Your favorite stone

Instead of disparaging gems/semi precious gems why not share your
favorite stone? My middle name is literally Pearl, so I’ve always
leaned towards them. My favorite color is green and I tend to seek
out the nice rick greens no matter the value perceived of it. Then
there is a whole different category. I love certain rocks, when cut
can be just as beautiful as the precious ones. I love Tiffany Stone
when it has the nice purples and pinks. But my current top of the
list is Satin Flash Opal.

Before you scratch your head about the last two, as soon as I get my
backside to stop hurting and get my camera out, I will take pictures
of both. Tiffany stone or bertrandite is a hazardous stone to cut. It
is the ore they get beryllium from. The mine that use to allow large
boulders to be taken out of the claim, is completely closed off
today. There is a rumor it might open up again, but I’m not holding
my breath.

Satin Flash Opal is mined near the Tiffany Stone. The area it comes
from is about the size of a football field. I’m good friends with the
two who have the mine. It is like Australian opal only in the fact
that no two stones will look alike. And they both have many and varied
versions of the same composition. Once it is polished there are those
who swear it is plastic. It is not. I will take pictures of both the
rough, the preforms I have and the cut and polished stones. The
background colors can range from a clear to gold to a beautiful pink.
When in the sun it doesn’t have the huge areas of rainbow color play
like the Australian opal, but it has pinpoint flashes of rainbow

Ok, now what are your favorites?

Aggie in Fl. dreaming of Tucson in Feb.

My favorite stone is a calibrated round diamond because it’s the
easiest to set. As far as my favorite stone to look at, I love opals,
but I hate to set them.

Lapis Lazuli, Jade,and Amber Sheri

Dear Agnes, sounds fun. My favorite is the plain old Agate. Whether
it is compressed by nature or it is heated by volcanoes, The agate is
seldom the same. I had a bazaar this weekend, and I had two trays of
stones for sale. Have to stop hording and start trying to sell. I had
two agates that were great, a sard and a non-dyed gold and green one.
No sooner had they sold than I went into moment of regret. I love the
crackled, the sard, the geode, the amethyst, the druzy, and even the
dyed. Because now they are coming up with spot dying and some really
attractive colors. I may enjoy agate because it is affordable and a
lot of it.Blessing from Alaska where my dog is recovering from a
moose attack.-

Well, Agnes, I don’t really have a favorite stone. I don’t wear
jewelery, is part of it, and in the making of it I can’t even say how
many different stones I’ve set, and they all had their merits. I’ll
describe a couple of really memorable stones I’ve encountered,
though. The first I didn’t actually encounter, though. “Gems and
Gemology” of Summer, 1983, volume XIX, had an article about Kashmir
sapphire. On page 65 is a photo of a 6.7ct stone the likes of which
most of us mortals will never see in our lives. Probably robin’s-egg
blue, very silky and it looks like there’s a light bulb inside,
making it glow. I like to describe it as blue ice cream. I keep that
issue over the years just because of that picture of that stone. You
can buy it but you can’t see it for free: It is uniquely beautiful
and one of the rarest gems on Earth - probably around a million…

When I was working for a shop, I had to work on a diamond of 10-12
carats or so. It was the only diamond that I truly wanted to keep -
I don’t mean steal, I just coveted it. The base diamond was D color,
likely flawless. The diamond itself was no better that I3, because
in between that D color material was a perfect matrix of (probably
garnet) crystals arranged in a 3D grid to a perfection that only a
diamond crystal can have. It was a perfect diamond with a perfect 3D
chess board, slightly greenish, imbedded inside the stone, top to
bottom and side to side. This was something you could easily see
with the naked eye from a couple of feet away. It was a most
extraordinary stone and it was extraordinarily beautiful, too, not
just some strange thing. I’ve never see or heard of anything like
it, before or since.

Hello Agnes,

Drusy and rutilated quartz are favorites here. Customers are always
attracted to the sparkle of drusy, and whenever I wear it, there are
many compliments. When the rutiles are ‘arranged’ in a spray and the
quartz is backed with onyx, the stone is breath-taking!

