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Gemstone nuggets: A fun facts quiz

How much do you know about these lovely stones that we use in our beading?
Gemstone Nuggets quiz 2
How did you do on the quiz in out Facet -- Stringing newsletter? Were you able to identify all of these lovely gemstone nuggets?

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Throughout history, the rich color of amethyst (purple quartz) has made it a fashionable gem. Favored by Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty, amethysts are also featured in the British crown jewels. In the late 19th century, a major amethyst deposit in Brazil made this once-scarce gem plentiful and more affordable.
Moonstone is one of the most popular and well-known members of the feldspar group. A soft blue sheen floats across the gem’s surface when viewed from different angles. This effect is known as adularescence. Moonstone is a sacred stone in India, where it’s believed to bring good fortune. 
Agate’s distinctive color bands create rich patterns and effects. A favorite with collectors, different types of agate are given names based on their appearance. 
Many believe this gem was among man’s earliest possessions. Agate baubles, along with spear and arrow tips, were found in prehistoric grave sites. Agate is commonly dyed unless its colors are already intense.
Rutilated quartz
Rutilated quartz is transparent and colorless with mineral inclusions — rutile needles — suspended within its depths. This gem has long captured people’s imaginations. The fine rutile crystals were once thought to be the captured hair of Venus. Wearing the stone is said to slow the aging process, absorb negativity, and stabilize relationships. 
Zambian aquamarine
Aquamarine comes in a range of blue shades, but Its most valuable color is medium-dark blue to slightly greenish blue. Normally, aquamarine’s strongest color occurs in larger crystals, but small gems with intense color are emerging from African mines. These top-color aquamarines are usually very pricey; if you find an inexpensive strand, the beads are most likely dyed quartz.
Aquamarine derives its name from two Latin words: aqua meaning “water” and marina meaning “of the sea.” In the rough, aquamarine is often greenish, so it’s routinely heated to bring out its pastel blue color. Many believe aquamarine protects seafarers. It was a popular amulet for sailors and pirates. 

Because of its attractive color, durability, and affordability, citrine is the top-selling yellow-to-orange gemstone. Since natural citrine (yellow quartz) is rare, most citrine is created by heat-treating amethyst (purple quartz). Known as the “merchant’s stone” or “money stone,” citrine is said to bring prosperity. 

Graphite feldspar 4
Common rocks as well as dazzling gems share the name feldspar, making it the most widespread and diverse group of minerals on earth. Varieties used in jewelry include labradorite, moonstone, amazonite, and graphic feldspar. Graphic feldspar displays striking patterns of black, brown, rust, grey, and cream, so each bead shows a varying mix of hues. 
Rose quartz
Rose quartz gets its name from a delicate pink color and ranges from almost white to medium-dark rose. Larger stones usually have the strongest and deepest color. This gem typically has a cloudy translucence, but it can also be transparent. Known as the “love stone,” rose quartz is said to balance matters of the heart. 
Around 1770, missionaries discovered labradorite off the coast of Labrador, Canada. This remarkable feldspar displays a rich array of iridescent colors, known as labradorescence. Not all labradorite has this shimmering effect. In its ordinary form, it’s simply a dark grey mineral. But when phenomenal colors occur, labradorite is called a gem. 
Turquoise is one of the oldest gem materials known. The Egyptians mined turquoise more than 6,000 years ago. Much later, Aztecs, Incas, and later Native Americans prized turquoise for its sky blue color. Since turquoise is porous, it’s often infused with plastic, colorless oil, or wax to improve its color and durability.
replacement purple turquoise
Bronze-infused purple turquoise is created by a series of gem enhancements, which result in mosaic beads. Turquoise nuggets are compressed, infused with bronze to create a matrix, dyed purple, and then stabilized. While some of these treatments are modern, composite stones (gems having more than one part) have been made since Roman times.
Pyrite 2
Glistening pyrite has been admired for centuries. Once found in ancient Greek and Incan jewelry, the silver grey variety is now cut, faceted, and polished to a mirror-like brilliance for marcasite jewelry. The brassy yellow variety is known historically as “fool’s gold.” Pyrite’s name comes from the Greek word pyr meaning “fire,” because it emits sparks when struck by iron. 
Chalcedony has been a valued gem since ancient times. It’s a perfect medium for carving. Rather than being a single crystal, it’s composed of tiny quartz crystals not visible to the naked eye. The best known varieties include agate, bloodstone, carnelian, chrysoprase, jasper, chrysocolla, petrified wood, and onyx. Chalcedony’s range of colors, markings and transparencies give it a unique charm. 
Flower sugilite
Sugilite is a relatively rare gemstone. Discovered in the mid-20th century, its natural color ranges from a rich red-purple to a strong pink. “Flower sugilite” is a marketing term for a different gemstone: lepidolite. This gem’s color is typically pale lilac, pink, yellow, grey, or colorless. Strong color may indicate the beads have been dyed.
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