Orange Gemstones: A Guide to Colored Stones
When it comes to colored gemstones, color is king. Today, many customers prioritize color and are less concerned with the actual gemstone variety as long as the stone is durable enough for their purpose.
Using our guide below, you can learn about some of the most popular orange gemstones choices available today:
- Citrine Geode
- Color Change Diaspore
- Color Change Garnet
Orange AgateBack to Top
Agate is banded chalcedony quartz that occurs in many different colors. Orange agate gemstones include Dryhead agate from Montana, Lake Superior agate and Laguna agate from Chihuahua, Mexico. Agate gemstones can be found as beads, cabochons, faceted gems, agate geodes, carvings, slices or as tumbled stones. Agate geodes are fashioned into gemstones and slices, which have an interesting "raw" look. People have used agate as gemstones since ancient times due to its pleasing colors and waxy luster.
Orange AmberBack to Top
Amber is a golden yellow to honey brown organic gemstone formed from the fossilized tree resin of the Pinus succinifera tree. Some amber gemstones contain trapped insects and other inclusions that became trapped in the resin before it hardened and some of these are especially prized, as well as transparent, rather than translucent amber stones. Amber has a very low density and since it lacks hardness, it requires a little care to avoid scratches. Amber gemstones are found in Russia, the Baltic, the Dominican Republic and other areas.
Orange Andesine-LabradoriteBack to Top
Andesine-labradorite (also traded as "andesine", "Congo sunstone", "red feldspar" and "red labradorite") is a relatively new gemstone type that appeared in 2003. It is a color-enhanced variety of labradorite that is not actually andesine, but is a mix of labradorite and andesine (albite and anorthite). Andesine-labradorite gemstones range in color from yellowish to deep red and are typically included. Orange andesine-labradorite gemstones may be amber, pink-orange or honey orange, and can exhibit an attractive metallic schiller.
Orange CalciteBack to Top
Calcite is composed of calcium carbonate; the primary ore of calcium. It is similar in composition to pearl and coral, and is also referred to as "limespar" or "calspar". Since calcite lacks hardness, it is mainly a collector's stone. Pure calcite is colorless and when trace impurities are present, it can result in gray, yellow, orange, green, red or blue calcite gemstones, among other colors. Transparent calcite gemstones are most highly valued.
Orange CarnelianBack to Top
Carnelian is a red-orange to brownish-red variety of chalcedony quartz. Its beautiful vivid color comes from iron and the name, "carnelian" is thought to have come from the cornel cherry, which has a similar color. For many years, carnelian was also known as "carbuncle", a term which referred to red garnet originally, but is now applied to any red cabochon gemstone. Carnelian gemstones feature throughout the history of human civilization and are found in several parts of the world.
Orange CitrineBack to Top
Citrine is a yellow to golden orange variety of macrocrystalline quartz and one of the most popular gemstones. Its name comes from the French word for lemon, "citron", but the color of citrine is more honey yellow than lemon yellow. Citrine gemstones are transparent with a Mohs hardness of 7 and a vitreous luster. Most citrine is mined from Brazil, though it is also found in several other parts of the world. Orange citrine is sometimes traded as "Madeira citrine", due to its rich, Madeira wine-like color. Some citrine gemstones are heat treated, a stable and permanent enhancement that is openly disclosed by all good gemstone traders.
Orange Citrine GeodeBack to Top
Citrine geodes are rock cavities or vugs, in which yellow to golden orange citrine quartz crystals; a macrocrystalline variety of quartz, form. Citrine geode gemstones are fashioned from pieces of citrine geode that display attractive clusters of crystals. Whole citrine geodes can be incredibly large, especially those found in Brazil. Large citrine geodes are known as "citrine geode cathedrals" and are often cut in half and displayed by collectors.
Orange ClinohumiteBack to Top
Clinohumite is a rare magnesium silicate gemstone which was first discovered in 1876 and named after British mineralogist, Sir Abraham Hume. The first specimens of clinohumite were found in limestone that had erupted from Mount Vesuvius, Italy. A century or so later, further deposits were discovered in Central Asia, Russia and then Tanzania. The colors of clinohumite gemstones are mainly vivid yellows, oranges and reds. It has a Mohs hardness of 6 and is typically included.
Orange Color Change DiasporeBack to Top
Color change diaspore is a rare gemstone type composed of aluminum oxide hydroxide that comes from Turkey. It is also traded as "Zultanite" or "Csarite". It is composed of aluminum oxide hydroxide and has the ability to change color under different lighting conditions. In daylight, color change diaspore looks yellow to green, and under incandescent light, it shifts to peach, orange or pink. Color change diaspore gemstones are found in many different shapes and cutting styles, and are durable enough for any jewelry application.
