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My Mineral Collection, Gemstones Page

This is my gemstone mineral collection. Some of these could be faceted but I think I'll keep them as is! I've included the non-gem varieties of beryl and tourmaline for consistency. Most minerals have been used at one time or another for jewelry - I'm keeping this page for the "usual" ones. I'm also putting the "Tiffany Stones" here, simply because they're almost exclusively used for jewelry.
Gemstones on Other Pages
See uncut diamonds on my systematic elements page.

Spinels, even though they're often used as gems, are on my systematic oxides page. But have a look at a really beautiful rose spinel!

For other quartz gemstones, see my quartz page.

There's a vein of Angel Wing turquoise (alunite) on my systematic sulfates page.

See a polished pietersite nugget on my systematic inosilicates page.

Gemstone Info
Beryl Varieties
Beryls are colored by different impurities - there are seven commonly available:
  • aquamarine - bluish-green to blue (the pure blue color is rare in nature; most aquas are heat treated to enhance their blueness)
  • emerald - green
  • golden beryl - deep yellow to amber (most jewelers combine these with the heliodors - golden beryls are fairly rare)
  • goshenite - colorless. Goshenites have been used as diamond substitutes.
  • green beryl - any green color that's not deep enough to be "emerald"; usually pale or olive green and much cleaner than emerald - colored by iron instead of chromium or vanadium
  • heliodor - light yellow to yellow-green
  • morganite - pink to peach - colored by manganese (pink) and iron (peach)
There are four rare ones:
  • black beryl
  • dark blue beryl
  • red beryl - These will become more widely known and marketed since Tiffany's (late 2001) acquisition of one of the two main U.S. deposits.
  • vanadium beryl - Vanadium colors this emerald-green beryl (instead of chromium); these, like all the beryls except emerald, are very clean.
There is a LOT more opaque and translucent beryl than facetable - these make beautiful cabs and freeforms!

Tiffany Stones
Tiffany Stones go by many names: bertrandite (which is a misnomer because bertrandite's a mineral of its own), Opalized Fluorite (which is descriptive, somewhat accurate but not inclusive), and among others, Ice Cream Opal. They only occur as various-sized nodules in the Brush-Wellman beryllium mine in western Utah. The nodules comprise fluorite and "opalized fluorite" (fluorite impregnated and coated with opal), bertrandite, beryl, quartz, dolomite, rhodonite, manganese oxides, and other minerals. Unfortunately for the jewelry world, most of them are ground up as part of the beryllium extraction process - so, not only are they rare because of their (sole) location, they're even more rare (and consequently expensive) because so few of them ever "escape". I only have two; one slabbed but only finely sanded and one polished freeform cab.

Tourmaline Varieties
There are many varieties of tourmalines - these, like the garnets, are different chemically; unlike the garnets, there's very little mixing between the group members. See Element51's A Brief Introduction To The Tourmaline Group. The four gemstone types are:

  • dravite - until the recent finds in Zambia and Pakistan, dravites were dark brown to black and opaque; now there's some cuttable yellow-green through yellow-orange to brown ones on the market
  • elbaite - the vast majority of facetable tourmalines are elbaites; the color suite is around 150 colors! Some colors of elbaite have varietal names:
    • achroite - colorless
    • indicolite - greenish-blue to bluish-green; pure blue tourmalines are quite rare
    • rubellite - pink to red
    • siberite - purple
    • verdellite - green
  • schorl - black opaque
  • uvite - another fairly recent gemstone. The red, yellow, and green Brazilian and the chrome uvites (or vanadium dravites, probably) from Tanzania and Burma are available. Prior to these finds, uvites were always opaque and dark brown or black.
There are other members and varieties of the tourmaline family:
Specimens on This Page
(links take you to either the first or only specimen)

49 Rows

Afresite

I honestly don't know what this is (and neither does anybody else - I've asked)! I bought it from a mall "nature store" and as near as I can determine, it's very rare black beryl from Brazil. It's opaque, black, hexagonal, the same hardness as beryl, and in the right matrix to be beryl, so . . .

Benitoite

The state gem of California, benitoite is a rare barium titanium silicate with a beautiful sapphire-blue color and a greater dispersion than diamond! This one has some snow-white natrolite on it - it's from the type locality of the Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito County, California.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the closeup image!

Benitoite

This is an odd benitoite thumbnail (also from the Dallas Mine) - its faces are etched; it's heavily included with crossite to the point of opacity; it's very fluorescent, and the closeup (larger image, top center) shows a tiny cluster of salmon-colored serandite crytsals!

