Abalone is a beautiful shell showing a play of bright blues, black, brown and Turquoise across a polished surface. Abalone shells are the outer housing, or exoskeleton of sea-creatures. The highly iridescent inner nacre layer of the shell of abalone has traditionally been used as a decorative item, in jewelry, buttons and as inlay in furniture and in musical instruments such as guitars. In New Zealand, the shell is called paua in the Maori language. The flesh of the abalone is considered a delicious delicacy.
Agate is a banded, concentric shell-like Chalcedony, sometimes containing Opal. The bands can be multicolored or of the same color. Originally reported from Dirillo river (Achates river), Acate, Ragusa Province, Sicily, Italy.
Amber is fossilized tree resin which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is a gemstone formed through the fossilization of tree resin. Amber resin is not the same as typical tree sap. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects.
Ammolite is an Opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of North America. It is made of the fossilized shells of Ammonites, which in turn are composed primarily of aragonite, the same mineral contained in nacre, with a microstructure inherited from the shell. It is one of few biogenic gemstones.
Ammonites are perhaps the most widely known fossil, they are typically ribbed spiral-form shell fossils ranging from small to very large. These creatures lived in the seas between 240 - 65 million years ago, when they became extinct along with the dinosaurs.
Amrthyst is a violet variety of quartz. Its name comes from the ancient Greek reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. Amethyst is the traditional birthstone of Feburary.
Aventurine is a form of quartz, characterized by its translucency and the presence of mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening effect. The most common color of Aventurine is green, but it may also be orange, brown, yellow, blue, or gray.
Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of Copper ore deposits, mainly found in Chessy Copper mines. This gemstone is typically found as tabular to prismatic crystals of a deep "azure blue" color.
Black Agate is usually banded, with black and white colors, its shape is concentric shell-like Chalcedony, sometimes containing Opal. The bands can be multicolored or of the same color. Originally reported from Dirillo river (Achates river), Acate, Ragusa Province, Sicily, Italy.
Blue Lace Agate is a variety of banded Chalcedony, a mineral of the Quartz family. It is usually banded in layers of predominantly light blue, striped with brighter blues, whites, and even brown threads of color.
Blue Topaz is naturally occurring and blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated to produce a more desired darker blue.
Chalcedony is part of the large gemstone family that includes Agate, Jasper, Onyx, Chrysoprase and Carnelian. Chalcedony designates aggregates of parallel grown fibrous quartz crystals of microscopic and sub-microscopic size. They often show concentric banding perpendicular to the fiber orientation and are then called Agate.
Chrysoprase is a gemstone variety of Chalcedony that contains small quantities of nickel. Its color is normally apple-green, but varies to deep green. Unlike an emerald which gets its color from traces of chromium, the color of Chrysoprase is due to the small traces of nickel inside.
Clear Quartz is a natural clear crystal form of silicon dioxide and is known by some as the master healer. It's ordinary yet extraordinary, colorful and clear, Clear Quartz crystals are the most common and abundant in the world, comprising the largest and most diverse family in the mineral kingdom.
Copper though not a gemstone or precious metal, is an ancient metal. Ornaments, coins, and statues have been fashioned from Copper since ancient times. Its distinct color and availability throughout history have afforded it great significance.
Coral is not a gemstone from mineral origin but rather an organic form of gemstone. Coral is organic, formed by living organisms. When the Coral polyps die, the hardened skeleton remains, and this material is what is used as a Gemstone.
The hard skeleton of red coral branches is naturally matte, but can be polished to a glassy shine. It exhibits a range of warm reddish pink colors from pale pink to deep red. Owing to its intense and permanent coloration and glossiness, precious coral skeletons have been harvested since antiquity for decorative use. Coral jewellery has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burial sites and
The two precious gemstones derived from biologigal sources, coral and pearl, although drastically different in appearance, are chemically very similar. Both are mostly calcium carbonate deposited by marine invertebrates.
Drusy is tiny quartz crystals that form within or on the surface of other stones. The tiny crystals cause a glittering effect over the colorful mineral. When ground water carrying dissolved silica is forced into a porous area of the rock, rapid cooling often occurs, causing the formation of tiny crystals on the surfaces or in cavities of the rock. The clear crystals often form on top of previously deposited minerals and it often has a velvety and soft appearance. This is called a drusy.
Eudialyte is a rare, red silicate mineral, which forms in alkaline igneous rocks. Transparent to translucent red to reddish brown Eudialyte can occur as crystals or masses. Well-formed crystals are very rare, but faceted stones are very popular because of their attractive coloring.
Garnets are groups of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age. They are a combination of several closely related minerals that bond together to form the Garnet. Garnet is the traditional birthstone of January.
Kyanite the Greek word meaning blue, which is the common color of this gemstone. It is one of the most attractive blue minerals in nature and is commonly found in aluminum-rich rock.
Labradorite is an unusual mineral. It's a mineral of the plagioclase feldspar group, found in many igneous rocks. It can display a beautiful iridescent play of colors, caused by internal fractures in the mineral that reflect light back and forth, dispersing it into different colors.
