A Gem By Any Other Name

gemstone

We’ve all heard the classic Shakespeare quote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” from Romeo & Juliet.  But does that principle apply to gemstones?  Today, we’re taking a look at some gemstones with misleading trade names to see if the quote rings true in all scenarios.

1.  Green amethyst – while we love this green gem, amethyst is actually only a name for the specific shade of purple quartz that it represents.  So there’s no such thing as “green amethyst” but it’s really just a green quartz.

green amethyst

green amethyst

2.  Blue alexandrite – this gorgeous stone isn’t actually an alexandrite.  Instead, it’s a rare phenomenon: color-change sapphire.  While both change colors, the stone is made up of corundum.

blue alexandrite

blue alexandrite

3.  African emerald – this gem does come from Africa, but that’s the only truth in this stone’s name.  It’s really a gorgeous green fluorite.

african emerald

african emerald

4.  Goldstone – the least honest of all the items on this list, this stone isn’t a true stone at all.  This trade name doesn’t give any indication that the real material behind this “gem” is actually colored glass.

goldstone

goldstone

5.  White onyx – onyx can be one of two stones: either a solid black chalcedony or a banded black and white agate.  But white onyx is not actually the official name of the gem.  No, this gem is more accurately named white agate.

different-types-of-pearls-and-how-you-take-care-of-them

White Onyx

6. Smoky topaz – this was originally thought to be a form of topaz, but in truth, it’s actually a form of quartz.  The same goes for whiskey topaz.

smokey topaz

smokey topaz

7.  Ceylon opal – like the smoky topaz and African emerald, this gem is one of many misnomers in jewelry trade terms.  But this lovely stone is truly a moonstone.

Ceylon opal

Ceylon opal

8.  Herkimer diamond – a beautiful stone in it’s own right, this gem isn’t a real form of diamond.  We love this amazing quartz stone anyway.

 

So now that we’ve covered all of the beautiful if slightly misleading trade terms, are there gems on the list that you still wouldn’t want?  Let us know what you think of these terms in the comments!

Have a loose gem or want to replace one without leaving your home? Send it over to us!

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