Natural Gemstone and Its Properties

Natural Gemstone

What is Natural Gemstone?

Natural Gemstone are Generally Minerals that have been, or may be, fashioned to use for personal adornment. As a rule, they are beautiful, rare, and durable. Most are minerals: natural, inorganic materials with a fixed chemical composition and regular internal structure. A few gems, like amber and pearl, come from plants or animals, and are known as organics. Other, called synthetics, do not have an natural origin, but are made in laboratories, They have very similar physical properties to natural gems, and may be cut to imitate the real things.


The precious metals are gold, silver, and platinum. They are not Natural Gemstone, but they are attractive and easily worked, often as settings for gems, and have their own intrinsic value. Platinum is the rarest and true the most valuable.


Gem materials produced by living organisms are called “organic”. Their sources are as diverse as shellfish (which produce pearls), polyps (whose skeletal remains form coral), and the fossilized resin of trees (which makes amber). Ivory, jet, and shell are also organics. These materials are not stones, and are not as durable as minerals gems; they are usually polished or curved, or drilled and threaded as beads.


Crystals may be rounded and polished naturally (like this emerald pebble, rolled in a stream), or ground mechanically.


In its natural state the mineral may be a prism, with clearly defined faces.


Like the emerald shown here, almost all cut gems begin life in a crystalline form, embedded in a host rock known as the matrix. In this state, the stone is referred to as “rough”. Many natural crystals are attractive enough to be displayed as they are. Others are faceted and polished to enhance their beauty. Then set in a piece of jewellery or an ornament.


A simple fashion for stones is to cut them en cabochon, producing a domed, highly polished surface.


Most gemstones are cut to give them a number of flat surfaces, called facets. The facets absorb and reflect light, to magical effect.


Natural Gemstone have been imitated throughout the ages. Many lesser stones have been used, as well as glass paste and other man-made materials. Composite stones, like the red garner on green glass (above), are made of more than one piece.


A piece of jewellery, usually one or several polished or faceted stones set in a mount of precious metal, is often the finished product.


Man-made, synthetics stones are similar in chemical composition and optical properties to their natural equivalents. In the flux method, crystals are grown, then faceted (right).


Where gemstones are Found?

Some gem minerals, such as quartz and garnet, are found worldwide. Others, like diamonds and emeralds, are rarer, due to the more unusual geological conditions necessary for their formation. Even when a mineral is found worldwide, only a minute proportion may be of gem quality. The main gem localities of the world are therefore those where gem quality materials occurs in sufficient quantity to make production economic.



The kimberlite rocks of southern Africa are mined in a modern, large-scale way, producing vast quantities of diamonds for both industrial and gem use.


The shallow coastal waters of the Japanese islands offer ideal conditions for farming pearl oysters. Pearls are organic gems, and therefore independent of geological conditions.


The rich mineral deposits of mogok in Burma have yielded some of the world’s finest rubies, although extraction is by traditional methods. Sapphires are also mined here.

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