Ammolite is a gem that comes from the fossilized shell of an extinct, squid-like creature called an ammonite.
While we often think of opal in terms of phenomenal play of color, this gemstone family is full of other unique and appealing members that have their own allure.
Fluorite on Quartz
Fluorite on Quartz, Huanggang Mine Ulanhad League, Inner Mongolia, China, 15.0x12.0x9.0cm, photo by Jim Wells
Though they all have the same crystal structure (cubic, like diamond and spinel), garnet is an entire group of minerals that vary in their chemical composition, resulting in a variety of gems featuring different colors and properties.
With greater dispersion than diamond, sphalerite is an intriguing, yet challenging, gem.
Everyone knows what diamonds are, but most might not realize what they once were--chunks of dark, nondescript carbon similar to charcoal, roasting and rumbling around deep within the earth.
Apophyllite is divided into three distinct species, fluorapophyllite, hydroxyapophyllite and natroapophyllite, depending on their chemical composition.
Scheelite, named for Swedish chemist C.W. Scheele is a calcium tungstate, a major source of tungsten.
Known for its striking orange, yellow and red hues, nice luster and unique crystal habits, wulfenite is a lead molybdate that is found in the oxidation zone of lead-ore deposits.
Morganite is the pretty, peachy-pink variety of beryl, cousin to more familiar beryls emerald and aquamarine.
Since antiquity, emerald's rich "green fire" has symbolized eternal spring and immortality.
Once proposed to be the national gemstone of the United States, tourmaline is found all over the world and in a variety of colors.
September's birthstone has come a long way since the days when any and every blue stone was called a sapphire.
Named for the Latin cerussa, meaning "white lead," cerussite is a lead carbonate mineral.
Andalusite, an aluminum silicate, derives its name from the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, long believed to be the sight of its original discovery.
Tanzanite is a single-source gemstone that is a thousand times rarer than diamond, and is only gaining popularity.
A pearly transparent to nearly opaque gemstone, Epidote often has a yellowish-green or green "pistachio" color.
Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral found in the oxidation zones of copper deposits and is considered a secondary ore of copper.
Rhodonite is an attractive mineral that is primarily known as an ornamental stone but is often seen in jewelry in the form of beads or cabochons.
Stunning sky blues to stimulating sea greens have made turquoise one of the most popular color trends in jewelry history.