Gemstone Photo Gallery

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Agate Gemstone

Agate is chalcedony that displays concentric banding.
Agate is chalcedony (a cryptocrystalline quartz) that displays concentric banding. Red-banded agate is also called sard or sardonyx. Adrian Pingstone

Rough and Polished Gemstone Pictures

Welcome to the gemstone photo gallery. See photos of rough and cut gemstones and learn about the chemistry of the minerals.

This photo gallery showcases a variety of mineral used as gemstones.

02
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Alexandrite Gemstone

Alexndrites display color changes when viewed under different types of light.
This 26.75-carat cushion-cut alexandrite is bluish green in daylight and purplish red in incandescent light. David Weinberg

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl that displays a light-dependent color change. The color change results from a displacement of some of the aluminum by chromium oxide (green to red color gradation). The stone also exhibits a strong pleochromism, in which it appears to be different colors depending on the viewing angle.

03
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Amber with Insect

This piece of amber contains an insect inclusion.
Gemstone Photo Gallery This piece of amber contains an insect inclusion. Although it is an organic material, amber is valued as a gemstone. Anne Helmenstine

 This piece of amber contains an ancient insect.

04
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Amber Gemstone

Amber is fossilized tree sap or resin.
Amber is fossilized tree sap or resin. Hannes Grobe

Amber, like pearl, is an organic gemstone. Sometimes insects or even small mammals may be found in the fossilized resin.

05
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Amber Photo

This rough piece of amber contains an insect.
This rough piece of amber contains an insect. Anne Helmenstine

 Amber is an extremely soft gemstone that feels warm to the touch.

06
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Amethyst Gemstone

Amethyst
Amethyst is purple quartz, a silicate. Jon Zander

The name for amethyst derives from the Greek and Roman belief that the stone helped protect against drunkeness. Vessels for alcoholic beverages were made from the gemstone. The word is from the Greek a- ("not") and methustos ("to intoxicate").

07
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Amethyst Gemstone Photo

Amethyst from Hiddenite, NC.
Amethyst is a purple form of quartz (crystal silicon dioxide). At one time, the purple color was attributed to the presence of manganese, but it is now believed the color derives from an interaction between iron and aluminum. Anne Helmenstine

If you heat amethyst it becomes yellow and is called citrine. Citrine (yellow quartz) also occurs naturally.

08
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Amethyst Geode Gemstone

Crystals of amethyst from Brazil.
Amethyst is purple quartz, which is silicon dioxide. The color may derive from manganese or ferric thiocyanate or perhaps from a reaction between iron and aluminum. Nasir Khan, morguefile.com

Amethyst ranges in color from pale purple to deep purple. Bands of color are common in specimens from some regions. Heating amethyst causes the color to change to yellow or gold, turning the amethyst into citrine (yellow quartz).

09
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Ametrine Gemstone

Ametrine is also called trystine or bolivianite.
Ametrine is also called trystine or bolivianite. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons

Ametrine is a variety of quartz that is a mixture of amethyst (purple quartz) and citrine (yellow to orange quartz) so that there are bands of each color in the stone. The color gradation is due to differential oxidation of iron within the crystal.

10
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Apatite Crystals Gemstone

Apatite is the name given to a group of phosphate minerals.
Apatite is the name given to a group of phosphate minerals. OG59, Wikipedia Commons

 Apatite is a blue-green gemstone.

11
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Aquamarine Gemstone

Aquamarine is a translucent pale blue or turquoise variety of beryl.
Aquamarine is a translucent pale blue or turquoise variety of beryl. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons

Aquamarine gets its name for the Latin phrase aqua marinā, meaning "water of the sea". This pale blue gemstone-quality beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) exhibits a hexagonal crystal system.

12
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Aventurine Gemstone

Aventurine is a form of quartz which contains mineral inclusions that give a glistening effect.
Aventurine is a form of quartz which contains mineral inclusions that give a glistening effect known as aventurescence. Simon Eugster, Creative Commons

 Aventurine is a green gemstone that displays aventurescence.

