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This is a semi-pellucid variety of quartz. The colours are in strips or bands or blended in clouds and classified accordingly as moss, ribbon, dendrite, etc. Brownish- orange agate is known as cornelian, the green variety chrysoprase, the blue variety chalcedony and the brownish-red variety carnelian. Black agate is onyx. Agate is used for jewelry, ornaments and even ash- trays and precision instruments. It is found mainly in India, Brazil, Madagascar, China, Russia and Australia.



This substance is sulphate of lime or gypsum of a white or delicately tinted colour. It is one of the softest minerals known to nature and is therefore used as an ornamental stone in sculpture, though only for internal work as it weathers easily. It is especially popular in Italy, its country of origin (Volterra, Tuscany).

It is very porous and easy to colour, but too fragile to be a worth- while investment.


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This is a variety of chrysoberyl, like cat's eye, distinguished by its colours which has earned it the name of "chameleon stone". Its natural colour ranges from dark to pale green, but in the light may appear anything from red to yellow, to orange, to mauve. Pure alexandrite is always faceted, or cut en cabochon if flaws are present. Its value is on a par with the four precious stones and when well set is a match for even the finest diamond. The best specimens come from Russia, but it is also found in Ceylon, Burma, Brazil, Madagascar and the USA.

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Amazonite, also known as 'Amazone stone,' is a light, aqua-green stone with white mottled flecks. The name, Amazonite, has been taken from the Amazon River, where formerly certain green stones were obtained, but it is found in Brazil. The origin of the stone is the New England States and Colorado. Amazonite is a mineral, but because of its lively green color, it is cut and polished as a gemstone. The green color of the stone has been attributed to the presence of copper.


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This is not strictly a gemstone but a fossilized form of resin derived from various coniferous trees. It is found in many colours and may be both translucent or opaque. The rarest specimens are those enclosing insects of extinct species and leaves trapped in the sticky exudations of the tree.

Amber occurs practically everywhere in the world, but not in large quantities. It is most abundant, however, in the Baltic regions of Northern Europe.


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This is a variety of quartz coloured by traces of manganese, titanium and iron. It is of a pale lilac, mauve or bluish violet colour.

Amethyst has a very wide provenance, but the finest coloured specimens come from Brazil and the Urals. It is also mined in Madagascar, Ceylon, India and Australia.


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Ametrine is a mixture of amethyst and citrine. Partially it occurs to be purple and partially orange-yellow. It is typically given a rectangular shape with a 50-50 pairing of amethyst and citrine. So, with ametrine one can have the color of two gems for the price of only one. There is only one mine in the world from where the stone is sourced. It is Bolivia's Anahi Mine named after Anahi princess from the Ayoreos tribe who was married to a Spanish conquistador and the Anahi Mine was given as dowry. The mine became famous in the 17th century.


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A hard silicate of alumina in rhombic crystals of a colour varying from pink to violet. More rarely, it may be red or green. Its main quality is its exceptional fire.

It is found in Brazil, Ceylon and Madagascar and is mostly used for the creation of exclusive jewelry for a clientele of connoisseurs.


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Apatite is a naturally occurring gemstone. It is basically known for its asparagus green color but it is found in wide range of colors, from colorless to pink, yellow, blue to violet. The best apatite is neon greenish blue with a clean clarity.

Apatite is found in Burma, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the United States. Apatite is found in all igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.


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Being a variety of beryl it belongs to the same family as emerald. Its colour varies from an almost white pale blue to a slightly darker sky blue, this latter being the most prized of all. Generally, aquamarine is faceted, except for the translucent or milky specimens which are better cut en cabochon.

Aquamarine comes from Brazil, Madagascar, Russia and the USA. Specimens from China and Colombia tend to be of a yellowish tint.


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A variety of quartz spangled with inclusions giving a schiller, an unusual and attractive lustre characteristic of certain minerals. It may be green, blue, red or yellow in colour.

In the Far East it is used for elaborately decorated statuettes in the West for small items of jewelry, necklaces and bracelets.

It is widely found in India, Russia, South Africa and China.


