Diamonds are the world's hardest natural material, made of carbon. Rubies and Sapphires are both corundum, and only differ in certain chemicals that determine their color.
Diamonds possess the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any natural material, and most are between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years old. Antwerp, Belgium, produces most of the world's diamonds. They are associated with faithfulness and stability due to their hardness, and innocence and purity due to their clarity.
The ruby's signature red color is created when chromium replaces aluminum in its structure. Fine rubies are mined in Myanmar. It's considered a protective stone, and is thought to bring fearlessness, passion, self-confidence and motivation to the wearer.
Third Eye Chakra
All corundum colors except for red are classified as sapphires, because their colors are caused by titanium and iron replacing aluminum in the structure of the mineral. Kashmir and Sri Lanka produce the world's finest sapphires. Sapphires are associated with royalty and abundance.
The large Quartz mineral family is made of silicon and oxygen. One part of the Quartz family includes large crystals like amethyst and smoky quartz. Chalcedonies are another part of the Quartz family that include agate, chrysoprase and more.
Pliny the Elder of Rome believed quartz to be long-frozen ice, with the word “crystal” coming from the Greek word for “ice”. Quartz are wildly used in electronics as resonators, though most modern quartz found in technology is synthetic. Quartz is seen as a healing stone that amplifies energy, thought, love, and divination.
Crown and Third Eye Chakras
Amethyst's signature coloration is caused by iron. Human-sized geodes are present in Brazil, Uruguay, Siberia, and North America. When heated, amethyst turns into citrine. This stone symbolizes spirituality and sobriety, as well as unconscious feelings and desires.
This stone possesses a shimmering effect called “aventuresence” due to small flecks of mica in the stone. Most Aventurine are mined from India and are typically green, but can vary wildly to pink, orange, blue, and red. This stone represenents luck, chance, intuition, perception, and foresight, as well as money attraction.
Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras
Citrine is primarily mined in Brazil. It's long been considered a merchant or money stone, thought to bring prosperity, abundance, and high levels of positive energy. Citrine was first appreciated as a gemstone in Greece between 300-150 BC.
Chalcedony encompasses a wide variety of semiprecious stones, including carnelian, chrysoprase, onyx, and is combined with quartz to make agate. Pure chalcedony is typically a pale blue or violet. Chalcedony was widely used for tools starting as long ago as 32,000 BC in Australia.
Chrysoprase is a kind of chalcedony that possesses nickel deposits throughout the structure, giving it a green color that ranges from apple or olive green to deep green. The world's best known sources for Chrysoprase are Indonesia and Australia.
Throat and Root Chakras
Agates get their striped appearance due to their formation - agates grow in layered bands composed of different amounts of various minerals, typically in some sort of rounded, oval-like pattern. Lace agate in particular is famous for heavy amounts of intricate banding in highly contrasting colors throughout the rocks.
Beryls are a commercial source of beryllium. They form in hexagonal shapes, and include aquamarine and emerald. Chrysoberyls are not the same mineral as Beryls, but also contain beryllium. Chrysoberyl gems include Alexandrite and Cat's Eye.
Beryl, Mohs: 7.5-8
The name "Aquamarine" is Latin for "seawater". This stone has been said to calm waves and keep sailors safe as a talisman, especially in Ancient Rome, where it was literally called "water of the sea". They are mostly mined in Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains.
Beryl, Mohs: 7.5-8
Only medium-to-dark green beryl stones are considered true emeralds. Light green beryl stones are considered "green beryl". Cleopatra of Egypt was well-known for her love of emeralds, and around the world it has been associated with love, truth, and eternal life. Most gemstone-quality emeralds are mined in Columbia.
Beryl, Mohs: 7.5-8
Morganite's subtle orange-pink coloring is due to the presence of manganese. Untreated morganite is often a salmon color. Morganite is becoming a popular substitute for diamonds in bridal wear. They symbolize new dawns, sunrises, fresh starts, emotional healing and compassion. Most morganite is mined in Brazil.
