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Glossary Page 1
agate - One of the many varieties of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz).  Best known in its curved, banded form, it also occurs in straight, parallel bands (onyx) and in a translucent form with dendritic inclusions (moss agate).  It is found in virtually of low intensity, and translucent to semitransparent.  Most gray-banded agate is dyed to improve its color.
amazonite - is the bright green laminated variety of microcline feldspar. Sources: Russia, Virginia (USA) and Colorado (USA).
amber - is a fossil resin, transparent to translucent, occurring usually in yellowish or brownish but sometimes in red, orange, black, whitish, greenish, bluish or violetish.  It was exuded from Pinis Succinefere pine trees that flourished about 20 million years ago.  They are very much sought after by collectors if they contain the remains of insects and plants. Amber can also be pressed or reconstructed by melting small fragments of the material and compressing it into blocks by hydraulic pressure. Sources: Southern shores of the Baltic Sea in Poland: shores of East Germany; Sicily; Mediterranean Sea off Sicily; Upper Burma and Rumania.
apatite - this mineral comes in gem quality.  Occurs in a transparent green, blue, violet purple, pink, yellow, or colorless material. Grays and brown are the non-gem varieties.  Sources: Ceylon, Burma, Bohemia, Mexico, and Maine (USA).
aventurine - Translucent, grayish, greenish, brown or yellowish (a massive granular kind of quartz) that exhibits bright or strongly colored reflections (aventurenscence) from inclusions of tiny platelets or flakes of another mineral. Fuchsite, a chromium mica, produces a greenish spangled effect (the most commonly encountered kind); mica, a silvery brassy or golden glitter: and hematite or goethite, reddish metallic reflections.  Hence when the color green , it is known as green aventurine,  and when the color is brownish orange it is called honey aventurine. Sources: India, Russia, Brazil, Spain and Chile.

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black onyx - Incorrect name for black single colored agate or chalcedony which is usually colored artificially.  Correct term will be black chalcedony.  See onyx.   Most material called "black onyx" sold in the market are reconstructed material.  See reconstructed stones.
bowenite - A translucent, massive, fine-grained, greenish-white to yellowish-white variety of serpentine that resembles nephrite jade in appearance and sometimes is sold as such, when it is known by the popular misnomer of "Korean jade." Sources: China, New Zealand, Afghanistan, India and R.I.
calcite - is a very soft mineral that occurs in a transparent to semitranslucent material, in a wide variety of color and patterns. Some of the varieties include Iceland spar, satin spar, marble and travertine. Sources: widespread.
chalcedony - is the cryptocrystalline variety of quartz.  They form in massive semitransparent to translucent material, often found in white, gray, black, browns and varying intensities of all colors.  
Variety name:  chalcedonyx - chalcedony with alternating stripes of gray and white;  Sard and carnelian - clear red to brownish red;  Sardonyx and onyx - sard and carnelian in layers with alternating stripes of reddish brown and white;   heliotrope  (bloodstone) - bright green with spots of red;  agate - variegated, banded;  moss agate - with moss-like or treelike inclusions;  chrysoprase - apple-green;  jasper - variegated and mottled red, yellow and brown;  Blue lace agate - white material with lacey blue lines and swirls.  Crazy lace agate - material with alternating brown, red and white in swirls and lacey patterns.
electroformed - to form "shaped articles" by electrodeposition on a mold.
electroplate - to plate with an adherent continuous coating by electrodeposition.
fluorite - The compact, massive variety is used in carving figurines, lamp bases, snuff bottles, animals, boxes, etc., being a relatively soft material of 4 on the Moh's scale of hardness.  The transparent to translucent variety comes in a large variety of colors predominantly in the pale to light tones of green, blue, violet, yellow, orange, red brown or colorless. They are rarely cut into gems.  Major sources are England and Arizona, USA.

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fresh water pearls - Pearls found in a fresh water mollusks.  When the concretion with orient and pearly luster are of high intensity, the value increases. 
geode - Cavities in clay or other formations which have been incrusted with a wall of quartz or other mineral and which (later) separate as a hollow mass, the interior walls of which are usually studded with crystals.
howlite - an opaque white ornamental stone veined with black consisting of an aggregate of monoclinic crystals. Has been stained a turquoise-blue color.  Found in California.
hematite - An opaque mineral; yielding pigments when red and earthy; fashioned as intaglios and other carved gems when dark gray to black with metallic luster.  The latter variety is translucent and red in very thin sections.  Leaves red streak which identifies from most imitations. Sources: England, Scandinavia, U.S.A.(Lake Superior region).
jade - A gemological group of two minerals, jadeite and nephrite, of differing chemical composition but rather closely related in appearance, in physical properties, and in uses which include jewelry, carved objects, and various ornamental objects.  Occurs in large compact masses and its color is often unevenly distributed
jadeite jade - A semitransparent to opaque mineral species that furnishes the most valuable and desirable jade.  It occurs in a wide variety of colors, including green of high intensity (so-called Imperial Jade), white, mottled green and white, violet, brown, orangey-red, yellow and grayish-green.  The black to dark-green variety is known as chloromelanite.  Principal sources: region of Mogaung, Upper Burma.  Minor sources:  Gautemala, California, Mexico and Japan.