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Azurite is a blue carbonate mineral, chemically composed of copper carbonate hydroxide. It is found associated with green mineral malachite as an aftermath of weathering and oxidation of copper sulfide minerals. The name of the stone is derived from the Arabic word for blue. Azurite is also commonly called 'Blue Bice' and 'Blue Verditer.' Azurite in beautiful crystals form are found in the United States in the Arizona and New Mexico. In France it is found at Chessy and is sometimes called chessylite.


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Belyl stone is a beryllium-aluminium-silicates. In the pure form, beryl is colorless, but the stored foreign substances gives it different colors. The involvment of manganese turns beryl to a special feminine pink, a morganite, best known representative of the group after emerald and aquamarine. Iron colors the stone in the most beautiful sea-blue hues, making it aquamarine, the best known and most popular gem.
Beryl deposits are found in South America and those of Central and West Africa. It also occurs on the Madagascar (Russia) and the Ukraine, and in the USA.


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A crypto-crystalline sub-species of quartz. It is generally of a milky brown colour, but there are also rarer blue (blue chalcedony), green (chrysoprase) and orange-red (cornelian) varieties. Very occasionally it may be transparent.

Agate is frequently stained to resemble types of chalcedony; so particular care should be taken when buying chalcedony that you are not, in fact, about to be sold an imitation. The mineral is found in Madagascar, Brazil, India, China and the USA.


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Charoite is known for its primal power. It is a mineral, an unusual of rare occurrence, in the monoclinic crystal system. An opaque gemstone having a wild and swirling pattern of interlocking crystals. The colors, ranges from bright lavender, violet and lilac to that of dark purple, with white, gray and black veining.

Charoite occur only in the Chara River area of Siberia. It is said that it might have been named after the Russian word Chary, which means "charms" or "magic."


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Chrysoberyl, a beryllium aluminum oxide, is not related to the mineral beryl as many might think by the name. Alexandrite and cat's eye are the most valuable varieties of the stone. The third in the series of common varieties is a transparent greenish yellow stone. Chrysoberyl occurs in numerous colors, predominately the shades of green and brown. Chrysoberyl cat's eye, also known as cymophane, is of honey color, a medium yellow with modifying brown. Alexandrite changes color from red to green depending on the type of light it is viewed in. Chrysoberyl is found in Russia, Brazil and Asia.


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Chrysocolla, the gemstone which provides unique color, blue-green, in the mineral world. It is, in fact, an appropriate mineraloid than a true mineral. Mostly, it is amorphous, not having a coherent crystalline structure. These, colored swirls of chrysocolla and sparkles of druzy quartz, if undergoes the talent of skilled craftsman, can be produced into a lovely and valuable piece of jewelry.
Chrysocolla is very light. It is found in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, USA; Israel; Zaire and England.


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Chrysoprase is the most valuable stone in the chalcedony group. Its green color is the result of staining by nickel oxide compounds of the stone. Chrysoprase gemstone is of very fine translucent green color and texture. It is sometimes mistaken for green Imperial jadeite. With many similarities with jadeite, chrysoprase is sometimes marketed as "Australian Imperial Jade."
Australia (New South Wales region), Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Russia (the Urals region), Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, and California has a good deposit of Chrysoprase.


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Cinnabar is a red crystalline form of mercuric sulphide. In its natural state, it is a red crystalline solid. Sometimes, its red color is so bright that it is not found in any mineral, plant and animal on earth. It occurs in brilliant red or in red or brown amorphous masses.
The Chinese and the Arabian alchemists used to extract mercury from it. Today, it is the only source of mercury and is found in rare localities. Since of its red color, it was also used as a dye. The word 'Cinnabar' has been taken from the Persian for 'dragon's blood.' It is found in the regions of Spain, Serbia, China, and California and Arkansas in the US.


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A glassy, wine-yellow variety of quartz, often mistakenly called "topaz", which is a completely different and far more valuable gemstone.

The colour of citrine varies from pale yellow to Madeira. The mineral is found wherever there is quartz.


