General Gem Stones Information

The Study of Gem Stones

To study the gem stone, to seek gem stone information is not unusual.  Many people, at one time or another will seek information on the Gem stones that are a part of our lives.

They can be an every day adornment, such as a garnet birthstone or a rainbow sapphire bracelet.  They can also be symbols of momentous events, such as the diamond in the ring that marks the beginning of lifelong relationship.

It is not unusual for a person to seek information on gem stones.  Whether studied formally, as a gemologist, seriously as a collector, or casually, as one who appreciates these shiny orbs, gem stones are a source of fascination and wonder.

loose garnets gem stones

In addition to their beauty, the physical qualities of hardness, refraction, strength and transparency have made naturally occurring and artificially produced gemstones a part of our industry for generations.

Here is some general information on gem stones:

Though the diamond gem stone is by far the most recognized and admired of the precious stones, the brilliant green of the emerald gem stone, the deep scarlet of the ruby gem stone and the subtle blue depths of the sapphire gem stone have their own loyal followings.

In terms of appearance, information on gem stones can be categorized into two ways:
  • The Crystalline gem stones, like the diamond, quartz, and emeralds.
    These are prized for their brilliance, often set in gold, silver and other precious metals to show off their dazzle.

  • The Amorphous gem stones, like the turquoise, jade, and opals.  These are often softer than their crystalline counterparts, and lend themselves to carving and engraving.

Though they lack the brilliance of the diamond or emerald, they are often brightly polished and produce a surface of subtle beauty.

One only has to look in an Atlas or Almanac to see information on gem stones.  Nearly every entry, regardless of country or continent, will list information on gem stones found within the nation's borders.


Diamonds, once the purview of the Southern portion of India, is now a mainstay of the economies of Brazil and parts of Southern Africa.

The greenish silica based stone known as Jade is most often associated with the orient, but is also found in quantities on the island country of New Zealand, off of the coast of Australia.

Turquoise gemstone, a new world counterpart to jade, is most often associated with the native populations of North America.


However, its use dates back to the ancient Persians who lived in the area known now as Iran.  Another ancient kingdom, the Egyptians, mined this stone from the Sinai desert over 5,000 years ago.  The popularity of turquoise jewelry in the US has caused many to seek information about this gem stone in recent years.

Ceylon Blue cornflower Saphire gemstone The mysterious sapphire, with colors ranging from blue and green to pink, yellow and white, appear mostly in the Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka or Ceylon, Thailand and Cambodia.

One of the largest of all gem stones, the beautiful star sapphire gem stone known as the 'Star of India', is actually a product of Sri Lanka, a neighboring country famous for these beautiful oddities.  Sri Lanka also produces the cornflower blue Ceylon sapphire, which was the name of this country (Ceylon) prior to 1972.

So, whether used to adorn our costumes, decorate our homes, or manufacture our products, gem stones are an integral part of our history, culture and economy.  Learn more about them. 

Look for information on your favorite stones.  The more information you have about your favorite gem stones, the more you can appreciate them for what they really are.