Precious and semiprecious gems
A rare, colorless variety of tourmaline.
A common type of moonstone, especially popular in the early 20th century.
A fine-grained, fibrous variety of chalcedony with colored bands or irregular clouding. Blue lace, moss, tree, and petrified wood agate are popular varieties. Legend holds that agate contains the power to make the wearer invisible. In the early 1700s, an inventive Brazilian priest sketched elaborate designs for an airship with agate stones serving as antigravity devices. Some believe agate can cure insomnia, reduce fever, protect the wearer from danger, and moderate passion, ensuring a long and even-tempered life.
A beautiful, rare gemstone, Alexandrite is a greenish, most valuable form of the mineral chrysoberyl. By candlelight, Alexandrite transforms from green to violet red. Shile sapphires, garnets, tourmaline, and other gemstone display such color changes, but Alexandrite's transformation under artificial light is unparalleled by that of other gems. Today, most commercially available Alexandrite is synthetic, while true Alexandrite is primarily mined in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerias (birthplace of world music legend Milton Nascimento). Alexandrite was first mined in Russia, where it was discovered in 1830 on the birthday of Czar Alexander, a coincidence considered particularly consequential because the colors displayed by the stone mirrored those of imperial Russia: Red and green.
An iridescent green to blue-green stone, a type of feldspar, usually set as a cabochon as it is prone to breakage in less straightforward forms. Amazonite is named after the Amazon River, where it was erroneously believed to have been discovered in the mid 1800s (the mineral then and there found was actually a form of jadeite).
A hard, translucent yellow, orange, or brownish-yellow fossilized conifer tree resin, used for making jewelry and other ornamental objects. Some believe amber possesses magical powers than protect the wearer from evil. False amber, make of plastic, has made its way into the common marketplace. True amber, when slightly warmed, carries the scent of tree resin, rather than the toxic, noxious burn of plastic!
A purple or violet form of transparent quartz. It is considered a symbol of sincerity and peace. Wine drinking Greeks wore amethyst to prevent intoxication, and European soldiers in the Middle Ages wore amethyst to protect them in battle.
An unusual gemstone in that it is actually two types of gems in one: citrine and amethyst. The yellow-orange and violet-purple variances are ideally highlighted in the cutting process, to bring out the unique nature of this naturally blended gem. Ametrine is believed to possess all the metaphysical benefits of amethyst and citrine combined, and is believed to aid in meditation and the dispersal of negative energy.
Ammonnite is the fossilized remains of a predatory marine mollusk that roamed the world's oceans for nearly 330 million years before disappearing with the extinction of the dinosaurs. Ammonnite is rarer than diamond! Named for Ammon, the ancient Egyptian god of life and reproduction, Ammonnite was known to the Blackfoot Tribe of North America as the Buffalo Stone. The Blackfoot believed Ammonnite was a sacred gift received from the gods during a great winter famine. Legend goes that a particular Ammonnite stone was given the Blackfoot by The Great Goddess, who promised that it would lead them to a significant herd of buffalo - enough animals to save the Blackfoot from starvation. When the prediction came to pass, and from then on, Ammonnite signified wealth and abundance to the Blackfoot. Although Ammonite has been found on every continent, it is the richly colored stones mined in the vicinity of Alberta, Canada that are treasured among collectors. In 1908, a member of the National Geographic Survey first announced the discovery of Ammonite in that area. Not until 1981 was a reserve discovered there with sufficient high quality gems to make commercial mining feasible.
First discovered in Andalusia, Spain, andalusite is pleochroic, in other words it displays different colors when held at different angles. It shows white, red, orange, and brown, and green, even under the same light.
A brittle, pale blue variety of calcium sulfate.
A pale pink, deep-sea coral. Like red coral, angelskin coral is among the most desirable varieties.
A volcanic glass (a type of obsidian), usually black, found in the Southwestern United States.
Popular among mineral collectors but uncommonly used in jewelry, Aphophyllite is believed by some to bring love, joy, and positivism to the bearer, and to ease depression.
A mineral of tremendous hardness, and, when transparent, of great beauty. It occurs in hexagonal prisms, typically in a green or bluish green color, but also yellow, pink, and white. It is a silicate of aluminum and glucinum (beryllium). The transparent, sea green variety is the variety most often used as a gemstone. The emerald is another variety of beryl, highly prized in jewelry. For hundreds of years, sailors wore amulets of aquamarine, a treasure of mermaids. The sailors believed aquamarine contained the oceans within it, and would protect them from storms. Today, many people believe aquamarine helps husbands and wives successfully solve marital problems, ensuring a long and happy marriage. Today, Africa is the largest supplier of aquamarine.