Thanks to Rick Kennedy's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 2

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

This is a gorgeous pale aquamarine-mica group from the Huya Mine, Pingwu, Chengdu area, Sichuan Province, China.

Thanks to Greg Bradbury at Crystalmaze for the specimen and the images!

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

This looks like goshenite (upper left - it's so clear and colorless it almost disappears) and has goshenite's typical tabular habit, but most of the beryl coming out of the Sichuan Province in China is considered aqua. The specimen was loaned to Dr. John Rakovan at Miami University of Ohio for photography and NDT studies. His findings - "what appears to be a spiral growth in the beryl (closeup image) is actually concentric zoning - since there's no color change or luminescence, the zoning is probably due to refractive differences brought on by compositional changes." The Chinese aquas generally ride on a muscovite matrix - this one has cassiterite crystals as well.

Thanks to Greg Holland at the Stone Haven Mineral Shoppe for the specimen and the closeup image!

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

An aquamarine from the Xue Bao Diang Mine, Pingwu, Chengdu area, Sichuan Province, China - again with goshenite's habit, on a muscovite matrix.

Thanks to Peter J. Biskup's auction on eBay for the specimen!

-
Row 3

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

Three aquamarine crystals have grown together in this thumbnail from Afghanistan.

Thanks to David Emslie's (Prospector's Gold & Gems) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

This is a true gemstone pegmatite from Madagascar - a rose quartz matrix with a beautiful (mostly translucent, but lots of nice colors) aquamarine, a cluster of dark red spessartines, and on the back, the remnants (and cast) of a probable cassiterite (larger picture, lower right).

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

My jeweler friend says that these "frozen" aquamarines (and morganites) recently found in Minas Gerais, Brazil, may well be the next fashion trend - this one (28 ct) has a natural hole in it (larger image, right) for a chain.

Row 4

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

This is a gemmy, terminated aquarmarine (38.7 cts) from the Erongo Mountains, Namibia.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

Two facet-grade (15.58 tcw) aquas from .

Thanks to Bernie Giloni's (GemsUSA) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

An odd miniature of blue aquas that hug the matrix and one green aqua that doesn't - from the famous locale of Mount Antero, Colorado.

Thanks to Roger Hoek's (ARCH Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 5

Beryl, var.
Aquamarine

A greenish aqua with unusual color diffusion from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Ex: Dan Erling Collection.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Beryl, var.
Emerald

Russian emeralds often occur with dark green or black mica schist. The closeup shows the main emerald better - this one was tough to photograph!

Beryl, var.
Emerald

A waterworn emerald crystal in matrix from Hiddenite, Alexander County, North Carolina.

Thanks to Kevin MacNelly's (Geodeland) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 6

Beryl, var.
Emerald

This emerald's trying to be an aquamarine - these on a matrix of calcite and black limestone from Muzo, Columbia tend to be on the blue side.

Thanks to Emilie & Ron Kendig's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Emerald

A gorgeous gemmy emerald from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia.

Thanks to Dan Kepler's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Beryl, var.
Golden Beryl

A needle of yellow to yellow-orange transparent beryl from Minas Gerais in Brazil has an excellent termination and is free of matrix.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Row 7

Beryl, var.
Goshenite

There's muscovite on this tabular goshenite (the colorless variety of beryl) from Guizhou, China. The side view (large picture) shows the hexagonal form. The name goshenite comes from Goshen, MA where it was first found. It's often used as a diamond substitute.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Green Beryl

The translucent (or opaque) beryls usually are much larger than their gemmy counterparts - this green one (3 inches long) with blue translucent areas is probably from Maine.

Thanks to Mike & Vickie Gerrie's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Beryl, var.
Heliodor

Heliodor, the pale yellow to dark yellow-green variety of beryl, is not often used as jewelry. This one's got a cloudy termination and schorl inclusions (large photo) near the base and comes from the Zelatoya Vada Mine, near Rangkul, East of Murgab, Tajikistan.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Row 8

Beryl, var.
Heliodor

A beautiful gemmy heliodor from Nuristan, Afghanistan. The color is in between the two photos.

Thanks to Walter Mroch's (The Gem and Mineral Exploration Company) auction for the specimen and the image!

Beryl, var.
Heliodor

A big sparkly etched heliodor from a gem pegmatite near Conselheiro Pena, Minas Gerais, Brazil. It has a couple of natural holes in it and in certain orientations looks like a chicken!

Thanks to Eric Greene's (Treasure Mountain Mining) auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Beryl, var.
Morganite

This beautiful chunk of morganite has been cut, beveled, and polished and has several clean areas that will cut two or three gemstones of 3 - 4 carats each.

