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Below you will find a glossary of the gemstones used in our jewellery. Simply click on the letter below to skip to that section or browse at your leisure. The highlighted words will take you directly to that gemstone definition

A

  • Abalon

    Abalone

    The pearly interior of a mollusk shell. This is a member of the sea shell family and is also known as the "ear shell". Abalones have a dichroic, tortoise-like appearance.

  • Agate

    Agate

    A common and important type of Chalcedony, in which successive layers differ in colour and degree of translucency creating a banded effect. The most common material used in art of hardstone carvings recovered at a number of ancient sites.

  • Alexandrite

    Alexandrite

    A mineral which changes colour or appears to change colour as the light changes. A rare variety of Chrysoberyl. Discovered in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1830 and named after Alexander II. Green in daylight and red in artificial light. Measures 8.5 on Mohs scale.

  • Almandine

    Almandine

    A variety of Garnet and is typically red to brown.

  • Amber

    Amber

    A fossilized tree resin. Ranges in colour from green to honey. From the Arabic 'anbar'

  • Amethyst

    Amethyst

    Purple variety of Quartz. The name comes from the Greek 'amethystos' meaning sober and was believed to protect the wearer from becoming intoxicated. Also has strong religious links and is commonly worn by bishops. Has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. It is the birthstone for February.

  • Ametrine

    Ametrine

    Variety of Quartz that is part Amethyst and part Citrine - giving it a beautiful bi-colour. Measures 7.

  • Ammolite

    Ammolite

    Canada's gemstone and considered one of the rarest organic gems. Millions of years of pressure creates this beautiful gem from the fossilized remains of the ammonite shell. The rarest and most desirable show three or more colours and are graded AA. Measures between 4.5-5.5.

  • Andradite

    Andradite

    A variety of Garnet that is typically green but can also be black or yellow. Measures between 6.5 - 7.

  • Aquamarine

    Aquamarine

    Transparent variety of Beryl. Latin for aqua 'water' and marina 'sea'. Has a blue or turquoise colour like seawater. Birthstone of March. 7.5-8. Ancient Romans believed it was sacred to Neptune – God of the sea.

  • Austrian Crystal

    Austrian Crystal

    Imitation of natural or rock crystal.

  • Aventurine

    Aventurine

    Translucent greenish quartz mineral. Often mistaken for Jade.

  • Azurite Malachite

    Azurite Malachite

    Mineral characterized in appearance by bands of light and dark blue.

B

  • Beryl

    Beryl

    The Greek 'beryllos' for the precious blue-green colour of sea water. Green beryl is Emerald, blue beryl is Aquamarine and pink beryl is Morganite. 7.5-8.

  • Blueberry Quartz

    Blueberry Quartz

    An intense blue-violet quartz. Discovered deep in the Montezuma Quartz Mine in Brazil and accounts for less than 0.01% of the total quartz production – a truly rare gem.

  • Blue Topaz

    Blue Topaz

    Light blue topaz and is sometimes referred to by its brand names – Sky blue topaz (light blue), Swiss blue topaz (deep blue) and London blue topaz (deep ink blue).

C

  • Cabochon

    Cabochon

    A domed gemstone that is highly polished and curved. Derived from the Middle French 'caboche' meaning head.

  • Cats eye

    Cats eye

    Chrysoberyl mineral from the Greek 'chrysos' and 'beryllos' meaning a Gold-White Spar. A stone with a distinctive, sweeping band of light across the centre, ranging in colour from green to brownish gold.

  • Carnelian

    Carnelian

    A reddish brown mineral variety of quartz. Widely used by Romans to makes seals or signet rings as wax does not stick to Carnelian. 6.5-7.

  • Chalcedony

    Chalcedony

    A form of quartz which is cryptocrystalline (contains microscopis crystals). Occurs in a huge array of colours and patterns – Aventurine, Jasper, Chrysoprase, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Onyx, Lapis Lazuli, Tigers Eye and Agate are all varietites of Chalcedony. From the Latin calcedonius, the translation from the Greek 'khalkedon'.

  • Citrine

    Citrine

    Variety of Quartz that has a colour of yellow-brown from the Latin ‘citrina’ meaning yellow. Can be formed by heat treating Amethyst or Smoky Quartz. 7.

  • Corundum

    Corundum

    Very hard rock forming mineral group that contains the gems Sapphire and Ruby. If the corundum is red it is labeled as a ruby, all other colours are sapphires.

  • Crystal

    Crystal

    A colourless, transparent glass resembling natural or rock crystal from the Greek 'krustallos' meaning rock-crystal.

  • Crystalline

    Crystalline

    Formed by crystallization, similar to crystal in texture.

  • Cubic Zirconia

    Cubic Zirconia

    A diamond stimulant. Can be coloured to provide dazzling pinks, greens, oranges, red, purples and even black. A highly versatile stone. 8.5. Compared to diamond carat weight equivalent.