Orange Color Change GarnetBack to Top
Color change garnet is a rare garnet gemstone variety that can be many different colors, including green, brown, peach, bluish, purple, reddish, pink or orange. Color change garnet gemstones are mostly composed of a mix of spessartite and pyrope garnet and tend to shift to a warmer color under incandescent light. The colors that are most frequently seen in color change garnet are brownish-green or bronze under daylight and peach or orange under incandescent light, however, some stones may be violet and change to pink.
Orange CoralBack to Top
Coral ("precious coral") is an organic gem type that is formed in deep water by polyps. It is composed of calcium carbonate, the same material as calcite and pearl. The typical colors of coral gemstones come from carotenoid pigments and may be pink, golden, salmon, orange or red and are often drilled as beads, cut en cabochon or carved. Certain varieties of coral are protected, while others are freely traded. Fossil coral is agatized coral with flower-like patterns that may also be orange and is more durable because of its chalcedony content.
Orange DiamondBack to Top
Diamond is the hardest material on earth with a Mohs hardness rating of 10. Orange diamond is one of the fancy and very rare diamond colors that are not often seen. Thus, as expected, orange diamond gemstones can be extremely costly. The superlative hardness, outstanding brilliance and adamantine luster of diamond make it one of the most popular gemstone types of all time. Colored diamond gemstones are graded by color intensity, with the most saturated stones being the rarest and most valuable.
Orange Fire OpalBack to Top
Fire opal is a golden yellow to red variety of opal that is valued for its intense and fiery body color rather than play of color. The most popular colors of fire opal are vivid orange to orange-red. Unlike most opal, fire opal gemstones are translucent to transparent, and are generally faceted. Like precious opals, fire opals have a Mohs hardness of 5.5-6.5. Most fire opal gemstones are mined from Mexico, and are sometimes cut with the host material and traded as "Cantera opals".
Orange FluoriteBack to Top
Fluorite is a calcium fluoride mineral that is known for being "the most colorful mineral in the world" because of its various colors, including orange. One of the interesting properties of fluorite is its fluorescence; the phenomenon of fluorescence itself was named after fluorite. Orange fluorite is rarer than some of the other colors and may be uniform in color or multicolored. Orange fluorite gems may be pastel or vivid orange, and are transparent to translucent with a vitreous luster.
Orange Golden BerylBack to Top
Golden beryl is also known as "precious beryl" and being a beryl gemstone, it is related to other beryl gems which include emerald, morganite and aquamarine. Though golden beryl is the most affordable and easily available beryl gemstone, it is somewhat lesser-known than its more famous and valuable cousins. Its colors range from light-yellow to a rich honey color. Pale golden beryl stones are sometimes referred to as "heliodor", which comes from the Greek meaning "gift of the sun".
Orange Hessonite GarnetBack to Top
Hessonite is a honey-yellow, orange or reddish-brown variety of grossular garnet that gets its color from manganese. It is also called "cinnamon stone" or "kaneel stone" because of its brown-red color. Hessonite garnet is a popular Vedic astrology stone and also one of the many garnet January birthstones. Hessonite is typically transparent to translucent and tends to be heavily included. It has a vitreous luster and a remarkably high refractive index, giving it exceptional brilliance. Hessonite is found in various locations, but the most famous source is Sri Lanka.
Orange Imperial TopazBack to Top
Natural orange topaz is one of the most valuable and rarest topaz colors that used to be reserved exclusively for Russian tsars, leading to the trade name, "imperial topaz", a term which used to be classified as orange topaz with red dichroism, but now more generally describes rare, golden, red, lavender and peach topaz gemstones. Imperial topaz gemstones are also sometimes referred to as "precious topaz". Commercially mined imperial topaz comes from Ouro Preto in Brazil, and other deposits are found in Russia.
Orange JasperBack to Top
Jasper is a type of opaque chalcedony that is assigned its own gem group because it has a grainy structure that differs from typical chalcedony. The name "jasper" comes from the Greek for "spotted stone", which refers to its multicolored spots, stripes and other patterns. The variegated appearance of jasper is due to the fact that it is composed of up to twenty percent foreign materials. This is why each jasper gemstone is quite unique. Trade names for jasper include "bumble bee jasper"; which refers to yellow to orange "jasper" from Indonesia that is actually composed of volcanic lava and sediment.
Orange Mali GarnetBack to Top
Mali garnet is a rare garnet variety of grossular garnet that comes from Mali in West Africa. It is a "hybrid" garnet that was discovered in 1994, making it a relatively recent addition to the garnet gemstone group. The colors of Mali garnet include highly-valued green, yellow, orange and brown. The remarkable dispersion and high refractive index of Mali garnet give it stunning fire and brilliance, which is showcased by facet cuts. Mali garnet gems are transparent to opaque and have a Mohs hardness of 7.
