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Cabochon Stones G-O

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Garnet, Almandine Garnet, Almandine Red to brownish plum None
7-7.5
Cabochon
Faceted
Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet, Rhodolite Light reddish lavender to medium plum None
7-7.5
Cabochon
Faceted
Garnet, Pyrope Garnet, Pyrope Burgundy red None
7-7.5
Cabochon
Garnet, Almandine-Pyrope mixed Garnet, Almandine-Pyrope mixed Brownish plum to burgundy red None
7-7.5
Cabochon
Faceted

Garnet:
Rich in iron and chromium giving them their color, garnets exhibit few inclusions. Inclusions that are present tend to be rounded, seed like crystals with irregular edges.
Garnet is one of the world's most ancient gems and was called carbuncle by early civilizations. The term carbuncle once referred to any red gem but now it refers only to red cabochon-cut garnet.
The name garnet comes from the Medieval Latin word granatum (pomegranate) referring to the stones color or its seed like crystal formation.
Rhodolite Garnet is found in metamorphic rock and gets its purplish color from iron-contaning trace impurities. It gets its name from the Greek rhodo (rose) and litho (stone).
Pyrope Garnet is a beautiful red garnet from Arizona (also known as “anthill garnet” because early Native Americans first found it among the pebbles brought to the surface by ants) is found in volcanic rock and alluvial deposits.
Garnet is a January birthstone and is associated with the astrological sign Aquarius.

Lore:
Garnets have long been associated with blood because of their red color. Native soldiers in the Kashmir fought the British with bullets made of garnet believing that they would magically find their way to their targets as recently as 1892.
When on the body, garnets are said to prevent skin diseases.
Garnet is said to assure the wearer of love, faithfulness and safety from wounds.
When danger approaches, the stone looses it brilliance.
Garnets are said to protect the wearer from evil and from terrifying dreams.
Garnet is the stone for business success. To increase business in an office place 3 garnets in a row on the front of your desk.
Wearing garnet gives an air of success and confidence, it also increases self esteem

Care: Ultrasonic cleaning is usually safe for natural and synthetic garnet. Never steam clean natural or synthetic garnet.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Gympie Gympie®
gold-in-quartz
Milk white with gold veining None
7
Cabochon
Gympie®: Naturally occurring white quartz with high-quality gold-ore veining. Each cabochon is unique.
Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Hematite Hematite blackish grey with a metallic luster None
6-6.5
Cabochon

Hematite:
Also spelled “haematite” it is an iron oxide blackish grey in color and has a metallic appearance when polished.
If scratched along a rough surface the hematite will leave a red streak as if it is bleeding thus getting its name from the Latin “haima” meaning blood.
When hematite forms naturally as a cluster of thin plates it is known as an alpine rose or iron rose.
When powdered hematite has a blood red color and is used as a pigment (red ochre) and as a polishing compound or abrasive (crocus).
Hematite has been used as an ornamental stone since early times sometimes mistakenly called black diamond. Engraved hematite seals have been found in the ruins of ancient Babylon.

Lore:
The ancient Egyptians used hematite to treat hysteria, to reduce inflammation and they placed it in tombs.
It is said that the shiny surface of hematite will protect the wearer from negativity and rebound it back to the sender but if the wearer is being negative that energy will return immediately.
Hematite helps improve relationships and strengthen friendships
Wearing hematite is also believed to help improve overall blood flow.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Iolite Iolite Violet blue; may be lightly included None
7-7.5
Cabochon
Faceted

Iolite:
Derived from the Greek ios (violet) and lithos (stone), iolite is the gem name for cordierite, a silicate of aluminum and magnesium.
Sometimes called dichroite, alluding to its dichroic properties, it shows two or more colors according to the direction in which it is viewed through transmitted light.
Most iolite is found in gravel beds in the form of water-worn pebbles and is sometimes called “water sapphire” because of its color.

Care: Avoid harsh detergents. Never clean ultrasonically or steam clean.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Jade, Green Jadeite Jade, Green Jadeite Soft to medium mint green; color varies None
6.5-7
Cabochon
Jade, Green Nephrite Jade, Green Nephrite Dark olive green; color varies None
6-6.5
Cabochon

Jade:
The term jade refers to two distinct minerals that were not differentiated between until 1863. These two minerals are properly called jadeite and nephrite.
Jadeite is a lesser known variety of jade composed of interlocking granular pyoxene crystals which is harder than nephrite jade and takes a higher polish. The resulting finish is slightly more translucent.
Nephrite is an aggregate of interlocked fibrous amphibole crystals.
Jade occurs in white (mutton fat), yellow, lavender, earthly brown and black as well as the familiar greens.
Jade can be confused with californite, grossularite, sausserite, petolite, chrysoprase, and aventurine.
Rich green jade has long held a position of great cultural and historical significance, particularly in Asia. The Chinese have valued this gem more than any other, using it for currency ceremonial vessels and marriage bowls. Jade has also been used to produce great works of art (jewelry and carvings), as well as for medicinal purposes.