Thanks to Bob Drummond at Mountain Lily Gemsfor the specimen and the image!

Row 9

Beryl, var.
Morganite

A beautiful etched morganite from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Beryl, var.
Red Beryl

This red beryl is very rare and comes from the Violet Claims in Beaver County, Utah. The Violet Claims have recently (late 2001) been purchased by Tiffany's, so there may not be any more specimens from this locale.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Beryl, var.
Red Beryl

More red beryl from the Violet Claims in the Wah Wah Mountains of Utah.

Thanks to David Emslie's (Prospector's Gold & Gems) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 10

Beryl, var.
Red Beryl

The red beryl from the other U.S. location (Wildhorse Springs, Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah) has a different habit - rosettes of stacked, paper-thin crystals. These also predate the Violet Claims red beryls by several decades.

Thanks to Rob Lavinsky at The Arkenstonefor the specimen!

Brazilianite

One of the new (early 1999) batch of brazilianites - a nice yellowish-green color. It's the only phosphate that's hard enough to be a "real" gemstone - apatite (though it occurs in beautiful pastels and is often faceted for that reason) is a little too soft.

Brazilianite

A crossed pair of light yellow brazilianites comprise this thumbnail from Linopolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Adam Larson's (Adam's Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 11

Brazilianite

A greener than usual brazilianite thumbnail from Minas Gerais, Brazil - my camera insists on making it appear yellower (larger image, bottom) than it is.

Thanks to John Fasana's auction on eBay for the specimen an d the images!

Buergerite

Buergerite's a fairly rare (usually) dark brown opaque tourmaline - this specimen's from somewhere in San Luis Potosi, Mexico (one of those "old prospector" tales about the miner dying before he could reveal the exact location). It's named after Martin J. Buerger, a well known research scientist and crystallographer.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Chrysoberyl

A very nice chrysoberyl twin from Ambatondrazka, Madagascar.

Thanks to Greg Holland at the Stone Haven Mineral Shoppe for the specimen and the image!

Row 12

Chrysoberyl

Chrysoberyl can also be green, as this thumbnail twin from the new find in Madagascar shows. It really is greener than my other one (larger image, bottom panel) - my camera insists on adding red to it.

Thanks to Throwin' Stones' auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Chrysoberyl,
var. Cymophane

The opalescent variety of chrysoberyl is called cymophane - this excellent old miniature is from Witt Hill, Greenwood, Oxford County, Maine. The tiny red crystal (larger image, bottom center) is almost certainly zircon. Ex: E. A. M. Collection $50 tag.

Thanks to Jasun McAvoy's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Corundum,
var. Ruby

Rubies (one 8 mm and a bunch of smaller ones) from Khit Island, Karelia Republic, Northern Region, Russia - in the jewelry trade, it's probably considered merely a rose sapphire. Like most rubies, these fluoresce a deep red in longwave UV.

Row 13

Corundum,
var. Ruby

Ruby in matrix from a mine (closed since 1978) in Budhipada, Mysore Karnataka, India.

Thanks to Peter J. Biskup's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Corundum,
var. Ruby

Another ruby - this one's from Mogok, Myanmar (Burma) and weighs 3.67 carats. Definitely facetable!

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Corundum,
var. Ruby

This is a bright purplish-red ruby in zoisite matrix from the Raiz Mine, Polar Urals, Russia. There's also some calcite and mica - the mica's edges glow bright green under longwave UV.

Thanks to Gary Lozonne at Lozonne's Minerals for the specimen!

Row 14

Corundum,
var. Rubies

A handful of rubies from various locales - the righthandmost one is from Madagascar.

Corundum,
var. Ruby

A very nice translucent ruby (collected 1992) from Luc Yen, Yen Bihn, Yenbai Province, Vietnam.

Thanks to Chris Wong's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Corundum,
var. Ruby
var. Anyolite

This miniature of ruby on grass green chromium zoisite with black tschermakite. is from the type locality of the Longido Hills, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania, This common combination of ruby and zoisite is called anyolite and is often cabbed if the ruby is not particularly gemmy.

Thanks to Sharon Cisneros at theMineralogical Research Company for the specimen and the image!

Row 15

Corundum,
var. Ruby
var. Anyolite

A polished half-nodule of anyolite from the same locale.

Thanks to Charles Viereck's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Corundum, var.
Synthetic Ruby

This is a reject piece of flux-grown ruby (on chrysoberyl) - the melt got too hot and began to attack the crucible. Most of the rubies are too internally fractured to cut.

Thanks to SoCal Nevada's auction on eBay for the specimen and image!