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Coral is not a mineral but a hard calcareous substance consisting of the continuous skeleton secreted by many tribes of marine coelenterate polyps for their support and habitation. It is found growing plant-like on the sea-bottom.
The best corals are generally considered to be those of a deep rose red colour. Understandably so, when it is almost impossible to find more than one or two necklaces of this shade in a hundred! As regards white and pink varieties, choose without hesitation the colour known as "angel's skin".


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Desert Glass

Desert Glass is a naturally formed glass composed of nearly pure silica. It was discovered in 1932 when Egyptian Desert Survey expedition led by P.A. Clayton was sent to study southwest unexplored regions from Cairo. The expedition discovered, scattered on the desert, transparent to translucent pieces of pale yellow-green vitreous substance. Since then it also came to be known as Libyan Desert glass.
Libyan Desert Glass is the most unusual natural glasses ever seen or described. It is completely made of silica and is dispersed over a large area of the Great Sand Sea in the Egypt.


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Diamonds have always exercised a special magnetism on the human race. Their story, which I would describe as both romantic and social, is known the world over. Its chemical composition is simple: pure crystallized carbon.
There are two main varieties of diamond: mis-shapen crystals which have certain industrial applications and gem diamonds used in jewelry making. Diamonds for industrial applications are coloured, opaque or impure. They are widely employed for drilling tools and precision instruments. Gem diamonds are pure and colourless, though the rare coloured transparent specimens are highly valued by the experts.


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Diopside stone is a calcium magnesium silicate mineral of the group pyroxene. It is available in a chromium-rich gem variety and is called as chrome diopside in bright color. It is doubly refractive. The finer specimens fit for gem purposes. When it is cut brilliantly, it makes a very attractive stone and resembles green tourmaline.

Diopside is found near Dekalb, St. Lawrence County, New York.


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Druzy Quartz

Druzy Quartz (also spelt as Drusy or Druse) is a thin layer of quartz crystals covering the surface of a host stone. It is well known that amethyst or citrine get the source of their color from this quartz crystal but usually Druzy Quartz takes the host stone's color which is seen through it as in chrysocolla or uvarovite garnet.
The term "Druzy" refers to the tiny crystal which is formed within of on another stone in a large number. When the ground water that carries dissolved silica is forced to to get filled into a porous area of rock, rapid cooling occurs and it causes the formation of minute crystals.


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Druzy Titanium

Druzy Titanium or Druzy plated with Titanium is a regular Druzy. The colors of Druzy Titanium are very hot and intensely bright. It shifts from a bright hot purple to that of a neon deep blue with some shade of red. The colors of Druzy Titanium differ with the change in the viewing angles.
Druzy Titanium is used artistically in jewelry making. The favorites are necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and pendants. It has an outstanding luster and is believed to have originated in the US. The usual available color of Druzy Titanium is of golden shade.


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Emerald is a beryl, like aquamarine. One is green, the other blue, the difference between them being of a chemical nature. It was initially mined in the Ural Mountains, Siberia and Egypt. Following Spanish colonization of South America, a number of old Inca mines were discovered, and these have since yielded some of the world's finest specimens. The Muzo, Cosquez, Chivor and Gachaia mines in Colombia are still worked today. More recently, veins have been found in Brazil, South Africa, Zambia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, but none of these stones can equal the beauty of the Colombian specimens.


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Fluorite, a transparent and translucent stone which mean 'to flow' in Latin. The term 'florescent' also has been derived from fluorite. It is an attractive stone with a wide range of colors ranging from pink, purple, magenta, blue, yellow, green, red, brown and white.

The usual availability of fluorite stones are Europe, Mexico, Argentina, USA, Thailand and China. In Europe, it is most abundant in England, France, Austria, and Germany.


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The name given to a group of isomorphous minerals of different composition and colour. Almandine is of a deep velvety red and the most widely used in jewelry making. Glossularite is generally olive green, but there are also yellow, red, brown and violet varieties. It is slightly glassy in appearance and only transparent crystals are used for jewelry. Pyrope is similar to Almandine, but is lighter in colour and brighter, even though it is translucent. Rhodolite is half-way between almandine and pyrope, being of a rhododendron red colour, and is the most prized of the garnets.


