• Learning Center

    List of Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones by Name (A-Z)

    Learn about stones — their color, price, and more.

    Browse through our list of precious, semi-precious, and lab-created stones and learn about their value for jewelry.

    • Actinolite View Profile

      Actinolite is a member of a series that contains varying amounts of iron and magnesium. Tremolite is the Mg end, and ferroactinolite the Fe end, with actinolite in the middle. Actinolites with more than 50% Fe are very rare.?Catseye?actinolite exists (S.G. 3.0, R.I. 1.63); when chatoyant material is cut, it exhibits a fine eye. Actinolite is easy to…

    • Adamite View Profile

      Although adamite occurs in many localities, it’s very rarely cut as a gem. This mineral is much too soft and fragile for jewelry. However, collectors prize its intense fluorescence.

    • Agate View Profile

      Agate is a variety of chalcedony that exists in many colors and is often commercially dyed.?Agate is distinguished by having multiple colors. While not usually as rich as our crystalline gems, the colors can be quite vivid. Agates are sometimes opaque, but they are frequently translucent, and occasionally completely transparent.

    • Albite View Profile

      Albite, usually colorless but sometimes yellow, pink, gray or reddish. Translucent albite is sometime colored green by chrome jadeite. It is also a component of trachipe emeralds.

    • Alexandrite View Profile

      Emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is well known for displaying one of the most remarkable color changes in the gem world — green in sunlight and red in incandescent light. However, the modern June birthstone is so rare and expensive few people have seen a natural alexandrite. This variety of gem-quality chrysoberyl makes an excellent jewelry stone.

    • Algodonite View Profile

      Bright, silvery metallic cabochons of algodonite and domeykite are attractive and unusual. Faceted pieces are rarely seen but very beautiful when polished to a high luster.

    • Almandine Garnet View Profile

      Almandine is perhaps the most common garnet species. Forming series with pyrope and spessartine garnets, these gems occur in the deep brownish or purplish reds most often associated with garnets. They make affordable and durable jewelry stones.

    • Amazonite View Profile

      Amazonite is a variety of microcline, which is itself a variety of feldspar.

    • Amber View Profile

      Amber is the hardened resin of ancient pine trees. This organic substance is most well-known for the incredible inclusions of insects that can be found within it. People have been making amber jewelry for over 10,000 years, and the fascination with amber continues today.

    • Amblygonite View Profile

      Amblygonite gems are usually pale straw yellow. Although they are too soft and cleavable to make good ring stones, collectors prize them if they show darker colors. Large faceted stones are extremely rare.

    • Amethyst View Profile

      Amethyst is crystalline quartz in colors ranging from pale lilac to deep reddish purple. The February birthstone makes a fine, durable gemstone for all purposes, from jewelry to carved objects.

    • Ametrine View Profile

      Ametrine is a variety of quartz that displays bands of both amethyst purple and citrine yellow. These gems are typically cut to showcase their dramatic color zoning.

    • Ammolite View Profile

      Ammolite is a rare, iridescent, gem-quality material cut from the fossilized shells of extinct sea creatures. Found only in the Bearpaw Formation in Alberta, Canada, this organic gemstone has a dazzling range of colors and patterns and is highly desired for cabochons and assembled jewelry pieces.

    • Analcime View Profile

      Large colorless crystals of Analcime are a great rarity although small transparent crystals are abundant. Faceted gems are extremely rare and seldom seen even in large collections. The hardness is marginal for wear, but the mineral has no cleavage and should present no difficulties in cutting.

    • Anatase View Profile

      Anatase occurs in many beautiful colors, such as deep indigo and amber yellow. However, these rare gems are seldom transparent and are usually found as very small crystals. They’re hardly ever faceted, except as curiosities for gem collections.

    • Andalusite View Profile

      Strongly pleochroic, andalusite can show shades of green, brown, and red when viewed from different directions. Although tough enough for most jewelry uses, this strikingly beautiful stone is largely unknown to the gem buying public.

    • Andesine View Profile

      These feldspars are rarely encountered in gem form. Andesine’s occurrence is widespread throughout the world, in a great variety of rock types and environments, but in most cases transparent crystals are rare.

    • Andradite View Profile

      Andradite is one of the most sought after garnet species. Although more sources have been discovered in recent decades, gem-quality andradites remain rare.

    • Anglesite View Profile

      Although anglesites with pale colors can show great dispersion and brightness, they’re difficult to cut and inadvisable to wear. Faceted pieces are true rarities, seldom seen except in very complete gem collections.

    • Anhydrite (Angelite) View Profile

      Rare and difficult to cut, anhydrite is seldom faceted. However, this material can be carved into beautiful objects. “Angelite,” a blue-gray variety, has become a popular choice for cabochons.

    • Anorthite View Profile

      Anorthite is the most calcic of the plagioclases, and sometimes makes up a distinctive rock known as anorthosite, which has been extensively studied.

    • Apatite View Profile

      Although too brittle for most jewelry use, properly cut apatite gems are truly magnificent. A collector could assemble a suite of as many as twenty of these bright gems, all with different colors.

    • Apophyllite View Profile

      Although not suitable for jewelry, apophyllite is a popular collector’s piece. Perhaps the whitest of all gems, cut, colorless specimens are so devoid of color they can appear almost silvery.

    • Aquamarine View Profile

      Named after the color of sea water, aquamarine is the blue to blue-green member of the beryl family. Readily available and moderately priced, the modern March birthstone makes an excellent jewelry stone.

    • Aragonite View Profile

      Aragonite is more commonly found as a constituent of pearl and shell nacre than as a crystal suitable for gem cutting. Too soft for most jewelry use, a faceted aragonite would be a true collector’s item.

    • Augelite View Profile

      Soft and brittle, rare augelites are difficult to cut and unsuitable for wear. Faceted transparent pieces are only found in very complete gem and mineral collections.

    • Axinite View Profile

      When faceted, the members of the axinite mineral group are usually intensely trichroic, with considerable brilliance and rich brown and purple colors dominating. Although very rare, these gems could make magnificent jewelry stones.

    • Azurite View Profile

      Collectors prize deep blue azurite crystals, but faceted gems are extremely rare. However, azurite frequently occurs mixed with green malachite, and this material is commonly used for cabochons and decorative objects.

    • Barite View Profile

      Massive white barite (also called known as baryte) looks like marble and could be used for decorative purposes. In spite of the abundance of good crystals, cut barites aren’t commonly seen, especially in rich colors.

    • Bayldonite View Profile

      Bayldonite is a nondescript greenish material that has been cut into cabochons by enterprising collectors of the unusual. Cut bayldonites are a rarity, nonetheless, and are seldom seen in collections. The luster of cabochons is sometimes almost metallic and provides a curious appearance to the cut stones. Bayldonite provides a curious appearance to the cut stones. Bayldonite is compact but…

    • Benitoite View Profile

      With dispersion higher than diamond and sapphire blue body color, benitoite is one of the most attractive of all rare gems. Gem-quality crystals have been found only in San Benito County, California.

    • Beryl View Profile

      The beryls are among the most popular, and also the most expensive, of all gems. A wide range of color is represented, from colorless to black. Beryls can be large and flawless, but these are best displayed in museums rather than worn. Emerald is acknowledged as one of the most desirable gemstones, and aquamarine has recently sustained an unprecedented rise…

    • Beryllonite View Profile

      Difficult to facet and typically colorless, beryllonite is a rare collector’s gem. Some specimens can show a striking cat’s eye.

    • Bismutotantalite View Profile

      Extremely rare as a cut gem, even in very complete collections. Many of the minerals in the tantalite group have been faceted; bismutotantalite is perhaps the rarest of them all. The color is attractive, but low hardness and good cleavage make use in jewelry unadvisable.

    • Bloodstone View Profile

      Also known as heliotrope, bloodstone is the traditional March birthstone. This dark green, opaque chalcedony with red to orange spots is a variety of plasma gemstone.

    • Boleite View Profile

      Cut boleite is strictly for collectors, since it is soft and very rare. Faceted gems of any transparency should be considered among the rarest of all gemstones. The color is so attractive that any available stones would be quickly snapped up by collectors.

    • Boracite View Profile

      With light blue and green colors, no cleavage, and high hardness, boracite is an uncommon mineral. Unfortunately for jewelry lovers, faceted boracites are very rare.

