Q:

How many gemstones are there?

A:

Quick Answer

More than 130 different types of minerals are used for gemstones. The most popular gemstones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Other gemstones are classified as precious or semi-precious.

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Full Answer

When gemstones are found in their natural state, they are quite ordinary looking. A good polish is required to bring out the shine, brilliance or sparkle. Amethyst at one time was considered a precious gemstone. However, that changed when large reserves were found in Brazil, reducing its value. Two gemstones much rarer than diamonds, the alexandrite and tanzanite, can change color, depending on lighting conditions and the orientation at which the gemstones are viewed.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where are agate gemstones found?

    A:

    Agate gemstones are found in deposits in countries including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Mexico, India, and Poland. There are also deposits in American in states including Oregon, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and Michigan. Agate forms within pockets of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks including melaphyre, porphyry and granite.

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  • Q:

    Are diamonds rare?

    A:

    Diamonds aren't rare compared to other gemstones such as Tanzanite and black opal. The perception of rarity is created by the diamond suppliers, who release just enough diamonds into the market to meet current demand.

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  • Q:

    What are some tips for collecting gemstones for free?

    A:

    To collect gemstones for free, go rock hounding at old mines and quarries on public land. To find these public sites, ask for details at a local rock shop, look for mineral collecting books or visit the state's department of natural resources website.

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  • Q:

    Where can you sell raw gemstones?

    A:

    Raw gemstones are sold through online marketplaces, to local gemstone and jewelry stores, and at gem show exhibitions. Rough and cut stones are auctioned on eBay, Gem Rock Auctions and the Gemology Marketplace. Contact local sellers and gem societies to find out how to become an official seller.

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