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Gemstone Reference


Onyx is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz. The colours of its bands range from white to almost every colour, except shades such as purple and blue. Commonly, specimens of onyx available contain bands of colours of white, tan, and brown. Pure black onyx is the most famous variety and has a long history of use for hardstone carving and jewellery. Agate is a very fine grained form of Quartz. It grows within volcanic lava bubbles known as "geodes". Diamond saws are used to slice the Agate, it is then ground to remove any imperfections then polished and dyed to enhance and display the beautiful natural banding within. Most Agate comes from Brazil.

Abalone is the name for a shellfish (molluscs) from the Haliotidae family. The inside of their shell consists of iridescent, silvery white to green red mother-of-pearl which can comprise of; pinks and reds with predominant deep blues, greens and purples. Abalone is found in many coastal waters around the World.
Amazonite is a bright green and white striped variety of microcline feldspar. The name is taken from that of the Amazon River, from which certain green stones were formerly obtained but it is doubtful whether green feldspar occurs in the Amazon area
Amber is prehistoric pine resin which has fossilised over the millennia. It is much used for the manufacture of jewellery and ornamental objects. Although actually organic, it is sometimes considered and used as a gemstone. Most of the World's amber is in the range of 30-90 million years old.
Amethyst is a lilac to purple variety of the mineral Quartz. It forms beautiful crystals inside volcanic lava bubbles known as "geodes". Due to it's beautiful colour, Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones. The ancient Greeks believed Amethyst prevented drunkenness. Commonly from Brazil.
Ametrine is a naturally occurring variety of Quartz. It is a mixture of Amethyst and Citrine with zones of purple and yellow or orange. Almost all commercially available Ametrine is mined in Bolivia although there are deposits being exploited in Brazil and India. The colour on the zones visible within Ametrine are due to differing oxidation states of iron within the crystal.
Angelite is a rare sugary blue form of the mineral Anhydrite. Angelite most commonly comes from Peru and in recent times has been adopted by the new age community as a 'healing' stone.
Apatite is the name given to a group of phosphate minerals, usually hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, and chlorapatite. Apatite is one of few minerals that are produced and used by biological systems. Hydroxylapatite is the major component of bone material.
Aqua Aura
Aqua Aura is Quartz Crystal that has been coated in metallic vapour by a process called Vapour deposition to give an iridescent metallic sheen. This is creates a beautiful finish and is highly prized for its beautiful colour and purported healing properties. Quartz is a form of silica and is the most common mineral the earths crust. As such Quartz and Quartz crystals can be found in large quantities the world over. Regardless of this fact very clear and large Quartz crystals are highly prised by collectors.
Aquamarine, named from the Latin word meaning "water of the sea", is a gemstone-quality transparent variety of beryl. It has a delicate blue or blue-green colour, suggestive of the tint of sea-water. A very popular gemstone, Aquamarine occurs primarily in South America and the Asian sub-continent.
Aragonite has the same chemical composition as Calcite but a totally different form, (it is dimorphous). Crystals vary to orangey brown in colour and can take on unusual shapes such as "Sputniks". Aragonite commonly comes from Morocco and Mexico.
Aventurine is a form of quartz, characterised by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening affect termed "aventurescence". The most common colour of Aventurine is green, but it may also be orange, brown, yellow, blue or grey.
Bloodstone is a variety of deep-green chalcedony flecked with red jasper. Also know as heliotrope, in recent years bloodstone has gained in popularity as a semi-precious gemstone. Bloodstone commonly comes from India.
Carnelian (or cornelian) is a reddish-brown mineral which is a variety of the silica mineral chalcedony, coloured by impurities of iron oxide. The colour can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black colouration.
Chakra points are represented through colours for each specific chakra point, they may be represented by gemstones such as the following Tigers eye, Peach Aventurine, Red Agate, Green Aventurine, Magnesite, Sodalite, Amethyst
Charoite is a rare mineral, named after the Chara River, and found only in the Sakha Republic, Siberia and Russia. Though reportedly discovered in the 1940s, it was not known to the outside world until its description in 1978. Charoite is used as an ornamental stone and sometimes a gemstone.