    • Bornite View Profile

      Bornite is suitable only for cabochons. The bronzy color rapidly tarnishes in air to a magnificent iridescent color display, mostly purple, but also with blue and green tones. Bornite is too soft and brittle for anything but a collector curiosity, although cabochons are quite attractive when they tarnish. The material is not rare, so cabochons have no great value beyond…

    • Brazilianite View Profile

      Brazilianite’s lovely green to yellow colors make it a must for gem collectors. Large faceted stones are often flawed, but smaller cut gems can make beautiful jewelry pieces.

    • Breithauptite View Profile

      Breithauptite is a curiosity cut for collectors, although it could be worn with care in jewelry. The color is extremely lovely, a delicate reddish or violet with metallic luster that is both unique and attractive. Sometimes the reddish sulfide is veined with streaks of native silver or colorless gangue minerals, providing interesting patterning to the color. The material is not…

    • Brookite View Profile

      Brookite usually occurs in very dark colors, transparent only in small fragments. Cuttable crystals are exceedingly rare, making attractive faceted gems prized collector’s items.

    • Brucite View Profile

      Brucites are extremely difficult to cut. Although too soft for jewelry use, faceted pieces would be great additions to collections of rare gemstones.

    • Bustamite View Profile

      Bustamite is very similar in appearance and properties to rhodonite. The Japanese crystals are very rich in Mn. The color, when fresh, is paler than rhodonite. Bustamite may also be fibrous, and then yields fine catseye gems, but these are extremely rare. Faceted Bustamite are very attractive, especially in the pinkish shades, but stones over 1-2 carats are very rare…

    • Bytownite View Profile

      Bytownite is found in basic plutonic rocks, some metamorphic rocks, and meteorites.

    • Calcareous Concretions View Profile

      Several species of marine mollusks produce stony growths called calcareous concretions or non-nacreous pearls. Varieties such as conch pearls, tridacna pearls, and others are frequently used in jewelry. Although not true pearls, they can still make beautiful gems.

    • Calcite View Profile

      Calcite is common and abundant throughout the world. The material has little intrinsic value since it is not scarce. However, calcite is one of the most difficult of all minerals to be cut because of perfect cleavage in 3 directions. The cost of faceted stone is therefore mostly in the labor of cutting. Normally, a faceted stone breaks during cutting,…

    • Canasite View Profile

      The material usually seen on the market as “canasite” is purplish in color. It is frequently confused with another purplish material, a member of the? serpentine family known as?stichtite.?However, stichtite occurs in elongated fibers that have a kind of lustrous sheen, almost asbestiform, whereas canasite is granular. Recent research seems to indicate that, in fact, the material being…

    • Cancrinite View Profile

      Cancrinite is one of the most attractive of all opaque or translucent gem materials. It is a bit too soft for average wear, but its distinctive color is worthy of jewelry. Cancrinite may be tricky to cut because it often contains numerous hard inclusions. Faceted gems even as small as 1 carat are considered great rarities.

    • Carnelian View Profile

      The best-known and generally least expensive variety of chalcedony is carnelian. It ranges in color from yellow-orange to rich, near reddish orange, to orangey brown, and varies from semi-opaque to highly translucent.

    • Cassiterite View Profile

      Cassiterite is a durable gemstone with tremendous dispersive fire, especially visible in properly cut pale-colored stones. As the principal ore of tin, it’s also a common mineral. Unfortunately, facetable rough is very scarce.

    • Catapleiite View Profile

      The only reported cut catapleiite is from Mte. Ste. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, in the form of tiny colorless gems.

    • Celestite View Profile

      Soft, fragile, and hard to cut, celestite or celestine is seldom seen in gem collections. These gems are usually colorless or pale blue, but rare orange, green, yellow, and red shades have also been found.

    • Ceruleite View Profile

      A little-known gem material of truly exquisite color, sky-blue ceruleite takes a very high polish easily and quickly. However, fine, solid, cuttable pieces are extremely rare.

    • Cerussite View Profile

      As beautiful as a diamond, a faceted cerussite actually has higher dispersion and usually excellent transparency, colorless or light body color, and an adamantine luster. However, this gem is notoriously difficult to cut and too soft for jewelry use.

    • Chabazite View Profile

      Although faceting chabazite isn’t too difficult, it’s too soft for jewelry. However, only a handful of cut chabazites may exist because facetable material is extremely scarce.

    • Chalcedony View Profile

      Technically, chalcedony (kal SED’ uh nee) is any form of microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline quartz, (meaning any form of quartz whose crystals are too small to be seen without high magnification.) In common practice, only the translucent, single color types are sold as “chalcedony” whereas the rest of this group are sold under individual variety names, or as jasper or agate.…

    • Chambersite View Profile

      Chambersite is an exceedingly rare mineral. Although it has properties suitable for jewelry use, its crystals occur in very small sizes. Few cut specimens of this colorless, brownish, or purple stone exist.

    • Charoite View Profile

      With light to medium dark purple colors and swirling patterns, charoite is one of the few gemstones so distinctive that a gemologist can make a sight identification with confidence. No other material is likely to be mistaken for it.

    • Chicken-Blood Stone View Profile

      One of the most prized ornamental materials in China, chicken-blood stone has been used for centuries to create carvings with characteristic red markings. However, its physical properties can vary considerably.

    • Childrenite View Profile

      Cut childrenite is a great rarity, and all gems are small. Cut eosphorite is more abundantly available, though both materials are very scarce.

    • Chiolite View Profile

      Chiolite makes a challenging gem. It’s difficult to cut, extremely rare, and has little appeal. It’s solely a curiosity in the gem world.

    • Chromite View Profile

      Chromite is shiny and black, and makes a curious-looking cabochon with no special attraction. Occasionally, a cabochon has a reddish color. The stones have little value because the material is extremely abundant but are cut as curiosities only.

    • Chrysoberyl View Profile

      Although many gems show a cat’s eye effect, when the term “cat’s eye” is used alone, it always refers to the rare gemstone chrysoberyl. Chatoyant chrysoberyls can be cabbed to display their spectacular eyes, while non-chatoyant specimens can make wonderful faceted stones.

    • Chrysocolla View Profile

      Pure blue chrysocolla is extremely soft but interesting to gem collectors. On the other hand, chrysocolla that forms as gel mixed with silica and hardens into a blue to blue-green chrysocolla chalcedony is quite hard and a popular jewelry stone.

    • Chrysocolla Chalcedony View Profile

      Marketed as “Gem Silica” this relatively rare, blue to blue-green, opaque to near transparent material is the most expensive type of chalcedony.

    • Chrysoprase View Profile

      Chrysoprase is apple-green chalcedony that derives its color from nickel. Its hardness and striking color make it a popular gemstone for jewelry as well as carvings.

    • Cinnabar View Profile

      Magnificent red cinnabar is extremely soft and fragile, so faceted material is rare. It’s cut primarily for collectors and carvings.

    • Citrine View Profile

      Citrine is the yellow to red-orange variety of crystalline quartz. Clever marketing and the rise of “earth tone” fashions have made this durable and readily available gem a popular jewelry stone in recent years.

    • Clinochlore View Profile

      Clinochlore is a family of minerals in the chlorite group. To date, only k?mmerite and sheridanite varieties are known to have been cut as gemstones.

    • Cobaltite View Profile

      Cabochons are interesting because of the lovely reddish metallic appearance of this mineral. Cut stones are infrequently seen and are cut only as a curiosity by the collector who wants to have one of everything.

    • Colemanite View Profile

      Colemanite is an abundant mineral, and transparent material isn’t rare. However, gem cutters rarely facet these typically pale stones. Difficult to cut and wear, colemanites are better suited for collectors of unusual gemstones.

    • Color Change Garnet View Profile

      Any stone that changes color under different types of light is a rare treat for collectors. Color change garnets show the widest range of transformations in the gem world, with almost any hue possible.

    • Color Change Sapphire View Profile

      Color change sapphires are those that change color between light sources.

    • Coral View Profile

      Coral is the axial skeleton of an animal called the?coral polyp, a tiny (1 mm), almost plantlike animal that lives in warm oceans (13-16°C). The solid material we know as coral is the colony in which these tiny animals live. Coral is often branched and treelike.

