About Gemstones

Charles Albert is a brand celebrated for its innovative designs and high-quality, handcrafted jewelry. The newest collection, Alchemia, is inspired by the ancient mythical craft of transforming lesser metals into gold. Similarly, Alchemia fuses a secret blend of elements that when combined simulate the look and feel of 18K gold. This alloy is nickel-free, lead-free and a cost effective alternative to precious metals. It will not tarnish. All Charles Albert creations are one-of-a-kind, encouraging the wearer to express his or her individuality.

Amazonite is an aqua green and white feldspar. Named for the Amazon River, it is actually mined mostly in Russia and Colorado.

Amber, an organic gemstone, is the fossilized sap of prehistoric trees which grew up to 50 million years ago. The stone has been used for jewelry since the time of Christ. The world's finest amber comes from the region around the Baltic sea.

Amethyst is an extremely sought-after gem which has been valued by many civilizations since antiquity. A variety of vitreous quartz, amethyst often forms dramatic prismatic crystals which are often formed into jewelry without being cut. Brazil and Uruguay are common sources of high quality amethyst. In the early Christian church, amethyst was believed to guard against intoxication, hence its derivation from the Greek "amethustos," meaning "not drunk."

Ammonite is the fossilized shell of ancient sea amminoids and nautiloids, ancestors of the present-day pearly nautilus. An ammonite fossil formed when the ammonite shell absorbed minerals from silt. Centuries of sediment layers compressed the minerals to rock.

Ancient Glass
These glass fragments originate from parts of ancient blown glass vessels of the Roman Byzantine Empire in the 1st-6th centuries A.D.--shortly after glass was invented. The glittering fragments were picked up on ancient sites in the Holy Land. Some fragments are transparent while others are colored. The spectrum of colors which appear on the glass were formed over hundreds of years. The beautiful colors are the result of the combined effects of climatic conditions and the surrounding earth in which the glass was embedded. Over the generations, layer upon layer of earth covered the glass, contributing to its unique colors. Each piece is unique.

Aquamarine, along with emerald, is a gemstone variety of the silicate mineral beryl. Its name meaning "sea water," aquamarine ranges in color from a sea-green to a sky-blue and generally forms large, somewhat clear crystals. In ancient times, aquamarine jewelry was thought to protect sailors.

Aventurine is generally quartz with a speckled appearance from the presence of other minerals in the stone. Occurring in various colors from a sea green to a yellow brown, aventurine is found in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in Rutland, Vermont, and in other locations around the world.

Azurite is a carbonate mineral formed in the oxidized portions of copper deposits.  Its crystals can take over 145 different forms and its color varies from a beautiful azure blue to a much darker blue-black.  Azurite and malachite often occur in the same formations.

Buddha eyes
The buddha or wisdom eyes symbol represents oneness and omniscience.

Beautiful butterfly jewelry is handmade in Peru. Delicate wings are set in sterling silver frames behind thin panes of protective glass. Butterflies are not killed to make this jewelry; rather, the wings used are collected at the end of the butterfly's natural life cycle by trained workers in the Peruvian Amazon. This environmentally sensitive and sustainable program provides income for local families while preserving the rainforest. Butterfly jewelry is not waterproof. Please do not immerse.

Carnelian is a translucent red or orange variety of chalcedony, sometimes banded red and orange like an agate. Once believed to benefit the wearer's health and love life. Most carnelian comes from Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany.

Carved Bone
Authentic cow bone has been exquisitely carved, polished and hand finished to make this beautiful piece.

Chalcedony is the general name for a variety of colored quartzes, many of which have a creamy appearance and luster. The gemstones given the name chalcedony are usually white to bright blue, while other colors have been given separate names--for instance, black onyx, green chrysoprase, and orange carnelian.

Pendant has a lobster clasp bail and can also be worn as a charm.

Green or blue-green chrysocolla is a stunning gemstone formed from in areas of copper ore oxidation, particularly in dry regions such as Australia, Africa, Utah and Arizona. Single specimens of gemstone-quality chrysocolla have been known to exceed 5 pounds in weight.

Chrysoprase is a green variety of chalcedony quartz which owes its green hue to trace amounts of nickel. In Roman times, chrysoprase was said to help eyesight and relieve pain. Mined in Queensland, Australia and elsewhere, this beautiful stone is still the valued variety of chalcedony.

Cigarette cards were created in Great Britain as stiffeners in soft packs. Beginning in the 1880s, they were issued in series from 10 to 50 covering such themes as costumes, flowers, and transportation. Famous contemporary artists were commissioned for the drawings. The advent of war in 1940 halted production, although cigarette cards have remained popular with collectors.

Ranging in color from scarlet to brick red, the mineral cinnabar is a common ore of mercury. It is generally found in a granular rather than crystalline form and is often carved for use in jewelry. Some cinnabar mines used by the ancient Romans are still in use today.

Citrine is quartz generally occurring in a golden color. Citrine occurs naturally in Scotland and in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Much citrine available today is actually smoky quartz or amethyst that has been heat-treated to achieve its characteristic color.

The conch shell symbolizes the Buddhist principle of right speech.

Copal is fossilized plant sap that did not fully harden into amber.

Copper Ore
Bold sterling silver piece features a dramatic piece of rough copper ore.  The beautiful warm colors of this piece bring forth the wonder of natural formation deep in the earth.

The organic gem coral is the skeleton of coral polyps which live in the sea. Dull when harvested, it can be polished to a high shine. Red and pink varieties are generally found in warm Asian and Mediterranean waters. Coral has been carved in China for 2,000 years and was used medicinally and as an amulet in other ancient cultures. Sea bamboo is a vivid red gem from the coral family. Fossilized coral dates from the Ordovician period of prehistory and displays beautiful colors and a gorgeous starburst pattern when polished.

Dharma Wheel
The dharma wheel symbol represents the Buddhist teachings.

Gem quality druzy is created when a layer of tiny quartz crystals forms over the top of another stone. Natural druzy crystals can be colored themselves or take their color from the underlying stone. The surface of a druzy is sometimes coated with gold or other substances for a dramatic effect. Titanium druzy has been treated with a thin layer of titanium to give it a beautiful color and iridescent sheen.

Pendant was designed by jewelry artist Edward Lawrence. The number on the back of the pendant corresponds to a sketch number in the artist's sketchbook.

Eight Symbols
The eight auspicious Buddhist symbols are considered to be lucky when portrayed together.

Emerald is one of the four precious gemstones along with diamond, ruby and sapphire. It occurs in a range of green hues and is May’s birthstone.

Endless knot
The endless knot has no beginning and no end. It symbolizes the limitless wisdom and compassion of the Buddha and the interconnectedness of all things.

Eudialite is a rare reddish-purple silicate mineral seldom used in jewelry.  Most eudialite comes from Canada and also from the Kola Peninsula in Russia. 

Fascinating and beautiful fluorite is the halide mineral calcium fluoride and comes in an astonishing array of rainbow colors. Occurring in a crystalline form in places around the world, the stone has been used decoratively since ancient times. Ancient Roman wine vessels were often carved from fluorite. Rainbow or banded fluorite is particularly stunning and is found in large amounts at Castleton, England.

Fossil Fish
Preserved in fine grained sediment, fossil fish from the Green River area in Wyoming formed during the Eocene Age about 40 million years ago. Specimens from this area show exquisite surface detail and are considered to be among the best examples of fossil fish in the world.

Galena is the major ore mineral of lead. Mined for lead content since ancient times, it is found in ore veins combined with sphalerite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and in sedimentary rocks.

Deep red garnet is derived from a number of minerals, including pyrope and almandine. Popularized in Bohemia in the Czech Republic, garnet has been used in decoration and jewelry across Europe for many years. Its color is generally a dark burgundy, sometimes with a hint of orange, pink, or purple.

A traditional design, the Tibetan ghau box pendant was originally used as a portable shrine or prayer box to store scriptures.

Golden fishes
The golden fishes symbol represents happiness and freedom from suffering.

Green Quartz
Used since ancient times for a variety of purposes, beautiful quartz is an abundant and versatile crystalline gem that occurs in many colors. 

Hematite is a metallic gray iron oxide mineral. Its name comes from the Greek word for blood, as it is sometimes red in its powder form.. Gem grade Hematite is found in Europe, Brazil & the USA.

Hill Tribe
This piece was handmade by the Karen Hill Tribe of northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods. The silver content is typically 97% as compared to 92.5% in sterling silver. This higher silver content is softer and more malleable, giving rise to many beautiful and comfortable designs.