Orange MoonstoneBack to Top
Moonstone is composed of orthoclase potassium feldspar and is known for its adularescence; an undulating glow that is a result of light interference and is sometimes called "sheen". Moonstone gems are transparent to translucent and occur in many colors, including white, yellow, brown, peach and orange; these orange "moonstone" gems may be soft peach or more vivid orange. Orange moonstone with asterism (the star effect) can also occur and these star moonstones have four-rayed stars as well as adularescence. Even rarer is cat's eye moonstone.
Orange SapphireBack to Top
Sapphire is corundum that occurs in almost every color except for red, which is known as ruby. Orange sapphire varies from light, golden orange and peach to red-orange sapphire. The most sought-after orange sapphire has a pink secondary color and is known as "padparadscha sapphire". This rare and valuable sapphire color gets its name from the Sinhalese term for lotus flower. Orange sapphire may be beryllium-treated; a heat treatment that produces stunning orange and reddish-orange stones, which are sometimes traded as "sunset ruby". "Be-heated" sapphires should always be disclosed as such because they are much more affordable than untreated sapphire stones.
Orange Spessartite GarnetBack to Top
Spessartite is a variety of garnet that derives its name from "Spessart", which means "forest" and is a mountain range in Germany where spessartite was discovered in the 1800s. Spessartite garnet is colored by manganese and may range from yellowish-orange "mandarin spessartite" to red-brown. Its fiery orange color and high level of brilliance makes it a stunning gemstone. Spessartite garnet gemstones were hardly seen until deposits were found in Mozambique and Namibia in the 1990s. Most spessartite garnet gemstones have inclusions and eye-clean stones are quite rare.
Orange SphaleriteBack to Top
Sphalerite is a zinc ore gemstone that has very high dispersion, resulting in incredible "fire" (the separation of visible light into its spectral colors), as well as fiery yellow, orange, red and brown colors. Its resinous to adamantine luster also adds to sphalerite's attraction. Since sphalerite lacks hardness, it is mainly a collector's stone. Due to sphalerite's composition, it is also sometimes traded as "zinc blende". Sphalerite is found in several locations, including Bulgaria, Canada, Spain, the Congo, Namibia, the USA and Zaire, however, gemstone-quality sphalerite is rarely found.
Orange SpheneBack to Top
Sphene is a very rare calcium titanium silicate that is also referred to as "titanite" because of its titanium content. The colors of sphene include yellowish-green, green, orange and brown. The remarkably high dispersion of sphene gives it fire that rivals diamond. This means that wonderful flashes of color are seen as sphene is turned in the light. Also its incredibly high refractive index results in fantastic brilliance. An adamantine luster increases the attraction of this rare gemstone even further. Reddish-orange sphene is also known as "greenovite".
Orange SpinelBack to Top
Spinel is a brilliant magnesium aluminum oxide gemstone that has been mistaken for fine ruby and sapphire in the past. It occurs in many colors; the most sought-after colors of spinel are red, blue, vivid pink and bright orange. Other spinel colors are yellow, black, light-pink, dark-pink and purple-pink. The luster, hardness (8 on the Mohs scale) and brilliance of orange spinel gemstones make them perfect for any jewelry. Vivid orange spinel gemstones weighing over 5 carats are rare and star spinel cabochons are even rarer.
Orange SunstoneBack to Top
Sunstone is a feldspar gemstone that is known for its aventurescence, which is also called "schiller". This is caused by inclusions that are typically composed of hematite or geothite and may be large or small, and sparse or dense, resulting in a schiller or a spangled appearance. The colors of sunstone include pink, red, brown and orange. Sunstone may also be traded as "aventurine feldspar" and can also occur with asterism (the star effect); these star sunstone gems are rare. There are various sources for sunstone, including Oregon, USA, where sunstone is the official state gemstone.
Orange TourmalineBack to Top
Tourmaline is composed of boron silicate and occurs in every color of the rainbow, including peach and orange. One of the fascinating optical effects of orange tourmaline gemstones is their pleochroism; the ability to exhibit different colors depending on the viewing angle. This results in interesting multicolor tourmaline gemstones that may be orange, brown and yellow all in one stone. Orange tourmaline has a Mohs hardness of 7-7.5 and a vitreous luster. Orange tourmaline gemstones may be traded as "dravite" and "tsilaisite".
Orange ZirconBack to Top
Zircon is a popular diamond substitute and one of the oldest minerals on earth. It is often confused for the synthetic material; cubic zirconia, but zircon is naturally occurring zirconium silicate. Zircon gemstones are transparent to translucent with incredible brilliance and fire. Another notable propery of zircon is its high level of birefringence, which sometimes results in a fuzzy appearance. Zircon gems are available in many colors, including colorless, yellow, brown, red, pink, violet, blue, green and orange.
- First Published: August-07-2017
- Last Updated: October-17-2018
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