    • Cordierite View Profile

      The crystal structure of cordierite has many similarities to that of beryl; indialite, the dimorph, in fact has the same structure as beryl. Iolite with hematite inclusions (bloodshot iolite) comes from Sri Lanka. The inclusions sometimes yield a gem showing a 4-rayed star (quite rare). The blue color of iolite along one optical direction strongly resembles sapphire, and such gems,…

    • Corundum View Profile

      Next to diamond, corundum is the hardest mineral known and is very compact and dense, with no cleavage. As a result, corundum is one of the best of all jewelry stones, especially star corundum, which is tough as well as scratch-resistant. Faceted gems are slightly brittle and can be chipped, though much less easily than other gems.?Ruby?is red…

    • Covellite View Profile

      Although covellite has attractive blue colors and shows iridescence, this rare mineral is difficult to cut. You can scratch it with a fingernail! As cut gems, they’re strictly curiosities for collectors.

    • Creedite View Profile

      Probably fewer than a dozen creedite gems have ever been faceted. This rare mineral is rarer still as a cuttable crystal. Too soft to wear, this strictly collector’s gem occurs in attractive white, purple, and orange colors.

    • Crocoite View Profile

      Lovely saffron-colored crocoite is quite a rare mineral. Although too soft and brittle for jewelry wear, a few crystals have been faceted for collectors.

    • Cryolite View Profile

      Cut cryolite is somewhat translucent, and has a “sleepy” look. The cuttable material has a very low birefringence, is colorless, and very soft—not exactly an exciting-looking gem. However, there are very few cut stones in existence because of the extreme scarcity of suitable rough. In addition, cryolite is only found abundantly at one locality (Ivigtut).

    • Cuprite View Profile

      One of the rarest of all facetable gems, cut cuprites can show magnificent deep red color. However, these beautiful stones are too fragile for jewelry use.

    • Danburite View Profile

      A very durable gemstone, danburite is an excellent choice for jewelry use. Although the mineral isn’t rare, large facetable pieces are scarce.

    • Datolite View Profile

      Datolite is a popular collector’s mineral. Polished sliced nodules can show off very attractive colors. Too soft for regular jewelry use, faceted and cabbed datolites are rare.

    • Demantoid Garnet View Profile

      One of the rarest garnet varieties, demantoid can have a green color that rivals emerald and a fire that exceeds diamond. Demantoids are highly prized by both gem collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

    • Diamond View Profile

      Diamond is the most romanticized and heavily marketed of all gemstones. Nearly every jewelry establishment handles diamonds, even if it has no other gemstones in stock. The annual world production of diamonds is on the order of 10 tons. Of course, only a small percentage of this is gem quality, but diamond of very fine quality is nowhere near as…

    • Diaspore View Profile

      Diaspore is hard enough to make a durable jewelry stone, but the typical light brownish color is not easy to sell. Despite the large Turkish material, this is a?very?rare gemstone indeed.

    • Dickinsonite View Profile

      This mineral is seldom even mentioned in the gem literature because it is so rare and has been so seldom cut. Faceted gems are practically nonexistent, and would be among the rarest of all cut stones.

    • Diopside View Profile

      Violane has been used for beads and inlay—transparent material is always very tiny. The color of this material is deep violet or blue and is very rare. Catseye material cuts extremely sharp eyes, the best being from Burma. Faceted diopside is not extremely rare, but large (over 15 carats) clean stones are. Colors are usually dark, so a bright and…

    • Dioptase View Profile

      Dioptase has a beautiful, emerald-like green color. Although this mineral isn’t rare, gems are seldom faceted because of a paucity of clean material over 1 carat.

    • Dolomite View Profile

      Although transparent dolomite crystals are fairly abundant and popular collector’s items, faceted gems are soft, fragile, and rarely seen in jewelry. However, massive material can be carved into decorative pieces.

    • Dumortierite View Profile

      Dumortierite is a beautiful and very hard material, eminently suitable for jewelry. The cabochon material is the only generally known form, since faceted stones are so rare. Fibrous inclusions have been noted in the transparent Brazilian stones.

    • Ekanite View Profile

      A relative newcomer to the world of gemstones, ekanite is rare and usually quite radioactive. When cabbed, some ekanites can display a star stone effect.

    • Emerald View Profile

      Emerald has been synonymous with the color green since ancient times. A fine emerald is a truly breathtaking sight, and this member of the beryl family deserves its placement among the traditional “Big Four” gems along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire.

    • Enstatite View Profile

      Most gem enstatites have indices in the range 1.663-1.673. The brown and green gems from Tanzania are enstatites, as are the brownish-green stones from Sri Lanka. Green and brown gems from India and Brazil tend to be in the bronzite composition range. The gems of the orthopyroxene series are usually very dark, slightly brittle because of cleavage, and generally not…

    • Eosphorite View Profile

      Faceted eosphorites in pale colors are quite attractive and easy to cut. However, these very rare gems are too soft for most jewelry use.

    • Epidote View Profile

      The epidote mineral supergroup contains many related species of interest to collectors. However, epidote itself is the one most likely to be faceted into beautiful, albeit small and dark, gemstones.

    • Ettringite View Profile

      Ettringite is not generally facetable; any cut stone would be considered an extreme rarity. South African material has yielded minute stones, some of which may have been labeled sturmanite.

    • Euclase View Profile

      Although hard enough to be worn safely in jewelry, euclase in beautiful colors is rare over a few carats. It’s also a difficult gem to facet.

    • Eudialyte View Profile

      Although lapidaries can cut cabochons and decorative objects from massive or translucent eudialyte crystals, transparent material suitable for faceting is elusive and always small.

    • Euxenite View Profile

      Euxenite is seldom seen in collections. Most collectors would not regard the mineral as facetable, but transparent fragments and areas of crystals have been noted that could cut small gems. Sometimes cabochons are cut by collectors, but these are not very striking. The colors of faceted stones would be too dark to make them appealing.

    • Feldspar View Profile

      Feldspars are the most common minerals at the Earth’s surface. In fact, if the entire composition of the Earth’s crust were regarded as a single mineral, it would calculate out almost exactly as a feldspar.

    • Fergusonite View Profile

      This mineral is not abundant and is known from various localities. Cabochons are cut merely as curiosities, as they have no special features that would recommend them except rarity. There are reports of transparent grains or parts of crystals that have been cut by collectors, but these are merely curiosities and are seldom encountered.

    • Fluorite View Profile

      Although too fragile for most jewelry use, fluorites are often faceted for collectors. They occur in a wide range of attractive colors and can be extremely bright. These gems are also renowned for their fluorescence.

    • Fossilized Organisms View Profile

      Most people who have an interest in gemstones or nature have seen petrified wood, but fewer are aware of the many other types of fossilized organisms that can be fashioned into beautiful gems.

    • Freshwater Pearl View Profile

      Like their marine cousins, many freshwater mollusks can produce pearls. However, this rarely occurs in nature. Today, the majority of pearls on the market are actually cultured freshwater pearls, and they make very popular and affordable jewelry stones.

    • Friedelite View Profile

      Friedelite is not abundant, and gem-quality material is rarely seen even in large collections. Faceted gems are true collector’s items.

    • Gadolinite View Profile

      This is not a terribly attractive gemstone, but faceted gems would be a tremendous rarity. The material is quite brittle, but there is no cleavage to cause problems in cutting. I do not know of the existence of a faceted gem at this writing.

    • Gahnospinel View Profile

      Gahnospinel is a solid-state solution between spinel and gahnite.

    • Garnet View Profile

      Garnet comes from the Latin word, ?granatus? which means grain. That is because many garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in or on their host rock.

    • Gaylussite View Profile

      This mineral is very hard to cut because of extreme softness and cleavage. Gaylussite dries out slowly in air and the surfaces may turn white. Stones in collections are therefore best stored in sealed containers to prevent dehydration. Gaylussite is seen only in very comprehensive collections, and relatively few stones have been cut. Transparent crystals are not terribly rare, but…

    • Glass View Profile

      Glass has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. By itself, glass is brittle and unimpressive with very little color or brilliance. However, with additives, it can become more colorful, lively, and durable.

    • Grandidierite View Profile

      A rather rare mineral, lovely blue-green grandidierite is seldom seen in gem or jewelry collections. Translucent material is sometimes cut into cabochons. Faceted pieces are very rare, but recent discoveries of transparent material may bring more to the market.