Chrysoberyl, Mohs: 8.5
Known as a “color-change” gem, Alexandrite is famous for appearing blueish-green in sunlight and red in incandescent light, giving it the name "the Chameleon Stone". The most famous mining locations for alexandrite are the Ural Mountains in Russia and Brazil. Alexandrite was named after Russian Czar Alexander II, who wore the stone as a symbol of personal pride and prestige. This stone symbolizes balance and centeredness.
Feldspars are rock-forming aluminum minerals that make up over 50% of the Earth's crust. Several kinds of feldspar produce iridescent, or glowing, optical effects.
Amazonite is named after the Amazon river. It often forms alongside smoky quartz and granite. This stone has strong green and green-blue hues primarily caused by lead and other mineral concentrations. Amazonite symbolizes self-determination, and aligning with desires.
Crown, Third Eye, and Throat Chakras
Labradorite displays an iridescent optical effect called “labradoresence”. Visible hues often range from greys and browns to blues and yellows. These stones have a symbolic connection to the northern lights, as the stone is mined in Labrador, Canada and has aurora-like colors.
Moonstone and rainbow moonstone have a history of being used in lovers' rituals, especially in India. Rainbow moonstone, mined in India and Madagascar, is actually white labradorite. They possess high energy and are associated with security in relationships. White moonstone, mined in India and Sri Lanka, "glows" due to layers of orthoclase and albite. It is associated with soothing, subtle energies, and emotional tension relief.
Gemstones listed below don't fit in any of the above families, and often have more complex, unique chemical makeups.
Phosphate mineral, Mohs: 5
Apatite is often mistaken for other minerals, hence its Greek word of origin, apatao, “to deceive”. Major mining sources include Brazil, Myanmar and Mexico, primarily for industrial applications. Apatite typically appears translucent or transparent light green, but can also be blue or colorless.
Silicate mineral, Mohs: 6.5-7.5
The name garnet comes from the Middle English word gernet, meaning “dark red”, and possibly traces its name back to an Old French word for pomegranate. Garnets are found in every color, with red being the most common, and blue being the rarest. Rome, the Middle East, and Anglo-Saxon developments all have archeological evidence of garnet used as a prized decorative gem. In Persia, garnet was seen as a talisman shielding the wearer from natural forces such as storms.
Iron Oxide, Mohs: 5.5-6.5
Hematite is often mined as a source of iron and is electrically conductive. It's one of the most abundant minerals on Earth’s surface. In many varieties of hematite, rust-red streaks are visible, hence its name deriving from the Greek word for blood “haima”. Once used as mourning jewelry, hematite symbolically absorbs dark or bad energies, and is used as a grounding and balancing stone.
Aluminosilicate mineral, Mohs: 4.5-7
Third Eye Chakra
Kyanite typically forms in bladed crystals that are slightly flexible. A pearly luster covers a blue or bluish-grey hue on most kyanite. Because kyanite is difficult to facet and is used primarily in industrial porcelain applications, it is rarely used in jewelry, making it a unique addition to any piece.
Silicate Mineral, Mohs: 5-6
Third Eye Chakra
Mined as early as 7th millennium BCE, Lapis was used in ancient Mesopotamia for seals and jewelry due to its protective healing powers. Lapis is often associated with the concept of "universal truth". Flecks of pyrite cause the characteristic gold veins in lapis lazuli. By the end of the middle ages, Lapis was being ground up into ultramarine powder for paint and dye. It's primarily mined in Afghanistan.
Silicate Mineral, Mohs: 4.5-5
Larimar coloring typically varies from white to deep blue, with hints of green or red possible. The raw stone looks like light dancing on the surface of water, and is associated with water energies, peace, and clarity. Larimar is a harder mineral when there is more intense blue or green coloration present. The most important mining sites for Larimar are located in the Dominican Republic.
