The solid tinted agates are known as Chalcedony, while the multi-coloured stripey varieties are known as Agates. We currently stock Banded Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, Dendritic, Ocean Jasper and it's drusies, Picture Jasper and Onyx varieties, among others.
Agate was used as a gemstone by the Egyptians at least 3,000 years ago. In modern times, agate has a special association with the Idar-Oberstein region in Germany. Idar-Oberstein was an important source of agate until the 19th century. The region was favored with good local sandstone for producing cutting and polishing wheels, and water power to work the wheels. Agate continues to be mined in Brazil. It is also mined in Uruguay, India, Australia, China, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia and Namibia.
The feldspar family which also houses Moonstone, Labradorite and Spectrolite; Amazonite is an opaque stone of variegated blue-greens, and less often, yellow, pink, red and grey. Amazonite is a light green to light bluish green feldspar. It's soft and attractive color closely resembles nephrite and jadeite. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as 'Colorado jade' or 'Pikes Peak jade' because of the close resemblance. Amazonite's appearance is very distinctive with its grid-like, mottled, green and white pattern. Amazonite also has a very faint sheen adding to its uniqueness. Amazonite is found in only a few locations around the world. Russia's Ilmen Mountains were thought to be the only source for many years, until recent discoveries were made in the USA (Colorado and Virginia), Australia, Madagascar and Brazil.
Since amazonite gemstones are fairly soft, they should not be worn when participating in any strenuous physical activity, such as sports and household chores. Amazonite gemstones and jewellery should be stored separately from other jewellery to minimize fractures and scratches.
Amethyst is a crystaline quartz, and comes in a range of shades; from red Russian through lavendar to magenta Siberian quartzes. It can have a bluish or reddish tone depending on the dichroic tendency of the stone. Amethyst is one of the most precious and valuable stones belonging to the quartz group of minerals. The most important amethyst deposits are in Brazil, namely the "Palmeira" amethysts of Rio Grande do Sul and the "Maraba" amethysts of Para. Other significant amethyst deposits are located in Bolivia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, United States (Arizona), Uruguay and Zambia. Amethyst can easily be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. Wipe down amethyst using a soft cloth or toothbrush. Amethyst is quartz and although it is relatively hard and durable, there are a number of other gemstones capable of easily scratching amethyst.
Pine tree resin from over 50 million years ago, Amber is a lightweight, golden-orange stone which displays a spectacular range of colour and depth and often includes remnants of insect and plant life. We stock a stunning range of amber jewellery, and some "young" amber: Kopal, which is more opaque and creamy in tone at a mere 10 million years...
Apatite is found in a number of places in the world, including Myanmar (Burma), India, Kenya, Brazil, Norway, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Apatite gemstones are rather fragile compared to most gemstones. Care for apatite should be similar to that of precious opal. Apatite is sensitive to heat and shock, so the use of steamers and ultrasonic cleaners should always be avoided. Apatite is sensitive to acid, so it should not be worn when working with chemicals. Avoid wearing apatite jewelry when engaging in vigorous physical activity, such as exercise or sports, or when doing household chores.Since it is considerably softer than quartz, simply wiping off dust can eventually cause apatite to lose its polish and develop surface scratches. When storing apatite gemstones, wrap them in a soft cloth, or place them into a fabric-lined box. Always store apatite separately from other types of gemstone and gemstone jewellery.
Aquamarine is exceptionally hard and has an outstanding vitreous (glass-like) luster. It is most famous for its breathtaking sea-blue colors which can range from light to dark-blue. The name 'aquamarine' was derived from an old Latin expression which meant 'seawater'. The leading producer of aquamarine is Brazil, with many mines spread throughout the country. Other deposits of aquamarine are sourced from Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as in several U.S. locations. Karur, India recently has become one of the biggest suppliers of aquamarine. Aquamarine belongs to the beryl group of minerals. There are quite a few different gemstone-quality varieties of beryl, most of which are classified based on color and coloring agents, such as green emerald.
A soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits, Azurite is also known as Chessylite after the type locality at Chessy-les-Mines near Lyon, France. Azurite is one of the two basic copper(II) carbonate minerals, the other being bright green malachite. Specimens tend to lighten in color over time due to weathering of the specimen surface into malachite.
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