Alexandrite is known for its color-changing ability. When viewed outside during daylight hours, the gem typically has a bluish-green color. Whereas, in the nighttime, the color changes to purple. Alexandrite is formed when the rare element chromium combines with aluminum and beryllium under the exact right conditions. Most alexandrite comes from Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil. Along with pearls, alexandrite is a June birthstone.
Tanzanite is found in only one place on earth, Tanzania. It features a blue to violet color and rivals the beauty of sapphires. Tanzanite wasn’t actually discovered until the late 1960s, when some Masai herders found the gem in Northern Tanzania. It is one of the designated birthstones for the month of December.
Benitoite has a higher dispersion than diamonds and typically features a blue color. Pink or colorless benitoite has also been found, but these colors are very rare. You’ll only find gem quality benitoites in one area, San Benito County in California (the gem is actually the official gemstone for California). Benitoite is one of the few minerals on Earth that contains both barium and titanium it its chemical composition.
Poudretteite is only found in Canada and Myanmar. The color of poudretteite can vary anywhere from colorless to pink. Poudretteite was named after the owners of the Quebec quarry where the gem was first discovered in the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until 1986 that poudretteite was officially recognized as a gemstone.
Grandidierite was first discovered in 1902 in Madagascar. Its name comes from the French explorer Alfred Grandidier. The gem has been found in only a few places in the world, including Namibia, Malawi, and Madagascar. It typically features a bluish-green color.
Musgravite was first discovered in 1967 in the Musgrave Range of Southern Australia. Other sources of musgravite include Greenland, Madagascar, Antarctica, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. The gem typically has a greyish-green color.
Red Beryl is formed when significant amounts of beryllium, manganese, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen are all present at the same time. Like its name implies, the color of this gem is pink to deeply saturated red. In addition to emeralds, red beryl is a member of the beryl family of gemstones and thus commonly has inclusions. Gem quality red beryl has only been found in Beaver County, Utah.
Painite features a dark reddish-brown color. It was first discovered in 1951 in Burma and officially identified as a new mineral in 1957. Before 2005, only two faceted painite gemstones were ever reported. After new locations were discovered in Burma, more painite gemstones became available. However, it’s still very rare to find a gem quality painite. It’s reported that only a few hundred have ever been faceted into gems.
Jadeite is one of the two types of pure jade (the other being nephrite). Unlike most of the other gems listed in this post, jadeite was first discovered thousands of years ago. Prized for its toughness, it was initially used for weapons and tools. The majority of jadeite comes from Burma. Other locations include Japan, Canada, Guatemala, Russia, and the United States. Jadeite typically features a green color.
Black Opal refers to opal that has a dark-colored background. The best quality black opals come from one location, New South Wales in Australia. They can also be found in Ethiopia, but these lack the high level of quality found in Australia.
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