Q:

What are some different kinds of gemstones?

A:

Quick Answer

There are the precious gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. There are also the semi-precious gemstones like turquoise, amethyst, garnet and quartz. There are also the gemstones that are considered birthstones (like aquamarine for the month of March and peridot for the month of August) and anniversary stones (like blue topaz for the fourth year and onyx for the eleventh year).

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Full Answer

A gemstone is a piece of mineral that is used in cut and polished form to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks or organic materials that are not minerals are also used for jewelry and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value.

Gemstones are classified into different groups, species and varieties. They are also characterized in terms of refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, hardness, cleavage, fracture and luster. They may also be classified in terms of their "water." This is a recognized grading of the gem's luster, transparency and/or "brilliance." Highly transparent gems are considered "first water," while "second" or "third water" gems are those that have a lesser transparency.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What color is sapphire?

    A:

    Sapphire is a very valuable blue gemstone, but it can take on a variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink and green. It is made from a colorless mineral called corundum, but this mineral contains trace elements such as iron and titanium that can turn it blue.

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  • Q:

    What is a black sapphire?

    A:

    According to Jewelry Notes, a black sapphire is a type of sapphire that has a nearly opaque appearance. While the stone itself is blue, it's so dark that it absorbs all light entering it, resulting in the appearance of a solid black stone.

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  • Q:

    What does a ruby look like?

    A:

    Rubies are bright red precious stones which can be anywhere from transparent to opaque. They are the red version of corundum. According to Minerals.net, rubies get a nine on the hardness scale.

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  • Q:

    How much is a ruby worth?

    A:

    According to the second edition of the Standard Catalog of Gem Values, wholesale prices for faceted gem rubies range from $100 to $15,000 per carat. Wholesale prices vary based on color, size, origin and clarity.

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