From your favorite gemstone to gemstones you've never heard of, we have fun facts and exclusive information in our new and improved gemstone encyclopedia.
Zandrite® is the brand name for a man-made stone that is highly photochromic. It is a chemically doped variety of glass, whose name is an allusion to alexandrite, an expensive naturally occurring color-change variety of chrysoberyl. Zandrite® is specially formulated by combining rare earth elements (like neodymium, lanthanum, and cerium) to create a stunning color change property. A scientist was the first to create, then realize the potential of this stunning gem (completely by accident).
The majority of gem-quality zincite in the market is the byproduct of Polish metal refineries where the material crystallized in the factory smokestacks and was then harvested during cleaning. Zincite can also be found naturally in a few localities, most notably associated with metamorphosed zinc ore bodies in Sterling, New Jersey, though the crystals are rarely of gem quality.
Radiant zircon is the oldest known gemstone, with some crystals dating back 4 billion years, but also perhaps the most misunderstood. Unfortunately, due to the similarity of zircon's name to the lab created diamond simulant cubic zirconia, many people don't realize that zircon is a beautiful, naturally occurring stone with its own merits. Thanks to its tremendous fire and dispersion, it has been considered a less-expensive stand-in for diamond for many years, although zircon gives us many reasons to sing its praises and appreciate it in its own light.
Zoisite is a mineral species in the epidote group. The most celebrated variety is its blue to violet occurrence, tanzanite, but other zoisite colors include red, pink (thulite), green and purple. Discovered in the early 19th century, zoisite was named after Baron von Zois, an Austrian scientist and mineral collector.