13
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Azurite Gemstone

"Velvet Beauty" azurite from Bisbee, Arizona, US. Cobalt123, Flickr

Azurite is a blue copper mineral with the chemical formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2. It forms monoclinic crystals. Azurite weathers into malachite. Azurite is used as a pigment, in jewelry, and as a decorative stone.

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Azurite Crystal Gemstone

Crystals of azurite.
Crystals of azurite. Géry Parent

Azurite is a deep blue copper mineral with the formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2.

15
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Benitoite Gemstone

These are blue crystals of the rare mineral benitoite.
These are blue crystals of the rare barium titanium silicate mineral called benitoite. Géry Parent

Benitoite is an unusual gemstone.

16
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Beryl Crystal Gemstone Photo

This is a photo of a beryl crystal from Gilgit, Pakistan.
This is a photo of a beryl crystal from Gilgit, Pakistan. Giac83, Wikipedia Commons

Beryl occurs over a wide color range. Each color has its own name as a gemstone.

17
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Beryl Gemstone

This is a false-color electron mictrograph of a beryl crystal.
This is a false-color electron mictrograph of a beryl crystal, which is a beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. The mineral forms hexagonal crystals. USGS Denver Microbeam Laboratory

Beryls include emerald (green), aquamarine (blue), morganite (pink, heliodor (yellow-green), bixbite (red, very rare), and goshenite (clear).

18
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Carnelian Gemstone

Carnelian is a reddish type of chalcedony, which is cryptocrystalline silica.
Carnelian is a reddish type of chalcedony, which is cryptocrystalline silica. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons

Carnelian derives its name from the Latin word meaning horn because it is colored similarly to that organic material. The stone was widely used in the Roman empire to make seals and signet rings to sign and seal documents.

19
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Chrysoberyl Gemstone

Faceted yellow chrysoberyl gemstone.
Faceted yellow chrysoberyl gemstone. David Weinberg

Chrysoberyl is a mineral and gemstone with the chemical formula BeAl2O4. It crystallizes in the orthorhombic system. It is most commonly found in shades of green and yellow, but there are brown, red, and (rarely) blue specimens.

20
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Chrysocolla Gemstone

This is a polished nugget of the mineral chrysocolla. Chrysocolla is a hydrated copper silicate.
This is a polished nugget of the mineral chrysocolla. Chrysocolla is a hydrated copper silicate. Grzegorz Framski

 Some people mistake chrysocolla for turquoise, a related gemstone.

21
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Citrine Gemstone

Citrine
58-carat faceted citrine. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons

Citrine is a variety of quartz (silicon dioxide) that ranges in color from brown to golden yellow due to the presence of ferric impurities. The gemstone occurs naturally or can be obtained by heating purple quartz (amethyst) or smoky quartz.

22
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Cymophane or Catseye Chrysoberyl Gemstone

Cymophane or catseye chrysoberyl exhibits chatoyancy due to needle-like inclusions of rutile.
Cymophane or catseye chrysoberyl exhibits chatoyancy due to needle-like inclusions of rutile. David Weinberg

 Catseye occurs over a wide color range.

23
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Diamond Crystal Gemstone

Rough Octohedral Diamond Crystal
Rough Octohedral Diamond Crystal. USGS

Diamond is the crystal form of pure elemental carbon. Diamond is clear if no impurities are present. Colored diamonds result from trace amounts of elements besides carbon. This is a photo of an uncut diamond crystal.

24
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Diamond Gemstone Photo

This is an AGS ideal cut diamond from Russia (Sergio Fleuri).
This is an AGS ideal cut diamond from Russia (Sergio Fleuri). Salexmccoy, Wikipedia Commons

This is a faceted diamond. Diamond has more white fire than cubic zirconia and is much harder.

25
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Diamonds - Gemstone

Diamonds
Diamonds. Mario Sarto, wikipedia.org

Diamonds are crystals of the element carbon.

26
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Emerald Gemstone

The 858-carat Galacha Emerald hails from the La Vega de San Juan mine in Gachalá, Colombia.
The 858-carat Galacha Emerald hails from the La Vega de San Juan mine in Gachalá, Colombia. Thomas Ruedas

Emeralds are gem-quality beryls ((Be3Al2(SiO3)6) which are green to blue-green due to the presence of trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium.

