List of Gemstone Types
How Many Gemstones Are There?
A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal that can be polished or cut. Often people believe that gemstones are the popular birthstones, however, there are actually over 300 gemstones! Continue reading to see some facts about 25 of the most popular gemstones, their meanings and a complete alphabetical list of all the gemstones.
25 Most Popular Gemstones
Garnet is available in many different colors and is usually associated with the color red. This January birthstone is available in red, green, orange, pink, and purple hues. Some refer to this gem as a “rainbow gemstone.”
Agate is a form of quartz, and it has extremely unique patterns of colors. It is used as a semiprecious stone because of its quality and color. Agate is a translucent variety of quartz that forms by the deposition of silica from groundwater in the sunken areas of igneous rocks.
“The February birthstone is crystalline quartz and ranges from pale lilac to deep reddish purple in color. Often paired with gold or silver, this gemstone is durable with a high hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.
The name alone speaks to the color of the gemstone. This sea blue gem is a member of the beryl family and rates 7.5 on the Mohs scale, meaning that it is a durable gemstone for jewelry.
The most heavily marketed gemstone is that of the diamond. The diamond is the hardest of all the gemstones rating a 10 on the Mohs scale. There are many different things to consider in what makes a diamond valuable including the four C’s (cut, clarity, color, and carat.
Being one of the rarest found gemstones, the emerald is a member of the beryl family. It is one of the “Big Four” gems along with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. The elegant green of the emerald is extremely desirable.
With its color-changing qualities, the alexandrite is extremely desirable but also extremely rare. In the daytime, this gem has a blue-green color, while at night, it becomes red when exposed to incandescent light. It is considered a durable gemstone rating an 8.5 on the Mohs scale.
The beryl family of gemstones includes some of the most popular gemstones including emerald and aquamarine. The color most rare in the beryl family is that of the red beryl. Because the beryl family possesses such variety, they can range from colorless all the way to black.
The citrine gemstone is yellow to red-orange in color and is a member of the crystalline quartz family. Measuring a 7 on the Mohs scale, this gemstone has a good toughness. This sunny gemstone is also the recognized birthstone of November.
10. Lapis Lazuli
Just as it was popular in ancient times, Lapis Lazuli remains just as popular today. It is a blue rock containing lazurite and it is considered a semiprecious stone. The deep blue pigmentation is just as beautiful in jewelry as it is in cosmetics and paintings.
Malachite is a green and black swirled decorative stone. Its patterned design is extremely unique among gemstones. It has a low hardness of only 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale. This allows it to be easily worked but it is still able to keep a polish.
The moonstone can be found all over the world. It is beloved for its blue to white color. Its name describes its color because it gives off a stunning moonlight sheen. It has a lower toughness rating of 6 - 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
The morganite gemstone has a variety of different color pinks. This gemstone measures 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale and its durability has allowed for its increase in popularity. This gem is also now considered a good alternative to the diamond for bridal jewelry.
This gemstone actually comes in a variety of different colors but the most common is the black onyx. Relatively durable, the black onyx measures 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs scale. It has become increasingly popular in both female and male jewelry.
Each opal is as unique as the colors it features. Often referred to as the “kaleidoscope stone,” the opal is a flashy stone. Opals are extremely delicate gemstones measuring 5.5 – 6.5 on the Mohs scale. Though they require special care, these stones make stunning jewelry additions.
The pearl is an organic, semi-precious gemstone that is produced inside the living mollusk. They are the only gemstones in the world that come from a living organism. Pearls can come in a variety of different sizes and shapes. These gems can be classified as either cultured pearls or natural pearls.
The peridot gemstone always comes in a shade of green, but it can vary on the hue. It is a semi-precious gem from the Olivine mineral family. Fairly dense, the peridot ranges from 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs scale.
The deep pink to red colors make this gemstone different from its fellow tourmalines. Apart from ruby and red spinel, rubellite is the only other gemstone to possess the rich red color. Relatively hard, this gemstone rates 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
Known as being the most desirable gemstone, the ruby is extremely strong. Measuring a 9 on the Mohs scale, this gemstone is perfect for daily wear. The ruby is always red, but the hues of red can reach very vivid levels of saturation. The most desirable rubies have the deepest tone of red.
The sapphire is a precious gemstone with its most popular shade being blue. Being one of the four most valuable and sought-after gemstones in the world, often called the “Big Four,” the sapphire is extremely durable. It measures a 9 on the Mohs scale which makes it perfect for consistent wear.
The tanzanite gemstone is rare because it is only found in one place on earth. The gem ranges from blue to violet. The most vivid blue is considered the most valuable, but the majority of stones have a light to medium blue hue.
The topaz gemstone comes in a large variety of colors making it an extremely popular gemstone. Frequently associated with a sunny yellow or bright blue, this gem is hard and durable. It measures an 8 on the Mohs scale. The rarest topaz gemstones are the natural pink, red, and orange colors.
Tourmaline is the most colorful of all the gemstones. Though it can be all colors, it is most seen as pink, red, green, blue, and even multicolored. With a fair toughness of 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale, the tourmaline gemstones are very popular with jewelry designers.
As one of the oldest known gem materials, turquoise can be seen across history. The opaque, blue-green stone measures 5 – 6 on the Mohs scale. It can only be found in dry and barren places on earth.
Zircon contains radioactive elements that must be heated to stabilize them to be able to use them as gems. It also comes closer to resembling a diamond than any other gemstone. However, it is not cubic zirconia. Zircon is a magnificent gem that is available in many colors.
A-Z List of Gemstones
- Almandine Garnet
- Anhydrite (Angelite)
- Calcareous Concretions
- Chicken-Blood Stone
- Color Change Garnet
- Color Change Sapphire
- Demantoid Garnet
- Diamond Diaspore
- Freshwater Pearl
- Grossular Garnet
- Huebnerite (Hübnerite)
- Hydrogrossular Garnet
- Idocrase (Vesuvianite)
- Lapis Lazuli
- Malaia Garnet (Malaya Garnet)
- Mali Garnet
- Mandarin Garnet
- Natrolite, Mesolite, Scolecite
- Natural Glass
- Niccolite (Nickeline)
- Opal Stone
- Oregon Sunstone
- Padparadscha Sapphire
- Paraíba Tourmaline
- Pectoilite (Larimar)
- Pyrope Garnet
- Red Beryl
- Rhodolite Garnet
- Rose Quartz
- Saltwater Pearl
- Smoky Quartz
- Sphene (Titanite)
- Star Sapphire
- Sulfur (Sulphur)
- Tanzanite (Zoisite)
- Tiger’s Eye
- Triphylite (Tryphylite)
- Tsavorite Garnet
- Uvarovite Garnet
At Windsor Fine Jewelers, we offer a large selection of fine gemstone jewelry including gemstone rings, gemstone necklaces, gemstone earrings and more featuring all of your favorite gemstones like ruby, blue topaz, diamond, turquoise and many more. Browse out entire selection of gemstones online today.