Once again, I would like to touch on the importance
of being able to identify a particular stone for a customer.
A knowledge of stones, even a rudimentary one, goes a long
way in making the sale.
have more confidence when buying from someone with intimate
knowledge of the products they sell. Being able to accurately
classify the stone in a ring or pendant at a customer's request
breeds trust and adds a level of interest that helps sell
the story behind the piece that most often makes the sale.
Knowing the stone, having access to spiritual/healing properties
and being able to talk a bit about its origin and production
method all create an interest and add value for the customer.
below is a partial index, and focuses on the types of stones
most often found in our jewelry. A great book on stones and
mineral identification is Gemstones of the World by Walter
Agates are found as ball or geode type nodules. Often they
have a concentric banding of various colors. Depending on
how the stone is cut, the bands may form rings or bands. Agate
comes in all colors, and is usually opaque or semi-translucent.
The rough surface of druzy is actually the center part of
the agate nodule with the rest of the stone cut away.
Fossilized, hardened resin of an ancient pine tree dating
back about 50 million years. Found mostly in in the Baltic,
younger ambers are found in the Dominican Republic. Yellows
and browns are the predominant colors.
Type of quartz, found mostly in Brazil. Purple, transparent,
color varies quite a bit from light to dark. Most people view
dark amy as more desirable.
Greenish semi-tranparent stone, similar in color to Jade.
Also a member of the quartz family. Sometimes has a glittery
appearance, but when used in beads it rarely shows.
Member of the Chalcedony species. Opaque, dark-green color
with red spots. Also called heliotrope. Not to be confused
with blood jasper.
Member of the Chalcedony species. Reddish brown in color.
Translucent to opaque, with color ranging from light to very
dark brown. Most carnelian is today is agate that is dyed
then heat treated.
Bluish-gray-white milky translucent colored stone. Chalcedony
is a species name that includes agates, jaspers, carnelian,
bloodstone, chrysoprase, onyx and petrified wood. Stone varies
in color from pale gray to deep almost purple blue.
Green to apple green type of chalcedony. Stone is opaque,
often with black veins resembling ferns or other plant-like
Also a type of quartz. Natural citrine is rare, most are heat
treated amethysts. Lemony yellow color, transparent, hard
Branching, skeleton-like material created by small marine
organisms. Most often found in red, but also comes in pink,
white, black or blue. Soft organic material that must be treated
with care to avoid damaging with solvents or hard surfaces.
Transparent stone that varies from pink to red to brown. Most
people prefer the blood red version.
Black to grayish metallic stone that is very dense. Said to
have healing properties, especially in the magnetic version.
The most common and popular color is green, but jade comes
in all colors. "New" jade is a whitish color of the mineral.
Another member of the chalcedony species, it comes in all
colors and is opaque even in thin slabs. Jasper is mostly
striped or spotted and there are hundreds of varieties. Generally
the jasper we get is brownish in varying shades and patterns.
Member of the feldspar species. Dark gray to black with colorful
iridescence that ranges from yellow to purple.
Lazuli: Dark blue with inclusions
of iron pyrite or black flecks. Opaque, this mineral comes
from Afghanistan and Pakistan. When properly polished, has
a brilliant shine, otherwise has a waxy finish.
Green, banded stones with parallel lines or concentric rings.
Completely opaque, stone is soft and can be easily scratched.
Colorless, white or yellowy with a pale sheen. "Regular" moonstone
has an opalescent quality that follows the eye of the observer
with movement. We mostly get "Rainbow Moonstone," also know
as spectrolite. It has a whitish base color with a "fire"
inside that varies from yellow to blue.
A layer stone and member of the Chalcedony species. True onyx
has a black base and white upper layer. In cabs and beads,
the white and black layers alternate. The name onyx is also
used with solid colored chalcedony. The term onyx is a broad
one and may include stones identified as carnelian (red onyx),
green onyx, and white onyx. This stone, like all chalcedonies,
is soft and care should be taken to avoide scratching.
Formed by saltwater oysters or by freshwater mussels. Formed
as a result of an introduced irritant that is coated by the
shellfish with an organic product called nacre that is meant
to alleviate the irritation within the animal. Pearls occur
naturally in white, pink, silver, cream, golden, green, blue
and black. Currently, China is a major producer of freshwater
pearls that come in every color of the rainbow (dyed).
Yellow green stone, transparent. Peridot is considered a higher
valued semi-precious stone and is highly prized among stone
lovers. It is the birthstone of August, the month my wife
was born in.
Rose-red to yellowish, usually with lighter colored stripes.
Most stones we see are bubble gum pink to raspberry red. Coming
from Argentina, this stone has only been commercially produced
since about 1940. Most often opaque, transparent crystals
are highly prized.
Similar in composition to rhodocrosite, this mineral usually
appears more red and has black dendritic (plant-like) inclusions.
Quartz: Rosy pink color, usually translucent with
a crackled, almost milky quality to it. Rhodocrosite: Rose
red with yellow or pinkish colored stripes. Completely opaque,
often with a bubble gum color pink.
Quartz: Transparent stone with a black to smoky gray
tint. As the name suggests, this is a member of the quartz
species. Sometimes called (incorrectly) smoky topaz.
Eye: Another member of the quartz species. Silky,
banded brown appearance with an opalescence that changes with
viewing angle. In India, they subdivide this stone by primary
color, like "Red Tiger," "Black Tiger," etc.
Actually a species unto itself. Tourmaline is highly prized
and usually expensive. It grows in points like quartz, often
with a dark outer ring and lighter center color. The stone
comes in all colors, an is semi-transparent.
Sky blue to apple green to brown in color, often with inclusions
that are dark gray or black in color. American turquoise tends
to be more blue in color, while Asian turquoise is green or
brown in color.
article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally
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