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Gemstone Buyers Guide

Agate :

Agate is a very common gemstone that is often used in jewelry. It is a  variety of chalcedony that is found in a wide range of colors including black, gray, brown, reddish, green, pink, blue, and yellow.

Agate is believed to cure insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams, protect from danger and healing and a bold heart.  Wearers are believed to become temperate, continent and cautious.

Agate was regarded as cooling gem capable of reducing fever, quenching thirst, quieting the pulse and ensuring good health and a long and prosperous life. Agate has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.

Alexandrite :

Alexandrite is a type of chrysoberyl which is one of the world’s most valuable gemstones. It appears to be of different colors depending on whether it is viewed under natural or artificial light.

Alexandrite appears to be red to purple when seen in candle light and blue to green when seen in fluorescent light.

Amber :

Amber is translucent hardened fossilized sap of pine trees often found with organic objects suspended in it. The name Amber comes from Greek word ‘amber’ meaning Electron. This is because if rubbed, Amber produces electricity. 

Amber was believed to possess magical powers that protected the wearer from evil. Amber has a hardness of 2.5 and a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10.

Amethyst :

Amethyst is the birthstone of February and the most valuable gemstone in the family of quartz. It is a relatively common gemstone.

Amethyst is usually purple, but can range in color from pale lavender to a very deep, reddish purple to a milky green color. Synthetic amethysts are hard to distinguish from the real stone.

Amethyst has a hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.65.


Ametrine is a variety of quartz, which actually is a mixture of two gemstones. Ametrine blends the golden color of Citrine with the purple color of Amethyst to create this gorgeous gem.

Ametrine is mostly found in one place in the world. the Bolivian Anahi mine.

Aquamarine :

Aquamarine is the birthstone of March. It is a transparent gemstone of beryl family which comes in light blue or sea green. Blue aquamarines are more highly valued. Heat-treatment turns the greenish stones bluer.

The best aquamarines come from Brazil. Large aquamarines are relatively common.

Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5-8 and a specific gravity of 2.65-2.85.

Black Pearl :

Also called as Tahitian Pearl, are found in the tropical indo-pacific ocean. 100% natural Tahitian pearls are very expensive and rare. There are as well black pearls which are dyed, color enhanced and it is very difficult to distinguish them from the natural black pearls.

Chalcedony :

This is a family of minerals which is most widely used in making cameos because of its beautiful color and engrave able surface.

Chalcedony includes agate, carnelian, chrysophrase etc. Chalcedony has a hardness of 6.5-7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.

Citrine :

Citrine is a semi-precious gemstone from Quartz family. It got its name from the French word Citron meaning ‘Lemon’.

Citrine has a hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.65.

Cubic Zirconia :

Also known as CZ or Cubic Zircon is a simulated, lab created gemstone.

Demantiod Garnet :

This is a one of the most valuable minerals in garnet family. The gemstone has a lustrous green color with hardness of 6-7 and a specific gravity of 3.8 - 3.9.

Diamond :

This birthstone of April is the hardest of all gemstones. It has a hardness of 10 and specific gravity of 3.5. Even though white diamond is the most widely used there are diamonds of yellow, brown, green, red pink etc colors.

Emerald : 

Birthstone of May, Emerald is a very hard and green precious gemstone. Most of the emeralds are heavily included which helps the customer verify whether the gemstone is authentic or not.

Garnet :

Garnet is a group of semi-precious gemstones that is found in all colors else of blue. The name is being derived from the Latin word ‘granatum’ meaning ‘pomegranate’ because of its rich deep color.

Garnet has a hardness of 6-8 and a specific gravity of 3.5 - 4.3.

Iolite :

Iolite is a pleochroic gemstone which shows more than one color when seen in different angles. It is also called as ‘Water Sapphire’. Iolite is not rare and has a hardness of 7 - 7.5.

Jade :

This semi-precious gemstone ranges in color from green to white to lilac to brown to almost black. Jade is believed to protect the wearer from injury. The Chinese used jade once as a form of currency.

Jade has a hardness of 6.5-7.

Lapis Lazuli :

This alternative birthstone of September is being used in jewelry since ancient times. Often dyed and deepen and improve its color, lapis was found in my handmade jewelry pieces, especially for men.

