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SHORT REVIEW OF MOST POPULAR SEMIPRECIOUS GEMS


Hello, it's me again! :D

Today I'd like to show you a little who-is-who in gemstone world. It will be probably most useful for jewelry makers but gems are used in so many artisan crafts that I hope even those of you who don't make jewelry will find the article interesting. So here we go! :squee:

Since I'd like to stay on topic, today's article will be just about popular stones, not about differences between precious and semiprecious or definitions or tips how not to buy a piece of crap instead of real stone. Maybe I will write about those things in future and if you have any questions or need help with identifying some stones feel free to note me, I'll be happy to help :)
Now let's get those stones rollin' :D


1. QUARTZ

Quartz is one of the most popular minerals. It's a base for many other gems, like chalcedony, agate, jasper and others. The name 'quartz' is reserved for macro-crystals of transparent stone. It comes in variety of colours, from clear to brown, pink, yellow [called citrine], violet [called amethyst] and can have inclusion of other minerals like tourmaline [called tourmalined quartz] or rutile [rutilated quartz].

quartz1 by Dark-Lioncourt quartz2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. Rough amethyst, 2. Clear quartz spotted with some small inclusions, smoked quartz and tourmalined quartz


2. LABRADORITE

An amazing stone, very popular for handmade jewelry. Its basic colour is grey but the iridescence gives him that kick :) From different angles stone may look very ordinary to just explode with vivid colours on surface, from icy blues, greens to warm gold and even violet. Every labradorite is unique.

labradorite1 by Dark-Lioncourt labradorite2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. An amazing big labradorite, 2. and some less breathtaking but still lovely ones ;)


3. GARNET

Garnet is very popular stone not only in handmade world, but also in highly professional jewelry making. Is has very unique, kind of "oily" or "waxy" shine that makes it easy to recognize. The most popular colour for garnets is wine-red but they also come in green [called grossular] and sunny-orange shades [hessonite]. The red ones sometimes can be so dark, that at the first sight they look almost black.

garnet1 by Dark-Lioncourt garnet2 by Dark-Lioncourt

1. Bigger stones are so dark that it is hard to show their colour on photo - it's very common for garnets. Small ones show well that "oily" shine garnet is known for, 2. Lots of hessonites in various shades of orange [the rose is made of carnelian]


4. AGATE

Probably the most often mistaken with other stones. Agate is a type of chalcedony, which is a type of quartz transformed by high temperature and pressure. So yes, every agate is a quartz but not every quartz is an agate. It's quite simple to tell the difference: agates have layers, always. When there are no layers, there is no agate, simple as that. They can be dyed but the white and grey opaque layers always show through so it's easy to recognize this type of stone :)

agate1 by Dark-Lioncourt agate2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. Dyed agates, 2. Natural coloured agate - layers are clearly visible on both of them


5. MALACHITE

Malachite is a very lovely but fragile stone. Handle it with care because it is really easy to chip or scratch by accident. It always has rich green colour and most often has curved layers on surface. Sadly there is lot of fake man-made "malachites" made with plastic all around e-stores but if you have any doubts look at photos of genuine one and compare them to what you want to buy. Or ask ;)

malachite1 by Dark-Lioncourt malachite2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. Cabochons of a great quality malachite, 2. Beads of not-so-wonderful-quality malachite :P


6. JADE

A very popular and durable stone that can be dyed on many colours. It's never transparent, goes from total opaque to translucent. They don't lose colour even when they are dyed with intense shades and are very resistant to basically everything exept direct high temperature [like silver soldering torch, not like a hot day ;)]. Great stone to work with.

jade1 by Dark-Lioncourt jade2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. & 2. Range of natural coloured and dyed jades


7. MOONSTONE

It's one of my favourite stones. Like labradorite, moonstone has iridescence, just a bit less flashy. It's white, grey or peach-beige and can have no additional shine at all, only subtle white sparkle or, in its most desired form, it can show blue-violet flashes on the surface. That effect is very hard to catch on photos so I encourage you to see it in real - it's totally worth it :)

moonstone1 by Dark-Lioncourt moonstone2 by Dark-Lioncourt
1. White moonstones with white sprkle and blue flash along with peach-beige ones without any iridescence, 2. White moonstones with blue-violet flash