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Goshenite is the colorless variety of beryl mineral group and is named after the site where it was first discovered, Goshen in Massachusetts. Sometimes it is also known as "white beryl" or "mother of gemstones."

The impurities in Goshenite creates all the popular beryls like emeralds (green beryl), heliodor (yellow beryl), morganite (pink beryl) and aquamarine (blue beryl). The base elements found in this stone are Beryllium, Aluminum and Silicon.


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Heliodor (also spelt as helidor), a beryllium aluminum silicate is a golden yellow or golden green variety of beryl. The golden color is due to the presence of iron in place of aluminum in the structure of the crystal. In the gem world "golden beryl" is its other name.
The name has been derived from a Greek word which mean "gift from the sun." It was discovered in Namibia in the year 1910 in a pegmatite. Today, the deposits of heliodor are found in Minas Gerais and Goias in Brazil, the Ukraine in Russia, and Connecticut and Maine.


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A widely-distributed iron ore occurring in crystalline, massive or granular forms. It is opaque and generally dark grey (almost black) in colour. It is cut en cabochon or as beads, though in Germany it is also used for intaglios. It is similar to steel in appearance, but much darker.

Set with gold, it makes a very attractive colour contrast. It may be confused with black pearl, for which it is sometimes used as an imitation, but which has a less metallic sheen. It is found in Italy, Germany, France, England, Switzerland and Madagascar.


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Hemimorphite is the commonly known sorosilicates which forms in oxidized zinc deposits and always occurs in clusters of radiating, acicular crystals. Originally, it was named Calamine, but since calamine is used for some other mineral, the word hemimorphite is widely in use. 'Hemi' means half and 'morph' means shape.
Hemimorphite is in the form of bladed crystal, the botryoidal form is very common. The crystals are generally elongated and flat. Some of the best hemimorphite are found in Leadville, Colorado, Elkhorn and Montana in the United States.


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Indicolite, also popular by the name Blue Tourmaline, is supposed to be the most colorful and rare variety of all the stones in gem world. The name 'Indicolite' has been derived from the Latin word for the indicum plant, famous due to its blue colors.
Indicolite stones are transparent to opaque in shades and is found in metosomatically altered magnesian or dolomitic limestones in contact-metamorphic aureloes. A great deposit of indicolite occurs in Madagascar, North America, Brazil, Myanmar, Africa, Siberia, Australia and Sri Lanka.


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Iolite, the gemstone of the Vikings, is very often minstaken for Tanzanite. It is bluish violet in color where the prominent blue tone resembles blue sapphire and the lighter one, tanzanite. The name Iolite has been taken from the Greek word 'ios' which means violet.

Iolite posesses pleochroism, showing of different colors when viewed from different angles and sides. Iolite mostly occurs in India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Brazil.


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The definition "jade" is used to define two minerals of similar appearance but different chemical composition: nephrite, a calcium- magnesium silicate, and jadeite, a silicate of sodium and aluminum.
Both minerals are found in a wide range of shades of green, brown, yellow, grey and pink and may be either translucent or opaque. They may be milky or cloudy in appearance and sometimes speckled with tiny black spots. The most prized of the jades, the so-called "Chinese jade" (jadeite) is emerald green and so beautiful and rare that it has become exorbitantly expensive.


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An opaque crypto-crystalline variety of quartz of varying colours, usually red, green, yellow, brown or white. It is of little value and used mostly for jewelry and small ornamental objects such as ashtrays and ecandlesticks.

It is found verywhere, especially in clay.


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A variety of crystalline spodumene (a silicate of aluminum and lithium) generally of a lilac-pink hue, though yellow and green varieties are not uncommon. If exposed to the sun, kunzite first loses its colour, then turns green and in time resumes its original hue. Kunzite comes from Brazil, Madagascar, and Burma and takes its name from the well-known gemmologist G.F. Kunz.


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Labradorite, carries unique characteristic, turns sea blue, gold and green in bright light from grey or dark green color if viewed in dim light. It is a variety of plagioclase feldspar which is found in igneous rocks. Polished labradorite is called labradorescence. The crystal is transparent to translucent. Labradorite is generally cut with a flat surface to highlight the flashes of color. Originally it was found along the coast of Labrador in 1805. Today, it is also found in Newfoundland, other parts of Canada, the Ukraine, the Ural mountains, and the USA.


