With thousands of different varieties ranging in colour, chemical composition, and structure, gemstones make up the contents of nature’s jewellery box. Open the lid and you’ll find rock specimens that represent every colour in the spectrum. In the mineral kingdom, there are several factors that play a role in their unique appearance and properties.
Formed deep in the heart of the earth, gemstones have evolved over millions and millions of years thanks to chemical reactions between minerals within earth’s molten core. In fact, the mineral kingdom holds the chemical building blocks to everything on the planet, including plants, animals, rocks, and yours truly. The planet is always changing and recycling itself as heat from the core pushes molten minerals upward. The earth’s crust is constantly evolving, which is why new gemstones are being discovered every day.
How to Identify Gemstones
What makes each gemstone unique and special is its dynamic composition, which is made up of highly structured patterns of molecules called lattices. As their pattern repeats itself over and over again, shapes and facets with particular types of symmetry are created. In stone identification they categorized into several types of shapes, which influence their aesthetic and energetic properties.
Stones such as Pyrite, Diamonds, and Fluorite are cubic lattices created from three equal axes formed into a cube. The balanced structure gives these types of stones a naturally harmonious energy that magnifies everything around it. Gemstones can also be hexagonal, like Emerald and Aquamarine, which are shaped in four axes of six-sided symmetry.
Other stones such as Apophyllite and Zircon are tetragonal, a shape that resembles two four-side pyramids joined at the base. Some stones aren’t as highly uniformed. In the mineral kingdom, orthorhombic stones have three unequal axes that form an elongated spear, like Peridot and Topaz. The most asymmetrical of stone shapes are the triclinic kind like Labradorite and Turquoise while trigonal stones have an elongated lozenge shape.
Identify your Gemstone by Colour
Colours are another common stone identification method. In fact, many gemstone experts classify stones according to colour because of its link with specific healing properties. The colour blue, for instance, has a gentle and soothing quality while red is associated with passion and desire. In the gemstone world, colours are also linked with certain types of gemstones and how they are used for specific chakras, which are designated energy centres in the body.
Gemstone identification by colour can be challenging for some gemstones like Calcite, Fluorite, and Tourmaline, among others, since they come in different colours. In that case, you should refer to a gemstone book or directory that categorizes by colour and includes a photo of the specimen. Here is a list of the most widely available gemstones to point you in the right direction.
Black – Associated with power, protection, and mystery, commonly available black gemstones include Black Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Hematite, Jet, and Onyx.
Blue – A tranquil and relaxing colour, blue gemstones are excellent for emotional and physical balancing. Commonly found gemstones in this category are Angelite, Aquamarine, Celestite, and Lapis Lazuli. Blue gemstones also include Blue Lace Agate, Apatite, Azurite, Blue Chalcedony, and Chrysocolla.
Brown – Associated with the earth and the trees, brown stones help to absorb negative energy. Harness the earthy healing vibes of brown gemstones with Smoky Quartz, Brown Jasper, Bronzite, Petrified Wood, and Tiger’s Eye.
Yellow and Gold – The colour of the sun at full midday strength, yellow and gold coloured stones represent optimism and joy. Bring a little sunshine into your life with Golden Topaz, Citrine, Amber, Yellow Tiger’s Eye, and Yellow Jasper. Gold stones are also a symbol of wealth and power such as Pyrite and Gold.
Green – Activate and clear your heart chakra with green stones, which have a healing and balancing effect on the emotions. Bring good fortune and prosperity into your life with Emerald, Aventurine, Green Fluorite, Jade, and Malachite, the lucky charms of the mineral kingdom.
Orange – A power colour, orange stones awaken the passion within the spirit. Capture the spirit of the sun with Orange Calcite, Aragonite, Carnelian, Sunstone, and Copper.
Pink – The colour of love and compassion, pink stones like Rose Quartz and Rhodochrosite are big-time heart energizers and openers. Other pink stones include Lepidolite, Pink Tourmaline, and Pink Sapphire.
Grey – The colour of moonlight, gray or silver stones reflect the expansiveness of the universe, which gives them protective warrior-like qualities. Gray stones like Hematite and Moonstone have a silvery finish that evokes a starry night sky, a subtle yet powerful influx of light that helps to cleanse the spirit.
Purple – The colour of enlightenment and intuition, purple stones like Amethyst and Charoite have a magical lustre. They also help balance the emotions with relaxing and soothing vibes. The gemstone line structure of purple stones makes them powerful energy amplifiers, especially when combined with other heart chakra stones.
Red – The colour of passion and life force energy, red stones like Garnet, Ruby, and Red Tiger’s Eye have a warming and grounding energy that helps support the root chakra.
White – Representing purity and transformation, white stones like Selenite and Clear Quartz make excellent healing tools, especially when incorporated into healing layouts.