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Agate to Zircon

Alabaster

Alabaster is a name used for gypsum and calcite but has also been used to indicate selenite. These minerals are easily worked due to their low hardness and have been used to craft all sort of things from since antiquity. Think of sculptures, household items and, of...

Almandine

Almandine Garnet Ring. These deep purplish-red garnets were often featured in Victorian Jewelry. When they are cut en cabochon they are referred to as "carbuncles." [table id=62 responsive=collapse...

Biwa Pearl

Biwa pearls are a cultured pearl produced in a freshwater mussel native to Lake Biwa, Japan. Considered to be a non-nucleated pearl, they are produced by introducing 10 to 20 bits of mantle tissue from another mussel into incisions in the host mantle. The...

Carnelian

Carnelian Intaglio Ring. Carnelian (or cornelian) is the translucent red variety of chalcedony which in its turn is a form of cryptocrystalline quartz. It's been known and used since antiquity when it was sourced from the surfaces of the Egyptian and...

Demantoid

Antique Demantoid and Diamond Earrings. At the end of the reign of Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia, and the beginning of the reign of Tsar Alexander II - after whom the mineral alexandrite was named - a new garnet variety was discovered in the Ural...

Diamond

Asscher-Cut Diamond Ring. Diamond is a gemstone composed of chemically pure carbon, with a cubic crystal structure and manifesting extreme hardness resulting from the incredibly strong chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Diamonds are valued for their brilliance,...

Feldspar

Feldspar var. Moonstone. Feldspar is a gem group that includes microcline, orthoclase, and plagioclase varieties. Each variety varies as to crystal structure, refractive index, color and other specifics. Gemstones include: amazonite, moonstone,...

Obsidian

Obsidian. Obsidian is a naturally occurring glass of volcanic origin, having an amorphous structure due to rapid cooling. It can be gray to black and often displays splotchy white patches or "snowflakes". Obsidian can also be brown to orange or red and have bands or a...

Pearl

There were formerly two pearls, the largest that had been ever seen in the whole world: Cleopatra, the last of the queens of Egypt, was in possession of them both, they having come to her by descent from the kings of the East. The Girl with...

Peridot

Antique Rose-Cut Diamond and Peridot Pendant/Brooch. The golden green gemstone peridot is the gem variety of the mineral forsterite. Long valued for its exceptional color, peridot has been used in jewelry since antiquity. From the mid 1800s, peridot was a favored...

Prase

A leek green colored cryptocrystalline quartz aggregate with actinolite inclusions. Usually darker and less saturated than chrysoprase. In Greek the word Prason means leek, hence the name. Dyed green agate is sometimes misrepresented as prase. Sources Gem Reference...

Prasiolite

Prasiolite is the green variety of Quartz. The material is extremely rare in nature and is only found in a handful of deposits. The gem gets its name from the Greek prason meaning "leek" and lithos meaning "stone." Most Prasiolite on the market has been created...

Pyrite

Pyrite is an opaque yellow mineral with a metallic luster. Its cubic crystal system is evident in its outward appearance and specimens are often cube-shaped. Pyrite. [table id=177 responsive=collapse...

Pyrope

Bohemian Garnet Earrings. The Czech Republic; for over 600 years the so-called 'Bohemian Garnets' have formed the bulk of pyropes used in jewellery. Especially in Victorian times, these garnets were coveted and often covered entire jewelry items. These stones were...

Quahog

A quahog is a bivalve clam native to the eastern seaboard of the United States. Used mostly as a food source, these clams occasionally produce a pearl-like gem in a beautiful natural purple color. Used as "wampum" by Native Americans in that region, they are still...

Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with a transparent to translucent rose-pink color with undulating bands of white, gray or brown. The name derives from the Greek rhodon, meaning rose, and lithos, meaning stone. Most often it is cut en cabochon although...

Rhodonite

Rhodonite is a translucent to opaque pink to reddish color gemstone with patches or veins of black throughout. Usually cut en cabochon or drilled for beads. The name is derived from the Greek rhodon meaning rose. Gemological Information For Rhodonite Color:...

Rock Crystal

Natural Color-Change Sapphire, Rock Crystal and Diamond Pendant. The Greek word krystallos meaning "ice", provides the basis for the origin of the name Rock Crystal. This transparent colorless form of quartz conjures up the imagery of frozen rock and was so dubbed in...

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz gets its name from its rosy pink color. Because of its massive turbid crackled nature rose quartz is often carved or typically cut en cabochon or as beads. Only very large, clear pieces can be faceted. Rose quartz can be subject to fading. Rose Quartz...

Sard

Sard is a translucent to semi-transparent variety of chalcedony. The colors are similar to carnelian but they are darker and less saturated in red-brown to brown or dark orange. Carved Sard Indian Chief Pendant. Sources Gem Reference Guide, Los Angeles: Gemological...

Seed Pearl

Seed pearls are very small; less than a one-quarter grain in weight, smaller than 2mm in size and off-round in shape. Historically they occurred naturally and were used as a decorative border, as tiny accents in small patterns, or in larger clusters woven together to...

Serpentine

Serpentine is not a single crystal gem, but a rock-forming mineral group. The name may derive from the Latin serpentinus due to its scaly appearance and green color. Serpentine is often carved as objets d'art or made into beads. It has been used to imitate nephrite....

Shale

A fissile (easy to split) sedimentary silicate-rich rock with particles mostly in the silt and clay size. The color is usually a tone of gray but can be brown, red or green to black. Shale was used from Neolithic times for tools, ornaments, and other purposes....

Tortoise Shell

Tortoise Shell Locket and Chain. Tortoise shell is the name for the outer blades covering the upper shell of the Hawksbill turtle and the Loggerhead turtle. Tortoise shell has been valued for use in jewelry since Roman times. Combs, bracelets, earrings, cameos and...