Corundum, var.
Synthetic Ruby

This is a beautiful thin synthetic ruby crystal thumbnail from Judith Osmer's J. O. Crystal Co. RamauraTM cultured ruby company. These rubies are grown under conditions that duplicate nature and result in rubies that are indistinguihable from natural rubies - Judith adds a tiny amount of dopant that shifts the long-wave fluorescence wavelength to a slightly oranger color.

Thanks to Diane & David Piccioli's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 16

Corundum,
var. Sapphire

A periwinkle sapphire from Madagascar.

Corundum, var.
Violet Sapphire

A gorgeous violet sapphire from Ganesh, Hunza Valley, Northern Areas, Pakistan.

Thanks to the M. Phantom Minerals table at the 2000 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Corundum,
var. Sapphire

A small dark blue sapphire from the Kitui Mines, Kenya, Africa.

Thanks to Frank Butler's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 17

Corundum, var.
Pink Sapphire
on Margarite

A beautiful specimen of pink sapphire and green margarite (here, probably a sapphire alteration product) from Piedmont Orchards, Clarkesville, Habersham County, Georgia - the only known locale for this colorful combination.

Thanks to Martha Crawford's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Corundum, var.
Violet Sapphire

A beautiful red to violet sapphire on matrix miniature from Madagascar.

Corundum, var.
Yellow Sapphire

A pale yellow sapphire thumbnail from Ratnapurna, Sri Lanka.

Thanks to Dave Bunk (Dave Bunk Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 18

Corundum,
var. Sapphire

A light blue "Ceylon Blue" sapphire thumbnail from Ratnapurna, Sri Lanka.

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Corundum,
var. Pink Sapphire

A bright "hot pink" sapphire miniature on matrix from the Jagdali Ruby Mine, Sorobi District, Nuristan, Afghanistan.

Thanks to Mike Shell's auction on eBay for the specimen and image!

Dravite

This dravite (opaque magnesium tourmaline) with phlogopite mica on calcite is from Goshen, Ontario, Canada.

Thanks to Darrel Merke's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 19

Dravite

An excellent miniature (for the locale) of brown dravite with diopside from the Jones Farm, Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, New York.

Thanks to Emilie & Ron Kendig's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Dravite
now "Dravo-uvite"

Beautiful deep orange dravites on talc from Kohistan, Pakistan.

Note: These "dravites" from Pakistan and Afghanistan were analyzed (electron microprobe at UNO in 2003) and found to be an iron-poor, titanium-rich "dravo-uvite".
[ GIA Article ]

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2001 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Thanks also to Farooq Hashmi for the compositional update and GIA article pointer!

Dravite

An excellent sharp deep golden-brown (translucent at the edges) dravite crystal from Jagar-kot (Gujarkot ?), Nepal.

Thanks to Walter Mroch's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 19
 

Elbaite

The pink/red/purple variety of elbaite is called rubellite by the jewelry industry - this is from a years-ago trip to Maine.

Elbaite

This is from that same trip to Maine - very dark, almost opaque green tourmalines. There's not very many prismatic faces here, only the typical rounded triangular cross-sections in this tourmaline pegmatite.

Row 20

Elbaite

A small chunk of grass-green elbaite (the gemstone variety of tourmaline) - one of the natural polarizers. Jewelers refer to green tourmaline (the commonest color) as verdellite. This specimen, like a lot of gemstone quality minerals, comes from Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Thanks to Brett Shafer at The Mineral Vug for the specimen and the image!

Elbaite

This is a newer specimen of rubellite from San Diego County, CAlifornia. Most rubellite here occurs with lepidolite as the host rock.

Elbaite

Indicolite's the blue-colored elbaite tourmaline and this one's from Itinga, Brazil.

Thanks to MINERALMINERS.COM for the specimen and the image!
Image copyrighted by mineralminers.com

Row 21

Elbaite

This cuttable rubellite is from Kunar (Nuristan) Province, Afghanistan.

Thanks to Brett Shafer at The Mineral Vug for the specimen!

Elbaite

This yellowish-green tourmaline with a pink center (probably due to the lepidolite at the base) and a smooth pinacoidal termination comes from Gamata in Badakhshan, Afghanistan.

Thanks to John Veevaert at Trinity Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Elbaite

A lovely rainbow tourmaline from the Mina do Sapo, Goiabeira, Aimorés, Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Row 22

Elbaite with
Cassiterite

This is a really neat micromount of bicolor green tourmaline with a cassiterite cluster and one millimeter-sized melanite garnet around the base. It's from Resplendor, Aimorés, Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Elbaite

The main tourmaline in this specimen from Gilgit, Pakistan is a green-capped watermelon. There's also a cleavlandite rosette with a lepidolite center.

