper".
Rarely referred to as "Silex".
Rose Quartz is light to
medium pink, and almost always cloudy variety of Quartz. For some
unknown Geologic reason, Rose Quartz rarely forms crystals.
Quartz is quite
common, however, very clear quartz is more rare. Rarer still is clear
quartz shot through with fine, golden or golden-red needle-like rutile
crystals. Sometimes called "Venus Hair Stone", "Maiden Hair Stone",
"Cupid's Arrow" and Sagenite.
Smoky Quartz is a clear
gray or brown variety of crystalline Quartz. Also known as "Cairngorm"
or "Morion" and occasionally referred to as the "Dream Stone".
Long a gemstone of importance,
Topaz is generally a translucent yellow, golden, green, light brown,
light blue or clear. Topaz gets its name from the Red Sea Island,
Topazin (Topasos). Pink topaz is generally heat treated.
Tourmaline gets its name
from the Singhalese name, "turamali", which means "colored stone", and
indeed Tourmaline comes in dozens of colors. The Dutch called it "aschentrekker",
meaning "ash-drawer" as it will draw ashes toward it when warmed (pyroelectric).
Tourmaline comes in a variety of beautiful and vivid colors, and is a
durable gemstone that has gained tremendous popularity (with
skyrocketing costs) over the last 20 years. Highly prized is
Watermelon Tourmaline (green outside and pink inside)
Turquoise is an opaque,
light robin egg blue to green stone. Real Turquoise is surprisingly
light in weight. It derives its name from "Turkish Stone", after the
Turks, who considered it lucky. Ancient Arabians called it "Fayruz",
meaning "lucky stone"