Gemstones
 
 
 
Agate
 
No gemstone is more creatively striped by Nature than Agate (chalcedony Quartz that forms in concentric layers in a wide variety of colors and textures).   Each individual Agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock.  As a result, Agate is often found as a round nodule, with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk.   The bands sometimes look like eyes (Cats Eye), fanciful scallops, or even a landscape with trees (Moss Agate).
 
Alexandrite
 
June Birthstone.   55th Anniversary Gemstone.   A variety of Chrysoberyl.   It exhibits an emerald green color under daylight and red to violet under artificial light.   The changing in color is best seen in thick stones.   Alexandrite displaying the Cat's-Eye effect is a great rarity.   High-quality Alexandrite is one of the most expensive of all gemstones. 
 
Amber
 
Amber is fossilized tree resin (not tree sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since its discovery.   Amber is used in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and in jewelry.   Amber is mostly found in drop or nodular shpes with a homogeneous structure, or has a shell-like formation, often with a weathered crust.
 
 
Amethyst
 
February Birthstone.   6th Anniversary Gemstone; and, 33rd Anniversary Modern Gift.   A violet transparent variety of Quartz.   Crystals are always grown onto a base.   Prisms are usually not well developed, therefore are often found as crystal points (pointy Amethyst) with the deepest color.   There are some Amethysts that lose some color in daylight. 
 
Ametrine
 
A naturally occurring variety of Quartz.   It is a mixture of Amethyst and Citrine with zones of purple and yellow or orange.   The color of the zones visible within Ametrine are due to differing oxidation states of iron within the crystal.   The different oxidation states occur due to temperature gradients across the crystal during its formation. 
 
 
Andalusite
 
Andalusite is pleochroic (shows different colors when viewed from different directions).   When cutting Andalusite, as opposed to Iolite or Tanzanite, cutters try to orient the gem to get a pleasing mix of color.   In transparent gem quality, it is prized for its very strong and attractive pleochroism: brownish-green in one direction and brownish-red at 90o.
 
Aquamarine
 
March Birthstone (synthetic).   19th Anniversary Gemstone.   The light green-blue variety of the mineral, Beryl.  Aquamarine is so named because of its seawater color.   A dark blue is the most desired color.   The coloring agent is iron.   Aquamarine is brittle and sensitive to pressure.   Coloring may be improved with heat-treatment. 
 
 
Beryl
 
38th Anniversary Modern Gift.   Beryls are popular gems, not only due to their magnificent colors but also lies in the high brilliance and wear-qualities, which makes them admirably well suited for use in jewelry.   Beryl is a transparent to translucent mineral species, the gem varieties are many.   These are known as Precious Beryl (excluding Emerald and Aquamarine).
 
Bloodstone
 
March Birthstone (natural).  Dark green Jasper with red spots and patches.   An old name still used in Europe is Heliotrope.   Particles of chlorite or included hornblende needles cause the green color.   red spots are caused by iron oxide.   The colors are not always constant.
 
 
Cat's Eye
 
18th Anniversary Gemstone.   Like the eye of a sleek feline predator, the Chrysoberyl "Cat's Eye" is a real miracle in nature.   Only this gemstone has the right to the name of "Cat's Eye".   Fine parallel inclusions produce a silver-white line, which appears as a moving light ray in a cabochon-cut stone.   It is caused by reflection of light from the included fibers (crystals) or long parallel cavities or tubes. 
 
Chrome Diopside
 
Diopside is found in two forms:  the Black Star Diopside and Chrome Diopside.  It is an intense dark-green chromium-bearing variety of diopside.    A completely natural gemstone which does not require any treatments (i.e. heat, oil, radiation, etc.), Chrome Diopside has few inclusions and a good refractive index, giving it a nice brilliance when finely cut.   The cat's eye is also found, though rarely, in Chrome Diopside. 
 
Chrysoberyl
 
The Chrysoberyl "Cat's Eye" is a real miracle in nature.   Only this gemstone has the right to the name of "Cat's Eye".   This gem is really something special with its narrow, bright band of light on a shimmering golden background, which seems to glide magically across the surface when the stone is moved.9
 
Chrysoprase
 
Chrysoprase is a rare and beautiful gemstone.   A variety of chalcedony (a cryptocrystalline form of silica), a rare Quartz, that contains small quantities of nickel.   Its color is commonly apple-green, but varies to deep green.   Unlike most gemstones Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline, which means it is composed of crystals so fine they cannot be seen as distinct particles under normal magnification.
 
Citrine
 
13th Anniversary Gemstone.   Many people have come to know and love this stone under the name Gold, Madeira or Spanish Topaz, although in fact it has very little in common with the higher-quality gemstone Topaz - except for a few nuances of color.
 
Coral
 
35th Anniversary Representation.   Coral lives at depths between 3 and 300 metres in the waters around the Archipelago in Malaysia, the Red Sea, the Bay of Biscay and around the Canary Islands, as well as in Japan, Taiwan, North East Australia and the Midway Islands.
 
