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Gems by Color

Many people purchase gems by type - for example, they want to buy a sapphire, a tourmaline or an amethyst. But one thing we've learned in the colored gem business is that most customers are concerned above all with color, and are less concerned with gem variety, as long as the stone they buy is durable enough for their purpose. Since color is indeed the most important factor for most people when it comes to buying loose gemstones, it only makes sense to start your search by shopping for gemstones by color.

Finding gems by color can often be difficult, since websites tend to organize their inventory around gem varieties rather than colors. So for those who want to know what their options are in particular colors, here is a list of gem types organized by color.

Since there are hundreds of color variations in colored gems, we have organized this list around "base" colors or color families. This means that a red-orange gem can fall into the "orange" or "red" category and a blue-green stone would be in the "green" or "blue" category.

Red Gems

Red gemstones are actually quite rare, and mainly occur in ruby, spinel and garnet. There is some very fine red tourmaline (sometimes called rubellite), but it is not often found.

Almandine Garnet
Natural Red Gemstones Andesine Labradorite
Carnelian
Coral
Fire Opal
Pyrope Garnet
Rhodolite Garnet
Rubellite Tourmaline
Ruby
Star Garnet
Star Ruby
Spinel
Tourmaline
Zircon

More information on red gemstones for jewelry.

Pink Gems

The most popular pink gemstones are tourmaline and spinel. Pink sapphire is lovely but rare, especially in gems weighing over 1 carat. Rhodolite garnet tends to be purple-pink. Compared to other colors, the list of pink gemstones is quite short.

Coral
Kunzite
Buy pink gemstones from GemSelect Malaya Garnet
Morganite
Opal
Pearl
Rhodochrosite
Rhodolite Garnet
Rose Quartz
Sapphire
Smithsonite
Spinel
Star Rose Quartz
Tourmaline
Topaz
Zircon

More information on pink gemstones for jewelry.

Blue Gems

The classic blue gemstone is sapphire. Deeply saturated blue is also found in spinel and kyanite. There are a number of choices in the lighter blues, including topaz, zircon and aquamarine. Tanzanite and iolite are more of a violet blue, while Paraiba tourmaline, apatite and fluorite tend to be blue-green.

Blue gemstones from GemSelect Agate
Amazonite
Apatite
Aquamarine
Azurite
Azurite Drusy
Cat's Eye Aquamarine
Chalcedony
Chrysocolla
Color Change Fluorite
Color Change Garnet
Diamond
Dumortierite Quartz
Fluorite
Gem Silica
Hawk's Eye
Hemimorphite
Iolite
Jadeite
Kyanite
Labradorite
Lapis Lazuli
Larimar
Moonstone
Paraiba Tourmaline
Pietersite
Rainbow Moonstone
Sapphire
Spinel
Sodalite
Star Sapphire
Tanzanite
Topaz
Tourmaline
Turquoise
Zircon

More information on blue gemstones for jewelry.

Green Gems

The traditional green gem is emerald, but tsavorite garnet, chrome tourmaline and chrome diopside are also good alternatives. See our feature article on chrome diopside for the recent history of the market for the finer green gemstones. Peridot, which tends to be olive green, has become an important jewelry gemstone.

Agate
Buy Natural Green Gemstones Actinolite Cat's Eye
Alexandrite
Amazonite
Ammolite
Apatite
Aquamarine
Aventurine
Bloodstone
Cat's Eye Apatite
Cat's Eye Aquamarine
Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl
Chrome Diopside
Chrome Tourmaline
Chrysoberyl
Chrysocolla
Chrysoprase
Color Change Diaspore
Color Change Garnet
Color Change Sapphire
Demantoid Garnet
Emerald
Enstatite
Gaspeite
Grossularite Garnet
Idocrase
Jadeite
Jade Omphacite
Kornerupine
Labradorite
Larimar
Malachite
Mali Garnet
Maw-sit-sit
Moldavite
Nephrite Jade
Opal
Paraiba Tourmaline
Peridot
Prehnite
Ruby in Fuchsite
Sapphire
Seraphinite
Serpentine
Smithsonite
Sphene
Tashmarine Diopside
Tourmaline
Tsavorite Garnet
Turquoise
Uvarovite Garnet Drusy
Variscite

More information on green gemstones for jewelry.

Yellow / Gold Gems

Citrine is the most common yellow to gold gem, but yellow sapphire is highly sought after. There are also good choices in harder gems such as beryl and chrysoberyl. Canary yellow tourmaline from Malawi is very rare.