Iolite is the deep blue gem variety of the silicate mineral cordierite, named for French geologist Pierre Cordier. Iolite is found on Garnet Island in Canada and in South Asia and South Africa. Leif Eriksson and other Viking explorers are said to have used thin slices of iolite to navigate during voyages, taking advantage of its prismatic properties to polarize sunlight.

The name "jade" is commonly used for two different silicate minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Prized for its color and hardness, jade has been used since ancient times for practical and decorative purposes. In China, it was once considered more valuable than gold and silver and was used for axe heads and other weapons. Ancient natives of Central America, New Zealand, and Egypt also prized jade as a beautiful and symbolic gemstone.

Jasper is opaque chalcedony quartz that comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, depending on the trace minerals present in the stone. Landscape jasper, which seems to show miniature earth scenes, and ocean jasper with its characteristic green swirls are both popular. Jasper was used for decorative and medicinal in many ancient cultures and the Babylonians believed it was beneficial to women's health.

Shining black jet is dense lignite, a variety of coal.

The kalachakra seed symbol combines several Tibetan letters and represents protection from spiritual harm.

Kyanite takes its name from from the Greek word kyanos which means "deep blue." Formerly called disthene, kyanite is found primarily in shades of blues and greens. The shiny, translucent gemstone is known for its color zones and variation in hardness. Zodiac signs associated with kyanite are Aries, Taurus and Libra. The stone is said to have an effect on dreams and in improving memory and encouraging mental clarity.

Labradorite is a glowing silicate mineral which shows lovely blue and golden green iridescence. This iridescence is the result of thin layers in the stone, a phenomenon which happens during the cooling process. Jewelry quality labradorite comes from India, Finland, Madagascar and Russia.

Lapis Lazuli
Royal blue lapis lazuli comes from the silicate mineral lazurite. Polished stones often show gorgeous veins of white calcite and flecks of golden pyrite. Used by ancient civilizations from China to Sumeria, lapis lazuli inlay adorned the mask of ancient Egypt's King Tutankhamun. Lapis lazuli is somewhat rare and much of the deepest blue stone is mined in Afghanistan. Denim lapis has a lighter blue color and Aztec lapis features dramatic veining of black and brown minerals.

Larimar is a rare gemstone found only in an inaccessible region of the Dominican Republic overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The sky blue stone's name was coined by a Dominican, Miguel Méndez, who combined his daughter's name Larissa, with mar, the Spanish word for sea.

Used since ancient times for a variety of purposes, beautiful quartz is a versatile gem that occurs in many colors. Lemon quartz shows a truer yellow to citrine's golden hue, and its transparent beauty is often displayed in a cut form.

Lepidolite is a silicate mineral of the mica group usually ranging from lilac to deep purple in color. Used industrially as a source of lithium and in glassmaking, the stone is mined in the Ural Mountains of Russia and elsewhere in Europe and the Americas.

The lotus flower symbolizes purity and the beauty of nature.

Malachite is a shining copper ore with swirling islands of rich green color. Used since ancient Egyptian times as pigment for cosmetics, dyes and paints, malachite's primary use today is still ornamental. Popularized in modern times in 19th century Europe, it was worn as protection against the "evil eye." Much of today's fine malachite is mined in the Congo.

Mammoth ivory is the fossilized tusk material of the woolly mammoth, an elephant ancestor that has been extinct for 10,000 years. Mammoth tusks grew up to 16 ft long and are collected today mainly on the steppes of Siberia.

Multi gems
Outstanding multi-gem piece displays a pretty patchwork of colors. Various real gemstones are elegantly mounted on a sterling silver frame for maximum sparkle.

Meenakari, the art of enameling, originated in India. A piece of jewelry is crafted in silver, gold or bone and then handed over to the artist for the desired design, which is then outlined by the engraver. Finally the ornament goes to the enameller, who applies different colors with brushes on the engraved design.

Meteorites are objects from outer space that have traveled through Earth’s atmosphere. Most meteorite specimens on Earth are around 4 billion years old. Found around the world, many commercially available meteorites come from Northwest Africa.

The authentic Ming Dynasty pottery shard on the necklace's pendant was excavated on an archaeological dig in China and is between 300 and 900 years old.

Mokume-gane is a process of decorative metal layering which originated in 17th-century Japan.

Moldavite is called the crystal from outer space. The bottle green to very dark green stone is thought to have been formed during a meteorite shower in the Moldau Valley of Czechoslovakia about 20 million years ago. The great impact of the shower likely melted meteorite with terrestrial minerals to form this unique stone.