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Lapis Lazuli

The "sapphire" of classical times, it has always been a popular stone on account of its fine blue colour. It is really a rock consisting of varying quantities of a blue mineral hauyne and calcite. Small specks and strings of the yellow iron pyrites are common.
The stone is either cut as beads for necklaces or en cabochon for exclusive jewelry. It is especially attractive when set with diamonds or pearls.
The finest quality comes from Afghanistan, the lightest coloured from Chile, and other varieties from Russia and China.


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This hydrous carbonate of copper occurring in nature as an opaque stone, varying in colour from very light to very dark green. It has characteristic banding and is fragile and easily scratched.

In ancient times it was widely used for jewelry and other ornaments because it was easy to work with and susceptible of a high polish.

It is found in the vicinity of copper mines and comes mainly from Africa and Russia, and to a lesser extent Australia and South America.


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Moissanite is said to be a rival to all other gemstone because of its brilliance, hardness, weight and scratch resistance. It possesses all the romance and passion of rubies, sapphires and emeralds. It is only found in meteorites and in a very limited areas beneath the earth's surface.
Moissanite was discovered by a French chemist and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Ferdinand Henri Moissan. He found it at Diablo Canyon, also known as Meteor Crater, in Arizona (USA). The synthetic moissanite is known as silicon carbide because of its chemistry and the trade name, carborundum.


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A translucent variety of feldspar with a chatoyant quality, that is to say, having a changeable, undulating pearly lustre. It is either colourless or bluish-white and when cut en cabochon shows bluish gleams
The finest stones are those of a slightly bluish tint, reminiscent of the colour of the moon, hence the name.
It comes mainly from Burma, Ceylon, Madagascar, Brazil and to a lesser extent Norway and Switzerland.


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Morganite, probably the best-known member from the beryl group, comes in many fine shades. The very fine pink color of the stone emanating charm, esprit and tenderness acts as a pure attraction, all over the world. It was simply known as "Pink Beryl" previously.

Morganite occurs in the regions of Brazil, Madagascar, California, Maine, Connecticut, and North Carolina in the US.


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Mother of Pearl

The name is aptly given to the lustrous pearly lining of the shells of pearl-bearing molluscs.

When polished it is similar in appearance to pearl and is extensively used for cutlery handles, buttons, buckles and other small ornamental objects. It has always been a favourite for the creation of ornaments, especially of a religious nature such as crucifixes and statuettes.

In the East it is used as an inlay for the walls and furniture of mosques.


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Nephrite in pure form is white in color or else green or creamy white. Sometimes even beige, yellow, blue or black is seen. It is a variety of jade, chiefly a metasilicate of iron, calcium, and magnesium. The green color in nephrite is due the presence of iron. Physically it is similar to chalcedony. Both have a fibrous structure.

Canada, USA, Mexico, and Australia are the major world producers of nephrite. It is also found in China and New Zealand.


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Obsidian, also known as Apache tears, is a volcanic glass which is generally black, but is occasionally red, brown, gray, green (the rarest variety), dark with "snowflakes," or even very clear. It is said, probably to be the most challenging stone in crystal work. It is in fact a volcanic glass and has been used in past by many native cultures to make knives.
The stone is often confused with smoky quartz due the similar properties and also because of similar chemistry. It is found in Italy, Mexico, Scotland, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Utah and Idaho.


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This name is often erroneously applied to the alabaster, calcite and aragonite used in the manufacture of souvenirs and other ornamental objects sold throughout the tourist centres of the Mediterranean. True onyx is simply a black and white banded variety of quartz allied to agate. These bands being straight and parallel, onyx is sometimes known as "zebra agate" or, if the stone is completely black, "black agate".
It has a very wide provenance, being found wherever there is quartz.


