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Semi-Precious Gemstone Information

GLOSSARY OF SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES




AGATE: Agate occurs in an countless number of colors and patterns. It's chemical composition is Silicon Dioxide, SIO2. It is a fossil stone and formed when gas bubbles trapped in solidifying lava are filled with alkali and silica water. It is composed of several different layers of quartz, with each layer composed of different colors. There are hundreds of different types of agate stones each coined with names as unique as the variety of styles. Sometimes they are named after where they are found and sometimes they are named after the colors of the crystalline bands. Agate has strong metaphysical properties. It is known to combat stress and alleviate worry. These stones are strongly believed to have protective, stabilizing and comforting properties. Legend and ancient superstition has it that wearing agate made a person agreeable, happy, cautious yet brave. Ancient cultures used it as a talisman as it was believed to bestow on the wearer, protection against all dangers.

AMBER: Amber is tree resin that over time, and through the process of heat and pressure,has fossilized. For it to be called amber, the resin must be several million years old. Amber can vary in color from yellow, to red, to even green and blue. Though the transparent amber is considered the best commercial amber, some varieties are cloudy.

AMETHYST: Amethyst is a variety of quartz whose color varies from violet to purple,and is the most highly valued of the semiprecious quartzes. According to various pieces of folklore, it can be used as a love charm, a very powerful talisman for improving sleep, and as protection against thieves and drunkenness. Actually the name Amethyst comes from Greek meaning non-drunkenness.

AFRICAN TURQUOISE: It’s the exciting blend of base color and the dark material that the minerals are embedded in that this stone, which is actually a jasper, is given the name “African Turquoise.” It is an excellent turquoise substitute and is perfect when going for the look and texture of turquoise, but with a slightly greener tone.

AVENTURINE: This gem is a form of quartz which stands apart because of its transparency and the occurrence of platy minerals that give a striking glistening effect. This effect is called aventurescence. Aventurine can be a variety of colors, but the
most desirable is green.

BLUE LACE AGATE: This form of quartz, which has an attractive soft, milky
sheen, is believed by some to have the powers to help one express themselves if worn around the neck.

BLUE GOLDSTONE: Blue Goldstone is an aventurine speckled with minute gold-colored sparkles. Stories attribute the discovery of goldstone to an Italian monastic order, which responsible for it’s alternative name, “monk’s gold,” or “monkstone.”

CARNELIAN: Having a waxy luster, Carnelian is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz. It may be translucent, and though it is most often white to gray, grayish-blue, or same shade of brown. Though on occasion it is nearly black. It does appear in a variety of other colors, however.

CITRINE: This is an amber-colored gemstone that is sometimes called Citrine Quartz or Citrine Topaz. It is a form of quartz with ferric iron impurities. According to some, this stone can help relieve any ailments brought on by nervousness or anxiety. It has been stated that leaving it near the head at night can dispel any unpleasant dreams.

CHALCEDONY: May be semi-transparent to translucent, and is one of the few minerals other than quartz to be found in geodes. Some spiritualists believe that it is an excellent stone to aid and improve one’s character.

CHERRY QUARTZ: This is a dyed quartz that has been heat-treated so that it will retain it’s rich, deep color.

DALMATINE: An attractively speckled stone, Dalmatine, or “Dalmatian Rock,” consists of extraordinarily curious brown and black minerals embedded in a cream-colored matrix.

DENIM LAPIS: Usually speckled with yellow iron pyrites, Denim Lapis is a soothing, soft blue. In the past, it was often made into vases and bowls, and has been used for thousands of years for beads and small ornaments and actually was known as the “sapphire of the ancients,” because of its use in mosaics. Tenderness, sympathy, are the attributes it supposedly represents.

FOSSIL JASPER: A gray semi-precious stone with a myriad of various colored fossils embedded within it, creating a variety of shapes and patterns. It is sometimes called “Turitella Agate.”

GARNET: The birthstone for January, Garnet has been used since the Bronze Age. Its name comes from the Latin for “grain,” and this is possibly because the seeds of the plant pomegranate has red seeds which are similar in size, shape and color to some garnet
crystals.

GOLDSTONE: The illusion of reddish-brown color in these lustrous actually comes from copper crystals in the matrix itself. It is believed to have properties that ward off stress.

LOLITE: A mineral often used as a cut gem-stone, and named from the violet color which it sometimes presents. While the crystal as a whole shows one color, each face may appear to change color slightly as it is viewed from different angles, giving this stone
a very distinctive quality.

