5 Encyclopedia Of Rocks Minerals And Gemstones
Agate is a variety of the mineral quartz. It is a colorful and varied group of gemstones. Most of the agates are characterized by different bands of colors, and some have patterns that resemble branches and landscapes. Because of its unique patterns, it is used for jewelry, ornaments, and even knife handles and carved figures throughout history.
Amazonite is a blue-green variety of the mineral microcline. Its name comes from the Amazon River of South America as the stone’s rich light blue colors resemble the color of the river. Amazonite with rich and consistent colors is the most desirable.
Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones. It is the purple variation of the mineral quartz. Until the 1800’s, when major amethyst mines were found in Brazil, amethyst was as valuable as precious gems like ruby and sapphire. The purple color of amethyst is associated with royalty, which is why it has been a popular gemstone for jewelry throughout history. Amethyst is the birthstone of February.
Ametrine is a quartz that has both the purple color of amethyst and the yellow color of citrine inside one crystal. It is one of the rarest in the quartz family and the only commercial source of ametrine is in Bolivia. The best quality ametrine is the one with rich yellow and purple colors, and a sharp contrast between the colors. This unique creation of nature is a popular choice among gem collectors and gem enthusiasts.
Ammolite is a rare organic gemstone from fossil shells ammonite. The mines and deposits of ammolite are expected to be exhausted in the next twenty years. The best ammolite shows a range of iridescent colors. Red and green are more common, but the full spectrum of colors is the most desirable. Lots of ammolite has a flakey surface known as “dragon skin” which lowers the value of the gem.
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