A soft, common, clear to opaque gem found in many colors including green, yellow, blue, and violet.
Several shimmering varieties of quartz or feldspar, flecked with particles of mica, hematite, or other materials. Aventurine can also be manufactured, in which case it is an opaque or semi translucent brown glass flecked with small metallic particles, often of copper or chromic oxide (an accidental discovery that came about when a glassmaker spilled brass filings into a pot of melted glass).
A rare gemstone, primarily reddish brown and yellow to black, not commonly used for jewelry.
Used as makeup by the ancient Egyptians, this rich blue, soft stone is still used in the manufacturing of high quality artists' paints, and is popular among collectors. Azurite is believed by some to clear the mind of subconscious thoughts, bringing illumination, creativity, and visionary powers. It is also believed to help the wearer better evaluate fears, desires, and undesired beliefs.
Actually a group of gemstone varieties, pure beryl is yellow or colorless. The better-known green beryl is the emerald; the blue green variety is the aquamarine gem.
A variety of deep-green chalcedony flecked with red jasper. Also called heliotrope. Inexpensive yet beautiful, bloodstone is often used in pendants and for bead necklaces.
A rare mineral, first discovered in 1789 in Germany. White, blue, green, gray, and yellow hues, boracite contains a high concentration of the chemical Boron. Easily dulled, boracite is rarely used in jewelry.
An extremely rare silicate found in Canada, Carletonite was first identified in 1971 by G.Y. Chao of Carleton University, Ottawa. Ranging in color from blue to pink to clear to white, some crystals have been cut as gems, but most Carltonite is purchased by mineral collectors.
A variety of chalcedony, typically found in a deep red, flesh red, or reddish white color. It is often used for cabochons and cameos, and was employed by the goddess Isis to protect the dead on their journey through the afterlife. Carnelian has featured prominently and ironically throughout history. Today Buddhists still believe in the protective power of this stone, often setting it with lapis lazuli or turquoise for increased protective strength.
Many gems display a particularly "cat's eye" luminescence, but it the gleaming form of chrysoberyl that is considered true "cat's eye." Some believe cat's eye brings protection, wealth, health, and determination.
A fluorescent lead carbonate gem, fragile and generally transparent, typically found in whites and yellows.
Discovered in 1976 in the mountains of Aldan, Russia, Charoite is among the rarest minerals on the market. It occurs in shades of purple with marbled white and black swirls and spots. Some believe Charoite eases difficult emotions and bolsters self-worth, spiritual development, and healthy love.
A typically apple-green chalcedony often referred to as "Australian Jade."
Believed to increase self-confidence, generosity, optimism, and forgiveness, chrysoberyl is affordable and beautiful, ranging in color from goldenrod to green to brown.
When variegated or arranged in differently colored layers, chalcedony is called agate; and if by reason of the thickness, color, and arrangement of the layers it is suitable for being carved into cameos, it is called onyx. Chrysoprase comes in green chalcedony, carnelian, a flesh red, and sard, a brownish red variety.
Citrine is a pale yellow, "lemony" variety of crystalline quartz resembling topaz. Once used as a protective talisman against evil (even to counteract snakebites and the plague), it is also believed by some to bring happiness, cleanse the body of toxins, and is used to treat such widely varied ailments as depression and diabetes. Although citrine occurs naturally, most commercially available citrine is actually heat-treated amethyst.
The mineral mercury sulfide, ranging from brick red to scarlet.
A rare, striking pink to red gem mostly collected as a mineral specimen. It is believed by some to help balance the heart chakra, and to ease depression, anguish, and anger.
A rocklike substance formed by the calcareous skeletons secreted by various anthozoans. Coral deposits often accumulate to form reefs or islands in warm seas. Red coral, used in jewelry, is primarily found in the Mediterranean. It is the stony axis of the stem of a gorgonian (Corallium rubrum). Coral is popularly added to bracelets, necklaces, and pendants.
Especially attractive in its prismatic crystal form, creedite ranges in color from colorless to purple. Mexican mines produce the most beautiful examples. Some believers say it helps align the throat and crown charkas, and can help detoxify the blood.