Thanks to Jan Garland's (Fine Rocks) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Elbaite

This is a beautiful, gemmy, smoky teal tourmaline on a matrix of muscovite, albite, and either herderite or cleavlandite from the São Pedro Mine, Suaçuí, Malacacheta District, Teófilo Otoni, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Row 23

Elbaite

This is as near to achroite (colorless tourmaline) as I've seen - mined in Brazil over twenty-five years ago.

Thanks to Margaret's (Lidco) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Elbaite

These tourmalines in this cabinet specimen from Minas Gerais, Brazil may look black but they're actually (mostly) transparent smoky dark blue and teal.

Thanks to Antonis Frangoudis's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Elbaite

Similar to the "black" ones from Minas Gerais, these tourmalines from Mexico are a smoky dark blue.

Thanks to Anne & Charles Steuart's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 24

Elbaite

This tourmaline and cookeite (a weathering product of tourmaline) is from the Mt. Mica Quarry in Paris, Oxford County, Maine.

Thanks to Dennis Brown's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Elbaite

Another Gilgit, Pakistan tourmaline - dark-green with a nice flat termination.

Thanks to Jan Garland's (Fine Rocks) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Elbaite

An odd configuration of forest-green tourmalines from Minas Gerais, Brazil - they're scattered randomly (and flat against the surface) on the quartz matrix.

Row 25

Elbaite

Chatoyant (one side) verdellite from Brazil - this would make a beautiful cabochon.

Elbaite

A beautiful sceptered verdellite from Brazil.

Thanks to Rick & Deana Seng's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Elbaite

A beautiful little achroite and rubellite combo from the Cruziero Mine, Santa Maria do Suaçui, Governador Valadares, Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Keith Hayes' (KQ's Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 26

Elbaite

A tiny completely gemmy pale watermelon-colored (see the end-on view, larger image, bottom left) rubellite with a tiny (common) opal on the termination - it's from the Carlau Mine, Coronel Murta, Araçuaí, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Elbaite

A cute thumbnail of "mushroom" tourmaline from Mogok, Burma.

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Elbaite

A beautiful rubellite thumbnail from Transbaikal, Russia

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Row 27

Elbaite

A translucent rich-brown elbaite thumbnail from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to David Vince's South American Imports auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Elbaite
over
Liddicoatite

This beautiful miniature cluster of pastel tourmalines is actually an elbaite overgrowth over a deep-pink liddicoatite core (they've been analyzed) and comes from the early 2004 find at Luc Yen, Yen Bai Province, Vietnam.

Thanks to John Veevaert at Trinity Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Elbaite, var.
Cuprian Elbaite

A beautiful mixture of pastel tourmalines from Paraiba Mine, São José da Batalha, Paraíba, Brazil. The blue color is due to copper and gold, the lavender also contains manganese.

Thanks to Cheryl Smeed's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row

Elbaite, var.
Cuprian Elbaite

A polished section of Paraiba tourmaline, the rare cuprian elbaite from the state of Paraiba (Bocheiron Zinho pegmatite, near Sao Pessoa) in Brazil. The larger image also shows some Paraiba fragments. Paraiba-type elbaites have also been found in the Oyo region of Nigeria since mid-2001.

Thanks to Alexander Falster's auction on eBay for the specimens!

Elbaite, var.
Cuprian Elbaite

This miniature of pink Paraibas in matrix has manganese in addition to the copper and gold.Thanks to Matt Dye's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Elbaite, var.
Cuprian Elbaite

One more Paraiba - this one's 21mm x 7mm.

Thanks to Matt Dye's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 28

Faustite

When part of the copper (8% or so) in turquoise is replaced by zinc, the color becomes green and is called faustite. Since Joel Arem (in hisColor Encyclopedia of Gemstones) considers it a gemstone, so will I - instead of placing this miniature from Brazil with the phosphates.

Thanks to Don Clauson's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Ferridravite

A ferridravite miniature from somewhere near Camden, Knox County, Maine.

Thanks to William Thomas' auction on eBay for the specimen!

Foitite

A miniature sceptered foitite from the Erongo region of Namibia.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row

Foitite,
Dravite, &
Schorl

A miniature comprising foitite, dravite, and schorl tourmalines from the Ameib Farm, Usakos, Karibib District, Namibia.

Thanks to John Sobolewski's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Liddicoatite

Three fragments of liddicoatite from Antsirabé, Vakinankaratra region, Antananarivo Province, Madagascar. It's the calcium analog of elbaite.