8. FLUORITE

Very interesting, nicely coloured transparent mineral. It comes in variety of shades, most common are violet and teal-green, often mixed in one stone. It's durable and has nice shine when polished. Can be easily mistaken with violet quartz, amethyst. Fluorite is usually more shiny and reflective than amethyst also having lighter colour.

fluorite1 by Dark-Lioncourt fluorite2 by Dark-Lioncourt

1. Pale, 2. and vividly coloured fluorites


9. PICK YOUR STONE! :D

I you have question about favourite stone or are not sure what is that you have stashed and forgotten I can try to help you with that in comments :)

Hope you like the article and it's useful :heart:

All photos are taken by me, please don't use them without my permission. :la:






Hope it will be useful for those of you who work with gems :)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchrissijulius:
Chrissijulius Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Ah, I use semiprecious gems all the time! Only thing is that it is hard to recognize them when bought at a market without anyone to tell you what it is... This guide is really useful, but a bigger one had been even more useful :) But you covered the most popular ones though.

 

My favourite is fluorite! It's so beautiful with Bright colours, but is still translucent... And it's durable, very practical when you work with wires and pliers..

Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013  Professional
I'm very glad you like it, thank you :)

Oh I love the fluorite too, it's a lovely stone :)
Reply
:iconeinhanderzwei:
EinhanderZwei Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My my! Thank you very much, that's very useful ^_^
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Professional
Thanks, great to hear that :)
Reply
:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Probably not something I'll take up anytime soon, but still a very informative article nonetheless :D
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconmalintra-shadowmoon:
Malintra-Shadowmoon Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is quite interesting. I am a quartz person. My stones are amethyst, mountain crystal and rose quartz. I use them out of different reasons either for concentration, purification, healing or keeping away computer monitor radiation. When touching the stones and concentrating on them I gain different feeling. Touching mountain crystal is like getting little electro shocks. When touching rose quartz there is like I feel a pulsation, some life coming out of the stone, like a heart beating. And with amethyst I get clear visions, pictures arise about places, incidents, people.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Quartz is a lovely stone :)
I'm totaly not into 'mystic' properties of minerals, but whatever works for you I guess :)
Reply
:icondcason:
dcason Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
Myself I love amber; however, I have only seen it a couple of times irl.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Amber is amazing, not a stone actually but I love it so much :) I live in Poland where you can find a piece of amber while walking on the beach and we happen to have one of the best ambers on the world in Baltic Sea :) I grew up waiting for mid-autumn storms to go with my dad for amber-huntig at dusk :)
Reply
:iconganjamira:
Ganjamira Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
My favourite too:la: Here in germany we find them sometimes just laying on the beach (only got once this lucky) its fun to search for it=D
Reply
:iconveesha:
Veesha Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Lapis lazuli is a pretty awesome gem, although not many people sell it in my area. Thanks for writing this! ^^
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
My pleasure :)
Yea, lapis is quite hard to find in shops ust about everywhere ;) But it's worth the effort, right? :D
Reply
:iconveesha:
Veesha Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
It's so annoying, because it's really expensive online.

But yeah, it's worth it.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Yea, most of great minerals arent cheap, eh.
Reply
:iconkai-ni:
Kai-ni Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Very nice article. I collect semiprecious gems, and it makes me happy to see someone spreading a little knowledge.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Glad you like it :) It's so nice to near from someone loving stones :heart:
Reply
:icondevibrigard:
DeviBrigard Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I had no idea that amethyst was just purple quartz.

