Tourmaline is one of the most colorful gemstones. It got its name at the beginning of the 18th century when Dutch sailors brought gems that natives of Sri Lanka called turamali. Turmaline is a relatively hard material, 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, suitable for use in jewelry. Tourmalines include a whole group of minerals with a … Read more


Chrysoberyl was discovered in 1789. Cat’s-eye chrysoberyl, along with its non-phenomenal counterparts, is one of the most revered gems. Chrysoberyl and beryl are two completely different gemstones, although both contain beryllium. Additional confusion was caused by calling yellow-green chrysoberyl and completely unrelated mineral peridot by the same name – chrysolite. Chrysoberyl is a relatively hard … Read more


The pearls are gems grown within the soft tissue of an oyster around a microscopic irritant such as a grain of sand that found its way inside the shell. There are two types of pearls identical in composition and appearance and different only in how they were conceived – natural and cultured. Natural pearls are … Read more


Beryl is a colorless mineral in its pure form, getting its rich hues from impurities in the crystals. The Beryl family encompasses a group of very popular multi-colored gems. The single beryl species gave us charming Santa-Maria aquamarines, Colombian emeralds, tender pink morganites, heliodor in festive shades of yellow, ruby-red bixbite, and even colorless goshenites. … Read more

Ornamental gems

Countertops for your fingers Jadedite Jade has been revered in China for over 4000 years. The most valuable jade is the Imperial Jade, emerald-green semi-transparent to translucent Jadeite colored by chromium. It is mined in northern Myanmar at the Hpakan-Tawmaw jade tract in Kachin province. Jadeite and nephrite can look similar, and both are often … Read more

Obscure Gems

Table of Contents Kyanite Kyanite is a metamorphous mineral that occurs in schists and granite pegmatites. Gem-grade kyanite is extremely rare. Its name comes from the Greek word kyanos which means blue. Kyanite is an aluminum silicate that comes in various colors. Blue Kyanite is by far the most valuable variety. Kyanite is allochromatic, meaning … Read more


Emerald is a member of the elite club of precious gemstones, along with Burmese rubies, Kashmir sapphires, and Brazilian Paraibas. Emerald color has the richness and opulence of a blooming tropical forest. Emerald has been synonymous with the green color since antiquity.  Egyptians were mining emeralds as early as 3500 BC. According to the Bible, … Read more


Ruby is a red variety of mineral corundum. All other corundum colors, including pink, are called sapphires. Rubies are by far the most precious gemstones that are stunning to behold and rarer than diamonds. Ruby’s vivid color was frowned upon in the drab ’70s. Today red is a badge of solid personality, intellect, and success. … Read more

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