Lapis has a hardness of 5.5.

Malachite :

Malachite is an opaque semi-precious gemstone usually found featuring bands of black through its beautiful green background. Malachite gets its name from the Greek work Malake meaning “Mallow”, in reference to its low hardness.

Moissanite :

Moissanite is a very hard mineral which ranges in color from colorless to blue to green to yellow.

Moissanite has a hardness of 9.25 which is almost similar to Diamond.

Moonstone :

This semi-translucent gemstone is the alternative birthstone of June. Moonstone comes in whitish blue, yellow, orange, gray or even red color.

Moonstone has a hardness of 6 and a specific gravity of 2.57.

Opal :

This iridescent semi-precious gemstone is the birthstone of October. Opals are known for its majestic fire displayed, almost floating, inside its body. Boulder Opals are recognized by their dark blue and green color with spots of red. White opal on the other hand displays orange-red and greenish-yellow fire.

And pumpkin orange color is seen in Mexican opals. Opals need special care as many opals have a high water content and they can dry out and crack if they are not cared for well.

Opals have a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 and a specific gravity of 1.98-2.50.

Pearl :

Pearl, the birthstone of June is grown within oysters and some other mollusks. White pearls with great luster and minimum amount of pores are most desired. There are many types of pearls such as natural pearls, cultured pearls, freshwater pearls, seed pearls, baroque pearls, biwa pearls etc.

Pearls need special care as well, as they are sensitive to different cosmetics and sprays. Pearl has a hardness of 3 – 4.

Peridot :

Also know as ‘evening emerald’, this yellow-green semi-precious gemstone is the birthstone of August. Even though Peridot has a hardness of 6.5, this gemstone should be worn with care due to its low scratch resistance.

Rubellite :

Rubellite also spelled as rubelite is most valuable among all other varieties of red Tourmalines. It has a hardness of 7-7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.02-3.25.

Ruby :

Ruby is the member of the corundum family and considered as the most valuable gemstone. This birthstone of July comes in medium-pink to deep red to purplish red.

Burma is famous for the best quality of Rubies.

Ruby has a hardness of 9 and a specific gravity of 3.9 - 4.1.

Sapphire :

Sapphire is the birthstone of September and also from the Corundum family. This hard, precious gemstone comes in blue, yellow, green, white, purple and pinkish-orange (padparadscha) colors.

Legend has that sapphire protects its wearer from poisonous creatures.

Sapphire has a hardness of 9 and a specific gravity of 3.9 - 4.1. Sapphires are often heat treated to improve their color.

Tanzanite :

This fine trichroic gemstone is relatively new in the world of gemstone and named after the origin country - Tanzania. It exhibits different colors when viewed from different directions.

Tanzanite is one of the birthstones of December. Deep purple tanzanites with red flashes are much valuable.

Tanzanite has a hardness of 6 and specific gravity of 3.35.

Tiger’s Eye :

This attractive gemstone comes in gold, yellow or brown with bands of yellow and brown in it. The colors are being reversed once seen from the opposite direction.

Tiger's eye has a hardness of 7.0

Topaz :

Topaz is a very hard gemstone that is found in brown, yellow, blue and pink. Pink topaz is being created by irradiating common yellow topaz where as other colors are being created by regular heat-treatment of other topazes.

Tourmaline :

This alternative birthstone of October is considered to have the greatest color range of any gemstone. Tourmalines are found in pink, green, red, purple, bluish green and even colorless. Because of its bright shade of pink, pink tourmaline is more desired by young girls.

Tourmaline is also found in bicolors and tricolors.

Tourmaline has a hardness of 7-7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.02-3.25.

Turquoise :

Turquoise is the alternative birthstone of December. It is considered as on the first gemstones used in jewelry and believed to be found in Turkey first. This national gemstone of Iran has a hardness of 6 and a specific gravity of 2.60-2.85.

Zircon :

Zircon is a very lustrous gemstone and is found in red, violet and blue colors. Most of the zircons are heat treated to make it colorless or blue. Clear zircon looks very similar to diamond.

Zircon has a hardness of 7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.90-4.71.
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