Formed during the colossal contortions the Earth endures each time it undergoes a physical or chemical upheaval, gems and stones come in a mind-boggling array of colors, textures, shapes, and sizes. Regardless of whether they’re classified as rocks, minerals, stones, gems, or some combination thereof, these gifts of nature are often the crowning touch for jewelry makers. How well do you know their names and characteristics?
Be forewarned: Contradictions in terminology and factual information run rampant in the rock and gem world. Language translations, linguistic divisions, mineral deposit locations, ancient mining jargon, and the gem and jewelry trade are just a few of the factors that contribute to conflicting stone names and data. Though we’ve researched the listings that follow, the information presented here may not match that of your favorite gem resource.