Stone Glossary

A

Abalone

Iridescent mother of pearl from a salt water mollusk. Each abalone shell has its own unique pattern and color mix. Features swirling, organic lines in iridescent multi colors of green, blue, brown, white, red and pink. Extremely durable.

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Agate (Blue Lace)

A rare type of agate consisting of silicate mineral, which can be found on the moon and in meteorites. Features lacy, wavy bands in a range of light blue-violet and soft periwinkle.

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Agate (Botswana)

A type of agate originating from Botswana. Features translucent and semi-opaque bands. Banded colors of white, taupe-purple, peach and grey.

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African Turquoise

Technically a type of jasper, a semi-precious stone. African turquoise is opaque green with a rich brown matrix.

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Amazonite

Named after the Amazon river due to its color. This semi-precious stone can range from translucent to opaque, soft pastel to vibrant blue-green aqua. Can have white lines/streaks throughout.

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Amber

A fossilized tree resin, amber has been valued since Neolithic times. Most amber was formed 50 million years ago in the Baltic region. Fossilized plant or insect matter can sometimes be within it. Extremely lightweight. Color ranges from transparent warm brown to orange / yellow.

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Amethyst

A semi-precious stone, ranging in color from pale lilac to dark purple. Can have bands of soft white. The purple color is caused by iron and aluminum present during the formation of the stone.

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Aquamarine

Semi-precious stone that grows in large 6 sided crystals. From the same mineral family as emerald. Transparent to semi-opaque, with pastel color ranging from light blue to light green.

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C

Carnelian

Carnelian is a chalcedony quartz. Appearance is translucent to opaque, ranging from brown red, red, and orange.

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Citrine

Semi-precious stone composed of silicon dioxide. Its yellow tint comes from iron. Color ranges from lemon yellow to orange. Can have a soft straw, wheat coloring with white inclusions.

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D

Diamond

A precious stone, known as the hardest naturally forming material on Earth. Its name comes from the ancient Greek work adamas, meaning 'unbreakable.' Clear, colorless diamonds are the most highly valued. Color can range from clear to red, yellow or green.

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E

Emerald

Precious stone first mined in Egypt as early as 3500 BC. Appearance is translucent, ranging from vibrant green to blue green.

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G

Garnet

Semi-precious stone. Transparent to translucent. Comes in a variety of colors, with the most common being dark red.

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Goldstone

A man-made glass, infused with copper particles. Because of its quartz properties, it belongs with the healing crystal family. Copper appearance with copper sparkles.

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Goldstone (Blue)

A man made glass infused with cobalt manganese. Glitters and sparkles in the light. Color is dark blue with blue sparkles.

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Goldstone (Green)

Man-made glass inflused with chromium oxide particles. Dark green in appearance with green sparkles.

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H

Hematite

Mined as the main ore of iron. Harder than iron, but more brittle. Opaque, metallic surface with gunmetal/dark grey coloring.

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I

Iolite

Semi-precious stone from the silicate mineral of magnesium and aluminum. Transparent, with color ranging from violet to blue.

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J

Jade

Semi-precious stone that was often used in tool making in ancient China due to its hardness and durability. It is composed of two minerals: jadeite and nephrite. Appearance is translucent to opaque. Wide color range with the most common being light to dark green.

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L

Labradorite

First mined in the coastal region of Labrador, Canada, Labradorite exhibits iridescent flashes of color known as labradorescence. Base color ranges from grey-green-blue with light catching colors of blue, green, yellow and red. Translucent. Native lore suggests Labradorite to be the fiery, dancing Northern Lights entombed within the stone.

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Lapis Lazuli

Semi-precious stone reminiscent of the starry night sky. Ancient artifacts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and China containing lapis lazuli have been unearthed. Historically it was also used as a pigment for paints and makeup. Renaissance painter Michelangelo famously used lapis pigment in his works. Opaque, rich royal blue color. Can have shiny, metallic flecks of pyrite and soft white veins of calcite.

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Larimar

Only found in the Dominican Republic, this semi-precious stone varies from white, light-blue, green-blue to deep blue. Very rare and the only gemstone from the Caribbean.

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M

Magnesite

Semi-precious stone that resembles unglazed porcelain. Opaque, warm soft white color with soft brown matrix.