Moonstone is a variety of orthoclase, a feldspar. It often has a sky blue opalescent sheen, also called schiller or fire, making the stone look as if it is glowing. The sheen is created by thin layering of orthoclase with another mineral, albite. Moonstone was used in jewelry from 100 AD in Rome and even earlier in Asia.

Beautiful mother-of-pearl has long been used in jewelry and for other decorative purposes. Also known as nacre, mother-of-pearl is the lustrous layer found on the inside of shells of certain mollusk species. The smoothness of the material protects the mollusk's body and defends against damage and disease. If the mollusk's body becomes irritated by a parasite or foreign body, the animal may isolate the cause of the problem by encasing it in secreted nacre. The resulting object is a pearl.

Genuine handmade Native American piece comes directly from the Southwestern U.S. The use of gemstones for personal adornment by Southwestern native peoples dates from prehistoric times, and the use of silver by the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi is almost 100 years old.

Nepal inlay
Exotic sterling silver Nepal tribal piece features a pretty patchwork of various genuine inlaid gemstones.

Obsidian is volcanic glass, considered a rock rather than a mineral.  It is formed in the last stage of basaltic eruptions, when the silicas, left over after most other elements have been used up, are ejected and chilled at surface temperatures.  Rainbow obsidian has a multicolored iridescence.

Onyx is a chalcedony quartz with a fine texture and black color. Some onyx also displays white bands or ribbons against a black background. Onyx was popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The name comes from the Greek word "onux," which means fingernail. The myth is that Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus one day while she was sleeping. He discarded the clippings and the fates turned them to stone so that no part of Venus would ever be lost. In Greek times, almost all colors of chalcedony from fingernail white to dark brown and black were called onyx. Later, the Romans narrowed the term to refer to black and dark brown colors only.

Opals form when silica gel hardens in the cracks of other rocks. Most of the world's precious opal comes from Australia, where opal is the national gem. A boulder opal is an opal that has been sliced together with its surrounding ironstone for a varied look. Fire opal from Mexico comes in shades of orange and Peruvian opal is an opaque blue-green stone. An opal doublet has polished precious opal on the top with an ironstone backing added for strength, making the slice of opal less prone to chipping.

Orthoceras are prehistoric cephalopods related to the modern day squid, cuttlefish, and octopus. They date back about 350 million years and many are found in the Moroccan Sahara Desert.

Natural pearls are formed when an foreign object becomes trapped in the shell of an oyster or pearl and the animal surrounds the object with several mineral layers in order to protect its soft tissue. Most pearls sold today are farmed pearls, created by intentionally inserting small mother-of-pearl beads in the oyster's shell. The resulting pearls are harvested up to two years later. Pearls come in a range of pastel colors from cream to blue to pink, and irregularly shaped pearls are often called "baroque" pearls. Mabe pearls are hemispherical cultured pearls grown against the inside shell of an oyster rather than in the mollusk's body. Mabe pearls are typically used in settings such as that conceal their flat backs.

Spring green peridot is the gem variety of ovaline, a silicate mineral thought to be common in the upper mantle of Earth's crust. Peridot-grade ovaline is most abundant in Pakistan and other dry areas. Used as early as 1580 BC in Egypt, peridot is held as a symbol of the Sun.

Petrified Wood
Beautiful and fascinating petrified wood is formed when dissolved silica from ash replaces the cells and cell walls in wood. The material then hardens into crystals as chalcedony, or cryptocrystalline quartz.  

Pietersite, sometimes called tempest stone, is an opaque form of tiger eye stone with color striations ranging from red and gold to indigo and black. Named for Sid Pieters, the man who discovered the stone, it comes from mines in Namibia and China.

Lovely prehnite is a silicate mineral occurring in shades of white, yellow, and light green with varying degrees of transparency. First discovered in South Africa by Hendrik von Prehn, the largest prehnite crystals are mined in Canada today.

Pyrite is a common mineral, found in a wide variety of geological formations from sedimentary deposits to hydrothermal veins and also as a constituent of metamorphic rocks. The color of pyrite has sometimes led people to mistake it for gold, hence its nickname "fools gold." Pyrite is easy to distinguish from gold, as it is much lighter. Pyrite is also harder than gold and cannot be scratched with a fingernail or knife.