    • Grossular Garnet View Profile

      Grossular garnets come in almost every color, even colorless, except blue. However, unlike other garnets, they’re rarely red or dark. Often light to medium in tone, they make brilliant, vibrant jewelry stones.

    • Gypsum View Profile

      Gypsum is one of the most abundant minerals, but gem-quality crystals are very rare. This material is extremely difficult to facet but very easy to carve into sculptures and decorative objects.

    • Hambergite View Profile

      Although hard enough for jewelry use, rare hambergite is a gem for collectors of the unusual. Its combination of high birefringence and very low specific gravity makes it easy to identify.

    • Haüyne View Profile

      One of the major mineral constituents of lapis lazuli, haüyne is rarely found and faceted as a distinct gemstone. Collectors prize its beautiful, deep blue color, although it can also occur in other hues.

    • Heliodor View Profile

      Heliodor is a member of the beryl family. This stone is known for its range of yellow colors?—?from pale yellow, greenish yellow, orange-yellow, to a deep golden orange. Heliodor can be faceted for jewelry use.

    • Hematite View Profile

      Hematite has a long history of use as a pigment. As a gemstone, this material is often carved but very rarely faceted. Despite its association with blood and the color red, hematite’s color can range from black and metallic gray to brownish red in thin slivers or crystals.

    • Hemimorphite View Profile

      Massive hemimorphite can have a very delicate, blue color. However, it’s seldom cut because not very much has appeared on the market.

    • Herderite View Profile

      Herderite is a rare collector’s gem, especially in larger sizes. It’s too soft for wear but attractive when cut and can show a wide range of colors.

    • Hessonite View Profile

      Also known as the “cinnamon stone,” hessonite is the yellow-orange to reddish orange variety of grossular garnet. Hessonites can make beautiful, inexpensive jewelry stones.

    • Hodgkinsonite View Profile

      Hodgkinsonite is one of the rarest of all collector gems. Cut stones are bright and richly colored, but the crystals were never abundant and still fewer had transparent areas. Fewer than 10 cut stones may exist.

    • Holtite View Profile

      This mineral was first noted in 1937 but was not described in detail until 1971. It has not yet been seen as a gem, but the high hardness would allow it be worn with no risk of scratching. Holtite is now considered to be a variety of dumortierite. The mineral comes from the one locality, and a cut stone would…

    • Howlite View Profile

      Howlite is always opaque in nodules; it is an abundant material and easy to acquire. Sometimes it contains black, threadlike impurities resembling the veining in turquoise. Howlite is frequently dyed blue to resemble turquoise, and it makes a most convincing simulant. The white material is relatively unexciting in appearance.

    • Huebnerite (Hübnerite) View Profile

      It should not be difficult to find numerous small faceted huebnerites among larger gemstone collections. Certainly ample material exists to cut a number of such gems, although they are rarely offered for sale.

    • Humite View Profile

      Clinohumites and chondrodites can make beautiful gemstones with rich colors, but these members of the humite mineral group are rare and little known to the gem buying public.

    • Hureaulite View Profile

      Hureaulite can show rich and lively pink, rose, and orange colors. However, this collector’s gem is rarely cut.

    • Hurlbutite View Profile

      Hurlbutite is an extremely rare mineral. Minute, colorless faceted stones have been cut from fragments.

    • Hydrogrossular Garnet View Profile

      Hydrogrossular differs from the other garnets in that it is never transparent. It ranges from translucent to opaque. The most common color is a blueish green, but they are also found in pink, white, and gray.

    • Idocrase (Vesuvianite) View Profile

      Idocrase?is one of the lesser known and more beautiful collector gems. When properly cut it is as bright and attractive as the grossular garnets, which it so strongly resembles. The complexities of its chemistry lead to a huge range in properties and colors. Cuttable material is known from Italy (brown and green), Quebec (pale green, bright yellow), New York…

    • Inderite View Profile

      Inderite is very soft and difficult to cut, and only a few stones have been cut by hobbyists. There is plenty of cuttable material in existence, and although the material comes from only a few localities, it is not considered a great rarity. The surface of cut stones may become white and cloudy after cutting; care must be taken in…

    • Iolite View Profile

      This stone, which represents one of the few relatively available and affordable blue stone options, is rapidly gaining in popularity. Arguably the gain is due more to exposure in mail order catalogs and on cable shopping channels than to promotion by traditional jewelry stores. Run of the mill stones often have a steely, inky or washed out blue color, but…

    • Jadeite View Profile

      One of two distinct minerals commonly known as jade, jadeite is the rarer and harder variety. Rich emerald-green jadeite, known as “imperial jade,” is also the most highly valued. However, durable jadeite can be found in many colors and is well-suited for both intricate carvings and cabochons.

    • Jasper View Profile

      Jasper is an opaque, solid or patterned variety of cryptocrystalline quartz. All types of jasper take an excellent polish, are trouble free to care for, and hardy enough for all jewelry uses. These stones are usually cabbed, sometimes carved, but seldom faceted.

    • Jeremejevite View Profile

      Jeremejevite would make a durable and attractive jewelry stone, but this rare mineral occurs even more rarely as facetable material. Recently, new sources have been discovered, but jeremejevite remains mainly a prized collector’s gem.

    • Jet View Profile

      Historically a popular black gem, jet has declined in popularity in modern times. Although jet jewelry has been long associated with mourning, this organic gem can be made into large, eye-catching beads, carvings, and even faceted pieces.

    • K?mmererite View Profile

      K?mmererite is a beautiful but rare mineral. It is micaceous; consequently, it is extraordinarily difficult to facet, which has severely limited the availability of cut gems. It would have to be handled with great care to avoid cleaving. A few clean, well-cut gems do Perfect basal cleavage; micaceous; laminae exist, nonetheless, a testimony to the perseverance of hobbyists!

    • Kornerupine View Profile

      Star kornerupine also has been found (Mogok, Myanmar) but is?very?rare. Kornerupine is generally dark brown or green and not very attractive due to the somber colors. The light green material from Kenya is much more appealing, but the sizes are always small (under 3 carats as a rule). The color is caused by traces of Fe, Cr. and…

    • Kurnakovite View Profile

      Kurnakovite is similar to inderite. Both are colorless and very uninteresting as faceted gems, which is why very few have been cut. The material is obtainable in large size, but softness and cleavage make cutting a real chore.

    • Kyanite View Profile

      Kyanite is very rare as a faceted gem, especially if free from inclusions and flaws. The material is extremely difficult to cut because of its perfect cleavage and the extreme variability in hardness in different directions in the same crystal. A few catseye kyanites are known to exist.

    • Labradorite View Profile

      An overview on Labradorite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Labradorite.

    • Langbeinite View Profile

      This material is nondescript and is cut solely as a curiosity. The gems are soft, pale colored, or colorless, with no fire. Few cut stones have been reported, but this may be due to a lack of interest rather than a lack of suitable rough.

    • Lapis Lazuli View Profile

      Lapis lazuli has been used since ancient times and remains popular today. This gemstone has been prized for its bright, blue color and used for inlay and intarsia as well as for pigments for cosmetics and paintings. Its contrast and eye appeal is irresistible. Today, jewelry is its predominant use.

    • Laserblue View Profile

      Laserblue is a rare, synthetic glass. It’s hard for glass but easy to chip.

    • Lawsonite View Profile

      Lawsonite is extremely rare as a faceted stone, seldom reported and generally unavailable.

    • Lazulite View Profile

      Lazulite makes a magnificent, deep blue gemstone. Although the mineral itself occurs widely, gem-quality rough is limited. Specimens are prized by collectors but can also be faceted with care or cut into cabochons for jewelry.

    • Legrandite View Profile

      Too soft for jewelry use, legrandite is a popular collector’s mineral because of its intense yellow color and aesthetic crystal groupings. Transparent, faceted gems are extremely rare.

    • Lepidolite View Profile

      Reddish granular or massive lepidolite is usually slabbed for ornamental purposes, such as ashtrays paperweights, and bookends. Faceted micas are virtually nonexistent because of the perfection of the cleavage and the variable hardness within crystals.

    • Leucite View Profile

      Although abundant in various lava rocks, leucite is extremely rare in gem-quality form and often has a milky or cloudy look. Faceted stones as well as well-shaped crystals are prized by collectors.

