All About Luster + Gemstones

All About Luster + Gemstones

This gemstone unboxing episode centers around types of luster and gemstones. Luster is the shine or quality of light that reflects off the surface of different materials. Our hosts cover how luster can appear differently from gemstones and the different types of luster: vitreous, metallic, adamantine, silky, resinous, greasy, pearly, and waxy with high or dull luster.

Vitreous (glass-like) luster is shown through glass, tourmaline and kyanite for a strong shine; this form of luster is the most common for faceted and transparent gemstones and has a strong shine. Metallic luster is displayed with stibnite, metallic pyrite, hematite and rutile. Dull metallic luster is also shown with gemstones like galena which are dimmer than other metallic lusters. Diamond displays adamantine luster (a bright luster similar to vitreous but more reflective), and subadamantine luster (brighter than vitreous but dimmer than adamantine) is demonstrated with natural and synthetic sapphire. Waxy luster is displayed through aquamarine which appears like a waxed surface. Larimar is shown next with silky luster caused by microfibers of different materials within the mineral. Resinous luster occurs from organic gemstones like amber and tortoise shell. Greasy luster occurs from samples like nephrite jade, jadeite jade, Guatemalan jade, and chalcedony quartz. Lastly, dull luster is shown with malachite and rough turquoise which is the dimmest reflection of light, but these minerals are great to collect regardless of luster quality.