Gemstone List H to K

Gemstones H-K
Name from the Greek word heima meaning blood

Fe2O3      hardness 6 1/2      specific gravity 5.2

Color: gray to black, can show blood red when cut into thin slices.
Opaque with metallic luster

Mined in USA near Lake Superior, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, England, Switzerland, Brazil, Germany, Elba

Hematine is reconstituted hematite.

Ancient Lore:
It was associated with Mars, the god of war. If a warrior rubbed his body with it, he became invulnerable.
Protected from bleeding.


Name from Greek hemi meaning half and morphe meaning form. Refers to the crystal formation.

Zn4Si2O7(OH)2.H2O      hardness 5      specific gravity 3.4-3.5

Color: blue, green, colorless, often blue-white banded or mixed with dark matrix.
Transparent to translucent

Formerly called calamine in the USA

Mined in Algeria, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, Austria, USA


Named in 1868 for Henry Howe who discovered it.

C2B5SiO9(OH)5      hardness 3 1/2      specific gravity 2.58

Color: chalky white, often with black or brown veins
Translucent to opaque

Very porous, often dyed to imitate other gemstones.

Mined in California, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Turkey

IOLITE Name from the Greek word ios meaning violet and lithos meaning stone
Also called Cordierite

Mg2Al4Si5O18      hardness 7      specific gravity 2.63

Color: violet blue, can look colorless from another direction
Transparent to translucent

Mined in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, India, Namibia, Tanzania, Germany, Norway, Finland


Name from Spanish piedra de ijada meaning loin stone

2 varieties: Nephrite and Jadeite
Until the late 16th century all European jade was nephrite. Because they thought it had healing powers, the Spanish took jadeite back to Europe from the Aztecs in Mexico. In 1863 the difference between jadeite and nephrite was discovered.

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Na(Al,Fe)Si2O6      hardness 7      specific gravity 3.33

Color: The best is called imperial jade and is green from chromium. Pure is white. Other impurities cause lilac, pink, brown, red, blue, black, orange, yellow
Transparent to translucent

Mined in Myanmar, Guatemala, Japan, California

Ancient Lore: Jadeite had great value for the Indians of Mexico, Central, and South America.
It was a symbol of water and plant life growth.
Used for masks, statues of gods, and ritual items.
For burial, a piece placed in the mouth of an important person was supposed to be his heart in after life.

It was ground into powder and mixed with herbs for healing. Could cure fevers and fractured skulls. Could resurrect a dying person.

Named in 1780, from Latin meaning kidney, because in Europe it was used to treat kidney disease.

Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si3O22(OH)2      hardness 6 1/2      specific gravity 2.96

Color: dark green from iron to cream color from magnesium. Can be a single color, blotchy or banded, other colors.

Mined in Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, Myanmar, Siberia, Russia, China, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Italy, USA

Ancient lore: There were many Chinese beliefs. In the structure of Chinese feudal society, stones were assigned to the different classes of nobility.
Jade was a symbol of sovereignty and power. It was important in rituals and used in burial. It guaranteed immortality and had life giving qualities. Could prevent suffering from heat, cold, thirst, or hunger.

Healing: If a piece of jade was handled, its virtue was absorbed into the body. It could strengthen the heart, lungs, vocal organs, and muscles. Purified blood and hardened the bones. Calmed the mind.

Name from the Greek word iaspis, meaning spotted stone

SiO2      hardness 7      specific gravity 2.61

Colors: reds from hematite, white or gray from clay, brown or yellow from goethite, greens, and mixtures

Mined in USA, Russia, France, Germany

Many names have been given to describe the colors or patterns in the stones. Suppliers sometimes give their own names. The same stone may be found with different names, or the same name for different stones.
The red varieties are usually a brick red. The yellows are golden yellow. Greens are often shades of olive green. Whites are off white to yellowish white. A stone may include several colors. Other varieties may have various single color stones.

Variety names include: apple, autumn, black, brecciated(same colors as poppy), conglomerate, chocolate, dalmation, fancy (assorted single color), flower, golden wooden, golden horse, gray, rainbow, green sediment, green water, imperial (assorted colors), Kambaba, leopardskin, lepidolite(similar to the lepidolite gemstone), lilac, Mongolian, Ocean, Peridot(similar to the gemstone), picasso, picture, pink, poppy( dark colors), purple, rainbow, red, red bend, red flake, red silver leaf, red zebra, sesame( 2 varieties), silver leaf( grays, black, brown, white), spicy, star (also chrysanthemum), tiger skin, turtle, white, wild horse, wood, yellow, zebra.

Ancient lore: Jasper has been used for jewelry since Paleolithic times. Colors were important for the healing power of stones. Jasper has so many colors that it was very valuable.
In the 4th century it could bring rain and protected the wearer from snake bites. It could absorb poison.
The Babylonians believed it cured women’s diseases and made it a symbol of child birth.
In the 11th century when all stones were believed to be alive, jasper was a female stone.

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Name is from the name of a town, Gagates, or the Gagae river in Asia Minor.

Organic, fossilized wood, a form of brown coal.

Carbon      hardness 2 1/2      specific gravety 1.33

Color: dark brown to black

Mined in England, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, India, Turkey, Russia, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah

Ancient Lore: Carved ornaments were found in prehistoric caves.
The Romans carved it into beads.
Irish women burned it to protect their husbands when they were away.
In Medieval times, powdered jet in wine or water, had medicinal properties.

Named for G. F. Kunz who described it in 1902.

variety of Spodumene

LiAlSi2O6      hardness 6 1/2 -7      specific gravity 3.0-3.02

Color: pink or lilac from manganese
Transparent to translucent

Mined in Brazil, Pakistan, Afghanistan, California

Formerly named disthene

Al2SiO5      hardness 5,7(varies with direction)      specific gravity 3.68

Color: blue, white, gray, green, uneven color with darker at center
Transparent to translucent
Formerly named disthene

Mined in Myanmar, Brazil, Kenya, European Alps, India, Australia, USA

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