gemnomenclature

About Gemstones

A gemstone or gem is a piece of mineral crystal. They are used for jewelry design and creation. Gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or aesthetic value. Rarity is a key factor in determining the value of a gem. Gems used in jewelry are usually cut and polished.

Gemstones come in two basic classifications Precious and Semi-Precious. There are many hundreds of gemstones but most are never used in jewelry design. Most are collected by rock hounds and mineral collectors.

When selecting a gemstone for jewelry design, a person should consider the hardness factor as some stones fracture easily. This would make them less desirable in jewelry that may be worn by children or active people. Softer stones may be great for special occasion jewelry but a terrible idea for everyday use.

 

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  • Agate (Chalcedony) a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, mostly  chalcedony, characterized by bright bands of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they can be found with volcanic rocks and are most common in metamorphic rocks.
  • Alexandrite (Chrysoberyl) The gemstone chrysoberyl is an aluminate of beryllium, it is one of the color change gems found in nature. It shows as blue in daylight and reddish under an incandescent light.
  • Amber: Amber a fossilized type of tree resin , which has been sought because of its color, natural beauty, and sometimes the fossilized insects it contains. Has be considered valuable since antiquity to the present as a gemstone.
  • Amethyst is a quartz class mineral is a violet stone often used in jewelry. In ancient times the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness.  A semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February
  • Ametrine is also known as trystine and a trade name bolivianite, is a naturally occurring variety of quartz. It appears as a combination of amethyst and citrine with zones of purple and some yellows or oranges.
  • Apatite (Apatite) A classification for non silicate minerals.
  • Aquamarine is a Beryllium based mineral and is in the same class as Emerald and Chrysoberyl.
  • Aventurine (Chalcedony) A form of quartz it comes in green, orange, brown, yellow, blue, and even gray.
  • Benitoite (Benitoite) Benitoite is a rare blue barium titanium silicate mineral, Benitoite fluoresces under short wave ultraviolet light, appears as a bright blue to bluish white in color. The more rarely seen clear to white benitoite crystals fluoresce red under long-wave UV light.
  • Beryl (Beryl) Is a class of minerals some of the beryl gems are emeralds, heliodore, and morganite.
  • Bloodstone (Chalcedony)
  • Carnelian (Chalcedony) Has a waxy luster, and is sometimes translucent. It shows up in a wide variety of colors, but those most common are white to gray, grayish-blue.
  • Chalcedony: Has a waxy luster, and sometimes is translucent. Shows up in wide variety of colors, but those most common white to gray, grayish-blue.
  • Chrome Diopside: Gem quality chrome diopside which has traces of chromium, making it a deep translucent green color tone.
  • Chrysoberyl: Chrysoberyl is the third-hardest frequently encountered natural gemstone and lies at 8.5 on the hardness scale
  • Chrysoprase: An apple green mineral in the Chalcedony classification.
  • Chrysocolla: is a hydrated copper phyllosilicate mineral
  • Citrine (Quartz) Comes in a beautiful range of yellows and browns like many of the quartz class gems citrine is a spectacular jewelry stone.
  • Diamond: The hardest substance known to man, diamonds are found in all colors from white to black, with yellows, blues, pinks and reds demanding high prices for their rarity.
  • Emerald (Beryl) That special deep green stone is mesmerizing in jewelry. A member of the beryl class of gems it is a precious gemstone
  • Fluorite: A mineral of calcium fluoride make up it show up in many colors like purple, blue, green, yellow, pink, red, white, brown, and black and colorless.
  • Garnet: Many type of minerals are called garnet including almandine, andratite, grossularite, pyrope, spessartine, and uvarovite.
  • Heliotrope (Chalcedony) Also known as Bloodstone
  • Hematite: A form of Iron oxide, and has been used in jewelry since Victorian times
  • Hessonite (Grossularite) Also called Grossular is a calcium aluminium mineral species of the garnet gemstone group.