27
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Uncut Emerald Gemstone

Uncut emerald crystal, a green gemstone beryl.
Uncut emerald crystal, a green gemstone beryl. Ryan Salsbury

This is a photo of a rough emerald crystal. Emeralds range in color from pale green to deep green.

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Emerald Gemstone Crystals

Colombian emerald crystals.
Colombian emerald crystals. Productos Digitales Moviles
29
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Fluorite or Fluorspar Gemstone Crystals

These are fluorite crystals on display at the National History Museum in Milan, Italy.
Gemstone Photo Gallery These are fluorite crystals on display at the National History Museum in Milan, Italy. Fluorite is the crystal form of the mineral calcium fluoride. Giovanni Dall'Orto
30
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Fluorite Gemstone Crystals

Fluorite or fluorspar is an isometric mineral composed of calcium fluoride.
Fluorite or fluorspar is an isometric mineral composed of calcium fluoride. Photolitherland, Wikipedia Commons
31
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Faceted Garnet Gemstone

This is a faceted garnet.
This is a faceted garnet. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons
32
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Garnets in Quartz - Gem Quality

Sample from China of garnet crystals with quartz.
Sample from China of garnet crystals with quartz. Géry Parent

Garnets can occur in all colors, but are most commonly seen in shades of red. They are silicates, commonly found associated with pure silica, or quartz.

33
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Heliodor Crystal Gemstone

Heliodor is also known as golden beryl.
Heliodor is also known as golden beryl. Parent Géry
34
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Heliotrope or Bloodstone Gemstone

Heliotrope, also known as bloodstone, is one of the gemstone forms of the mineral chalcedony.
Heliotrope, also known as bloodstone, is one of the gemstone forms of the mineral chalcedony. Ra'ike, Wikipedia Commons
35
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Hematite Gemstone

Rough specimen of hematite.
Hematite crystallizes in the rhombohedral crystal system. USGS

Hematite is an iron(III) oxide mineral, (Fe2O3). Its color can range from metallic black or gray to brown or red. Depending on the phase transition, hematite can be antiferromagnetic, weakly ferromagnetic, or paramagnetic.

36
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Hiddenite Gemstone

Hiddenite from Hiddenite, NC.
The gemstone hiddenite was discovered in North Carolina. Anne Helmenstine

Hiddenite is a green form of spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2. It is sometimes sold as an inexpensive alternative to emerald.

37
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Iolite Gemstone

Iolite is the name for gemstone-quality cordierite.
Iolite is the name for gemstone-quality cordierite. Iolite typically is violet blue, but may be seen as a yellowish brown stone. Vzb83, Wikipedia Commons

Iolite is a magnesium iron aluminium cyclosilicate. The non-gemstone mineral, cordierite, commonly is used to make the ceramic of catalytic converters.

38
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Jasper Gemstone

Polished orbicular jasper from Madagascar.
Polished orbicular jasper from Madagascar. Vassil, Wikipedia Commons
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Kyanite Gemstone

Crystals of kyanite.
Crystals of kyanite. Aelwyn (Creative Commons)

Kyanite is a blue aluminosilicate.

40
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Malachite Gemstone

Nugget of polished malachite.
Nugget of polished malachite. Calibas, Wikipedia Commons

Malachite is a copper carbonate with the chemical formula Cu2CO3(OH)2. This green mineral can form monoclinic crystals, but usually is found in massive form.

41
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Morganite Gemstone

Rough morganite crystal.
Example of uncut morganite crystal, a pink gemstone version of beryl. This specimen came from a mine outside of San Diego, CA. Trinity Minerals
42
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Rose Quartz Gemstone

Rose quartz sometimes gets it pink color from trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese.
Rose quartz sometimes gets its pink color from trace amounts of titanium, iron, or manganese in massive quartz. The color may come from thin fibers in the massive material. Pink quartz crystals (rare) may get their color from phosphate or aluminum. Ozguy89, public domain
43
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Opal Gemstone

Banded blue opal from Australia.
Massive opal from Barco River, Queensland, Australia. Photo of specimen at the Natural History Museum, London. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons
44
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Opal Vein Gemstone