Chlorite Quartz is the name given to Quartz included with Chlorite. Often forming phantom formations, where Chlorite is deposited on the surface of Quartz, which subsequently grows larger, creating a 'green ghost crystal' within the Quartz crystal. It is revered for its strong healing properties.
Chrysocolla is an attractive blue-green colour and is minor ore of copper. The name comes from the Greek chrysos, "gold", and kolla, "blue", in allusion to the name of the mineral used to solder gold, and was first used by Theophrastus in 315 BC.
Chrysoprase (also Chrysophrase) is a gemstone variety of chalcedony (fibrous form of quartz) that contains small quantities of nickel. Its colour is normally apple-green, but varies to deep green. Due to its comparative scarcity and pleasing green colour, Chrysoprase is one of the most prised varieties of quartz. Higher quality specimens often rival fine jade, for which it is sometimes mistaken.
Natural Citrine is a highly sought after stone because of its rarity. Most Citrine is actually amethyst which has been heat treated to mimic the forces of the earth that produce natural Citrine's beautiful golden colour makes it a popular stone for jewellery. Most Citrine comes from Brazil.
Chrome Diopside is an affordable gemstone that has an intense forest-green colour, it is a semi precious gemstone. The name  Diopside is from the Greek word 'di' meaning two, and 'opsis', meaning vision.
Dragon Stone
Dragon Stone is the nickname for green and red Jasper found in China.
Dumortierite is a fibrous variably coloured aluminium boro-silicate mineral. Dumortierite was first described on 1881 for an occurrence in Chaponost, in the Rhone-Alps of France palaeontologist Eugene Dumortier. Dumortierite is used in the manufacture of high grade porcelain.
Fluorite (also called fluor-spar) is a mineral composed of calcium fluoride. As well as ornamental uses, Fluorite is used in the making of hydrofluoric acid, and as a flux in the manufacture of steel. The name fluorite is derived from the Latin fluo, meaning "flow", in reference to its use as a flux. Beautiful to its use as a flux. Beautiful Fluorite specimens come from Weardale, Co Durham, UK.
There is a misconception that Garnets are only a red gem but in fact they come in a variety of colours including purple, red, orange, yellow, green, brown, black, or colourless. The name "Garnet" comes from the Latin granatus, a grain possibly in reference to malum granatum (pomegranate) a plant with red seeds similar in shape, size and colour to some Garnet Crystals.
Goldstone is a type of glass made with copper or copper slats. The finished product can take a smooth polish and be carved into beads, figurines, or other artefacts suitable for semiprecious stone, and in fact Goldstone is often mistaken or misrepresented as a natural material.
Hawk's Eye
Hawk's eye is a blue version of Tiger Eye, it is a blue-grey to blue-green opaque gemstone variety of fibrous quartz. More specifically, it is a variety of macrocrystalline quartz. Hawk's eye is known for its chatoyancy, being reminiscent of the 'eye of a hawk.
Known to many as Hematite, although we reserve this name for the natural variety. Nearly all of the Hematite found available in the market (approximately 99%) is the manmade variety also known as Hematine or Hemalyke. The rarity of natural Hematite means it's high cost is prohibitive to its use when such a great replica of the stone is available, as the manmade product pocesses the same properties and look of the natural gemstone and can be fashioned into many shapes, colours and even be magnetised. An ultimate classic in the bead world, a great selection of shapes at affordable prices. Also magnetic and colour coated hematine varieties. Magnetic hematine can be added to bracelets for its health benefits, allowing fashionable health jewellery.
Howlite is a silicate mineral found in evaporate deposits and was discovered at Tick Canyon California in 1868. In appearance it is white with fine grey or black veins in an erratic often web-like pattern and is opaque with a sub-vitreous lustre. Because of its porous texture Howlite can be easily dyed to imitate other minerals especially turquoise because of the superficial similarity of the veining patterns. The dyed Howlite (or magnesite) is marketed as turquenite. We always aim to describe our products accurately and as such this particular product is dyed Howlite.
Iolite is transparent Cordierite, often used as a gemstone. The name "iolite" comes from the Greek word for violet. Gem quality Iolite varies in colour from sapphire blue to blue violet to yellowish grey to light blue as the light angle changes.