Mineral species, Mohs: 9.25
Moissanite is extremely rare in nature, and until the 1950s, had only been discovered in meteor craters and meteorites. Synthetic moissanite is used as a diamond alternative, or diamond simulant, for many jewelry pieces and electronic purposes due to its diamondlike qualities. These qualities include having a very high hardness on the Mohs scale, and brilliant, clear facets.
Mineraloid, Mohs: 5.5-6
Opals are “mineraloids” because opal is a hydrated form of silica. There are 2 main classes of Opals: precious opals, which display iridescence, and common opals, which do not. Australian Opals make up 95-97% of the world’s supply of precious opal, including rare black opals. Boulder opals from Queensland consist of colorful fractures on a dark background. Peruvian Opals are blue-green common opals found in Peru, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. Ethiopian Opals are popular for their often-vivid iridescence on a white or light grey background.
Carbonate material, Mohs: 2.5-4.5
Pearls are naturally produced within mollusks, like oysters and mussels, out of the same calcium carbonate that makes up their shells. Farmed pearls make up the majority of sold pearls. Nacre, which gives genuine pearls their iridescence, is the same compound present in mother-of-pearl on the surface of mollusk shells.
Silicate mineral, Mohs: 6.5-7
In the Middle Ages, peridot was considered to provide healing powers for emotional and mental distress. Many cultures believe peridot wards off nightmares and fears. Peridot, unlike most gemstones, only occurs in one color: olive-green. However, the intensity and particular hue of peridot is subject to vary depending on the individual crystal. Peridot is a kind of olivine, a mineral found deep in the earth’s molten upper mantle, as well as in meteorites.
Iron Sulfide, Mohs: 6-6.5
Solar Plexus Chakra
Pyrite is also known as Fool’s Gold when yellower tones are present. Pyrite and gold often grow together naturally. It has a metallic luster that makes it particularly reflective. The stone is named after Greek “pyr” meaning “fire”, due to pyrite’s firestarting abilities. It naturally grows in cubes or other straight-faced shapes. Highly popular in jewelry in the mid-to-late 1800s in the U.S., pyrite is known to form out of fossils due to the chemicals released in decomposition.
Zoisite, Mohs: 6-7
Found only in Tanzania, this violet-blue stone was named and popularized in the 1950s by Tiffany & Co. The signature rich color is due to the prescence of vanadium.
Silicate Mineral, Mohs: 8
Without impurities, topaz are naturally colorless. However, with mineral impurities they can range from yellow, to pink, to blue, and more. Topaz has been associated with warding off illness and suffering over the centuries, across many parts of Europe. Brazil is one of the largest producers of topaz.
Silicate mineral, Mohs: 7-7.5
Birthstone: October (Pink tourmaline)
Tourmaline is found in a wide variety of colors, though the most common tourmaline is Schorl, a black variation making up about 95% of all tourmaline. The other 5% of tourmaline can vary wildly in color, though bi-chromatic and tri-chromatic tourmaline (containing 2 or 3 colors) is seen as more valuable. Tourmaline like to form distinct prisms when growing naturally.
Phosphate mineral, Mohs: 5-6
Third Eye and Throat Chakras
Turquoise rarely forms crystals, and typically forms in a random shape. Since at least 3000 BCE, turquoise has been mined by Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula for its cultural significance; however, these mines are not profitable today. Rather, a large amount of turquoise used today is found during copper-mining operations. In many different cultures around the world, turquoise was integrated into jewelry and ceremonial wear for leaders, weapons for warriors, and used both inside and outside important buildings.
Neosillicate, Mohs: 7.5
Birthstone: December (Blue Zircon)
Not to be confused with manmade cubic zirconia, zircon is a mineral naturally occurring in Earth’s crust. Zircon naturally occurs in many colors, including pink zircon, called "hyacinth". Having been praised as a semi-precious gemstone for centuries, zircon greatly increased in scarcity following WWII. Blue zircon, the most valuable color, is now difficult to find in large carats.