A

Agate

Distinguished by its multiple colours: white, red, blue, grey, brown or blue. Agate originates from Sicily.

Amber

Amber is an organic material, the fossilized resin of ancient trees. It is found within rocks and also can be found washed up on the seashore. When rubbed with a cloth, it will generate static electricity. Amber originates in the Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Also in the Dominican Republic.

Amethyst

Boasting the famed colour of royalty. This is a purple gemstone, quartz variety, which originates from rocks such as granite and gneiss. Mined in Eastern Mexico - very pale colour, quartz interior, purple on the outside. South Western Mexico - purple interior, very pale on the outside. Amethyst is also found in India, Sri Lanka and Brazil. It is known that Amethyst is a February Birthstone.

Azurite

The name Azurite is derived from the Arabic 'Azul', meaning blue. Azurite is an intense deep blue colour and often occurs with Malachite, Chrysocolla, or Turquoise. Hence, it is vibrant blue/green colour. Mined in the USA, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Morocco and Namibia.

Amazonite

Originally found in the New England States and Colorado in the USA. Amazonite, sometimes known as Amazon Stone, is a green variety of microcline Feldspar. It is A light, aqua-green stone with white mottled flecks. The name Amazonite had been taken from the Amazon River, where formerly certain green stones were found in Brazil. Amazonite is believed to be a sacred stone of high value. It was extensively used by the ancient Egyptians and is said to give a cooling soothing effect to the mental state.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Russia and the USA. It is a variety of Beryl and it belongs to the same family as Emerald. Generally, Aquamarine is faceted, except for the translucent or milky specimens, which are better cut of en cabochon. Aquamarine is a stone of courage. Its calming energies reduce stress and quiet the mind. Examples from China and Colombia tend to be of a yellowish tint. Aquamarine is a March Birthstone.

C

Carnelian

Carnelian may have an unbroken red colour, or is faintly banded. It comes predominantly from India, Brazil and Uruguay, but is also mined in Japan, Australia and Cornwall, UK. With more expensive Ruby, Carnelian is a July Birthstone.

Coral

Coral comes from Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Persian Golf, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. Coral is created by marine animals like coral polyp, which is related to sea anemones. Their dense limestone skeletons cluster together and build up over thousands of years into coral reefs and coral islands. Coral colour varies from 'salmon' pink to bright red. The best corals are generally considered to be those of a deep rose red colour, although these types of coral are very rare, because they have been over-harvested in the past. Coral can be made into a variety of different shaped beads, including Cupolini chips. These are made from a type of coral that has very thin branches, so each bead is made from a single branch. Their length will vary and may be drilled at one end or in the middle, so that you get a very natural irregular look.

Citrine

Most commonly produced in the Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, Citrine is a rare variety of quartz often mistaken in colour for Topaz. The name is derived from Latin 'citrina', which means 'yellow' and is also the origin of the word 'citron'. Citrine energises every level of life, cleansing the chakras and opening intuition.

E

Emerald

Found mainly in Colombia and Brazik, Emerald is a green variety of Beryl derived from the French 'esmeraude' and the Grek root 'smarogdos' meaning green gemstone. Because emeralds usually contain cracks and inclusions, the majority of stones are 'oiled', meaning they are immersed in oil to reduce the visibility of inclusions and improve clarity. Emeralds were used as amulets to ward off epilepsy in children and thought to cure diseases of the eye.

F

Fluorite

Fluorite is a mineral. Its crystals are commonly cubic with round corners. Ornamental stone, blue john, is a variety of Fluorite and has curved bands of blue, purple, violent, yellow and white.

G

Garnet

Found mainly in Ceylon, Australia, Madagascar, India, Australia and Brazil, Garnet is found all over the world in many different guises. Most often seen in red, Garnet is available in virtually all colours, including pink green, orange, yellow, brown and black. A stone of commitment, Red Garnet represents love and is said to control anger, especially toward the self. Garnet (and Rose Quartz) are January Birthstone.