Jade is an ornamental stone often used for delicate and highly detailed carvings. The term jade is applied to two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals; Nephrite and Jadeite. Jadeite has about the same hardness as quartz, while nephrite is somewhat softer. Nephrite can be found in a creamy white form as well as in a variety of green colours, whereas jadeite shows more colour variations, including blue, lavender-mauve, pink, and emerald-green colours. Of the two, jadeite is rarer.
Jasper, a form of chalcedony and is an opaque rock of virtually any colour stemming from the mineral content of the original sediments or ash. The name means "spotted or speckled stone" and patterns arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns in the original silica rich sediment or volcanic ash. Hydrothermal circulation is generally thought to be required in the formation of jasper. The classification and naming's of jasper are enormous. Names can derive from the geographical location of where it is found, or location such as rivers and mountains, many are fanciful such as "Forest Fire" or "Rainbow", while others are descriptive such as "Autumn" and "Dalmatian".
Jet is a geological material that is not considered a mineral in the true sense of the world, but rather, a mineraloid derived from decaying wood under pressure, thus organic in origin. The name "jet" is the English word derived from the French "jaiet". Jet is black or dark brown. Good quality is famously found in Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK.
Kunzite is the pink-to-violet variety of the mineral spodumene, and gets its colour from manganese. It's most often found in shades of pale pink, but more vivid colours are possible and it can achieve rare hues of vivid violet to purple.
Kyanite whose name derives from the Greek kyanos meaning blue is a blue silicate mineral. As well as being a collectors mineral Kyanite is used primarily in refractory and ceramic products including porcelain plumbing fixtures and dinnerware.
Labradorite is an iridescent Feldspar mineral first found in Labrador, Canada. Valued for its lustrous metallic reflections that are said to resemble a butterfly's wing, this play of colour or "shiller" is aptly know as "labradorescence".
Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli, also known as just lapis, is a stone with one of the longest traditions of being considered a gem, with a history stretching back to 5000 BC. Deep blue in colour and opaque, this gemstone was highly prised by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Lapis Lazuli means "stone of Azure".
Larimar (also Lorimar) is a rare blue variety of pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic. Its colourations vary from white light-blue green-blue to deep blue. The deep blue variant is know as volcanic blue.
Lava Rock
Lava rock beads are made of cooled molten lava. These beads are textured with small cavities. Their porous properties have made these a very popular stone for use with aromatherapy oils and to enable scents to be used in jewellery.
Lepidolite is a lilac or rose-violet coloured phyllosilicate mineral. Lepidolite is sometimes cut and polished for use as decorative stone. Localities where Lepidolite is mined include Brazil, Ural Mountains, Russia & California, USA.
Malachite is a carbonate mineral. The stone's name derives (via Latin and French) from Greek 'molochitis' Malachite was used as a mineral pigment in green plants from antiquity until about 1800. It has also famously always been used as a decorative stone for ornamental purposes and inlay work.
The name 'Mookite' or 'Mookaite' is an unofficial, locally coined name for a silicified porcelanite, which id mined in Western Australia. Mookaite has gained use in some modern jewellery because of its beautiful red, ochre and yellow colouring reminiscent of Australian outback at sunset.
Moonstone is a pearly/opalescent variety of the mineral Orthoclase. Long popular as a semi precious gemstone, in recent years Moonstone has been adopted strongly by the new age community as a healing gemstone.
Morganite is a pink form of Beryl and is known as both an angel stone and a heart stone. The mineral beryl is actually aluminium cyclosilicate. Different high quality varieties of beryl have long been popular as gemstones. The green variety 'Emerald' is perhaps the most famous but there is also a blue/green variety 'aquamarine' and the less well known rare pink variety 'morganite' amongst others.
Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl (MOP), or Nacre is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer. It is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent. Nacre appears iridescent because the thickness of the aragonite platelets is close to the wavelength of visible light. This results in constructive and destructive interference of different wavelengths of light, resulting in different colours of light being reflected at different viewing angles.
New Jade/Serpentine
New jade is a light green Serpentine, which takes it name after sharing similar geological properties with Jade as well as metaphysical properties. The stone has a very attractive pale green translucent colour. Serpentines are a group of common rock-forming hydrous magnesium iron phyllosilicates. Serpentine is said to owe its name to its serpent-like colours and patterns or from an old belief that the stones were effective protection from snake bites.
