Gemstone List S to Z

Gemstones S-Z
Name for the Latin word for blue

Al2O3      hardness 9      specific gravity 4.0-4.1

Color: colorless, blue from titanium and iron, pale green, yellow, brown from iron, pink from small traces of chromium, pink orange variety is called padparadscha.
Color and transparency are changed by heating or radiation.

Mined in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Thailand, Australia, Brazil, Kashmir, Cambodia, Kenya, Colombia, USA

Ancient belief:
In ancient Greece and in Europe during the Middle Ages, it cured eye diseases and set prisoners free.
In the East, it was a charm against the Evil Eye.


a blend of sard and onyx.
The name sard is from the Greek Sardis, capital of ancient Lydia

SiO2      hardness 7      specific gravity 2.61-2.7

Color: bands of white and brownish red
Translucent to opaque

Mined world wide.

Ancient lore for sard:
Made the wearer fearless, victorious, and happy.
The red color was supposed to drive away the bad influence of onyx which caused bad dreams and melancholy.
In the 11th century it was a protection against sorcery.
In the 4th century it cured wounds.

Named for the mottled color that resembles snake skin.

Mg6(OH)8Si4O10      hardness 5      specific gravity 2.60

Color: predominately green
Translucent to opaque

Bowenite – translucent green or blue green.
Williamsite – translucent oily green with veined or spotted inclusions.
New Jade – apple green.

Mined in England, USA, Germany, Canada, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, Italy, and many other countries.

From 3000 BC to 1100 BC carved into vases, bowls, and other objects by the Minoans on Crete.

Ancient healing: Protects from snake bite, and when put on the wound, draws out the poison.


Named in 1811 for its high sodium content

3NaAlSiO4NaCl      hardness 5 1/2 -6      specific gravity 2.27

Color: all shades of blue with streaks of white calcite
Transparent (rare) to translucent

Mined in Canada, Brazil, India, Namibia, Russia, Germany, Maine, New Hampshire, Arkansas


Named for Ken-ici Sugi who discovered it in 1944.
It was recognized as a mineral in 1976

KNa2(Fe,Mn,Al)2Li3Si12O30.H2O      hardness 5 1/2- 6 1/2      specific gravity 2.7-2.8

Color: pink to purple from manganese, purple from iron, pale to deep pink from aluminum, brownish yellow
Translucent to opaque

Mined in Canada, Japan, South Africa, Italy


common name for aventurine feldspar

KAlSi3O8      hardness 6-6 1/2      specific gravity 2.6

Color: orange, reddish brown, metallic glitter caused by hemitite or goethite
Translucent to opaque

Mined in India, Canada, Madagascar, Norway, Russia, USA

Ancient belief: associated like the sun with health, physical energy, passion, and courage


Named for James Smithson, English founder of the Smithsonian Institute

ZnCO3      hardness 5      specific gravity 4.35

Color: usually bluish green or green, colorless, pink from cobalt, yellow from cadmium, white, brown
Translucent to opaque

Mined in Namibia, Zambia, USA, Spain, Greece, Sardinia, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Australia

Named for Tanzania where it is mined
variety of zoisite

Ca2Al3(SiO4)3(OH)      hardness 6-7      specific gravity 3.2-3.4

Color: sapphire blue from vanadium, looks more violet in incandescent light. Heat treating enhances the color.
Transparent to translucent

Found in 1965 near Mount Kilimanjaro

Mined in Tanzania, Pakistan


Name from the ancient Sanscrit word tapaz for fire or from the name of the legendary island of Topazios off the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea.
Ancient name was chrysolite.

Al2(F,OH)2SiO4      hardness 8      specific gravity 3.54

Color: yellow, pink, colorless, blue, green. Heat treating and irradiation make a large range of blue.
Transparent to translucent

Mined in Brazil, USA, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Russia, Australia, Tasmania, Pakistan, Mexico, Japan, Africa

Ancient healing beliefs: Cured dimness of vision
15th century – cured the plague
16th century – protected against sudden death

Name from the Singalese word turamali meaning gem pebbles

Na(Li,Al)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)4      hardness 7 1/2      specific gravity 3.06

Elbaite – yellow, emerald green, greenish yellow
Schorl – opaque black
Indicolite – dark blue
Siberite – lilac to violet blue or reddish blue
Dravite – dark color, usually brown
Achroite – colorless
Watermelon – pink and green
Rubellite – pink or red
Often color zoning.

Mined in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Namibia, Tanzania, Russia, Madagascar, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, South and East Africa


Name means Turkish stone because the trade route to Europe was through Turkey.

CuAl6(PO4)4OH8.5H2O      hardness 5-6      specific gravity 2.80

Color: sky blue, bluish green, apple green, depends on the amount of iron and copper, usually interspersed with black, dark gray, or brown veins of host rock or minerals

Natural color can be damaged by light, perspiration, oils, cosmetics, and household detergents. Stabalizing by soaking with artificial resin hardens the surface. Most turquoise being sold has been stabalized.
Chalk turquoise is dyed.
Imitation turquoise is made by dying howlite.

Mined in Iran, Tibet, China, Egypt, Chile, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico
Turquoise was one of the first gemstones to be mined. Beads dating from 5000 BC were found in Mesopotamia (Iraq).

Ancient lore: It was believed to warn the wearer of danger or illness by changing color.
A person who looked at a turquoise after looking at the moon on the first day after a new moon, would get great wealth.
The American Indians in Arizona buried many beads with the dead. The Pueblo Indians thought a piece attached to a bow or gun assured perfect aim.
13th century, it protected the wearer from falling, or getting injured from a fall off a horse. Later from a building or a precipice.
14th century, it protected horses.

Click here to see TURQUOISE JEWELRY

Named after the place of discovery in South Carolina

Aggregate of quartz and pink feldspar with greenish epidote.

Color: pink and green

Mined in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, in the Blue Ridge Unaka Range


Named for Variscia, the old name for the German district of Voightland, where it was discovered.

AlPO4.2H2O      hardness 4 1/2      specific gravity 2.6

Color: pale to apple green

Mined in Austria, Czech Republic, Australia, Venezuela, North Carolina, Utah, Arizona

Named for Baron von Zois who discovered it in Austria.

Ca2(Al,OH)Al2(SiO4)3      hardness 6 1/2      specific gravity 3.35

Color: usually green
Transparent to translucent

Variety: Ruby in Zoisite – green variety containing ruby inclusions

Mined in Spain, Germany, Scotland, Japan,

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