Agate
Beryl
Chrysoberyl
Yellow Golden Gemstones from GemSelect Citrine
Citrine Geode
Diamond
Fire Opal
Imperial Topaz
Mali Garnet
Orthoclase
Quartz
Rainbow Pyrite
Sapphire
Sphene
Sphalerite
Spodumene
Star Lemon Quartz
Tourmaline
Topaz
Zircon

More information on yellow gemstones for jewelry.

Violet / Purple Gems

The list of violet and purple gemstones is quite short. Amethyst is the classic example, though fluorite can also be found in an amethyst-like purple. There are wonderful violet hues in spinel, tourmaline and sapphire. Chalcedony frequently occurs in a unique lavender hue.

Amethyst
Natural Violet Purple Gemstones Amethyst Geode
Chalcedony
Charoite
Color Change Fluorite
Fluorite
Hackmanite
Iolite
Jadeite
Kunzite
Lepidolite
Rhodolite Garnet
Rubellite Tourmaline
Sapphire
Spinel
Sugilite
Tanzanite
Tourmaline

More information on violet and purple gemstones for jewelry.

Orange Gems

Spessartite garnet is the most famous orange gem but there are a number of other options as well. Orange sapphire is produced by heat treatment, while the finer fire opal occurs in hues from yellow-orange to red-orange.

Andesine
Buy orange gemstones from GemSelect Calcite
Citrine
Citrine Geode
Fire Opal
Hessonite Garnet
Imperial Topaz
Moonstone
Spessartite Garnet
Sphene
Sphalerite
Sapphire
Star Moonstone
Tourmaline
Zircon

White Gems

This category includes both colorless gems, such as diamond, sapphire, zircon and topaz, as well as white gemstones like opal and moonstone.

Agate
Cat's Eye Quartz
Natural White Gemstones Cat's Eye Quartz
Coral
Danburite
Diamond
Dendritic Chalcedony
Howlite
Jade
Goshenite
Moonstone
Opal
Quartz
Sapphire
Sodalite
Topaz
Zircon

More information on white gemstones for jewelry.

Brown / Bronze Gems

It is fair to say that brown is not the most popular color in gemstones. But there are some notable exceptions, such as the peach-orange-bronze of imperial topaz.

Agate
Brown and Bronze Gemstones Andalusite
Axinite
Boulder Opal
Cat's Eye Apatite
Cat's Eye Sillimanite
Chocolate Opal
Citrine
Citrine Geode
Color Change Garnet
Enstatite
Diamond
Fire Agate
Imperial Topaz
Hessonite Garnet
Mali Garnet
Moonstone
Obsidian
Sillimanite
Smoky Quartz
Tiger's Eye
Tiger's Eye Matrix
Tourmaline
Zircon

Gray / Silver Gems

There are very few gemstones which are predominantly gray or silver. In our experience the most popular is spinel, whose brilliance and single refraction show gray and silver at its best.

Gray and Sliver Gemstones from GemSelect Fluorite
Hematite
Moonstone
Mother of Pearl
Pearl
Spinel
Star Moonstone
Tourmaline

Black Gems

We occasionally stock black diamonds (produced by irradiation). But by far the most popular black gemstone is tourmaline. The black star sapphires only found in Chanthaburi, Thailand are also very popular.

Agate
Natural Black Gemstones at GemSelect Cat's Eye Scapolite
Diamond
Jade
Melanite
Jet
Obsidian
Onyx
Pearl
Rutile Quartz
Sapphire
Spinel
Star Diopside
Star Garnet
Star Sapphire
Tourmaline

More information on black gemstones for jewelry.

Multicolor Gems

In the category of multicolor gemstones we list those gems which display multiple colors in a single stone. Some of these gems, such as tourmaline, fluorite and ametrine, have zones of different colors. Others, such as andalusite, are strongly pleochroic and display different colors from different angles.

Tourmaline
Buy multicolor gemstones from GemSelect Ametrine
Agate
Fire Agate
Ammolite
Chrysocolla
Coral
Dendritic Chalcedony
Fluorite
Fossil Coral
Jasper
Hawk's Eye
Tiger's Eye
Pietersite
Charoite
Labradorite
Moonstone
Scapolite
Rainbow Moonstone
Rainbow Pyrite
Rhodochrosite
Ruby Zoisite
Ruby in Fuchsite
Sugilite
Maw-sit-sit
Andalusite
Rutile Quartz
Rutilated topaz
Opal
Black Opal
Boulder Opal
Opal Doublet
Sphene
Color Change Sapphire
Mystic Topaz
Mystic Quartz

  • First Published: January-09-2008
  • Last Updated: July-27-2016
  • © 2005-2016 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart