California Gemstones & Minerals

The following is a list of California gems and minerals listed in our database. Click the pictures to get full data, click the X to remove the gem from the list.

Benitoite

Benitoite: Benitoite is a rare gemstone / mineral that fluoresces when lit by black lights. It gets its name from San Benito County, California where it was first found. This gem is almost always blue (it was originally thought to be a sapphire) but also has variations in purple, pink, and clear. Gem prices seem to fluctuate but a few hundred dollars per half ct is common. Why so expensive? The quality gem (read full)

Axinite

Axinite: Axinite is a honey brownish to dark brown gem that is named after the axe head like crystal structures that are usually found. It is usually found in and around granite deposits, and is often mistaken (and sometimes sold by mistake) as smokey quartz. The gem is piezoelectric and because of this has been used to remove hair and lint from unwanted objects. A negative side effect of this is that it (read full)

Chalcedony

Chalcedony: Chalcedony is a compact form of silica, composed of microscopic quartz crystals. It is softer than quartz and denser than opal. Its appearance may range from transparent to translucent to opaque. The main types are chalcedony, which is uniformly colored, and agate, which has curved bands or zones of varying color. Varieties include the red to reddish brown, translucent carnelian, the red, opaqu (read full)

Dumortierite

Dumortierite: Dumortierite is a variety of gemstone of basic aluminum borosilicate with an orthorhombic crystal system. It appears usually in columnar or fibrous, radiating aggregates, sometimes reddish brown, dark blue, violet-blue. On the rare occasions that dumortierite forms crystals, they are prismatic. Faceted or prismatic blue or violet samples are rare, due to scarcity of individual crystals. It is (read full)

Hessonite

Hessonite: Hessonite is the brown-orange variety of Grossular, a nesosilicate in the Garnet group, with an isometric crystal system. It appears with dodecahedral or trapezohedral crystals, cinnamon-brown to orange because of its iron content. Its color matches that of the oil of cinnamon. It also appears as golden-yellow, yellow-brown, or reddish-brown. It is very hard, heavy, fragile, has no cleavage. It (read full)

Vesuvianite

Vesuvianite: Vesuvianite is a hydrous calcium magnesium aluminum silicate with a tetragonal crystal system. It is the preferred name used by mineralogists for all transparent varieties of Idocrase, the name used by gemmologists. It is a gem mineral that appears in diverse colors, and thus is prized by collectors. A compact green variety of vesuvianite that looks like jade is known as californite. A greenish-b (read full)

Grossular Garnet

Grossular Garnet: Grossular is a nesosilicate in the Garnet group, with an isometric crystal system. Together with uvarovite and andradite, the three are known as the "ugrandite garnets," an isomorphous series of calcium garnet minerals. It appears with dodecahedral or trapezohedral crystals of various colors; normally characterized by a green color, but also may be colorless, pale green or milky when pure, cinnam (read full)

Howlite

Howlite: Howlite an opaque, massive mineral used for ornamental and utilitarian articles. is a rarity for collectors It has a monoclinic tabular crystal system with a subvitreous luster. The most common occurrence is in the form of a cauliflower. Howlite is found in borate deposits, with most ornamental pieces found from various sites in California (USA) and Mexico. It occurs as opaque white, and may be (read full)

Indicolite

Indicolite: Indicolite is the blue sodium-rich variety of Tourmaline, and may come in all shades of blue, from light-blue, violet-blue to deep red or deep green. It generally appears quite a deep blue, even the color of dark blue ink, perhaps appearing green in one direction because of its strong pleochroism. Sometimes indicolite is an overall greenish blue, which, unlike the color of greenish blue sapphire, (read full)

Spodumene

Spodumene: Spodumene is a lithium aluminum silicate that crystallizes in the monoclinic system. It is one of several rock-forming minerals in the Pyroxene group, which are physically-related as their chemical content is quite similar and forms a chain. Fellow pyroxenes are jadeite, enstatite, diopside, hypersthene, augite, acmite, hedenbergite, pigeonite, and aegirineaugite. It appears as prismatic crystals (read full)

Fire Agate

Fire Agate: Fire Agate is a term applied to much of the variety of chalcedony that occurs as botryoidal, consisting of crystals of minute platy inclusion of an iron mineral goethite or limonite minerals over the layers of chalcedony, producing a vivid rainbow containing every color in the spectrum, an iridescent, fire-like appearance, with careful polishing away of the brown outside layers. When polished, it (read full)

Petalite

Petalite: Petalite is a lithium aluminum silicate that is an important ore of lithium. This mineral forms, rarely, as small crystals, which are commonly twinned. More often, petalite forms as large, cleavable masses. It may be white, grey, pinkish, yellow, or colorless. It is transparent to translucent, with a vitreous to pearly luster, and fuses with difficulty. It forms in very coarse-grained, acid igne (read full)

Jadeite

Jadeite: Jadeite is a silicate of sodium and aluminum, and is a member of the Clinopyroxene group of minerals. It is so called because it is the source of one of the ornamental materials commonly known as Jade. It has a monoclinic crystal system, and occurs as granular aggregates of small crystals, but has occasionally been found in crystals of a few centimeters. The color varies a great deal because of t (read full)

Carnelian

Carnelian: Carnelian is a variety of chalcedony, which is translucent and is red to reddish-brown. It may also occur as flesh-colored chalcedony, known as cornelian or carnelian. It is slightly similar in appearance to its relation, the dark brown chalcedony, sard. The colour of cornelian is caused by colloidally dispersed hematite. Other reddish chalcedonies may have been colored by heating since if they (read full)

