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An Easy Guide To Popular Gemstones

Mar 7, 2008
Gemstones make some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry available. Most people are familiar with diamonds, rubies, and pearls. However there are many others that draw in the eye due to their exquisite beauty, but they are less well known. Keep reading for a brief description of some of the most eye-appealing gems in the world.

Alexandrite - A fascinating and transparent gem that can appear bright green in the daylight and almost raspberry red indoors. Named after a Russian czar, this unique gem was discovered in Russia in 1831. Because the national colors of Russia are red and green, the stone is considered to be a good omen.

Amber - Not a stone, but rather fossilized, amorphous tree sap. Amber is one of the world's earliest "jewels" and is still highly prized. Amber will vary from almost transparent to almost dark brown in color. The highest concentrations of this unique substance can be found in the Baltics region.

Amethyst - As a transparent, purple quartz, the amethyst is one of the most popular colored gemstones. It's believed to be bring inner peace to the wearer.

Beryl - Once prized as a protector of warriors, Beryl is still valued today for its aesthetic beauty. Known for outstanding clarity and color range, the Beryl stone can come in emerald, aquamarine, yellow, pink and even a beautiful golden shade. This unique stone is also known for its durability.

Diamond - Probably the most well-known of all gemstones, diamonds are made from compressed carbon, and are the hardest substance in the world. This hardness refers to scratch resistance, not indestructibility. A diamond hit squarely by a hammer will be crushed to powder. Once polished and cut, this unique stone is also transparent and remarkably brilliant. The diamond trade is international, with mining focused on Africa and Northern Canada.

Garnet - The red garnet was first used to stop hemorrhaging and other blood diseases. Today, this fiery gem is known for brilliance and durability. Though available in greens, yellows and oranges, it's best known as a red stone.

Jadeite - Long revered by the Chinese, Jade is a translucent to opaque gem often seen in carvings and jewelry. Jadeite is the more expensive variety and comes from Myanmar and Guatemala. Jadeite will appear in green, mottled green, white, whitish gray, pink, brown, mauve, yellow, orange and even lilac.

Lapis Lazuli - The December birthstone, this bright blue stone is known for its deep color and intense brilliance. The world's best Lapis come from Afghanistan, Argentinia, Russia, Chile and Canada.

Moonstone (Orthoclase Feldspar)- As a member of the feldspar family, the moonstone is a milky, transparent white to bluish tint, though the blue varieties tend to be more desirable and valuable.

Opal - The opal is unique in that it can display an entire rainbow of colors on its opaque surface. The most common of opals are white opal, though the rarer black opal is one of the most valuable stones in the world.

Turquoise - As the Turkish stone, the Turquoise is highly prized for its beauty in Asia and Africa. It's typically a beautiful robin's egg blue, but can appear in light to dark blue and even a greenish-blue variety.

Topaz - As the symbol of love and affection, this rare stone is hard, brilliant and exhibits an incredible color range. Unfortunately, because of its rarity, most buyers only know the quartz or glass imitations sold in typical jewelry stores.
About the Author
For information on exquisite jewelry ideas to enhance your natural beauty, please visit www.jewelryadvance.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning personal adornment, such as John Hardy jewelry , cultured pearl necklaces , discount diamond earrings and many more.
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