Some ancient sailors used aquamarine as an antidote for seasickness.
It takes 1-3 years to grow a cultured pearl.
It’s a common misconception that diamonds are formed from coal. Actually, diamonds grow in volcanic zones deep inside the earth. Some are the product of meteor impacts.
The phenomenon of “cat’s eye” (or “tiger’s eye”) is called chatoyancy.
Tourmaline (an alternative birthstone for October) is piezoelectric, meaning it can hold a static charge. If you rub it vigorously, it will attract small debris. The opposite ends will polarize like a magnet.
Tourmaline also comes it a vast array of color combinations. One variety, known as watermelon tourmaline, has a dark green “rind” surrounding a bright pink interior.
Some of the finest sapphires in the US are mined in Yogo Gulch, Montana. This deposit is believed to contain another 28 million carats.
In 1985, an extremely rare mineral known as benitoite was named California’s state gem. Its primary source is a particular kind of rock formation in San Benito County. The flourescent blue gemstone has also been found in Japan and Arkansas.
A pink sapphire is a pink sapphire – but a red sapphire is a ruby.
The name zircon is often confused with cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconias, or “CZ’s” are gems man-made from zirconium dioxide as a diamond simulant; zircon is a natural gemstone. Blue zircon is a stunning alternative birthstone for December.