AZGem Gems
October, 2009

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The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the azgem.com website who subscribe.

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.

 

Gemstone Names

And Basic Descriptions

 

 

 

This Gemstone Names reference listing is presented by request. I think this should complete the gemstone reference tools that readers have requested and needed.

This Gemstone Names list has been compiled from personal knowledge, supplemented by industry reference materials 

I have included the gem names that many of us commonly work with... and I will expand the list as other gems become attention-getters and time allows. 

I intend to add photos to enhance each reference soon. The photo above is of a tsavorite garnet, quite possibly the most striking of all green gems..

Gemstone Names


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

 

A

Alexandrite (Chrysoberyl)
Alexandrite is the rare, color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. 
Chemical Composition: beryllium aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: BeAl2O4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 8.5



Amethyst (Quartz)
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz group. Amethyst is the birthstone for February.
Chemical composition: silicon dioxide 
Chemical Formula: SiO2 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7



Ametrine (Quartz)
Ametrine is a bi-color variety of quartz that is half amethyst and half citrine.
Chemical composition: silicon dioxide 
Chemical Formula: SiO2 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7


Apatite 
Apatite is the name for a mineral group as well as the generic term for many phosphate based gems.
Chemical Composition: fluoro- and chloro-calcium phosphate 
Chemical Formula: Ca5 (PO4)3(F,OH,Cl) 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5


Aquamarine (Beryl)
Aquamarine is the blue to blue-green variety of beryl. One of the most popular members of the beryl family, “aqua” is cousin to emerald, bixbite, morganite, heliodor, and goshenite. The birthstone for March
Chemical Composition: aluminum beryllium silicate 
Chemical Formula: Be3Al2Si6O18 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7.5 to 8

 

B

Beryl
Beryl is a family of gems that includes aquamarine, emerald, bixbite, morganite, heliodor, and goshenite.
Chemical Composition: beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate
Chemical Formula: Be3Al2(SiO3)6
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7.5 to 8

 

 

C

Chrome Diopside 
Chrome diopside is the green gem variety of the mineral diopside. A black star diopside that is rarely seen in jewelry. Chemical Composition: calcium magnesium silicate
Chemical Formula: CaMgSi2 O6 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5.5 to 6

 

Chrysoberyl 
Chrysoberyl is the name of three different gem varieties--two of which are widely accepted as the most rare and valuable of all phenomenal gems. The gem known simply as chrysoberyl is a yellowish-green, to brownish-yellow gem. When chrysoberyl displays color-change properties, it is known as alexandrite, and when it exhibits chatoyancy, it is known as cat's-eye.
 
Chrysoberyl is the name of three different gem varieties--two of which are widely accepted as the most rare and valuable of all phenomenal gems. The gem known simply as chrysoberyl is a yellowish-green, to brownish-yellow gem. When chrysoberyl displays color-change properties, it is known as alexandrite, and when it exhibits chatoyancy, it is known as cat's-eye.
 
Chrysoberyl is the name of three different gem varieties--two of which are widely accepted as the most rare and valuable of all phenomenal gems. The gem known simply as chrysoberyl is a yellowish-green, to brownish-yellow gem. When chrysoberyl displays color-change properties, it is known as alexandrite, and when it exhibits chatoyancy, it is known as cat's-eye.
 
Chrysoberyl is the name of three different gem varieties--two of which are widely accepted as the most rare and valuable of all phenomenal gems. The gem known simply as chrysoberyl is a yellowish-green, to brownish-yellow gem. When chrysoberyl displays color-change properties, it is known as alexandrite, and when it exhibits chatoyancy, it is known as cat's-eye.
Chemical Composition: beryllium aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: BeAl2O4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 8.5



Citrine (Quartz)
Citrine is the golden or brownish-orange variety of gem quartz. Citrine can be the birthstone for November.
Chemical composition: silicon dioxide 
Chemical Formula: SiO2 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7

 

Corundum 
Corundum is the mineral name for ruby and sapphire
Chemical Composition: aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: Al2O3 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 9

 

 

D

Diamond
Diamond is the colorless… or any color of brilliant gem carbon. Yes, just carbon crystallized through tremendous volcanic heat and pressure.
The birthstone for April.
Chemical Composition: crystallized carbon 
Chemical Formula: C
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 10

 

