List of Gemstones
Amber is an organic gemstone which has been fossilised from ancient plant material. It is transparent or transculent, and soft enough to be used in making jewelry. It often has insects or other small animals trapped inside. It is found in many different places in the world, but some of the largest deposits are found around the Baltic Sea in northern Europe.
Alexandrite gemstones are known for their colour changing properties. Their colour can change from emerald blue to purple, red and bluish green depending on the time of the day. They got their name from the Russian Czar Alexander II, whose birthday it happened to be when the gem was first found in Ural Mountains. The gem is found in some pegmatites, schists, marbles and gneisses.
Beryl is a mineral that forms prismatic crystals and can come in different colours such as green (emerald), sky blue to bluish-green (aquamarine), colourless, golden to greenish yellow (heliodor), brown, reddish-brown, pink (morganite) and red. It is one of the most variable ones on this list of gemstones.
Emerald is a beautiful green gemstone which is a variety of beryl. The crystal is prismatic and can grow very large. It has been a very popular gem since ancient times and is still today one of the most precious gemstones. It is mostly found in granitic rocks and pegmatites, but can also be found in some metamorphics such as schists.
Garnet is a gemstone that forms beautiful cubic crystals. There are different types of garnet, such as almandine, spessartine, grossular and pyrope garnet. They can be brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, grey and black. Garnets are found in some igneous and metamorphic rocks.
Jade is a gemstone often used in jewellery. It is most often green but can also have other colours. The habit is most often massive but it can also form crystals. It is found in mafic igneous rocks and some metamorphic rocks. It is one of the gems on this list of gemstones that you often see sold as jewellery on markets.
Moonstone. By the_justified_sinner via Flickr.com
Opal Opal is a beautiful gemstone that does not form crystals and is therefore classified a mineraloid and not a mineral. Ninety percent of the world’s opal is found in Australia. It forms from silica-rich waters in low temperatures - its chemical formula is quartz + water (SiO2 . nH2O). It is one of the prettiest ones on this list of gemstones.
Peridot is a green gemstone of the mineral olivine. It forms thick tabular crystals the colour of which can vary between yellowish green and brownish green. It forms in mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks such as basalts and similar. It is found in Europe, Middle East, south east Asia, Australia, northern Africa, and north, central and south America.
Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum. It gets its colour from trace chromium. It is an aluminium oxide and it forms hexagonal crystals. It forms in igneous rocks such as syenites and some pegmatites, and also in some high grade metamorphic rocks. It is a very highly valued gemstone.
Sapphire gemstones are
some of the most valued gems in
the world. Like ruby, they are a form
of the mineral corundum. They are most often
blue, but can also come in other colours such as green, yellow and
Like ruby, sapphires are found in syenites, some pegmatites, and some
high-grade metamorphic rocks.
Tanzanite. By Catherinette Rings Steampunk via
Tanzanite belongs to the the mineral zoisite family. It grows prismatic crystals. It is often blueish or purple but shows shades of different colours when viewed from different angles. It is often found in medium-grade metamorphic rocks such as schists and gneisses but can also form in eclogites and amphibolites that have formed from calcium rich sedimentary rocks.
Topaz is a mineral that forms prismatic crystals that can grow very large. It is most often colourless or light blue, but can also be yellow, red, pink, brown or orangeish-brown. It is most often found in igenous rocks such as granites and rhyolites, but also in pegmatites and some high grade metamorphic rocks.
Quartz is the most common mineral on this list of gemstones, and it can come in many different shapes and colours. It can be massive or form crystals. Amethyst is purple quartz. Rose quartz is pink. Citrine is yellow. Smoky quartz is dark to mid-brown. Milky quartz is white and the transparent crystals are called rock crystals.
Agate is a gemstone family - a very fine grained form of quartz. There are many different varieties of it, such as moss agate, lace agate, fire agate and banded agates. It can be red, blue, orange, yellow, green and other colours. It is often banded.More information on Agate Rocks
The Chalcedony Mineral Family
The Chalcedony mineral family includes members that are a form of quartz whose natural crystals are tiny.
The group includes quite a list of gemstones such as blue chalcedony, adventurine, carnelian, chrysocolla, chrysoprase, as well as black onyx gemstone, tiger eye gemstone and jasper gemstone.