Both varieties of Jade were used for tools, utensils, religious articles and as a jewelry stone in ancient China. In spite of Nephrite Jade's low hardness, it is considered the toughest gem material because of its densely packed fibrous structure. Nephrite weapons were also used by the Maoris in New Zealand.

Lore:
Jade in both of its forms has been prized throughout the centuries and has been surrounded by rich lore. It is an important symbol of purity and serenity and considered to be good for emotional balance and stability. It is believed to have energetic clearing properties. Jade has also been revered as an ancient symbol of love. The Maoris of New Zealand regard jade as a stone that brings luck, especially specimens that are dark olive-green in color as the Jade Nephrites are in these earrings. The ancient Chinese felt that Jade helps to inspire the mind to make quick and precise decisions. Jade can be worn for protection during defensive magical workings.

Spanish conquistadors found many objects of carved jade and, believing it to ease kidney pains, called it “piedra de ijada” (lion stone). European doctors called it “palis nephriticus” from the Greek “nephros,” kidney.
Because of its waxy luster, the Chinese called it wet stone and believed it could slake thirst.
Jade was believed to protect from lightning, to aid in battle, to bring rain, to drive away beasts and evil spirits and to aid in childbirth.

Care: Jadeite can be ultrasonically and steam cleaned.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Labradorite Labradorite

Translucent white to grey with an iridescent play of colors

Unknown
6.0 - 6.5
Cabochon

Labradorite: along with moonstone, labradorite is in the gemstone family feldspar. Feldspars are more abundant in the earth's crust than all other minerals combined.

opaque to translucent, rarely transparent

gray to gray-black with colorful iridescence

usually gray to black, also colorless, white, yellow, orange to red, blue to green

The astrological signs of labradorite are Scorpio, Sagittarius and Leo.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Lapis Lazuli Lapis Lazuli Royal blue with virtually no visible calcite inclusions None; polished with paraffin wax
5-6
Cabochon
Denim Lapis Lapis Lazuli, Denim Denim blue None
5-6
Cabochon

Lapis Lazuli:
This vivid blue gemstone is composed of lazurite, pyrite, and calcite. It gets it name from the Latin lapis “stone” and the Medieval Latin lazuli which comes from the Arabic lazuward (meaning blue).
Lapis is still being mined at the oldest mine in the world in Afghanistan which remains a major source for this gemstone. Mining of lapis began there over 6000 years ago when the country was called Babylon.
Ancient Egyptians carved lapis to make cylinder seals and used powered lapis as pigment, cosmetics and paintings.
In the Middle Ages powdered lapis was mixed with oil by painters to make the color aquamarine.
Lapis lazuli is a September birthstone in the ancient tradition.

Lore:
Ancient Egyptians believed lapis to be sacred and buried it with their dead to protect and guide them in the afterlife. Lapis was also symbolic of truth (Ma) and was worn by the chief justice.
The kings of Ur sharpened their swords on lapis believing that it would make their weapons invincible.
Sumerians believed that a wearer carried the presence of God with him.
Lapis has been attributed with the ability to ease eye troubles, asthma, to induce sleep and relieve anxiety.

Care: Avoid harsh detergents. Never clean ultrasonically or with steam.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Malachite Malachite Green with color banding None
3.5-4
Cabochon

Malachite:
This copper ore features a characteristic banding pattern of deep and pale green stripes or concentric circles. Because it is formed in thin layers, large pieces are somewhat rare.
Malachite gets its name from the Greek word molokhe (mallow) because of the resemblance of its color to that of the leaves of the mallow plant.
Egyptians used malachite as early as 4000 B.C. for amulets, jewelry and cosmetics (powdered eye shadow).

Lore:
Malachite was worn for protection from sorcery and black magic during the Middle Ages.
It was commonly held to ease labor, protect infants and children, and soothe their pain when they were cutting teeth.

Note: Because of its high copper content, malachite will be damaged by jewelers' pickle.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Grey Moonstone Moonstone, Grey Soft Milky grey N/A
6-6.5
Cabochon
Peach Moonstone Moonstone, Peach Soft peach None
6-6.5
Cabochon
Rainbow Moonstone Moonstone, Rainbow Soft rainbow hues N/A
6-6.5
Cabochon
White Moonstone Moonstone, White Soft Milky white with grey/blue sheen None
6-6.5
Cabochon

Moonstone:
One of the best known and most valuable varieties of feldspar moonstone is of the orthoclase with thin layers of albite which yields a play of light called aldularescence as light is spread by the fine particles or layers. This causes a cool frosty glow accounting for its name.
Moonstone occurs in white, gray, pink, green, blue, chocolate and an almost clear variety that looks like a water droplet.
Moonstone is an August birthstone in the ancient tradition and associated with the astrological Capricorn.