Rainbow Calsilica
Rainbow calsilica is a gorgeous layered stone composed of calcium and silica. Recently discovered in Mexico and South American, it is used in jewelry and in Zuni fetish carving. It is thought to be have been formed only in the last thirty to fifty years, but the process of its formation is still somewhat unknown.

Rhodium is a brilliant silver-white metal, usually the most valuable of the precious metals. Its properties are similar to platinum, and it is used in jewelry making because of its shine and resistance to tarnish. When electroplated or "flashed" over a base metal like silver or white gold, rhodium takes on a shining silver-white appearance similar to platinum.

Rose or rose-brown colored rhodochrosite often displays wonderful wavy bands of white. A carbonate mineral, gem quality rhodochrosite comes from Colorado and South Africa.

Rhodonite is an opaque rose-colored silicate mineral often occurring with veins of gray-black manganese oxide. Occasionally carved, it is generally used in the cabochon form. Gem quality stones are mined in many countries around the world.

Rhyolite is a fine-grained volcanic rock often occurring with other volcanic materials such as obsidian and pumice. The banded form of the stone shows striking stripes and swirls in green and brown.

Contemporary-primitive design by artist Robbin Smith.

Rose Quartz
Rose quartz can range from very pale pink to an almost cotton candy color and from nearly transparent to a milky opaque. Believed by some to represent love and healing, rose quartz is almost always found in large masses but rarely in crystals. Brazil, Sweden, Scotland and California all have significant deposits of rose quartz.

One of the four precious stones, rubies range from pink to deep red in color. They are mined in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. Most natural rubies have inclusions or color imperfections.

Ruby anyolite
Ruby anyolite, also called ruby in zoisite, has beautiful jade and violet hues. Made of red corundum mixed with jade green zoisite, this lovely stone is mined in Norway, Alaska, Kenya and Tanzania. Discovered relatively recently in Austria in 1805, the opaque version of the stone seen here is often used for carving.

Russian Charoite
Discovered in 1978 in the Murun mountains in Yakutia, near the Charo River, bright purple Russian charoite is a silicate mineral composed of potassium, calcium and sodium. This purple, fibrous material may also contain patterns of black, white, orange and transparent crystals.

Rutile is a crystal form of titanium oxide and ranges from nearly black to golden in color. Transparent quartz showing sprays of thin rutile crystals within has been used in jewelry and ornamentation since ancient times. Rutilated quartz often contains sprays of golden rutile so fine they look like hair and thus the stone is also known as Venus' hairstone. A lapis-rutile doublet has transparent rutilated quartz on top with a blue lapis backing.

The glittering colors of gem quality sandstone conjure images of the deserts and dunes of the world's landscapes. Generally occurring in dry regions, sandstone forms in layers as the spaces between grains of sand are filled with silica or calcium carbonate. An important building material in the ancient cultures of the Middle East, sandstone is as still as durable for construction as it is for sculpture.

Sea Bamboo
The organic gem coral is the skeleton of coral polyps which live in the sea. Dull when harvested, it can be polished to a high shine. Red and pink varieties are generally found in warm Asian and Mediterranean waters. Coral has been carved in China for 2,000 years and was used medicinally and as an amulet in other ancient cultures. Sea bamboo is a vivid red gem from the coral family. Fossilized coral dates from the Ordovician period of prehistory and displays beautiful colors and a gorgeous starburst pattern when polished.

Septarian Nodule
Septarian nodules were formed during the Cretaceous period, 50 to 70 million years ago. Decomposing sea life, killed by volcanic eruptions, had a chemical attraction to the surrounding sediment resulting in the formation of small clumps of mud. As the ocean receded, the clumps were left to dry and calcify. Septarians are composed of calcite, aragonite, and limestone. Occasionally, the fossil which started the formation is still visible in the rock.

Seraphinite or clinochlore is a forest green and silver stone with an iridescent, fibrous appearance. Natural crystal formation is tabular and the stone is mined in Russia's Ural Mountains and in Bahia, Brazil.

Shark Tooth
Prehistoric sharks' teeth may be black, brown, or gray, depending on the minerals in the soil in which they have been buried. Sand at the bottom of the ocean preserved and fossilized the teeth, and wave action uncovers and washes them ashore. Many fossil shark teeth have been collected from the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Shells are mineral structures formed by aquatic creatures and land mollusks. Lustrous shells including mother-of-pearl have been carved into cameos and buttons since antiquity. The beauty and variety of shells make them a sought-after decorative material.