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jasper - occurs in semi translucent to opaque, red, yellow, brown, green, grayish-blue or lavender (or any combination thereof), fine-grained impure chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz).  This material is widely distributed and often dyed blue and sold incorrectly as "Swiss lapis" and "German Lapis".
lapis lazuli - In its finest colors, an intense violetist blue to a slightly dark blue, makes this a very desirable gem.  It is a semi translucent to opaque rock, composed mainly of lazurite and hauynite with variable amounts of pyrite and calcite. Less valuable materials comes in various tones and intensities of blue with or without pyrite inclusions, and light blue to greenish blue with white calcite inclusions. Main sources: Afghanistan, Chile and Russia.
nephrite jade - An exceptionally tough, translucent to opaque member of the tremolite-actinolite series of the amphibole group, the less rare and valuable of the two kinds of jade minerals.  It usually occurs in green of low intensity ("spinach jade"), gray, white, blue-green, yellow, black (black jade) and red-brown colors.    Sources: Siberia, New Zealand, Wyoming, California, Alaska, China and many other localities.

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phantoms - Crystals are formed in layers over millions of years.  During its growth, particles of some different substance or substances, usually a mineral, were deposited in one or more adjacent atomic (growth) planes, producing an outline of the former crystal, parallel to the faces or to the possible crystal faces of the present crystal.  Several phantoms may occur in the same crystal at different intervals.
pyrite - a pale yellow to brass-yellow metallic material that will often tarnish with brown film of iron oxide. Has a hardness of 6-6.5. Pyrite is well known as "foo'ls gold" so called because it is easily mistaken for native gold.  Sources:  Throughout North America.
quartz - one of the most common minerals, occurs in massive, granular, concretionary, stalactitic, and cryptocrystalline habits.  The coloring is amazingly variable, and quartz may be gray (smokey-quartz), purple (amethyst), pink (rose-quartz), yellow (citrine), green (Prase), brown (Cairngorm), and black, as well as being white or colorless (rock crystal).  Also see chalcedony.
quartzite - A metamorphic rock produced by the recrystallization of a sandstone under heat and pressure, consisting of a granular, interlocking mass of disoriented quartz crystals with irregular boundaries. moss-in-snow quartzite is the given to this material when it has specks and splashes of light and dark green molted with white (found in China).
rhodonite -
Reconstructed stones -  Stones made by fusing together small particles of the genuine stone.

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rutilated quartz - rutile  (roo'til)  are needlelike crystals, transparent to opaque brownish to red to black mineral of a higher refractive index than diamond that occurs in a variety of minerals.  It is accepted as an important acicular inclusions in  many gemstones. When quartz contain numerous rutile needles they a known as rutilated quartz, which are very popular among collectors.
tiger-eye - is a gem variety of quartz.  It occurs in a yellow and yellowish-brown material that pseudomorphous after crocidolite (blue asbestos). When cut cabochon with the base parallel to the fibers, it produces a cat's eye effect. Principal sources: South Africa. 
tourmaline -  is a transparent mineral that occurs in a very wide range of colors.  The most common includes a light to dark red, purplish pink variety known as rubellite,  colorless variety is known as achorite,  green, blue, yellow-green, honey-yellow, pale-colored variety is known as elbaite,  violet variety is known as siderite,  dark blue variety is known as indicolite,  brown variety is known as dravite,  and the black variety is known as schorl.  Parti-colored crystals are frequently found. When the central portion of the crystal is pink  and the outer regions green,  this combination is known as "watermelon" tourmaline. Among these, pink and reds (rubellite) are the most desirable and the rarer.  Localities found are in USA, Ceylon, Madagascar, Germany, Brazil and Russia.


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Below are some reference books that I have found very useful.  You might like to take a look. 

Practical Gemology  by Robert Webster
Buy it today!

Crystal Healing
by Roger C. Croxson
Buy it today!

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About Pearls