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Opal, an amorphous form of hydrous silica, was once held to be unlucky, but maybe this was only because the stone is rather fragile and tends to chip and scratch easily. As it contains a high percentage of water, opal may deteriorate in heat and cold. Nonetheless, it is a very beautiful stone and, without wishing to contradict myself, it is even used as a lucky charm in certain countries.
There are numerous varieties of opal, each attractive in its own way.
Most opal comes from Australia, except for the fire opal which is found in Mexico.


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Known as "queen of the oceans", pearl, like coral, is a victim of pollution. The name denotes a calcareous concretion with a silvery lustre formed within the shell of certain bivalve molluscs known as pearl oysters around some foreign body. There are two types: natural pearls, formed inside wild oysters, practically impossible to find nowadays, and cultured pearls in which the production of the pearl is artificially induced. Natural pearls have no nucleus, but in the cultured variety the pearl is formed round a spherical bead inserted into the oyster shell. The oyster tries to render this intrusive body innocuous by sealing it off in a cyst of nacre.


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Pectolite, as mineral, is confused with other minerals like okenite, wollastonite, artinite and few others. The name "Pectolite" has been derived from the Greek word "Pectos" which mean "well put together." This semi-precious stone occurs in white or colorless, gray, light yellow, light brown, light blue, and light pink.

Pectolite is found in California, Paterson and Franklin - New Jersey in the USA, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Italy and England.


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Peridot, the assigned stone for the summer month of August, is ancient but still very popular gemstone. Slightly golden shimmering green variety of it is ideal gemstone color to complement a light summertime outfit. It is formed of olivine, silicate found in igneous rocks, and a very good constituent of Earth's upper mantle.
The most beautiful peridot comes from Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. It is also found in Myanmar, China, USA, Africa, and Australia. Myanmar's peridot show a vivid green with fine silky inclusions. The peridot from Arizona often shows a yellowish to golden brown shade. There the stone is popular as Native Indian jewellery.


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Prasiolite is a gem with which one can really be confused. It is traded with variety of names and sometimes mistaken with expensive gems like Green Beryl, Peridot and Tourmaline. The green variety is also named as Vermarine, Lime Citrine or Green Amethyst. Inexpensive, but a true collector's gemstone.
The color of prasiolite varies from pale yellow green to that with the deeper shades of green. This stone is ideal for everyday wear and it is perfect for a wide variety of applications. It is mined in Brazil and Arizona (USA).


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Pyrite, commonly also known as "Fools Gold" because of its color and shape, is popular for its crystal habbit, hardness, streak, luster and brittleness. It is composed of iron disulphide having a pale brass-yellow color. The name pyrite has been derived from the Greek word, pyrites lithos, which mean 'stone which strikes fire,' in allusion to the sparking produced when iron is struck by lump of pyrite.
This gemstone in found in Peru, Germany, Spain, Russia, South Africa Bolivia, Italy, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Missouri in the US.


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Rose Quartz

This widely diffused stone is often used for statuettes, carvings and other ornamental objects in the style of Chinese art. In the West it is cut en cabochon or as beads. Unfortunately, it faces strong competition from pink beryl, morganite, topaz and tourmaline.

It is pale pink in colour and has a milky texture. Darker, transparent specimens are as rare as blue quartz.

Rose quartz comes from Madagascar, India or Brazil.


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Rubellite (Rubelite), a rare variety of tourmaline, comes in red color. It is more valuable than any other varieties of the red tourmaline. The name has been derived from the Latin word "rebellus," which mean "reddish." In gem trade, it is also known as "red tourmaline."

This, most desirable stone, is mostly found in Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan, and even in few locations in the United States.


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Surprising as it may seem, ruby and sapphire, so different in colour, actually belong to the same mineral family: corundum, the mineral form of alumina which crystallizes in the hexagonal system. The red colour of ruby results from a small admixture of chromic oxide. The most prized tint is blood red or crimson known in the trade as "pigeon's blood" red. The colour of this corundum varies, however, according to the geographical locality of the mine. Siamese rubies, for instance, are of a deeper garnet red than those found at Mogok in Burma, while Ceylon ruby is of a pinkish dull red. Transparent ruby, when cut en cabochon, may reflect light so as to produce star-like bands, a phenomenon rated highly by the experts.