I like them all :la:

Overall, my favourite stone is opal. Though, I found that opal can also be rather difficult to photograph.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
To photograph, uh, yeas, opal can me a pain n the ass. Also buying geniuine one is not so easy :)
Reply
:icondevibrigard:
DeviBrigard Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
It is easier when you happen to live about an hour away from an opal mine.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Ohhh I envy you! :D
Reply
:icondevibrigard:
DeviBrigard Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
They're frightfully expensive, though >.>
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Professional
uh, yup, theye are
Reply
:iconpeter-the-knotter:
Peter-The-Knotter Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Bravo! what a gorgeous Article, so useful... got yr crate 'o favs fer that one
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
Thank you, Peter, I'm so glad you like it. And that's a thiny piece of article comparing to your book-of-macrame-knowlegde which is just amazing! :heart:
Reply
:iconpeter-the-knotter:
Peter-The-Knotter Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter

My dear Friend! wow!, just wow! :hug:

 

...er I had better explain my "wow!'s" .... and the hug|!  It's a combinational thing../...whammy for... um... 3 reasons at least...

 

 

Firstly:

Your article is clear, precise, informative and includes exactly what it's title says it will.... and in a world where appearance is so often deceptive, especially in advertising, public literature: news, newspapers, pictures on menus in fast food restaurants..., (I use the word: "restaurants" very "loosely" with some imagination and an artists license for metaphor... remember: we are on an ART site after all), it's a welcome breath of fresh air....

 

Secondly: 

Your article is not to be judged  or critiqued... by anybody!, I care not a fig who! be it from +spyed down to the very newest wet-behind-the-ears-thinks-they're-an-artist-because-their-milk-delivery-man-said-to-them-"that's nice dear!"..... looking at a first ever attempt at drawing,    (Although: see note at bottom*), ....simply!....for it's size!**

 

My reasons?: It's quality, clarity, and communication and getting off your ass and contributing! (to "solutions!" rather than complaining about "problems" that gets my vote...whereas merely quantity never will.....(see also "Firstly")....

 

*and please see my note at the end of this message...*

 

Thirdly: (more an "aside|" or "btw" really... so just for your info.. you'll see why after reading fourthly....)

 

I am in the process of re-constituting the article as it was intended...in all probability... slightly different since re-constituted things are, usually.... ...but it took me two weeks the first time....so...  er... should I send you a message when I post it?  "no" is a perfectly acceptable answer...btw:  everyone's busy these days... let me know if "yes"

 

Fourthly:

For the huge and very generous compliment on my own, shoddy, thrown-together affair on Macramé...  ....I mean it!, sincerely!:   

 

You don't know this (but Maytel does, of course...), I had a quasi burglary/destruction of property thing at my flat, most of my neighbours are fine, friendly folk, but there are some real fascist idiots, not all fascists are idiots of course, but these were... Also...., as well as them nearly knocking out my fibre -optic networking / web access equipment, my keyboard was broken,  (not them-separate issue...), stopped functioning and due to bandwidth / temporary  loss of connection to my ISP's server, my only copy of the "real" article was lost! aaargh" just as I was saving it to upload via sta.sh and create a copy for the archive on my home HDD, ...on my computer ....and on my external backup drive... so you see I'm kinda amazed! and "pissed off!" at the same time because everyone has been so nice about this version!, (thrown together in 1 hour before the articles' deadline.... ), I did at least have many constituent parts in txt files and link files, jpg's etc ...in order to make a "patchwork quilt" article..... rather than the proper "finished" version with games and puzzles, (3), for children, ( eg: printable cut out and colour pictures and knot-related games that were both fun and educational...,  and one or two for adults, properly laid out sections with little knot icon buttons for bullet points....another contest / game for all as well as the "diversity" one included..... you get my drift so I'll stop there and shut up!...:)...

 

So, having said all that: 

 

My dear Friend! wow!, just wow! :hug: Peter.

 

** I may be male, but in this case, even I know it ain't about size...;)

Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Professional
Oh, i'm so sorry to hear about that bulgraly, that's awful! Hope they'll ind whoever did that and bit the hell out of him/them!.

Please, let me know when you're 'proper' version of article will be ready - I'd really love to read it, fav it and give knotting a good try, your previous article just inspired me to do so! I know that re-doing something you've spet a lot of time before is sooo frustrating... Admire you to take to effort.