  • Cultured Pearl

    Cultured Pearl

    Created through a process mimicking the natural pearl process in live mollusks. A pearl is formed as a result of implanting a piece of mantle from a mollusk into another host mollusk.

D

  • Demantoid

    Demantoid

    Created through a process mimicking the natural pearl process in live mollusks. A pearl is formed as a result of implanting a piece of Green variety of Andradite, a member of the Garnet family; ranging in colour from light yellowish green to Emerald green. 6.5

  • Diamond

    Diamond

    Derived from the green ‘adamas’ – invincible. Highly refractive crystalline form of carbon and is the hardest naturally occurring gemstone measuring 10. Existing in every colour, from clear or white diamonds to intense pink and black diamonds. Measured by their carat, clarity, colour and cut. Birthstone for April.

  • Diamantaire

    Diamantaire

    Exclusive to Ideal World the simulated diamond is 8.5 on the mohs scale and consist of AAA grade stones.

  • Diopside

    Diopside

    A mineral which ranges in colour from white to deep green to almost black. From the Greek ‘dis’ twice and ‘opse’ face – referencing the two ways of orienting the vertical prism.

E

  • Emerald

    Emerald

    A brilliant green to grass green variety of Beryl. 7.5-8. Ancient Romans dedicated Emeralds to Venus and Cleopatra collected emeralds. From the Greek ‘smaragdos’ meaning green gem. Birthstone of May.

F

  • Feldspar

    Feldspar

    Group of rock forming minerals that are important in the formation of many rocks. All feldspars are types of aluminium silicate, with potassium, calcium, sodium or barium. Varieties include sunstone, moonstone, labradorite and amazonite. From the German ‘feld’ field and ‘spath’ rock.

  • Freshwater Pearl

    Freshwater Pearl

    An irregularly shaped pearl formed naturally.

G

  • Garnet

    Garnet

    Birthstone of January. From the Latin 'granatus' – meaning grain or seed, after its resemblance of a pomegranate seed. Found in Egyptian jewellery from 3100BC. 6.5-7.

H

  • Hematite

    Hematite

    Coloured black to steel or silver grey, normally with a rust red streak. Highly polished and extremely popular in the Victorian era.

  • Hessonite

    Hessonite

    Also known as cinnamon stone is a variety of garnet which is yellowish brown in colour. Greek ‘hesson’ meaning inferior – referring to the lower hardness and density to other garnets.

I

  • Iolite

    Iolite

    From the Greek word for violet. Varies in colour from sapphire blue to yellowish gray, 7-7.5.

J

  • Jade

    Jade

    Name given to two distinct metamorphic rock minerals – Jadeite and Nephrite. Jadeite is usually emerald to light green in colour. Nephrite ranges from white to dark green. 6.5-7.

  • Jasper

    Jasper

    Opaque variety of quartz and is usually red, yellow or brown. Sometimes with banding or stripes through the stone. 6.5-7.

K

  • Kunzite

    Kunzite

    Pink to lilac coloured gemstone – names in honour of New York mineralogist and gemologist George Frederick Kunz who was Tiffany and Cos chief jeweller at the time. 6.5-7.

L

  • Lapis lazuli

    Lapis lazuli

    Vivid blue stone. Widely used by Egyptians who used powdered lapis laxuli as eyeshadow. 5-5.5.

M

  • Malachite

    Malachite

    Green banded mineral that is usually cut into cabochons and beads as it is fairly soft. 3.5-4. Greek ‘molochitis lithos’ – mallow green stone – resemblance of the leaves of the mallow plant.

  • Marcasite

    Marcasite

    Often confused with Pyrite, marcasite is lighter in colour. Normally rose cut and popular during Victorian era and the Art Deco movement.

  • Moissanite

    Moissanite

    Named after its discovered Dr. Henri Moissan and is similar to Diamonds as it is also transparent and hard (9) but has a higher refractive index. Naturally occurring Moissanite is very rare and so synthetic Moissanite is used in jewellery an dis highly valued for its brilliance, fire and amazing sparkle.

  • Moon stone

    Moon stone

    A translucent stone which is often bluish in colour, sometimes white, known as the stone of emotional balance.

  • Morganite

    Morganite

    A pink variety of Beryl.

  • Mother of Pearl

    Mother of Pearl

    Hard, iridescent substance that forms on the inside layer of a pearl bearing mollusk.

N

  • Nacre

    Nacre

    Also known as Mother of Pearl is a shiny iridescent substance made from the lining of mollusk shells or fish scales

  • Nephrite

    Nephrite

    A hard type of jade with colours ranging from white to dark green and grey or brown to black.

O

  • Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Naturally occurring glass that is formed by rapidly cooling lava and is black and usually banded. Used by the Greeks for mirrors and by Native American Indians for weapons.

  • Onyx

    Onyx

    A semi-precious variety of Quartz, Onyx is banded and varies in colour. 7 on the Mohs scale.