Veins of opal in a iron-rich rock from Australia.
Veins of opal in a iron-rich rock from Australia. Photo taken from specimen at the Natural History Museum, London. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons
45
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Australian Opal Gemstone

This opal is from Yowah, Queensland, Australia.
This opal is from Yowah, Queensland, Australia. Opal is a mineraloid gel with a water content typicslly rsnging from 3-20%. Noodle snacks, Wikipedia Commons
46
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Rough Opal

Rough opal from Nevada.
Rough opal from Nevada. Chris Ralph

Opal is is amorphous hydrated silicon dioxide: SiO2·nH2O. The water content of most opals ranges from 3-5%, but it can be as high as 20%. Opal deposits as a silicate gel in fissures around many types of rock.

47
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Pearls - Gemstone

Pearls are organic gemstones that are secreted by molluscs.
Pearls are organic gemstones that are secreted by mollusks. They consist mainly of calcium carbonate. Georg Oleschinski
48
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Pearl Gemstone

Black pearl and its shell. This pearl is a product of the black-lipped pearl oyster.
Black pearl and the shell that contained it. This pearl is a product of the black-lipped pearl oyster. Mila Zinkova

Pearls are produced by mollusks. They consist of tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that have been deposited in concentric layers.

49
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Olivine or Peridot Gemstone

Gemstone-quality olivine (chrysolite) is called peridot.
Gemstone-quality olivine (chrysolite) is called peridot. Olivine is one of the most common minerals. S Kitahashi, wikipedia.org

Peridot is one of only a few gemstones that only occurs in one color: green. It is commonly associated with lava. Olivine/Peridot have an orthorhombic crystal system. It is a magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4.

50
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Quartz Gemstone

Quartz Crystals
Quartz Crystals. William Roesly, www.morguefile.com

Quartz is silica or silicon dioxide (SiO2). Its crystals often form a 6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid.

51
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Quartz Crystal Gemstone

Quartz crystal is the most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.
Quartz crystal is the most abundant mineral in the earth's crust. Ken Hammond, USDA

This is a photograph of a quartz crystal.

52
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Smoky Quartz Gemstone

Crystals of smoky quartz.
Crystals of smoky quartz. Ken Hammond, USDA
53
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Ruby Gemstone

1.41-carat faceted oval ruby.
1.41-carat faceted oval ruby. Brian Kell

The "precious" gemstones are ruby, sapphire, diamond, and emerald. Natural rubies contain inclusions of rutile, called "silk". Stones which do not contain these imperfections will have undergone some form of treatment.

54
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Uncut Ruby

Ruby crystal before faceting.
Ruby crystal before faceting. Ruby is the name given to the red variety of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide). Adrian Pingstone, wikipedia.org

Ruby is red to pink corundum (Al2O3::Cr). Corundum of any other color is called sapphire. Ruby has a trigonal crystal structure, usually forming terminated tabular hexagonal prisms.

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Sapphire Gemstone

Sapphire
422.99-carat Logan sapphire, National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. Thomas Ruedas

Sapphire is gem-quality corundum that is found in any color other than red (ruby). Pure corundum is colorless aluminum oxide (Al2O3). Though most people think of sapphires as being blue, the gem can be found in almost any color, due to the presence of trace amounts of metals such as iron, chromium, and titanium.

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Star Sapphire Gemstone

Star Sapphire
This star sapphire cabochon displays six-ray asterism. Lestatdelc, Wikipedia Commons

A star sapphire is a sapphire that exhibits asterism (has a 'star'). Asterism results from intersecting needles of another mineral, often the titanium dioxide mineral called rutile.

