Alphabetical List of Gemstones

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Gemstone AssortmentPhoto by Don Farrall / Getty Images

Our gemstone advice will help you make informed decisions when you buy specific gems, and then care for the jewelry once it’s home. Learn which gems are nearly always made in a laboratory, and find out which stones have more than likely been treated in some way to enhance their appearance.

Explore Popular Gemstones

  • Alexandrite A color-changing gem originally found in Russia, and named for a future Czar of that country. Are today’s gems natural versions of the stone?
  • Amber Formed from the resin of prehistoric trees, amber has become a popular jewelry component, but chunks used in jewelry aren’t always the real thing.
  • Amethyst A lilac to purple version of quartz, amethyst is among the most popular of gemstones.
  • Aquamarine Aquamarine is related to emerald, but exists in shades of blue, and some stones are tinted with shades of green.
  • Black Diamonds Unlike white diamonds, these dark stones are usually opaque, with no sparkle sparkle. Black diamonds have been seen more often in recent years, and are sometimes set into blackened platinum or other minerals with dark tones.
  • Cameos Cameos are often carved from gemstones — carnelian is a traditional choice.
  • Carnelian This gem is a red member of the large chalcedony family of minerals, which are all variations of quartz.
  • Citrine This yellow version of quartz is sometimes mimicked by heat treating one of its cousins.
  • Diamonds The hardest mineral on earth, diamonds are the number one choice for engagement rings.
  • Emerald The May birthstone, high quality emeralds can be more expensive than diamonds; lower quality stones are often treated to enhance appearance, and some treatments are temporary.
  • Garnet January’s birthstone is lush — and affordable. Another plus, garnets aren’t just deep red.
  • Hematite Usually dark grey in color, alternative health practitioners often use hematite.
  • Herkimer Diamond This stone isn’t really a diamond, but is unique.
  • Jade Two minerals are called jade, and although green stones are most common, jade does exist in other colors.
  • Lapis Lazuli A deep blue stone that’s flecked with other substances, but often manipulated to approve its appearance.
  • Moissanite Natural moissanite arrives on earth via meteorites — very rare indeed. A version of the gem can be created in a lab.
  • Moonstone Sometimes sold as opals, moonstones have the same opalescent glow.
  • Opal A popular gem with many possible variations, opals are sometimes thinly sliced and misrepresented.
  • Pearls Created by living creatures, pearl’s on today’s market are all grown after human intervention.
  • Peridot Known as the evening emerald in ancient Rome, this lovely green gem has been popular for centuries.
  • Quartz One of the most abundant substances on earth, many varieties of quartz are used to create jewelry.
  • Rose Quartz A popular pink version of quartz that’s sometimes linked to love and romance.
  • Ruby Only the red versions of the mineral corundum can be called ruby, a perpetually favorite gem.
  • Sapphire Ruby’s cousin, sapphire is mostly seen in deep shades of blue, but other colors exist. Very often manipulated and created in a lab.
  • Selenite A substance that’s popular with people who practice crystal healing.
  • Tahitian Pearls Often called Tahitian ‘black,’ pearls, but not always black. These very large pearls are far more scarce than most of the pearls we see.
  • Topaz We often envision yellow or gold gems when someone says the word topaz, but November’s birthstone exists in many colors.
  • Tourmaline Another popular gem that exists in a wide array of colors, with some stones a single shade and others a mixture.
  • Turquoise The December birthstone, turquoise exists in many colors. The gem is also treated in numerous ways to make it more stable and to improve appearance. Treatments and manipulations are common — get the facts before you buy.

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Loopy Turquoise Earrings

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I’m going to show you how to make these fun, loopy turquoise earrings.  They are inspired by these I saw at Anthropologie (and they happen to cost a lot less than $198 to make)!

I posted this tutorial as a guest post at One Artsy Mama last fall!

You will need:

silver wire

2 silver pin-wires

2 large turquoise beads, drop-shaped

12 smaller turquoise beads

32 small silver beads

silver earring hooks

pliers (flat-tipped & round-tipped)


To get started, put the drop-shaped turquoise beads on the pin-wires.

Use your round-nosed pliers to create a loop at the top and clip off the excess wire.

Cut 2 pieces of wire to 3-6/8.”  Use your fingertips to bend the wire into an arch-shape.  Using your round-tipped pliers, make a small loop at one end.

Put 6 turquoise beads on the wire, alternating with 7 silver beads.  Then make a loop at the other end of the wire.

Cut 2 pieces of wire 2-3/4″ long.  Make a loop at one end, put on 9 silver beads, then make a loop at the other end (just like the longer turquoise-beaded wires).

Bend the beaded wires so they form circles, with the loops on the ends facing towards the back.

Now you have all the parts ready to assemble for your earring, you just need to make a loop to hold them all together.

To make a 1/4″ wire loop, wrap the wire around the thick part of the round-tipped pliers and cut off the excess wire.

Now assemble your earrings.  Hold the 1/4″ loop in your flat-tipped pliers and slip the loops from the beaded wire and teardrop dangle into the loop.