Smoky Quartz
The relatively abundant mineral smoky quartz ranges in color from almost black to nearly colorless. Gem quality specimens are mined from the Swiss Alps and from Pike's Peak in Colorado. Dark smoky quartz is sometimes heat-treated to give it a lighter color which appears more brilliant when cut.

Opaque and royal blue with white veins, sodalite is found all over the world, sometimes in huge deposits. Often mistaken for lapis lazuli because of its color, sodalite has been used for decorative purposes since Egyptian times. Today, in addition to its decorative uses, a sodalite solution is used in some commercial swimming pool test kits.

Sphalerite, also known as blende or zinc blende, is the primary ore mineral of zinc. When pure, it forms clear red crystals. When more iron is present, sphalerite appears in the form of dark, opaque metallic crystals.

Sterling silver piece features an authentic vintage postage stamp displayed behind a thin pane of glass.

The mineral staurolite takes its name from the Greek stauros, meaning "cross."  Its unique shape has historically been used in amulets called "fairy crosses."  Found in Taos, New Mexico and Fannin, Georgia.   

Stromatolite comes from mounds or outcroppings on the ocean floor, which were often a result of the activity of ancient microorganisms. Abundant in Precambrian times, stromatolite formation is are less common today.

Bright purple sugilite is a rare gemstone named for the Japanese scientist who first described it in the 1940s.

Tektite is glass formed during the impact of a meteor's collision with the Earth. Tektites are found in areas known as "strewnfields," or areas associated with a meteor crater. Moldavite is tektite found in the Czech Republic in an area associated with a 15 million-year-old German crater.

The fine silver craftsmen of Tibet use their skills to make beautiful jewelry from genuine sterling silver, high quality gemstones and a long tradition of beautiful ethnic design.

Tibetan Om
Om is a sacred syllable used in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It appears at the beginning of the well-known Buddhist mantra of purification, Om Mani Padme Hum. The six syllables of this mantra translate to meditation, patience, discipline, wisdom, generosity, and diligence, respectively.

Tiger Eye
Tiger eye is a quartz variety named for its iridescence in rich brown and golden colors. Formed when asbestos fibers are converted to iron oxide and then silica, tiger eye is found mainly in South Africa.

Derived from "tapaz," the Sanskrit word for fire, topaz is one of the most brilliant cut gemstones in existence. Topaz comes in a variety of colors from yellow to blue, and deeper blues and pinks are often created by heat-treating stones. Brazil is the world's top exporter of topaz.

Tourmaline is a coveted stone that comes in a wide range of colors from black to pink, green and blue. Crystals which display more than one color together are common. A cross-section of a watermelon tourmaline crystal reveals green on the outside and pink within.

Trilobites were ancient sea-dwelling arthropods that lived in shallow coastal areas. They survived for approximately 350 million years beginning in the Cambrian period and are the earliest animal to exhibit evidence of eyesight in the fossil record.

Beautiful turquoise is a phosphate mineral popular all over the world. Mined since 5000 BC, it is one of the first gemstones known to be used by humans. Color variation from sky-blue to medium green is affected by differing amounts of copper and iron, more copper giving the stone a bluer color and more iron a greener one. Beautiful light blue turquoise is mined in Northern Iran and other varieties occur in Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.

The Buddhist umbrella symbol represents wealth and protection.

Rust and green colored unakite is a combination of pink feldspar, green epidote and quartz. Named for the Unakas Mountains in North Carolina, it can also be found on beaches in the Great Lakes region. Unakite is the state stone of Virginia.

The vajra is an ancient Eastern weapon and is used as in Buddhist religious rites and symbolism to represent indestructibility.

Fossilized walrus ivory is excavated and collected by Eskimos along the coast of the Bering Sea. It is between 500 and 3000 years old.

Zeolites are a group of silicate minerals with an open crystal structure. More than 50 different types of zeolite show dramatic crystal structure. Zeolites occur in many colors depending on the trace minerals present.

Zircon, perhaps best known as a substitute for diamond, has a brilliance approaching that of diamond, but is softer and has different refractive properties. Zircon has been mined in Sri Lanka for over 2,000 years. In addition to the colorless variety, it is also found in red, yellow, blue, green, and brown. Much of the zircon sold as cubic zirconium is created in a laboratory.