Gemstone Index

Gemstone Index: Table of Contents

Gemstone Index Table of Contents: Learn more information about Agate, Amazonite, Amethyst...

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Gemstone Index: Emerald

Emerald is well-known as the birthstone for May. Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl, colored green by trace amounts of chromium. In the United States, emeralds colored by vanadium are recognized as true emeralds, but in Europe, vanadium emeralds (sometimes called "Columbian Emeralds") are simply called "green beryl"....

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Gemstone Index: Tourmaline

The official state gemstone of Maine, tourmaline is a complex crystalline silicate containing aluminum, boron and other elements. Its name derives from the Sinhalese (Sri Lankan) word tura mali, meaning "stone of mixed colors," and tourmaline is indeed found in blue (indicolite), yellow, pink to red (rubellite), black (schorl), green, dravite (brown) and clear (achroite) varieties. This semiprecious gemstone is piezoelectric (when it's heated, rubbed or pressurized the crystal gives it an electric charge). It is also pleochroic...

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Gemstone Index: Pearls

Pearls are June's most-popular birthstone, and are a favorite in bridal jewelry and couture. Cultured freshwater pearl beads come in several shapes and colors, making it easy to add elegance to a wide variety of jewelry designs. Pearls are organic gemstones, formed when a foreign object (like a tiny stone) makes its way into an oyster (or similar mollusk's) shell. Over time, the mollusk covers the intruding object with 1,000's of layers of nacre. "Cultured" pearls are pearls in which people, rather than nature, implant the foreign particle, and care for the mollusks at a pearl farm while the pearls develop. Nearly all pearls available today are...

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Gemstone Index: Quartz

Quartz gemstone beads and pendants from Rings & Things include multicolor rutilated quartz, clear rock crystal quartz, rose quartz, smoky quartz, tourmalated quartz, druzy quartz and more. Members of this semiprecious gemstone family share the same chemical composition (silicon dioxide) and similar physical properties. All semiprecious beads described here are types of macrocrystalline quartz (crystals recognizable with the naked eye), just like citrine and amethyst. Quartz is said to be the universal healing stone. Quartz crystals are believed to promote...

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Gemstone Index: Opal

Opal beads have the same basic chemical composition as quartz, but usually contain 6 - 10% water. Because of this, opal jewelry components should be protected from heat and strong light. Make sure to keep your opal beads away from detergents, ultrasonic cleaners, metal polish, acids and strong solvents. Common opal (sometimes called opalite) does not have the flashes of light found in precious opal, but both are hydrated amorphous Silicon Dioxide. Birthstones for October include Opal, Rose Zircon and Pink Tourmaline. Bello Opal...

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Gemstone Index: Jasper

Jasper is a semiprecious chalcedony (or microcrystalline quartz), and is usually red, brown or green. Its patterns are much less regular and defined than agate, the other chalcedony variety. Another difference between the two is that jaspers are generally opaque, while agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands). This distinction stems from the stones' composition. Jasper contains microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz and agate has microscopic "fibers" of crystalline quartz. Although the term jasper is often applied to unidentified stones, true jaspers...

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Gemstone Index: Rhyolite

Rhyolite gemstone beads can look very similar to jaspers, and the popular green variety of rhyolite is sometimes called rainforest jasper. Similarly, the type of rhyolite that displays red, yellow, brown, and pinkish spots is descriptively called leopardskin jasper. Rhyolites, igneous rock chemically identical to granite, have beautifully markings which...

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Gemstone Index: Amazonite

Amazonite is a rare blue-green variety of microcline (a feldspar mineral) used as a semiprecious stone. Its brilliant color was once thought to be caused by copper, but now is attributed to... Amazonite is an opaque stone, often found with white, yellow or gray inclusions and a silky luster or silvery sheen. Even when polished, amazonite beads...

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Gemstone Index: Amethyst

Amethyst is the most highly prized variety of quartz and if not for its widespread availability, would be very expensive. With its luscious color, it is the official birthstone for February and one of our best-selling gemstones. Amethyst is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses, but the crystals are generally not well developed, so they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Though geodes are the best place to find amethysts, ...

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Gemstone Index: Agate

No gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate. This distinct and dramatically banded variety of chalcedony is composed of quartz layers. This composition varies greatly and can be of many colors. The other chalcedony family, jasper, has less-regular patterns and is less defined than the agates. Another difference between the two is that agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands), while jaspers are generally opaque. This distinction stems from agate being composed of microscopic "fibers" of crystalline quartz while jasper is made of microscopic "grains" of crystalline quartz. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock. As a result, agate is often found as a round nodule with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. Find out about individual types of agate below, plus agate's metaphysical properties.

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