Meerschaum

Meerschaum: Meerschaum is a clay-like hydrous magnesium silicate. It has no crystals, and occurs as earthy aggregates, porcellanous masses, nodular, and porous. In the fresh state it is soapy and soft, but hard when dried. It sticks to the tongue and its taste sets the teeth on edge. It is opaque, has flat conchoidal, earthy fracture, and an orthorhombic microcrystalline system. Because of its high porosity (read full)

Schorl Tourmaline

Schorl Tourmaline: Schorl is the black, opaque, sodium iron rich variety of Tourmaline, a complex borosilicate with a trigonal crystal system.
Tourmalines usually occur as long, three-sided prisms, which often have well-terminated ends. Sometimes they are found as parallel or radiating groups of long, thin prisms with striated ridges lining its surface. Its varieties span the widest color ranges in the mineral (read full)

Morganite

Morganite: Morganite is a pale red-purple, rose, salmon to purplish red, slightly pink, cesium-bearing variety of Beryl. The Beryl group of silicates includes the important gem varieties emerald, blue aquamarine, pink morganite, and red and yellow beryl. The color of morganite is usually a soft pink without any overtones. It has glassy luster, like other beryls, but its pleochroism is not noticeable. The p (read full)

Watermelon Tourmaline

Watermelon Tourmaline: Watermelon Tourmaline is a bi-colored/tri-colored/parti-colored occurrence of Tourmaline, and this appearance is usually a feature of the variety known as Elbaite. When cut parallel to its base, this tourmaline exhibits a rose-red center, a very thin colorless band parallel to the surface of the crystal, and a brown or green outer layer. In parti-colored tourmaline the core is nearly colorless an (read full)

Rutile

Rutile: Rutile with anatase and brookite is a trimorph of titanium oxide in the Rutile group.
It forms characteristic slender prismatic striated lengthways, variably terminated and often geniculate twinned crystals of the tetragonal system. Elbow- and heart-shaped (geniculated) twin crystals are common. It is hard, heavy, fragile, with perfect cleavage. It has a metallic to adamantine lustre an (read full)

Unarovite

Unarovite: Uvarovite is a rare, calcium-chromium emerald-green variety of Garnet. Together with grossular (calcium-aluminum) and andradite (calcium-iron), it makes up the series of ugrandite garnets. These three have similar crystal structure and form, but just have different chemical proportions. It occurs in mixed crystals, so there is a partial replacement of some elements by others. It stands out from t (read full)

Gold

Gold: Gold is a Native Element that appears in very rare, small, octahedral, cubic, and dodecahedral crystals. It normally occurs in very small, shapeless grains, sheets, and flakes. Dendrites are rare. Nuggets are common in alluvial or glacial deposits. It is of yellow color, varying in brightness, depending on the impurities present. This bright, rich yellow is resistant to tarnishing. Gold is often (read full)

Rubellite Tourmaline

Rubellite Tourmaline: Rubellite is the pink to red variety of Tourmaline, which is a complex borosilicate of aluminum and alkali, with iron, magnesium, and other cations. It is found as fine acicular crystals in rocks, or as large individual crystals grown upon matrix where they may reach a weight of several kilograms. Most form elongated and striated trigonal (three-sided) prisms and these are terminated with trigona (read full)

Epidote

Epidote: Epidote is widespread, forms a continuous series of minerals, ending with clinozoisite, which contains no iron. It occurs as crystals elongated and often striated parallel to length, and also as massive, fibrous, or granular habits. Epidote has a yellow-green color, ranges from yellowish-greenish to greenish-black. It has vitreous luster, and is transparent to nearly opaque. It has one perfe (read full)

Turquoise

Turquoise: Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum in the Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates group, with a triclinic crystal system. It rarely occurs as prismatic crystals. It is usually found as light-blue or green masses, nodules, and veins, sometimes filling cavities in various rocks. When it occurs as thin strips, it is tighter and brightly-colored at the center, lighter and porous on the (read full)

Enstatite

Enstatite: Enstatite is the most common silicate under the Orthopyroxene group in the larger classification of Pyroxene minerals (which are rock-forming silicates). Orthopyroxenes form a chemical series composed of the magnesium-rich enstatite, and the iron-containing bronzite and hypersthene. It has an orthorhombic crystal system and appears rarely as stubby, prismatic crystals, but more commonly in fibr (read full)

Labradorite

Labradorite: Labradorite is a sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar which displays a particular type of iridescence on a dark ground. Plagioclase feldspars are rock-forming, calcium-sodium minerals which form a continuous series ranging from albite, through oligoclase, andesine, labradorite, and bytownite to anorthite. Precise classification is generally not possible in hand specimens, and their physical properties (read full)

Spessartine

Spessartine: Spessartine is the manganese-aluminum variety of Garnet, belonging to its sub-group of aluminum garnets. Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that all crystallize in the isometric system and have the same chemical formula, but in a diversity of proportions, so garnets show up as different varieties, in a broad range of environments. Spessartine possesses the form typical of garnet crystals, w (read full)

Microcline

Microcline: Microcline is a silicate of potassium and aluminum, and an alkali member of the feldspar group. It is the phase of this compound that is stable at low temperature. The feldspars are major constituents of the rocks on the earth's crust and comprise some of the most important rock-forming minerals. The four feldspars - orthoclase, sanidine, microcline and anorthoclase - comprise a group called the (read full)