Colored Stones, Stones

Gemstones from G to O

In this issue we are featuring some beautiful gems! Starting with Garnet and ending with Opal, with many beautiful gems in-between!

GARNETS

Garnets are a set of closely related minerals forming a group, with gemstones in almost every color.

The garnet group of related mineral species offers gems of every hue, including fiery red pyrope, vibrant orange spessartine, and rare intense-green varieties of grossular and andradite.

Faceted Garnet
Garnet in the rough

IOLITE

According to legend, Vikings used iolite slices to reduce glare when checking the sun’s position.

Known in the jewelry trade as iolite, this mineral is known as cordierite to geologists and mineralogists. It was named after French mineralogist Pierre Cordier.

Polished and faceted Iolite
Rough Iolite Crystal

JADE

Jade is actually two separate gems: nephrite and jadeite. In China, a pierced jade disk is a symbol of heaven.

Prized by civilizations from ancient China to the Aztecs and Mayans of Central America, jade is crafted into objects of stunning artistry.


Carved jadite and jadite cabochon
Jade in the rough
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KUNZITE

Collectors love kunzite for its color range, from delicate pastel pink to intense violetish purple.

Trace amounts of manganese give this pink to violet variety of spodumene its feminine glow. A relative newcomer to the gemstone stage, kunzite was only confirmed as a unique variety of spodumene in the early part of the twentieth century.

Faceted Kunzite
Kunzite in the rough

LAPIS LAZULI

Lapis is a beautiful rock; an aggregate of several minerals, mainly lazurite, calcite, and pyrite.

Lapis lazuli is treasured for its beautiful deep blue color. Afghanistan is considered the source of the best-quality lapis.

Cut and polished Lapis Lazuli
Lapis Lazuli rough

MOONSTONE

A ghostly sheen moves under the surface of this feldspar, like moonlight glowing in water.

Feldspar prized for its billowy blue adularescence, caused by light scattering from an intergrowth of microscopic, alternating layers. Favored gem of many Art Nouveau jewelry designers.


Blue Sheen Moonstone cabochon
Rough Moonstone

MORGANITE

Morganite is the pink to orange-pink variety of beryl, a mineral that includes emerald and aquamarine.

Like its cousins emerald and aquamarine, morganite is a variety of the beryl mineral species. This gem gets its subtle blush when a trace amount of manganese makes its way into morganite’s crystal structure.

Faceted Morganite
Morganite crystals

OPAL

Fireworks. Jellyfish. Galaxies. Lightning. Opal’s shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors is unlike any other gem.

Opal’s microscopic arrays of stacked silica spheres diffract light into a blaze of flashing colors. An opal’s color range and pattern help determine its value.

Cut and polished Opal
Opal in the rough

There you have this months gems from Garnet to Opal! Watch for the next series.

Photos and info courtesy of GIA.com.

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