Chalcedony (SiO2) from the National Museum in Prague
14 Mar 2016

Chalcedony Guide

Chalcedony is not actually a species of mineral, but rather any form of microcrystalline quartz. So it is actually is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of semi-precious gemstones. Many of these will be familiar to you from the rock shop, including agate, carnelian, heliotrope, onyx, and others.

Let’s learn more about chalcedony in all its forms!

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Orange sphalerite and galena (metallic) from China
11 Feb 2016

Sphalerite Guide

Sphalerite is not a very well-known gemstone, but it is certainly an intriguing one. Sphalerite gems are usually a bright, fiery orange. Faceted the right way, they can be dazzling to behold.

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Closeup of polished charoite
05 Jan 2016

Charoite Guide

If you love purple gemstones or know somebody who does, but want to shop for something a little more interesting and unique than amethyst, charoite is a great alternative.

This gemstone is chatoyant and features marvelous patterns of swirls which can be quite entrancing.

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Polished azurite cabochon
28 Dec 2015

Azurite Guide

At the gem shop, have you ever picked up a piece of malachite and found that part of the stone was a deep, mesmerizing blue?

If so, you may have actually been looking at a specimen which contained azurite. Click to learn more about this stunning gemstone!

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Polished petrified wood closeup
14 Dec 2015

Types of Petrified Wood

Sometimes if you are out hiking, if you are very lucky, you will stumble across a gemstone which feels like rock, but looks like wood. This is petrified wood.

“Wait,” you may be thinking, “How can wood be a gemstone?” Read the article and find out!

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Pietersite gemstone
02 Dec 2015

Pietersite Guide

If you are in the market for a remarkably unique-looking gemstone which will captivate your senses, look no further than pietersite.

This gemstone showcases a spectacular rainbow of hues with a distinctive, sparkling shine.

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Each of the Hooker earrings feature a 25.3 carat fancy yellow diamond
24 Nov 2015

What are Fancy Diamonds?

Fancy diamonds are sometimes spoken of with disdain, generally by those who do not realize that there is such a thing as a naturally colored diamond.

There is a good reason that not everybody is aware of this, however, and that is because colored diamonds in nature are considerably rarer than colorless diamonds. So what are ‘fancy diamonds’ exactly?

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Blue kyanite gemstone from Nepal
16 Nov 2015

Kyanite Guide

Kyanite is a blue silicate mineral typically lined with gray and white which forms distinctive brittle crystals. Some kyanite pieces are light blue, while others are darker blue; most specimens exhibit a range of blue shades.

Typically the stone is translucent, but full of inclusions. This makes it glassy in some spots and cloudy in others. If there is a lot of white in a piece of kyanite, it may have a kind of “icy” appearance.

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Kunzite crystal from Afghanistan - click to enlarge
10 Nov 2015

Kunzite Guide

Kunzite is classified as a form of spodumene. There are actually a number of different types of spodumene, all classified according to their color.

Spodumene may occur in yellow, yellowish-green, deep emerald, pink, purple, or colorless varieties. The pink or purplish spodumene is called “kunzite”.

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Rhodochrosite crystals on matrix
07 Nov 2015

Rhodochrosite Guide

One of the most distinctive-looking gemstones you will ever see is rhodochrosite. This manganese carbonate mineral has the chemical composition MnCO3, and features soft, rosy hues. The banded patterns it displays are similar to those you would find in malachite.

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