Thanks to Don Pattillo's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Olenite

One of the more rare tourmalines, olenite occurs here as grayish-blue crystals in matrix - from Uvildy Lake, Karabash, Ural, Russia.

Thanks to Tony Nikischer at the Excalibur Mineral Company for the specimen!

Row 29

Blue Opal

This is a beautiful specimen of precious blue seam (sandstone) opal from Australia. The closeup shows the green, blue, and purple fire. The blue body color is probably due to chrysocolla inclusion. There's a few more seam edges throughout. This is the kind of opal that's made into doublets and triplets because of its thinness.

Candy Stripe Opal

This is from a solitary find (1998) near Brigham City (Milford), Beaver County, Utah - the colors are gorgeous! It's also called Bacon Opal.

Thanks to Thomas Taaffe's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Peridot

San Carlos Indian Reservation, Graham County, Arizona was the home of this peridot - there's probably enough facet-grade peridot here to cut a nice-sized gem.

Thanks to Bob Drummond at Mountain Lily Gems for the specimen and the image!

Row 30

Peridot

A peridot (the gemstone variety of forsterite, the magnesium-rich end of the olivine series) xenolith also from San Carlos - sometimes these will have large enough peridot crystals inside to facet. This one didn't, but there are lots of other peridot colors here - deep emerald green (fayalite, the iron-rich olivine), amber, and light red.

Thanks to Bob Drummond at Mountain Lily Gems for the specimen!

Peridot

Another peridot specimen from San Carlos - this one has a peridot crust.

Peridot

A beautiful cluster of peridot from the Kashmir area of Pakistan.

Thanks to S & F Gem's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Row 31

Rossmanite

Rossmanite's a fairly recent tourmaline - it's approximately an "aluminum elbaite" and looks a lot like rubellite. This miniature from the Michigan College of Mines (now Michigan Tech University) has been reanalyzed and found to be rossmanite instead of elbaite. The label dates the specimen to sometime between 1897 and 1927. It's from the type locality of the Hradisko Quarry, Rozna, Moravia, Czech Republic.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Schorl

Schorl is the iron-rich black opaque variety of tourmaline. In the Victorian era it was often used for mourning jewelry - now it's used more for industrial purposes.

Schorl

Schorl on a matrix from Pierrepont, St. Lawrence County, New York - almost too lustrous to photograph!

Thanks to Dan Wienrich at Dan & Jill Weinrich for the specimen and the image!

Row 32

Schorl

Over two inches in diameter, this schorl (though it looks more like dravite or povondraite) comes from Yinnietharra, Pilbara Region, Western Australia, Australia.

Thanks to John Lally's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Schorl

This is velvet schorl from the early 2000 find in Mexico.

 
Row 33

Sugilite, var.
Manganoan Sugilite

A pretty thumbnail of manganoan sugilite from Namibia, Africa. Like milarite, it's a member of the double-ring osumilite group. Sugilite (actually manganoan sugilite, but usually referred to as "sugilite") is a relatively new (1975) gemstone that's usually cabbed or freeformed. The extreme closeup (center, oriented NW to SE) shows one of many gemmy hexagonal prisms present amid the massive sugilite. It has many jewelry trade names; Cybeline, Royal Azel, and Royal Lavulite and the material is often a mix of sugilite and sugilite-included chalcedony. The non-manganoan sugilite is a light-brownish yellow and generally occurs only in minute grains.

Thanks to Jocelyn Millroy's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Sugilite, var.
Manganoan Sugilite

A vein of manganoan sugilite on matrix is from the famous Kalahari Manganese Fields of South Africa. Sugilite from this locale is often called "wesselite".

Thanks to Keith Hayes' (KQ's Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Sugilite, var.
Manganoan Sugilite

The current production run of manganoan sugilite from Namibia is about over - this dark magenta slab is still beautiful, though!

Thanks to Lenora Salandi's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 34

Tiffany Stone

This beautiful miniature slab is, like all Tiffany Stones, from the Brush-Wellman mine in Juab County, Utah.

Thanks to Skye's Gems auction on eBay for the specimen and image!

Tiffany Stone

This is a polished freeform cab of Tiffany Stone - a little over a square inch.

Thanks to Will Cox's auction on eBay for the specimen and image!

Topaz

Topaz from the Thomas Range, Juab County, Utah - the light pinkish-brown color is typical of topazes from there. The black cubes are bixbyite, a manganese-iron oxide.

Thanks to Amethyst Galleries, Inc. for the specimen and the image!
Image copyrighted by Amethyst Galleries, Inc.