H

Hematite (Haematite)

Hematite is the most important iron ore. It was used for cave paintings, decorating tombs of pharaohs and as a war pain by the Native Americans. At present, Hematite is popular in jewellery making although it is on the heavy side. Type of cuts include cabochons, table cuts and brilliants. Figurines, pendants, necklaces and cameos are carved from Hematite. It is sourced from Cumbria as well as Germany and the island of Elba.

Howlite

Howlite is a white stone with streaks of gray or black, called inclusions. Because of these inclusions and the fact that this stone is easily dyed due to its porous nature, it is often used to create imitation turquoise as well as lapis lazuli. It is usually found in borax deposits and is mined in California and Nova Scotia.

J

Jasper

Jasper is a mixture of chalcedony, quartz and opal found in crack of volcanic rocks. Colours of Jasper range from yellow and green to brown and grey-blue. Jasper is mined in Russia, USA, India, South America, Egypt and Germany.

Jade (Malaysian Quartzite)

The word 'Jade' is used to define two minerals of similar appearance, but different chemical composition. Jade is a symbol of serenity and purity. It signifies wisdom gathered in tranquillity. It increases love and nurturing. Quartzite is dyed into a wide variety of colours in varying shades.

Jade (Nephite Jade)

The word 'Jade' is used to define two minerals of similar appearance, but different chemical composition. Nephrite is a common form of Jade with deposits being found in New Zealand, Australia, China, Zimbabwe, Taiwan and Alaska.

K

Keshi Pearls

This is an extremely rare form of pearl. They are from the Japanese Akoya Oyster found only in the Sea of Japan. They take 7 years to form and they come in many shapes, hues, different lustres, colours and sizes.

L

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is dark, intense blue with flecks of gold pyrite and white calcite. Colour range: from greenish-blue to purple-blue. Traces of other minerals such as Pyrite are also found, i.e. Sodalite, Diopside, Apatite and Zircon. Lapis Lazuli, often known as Lapis, is mined in Siberia (Russia),Chile, Italy, USA and Canada. Like Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli, somewhat less expensive, is a September Birthstone.

Labradorite

Labradorite was found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. This gen is usually known as rainbow moonstone as it gleams a range of colours: blue, violent, green, yellow, or orange, or all of then at once. Labradorescence Is caused by the play of light on lamellar growths inside the stone, which means that the light is reflected back and forth internally. The gem was first identified in Labrador, Canada. Now it is also mined in Finland, where it is known as Spectrolite.

M

Mother of Pearl (Shell)

Mother of Pearl is nacre, the smooth calcium carbonate lining of iridescent lustre found in some shells as the large pearl oysters, abalones, pearls mussels and paua shells. Nacre is the substance of which pearls are made. Used in jewellery, inlay work, ornaments and buttons. It is found in the Caribbean, Australia, Tahiti, Fiji and Samoa.

Malachite

Malachite is a secondary copper mineral with a vivid green colour, quarried in the Ural Mountains in Russia.

Moonstone

Found in Burma, Ceylon, Madagascar and Brazil, Moonstone is a sodium potassium aluminium silicate from the Feldspar group. Known for its chatoyancy, both the Romans and Greeks associated Moonstone with their lunar gods and goddesses. A stone for 'new beginnings'. Moonstone is a stone of inner growth and strength.

O

Opal

Found mainly in Australia, but also in Mexico, Opal is an amorphous form of hydrous silica. There are numerous varieties of Opal, Precious Opal, if held to the light, shows a marvellous display of bright colours. As it contains a high percentage of water, Opal may deteriorate in heat and cold.

P

Pyrite

Pyrite is a mineral, but often mistaken for the precious metal (hence 'fool's gold'). The richest deposits are in Spain, the island of Elba, Germany, the USA, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland and the Chech Republic to name a few.