    • Linarite View Profile

      The blue color of linarite is magnificent, and it is a pity that large facetable rough has not been found. Clean areas of crystals are usually very small, and breakage in cutting due to the softness and cleavage of the mineral further complicates the salvaging of a large gem. This is a lovely collector item and an extremely rare one.…

    • Ludlamite View Profile

      Ludlamite has a lovely green color but is too soft for wear. Large crystals are known from only a few localities, and cut stones are extremely rare.

    • Magnesite View Profile

      Transparent, gem-quality magnesite is rare and beautiful, with colors ranging from colorless, white, and grey to a yellowish brown. This material is relatively difficult to cut. Faceted magnesite is rarely seen, but cabochons are more common.

    • Malachite View Profile

      Malachite is one of the most popular and beautiful of decorative stones. lts rich, patterned coloration in shades of green is unique among gems. Malachite can (with great care) be turned on a lathe to make goblets and candlesticks. It is extensively used to make cabochons, beads, boxes, and carvings of all kinds. Fibrous aggregates are packed masses of crystals,…

    • Malaia Garnet (Malaya Garnet) View Profile

      Malaia or malaya garnets are typically?light to dark, slightly pinkish orange, reddish orange, or yellowish orange in color. This a popular but rare garnet variety.

    • Mali Garnet View Profile

      One of the rarer varieties in the garnet group, Mali garnet is a blend of grossular and andradite. This gemstone has great brilliance and a high dispersion. Its colors range from almost tsavorite green to yellow-green, yellow, gold, and brown.

    • Mandarin Garnet View Profile

      While the colors of spessartite garnet gemstones cover a wide range of orange shades, the mandarin garnet is as pure orange as this variety can be.

    • Manganotantalite View Profile

      Manganotantalite makes a spectacular red brown gem that is a very rare collector’s item. Transparent material is light enough in color to allow lots of light to enter and leave a cut gem, and properly cut stones are lively and brilliant. Cutting is difficult because of the cleavage.

    • Marcasite View Profile

      Marcasite has a long history of use as a decorative and jewelry material. However, this brassy colored, metallic stone is quite brittle and seldom seen in modern jewelry.

    • Meliphanite View Profile

      Meliphanite is an extremely rare gemstone, and perhaps fewer than 5-10 faceted stones have ever been cut.

    • Mellite View Profile

      Mellite is a rare and unusual organic gemstone. Although soft and fragile, the “honey stone” is quite beautiful when cut.

    • Microcline View Profile

      Microcline is a variety of feldspar. The only microcline you are likely to encounter is amazonite.

    • Microlite View Profile

      Ranging in color from pale yellow to brown, reddish, and green, microlite cabochons are prized by collectors. Faceted gems are very beautiful but extremely rare.

    • Milarite View Profile

      Very rare milarite crystals can occur in green and yellow colors. Transparent material can yield small but pleasant looking faceted gems for collectors.

    • Millerite View Profile

      Millerite has a rich, attractive yellow color. Massive millerites can sometimes be cut into cabochons but are too soft for jewelry use. However, millerite crystals can also have a striking, hair-like appearance.

    • Mimetite View Profile

      Transparent mimetite crystals are extremely rare, and very few have ever been faceted. Cabochons with rich orange and yellow colors have been cut, but this material is too soft to wear as jewelry.

    • Moldavite View Profile

      Moldavite is a transparent to translucent olive to bottle green tektite, first found in 1787 at the Moldau River in Czechoslovakia. In general, tektites are natural glasses which are thought to have been created by melting of silica sand or rock by meteoric impact. A popular idea is that the melted material then was flung into the air and cooled…

    • Monazite View Profile

      Monazite may be partially metamict, with?N=1.79. Stones can be an attractive yellow or brown color but are usually small.

    • Moonstone View Profile

      Found all over the world, moonstone is prized for its blue to white adularescence — a billowy, moonlight-like sheen. Despite being somewhat fragile, this alternative June birthstone is a popular choice for jewelry.

    • Mordenite View Profile

      Compact, fibrous material is cabbed because the fibers provide a chatoyancy that sometimes yields weak catseyes. Coloration in the material is due to staining. This is a relatively unexciting mineral, and gems are equally uninspiring. Nevertheless, it has been reported as being cut for collectors.

    • Morganite View Profile

      A member of the beryl family, morganite shows a range of pink colors due to traces of manganese. Recently, this gemstone has seen an increase in popularity and value. Like most beryls, morganite makes an excellent jewelry stone.

    • Nambulite View Profile

      The color of Namibian nambulite is a striking orange-red, very intense, and not really like any other gem I have seen. Cut stones would be both extremely rare and quite magnificent, perhaps bearing some similarities to rhodonite.

    • Natrolite, Mesolite, Scolecite View Profile

      All three minerals are fibrous or elongated zeolite minerals. Faceted gems are almost always elongated emerald cuts or step-cuts.

    • Natural Glass View Profile

      Glass comes in several natural forms. All are used in jewelry.

    • Nepheline View Profile

      A variety called?elaeolite?is red, green, brown, or gray, massive or in crystals filled with minute inclusions. These inclusions produce a sheen that yields a catseye effect in cabochons. Facetable nepheline is a great rarity, and very few gems have been cut, always in?the 1-2 carat range or smaller.

    • Nephrite View Profile

      Nephrite is one of the two distinct minerals commonly known as jade. While nephrite doesn’t match the variety or the fine green colors found in jadeite, it’s even more durable as a gem material for jewelry and carved objects.

    • Neptunite View Profile

      An overview on Neptunite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Neptunite gems.

    • Niccolite (Nickeline) View Profile

      Niccolite’s delicate peachy red color and metallic luster looks beautiful when polished. Gem cutters typically carve this gem material into cabochons for jewelry use.

    • Obsidian View Profile

      Obsidian is an attractive material and displays a wide variety of appearances. Snowflake obsidian, with spherulites of cristobalite, is widely used in jewelry as beads and cabochons.?Apache tears,?which are cores of unaltered glass in nodular shells of decomposed obsidian, are popular among beginning hobbyists. Some of these have been faceted. Green, blue, and reddish (transparent) obsidians are quite…

    • Oligoclase View Profile

      Oligoclase gems are feldspars that are part of a solid state series between albite and anothrite.

    • Onyx View Profile

      For millennia, artisans have carved intricate cameos from black-and-white onyx. Solid black onyxes, faceted or cabbed, are also popular jewelry stones.

    • Opal View Profile

      Opals are in a class by themselves. As a species, opal is so unique it has its own descriptive vocabulary. More than any other gem, each opal is distinctly individual. Opals are also the most delicate gemstones commonly worn and require special care.

    • Oregon Sunstone View Profile

      What a nice coincidence that Lapidary Journal’s cover story for January, 1998 is on Oregon Sunstone! The article points out that prior to the finds of substantial amounts of facetable crystals in Oregon, most sunstone, much of which came from the Orient, was used for cabbing material, or in the production of pale yellow, low value, faceted goods. Such is…

    • Orthoclase View Profile

      Orthoclase is best known for moonstone. It is occasionally a transparent, faceted gem. Note that moonstone is occasionally a labradorite.

    • Padparadscha Sapphire View Profile

      Padparadscha is a light to medium toned pink-orange to orange-pink hue sapphire.

    • Painite View Profile

      Until 2001, only three painite crystals were known to exist. Since then, additional discoveries have produced many more specimens of this deep red gemstone, but facetable material remains very rare.

    • Palygorskite View Profile

      Although marketed as “angel skin opal,” “rock wood,” and “mountain leather,” palygorskite is neither opal, wood, nor leather. This unusual, parchment-like mineral can be cut into cabochons or carved.

    • Papagoite View Profile

      Cerulean blue papagoite crystals are too small for faceting. However, massive material mixed with quartz can be cabbed, while quartz crystals with papagoite inclusions make striking specimens for collectors.

    • Paraíba Tourmaline View Profile

      Discovered in 1989, paraíba tourmalines are among the world’s most prized gemstones. These rare gems are renowned for showing intense blue colors.

    • Pargasite View Profile

      The amphibole group is very large and extremely complex and contains numerous distinct species that vary subtly in chemistry and physical properties. Pargasite and ferropargasite are calcic amphiboles that generally are lumped together as?hornblende,even though up to 16 distinct minerals belong to this group, including actinolite. The identity of a specific amphibole is determined (ideally) by a chemical analysis…

    • Parisite View Profile

      An overview on Parisite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Parisite gemstones

    • Pearl View Profile

      Pearls are the only gems found within living creatures, both salt and freshwater mollusks. However, most pearls on the market today are cultivated, since they now occur extremely rarely in nature. While they require special care, pearls have an enduring appeal for jewelry, particularly as the traditional June birthstone.