 
 
April Birthstone.   60th Anniversary Representation, Modern Gift, and Gemstone; 10th Anniversary Modern Gift and Gemstone; and, 30th Anniversary Modern Gift.  The hardest of all known substances, the Diamond is also the most valuable precious gemstone.   They are usually nearly colorless although they sometimes are found to be yellow, brown, violet, green, blue, black, and red.
 
Emerald
 
May Birthstone.  55th Anniversary Representation and Modern Gift; and, 20th and 35th Anniversary Gemstone.   Emerald is the green variety of the mineral, Beryl.   Aquamarine is the blue variety of Beryl.   Emerald is the most precious stone in the Beryl group.  Its green is incomparable, therefore it is called "Emerald green".   The coloring agent is chrome.   Often the Emerald is clouded by inclusions, which are not necessarily classified as faults.
 
Garnet
 
January Birthstone.   2nd Anniversary Gemstone.   A family of closely related minerals that are known for their brilliance.  They come in a variety of colors.   The name derives from the Latin for grain because of the rounded crystals and similarity to the red kernals of the pomegranate.
 
 
Imitation
 
A gem with a different chemical composition than the gem it is meant to imitate.    A genuine stone that imitates a more desireable one is sometimes called an imitation: preferably its substitute.   More specifically, glass, plastic, or other amorphous substitutes or reproductions as distinguished from synthetic and reconstructed stones.
Iolite
 
21st Anniversary Gemstone.   Best known as the Viking stone.   Iolite was used by Viking explorers to help them determine their position from the coastline.    The Viking mariners used thin pieces of it as the world's first polarising filter.   The color of Iolite is usually blue.   Inclusions of hematite and goethite sometimes cause reddish a sheen or aventuescence (metallic spangled effect seen reflected in light). 
 
Jade
 
35th Anniversary Representation and Modern Gift; and, 12th Anniversary Gemstone.   A gemological group which includes two chemically different minerals, Jadeite and Nephrite.  The two minerals have similar properties.  They are both very tough and used in jewelry, carved objects and various ornamental objects.   Jade occurs in large compact masses and its color is often unevenly distributed.
 
Jasper
 
A semi-translucent to opaque red, yellow, brown, green, grayish-blue or lavender (or any combination thereof), fine-grained impure Chalcedony (Cryptocrystalline Quartz).    Though usually considered as Chalcedony, it is classified in a group by itself within the Quartz group because of its grainy structure.   The finely grained, dense Jasper contains up to 20% foreign materials, which determine its color, streak, and appearance. 
 
Kunzite
 
Kunzite was discovered in the United States, early in the twentieth century.   Even its name has American roots: this pink gem variety of the mineral spodumene is named in tribute to George Kunz, the legendary gem scholar, gemologist, author of The Curious Lore of Precious Stones and gem buyer for Tiffany & Co. at the turn of the century.   Kunzite is often confused with other valuable gemstones.   
 
Lapis Lazuli
 
December Birthstone.  9th Anniversary Gemstone.   Lapis lazuli is an opaque rock that mainly consists of diopside and lazurite.   Uncut Lapis Lazuli has a matte finish and is of a deep, dark blue color, often with golden inclusions and whitish marble veins.   The small inclusions with their golden shimmer, which give the stone the magic of a starry sky, are not of gold as people used to think, but of pyrites.
 
Marcasite
 
Futuristic in look, Marcasite is the new 'alternative' gem in inexpensive jewelry.   A genuine gemstone that offers brilliant design possibilities at an affordable price, Marcasite is most often set in 925-Sterling Silver, working as a Diamond replacement, adding beautiful sparkle in jewelry design.
 
 
Moonstone
 
June Birthstone.  A semitranslucent to translucent orthoclase feldspar that exhibits adularescence (a floating, billowy, white or bluish light effect, seen in certain directions as the stone is turned.   This optical phenomenon is caused by diffused light reflection from parallel inergrowths of orthoclase and albite feldspars, the latter having a slightly different refractive index from the main mass. 
 
Morganite
 
Although Morganite is pastel in hue, it has a lushness rare in pink gemstones.  Alongside other gemstones like Emerald and Aquamarine, Morganite is certainly the best known from the colorful group of the Beryls.   Women the world over love Morganite for its fine pink tones which radiate charm, esprit and tenderness.
 
 
Onyx
 
7th Anniversary Gemstone.   Onyx is one of the many varieties of chalcedony, being the same as banded agate except that the alternately colored bands of Onyx are always straight and parallel.   Stones most common are black and white or gray, black and red to brownish red, white and red to brownish red (sometimes categorized as Sardonyx), but those banded only with grays or gray and white are more specifically known as Onyx agate.
 
