New Gem Minerals Update 25 May 2021

25 May 2021

RATHER than focus on a country or region, this week we have chosen to feature gem minerals.

Gem minerals may embrace anything from a relatively narrow field up to a quite broad spectrum of mineral species, depending on the criteria chosen. The term precious or semi-precious stone has become outdated and collectors of gem quality material may include very soft minerals as well as the traditionally hard. If gem minerals are to be worn as jewellery, then yes, the harder the mineral, the more durable it is. However, for collecting and display purposes then any hardness is acceptable. Today’s selection of 21 specimens is mainly made up from the more traditional types of gemstone, Sapphire, Ruby and Tourmaline for example, but do look out for those less well known.

Euclase is a rare beryllium aluminium hydroxide silicate found in pegmatite deposits and this specimen displays colourless crystals each containing a pale indigo blue phantom within the apex of the termination. The Euclase crystals sit on a part-glassy and heavily etched Quartz crystal and is from the Alto do Giz pegmatite in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

Corundum is the second hardest mineral appearing on Mohs scale at number 9. Talc is the softest at 1 and Diamond the hardest at 10. The scale is logarithmic however, so on an absolute hardness scale where Talc is 1, Corundum appears at 400 and Diamond at 1500. The two gem varieties of Corundum are Ruby and Sapphire; the term Ruby applies to red stones and Sapphire to any other colour, although this is traditionally thought of as blue. We have a terrific crystal of Ruby in a matrix of milky Calcite from the Jegdalek Ruby Deposit in Kabul Province, Afghanistan and a beautiful double terminated Sapphire crystal from the Ratnapura District gem bearing gravels in Sri Lanka.

Topaz is another top ten gem mineral and this colourless gemmy crystal measuring to 3.2 cm with excellent, perfectly defined crystal faces is from the Nujiang Valley in Yunnan Province, China. The crystal is virtually optically perfect save for a few wispy flaws and tiny metallic inclusions.

The beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate Beryl has perhaps more varietal names based upon its colour than any other gemstone. Morganite is the pink variety and the prismatic hexagonal crystal in this update is from Blue Lady mine at Warner Springs in California. The crystal is translucent pale candy-pink and appears to contain internal gemmy zones but are masked by a pervasive frosting on the prism and pinacoid faces, formed by the white sucrosic outer crust. A small cluster of botryoidal pale lilac-cream Lepidolite mica crystals is attached to one side. We also have two Aquamarines, the blue or bluish-green variety of Beryl. The crystal from Gilgit in Pakistan is a beautiful bright sky blue with a superb glassy and reflective lustre. The prism is essentially translucent but becomes transparent towards its termination. The Aquamarine from Brazil is very different, this being a large, lustrous double terminated crystal of pastel cucumber green measuring 9.5 cm between terminations.

If it’s Tourmaline you are on the lookout for then we have several fine specimens from San Diego County in California. Most are from the famous Himalaya mine, if fact probably all are, but some have only been labelled with the county name. All the specimens are most likely Elbaite and come in various shades of cerise, fuchsia and bubble gum pink; apple and sage green and various combinations of all. Look out for the Elbaite which is bent over slight at its termination due to successive phases of tectonic disturbance and re-healing.

There are three Spodumene specimens; two of pink Kunzite from Afghanistan and the USA and a lime green Hiddenite, also from Afghanistan.

Other interesting specimens include varieties of Garnet and a highly aesthetic Titanite from Untersulzbachtal in Austria.

The inclusion of gem minerals in any collection adds an exotic touch, not to mention je ne sais quoi. Gems and precious metals were amongst the very first minerals to be identified and coveted by early man and it is perhaps because of this long association we hold an ingrained affinity to both. Enjoy looking through today’s choices and good luck with finding a good new addition to your collection.


If you'd like to see a video of any of the specimens listed above then please contact us at and we'll be happy to assist you. We endeavour to respond to all enquires within 24 hours during weekdays, however at the weekend it might take us a little longer to respond.


The Crystal Classics Summer Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, June 12.

Our beautiful showroom in East Coker, Somerset will be open from 10am to 5pm and will be packed with thousands of fine and rare minerals. There will be many specimens from new, recently purchased collections as well as many fresh Fluorite finds from our mines in Weardale, County Durham.

A delicious breakfast and lunch will also be provided by The Village Cafe which is located next door to our offices.

To book your place please email Debbie at or by phone 01935 862 673 to register your interest.

COVID-19 guidelines will be in place during the day and the following is expected of all visitors:

- Face masks must be worn at all times
- Social distancing must be carried out
- You must wash your hands upon entry to the showroom (in addition there will be several hand sanitiser dispensers provided throughout the building)

It promises to be a great day and we look forward to welcoming you all.



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We also offer an additional service that enables you, as our customer, to contact us via with your mineral wish list to enhance your current collection, but are unable to find the right specimens on our website. We have 1000's of specimens in our general stock that do not appear online.

Author: JH
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