E

Emerald (Beryl)
Emerald is the distinctive grass-green variety of beryl and containing chromium or vanadium. The birthstone for May. 
Chemical Composition: aluminum beryllium silicate 
Chemical Formula: Be3Al2Si6O18 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7.5 to 8

 

 

F

Fluorite
Fluorite is plentiful, affordable, and a colorful gem. Unfortunately, it is too soft to be worn in most jewelry.
Chemical composition: calcium fluoride 
Chemical Formula: CaF2 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 4

 

G

Garnet 
Garnets make up an entire group of minerals that vary in their chemical composition. Some varieties of red garnet are common and occur on every continent, other garnets like orange spessartite and hessonite, and green demantoid and tsavorite, are much less abundant. There are more than 20 garnet species, but the five most important garnet species include pyrope and almandine (the combination of which creates rhodolite), spessartite, grossular or grossularite (which includes hessonite and tsavorite), and andradite (which includes demantoid). All garnets are the birthstone for January
Chemical Composition: various nesosilicates
Chemical Formula: various – general X3Y2(SiO4)3.
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6.5 to 7.5

 

H

I

Iolite (Cordierite)
Iolite is a blue to blue-violet gem, known for difficulty in faceting to bring out the best color.
Chemical Composition: magnesium aluminum silicate 
Chemical Formula: Mg2Al4Si5O18 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7 to 7.5

 

 

J

Jade (Nephrite)
Nephrite jade is the more commonly encountered mineral called jade (also see jadeite, below). Nephrite occurs in a variety of colors, including the classic greens. Nephrite is a popular carving and jewelry stone.
Chemical Composition: calcium magnesium silicate
Chemical Formula: Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6 to 6.5



Jadeite 
Jadeite is the more desired mineral commonly referred to as jade. Jadeite is a translucent to opaque gem roch popular for carvings and cabochon jewelry stones. Colors range from near white to lavender to apple through dark green.
Chemical Composition: sodium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula: NaAl(SiO3)2
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6.5 to 7

 

K

Kunzite (Spodumene)
Kunzite is the pink variety of the spodumene family. A cousin to hiddenite (green spodumene) and triphane (yellow spodumene).
Chemical Composition: lithium aluminum silicate 
Chemical Formula: LiAlSi2O6 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6.5 to 7

 

 

L

Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a rock composed of a mixture of several different minerals including lazurite, sodalite, huaynite, noselite, and possibly calcite, pyrite and several other minerals..
Chemical Composition: Complex
Chemical Formula: Complex
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5 to 5.5

 

 

M

Moonstone (Feldspar)
Moonstone is the opaque, adularescent variety of orthoclase feldspar. When en cabochon, a moonstone glows like a full moon with the added attraction of iridescent play of color.
Chemical Composition: potassium aluminum silicate 
Chemical Formula: KAlSi3O8 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6 to 6.5


Morganite (Beryl)
Morganite is the peachy-pink variety of beryl. Morganite is a cousin to emerald, bixbite, aquamarine, heliodor, and goshenite.
Chemical Composition: aluminum beryllium silicate 
Chemical Formula: Al2Be3Si6O18 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7.5 to 8

 

N

O

Opal 
Opal is composed of silicon spheres with water in the microscopic open spaces between the spheres. The multiple colors and color patters result from the size of the spheres. Opal is the birthstone for October.
Chemical Composition: silicon dioxide + water 
Chemical Formula: SiO2 - nH2O 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5.5 to 6.5

 

 

P

Pearl
Pearl is an object produced by a living mollusk. A secretion (nacre) is produced by the mollusk to coat a foreign particle that is naturally or manually introduced inside the mollusk’s shell. Pearl is the birthstone for June.
Chemical Composition: CaCO3 
Chemical Formula: calcium carbonate
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 3 to 4.5



Peridot (Olivine)
Peridot is the yellow to green transparent gem used from the earliest days of recorded history through modern times. Peridot is the birthstone for August.
Chemical Composition: magnesium iron silicate 
Chemical Formula: (Mg,Fe) 2SiO4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6.5 to 7

 

 

Q

Quartz
A family of transparent, translucent, and opaque gems. Family members include amethyst, citrine, rock crystal, rutilated quartz, agate, jasper, and many others.
Chemical composition: silicon dioxide 
Chemical Formula: SiO2 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7

 

 

