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.
Ruby Almandine Garnet Andesine Labradorite Red Coral Pyrope Garnet Rhodolite Garnet Red Spinel Star Garnet Strawberry Quartz
More information on red gemstones for jewelry.
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.
Pink Sapphire Pink Spinel Rose Quartz Pink Coral Kunzite Malaya Garnet Morganite Pink Mystic Topaz Pink Opal Pink Pearl Rhodolite Garnet Star Rose Quartz Pink Tourmaline Pink Zircon
More information on pink gemstones for jewelry.
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 Sapphire Tanzanite Blue Topaz Blue Zircon Iolite Kyanite Larimar Blue Agate Blue Apatite Aquamarine Chalcedony Azurite Druzy Blue Jadeite Lapis Lazuli Rainbow Moonstone Sodalite Blue Star Sapphires Turquoise
More information on blue gemstones for jewelry.
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.
Emerald Peridot Prehnite Green Tourmaline Tsavorite Garnet Grandidierite Actinolite Cat's Eye Green Agate Amazonite Green Apatite Aventurine Bloodstone Green Cat's Eye Apatite Cat's Eye Aquamarine Chrome Diopside Chrome Tourmaline Green Chrysoberyl Demantoid Garnet Green Fluorite Hiddenite Green Jadeite Kornerupine Malachite Maw-Sit-Sit Green Sapphire Serpentine Sphene 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.
Citrine Yellow Quartz Yellow Sapphire Yellowish Golden Zircon Golden Beryl Yellow Opal Yellow Agate Yellow Apatite Cat's Eye Opal Yellowish Golden Diamond Mali Garnet Rutile Quartz Yellow Sillimanite Yellow Sphene Yellow Tourmaline
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.
More information on violet and purple gemstones for jewelry.
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.
Spessartite Garnet Orange Sapphire Orange Sunstone Citrine Orange Agate Orange Andesine Labradorite Hessonite Garnet Orange Mali Garnet Orange Moonstone Orange Opal Orange Tourmaline Orange 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.
Brown Cat's Eye Opal Brown Cat's Eye Scapolite Brown Moonstone Brown Rutile Quartz Smoky Quartz Star Sunstone Tiger's Eye Brown Tourmaline
Gray / Silver Gems
Hematite Labradorite Gray Silver Mother of Pearl Silver Pearl Pyrite Cat's Eye Sillimanite Gray Star Sapphire
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.
More information on black gemstones for jewelry.
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.
Ammolite Multicolor Agate Andalusite Multicolor Black Opal Boulder Opal Chrysocolla Multicolor Coral Fire Agate Multicolor Fluorite Fossil Coral Multicolor Jasper Multicolor Jasper Labradorite Mystic Quartz Multicolor Opal Pietersite Ruby Zoisite Snowflake Obsidian Spectrolite Sugilite Tiger's Eye Matrix Multicolor Tourmaline
- First Published: January-09-2008
- Last Updated: November-19-2018
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