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Malachite

Given its name due to its resemblance to green Mallow leaves. Historically used as a paint pigment for its rich jewel tone. Opaque, green stone with light to dark green veining that forms in rings and bands.

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Moonstone

Transparent to semi-opaque semi-precious stone, ranging from white to grey to peach to mocha brown. Reflects light back-and-fourth in a natural phenomenon called adularescence. White moonstone with a pale blue sheen are most valued. Top quality white can look like blue sky with wispy clouds. Its name comes from the visual effect it creates.

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O

Onyx

Solid black semi-precious stone with a glassy surface. Onyx is a white and black parallel banded chalcedony; black onyx comes from the black bands within the chalcedony.

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Opal

'Precious' opals glow and shimmer when moved in light, exhibiting 'play of color.' Found in only a few places on Earth. In the middle ages, such opals were considered a lucky stone, since it possessed all the powers of the gemstone colors appearing within. Each stone is unique. Ethiopian opals tend to be green, blue, pink or 'multi.' Australian opals can range from blue, green, black, white to red.

'Common' opals are a type of opal that does not exhibit a 'play of color.' Generally has a soft, pastel coloring in blue, pink or white.

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P

Pearl

Pearls are formed inside mollusks and shellfish. When an irritant enters a mollusk's shell, the animal secretes layers upon layers of lustrous nacre, creating a pearl. 

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Picture Jasper

Known for its finely detailed patterns and colors appearing within the stone, giving it the appearance of a landscape, hence the name. Opaque, warm sandy brown and cream with speckled grey to black matrix.

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Q

Quartz (Rose)

A member of the quartz family. Appearance is translucent to semi-opaque, with delicate light pink coloring. Can have wispy, white inclusions.

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Quartz (Rutilated)

A variety of quartz containing golden needle-like inclusions of rutile, known as rutilation. Rutilation can range from thin, sparse spikes and lines, to denser crisscross patterns.

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Quartz (Smokey)

A type of grey-brown quartz. Rarely has flaws or inclusions. Also known as Cairngorm, after the mountains in Scotland where it has been found.

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Quartz (Whiskey)

A semi-precious, rare variation of Smoky Quartz and Citrine Quartz. Generally found near Amethyst, Citrine, and Smoky deposits. Color is transparent, golden brown.

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P

Pyrite

Known as "fools gold" for its metallic luster that resembles gold. From the Greek word "pyr" meaning fire. In ancient times, was used as a fire starter by striking on another iron-rich rock.

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R

Ruby

Derived from the Latin ruber, for red. Appearance is translucent, crimson red or deep pink.

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S

Sapphire

Precious stone that appears in nearly every color except red. Blue sapphires are the most valuable. Very durable, and second in hardness to diamond. Can contain slender rutile needles called 'silk.' Historically worn by royalty.

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Sodalite

Can resemble a white-capped ocean or a dark, cloudy sky. The stone is generally opaque but in some rare cases, can be translucent. Some pieces can fluoresce in UV light. Opaque, rich blue denim to indigo base with swirling white, grey veins and streaks. Some sodalite can have orange or purple coloring.

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Sunstone

Semi-precious stone with a coppery, iridescent play of color known as aventurenscence. Translucent to opaque with color ranging from gold, red, orange and pink.

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T

Tiger's Eye

Exhibits chatoyancy, an optical effect giving it a 'cat's-eye' appearance. Matte stones can resemble silky wood at times. Opaque, with contrasting bands of rich golden amber, dark brown and charcoal. Has a lustrous, silky surface.

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Tourmaline

Semi-precious stone that always grows in a 3 sided, columnar prism shape. Transluscent to opaque, appearing in a rainbow of colors.

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Turquoise

Semi-precious stone found in very few, dry and barren copper-rich regions which give turquoise its vivid blue/green coloring. Some of the world's oldest jewelry contains Turquoise (Ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica) as has been used for over 6000 years by various civilizations.

Color ranges from sky blue to blue green to yellow green. It can have a grey/brown/black matrix.

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Compressed Turquoise

Made by compressing small pieces of turquoise together to achieve a marbled/multi color appearance. Color ranges from dark blue, green, to brown.

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W

White Howlite

A natural white stone with a grey spiderweb matrix resembling marble. Opaque, bright, cool white color.

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