Then pinch the loop tightly closed.

Now use your flat-tipped pliers to open the loop on the earring hook, slip the 1/4″ loop in, then pinch the earring hook loop closed… and check out the awesome earrings that you made!

You might also like:

Carnelian Necklace

Double Stranded Beaded Jewelry

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Inside Whale, Dolphin, Porpoise Flipper

Did you know that inside the front flipper of every whale, dolphin, and porpoise – living or extinct – are the bones of a hand and fingers? Now you do.

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Ethiopian Opal Geode


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Learn more about local rocks and minerals at the Hassayampa River Preserve

Source: – By Elizabeth Rose, Phoenix Day Trips Examiner

In Arizona, birding season is in full swing. I was recently in southern Arizona and saw birders in Patagonia and  near Willcox. But closer to Phoenix you can become introduced to hobbies such as rock collecting and and birding at the Nature Conservancy’s Hassayampa River Preserve.

Gems and Minerals
On Friday, February 24, 9 a.m. until noon, local gem and mineral hobbyist Dale Keiser will present the basics of locating and identifying rocks and minerals common to the local Vulture, Bradshaw and Weaver Mountain ranges.  The instructor asks that you bring rock samples for help with identification. 

The class will be followed by an optional 1-hour walk to explore rocks at the preserve.

Saturday, February 25, 8 until 11 a.m., professional bird tour leader Kathe Anderson willexplain the basics of birding: bird types, binoculars and field guides.The class includes a guided hike along the preserve’strails to find and identify different species of birds.

Class fee is $5 per person, $3 for Conservancy members. Kids 12 and under and Friends of the Hassayampa are free. Fee includes access to preserve trails before and after the class.

Space is limited andreservations are required. Call (928) 684-2772 or email to make reservations or for more information.

About the Hassayampa River Preserve
The 730-acre Hassayampa River Preserve is located on Highway 60 three miles southeast of Wickenburg at milepost 114.  It was created in 1987 to protect a rare desert cottonwood/willow streamside habitat that attracts more than 280 species of birds annually and supports diverse plant and animal communities. The preserve is owned by the Nature Conservancy.

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February – Amethyst is the Birthstone

According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was a young virgin who became the object of wrath of the Greek God Dionysus after he became intoxicated with red wine. When Amethyst cried out to Goddess Diana for help, she immediately turned the girl into a white, shimmering stone (quartz). When Dionysus realized what had happened and felt remorse for his actions, his tears dripped into his goblet of red wine. The goblet overturned, and the red wine spilled all over the white rock, saturating it until it became the purple quartz that is now known as Amethyst.  Amethyst comes from the Greek word for intoxication, “methy.”  ”A-methy-stos” means, roughly, “someone that does not get drunk,” and the Greeks thought amethyst to be an antidote against drunkenness (which is why wine goblets were often carved from it).  I have not been able to find a genuine Amethyst goblet to put this theory to teat, so I have to rely on moderation when sipping red wine. 

Amethyst is found all over the world and is mined in abundance in Brazil and Uruguay.  It is also commercially mined in Canada, Pakistan, Madagascar and South Africa.  Some of the finest highest grade amethyst comes from Russia and is called “Deep Russian.” 

Amethyst is purple quartz, which can range from pale often called “Rose De France” to very deep violet and is a hardness of 7 on the hardness scale which is great for everyday wear.  Anyone can wear Amethyst.  It used to be known as the “bishops stone” as it was worn my men of faith. It is said to be a meditative and calming stone. Some say that it works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace. Amethyst is also said to be beneficial when dealing with legal problems and money issues, which can lead to prosperity and abundance. It has been worn to help heal personal losses and grief. Amethyst has a gently sedative energy that promotes peacefulness, happiness, and contentment. It also brings emotional stability and inner strength, and can enhance flexibility and cooperation. 

Amethyst jewelry should be cleaned periodically as rings will collect soap, oil and dirt underneath and between the prongs. Film from lotions and skin oils will dull Amethyst and reduce its brilliance. Its color and brilliance can be restored by cleaning in a gentle dish-washing liquid and a soft brush.  Rinsing in warm water and drying with a soft cloth will return your Amethyst jewelry to its former pristine condition.

Source:  –  By DeNise Petterssonis the owners of Village Jewelers in Sedona, Arizona. DeNise is an award winning Graduate Designer with certificates from Gemological Institute of America also in Diamonds, Diamond grading, Jewelry sales and Pearls. Learn more at www.VillageJeweler.Biz

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Junior Archaelogist Field Day

Junior Archaelogist Field Day

Presented by Deer Valley Rock Art Center at Deer Valley Rock Art Center

February 18, 2012

Discover how archaeologists investigate life in the past through fun, hands-on activities at a real archaeological site! Work as a Junior Archaeologist in the field, participate in a simulated dig, and learn about ancient skills and technologies.

The Junior Archaeologist Field Day fulfills 8 of 11 Boy Scout archaeology badge requirements, and all Girl Scout archaeology patch requirements. Please note that the Center does not issue merit badges or patches.


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