Opal
 
October Birthstone (natural).  14th Anniversary Gemstone; and, 34th Anniversary Modern Gift.   A non-crystyalline gem that is formed when liquified silica seeps into fissures and hardens.   Transparent to opaque opals are found in a variety of colors.   They are prized for their vibrant flashes of color.   Opals are often brittle due to their porous nature.
 
Pearl
 
June Birthstone (natural).   30th Anniversary Representation and Modern Gift; 12th Anniversary Modern Gift; and 3rd Anniversary Gemstone.   Pearl's are unique in that they are found in the water rather than the ground.   They are formed when a shellfish covers a parasite with layers of nacre which is the substance which makes up a shell.
  
Peridot
 
August Birthstone (synthetic).  16th Anniversary Gemstone.   A transparent to translucent mineral species that occurs in a variety of green tones.  Peridot is a very old gemstone whos popularity has been rejuvinated in modern jewelry.   Peridot is plentiful in Hawaii.   In fact the island of Oahu even has beaches made out of tiny grains of Peridot.    
 
Precious Gemstone
 
As contrasted with so-called semiprecious stones, include the more important and comparatively more valuable gems such as Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, and Emeralds.   However, in a strict sense all genuine gem materials are precious.  
Quartz
 
Beautiful Quartz, the 'rock crystal' used in ancient times to make crystal bowls, is today more often seen set in gold jewelry.   Despite the popularity of Quartz gems like Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Rose Quartz, Onyx, Agate, Chrysoprase, Rutilated Quartz and other varieties, many people in the jewelry industry take Quartz for granted because of its affordable price.
 
Ruby
 
July Birthstone.  40th Anniversary Representation, Gemstone and Modern Gift.   Uncommonly known as corundum, it is the 2nd hardest known substance, although Diamonds are 4x harder.   Rubies and Sapphires are the same mineral.   Red corundum stones are Rubies.   All other are Sapphires.
 
 
Sapphire
 
September Birthstone.   45th Anniversary Representation, Gemstone and Modern Gift; and, 5th  Anniversary Gemstone. Uncommonly known as corundum, it is the 2nd hardest known substance, although diamonds are 4x harder.   Corundum in all colors except red are known as Sapphires.   Red corundum is known as a ruby.
  
Sardonyx
 
August Birthstone (natural).   Agates with straight parallel bands or layers alternating between layers of reddish-brown with other colors.
 
 
 
Semi-Precious Gemstone
 
Numerous gemstones that are not in the category of precious gemstones.
Spinel
 
22nd Anniversary Gemstone.   Centuries ago, in Sanskrit writings, Spinel was called the daughter of Ruby, adored, yet somehow different.   Spinel is the great impostor of gemstone history: many famous Rubies in crown jewels around the world are actually Spinels. 
 
 
Synthetic
 
A gem with the exact same chemical composition as it's natural counterpart. 
Tanzanite
 
24th Anniversary Gemstone.   A transparent blue gem discovered in Tanzania in 1967.    Tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone.   Its blue, surrounded by a fine hint of purple, is a wonderful color.   Thanks to its unusual hue and the promotion of the Tiffany's in New York, it has rapidly become one of the most coveted gemstones in the world. 
 
Topaz
 
November Birthstone.    4th and 23rd Anniversary Gemstone.   Topaz is a fluorine aluminium silicate which can be found in yellow, yellow-brown, honey-yellow, flax, brown, green, blue, light blue, red, pink and clear.   The Topaz has a known history of at least 2000 years and is one of the gemstones which form the foundations of the twelve gates to the Holy City of the New Jerusalem.
  
Tourmaline
 
8th Anniversary Gemstone.   For centuries Tourmalines have adorned the jewelry of royalty.   The Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi, the last Empress of China, valued the rich pink colors above all gemstones.   The people of ancient Ceylon called Tourmaline 'rutmali', the Sinhalese word for 'more colors'. 
 
 
Turquoise
 
December Birthstone. 11th Anniversary Gemstone.   Turquoise is among the oldest known gemstones.   It has been mined since approximately 3200 B.C.    Turquoise graced the necks of Egyptian Pharaohs and adorned the ceremonial dress of early Native Americans.   In the ancient Persian kingdom, the sky-blue gemstones were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death. 
 
Zircon
 
December Birthstone.   The name Zircon is said to come from the Persian word 'zargun' which means "gold-colored", although Zircon comes in a wide range of colors, including colorless.   The fiery, brilliance of Zircon can rival any gemstone.   The Zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia (the laboratory-grown Diamond imitation) due to the name.   Many people are unaware that there is a beautiful natural gemstone called Zircon.
  
Zultanite
 
Relatively new to the jewelry world, Zultanite is one gemstone whose amazing natural color changing abilities makes it well suited to savvy jewelry connoisseurs. As you watch its colors change from kiwi to champagne to raspberry, you too will be entranced by Zultanite's 100% natural beauty.    The pinnacle of exclusivity, beauty, rarity and desirability, Zultanite is a rising star in fine jewelry due to its sparklingly brilliant tranquil colors.  
 
 
 
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