Lore:
East Indian tradition holds that moonstone is a symbol of the Third Eye and clarifies spiritual understanding.
When worn around the neck, moonstone was said to protect against epilepsy and sunstroke. It is was used to treat headaches and nose-bleeds.
When hung on fruit trees it was believed to produce abundant crops and generally assists all vegetation.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Black Mother-of-Pearl Mother-of-Pearl Shell, Black Light to dark-grey with pearlescent sheen None
3.5
Cabochon
Pink Mother-of-Pearl Mother-of-Pearl Shell, Pink Pink with pearlescent sheen Dyed
3.5
Cabochon
White Mother-of-Pearl Mother-of-Pearl Shell, White White with pearlescent sheen None
3.5
Cabochon

Mother of Pearl:
Treasured for their lovely colors and iridescent luster, shells have been used in jewelry for centuries. Shell is the calcareous armor of various type of marine shellfish. It is used for inlay and to make cabochons, cameos, beads, buttons, and other ornamental objects.

Care: Avoid harsh detergents. Never clean ultrasonically or with steam.

Note: Shell products are organic and cannot be exported from the U.S.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Black Onyx Black Onyx Black Dyed for color uniformity
6.5-7
Cabochon

Onyx:
A type of opaque chalcedony occurring naturally in black with white bands (agate), it is generally dyed to achieve a more uniform color.
Onyx with brown and white bands is called sardonyx.
The Arabic name for this stone, “el jaza,” which means sadness.
Onyx is a July birthstone in the ancient tradition and associated with the astrological sign Leo.

Lore:
Un-dyed onyx was cut show concentric circles forming an eye-like amulet that was worn by the Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans to ward off evil.
This stone was widely disfavored except when cut as a protective eye. It was said to incite contention between friends, give the wearer broken sleep and terrifying dreams, and cool the fires of love when worn around the neck.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Opal, AAA-grade Opal, AAA-Grade Multi color None
5-6.5
 
Opal, AA-grade Opal, AA-Grade Blue/green None
5-6.5
 
Opal, A-grade Opal, A-Grade Red/green None
5-6.5
 
Opal, B-grade Opal, B-grade White-based None
5-6.5
 
Opal Triplet Opal, Triplets Multi color Assembled
Opal, 5-6.5
Quartz cap 7
 
Opal Mosaic Triplet Opal Mosaic Triplets Blue/green Assembled
Opal, 5-6.5
Quartz cap 7
 
Simulated Opal Opal (simulated) Blue/green Lab-grown, plastic impregnated
N/A
 

Opal:
Admired for its distinctive play of color, opal is hydrated silicon dioxide that shows a range of color flashes, usually including red, blue green and violet. The play of colors is the result of water trapped in the stone (1-15% by weight). Opals from Mexico & Brazil contain more water and are less stable than Australian opals.
Opal Triplets are assembled by bonding a layer of opal to a base layer of onyx or obsidian to increase color play and capped with quarts to increase luster and strength.
Mosaic Triplets differ from the opal triplets only in that the opal is a mosaic of smaller pieces rather than one piece.

Opal is an october birthstone in the modern and ancient tradition and is associated with the astrological sign Libra.

Lore:
Opals are thought to possess the virtues of all the stones whose colors appear there. The Roman Senator Nonius, for instance, so valued a large opal that he chose exile rather than surrendering the gem to Mark Antony.
Ancient Romans believed opal to be a symbol of hope because it contains the colors of the rainbow.
Arabs thought opals obtained their fiery colors while falling from heaven in flashes of lightning.

Care: Opal is relatively soft and should be treated with care. Opal is brittle and heat-sensitive; do not clean it in hot water or an ultrasonic cleaner. Never steam clean.

Stone Name Color Treatment Usually Cut As
Smooth Spiny Oyster Spiny Oyster (smooth) Soft orange N/A
N/A
Cabochon
Rough Spiny Oyster Spiny Oyster (rough) Soft orange N/A
N/A
Cabochon
Spiny Oyster:
An orange oyster shell that is polished smooth or left with the natural rough texture of the spiny shell.
Origin: Philippine Islands
Care: Avoid harsh detergents. Never clean ultrasonically or steam clean.
Note: Shell products are organic and cannot be exported from the U.S.
 

Sources for the above information:
Gem supply catalogue.
McCreight, Tim. The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook. Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: Davis Publications, INC, 1991.
Douglas Harper. “Online Etymology Dictionary.” November 2001. http://www.etymonline.com

Last updated 11/26/11