  • Opal

    Opal

    A non crystalline, iridescent gemstone that can range in colour but are commonly found to be green or white. Birthstone of October. 5.5-6.5.

P

  • Peridot

    Peridot

    One of only a few gems that occur in only 1 colour – green. Although intensity can vary. Birthstone of August – 6.5-7.

  • Pearl

    Pearl

    Created when an irritant enters a mollusk either naturally (freshwater) or deliberately (cultured). The mollusc reacts by surrounding the foreign object with layers of nacre (Mother of Pearl) slowly forming a pearl. Normally white or cream in colour but can be found in pink, gold, black or peacock green.

  • Pyrite

    Pyrite

    Commonly known as fools gold due to its similar metallic luster and yellow brass tones. Pyrite is used mainly in fashion jewellery. 6-6.5.

  • Pyrope Garnet

    Pyrope Garnet

    A deep red mineral, similar in appearance to ruby.

Q

  • Quartz

    Quartz

    Many varieties, several of which are semi-precious and most commonly occurring mineral on earth and can be found almost anywhere. 7.

    • Rock crystal s – colourless
    • Amethyst – Purple
    • Citrine – Yellow to amber
    • Morion – Black
    • Smoky quartz – smokey grey to brown
    • Rose quartz – translucent pink
    • Green quartz – green
    • Chalcedony and Jasper – Variable
    • Agate

R

  • Rhodolite

    Rhodolite

    A variety of pyrope garnet ranging in colour from rose-red to pale violet.

  • Rhodonite

    Rhodonite

    Greek for pink. A reddish gem with thin veins or patches of grey-black.

  • Rock crystal

    Rock crystal

    A mineral – see quartz.

  • Rock crystal

    Rose de France

    A pale pink-lavender amethyst.

  • Rose Quartz

    Rose Quartz

    Delicate pink quartz with a milky appearance. Popular for valentines day, mothers day.

  • Ruby

    Ruby

    Pale pink to blood red gemstone variety of corundum. From the Latin ‘ruber’ for red. All other corundum stones are sapphires. Rubies are 1 of the 4 precious stones. 9. Birthstone for July and associated with 40th wedding anniversaries.

  • Rutilated Quartz

    Rutilated Quartz

    A variety of quartz with streaks of rutile crystal - needle link minerals with a reddish brown appearance.

S

  • Sapphire

    Sapphire

    From the Greek ‘sappheiros’ for Blue Stone. A variety of corundum and are commonly thought of as blue in colour but can be found in a variety of colours (except red which are rubies). 9. Birthstone of September and 45th wedding anniversaries.

  • Spinel

    Spinel

    Appears in many colours. Mistaken for rubies due to the visual similarities and famously The Black Princes Ruby which is set in the British Imperial State Crown is actually a spinel. 8.

  • Simulated diamond

    Simulated diamond

    Manufactured imitation of genuine diamond – see Diamantaire

  • Simulated Pearl

    Simulated Pearl

    Glass beads coated in ground up iridescent nacre from fish scales

  • Simulated stones

    Simulated stones

    Any manufactured substance which is meant to resemble or take the place of a gem

  • Smoky Quartz

    Smoky Quartz

    Brownish quartz with a smoky appearance. Very dark brown – Black quartz are known as Morion.

  • Smoky Topaz

    Smoky Topaz

    See smokey quartz

  • Sodalite

    Sodalite

    A mineral which is a component of lapis and generally translucent, usually blue in colour

T

  • Tanzanite

    Tanzanite

    Blue to purple in colour and was discovered in Tanzania in 1967. Strong trichoism (showing 3 different shades of colour). Originally known as ‘blue zoisite’, it was renamed by Tiffany and Co during a campaign. Measures 6.5.

  • Tigers Eye

    Tigers Eye

    A metamorphic rock of the quartz family, usually yellow to red/brown with stripes and silky golden luster. Worn by roman soldiers for protection in battles. 7. Semu precious quartz.

  • Topaz

    Topaz

    A transparent gem, the most precious type is wine-yellow. From the Greek topazes.

  • Topazolite

    Topazolite

    Variety of garnet that is golden yellow in colour

  • Tourmaline

    Tourmaline

    Vary in colour from red t green and from blue to yellow and often have 2 more colours. Most commonly found in jewellery are green, pink and Paraiba (pale blue). 7-7.5.

  • Tsavorite

    Tsavorite

    Green variety of garnet . Names after Tsavo National Park. 7-7.5

  • Turquoise

    Turquoise

    Blue to green opaque mineral. Burial mask of Tutankhamen is inlaid with turquoise. 5-6.

Z

  • Zoisite

    Zoisite

    Variety of colours. Vitreous luster. 6-7.

  • Zircon

    Zircon

    Natural colour varies between colourless and green. 7.5. High refractive index making it a very beautiful gem stone.