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly without crystal growth. Pure obsidian is usually dark in appearance, though the colour varies depending on the presence of impurities. Iron and magnesium typically give the obsidian a dark green to brown to black colour. A very few samples are nearly colourless. In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern (snowflake obsidian). It may contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow, aligned along layers created as the molten rock was flowing before being cooled. These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen (sheen obsidian) or a rainbow sheen (rainbow obsidian).
The mineraloid Opal is amorphous hydrated silicon dioxide. Opal contains water in its structure sometimes as much as 20%. Opal ranges from colourless through white, milky blue, grey, red, pink, yellow, green, brown and black. About 95% of the World's Opal comes from Sothern Australia, though some pink opal is from Peru.
A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusc. Just like the shell of a mollusc, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls (baroque pearls) occur. While white, and more recently black, saltwater pearls are by far the most popular, other colour tints can be found including pink, blue, champagne, green and purple.
Peridot is the gem quality variety of the mineral Olivine. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in only one colour. The depth of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, and varies from yellow-green to olive to brownish green.
Phosphosiderite is a combination of iron, phosphorus, hydrogen and oxygen with a monoclinic crystal system. Discovered in 1890, its name comes from Greek and is named after its chemical composition, Phosphorous and Sideros, iron. Besides Phosphosiderite, the stone is also popularly known as “Piedrea voga” which means pink stone or “La Roca Voca” meaning pink rock in many countries.
Pietersite is a name for a dark blue-grey breccia aggregate made up of hawk's eye and tiger eye. It is a variety of chalcedony a type of quartz with embedded fibres of amphibole minerals, these cause blue chatoyancy like those seen in Tiger Eye. It can occur in colours of brownish-red, orange, golden yellow to brown, blue, grey. It is purported to activate all the chakras in the body keeping them grounded and is known as a powerful stone.
Prehnite most often forms as stalactitic or botryoidal aggregates, with only just the crests of small crystals showing any faces, which are almost always curved or composite. It is brittle with an uneven fracture and a vitreous to pearly lustre. Colour vary from light green to yellow, but also colourless, blue or white. In April 2000, a rare orange Prehnite was discovered at the famous Kalahari Manganese Fields in South Africa. It is mostly translucent, and rarely transparent.
Pyrite or Iron Pyrites is iron Sulphide also known to many as Fools Gold. In renaissance times hundreds of tons of Pyrite were shipped from the new world in the mistaken belief that it was actually Gold. Ironically small quantities of actual gold are sometimes found in pyrite.
Quartz / Crystal
Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal (or clear quartz), is colourless and transparent (clear) or translucent. Quartz goes by an array of different names. The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline (individual crystals visible to the unaided eye) and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties (aggregates of crystals visible only under high magnification).
Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral it is typically a rose-red colour, but may also be shades of pink to pale brown. The name is derived from the Greek for rose-coloured. Banded Rhodochrosite is mined in Capillitas, Argentina.
Rhodonite is a member of the pyroxene group of minerals Rose red in colour, Rhodonite can also exhibit striking black veins and patches. Rhodonite is often cut and polished for ornamental carvings and jewellery.
Rhyolite is an igneous, volcanic rock of varying textures and colours.
Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz is a beautiful pink variety of the mineral Quartz. The colour is thought to be due to traces of Manganese within the crystals. Rose Quartz usually occurs in "massive" form with crystals being very rare. Rose Quartz famously comes from Madagascar.
Ruby is a red gemstone a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide) in which the colour is caused mainly by chromium. Its name originates from ruber or rubrum Latin for red. Natural high quality gem Rubies are exceptionally rare. They are most often found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Thailand.
Rutilated Quartz
Rutilated quartz is a variety of quartz containing acicular (needle-like) inclusions. These inclusions can be golden in colour, but they also can be different colours such as silver, copper red or black. They can appear randomly or in bundles. Whilst usually inclusions reduce the value of a crystal, with rutilated quartz these inclusions are valued for their quality and beauty.
Sapphire is the blue gem variety of the mineral corundum. Mentioned in the Bible the word Sapphire derives from the Hebrew word for the stone 'Sapir'. Sapphire can be synthetically made for use in industry but gem quality transparent Sapphire is still a rare and highly revered precious gemstone.