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Rutilite, also known as Rutile, is a mineral which consists of titanium dioxide, generally with a little iron. It is typically of reddish-brown in color, but deep red or black, with brilliant metallic or diamond-like luster is also seen.

Rutilite is said to be originated in Africa. It is used for making one-of-a-kind ornate jewelry.


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As I mentioned earlier, sapphire is corundum, too, and, its physical and chemical properties are virtually identical to those of ruby. In a natural state the gem crystallizes in the hexagonal system with two pyramidal faces. It is fractionally harder than ruby. Curiously, all corundums that are not rubies are classed as sapphires, which means that this particular gem exists in many colours, from blue to green, pink to mauve, white, grey, violet, yellow and orange. The blue colour of sapphire is due to small amounts of titanium oxides and iron. The finest colour is found in the Kashmir specimens.


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Scapolite is commonly a mineral of metamorphic origin. It is grayish white which occurs in tetragonal crystals and in cleavable masses. For such color, it is sometimes also called Wernerite. It is a silicate of alumina and soda.
The stone is found in pale yellow, colorless, pink chatoyant and violet chatoyant. The pale yellow scapolite is acquired from Brazil and the chatoyant types are from Burma and Russia. Other notable places where it is found are New Jersey, New York in USA, Norway, Mount Vesuvius, Italy, Mexico, Madagascar, Tremorgio and Switzerland.


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Serpentine stone comes in staggering variety of colors. The variations in color is the result of varied mineral infusions in the stone. The name has been derived from the color and appearances of the stone which resembles the skin of a serpent. The best quality serpentine has fine textures with no cleavages.

The notable areas where the deposits of serpentine occurs are New Zealand, China, South Africa, Italy, England and the USA.


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Sillimanite is formed from aluminum silicate and is a transparent to translucent mineral ranging from white to gray, brown and green. It is mostly found as silky and fibrous masses with glassy luster. If it is not fibrous, the best field indicators are its crystal habit, color, brittleness and hardness. For its fibrous inclusions, it is sometimes also known as "fibrolite" in the jewelry world. Gem quality sillimanite crystals are rare and is seen seldom at retail. Blue variety of sillimanite is the most sought and is found only in the ruby-rich Mogok areas of Burma. The gray to green variety is found in Sri Lanka from the gem gravels. A third variety, usually used in the creation of artifacts, is found in the Clearwater River Valley in Idaho.


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Sodalite is named in reference to the sodium content it has. It is found in light to dark pure blue color and is well known in the semi-precious stone world. It is the only feldspathoid which contains chlorine.

Sodalite is found in Namibia, Brazil, Canada and the USA.


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Spectrolite is a variety of labradorite which displays intense reds, oranges and yellows and even blues and greens. These different colors are due to the light interference by thin lamellae, in parallel layers, within the spectrolite. The color play in the stone is iridescent as in the feathers of a peacock or the Northern Lights. It appears like a flash of light in the darkness.
Spectrolite is found in Labradoe, Madagascar, India, Newfoundland, Finland and Russia. The astrological signs of the stone are Scorpio, Sagittarius and Leo.


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Sphalerite, also known as Blende, is one of the few minerals having six directions of cleavage. If six directions are perfectly cleaved on a single crystal, it forms rhombic dodecahedron. However, identifying the six directions in a single piece is quite difficult because of multiple twinning and the many directions. Only the abundant cleavage at different directions are seen easily. Notable occurrences of sphalerite are Tri state area near Joplin, Missouri; Rosiclare, Illinos; Elmwood, Tennessee, USA and Broken Hill, Australia. It is also found in Italy, Spain, Burma, Peru, Morocco, Germany and England.


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Sphen, means wedge shaped as it occurs normally, is a brilliant transparent yellowish-green or green with a high lustre and pronounced fire. It is also widely called as 'Titanium,' because of the titanium content in it. Twinning is common in titanite. The best example of it is Soem, which comes from Pakistan, almost twinned.

Sphene is a fairly rare stone and is classed as collector's stone. It is found in Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Madagascar, Burma, and Mexico.