Row 35

Topaz

This colorless topaz from the Yunnan Province in China is also cuttable. Often these relatively cheap colorless topazes are heat treated to create the currently fashioable blue topazes.

Thanks to Dan Wienrich at Dan & Jill Weinrich for the specimen and the image!

Topaz

The color of these topazes (from Villa Garcia in Zacatecas, Mexico) vary from colorless to reddish-brown. They're on a rhyolitic host rock and are transparent to translucent.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Topaz

This imperial topaz is too heavily fractured internally to cut, but it is the true imperial color.

Row 36

Topaz

When a topaz is this shade of blue it's a natural occurence - this one's from Nigeria.

Thanks to Marcus Origlieri at The Mineral Zone for the specimen!

Topaz

Light brown topazes like this one come from Gilgit, Pakistan.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Topaz

Another colorless topaz - this one's from Mungo in the Shigar Valley, Baltistan, N.A., Pakistan. It (along with a few smaller ones) is riding on a microcline matrix.

Thanks to Greg Holland at the Stone Haven Mineral Shoppe for the specimen and the image!

Row 37

Topaz

This colorless topaz is from Jos, Nigeria - the "faceted" terminations are natural!

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Topaz

A beautiful champagne topaz on cleavelandite blades with schorl from Gilgit, Pakistan.

Thanks to Kevin Ward's auction at the The Mineral Gallery for the specimen!

Topaz

Lighter color than most imperials, but still very gemmy, this thumbnail comes from Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Joanne Dionne's (The Mineral Mall) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 38

Topaz

More Villa Garcia zoned topazes on rhyolite.

Thanks to Cathy Krismanits' (Southwestern Sales) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Topaz

A single red topaz crystal from (probably Villa Garcia, Zacatecas) Mexico.

Thanks to Miao Yang's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Topaz

An excellent beautifully-terminated topaz from Pakistan.

Thanks to SoCal Nevada's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Row 39

Topaz

A gorgeous deep salmon-pink topaz thumbnail from Ouro Prêto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Wright's Rock Shop's table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Topaz

A beautiful miniature of blue topaz, dark-green tourmaline , and pink orthoclase from the long-closed St. Anne's Mine, Mwami, Karoi, Zimbabwe.

Thanks to Brian McManus' (Pebble Peddler) auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Topaz

A large thumbnail of pale green topaz from the new (2004) find at Medina, Pedra Azul (Fortaleza), Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to Eric Greene's (Treasure Mountain Mining) auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 40

Topaz

A 13.88 carat rose topaz - I don't know where it's from.

Thanks to Ken DeMary's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Topaz, var.
Physalite

Physalite is opaque and highly compacted, almost cryptocrystalline topaz. This rare miniature is from Finnbo, near Falun, Sweden, the varietal type locality. It's also called pyrophysalite, as it intumesces in heat.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Topaz, var.
Pycnite

Pycnite (pyknite) is the name given to opaque massively columnar topaz - this small cabinet piece of honey-colored pycnite comes from Altenberg, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany. There's much more pycnite than gem-quality topaz.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 41

Tourmaline

"Chrome" tourmalines (like this 2-carat one) from Tanzania can either be vanadium-rich dravites or chromium-rich uvites.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Elbaite, var.
Tsilaisite

Tsilaisite's the very rare manganese-rich variety of tourmaline - the crystals, though tiny, are beautifully colored. This specimen of tsilaisite on manganite comes from Kasekelesa, Shaba, Ruwe, Kolwezi, Republic of the Congo. Tsilaisite is also the name of the hypothetical endmember (with even more manganese present).

Note: There's a rare yellowish-green to yellowish-brown tourmaline from Africa (Zambia) marketed as tsilaisite by jewelers - it's NOT the same composition; more of a manganiferous (not as much manganese as the above specimen, only ~9%) elbaite.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Thanks also to Bruce Fry [email 12 Nov 2008] for the update!

Turquoise

Turquoise was probably the first opaque mineral to be used as a gemstone - this one's from Arizona.

Row 42

Turquoise

Very rare turquoise crystals on matrix from the famous locale (and arguably, the type locality for crystalline turquoise) of Lynch Station, Campbell County, Virginia.

Thanks to Emilie & Ron Kendig's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Turquoise

This is a gorgeous small cabinet specimen of turquoise from China.

Thanks to Le Han's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Uvite

Uvite's the magnesium-rich member of the tourmaline family. Here it occurs with quartz and since there was enough magnesium available to form uvite, there's also a few small rhombs of colorless magnesite as well. The uvite crystals here are typical - they're tabular with essentially only the terminations present. This specimen (like a lot of uvite) comes from the Brumado Mine in Bahia, Brazil.