Sea Bamboo
Genuine sea bamboo beads are crafted from natural sea bamboo coral, undergo a dyeing process, and are then coated with a resin base before being meticulously polished to emulate the appearance of the coveted, rare, and protected natural red sea coral. The resemblance is so striking that distinguishing between the two can be quite challenging. In contrast, sponge coral stone boasts a distinct natural orange-red hue, and its surface sets it apart from the unique characteristics of sea bamboo."
Selenite is a hydrous calcium sulphate. Selenite is soft and can easily be scratched with a fingernail. In some very rare instances, water becomes encased in a cavity as the crystal forms. Because of the way Selenite crystals form Selenite exhibits fibre optic qualities.
Shungite is made of up to 99 percent carbon. It has a unique composition. It contains fullerenes, or 3-D spherical molecules made of 60 carbon atoms (also known as buckyballs). It’s mainly found in Shunga, a village in Karelia, Russia. Shungite contains nearly all the minerals on the periodic table. Its origin is a mystery. Materials made of carbon generally come from decayed organic substances like old forests. But the stone is thought to be at least 2 billion years old. This is before organic life existed on the planet. It is revered for its healing properties and is said to work against pollutants, free radicals, and harmful germs. There are also claims that it may help shield you from electromagnetic field exposure.
Smokey Quartz
Quartz is a form of silica and is the most common mineral the earths crust. Natural Smokey quartz or "Cairngorm" is very rare. Commercial Smokey quartz is clear Quartz which has been irradiated to change it's colour.
Sodalite is a rich royal blue sodium, aluminium, silicate mineral widely enjoyed as an ornamental stone. Although massive Sodalite samples are opaque, crystals are usually transparent to translucent. Sodalite was discovered in Greenland in 1806.
Spinel is the magnesium aluminium member of the larger spinel group of minerals. It is transparent to opaque with a vitreous to dull lustre. It may be colourless, but is usually various shades of red, blue, green, yellow, brown or black.
Synthetic / Lab grown Opal
Synthetic opal ( Polymer Impregnated synthetic opal) is impregnated in laboratory in around a year and has similar properties as that of natural opal. The main difference with natural opal is that the naturally occurring process has been sped up in the laboratory. Synthetic opal has brighter colours, and larger colour patches than in natural opal. In synthetic opal, colour grain boundaries are highly irregular. Also, it has a distinctive pattern and it shows a more ordered array of colours because the intricate pattern of natural opal cannot be duplicated.
Terahertz (THz) is a manmade stone produced by extracting silica from sand or quartz. It was discovered by Japanese scientists in the last decade to have a vibrational frequencies similar to those found in the body. It is becoming popular as a healing stone due to its effects when worn close to the skin, it is purported to improve circulation, muscle pains and more.
Tigers Eye
Tiger's eye (also called Tigers eye or Tiger eye) is a chatoyant gemstone that is usually a metamorphic rock that is a golden to red-brown colour, with a silky lustre. The undulating, contrasting bands of colour and lustre make it a popular member of the quartz group.
The name "topaz" is derived from the Greek topazos, "to seek," which was the name of an island in the Red Sea that was difficult to find and from which a yellow stone(now believed to be a yellowish olivine) was mined in ancient times. Topaz occurs in a variety of colours all of which are popular decorative gemstones.
The tourmaline mineral group is chemically one of the most complicated groups of silicate minerals. Tourmaline has a wide variety of colours. Some crystals may consist of several colours, for example crystals might be green at one end and pink at the other, or green on the outside and pink inside, this type is called Watermelon Tourmaline. The most common variety of tourmaline is black schorl, first described by Mathesius in 1524. It may account for 95%or more of all tourmaline in nature.
Genuine naturally occurring turquoise (turquois) is a rare and valuable hydrated copper aluminium phosphate mineral. Due to the opaque blue to green hue of finer grades it has been enjoyed as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years. Natural turquoise is a porous stone so stabilising the mineral with resin seals it protecting the natural colour and prevents it from absorbing unwanted elements or drying out . With natural turquoise becoming a rare mineral alternatives have been developed by dying minerals such as Howlite or by grinding up lower grade turquoise mixing with epoxy and dye to create a reconstituted product known as Chalk Turquoise.
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