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Spodumene is a new mineral to science world discovered in the last three centuries. The gem variety of it was discovered only in the last 120 years. It is a lithium aluminum silicate with colors ranging from white, colorless, gray, pink, lilac, violet and green. There are two broad varieties of spodumene, Kunzite and Hiddenite.

Notable occurrences of the stone is California, North Carolina and South Dakota in the US. Apart from this, it is also found in Afganistan, Pakistan, Brazil and Madagascar.


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Sugilite (Hemi)

Sugilite is named after a Japanese mineralogist, Dr. Ken-Ichi Sugi, who discovered it in the year 1944 on the Iwagi Islet in Japan. The stone comes in pale to dark purple color and contains black, reddish brown and yellowy patches. Sometimes it also referred to Luvulite and Royal Lazelle. It belongs to the hexagonal crystal system.

Sugilite is found in in Iwagi Island, Shikoku, Japan as well as Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and most importantly in South Africa. It is also found in the regions of Australia and Italy.


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Sunstone or can be also called Heliolite, is the State Gem of Oregon, a prime source for this beautiful gem. The name Heliolite has been derived from the Greek 'helios' and 'lithos,' which mean 'sun' and 'stone'.
Sunstone is formed in molten lava and is discharged onto the surface with the help of a volcano. The lava weathers away or is broken. Fine crystals of sunstone is then released. The Oregon sunstone is found with copper in it which is the cause for the range of colors in the stone from water color to yellow and many shades of green, red and pink.


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Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Eye, much like the eyes of a female cat, glitters with a small ray of light on the surface. This property of stone is known as chatoyancy. It is a brown quartz silicon dioxide having lustrous yellow and brown parallel fibers. The presence of iron oxides gives the stone the color of yellow-gold. Tiger's Eye is very popular in jewelry making.

It is found in the regions of South Africa, but the best stones is acquired from West Griqualand.


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A mineral of somewhat varying composition belonging to the silicate group. It is not a quartz and therefore has nothing in common with citrine quartz, a far less valuable stone. True topaz may be yellow, gold, pink, blue, green, mauve or red It does not reflect the light to any great extent; so the larger the stone the better. It is widely used in jewelry making and frequently imitated by citrine quartz.

It comes from Brazil, where it is as widespread as amethyst, Australia, Madagascar, USA, Mexico and Ceylon.


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Unlike amethyst and topaz, tourmaline has escaped inordinate exploitation on the Brazilian market, probably because it is rarer and consequently more expensive. It is a mineral group of varying composition occurring in different colours, especially green, blue and grey. Pink specimens are known as rubellite.

Green tourmaline should not be confused with emerald, or red tourmaline with ruby. It has a wide distribution and is especially diffuse in Brazil and Madagascar.


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This stone is becoming increasingly rare and costly because the finest material comes from Iran. Despite its fragility it is much prized and never seems to go out of fashion.

It is an opaque mineral consisting essentially of phosphates and is of a colour ranging from sky-blue to apple-green.
As I mentioned earlier, the finest turquoise comes from Iran, but specimens from Sinai and China are almost as beautiful. Russian and American turquoise is of a decidedly poorer quality.


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Unakite, often referred as an epidotized granite, consists of a salmon-pink feldspar, green epidote, and quartz. The stone is an opaque coral and olive-green. Sometimes, other shades of green is also seen.

Beads, cabochons, jewelry and paperweights are the ideal products being made by unakite. It is found in the regions of South Africa, Brazil, and China.


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Yellow Sapphire

A variety of corundum, like ruby and sapphire, which could be considered a precious stone as it is, in reality, an orange sapphire. It is virtually unknown to the vast majority of people and can therefore be purchased at a reasonable price. However, jewelers are beginning to promote it more and more, and this is a sure sign that the current favorable situation will not remain stable for much longer.

Yellow sapphire is found wherever there is sapphire, especially Thailand.


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A silicate of zirconium, this mineral occurs in different colours or may be colourless, the latter often being referred to as the poor man's diamond. In fact, zircon tends to be rather dim and is only used for inexpensive jewelry.

It is widely distributed throughout Ceylon, India and Madagascar, but is not a good investment as it is often adulterated and may be the cause of confusion. Moreover, it is fragile and easily turns cloudy.

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