Malachite is a Copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. Except for its vibrant green color, the properties of Malachite are similar to those of Agates, it is also often found as clusters of radiating Crystals from Copper deposits around limestone.
Meteorite is a solid piece of debris which originated in outer space and survived its impact with the Earth's surface. Most meteorites are stony meteorites that are composed mostly of silicate minerals that appear to have been melted while they were free-floating objects in space.
Moonstone is a variety of the feldspar-group mineral. During formation, these different types of minerals separate into alternating layers. When light falls between these thin layers it is scattered causing the light to billow across the gem making the moon glow appearance it is well named for.
Mother of Pearl is an iridescent layer of material which forms the shell lining of many mollusks. Pearl oysters and abalone, living organisms, are both sources of mother of pearl. Mollusks create mother of pearl to protect themselves. In addition to forming part of the shell, mother of pearl also insulates mollusks from bacterial infection, and reduces irritation from organic material which drifts into the shell. Irregularities often form in the mother of pearl as a result of irritation. If the irritation is extensive enough, the mollusk will form a large bump, prized in the human world as a pearl.
Avoid storing mother of pearl jewelry with other jewelry that could scratch it, wearing away its luminous nacre.
Nautilus is a similar organism as the Ammonite. Both are aquatic molluscs with spiral shells. Ammonites, however, have been extinct since the dinosaurs, some 65 million years ago, while the nautilus still roams the seas today.
Onyx has several bands of Chalcedony combined in alternating colors. It consists of fine inter-growths of silica minerals Quartz and moganite. Its bands are parallel to one another, as opposed to the more random banding that often occurs in Agates.
Opal is as a mineraloid, unlike the crystal forms of silica found in minerals, the Opal has small spheres of silica. These small spheres of silica cause interference and refraction manifestations, which are responsible for the fantastic play of colors that this gemstone sparkles with.
Orthocerus are organic fossils that date to over 450 million years ago. The fossil is an ancestor of the squid family. Orthocerus are usually found imbedded into limestone and then they are worked and polished into jewelry.
Pearls are perhaps the best-loved gems of all time. Pearls are organic and formed by living organisms. They are generally formed within the soft tissue layer of mollusks such as oysters and mussels. Because Pearls are organic they come in a wide variety of colors. The most familiar are white and cream, but the palette of colors extends to every hue. Pearl is the June birthstone.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive-green. The Peridot is a very old gemstone, it has been found in Egyptian jewelry dated as far back as the early 2nd millennium B.C. Peridot is the August birthstone.
Rhodochrosite are one of the prettiest and most desirable of all minerals. It has deep red and hot pink crystals that are extremely sought after. The excellent crystal structures of the Rhodochrosite command extremely high prices. Sources of Rhodochrosite include Peru, Colorado, South Africa and Argentina.
Rose Quartz is one of the many quartz varieties used as a gem material. It gets its name from its pink color, which ranges from very light to medium-dark. Rose Quartz is usually found in massive form which lacks a tight quartz structure, making the smaller deeper color specimens quite rare. Metaphyiscal lore claims that rose quartz is a stone of unconditional love. Calming and reassuring, it gives one an appreciation and love of self and others; it opens the door to sensitivity and strengthens empathy. It restores trust and creates inner harmony.
Shells are organic minerals composed of calcium carbonate polished and shaped into jewelry. Throughout history Shells of many types and from many different kinds of animals have been popular for making jewelry. The unique design of each Shell is mainly dependent on the diet of the animal the Shell covers.
Silver is a chemical element which is a soft, white, lustrous metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite.
Smoky Quartz is a browish-grey, translucent variety of quartz. It ranges in clarity from almost complete transparency to a brownish-gray crystal. Like other quartz gems, it is a silicon dioxide crystal. The smoky color is caused by irradiation from traces of aluminum built into the crystal as the gem was formed millions of years ago.
Tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone. Formed from the mineral zoisite, showing blue to violet and purple varieties of this mineral. Tanzanite is only mined in one area of the world, the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, which is where it gets its name.
Tiger Eye is a member of the quartz family. Tiger Eye is a pseudomorphc type of compact Quartz that is actually a type of blue asbestos and silica which is naturally found in the Quartz. This metamorphic rock produces colors that are golden to red-brown in color. If the gemstone has not completely silicified, it makes a rarer blue color, called Hawk’s eye.
Drusy quartz are beautiful on their own, but they are often enhanced in a chemical process in which the Drusy crystals are exposed in a gaseous environment that contains a metal like titanium. During the process the metal bonds on a molecular level with the mineral resulting in a spectacular rainbow of colors. By varying the metals and process parameters a host of colors and shades can be created.
Turquoise is a sky-blue or green translucent to opaque basic aluminium phosphate that contains copper. In nature, it occurs in the whole range of hues from sky blue to grey-green, and it is mostly found in places where there is a high concentration of copper in the soil.
Volcanic Obsidian is an igneous rock that forms when molten lava cools so rapidly that atoms are unable to arrange themselves into a crystalline structure. While the Obsidian is mineral-like, it is not considered to be a true mineral because its composition is too complex and is lacking the crystalline structure of a mineral. This lacking of a crystalline structure however produces a beautiful glassy texture in the resulting rock.