R

Rhodolite (Garnet)
Rhodolite garnet is a rose-red to pink mixture of pyrope and almandine garnet.
Chemical Composition: magnesium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula: Mg3Al2(SiO4)3
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7


Rubellite (Tourmaline)
Rubellite is the bright red to red-pink (ruby like) variety of tourmaline that maintains its color intensity in both natural and artificial lighting.
Chemical Composition: sodium lithium aluminum boro-silicate oxide hydroxidem fluoride
Chemical Formula: (BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7



Ruby (corundum)
Ruby is the bright red variety of corundum. All other colors of corundum are labeled sapphire.. Ruby is the birthstone for July.
Chemical Composition: aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: Al2O3 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 9

 

S

Sapphire (corundum)
Sapphire is the any-color-but-red variety of corundum. Sapphire is the birthstone for September.
Chemical Composition: aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: Al2O3 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 9



Spessartite (Garnet)
Spessartite (mandarin) garnet is the orange to red-orange 
Chemical Composition: manganese aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula: Mn3Al2(SiO4)3
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7 to 7.5



Sodalite
The opaque, royal blue (often with white specks) variety of sodalite is used in jewelry.
Chemical Composition: sodium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula: Na8Al6Si6O24Cl2
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5.5 to 6



Spinel
Spinel is the first cousin to ruby and sapphire, both chemically and in appearance… but is a distinctly different mineral due to the presence of magnesium.
Chemical Composition: magnesium aluminum oxide 
Chemical Formula: MgAl2O4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 8

 

T

Tanzanite (zoisite)
Tanzanite is the blue-violet to blue variety of zoisite and a relatively new addition to the world of gems. It is found only in a single north-eastern Tanzania location.
Chemical Composition: calcium aluminum silicate 
Chemical Formula: Ca2Al3 (SiO4)3 (OH) 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 6.5


Topaz
Topaz has been known and used as a gem from the earliest days of recorded history. Topaz may carry different names depending on color. Precious topaz is orange, and is the November birthstone. Imperial topaz is a peachy color. Blue, pink (rare), colorless, and other colors also occur. Yellow topaz is the November birthstone. Blue topaz can be the December birthstone.
Chemical Composition: aluminum fluorite silicate
Chemical Formula: Al2(F,OH)2SiO4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 8



Tourmaline
Tourmaline includes several species. Most gem tourmalines are elbaite. Other species include liddicoatite, dravite, uvite, and schorl. Tourmaline occurs in many colors.
Chemical Composition: aluminum, boron, or fluorine silicate
Chemical Formula: varied
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7 to 7.5

Tsavorite (Garnet)
Tsavorite is the emerald green garnet first mined in Tsavo National Park in Kenya. An alternative December birthstone.
Chemical Composition: calcium aluminum silicate 
Chemical Formula: Ca3Al2 (SiO4) 3 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7 to 7.5



Turquoise 
Turquoise is a sky blue to blue-green gem popular in Southwestern Indian jewelry. Turquoise is opaque and often a byproduct of copper mining. The December birthstone.
Chemical Composition: hydrated copper aluminum phosphate
Chemical Formula: CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 5 to 6

 

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

Zircon
Zircon is a natural gem with outstanding brilliance. Zircon occurs in many colors.
Chemical Composition: zirconium silicate 
Chemical Formula: ZrSiO4 
Mohs’ Hardness Scale: 7 to 7.5


This Gemstone Names list will be developed into an easily accessed page on this site.

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Gem Industry News...

 

JCK Las Vegas Moving To Mandalay Bay

 

The JCK Las Vegas trade show for the jewelry industry is moving to Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

The show dates for the 2011 gathering are June 3 through June 6.

Billed as "the most modern convention facility in Las Vegas"  by JCK, exhibitors and attendees are expected to enjoy the move to this new facility.

You can find more information at http://www.jck2011.com/

 

jck las vegas mandalay bay

 

gemstone news

 

Jewelry Dealers

 

An ailing economy is an opportunity for independent jewelry dealers.

People still want and need jewelry. Gift occasions, people building and refreshing their wardrobe, and see it - like it - buy it purchases are all sales opportunities for you.

An ailing economy isn't a deal killer when you offer quality, service, and low prices.

Be The Quality Jewelry Discounter.

 

 

gemstone news

 

Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?sapphire ring

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Could you use an extra income source?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.

 

 

Carolyn Doyle

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