    • Pectolite (Larimar) View Profile

      Fibrous pectolite has long been a curiosity for gem collectors. Compact material can make wonderful cabochons, and transparent crystals are rare and usually tiny. Larimar, blue pectolite from the Dominican Republic, has become a popular jewelry stone.

    • Pentlandite View Profile

      Pentlandite resembles other yellowish metallic minerals and is cut by collectors as a curiosity. The cut stones are quite attractive but too soft for hard wear.

    • Periclase View Profile

      Periclase has been synthesized in large masses in the laboratory, but these have no market significance. A faceted natural periclase would be a great rarity due to the extreme scarcity of suitable faceting rough. The expected size would be less than 1 carat.

    • Peridot View Profile

      The modern August birthstone, peridot has been prized as a jewelry stone since ancient times. Always green in color but with considerable variations, a peridot’s particular shade depends on its source.

    • Peristerite View Profile

      Peristerite is primarily oligoclase with a complex mixture of feldspars. It has iridescence that is either blue or white.

    • Perthite View Profile

      Perthite is a blend of microcline, albite and oligoclase. It is usually brown and white. May have gold or white iridescence.


    • Petalite View Profile

      Gem-quality, colorless, facetable petalite is rare and desirable to collectors. More so if the stones are large and free of inclusions.

    • Phenakite View Profile

      Rare phenakite is a very hard gem material suitable for jewelry. Usually colorless, cut stones have little fire but can be very bright.

    • Phosgenite View Profile

      Rare phosgenite typically shows pale colors. This material is difficult to cut and too soft for jewelry wear. However, its strong yellowish fluorescence appeals to collectors of unusual gemstones.

    • Phosphophyllite View Profile

      Renowned for its delicate blue-green shades, phosphophyllite’s beauty is enhanced by expert cutting. Unfortunately, this gem is quite fragile and difficult to cut, and few large facetable crystals exist. This makes phosphophyllite one of the more desirable — and expensive — collector’s gemstones.

    • Pollucite View Profile

      Colorless pollucites lack fire when cut and are usually small. However, this very rare cesium mineral is a coveted collector’s gem.

    • Powellite View Profile

      An overview on Powellite Jewelry and Gems. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Powellite gemstones.

    • Prehnite View Profile

      Prehnite is popular as a cabochon material among hobbyists because of its lovely green and blue-green to yellow colors. Completely transparent material is extremely rare but might be found in crystals from Asbestos, Quebec. Yellowish to greenish translucent material from Australia has been faceted and makes a striking cut gemstone with a rich color and interesting appearance, with a soft,…

    • Prosopite View Profile

      An overview on Prosopite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Prosopite gems.

    • Proteus View Profile

      A few almandine/pyrope garnets from the US will change with treatment into proteus garnets. In reflected light, they have a dark gray, metallic luster. In transmitted light, the dark red of the garnet shows through.

    • Proustite View Profile

      Proustite crystals have magnificent red colors and good brilliance. Although facetable, they’re too soft for jewelry use but highly desired as collector’s gems.

    • Pumpellyite View Profile

      The gem variety of pumpellyite, chlorastrolite, is best known from the Lake Superior district of the United States. It typically forms aggregates of packed fibers that are mixed with other minerals, resulting in a green and white pattern reminiscent of tortoise shell. The effect is best observed when the fibers are in radial clusters that yield circular markings.?

    • Purpurite View Profile

      This material is never transparent and is too soft for wear. However, cabochons are a magnificent purplish rose hues that have essentially no counterpart in the gem world. The material is available from Namibia in abundance and at low cost.

    • Pyrargyrite View Profile

      Deep red pyrargyrite occurs in a number of localities in well-formed but small crystals. However, facetable rough is rare and difficult to cut, which makes these gems prized collector’s items.

    • Pyrite View Profile

      Pyrite is more commonly known as?fool’s gold?and is familiar to nearly every mineral collector. It has been used for centuries both in jewelry and as an ore of iron. “Marcasite” stones in jewelry are frequently pyrite, since the latter is more stable. The material is very brittle and heat sensitive and requires some care in cutting. Cabochons are…

    • Pyrope Garnet View Profile

      Pyrope always occurs in series with other garnet species. Common, dark red garnets are a mixture of almandine and pyrope. Other mixtures also occur, in colors than can range from pale orange and pink to purple.

    • Pyrophyllite View Profile

      Pyrophyllite resembles talc in many ways and is indistinguishable by eye from soapstone. Chemical tests are needed to distinguish them. North Carolina material is often used in carvings, as is the material from China known as?agalmatolite.

    • Pyroxmangite View Profile

      Pyroxmangite grains are rare, seldom clean enough to facet, and difficult to cut. However, when cut, they are extremely beautiful and rich in color.

    • Pyrrhotite View Profile

      An overview on Pyrrhotite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Pyrrhotite gems.

    • Quartz View Profile

      An overview on Quartz Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of a Quartz mineral.

    • Quartzite View Profile

      Quartzite is a rock made up of tightly packed quartz grains. Sometimes, it contains small crystals that reflect light. This material is called aventurine.

    • Realgar View Profile

      Although this common arsenic sulfide mineral occurs worldwide, cut gem-quality realgar is extremely rare. This fine, red stone is very fragile, difficult to cut, and nearly impossible to wear.

    • Red Beryl View Profile

      Originally known as bixbite, red beryl is one of the rarest, most desirable, and most expensive gemstones. Most fine crystal specimens are zealously guarded by mineral collectors and are never faceted.

    • Rhodizite View Profile

      Rhodizite is tough enough to make an excellent jewelry stone. However, it’s quite a rare mineral. Faceted specimens are extremely rare and usually small and pale in color.

    • Rhodochrosite View Profile

      Beautiful rose red to pink rhodochrosite crystals are popular with mineral collectors. Although very soft, opaque material has been fashioned into beads, cabochons, and carvings, while very rare translucent to transparent material has been cut into faceted gems.

    • Rhodolite Garnet View Profile

      Rhodolites are purplish red garnets, a blend between almandine and pyrope in composition. These durable gems have become popular jewelry stones.

    • Rhodonite View Profile

      Ranging in color from pink to a fine rose red, rhodonite is a popular material for jewelry and decorative objects. Faceted rhodonite has an intense, beautiful color, but this material has a reputation as one of the most difficult gemstones to cut.

    • Rose Quartz View Profile

      A popular variety of colored quartz, rose quartz makes a durable jewelry stone. Although commonly cabbed and carved, more transparent material can also be faceted.

    • Rubellite View Profile

      Rubellites are tourmalines with reasonably saturated dark pink to red colors and medium to dark tones. They make excellent jewelry stones, and ruby-red colored specimens without orange or brown overtones are highly prized.

    • Ruby View Profile

      One of the most popular traditional jewelry stones, ruby is exceptionally durable. Its colors — always red — can reach vivid levels of saturation. Fine-quality rubies are some of the most expensive gemstones, with record prices over $1,000,000 per carat. However, rubies are also subjected to more treatments than almost any other gem.

    • Rutile View Profile

      Though perhaps best known as inclusions within other gems, rutile crystals themselves can be faceted or cabbed as curiosities for collectors. Synthetics can show a variety of colors and have even been used as diamond simulants.

    • Saltwater Pearl View Profile

      Although pearls are one of humanity’s most ancient gems, natural undersea beds of pearl-producing oysters now occur very rarely. Cultured saltwater pearls have become some of the most prized varieties of the traditional June birthstone.

    • Samarskite View Profile

      Samarskite is a very heavy material from which lustrous black to brownish cabochons are sometimes cut as curiosities. The material is rather brittle and is not intended for wear. It is rarely seen or displayed since black stones are not terribly attractive. Sometimes a stone is faceted in the nature of jet or marcasite.

    • Sanidine View Profile

      Sanidine is a mineral of volcanic rocks, rarely considered a gem. While occasionally brown or yellow, most examples are colorless.

    • Sapphire View Profile

      Few gems have held our attention over millennia as well as sapphire. The pure blue colors and excellent durability of this gem-quality member of the corundum family make for an exceptional gemstone. However, not all sapphires are blue. The September birthstone comes in every color of the rainbow. Except red.