57
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Star Sapphire - Star of India Gemstone

The Star of India is star sapphire.
The Star of India is a 563.35 carat (112.67 g) grayish blue star sapphire that was mined in Sri Lanka. Daniel Torres, Jr.
58
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Sodalite Gemstone

Sodalite is a beautiful blue stone.
The sodalite mineral group includes blue specimens such as lazurite and sodalite. This specimen comes from the creek running through the Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, NC. Anne Helmenstine

Sodalite is a beautiful royal blue mineral. It is a sodium aluminium silicate with chlorine (Na4Al3(SiO4)3Cl)

59
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Spinel Gemstone

Spinels are a class of minerals that crystallize in the cubic system.
Spinels are a class of minerals that crystallize in the cubic system. They can be found in a variety of colors. S. Kitahashi

The chemical formula of spinel usually is MgAl2O4 though the cation may be zinc, iron, manganese, aluminium, chromium, titanium, or silicon and the anion may be any member of the oxygen family (chalcogens).

60
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Sugilite or Luvulite

Sugilite or luvulite is an uncommon pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral.
Sugilite or luvulite is an uncommon pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral. Simon Eugster
61
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Sunstone

Sunstone contains inclusions of red hematite that give it a sun-spangled appearance.
Gemstone Photo Gallery Sunstone is a plagioclase feldspar that is a sodium calcium aluminum silicate. Sunstone contains inclusions of red hematite that give it a sun-spangled appearance, leading to its popularity as a gemstone. Ra'ike, Creative Commons
62
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Tanzanite Gemstone

Tanzanite is blue-purple gemstone-quality zoisite.
Tanzanite is blue-purple gemstone-quality zoisite. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons

Tanzanite has the chemical formula (Ca2Al3(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)) and an orthorhombic crystal structure. It was discovered (as you might have guessed) in Tanzania. Tanzanite exhibits strong trichroism and may appear alternately violet, blue, and green depending on its crystal orientation.

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Red Topaz Gemstone

Crystal of red topaz at the British Natural History Museum.
Crystal of red topaz at the British Natural History Museum. Aramgutang, Wikipedia Commons
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Topaz Gemstone

Crystal of colorless topaz from Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Crystal of colorless topaz from Pedra Azul, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Tom Epaminondas
65
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Topaz - Gem Quality

Topaz is a mineral (Al2SiO4(F,OH)2) that forms orthorhombic crystals.
Topaz is a mineral (Al2SiO4(F,OH)2) that forms orthorhombic crystals. Pure topaz is clear, but impurities can tint it a variety of colors. United States Geological Survey

Topaz occurs in orthorhombic crystals. Topaz occurs in several colors, including clear (no impurities), gray, blue, brown, orange, yellow, green, pink, and reddish pink. Heating yellow topaz can cause it to turn pink. Irradiating a pale blue topaz can produce a bright blue or deep blue stone.

66
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Tourmaline Gemstone

Tourmaline is a crystalline silicate mineral.
Tourmaline is a crystalline silicate mineral. It occurs in a variety of colors owing to the presence of several possible metal ions. This is an emerald-cut tourmaline gemstone. Wela49, Wikipedia Commons
67
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Tri-Color Tourmaline

Tourmaline Crystals with Quartz
Tri-color elbaite tourmaline crystals with quartz from the Himalaya Mine, California, USA. Chris Ralph

Tourmaline is a silicate mineral that crystallizes in a trigonal system. It has the chemical formula (Ca,K,Na)(Al,Fe,Li,Mg,Mn)3(Al,Cr,Fe,V)6 (BO3)3(Si,Al,B)6O18(OH,F)4. Gemstone-quality tourmaline is found in a variety of colors. There are tri-colored, bi-colored and dichroic specimens, too.

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Turquoise Gemstone

Turquoise pebble that has been smoothed by tumbling.
Turquoise pebble that has been smoothed by tumbling. Adrian Pingstone

Turquoise is an opaque mineral with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. It occurs in various shades of blue and green.

69
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Cubic Zirconia or CZ Gemstone

Cubic zirconia or CZ is a diamond simulant made from zirconium oxide.
Cubic zirconia or CZ is a diamond simulant made from zirconium oxide. Gregory Phillips, Free Documentation License

Cubic zirconia or CZ is cubic crystalline zirconium dioxide. The pure crystal is colorless and resembles a diamond when cut.

70
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Gemmy Beryl Emerald Crystal

This is a beryl crystal from Colombia. Green gemstone-quality beryl is called emerald.
This is a 12-sided beryl crystal from Colombia. Green gemstone-quality beryl is called emerald. Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com