HEMATITE: This highly lustrous rock is present as silvery-gray plate like masses in some rocks. Mineral and crystal healers associate Hematite with blood, and therefore use it as remedy for a variety of blood-related maladies.

MOONSTONE: A variety of feldspar, Moonstone has a bluish-white opalescence, and hence comes it’s value as an ornamental stone. Though usually ranging from white to soft blue, Moonstone can show itself in a variety of colors. Some ancient civilizations believed that moonstone adornments made the wearer invisible from evil spirits. Moonstone is associated with enhancing of mental faculties and renewing emotional balance.

MOTHER OF PEARL: This antique white substance forms on the lining of shells in some fresh-water and salt-water mollusks. Like pearl, it is a secretion of the mantle.

OLIVE JADE: Actually, this stone is serpentine, not jade, with colors that range from a light avocado color to deep, olive green. Most serpentine is often mistakenly named jade.

ONYX: A variety of cryptocrystalline quartz, Onyx differs from agate only in that the bands of which is composed are parallel and regular. The deep, even, rich color of Black Onyx has given it the reputation of helping one become more steadfast and determined,according to some folklore.

PERIDOT: One of the few gemstones that comes in only one color, though the richness of that color does vary. Sometimes called the “poor man’s emerald,” the depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. Being a green stone, Peridot is believed to bring good luck.

POPPY JASPER: Most probably formed in sun-dried, iron-rich clay, Poppy Jasper takes the shape of a sphere, and contains variously colored dots which give it a similar appearance to the poppy flower.

RED AVENTURINE: A form of quartz which is set apart by the presence of platy mineral occlusions. These elements give Aventurine a shimmering or glistening effect which is called “aventurescence.”

RHODONITE: A translucent, and sometimes – but rarely – transparent crystal can have a luster anywhere from glasslike to pearly to dull. It is an extremely attractive mineral named after “rhodon,” the Greek word for rose. It’s distinctive colors range from pink to deep red and orange.

ROSE QUARTZ: The color is caused by iron and titanium impurities, and these elements give Rose Quartz one of the most desirable varieties of the crystal. The pink to rose color is completely unique, unlike any other pink mineral species. It is believed to be ideal in helping with affairs of the heart.

RUSSIAN JADE: Though to be a virtue stone, this leek green variety of the mineral is known as Russian Jade.

SKY BLUE QUARTZ: This quartz contains millions of tiny minerals per square centimeter. When light enters the crystal, it is scattered by these microscopic particles, reflecting back a pronounced, beautiful blue color.

SODALITE: Sometimes called Princess Blue, Sodalite did not become significantly used in ornamentation until 1891. It is a rich royal blue mineral that is opaque, but in rare occasions is transparent.

TIGER EYE: A member of the quartz group, it displays a changeable, glossy luster as light is reflected in its fibrous bands. It is a durable composite, obviously named for the fact that it resembles the large feline’s eye, it is the accepted gem for the ninth wedding anniversary.

TOURMALITE: Meaning “the stone of mixed colors,” it is a gemstone which displays many unique shades. They myriad of colors also tend to appear differently when moved from sunlight to artificial light, as does the luster. These qualities make this gem particularly unique and cherished.

TREE AGATE: A translucent, cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, this gemstone with a creamy luster is also known as “Dendritic Agate.” It’s color ranges from white to deep green and there are those who refer to it as the “stone of plentitude,” as it is purported to bring abundance and fullness to life.

TURQUOISE: Varying in color from a grayish-green hue to sky blue, Turquoise is an opaque stone with a waxy luster. The properties associated with it in folklore vary immensely, making Turquoise a very important stone in many spiritual beliefs. Though raw Turquoise has the propensity to change color over time, losing the beautiful blue tone and turning a less-attractive green, Brightlings Beads turquoise has been sealed, preventing impurities to enter the pores of the stone and changing its color.

TURQUOISE HOWLITE: Howlite is a mineral which has gained most of its fame by imitating other minerals. In this case, obviously, that other mineral is Turquoise. The similarities are so striking, that some unscrupulous dealers have successfully passed off the less-expensive stone as its more-expensive look-alike.

WHITE HOWLITE: The white version of Howlite has a dull to porcelaneous luster, giving it a very earthy look. It is most often opaque, but sometimes is slightly translucent


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