Shell Gemstones & Minerals

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


Shell: Shell is the hard, protective, outer layer covering of certain creatures found in saltwater or freshwater, such as mollusks, snails, and turtles. This layer consists of calcium-carbonate and chitin, secreted by the soft tissue mantle of most mollusks. The inner surface of the shell is made from smooth nacre which covers the mantle.
Shell is used as inexpensive material for various purposes (read full)


Amber: Amber is one of the few organic gemstones that exist. Amber is made when tree resin is fossilized. Most people I speak with directly think that its sap, but this is not the case. The word sap and resin are used almost interchangeably but there are a few differences. Sap is the sugar and water mixture found in trees, while resin is the liquid that oozes from cuts in the trees outer shell. Due to i (read full)


Pearl: Pearl is one of four main ornamental materials that are classified as "organic" gems, the other three being coral, ivory, and amber. About 92 percent of pearl is calcium carbonate, in the form of aragonite crystals, held together by an organic substance (concholin), which is identical to the horny outer layer of oyster shells, plus a small quantity of water. Mother-of-pearl has a simila (read full)


Obsidian: Obsidian is an extrusive igneous rock, a volcanic glass formed by rapid cooling. Its essential component is glass. Its accessory components are magnetite, ilmenite, oxides and other minerals, such as feldspar. It has the same composition as dacite or rhyolite, with less than 1 percent water. Its color is shiny black, with clear conchoidal (shell-like)fracture, its texture glassy with rare micr (read full)


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)


Opal: Opal is hydrated silicon dioxide. It has the same chemical composition as quartz but contains about one-tenth (and sometimes as much as one-third) water. It is never crystalline, but it displays a rich play of colors, or "fire" caused by the internal refraction of light by the array of tiny spheres of amorphous silica which for a compact, three-dimensional network in the mineral. It may be somew (read full)


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)


Smithsonite: Smithsonite is a mineral in the group of Nitrates, Carbonates, Borates, with a hexagonal crystal system. It appears uncommonly in rhombohedral or scalenohedral crystals. But most of the time it appears with curved faces, like a thick creamy aqua-green mixture poured on rock and left to aggregate in clusters shaped like bunches of grapes, rounded, kidney-like, or to form like elegant icicles, and (read full)


Zircon: Zircon is a zirconium silicate with a tetragonal crystal system, and also contains thorium and uranium. It appears as stubby, prismatic, isolated or sometimes dipyramidal, like two pyramids connected at their bases; or in twins, colorless to yellow, red, brown, gray or green, in irregular granules. It is very hard, heavy, with indistinct cleavage, and shell-like fracture. It is sometimes perfect (read full)