Gems are described by chemical composition, crystal structure, and where they are found. Gems are further classified based on properties like refractive index (how they bend light), luster, hardness, etc. Perfection in appearance is of primary importance in the finished gemstone. Many gemstones have long and complex histories. Some specific gems have a lot of lore attached to them. These gems are some of my all time favorites. A gemstone can be a mineral, a rock, or any petrified material that’s suitable for use in jewelry. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts are generally the most valuable.
Labradorite – a silky appearing dark grey green stone with flashes of blue, green and occasionally red. Labradorite can appear as colorless or even red, but the dark grey color is typically seen in jewelry. Labradorite is thought to symbolize the “third eye”.
Lapis Lazuli – Long thought to increase awareness and objectivity, lapis has been considered to have healing and curative properties. In ancient times, lapis found use as a pigment, a cosmetic, and in medicines.
Malachite – Frequently associated with malachite. Malachite may enhance insight, clarify emotions
Moss “Agate” – a transparent to translucent chalcedony with green, brown, or black moss-like inclusions.
Obsidian – deep black volcanic glass
Snowflake Obsidian – white “snowflake” markings distinguish this obsidian form.
Onyx – a form of chalcedony. Thought to foster fidelity and resourcefulness, aid in realizing potential, and to promote decision making
Opal – occurring in a variety of colors, opal often has a gelatinous clarity with flashes of color due to water trapped within the crystalline structure of the stone. Ancient Roman thought opals were symbols of hope and purity.
Quartz – can be opaque or transparent and is the most common mineral. Many common gemstones are quartz with various impurities and inclusion providing the distinguishing characteristics of the particular gem.
Rhodochrosite – a fairly soft stone ranging in color from pink through reds to browns and black. Rhodochrosite fosters renewal and expansion of consciousnes
Rhodonite – pink to grayish with a glassy luster. This stone is thought to promote peace, attention to detail
Rose Quartz – rose red to pink; may bring love and happiness to the wearer, fosters emotional healing