    • Sapphirine View Profile

      Sapphirines are durable but very rare gemstones. Although named after their typically sapphire-blue color, these gems can occur in different hues and display pleochroism, too.

    • Sarcolite View Profile

      Sarcolite is an extremely rare mineral. Tiny, colorless to “fleshy pink” gems have been cut only from material from one locality: Mount Vesuvius.

    • Scapolite View Profile

      Although not well known, scapolite would make an attractive gem material for both jewelry enthusiasts and mineral collectors. It comes in a wide variety of colors and can show dramatic fluorescence and phenomenal effects.

    • Scheelite View Profile

      Large, faceted scheelites are among the most beautiful of all collector’s gemstones. They occur in many colors and fluoresce very brightly. If cut properly, scheelites can have tremendous fire.

    • Scorodite View Profile

      With lovely colors and intense pleochroism, faceted scorodite is a prize for collectors of the rare and unusual. However, it’s too soft for jewelry use.

    • Sellaite View Profile

      An overview on Sellaite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Sellaite gems.

    • Senarmontite View Profile

      Senarmontite is a rare mineral, restricted in occurrence to the presence of antimony sulfide ores. It is much too soft to wear, and the colors are usually nondescript. However, a faceted senarmontite in any size would be a great rarity.

    • Serandite View Profile

      To date, only one locality — Mont St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada — has produced facetable serandite. These extremely rare gems are very small and usually cut from less than transparent crystal fragments.

    • Serpentine View Profile

      Bowenite?is usually blue-green, yellow-green, or dark green and translucent; it is used for carving, knife handles, and so forth, and in jewelry.?Williamsite?contains dark octahedral crystals of chromite, and patches of white brucite (magnesium hydroxide).Ricolite?is a banded serpentine from Rico, New Mexico. Satelile?is a serpentine pseudomorph after asbestiform tremolite from Maryland and California, grayish to greenish…

    • Shattuckite View Profile

      Shattuckite is often mixed with quartz, and data often reported for properties may be erroneous. The cabochons are rich blue in color and very popular, but the material is not abundant and seldom seen on the market.

    • Shell (Sea Shells) View Profile

      Sea shells are one of our most ancient decorations. Our prehistoric ancestors used to string them into necklaces or hang them from cords as pendants. People still use them this way today.

    • Shortite View Profile

      Shortite is an exceedingly rare, not overly attractive mineral. Cut gems are among the rarest of all faceted stones. The material is a carbonate and is therefore fragile and soft.

    • Siderite View Profile

      Siderite is difficult to cut, but this light brown collector’s gem has yielded faceted pieces of great beauty.

    • Sillimanite View Profile

      The fibrolite from Burma and Sri Lanka is well known to gem collectors, and highly prized because of its great scarcity. Blue and greenish gems are lovely, although very difficult to cut. Chatoyant material sometimes yields catseye fibrolites, which are also very rare. The material from Kenya is just as attractive as Burmese fibrolite but seems to be somewhat smaller…

    • Simpsonite View Profile

      Simpsonite is an extremely rare gemstone. The material from Western Australia is bright yellow-orange and very beautiful. The mineral is hard and durable, with no cleavage, and could easily become a popular gemstone if it were more abundant. Gems over 1 carat should be considered extremely rare because clean material is a very small percentage of the limited supply of…

    • Sinhalite View Profile

      Long thought to be brown peridot, sinhalite was investigated in 1952 and found to be a new mineral. When cut, it is richly colored, bright, and attractive, and resembles citrine, peridot, or zircon. Large gems are very rare, but smaller stones are available in the marketplace. Some people have reported that it was easier at times to find a large…

    • Smaltite View Profile

      Smaltite is a collectors oddity, cut only as cabochons. It is seldom seen in collections since it is not especially distinctive, with a color resembling other metallic sulfides and arsenides.

    • Smithsonite View Profile

      Smithsonite occurs across the globe, but facetable crystals are extremely rare. These gems can show a wide range range of rich colors but are too soft for most jewelry use. However, high dispersion makes properly faceted smithsonites truly magnificent collector’s pieces.

    • Smoky Quartz View Profile

      Smoky quartz comes in every shade of brown, from a light tan to nearly black. This gem is known for its large sizes. If you want a really big gem on a very small budget, this could be your stone.

    • Sodalite View Profile

      Tough, easy to cut or carve, and rich in color, typically blue, sodalite is highly desired by hobbyists. Even stones that lack transparency make lovely faceted gems.

    • Sogdianite View Profile

      Sogdianite is an extremely rare mineral, suitable for cabochons. The color is striking and the material is hard enough to take a good polish. It is usually mixed with other minerals, so the SG and hardness are variable. Chemical analysis may be required to differentiate sogdianite from sugilite, but the latter is far more abundant.

    • Spessartite Garnet View Profile

      Usually orange to reddish brown, gem-quality spessartite or spessartine garnets are somewhat rare. However, as blends with other garnet species, they include popular mandarin and malaya garnets as well as color change gems. Spessartites make very durable jewelry stones.

    • Sphalerite View Profile

      Sphalerite occurs in many colors. With a dispersion over three times that of diamond and an adamantine luster, faceted specimens make beautiful additions to gem collections. However, they’re too soft for most jewelry uses.

    • Sphene (Titanite) View Profile

      Sphene, also known as titanite, has rich body colors, strong trichroism, and a fire that exceeds diamond. Although softer than many more popular gems, sphenes can make wonderful jewelry stones if set and maintained properly.

    • Spinel View Profile

      Spinel is an important gem historically because it has been confused with other gemstones, especially ruby. Large red gems such as the Black Princes Ruby and the Timur Ruby in the Crown Jewels of England have proven to be fine large red spinels (ruby spinel). In ancient times this material was known as?Balas ruby.

    • Spodumene View Profile

      Extraordinarily difficult to cut, spodumene has several colorful varieties, such as hiddenite and kunzite, highly coveted for jewelry.

    • Spurrite View Profile

      This attractive but rather rare mineral has seldom been cut as a gemstone. Polished slabs and rough material appeared in 1986 at a mineral show in substantial quantities, however. This material is Mexican, translucent to opaque, and medium to dark purple in color.

    • Star Sapphire View Profile

      Star sapphire is a type of sapphire that displays asterism, a star-like optical effect.

    • Staurolite View Profile

      Staurolite crystals in opaque cross shapes are popular gemstones. However, this material is very rarely transparent or facetable. These dark colored gems would make very durable jewelry pieces.

    • Stibiotantalite View Profile

      Rare stibiotantalite possesses an interesting mix of physical and optical properties that help distinguish it from other earth-toned gemstones. However, cut pieces over 2-3 carats rank among the rarest collector’s gems.

    • Stichtite View Profile

      Stichtite is not facetable, but the pink color is quite striking in cabochons. Cut stones are especially beautiful when there are other minerals present to add splashes of green and yellow. This material somewhat resembles a pink, granular material from the USSR referred to as canasite.

    • Stolzite View Profile

      Stolzite is a rare mineral; much rarer than wulfenite and usually occurs in very minute crystals. However, the Australian crystals may be up to 1 inch…

    • Strontianite View Profile

      Strontianite is a collector’s oddity, with no spectacular properties to recommend it. Colors are usually pale and there is little fire; in addition, the high birefringence doubles back facets and kills the brilliance of the stone. Cut strontianites are, however, decidedly uncommon and worth pursuing for their scarcity value.

    • Sugilite View Profile

      What is the color of sugilite? Grape jelly purple is a good description. More popular among consumers in Asia than North America, this is a very rare and beautiful opaque gem material with an unusual appearance.

    • Sulfur (Sulphur) View Profile

      Although sulfur is very abundant, facetable material is not. Sulfur is also enormously difficult to cut and almost impossible to wear, so faceted pieces have some scarcity value for collectors of unusual gems.

    • Sunstone View Profile

      Sunstones contain hematite or goethite inclusions, which reflect light in parallel orientation and create a sparkling sheen in gold to brown color shades. These gems may be oligoclase or labradorite in composition and are much admired as a cabochon material among hobbyists.