And thank you so much for all compliments, I'm really touched by your kindness :heart: :)
Reply
:iconpeter-the-knotter:
Peter-The-Knotter Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
Thanks again for your friendship and appreciation... yes of course I'll send thumb or sthg... and if you need any help... "If" is a very precise word that implies faith in the  abilities of the person you are using it about... so:" if" you need my help, you know how to find me... :), bye for now my creative Sister, Peter.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013  Professional
Thank you ass well, Peter, heva a great week! :)
Reply
:iconpeter-the-knotter:
Peter-The-Knotter Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter

....er.....ahem!......I may be male... but it ain't about size....;)    (it's an honour being on the same team as you,^cakecrumbs and ^maytel...etc... !)

 

Thank you for the compliment on my poor, thrown together, piece!....*please see note below...

 

My best wishes to you, Peter. :hug:   (you'll see why I gave you a hug in my note, below...)

 

 

 

 

*I mean it: (you don't know this but Maytel does, of course...)I had a quasi burglary at my flat, most of my neighbours are fine, friendly folk, but their are some real fascist idiots also...., my keyboard, stopped functioning and my only copy of the "real" article was lost! aaargh" just I was saving it to upload and create a copy for the archive on my home HDD, on my computer and on my external backup drive... so you see I'm kinda amazed! and "pissed off!" at the same time because everyone has been so nice about this version!, (thrown together in 1 hour before the articles' deadline.... ), I did at least have many constituent parts in txt files and link files, jpg's etc ...in order to make a "patchwork quilt" article..... rather than the proper "finished"version with games and puzzles, (3), for children and adults, properly laid out sections with little knot icon buttons for bullet points.... you get my drift so I'll stop there... )

Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovely article! I love Garnet and rutilated Quarz, but I also adore Carneol, Citrine and Opal. :)
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
I love all quartz with inclusions, they're so fascinating and every one is uniqe [well, that's not so cool when you try to make earrings :D].
Happy you ike it :)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Me too.^^ (Indeed :lol:)
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I tend to use Malachite & Turquiose a lot :3
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
that's great choise of beautiful stones :) just buy turquiose from trusted seller - it's very common to find synthetic manmade plastic something named "turquoise" in many shops ;)
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yes~(I actually admit to using the synthetic stuff since it's inexpensive but one of my favorite personal pieces has the authentic one)
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
Nothing wrong with using synthetic stuff, just it's sad so many gem sellers don't say it's manmade and it's easy to buy fake one paying like for real. But if you have trusted seller it's worth to stick with them ;)
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
I'm sure you do, didn't mean to soud condescending in any way :heart:
Reply
:iconsavagefrog:
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No worries :hug:
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
:hug:
Reply
:iconhoshiblue21:
HoshiBlue21 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013   Traditional Artist
I think is great! and even I don't do (yet) crafts with gems, is very nice to the people who want to know more, and even I found it very inspiring to the ones like me, that like to draw.
so great!
have a great weekend!
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
That is so great to hear you're inspired :heart:
great weekend for you too :)
Reply
:iconhoshiblue21:
HoshiBlue21 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013   Traditional Artist
Yes! was great!
thanks!
Reply
:iconjustmango:
justMANGO Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Useful writing reference. :) Thank you.
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Professional
I'm glad you like it, my pleasure :)
Reply
:iconklevry1:
klevry1 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oooh hey what does a Sunstone look like? ivre been told it looks like a mix between moonstone and soapstone but im not sure
Reply
:icondark-lioncourt:
Dark-Lioncourt Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Professional
hey :)
here are photos of genuine sunstone:
www.sklepbukowiec.pl/images/ma…
www.sklepbukowiec.pl/images/ma…
it has delicate sparkle in the colour of stone - not that flashy as moonstone :)
Reply
:iconklevry1:
klevry1 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
is it true if you hold a clear sunstone to a cloudy sky you can see the sun?
Reply
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