Thanks to Chris Korpi at Pangaea Minerals for the specimen!

Row 43

Uvite

More uvite - this black variety is from Pierrepont, NY, one of its classic locations. The larger picture shows both specimens from the same site.

Thanks to Frank Yolton's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Uvite

Uvite usually doesn't occur in red - these are a beautiful deep wine red on a magnesite matrix, and like essentially all of the currently facetable uvite, comes from the Brumado Mine in Bahia, Brazil.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the closeup image!

Uvite

Yellow uvites on magnesite - three separate thumbnails.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Row 44

Uvite with
Florencite

Sharp gemmy medium green uvites on magnesite with orange-brown florencite (a rare-earth aluminum hydroxyphosphate member of the crandallite group) also from the Brumado Mine in Bahia, Brazil.

Thanks to Alexander Falster's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Uvite

A big (1-inch) dark-green uvite crystal from the Brumado Mine, Bahia, Brazil.

Thanks to Marcel Sieber's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Uvite

A beautiful thumbnail cluster of green uvites from Brumado.

Thanks to Sharon Burnett's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 45

Uvite

A miniature of small uvites in matrix from somewhere in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Thanks to J. N. Santana's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Uvite var.
Vanadium Uvite

More uvite - this single crystal is colored green by vanadium rather than iron and comes from Burma.

Thanks to Chris Wright at Wright's Rock Shop for the specimen and the image!

Uvite var.
Vanadium Uvite

An intergrown thumbnail rosette of vanadium uvite from Painpyit, Mogok, Burma.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Row 46

Victoria Stone

Victoria Stone (or Iimori Stone) is a beautiful and fascinating material - it's made of fused (natural) minerals, poured into a boule form, and left to cool under 2000psi for months. This produced chatoyant actinolite fibers in a near-nephritic jade arrangement. Essentially all that remains of S. Iimori's Victoria Stone is the occasional thin calibrated cab like this one here. Dr. Iimori never revealed the "recipe" and no one has been able to reproduce these beautiful Iimori stones since.

Thanks to John Schmitt's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Victoria Stone

A 24-carat polished freeform blue Victoria Stone.

Thanks to Irina Horvath's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Warrierite

A tumbled and polished warrierite miniature from Western Australia, Australia. Warrierite is the midmember of the dravite - schorl series. It's massive, fine-grained (and tough due to the interlocking crystals, like jade), and takes a beautiful high polish. Warrierite also occurs in a mottled material with milky quartz.

Thanks to Gwen Day Broom's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 47

Zircon

Two beautiful red-brown zircons in matrix from Kohistan, Pakistan.

Thanks to Graber & Himes' table at the 1999 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Zircon

A beautiful little color-change zircon from Mogok, Myanmar (Burma).

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Zircon

A miniature of an excellent reddish-brown zircon on marble from Gilgit, Pakistan. The larger image shows a couple of the smaller ones - the pale brown one is very gemmy!

Thanks to Thomas Taaffe's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 48

Zircon

A miniature of vivid yellow zircons on a matrix of quartz and hornblende from Mt. Malosa, Zomba, Malawi.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Zircon

A beautiful 17.55ct gemmy (though internally fractured) sky-blue zircon from Lam Dong Province, Vietnam.

Thanks to Nguyen Ngoclong's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Zoisite var.
Tanzanite

Tanzanite's another recent (1967) gemstone - it's a blue variety of zoisite from the Merelani Hills, Arusha, Tanzania. Most tanzanite is heat treated (like this one) to enhance the blue color.

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Row 49

Zoisite var.
Tanzanite

Here's anothre tanzanite crystal from the Merelani Hills - it's untreated so the pleochroism is very pronounced (larger image).

Thanks to Mike Shell's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Zoisite
var. Thulite

The pink manganese-rich variety of zoisite (and clinozoisite, as here) is called thulite - it's often made into cabochons and beads. This large cabinet specimen may be from the famous Rancho de Tepueste find of the late 1960's in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

Thanks to David H. Garske's (MINERALS and MORE) auction on eBay for the specimen!

Zoisite
var. Thulite

A pretty miniature of thulite (manganoan clinozoisite - a calcium aluminum hydroxysilicate) from the Darwin District, Inyo County, California. Ex: William Schultz Collection (1973). There's also an unidentified deep purple mineral present (larger image, lower right).

Thanks to North Star Minerals' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

maintained by: Alan Guisewite

Last Update 10 Jan 2009