Pearl

A Pearl is the lustrous, hard and smooth rounded mass created inside all molluscs. Most pearls come from seawater molluscs, generally the large 'pearl oysters'. Also from giant clams and giant conches. Pearls are also found in freshwater clams and mussels. CULTURED PEARLS - initially created by Chinese and Japanese developed the industry. These pearls are creating by placing a small bead, usually made of mother- of-pearl shell, into the mantle of a 3-year-old oyster for about 4 years. The nacre is laid down in parallel layers, while a genuine pearl has a concentric construction. FRESHWATER PEARLS are found in subtropical and tropical waters of Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean and coastal water of East Africa. Also, in the USA and Australia. Freshwater pearls occur in the rivers of Europe, including Scotland and Wales.

Peridot

With the best examples coming from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, Peridot, also known as Chrysolite, is an iron-magnesium-silicate and variety of Olivine. Peridot is derived from Greek word 'Peridona', which means 'giving plenty'. The intensity of the colour of the stone depends upon the amount of iron contained. Peridot is a powerful cleanser. It releases and neutralises toxins on all levels. Peridot is an August Birthstone.

Pearl - Akoya Pearl

Akoya Pearls are salt-water pearls, and the name 'Akoya' comes from the oyster that produces the pearl. Akoya pearls are cultured in the Pinctada fucata martensii, also known as the akoya oyster. This mollusk is found and farmed primarily Japan and China. Akoyas are known for their wonderful luster and are considered the CLASSIC pearl. They are generally white or cream coloured, with overtone colours of rose, silver, or cream. Black Akoyas have been treated, or dyed, to create darker shades.

R

Rose Quartz

A pale pink colour is unique among gems. Rose Quartz originates from Brazil, but it is also found in Madagaskar, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany and the USA.

Rock Crystal Quartz

Quarts is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after Feldspar. There are many different varieties of quartz, and especially in Europe and the Middle East. Varieties of quartz have been, since antiquity the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewellery. Rock Crystal, also known as Clear Quartz, or Crystal Quartz, is a natural form of silicon dioxide. Clear Quartz is known as the "master healer" and will amplify energy and thought, as well as the effect of other crystals. Rock Crystal can easily replace so much more expensive Diamond as an April Birthstone.

S

Sodalite

This rich blue stone takes its name from its high sodium content. It is a constituent of Lapis Lazuli. It lack the sparkle of Lapis, which is caused by the presence of brassy coloured Pyrite specks. Major sources are: Canada, British Columbia and the USA.

Smoky Quartz

A gemstone sourced in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany , Russia and the USA. A rare brown gemstone found in granite and gneiss. Other variations include milky, tiger's eye and rutilated quartz with large inclusions of golden or red Rutile gemstone.

Sapphires (and Rubies)

Mined in Zimbabwe, Russia, Sri Lanka and India, Corundum is a crystalline form of Aluminium oxide. Corundum comes in many colours, with transparent specimens called gems, such as ruby if coloured red and all others being called sapphires. The name 'corundum' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'kuruvinda' meaning ruby. Sapphire is a September Birthstone.

T

Turquoise

Turquoise is a gemstone of intense blue colour, mottled with veinlets of brown limonite. It originates from Iran, but travelled to Europe via Turkey. It is known to have been mined in Egypt in 6000BC. Turquoise is also found in the USA, Australia, Russia, Tibet, China and in Cornwall.

Topaz

Found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Russia, the name Topaz come from Sanskrit meaning 'fire' and occurs in a wide range of colours including red, orange, pink, gold, yellow, brown and clear. Red and pink Topaz gems wee used in Russian Czarina's jewellery in the 18th and 19th centuries, hence it is sometimes called 'Imperial Topaz'. During the Middle Ages, Topaz was thought to heal both physical and mental disorders and to prevent death. Together with somewhat less expensive Citrine, Topaz is a November Birthstone.

Tanzanite

First discovered in Tanzania in 1967, Tanzanite is part of the Zoisite family. Tanzanite is very rarely pure blue when mined, usually exhibiting purple overtones. It can be brown and therefore routinely heat treated to draw out the exotic blue/purple colour. Legend says that it was Masai cattle herders that first noticed the stone after fire caused by lightening burned areas in Tanzania. Tanzanite is a December Birthstone. It shares the spotlight with less expensive Zircon, representing wisdom, honour and wealth, and Turquoise with its emphasis on new possibilities and happiness.