enjoy wearing gemstone jewelry, but know little about the gemstones
themselves. Here we feature a variety of unique gemstones we use in our
jewelry and cabochons, with images and information. Learn how to identify
these stones, where they come from and how they are formed. Find jewelry and
cabochons made from these gems and learn their therapeutic healing
What is a semi-precious stone?
The two terms precious
and semi-precious are not widely used these days. The designation began
in part because diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald were taxed at a
higher rate than other gemstones. Many people think semi-precious
indicates a gem of lesser value and hardness, which is not true, and the
main reason why the term semi-precious is no longer widely used.
What is a gemstone?
gemstone is a stone used for personal adornment that is beautiful,
durable, and stable. Beauty is based on color, luster, transparency, or
cutting and shaping with lapidary techniques. Durability is the
resistance to damage and is dependent on hardness and tenacity. Tenacity
is the resistance to bending and breaking, while hardness measures the
resistance to scratching. Stability refers to the gem's ability to
retain color in spite of heat, light, or chemical changes.
C D E
F G H
M N O
W X Y Z
is a microcrystalline form of quartz or
silica, chiefly chalcedony, known for its fine grain and bright color.
Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are
typically associated with volcanic rocks. Most agates occur as nodules
in volcanic rocks or ancient lava. Formed by cavities in the lava which
were filled with silica deposited in layers. You can see these layers in
is a name given to two distinct types of minerals: gypsum and calcite.
In ancient times the term alabaster was applied to calcite. Today, the
term refers to a fine grained variety of gypsum. Gypsum is harder
than calcite and does not scratch as easily.
is a microcline form of feldspar and although the name is taken from
that of the Amazon River, it is highly unlikely that it was ever found
there. In the past it's only source was a mountainous area in Russia. More
recently, high-quality crystals have been obtained from Colorado, where it
is found in conjunction with quartz, orthoclase, and albite in granite. Some
other localities in the United States yield amazonite, and it is also found
in Madagascar. Healing
is a variety of purple quartz often used in jewelry. It is
found throughout the world. Chevron amethyst has “V” shaped or
chevron shaped bands of white Healing
is a rare gemstone found primarily in Canada in which the outer skin
of fossilized ammonite remains have been opalized. The opalized
surface has a bumpy texture known as dragon skin. Ammolite can have
brilliant flashes of color or fire and can be yellow, blue, green,
red, orange or any combination of those colors.
are the remains of an extinct marine
animal found throughout the world. In pyritized ammonite, the
original shell has been replaced by pyrite. The shell of the
Ammonite was similar in appearance to the Nautilus shell.