  • Hiddenite (Spodumene) Discovered in North Carolina This emerald green variety of spodumene is colored by chromium, just like emeralds. Not all green spodumene is colored with chromium.
  • Jadeite: is one of the two minerals called Jade, the other being Nephrite. Jadeite has a moh’s hardness of 6.5-7 and comes in a large variety of colors. The most popular is a deep imperial green with other popular colors emerging like lavender.
  • Jasper (Chalcedony) See Chalcedony
  • Kunzite (Spodumene) See Hiddenite
  • Labradorite an iridescent feldspar mineral discovered in Labrador, Canada
  • Lapis Lazuli (Lazurite)  Lapis for short, is a deep blue semi-precious gemstone that has been prized for centuries for its deep color. Lapis lazuli has been being mined in Afghanistan ever since the 8th century. Lapis beads have been found at burials in Mauritania.
  • Lolite (Cordierite)A variety iolite, that is transparent it is often used as a gemstone.
  • Malachite (Malachite) is a form of copper carbonate hydroxide mineral, It is an opaque, green banded mineral used in Jewelry for many years.
  • Moonstone; Many minerals are identified as moonstone including albite, microcline feldspar, orthoclase, and plagioclase.
  • Morganite (Beryl) a mineral composed of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate
  • Nephrite: One of two minerals called Jade. Nephrite is generally an olive opaque color and is high prized in Asia.
  • Onyx (Chalcedony) A banded variety of the oxide mineral chalcedony.  onyx has parallel linear bands agate has curved bands.
  • Opal (Opal) Precious gem quality opal shows deep interlacing of colors, and though it precious opal is composed of silica spheres.
  • Pearl: The only gem created inside an animal the mollusk to be specific it is a result of a piece of debris getting lodged in the soft tissue and the mollusk secretes a substance to cover it and stop the irritation to its tissue.
  • Peridot is a gem quality olivine which is a silicate mineral can be mistaken for emerald it comes in rich green tones.
  • Quartz: The second most abundant mineral on the Earth. Its crystal structure is a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with a chemical formula of SiO2. Has been considered a gemstone since ancient times
  • Rhodochrosite (Rhodochrosite) A soft stone only 3.5 harness a manganese carbonate mineral
  • Rhodolite (Almandine) in the Garnet Group of gem minerals.
  • Rose Quartz (Quartz) Has a pink tone from traces of titanium, iron or magnesium. It is often sought for jewelry and cherished for its soft pink tones.
  • Ruby (Corundum) A form of Aluminum Oxide is a corundum class gem, the color red comes from trace amounts of chromium it is a 9 on the mohs scale of hardness.  Only diamonds are harder
  • Sapphire is a Corundum mineral and is not to be confused with Carborundum it comes in most colors of the rainbow except red as a red sapphire is called a ruby. But blues, greens, yellows, oranges, and pinks are all in the sapphire declination.
  • Sard (Chalcedony) See Chalcedony
  • Sardonyx: See Onyx
  • Sodalite (Sodalite): An ornamental gemstone crystals are usually transparent to translucent.
  • Spinel (Spinel) Made of magnesium aluminum it ranges in color and is found in these colors in quantity red, blue, green, yellow, brown, or black.
  • Sugilite: also known as lavulite, is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral.
  • Sunstone (Oligoclase Feldspar) Under certain light conditions it appears spangled. It was used by vikings for navigation in ancient times.
  • Tanzanite (Zoisite) A violet form of the mineral Zoisite comes in many rich blue and violet tones and is popular in fine jewelry
  • Titanite (Sphene) Contains titanium it comes in many colors brown, gray, yellow, green, or red
  • Topaz (Topaz) A silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine is it found naturally in many colors. wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (very rare), reddish-yellow
  • Tourmaline (Tourmaline) schorl and tourmaline were the same mineral it comes in a number of colors and is common in jewelry designs.
  • Tsavorite (Grossularite) Also called Grossular is a calciumaluminium mineral species of the garnet gemstone group
  • Turquoise (Turquoise) Turquoise is an opaque, blue-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem for thousands of years owing to its unique hue.
  • Zircon (Zircon): Not to be confused with Cubic Zirconia, zircon in made of the mineral zirconium silicate. It appears in jewelry in a number of colors including yellow, golden, red, brown, blue, and green.