    • Taaffeite View Profile

      Taaffeite reacts to most gemological tests like mauve-colored spinel, but can be distinguished on the basis of its birefringence. Additional stones will undoubtedly be discovered in the future (generally misidentified as spinel) as collectors search for these rarities. Taaffeite is one of the rarest of mineral species, and surely among the very rarest and most desirable of all collector gemstones.…

    • Talc View Profile

      An overview on Talc Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Talc gemstones.

    • Tantalite View Profile

      Tantalite is too dark to be of use as a faceted gem but is sometimes cut as a collector curiosity, either faceted or in cabochons. These could be of any desired size.

    • Tanzanite (Zoisite) View Profile

      Tanzanite has had a rapid rise to prominence among jewelers and gem enthusiasts. Although naturally reddish brown, this transparent zoisite variety achieves a stable, beautiful blue to violet color with heat treatments.

    • Tektite View Profile

      Tektites were first discovered in 1787 in Czechoslovakia (then Moravia) near the River Moldau, hence the name?moldavite.?It has been argued that tektites originated as a result of violent explosive activity on the Moon and were thrown all the way to the Earth’s surface. Other scientists, currently in the majority, argue that tektites are of terrestrial origin. The issue…

    • Tephroite View Profile

      Tephroite is generally reddish brown and barely translucent. However, it takes a good polish and is massive enough to make good cabochons. Only the New Jersey and Australian localities seem to have provided such material, however. Faceted gems are unknown.

    • Thaumasite View Profile

      For a long time, rare thaumasite crystals — pale, fragile, and with little to no fire — were interesting primarily as mineral specimens. With the discovery of even rarer facetable material, cut thaumasites are now prized collector’s gems.

    • Thomsonite View Profile

      Thomsonite cabochons take a high polish but are somewhat brittle. These are especially lovely when a pinkish gray eyelike pattern is present, but such material is rare, Lintonite, from Michigan, is translucent and green and is sometimes mistaken for jade. A faceted thomsonite must be considered a great rarity.

    • Tiger's Eye View Profile

      Crocidolite, (blue asbestos,) alters to quartz, but while retaining its fibrous structure. This material is frequently stained by iron, giving it a golden brown color. We know this material as tigers eye. Unstained pieces, retaining their original blue color, are called Hawks Eye. There are also pieces with both colors.

    • Topaz View Profile

      The traditional November birthstone, topaz is a popular gem. Although frequently associated with golden yellow as well as blue, it can be found in a variety of colors, including colorless. The rarest are natural pink, red, and fine golden orange, sometimes with a pink tone.

    • Tourmaline View Profile

      Tourmaline is a name applied to a family of related minerals with widely varying properties. Tourmalines make very popular jewelry stones and come in an amazing range of colors, including multi-color zones.

    • Tremolite View Profile

      It is possible to misidentify tremolite, mistaking it for other amphiboles. Hexagonite is the rarest of the gem varieties of tremolite. If tremolite occurs in very tiny fibrous crystals, densely matted and interlocked, it is then known as?nephrite?(jade). Material containing more or less parallel fibers is somewhat chatoyant and yields weak catseyes. These are sometimes called?catseye jades,…

    • Triphylite (Tryphylite) View Profile

      Triphylite is one of the world’s rarest gems. The IGS had the extraordinary privilege of examining a discovery of facetable material from Brazil that showed previously unknown characteristics.

    • Tsavorite Garnet View Profile

      An emerald-green variety of grossular garnet, tsavorite is one of the most popular and expensive varieties of garnet. Suitable for any type of jewelry, tsavorites can be faceted into many designs.

    • Tugtupite View Profile

      Gem collectors prize tugtupite for its rich colors and intense reaction to ultraviolet light. Sporadically used in jewelry, clean, faceted tugtupites are great rarities.

    • Turquoise View Profile

      With striking sky blue to blue-green colors, turquoise has been prized by cultures all over the world for over 5,000 years. Today, the traditional December birthstone is favored by well-known modern jewelry designers as well as aficionados of American Southwestern and Native American jewelry.

    • Ulexite View Profile

      The fibrous material cuts interesting catseye cabochon gems, but they are curios only since they are much too soft and fragile for wear. The eye can be very strong, however. Sometimes ulexite occurs in seams, consisting of tightly packed parallel fibers. These are transparent along their length, and the packed aggregates act like an array of parallel glass fibers, displaying…

    • Uvarovite Garnet View Profile

      Always a dark, rich green color, uvarovite is one of the rarest members of the garnet family. Usually only seen as druzy on matrix, these crystals are seldom faceted.

    • Vanadinite View Profile

      A faceted vanadinite may be considered a tremendous rarity. Fewer than ten such gems may have been cut. This is unfortunate since the color is rich and?beautiful. Arizona crystals tend to be very small, but the ones from Morocco reach a size of several inches.

    • Variscite View Profile

      With beautiful green to blue-green colors and interesting patterns, variscite is a popular hobbyist material for cabochons.

    • V?yrynenite View Profile

      V?yrynenite is a very rare mineral. Crystals as well as faceted gemstones in reddish, pinkish, and orange colors are prized collector’s items.

    • Villiaumite View Profile

      Villiaumite is seldom discussed among collectors of rare gemstones because until recently no facetable material was known. The material from Los was reported in 1976 and has been cut into tiny gemstones of deep red color. Despite their small size, they are desirable because so few stones exist. The material from Quebec is larger but very scarce. Villiaumite is somewhat…

    • Vivianite View Profile

      Vivianite is so fragile and soft, any faceted gems would be difficult to handle safely, let alone wear. Nevertheless, its blue and green colors are so rich, a few stones (very few) have been cut.

    • Wardite View Profile

      Wardite is another of the many phosphates that have been cut by collectors. It is pale colored and not terribly attractive and is fairly soft and fragile. It is seen far more frequently as cabochons than as faceted stones.

    • Wavellite View Profile

      Wavellite is a very attractive mineral, well-known to collectors. Its radial aggregate crystal clusters can be cut into extremely interesting stones.

    • Weloganite View Profile

      An overview on Weloganite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Weloganite gems.

    • Whewellite View Profile

      Seldom seen even in mineral collections, whewellite is very rarely faceted. It’s mostly desired as a curiosity because of its scarcity, chemical composition, and unusual — sometimes organic — origins.

    • Wilkeite View Profile

      An overview on Wilkeite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Wilkeite gems.

    • Willemite View Profile

      Willemite is prized for its intense green fluorescence. Too fragile for jewelry use, faceted specimens are extremely rare.

    • Witherite View Profile

      Easy to cut but too soft and fragile for jewelry, a faceted witherite would make an unusual addition to a gem collection.

    • Wollastonite View Profile

      Interesting cabochons have been cut from wollastonite, especially from the fibrous material (which yields catseye stones) and the reddish material from Lake Superior’s lsle Royale. Wollastonite is strictly a curiosity and as a mineral is not especially rare. It resembles other white fibrous minerals, however, and is sometimes difficult to identify without using X—ray techniques. Facetable wollastonite is exceedingly rare,…

    • Wulfenite View Profile

      Although aesthetically magnificent wulfenite crystals are often too thin, soft, and sensitive to cut for jewelry, rare faceted pieces are greatly prized by collectors. The red of wulfenite, especially from the Red Cloud Mine in Arizona, is one of the richest colors in nature.

    • Xonotlite View Profile

      Xonotlite is strong and can take a good polish. However, these gems are extremely rare, both as a species and cut specimens.

    • Yugawaralite View Profile

      Yugawaralite is a very rare colorless to pinkish zeolite mineral. Little facetable material exists, so a cut yugawaralite would be a prized addition to a gem collection.

    • Zektzerite View Profile

      Small, cuttable crystals of very rare zektzerite are found only in a mountainous location in Washington state. Faceted pieces would make prized specimens for any collection of American gems.

    • Zincite View Profile

      Zincite is a very rare mineral, essentially restricted to one important locality. Well, terminated crystals were found only up to about 3-4 inches, but larger masses, weighing several pounds, have been encountered in the ore bodies. These are not especially interesting, but cabochons with red zincite, green willemite, and white calcite, peppered with black franklinite, are unique to the Franklin…

    • Zircon View Profile

      Don’t be confused by the name. Zircon is a natural, magnificent, and underrated gemstone that has been worn and treasured since ancient times. It’s not cubic zirconia. Available in many colors, zircon is one of the modern December birthstones and will look wonderful in jewelry if set carefully.

    • Zunyite View Profile

      An overview on Zunyite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Zunyite gemstone.