Gem Stones Description
Courtesy of gemselect.com
Amethyst is the most precious gemstone within the quartz group. Amethyst ranges in color from pale lilac to deep reddish-purple. Different localities can produce a unique amethyst to that particular region or even to that particular mine. It is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries. Very dark amethyst, mostly in small sizes, is also mined in Australia.
Color: the colour range varies from pale lilac to deep purple.
Onyx is the black form of chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline form of quartz that occurs in bands of different colors. Onyx refers to a black and white banded variety of Agate and brown varieties are named Sardonyx. It is composed of relatively straight, parallel layers of different colors. Some onyx is natural but much is produced by the staining of agate. It is available in the regions of USA, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Africa.
Topaz is an important gem due to its hardness and high refractive index. Topaz comes in many colors and blue topaz is especially popular. Topaz is a fluorosilicate and can contain trace elements that cause different colours within the Topaz. Origin of name: from Greek Topazion, a Red Sea Island often covered in mist. Topaz wasn't really known about before the classical era, in the Middle Ages the name topaz was used to refer to any yellow gemstone. Topaz is found in the regions of Russia, Siberia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Africa and China, Japan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, and in the United States.
Color: Varies in a broad range of: yellow, blue, pink, peach, gold, green, red, and brown.
Aquamarine is best known for its breathtaking range of blue colors and belongs to the same family as emerald. Cat's eye aquamarine is quite rare. Origin of name Latin "aqua"meaning water and "mar"sea. Legend tells us that Mermaids tails were made of aquamarine. The more intense the colour of an Aquamarine, the higher its value.The principle supply of aquamarine stones comes from Brazil, Russia, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan
Colour:pale blue to light greenish
Named after the French word for lemon, citrine is yellow, gold or orange-brown transparent quartz. Citrine is a form of quartz with ferric iron impurities and is rarely found naturally. Most commercial citrine is in fact heat treated amethyst or smoky quartz. Brazil is the leading producer of naturally mined citrine.
Colour: the different shades range from yellow, gold, orange brown shades of transparent quartz.
Labradorite is a member of the plagioclase feldspar group and displays a distinctive schiller in lustrous metallic tints. It is most often found in mafic igneous rocks.
Colors vary from iridescent blue, green, red, orange, and yellow. Labradorite is so well known for these spectacular displays of color that the phenomenon is known as “labradorescence.”
Lapis lazuli has been used for thousands of years in jewelry and ornamental objects. The unique deep blue color has never lost its attraction. Lapis lazuli is an opaque to translucent precious gemstone composed mainly of lazurite and calcite. Originally the name came from the Persian "lazhward", which was the name of a place in modern Turkestan known for its deposits of lapis lazuli (“stone of lazhward”). The color is intense blue, dusted with small flecks of golden pyrite.
Colour: Deep azure blue to light blue, bluish green
Malachite is copper carbonate with distinctive green veining. Though not a particularly hard stone, it takes an excellent polish. This opaque, green banded mineral crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses, in fractures and spaces, deep underground, where the water table and hydrothermal fluids provide the means for chemical precipitation.
More than any other gem, each opal is unique. No other stone has such rich and varied folklore. Opals are also the most delicate gems commonly worn. Opal is a type of quartz. Origin of name: from Sanskrit (Sanskrit is a classical Indian language) upala, meaning precious stone. They are luminous and iridescent with inclusions of many colors. Opals are found in numerous countries, however by far Australia is the main source of opals, almost ninety-five per cent of all fine opals come from the dry and remote outback deserts.
Colour: White, black, red, orange, most of the full spectrum, colourless, iridescent. Very infrequently of a singular colour.
Hardness: 5.5- 6.5
Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series. It is an idiochromatic gem, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, rather than impurities. Origin of name either the Arabic word faridat meaning "gem" or the French word peritot meaning "unclear". Peridot is one of the few gem stones that come in only one color. The amount of iron the crystal structure contains determines the depth of green. It is found in the USA, Myanmar, Egypt, China, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Colour: varies from yellow-green to olive to brownish green.
Hardness: 6.5 - 7
A combination of orthoclase and albite arranged in layers cause the lovely sheen. Despite the name, rainbow moonstone is actually a variety of labradorite with a multicolored adularescence. Its uniqueness and mportance as a gemstone arises because of adularescence, a floating light effect and sheen, often compared to the light of the moon. This phenomena results from alternating layers of two kinds of feldspar, which cause light to scatter. Moonstone specimens commonly exhibit chatoyancy (a mobile, wavering striped reflection), and sometimes display a strong cat's eye.
Colour: most desirable colour of moonstone is blue, but it also occurs in grey, white, pink, green and brown.
Hardness: 6 to 6.5
The unique soft pink color of rose quartz is thought to be derived from tiny traces of titanium. Rose quartz crystals tend to be cloudy, which deepens its color. Quartz is the second most common mineral in the Earth's crust and commonly found in all types of geological environment. There are 49 variety's, a number of which are gemstones, some of which are very beautiful and very rare.
Colour: colourless, pink, white, gray, yellow to brown to black, violet
Smoky quartz is fast becoming a designer favorite for its earthy tone and tribal look. It is one of the few gemstones that is gray or brown. Smokyblue b quartz is the grey, translucent variety of quartz. It ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to a brownish-gray crystal that is almost opaque. Some can also be black. Like other quartz gems, it is silicone dioxide crystal. The smoky color results from free silicon, formed from the silicon dioxide by natural irradiation.
Tiger's eye is a type of opaque macrocrystalline quartz with a fibrous structure. It typically displays chatoyant stripes, because structural fibers are crooked or bent. It is a form of quartz that acquires fine golden lustre when polished. Origin of name: the stone resembles the eye of a tiger. Tigers eye is found in regions of South Africa and Western Australia.