Judy in Kansas, where the Christmas lights are up and, (darnit!) now
some portions of the string aren’t lighting. Sometimes…

those two “stones” sound like some marketing gimmicks or assembled
stones which I personally, not to be snobby, but would never
use.It’s like when “rainbow calsilica” showed up and then was
discovered to be layers of noxious stoneware glazes that had packed
into layers in run off in Mexico being cut and sold as
cabachons…Satin flash opal? “Tiffany stone”- I have studied gems
and minerals and never heard of it…sounds again like something one
hears on a TV jewel show- people market all kinds of treated stuff in
Tuscon, in North Carolina and all gem shows in between…some is real,
some treated and some completely man made ( goldstone is a good
example - it started in the 18th century if not before when copper
filings got mixed into some glass…and voila it has been used ever
since !)…I prefer natural, deeply coloured stuff like chrome
diopside, clear gemmy sugalite, and natural (neon) blue apatite, but
my favorite cab is covellite - but it is soft and increasingly rare,
the mines having been largely covered by roads/highways.make it more
coveted or only old material is available to lap…and it breaks
down.Beware of fake stuff when just starting out…many clients don’t
put much value on treated stones or assembled materials, and
perceived value is a selling point…rer

Jasper - such variety of colors, patterns and sources. A wonderfully
cabbed Willow Creek or Morrison Ranch jasper stone set in sterling
suspended from a simple chain generates oohs and aahs for the person
fortunate to be wearing the necklace.

Hello Mr. Rourke, I too love covellite, and I have a little I might
share. Check with me offline, @Thomas_H_Louthen_III, if interested

I have a lapidary shop, with everything except for faceting
equipment. I have done some free form faceting, but the repetition in
fine faceting is more than I can make myself do. One of my many
favorites is chrysocolla stained quartz/chrysocolla in quartz/gem
silica. The different names are appropriate when used properly. Gem
silica is a good durable stone, usually opaque, and holds a great
polish, runs about a 6 to 6&1/2 hardness and is a blue that nothing
else quite matches. There are drusy forms with a little more softness
in the same blue color, with all that great sparkle in the crystal
points. The (better?) pieces, at least the higher priced, is at least
semi-translucent, and they tend toward 6&1/2 to 7 in hardness. My
favorite, (the best?) at least normally the highest price, is a
beautiful and clear blue. Cut right, you can reveal a beautiful
chatoyancy, if you are lucky enough to find the right pieces of
rough. Anyone out there that has nice pieces, (must be untreated),
for sale or trade, please let me know offline. I have literally tons
of stone, about half of which are way more rare than diamonds. With
all that to choose from, I have many “favorite stones”. I have never
quite liked the term “semi-precious”, it makes everything too black
and white. Fire agates for instance, again good material, cut
properly (carved) is time consuming and can reveal some startlingly
beautiful and bright patterns and colors that are in the 6&1/2 to
7&1/2 hardness range. I know this is still a little soft, but I have
seen what customers can do to sapphires and rubies. While most fire
agates don’t go above 100.00 or so, those that do are usually
spectacular stones that should not be referred to as semi-precious.
Every rock hound in the world has encountered some exceptions to the
semi-precious term. That is one of the main motivators for spending
the hours that don’t pay each day, running the slab saws slice after
slice, hoping for that one super slab. Obviously my favorite
subject!! Thomas III

Emerald. Bright, clean emeralds that are green from all the way
across the room.

Elliot Nesterman

Fire Agate…

I have one of the dark brown background with color “bubbles” if you
would… Glowing red, reddish-brown, yellow, purple, blue…
Scattered throughout the cab…

Gorgeous, and durable…Took me 10 years to scuff up the cab, my
personal ring, and I’m a klutz with jewelry…My Josten’s UWM class
ring only lasted 4, and that was with black onyx, which should be
the same, by gemological standards…

And then, there’s the nice stuff…

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)

My favorite stone is a calibrated round diamond because it's the
easiest to set. As far as my favorite stone to look at, I love
opals, but I hate to set them. 

I didn’t think of the question this way, but I 100% agree. Some of
the gem my black opals that I saw in Australia were amazing.

Jamie King,

My favorite stones are all colored stones. Some are more valuable
than others. But in no particular order: Alexandrite Tanzanite Star
sapphire or star ruby Green sapphire The deeper red rubies Pearls
Opal Oregon sunstone Spinel Tsavorite garnet Morganite Rhodolite
garnet Fancy diamonds (blues, greens, purples) I won’t write an
essay on why I like each one. Basically, looking at a spectacular
specimen or a particularly stunning piece of jewelry using any of
those gems evokes an emotional reaction in me akin to hearing my one
of my favorite pieces of the most beautiful music I know. The first
time I saw the Starry Night sapphire on display at GIA, the only
thing I could do was breathe in awe, “What hath God wrought.”

I’m obsessed with all things opal…black, white, crystal, boulder,
boulder-matrix. Mostly Australian. I’ve worked with some Brazilian
opal, but I haven’t really worked with Wello yet. I’m a little
worried about the whole “hydrophane” thing. But I loves me some

I’m also getting a little obsessed with red spinel. I like putting
opal and spinel together. Actually, I think everything is improved
with a little bit of opal! I think this might turn out to be a fun


Diamond of course! Not the perfect hearts ‘n arrows, but a diamond
with flaws that make it something extra. They exist in the past more
than the present. No criticism of today’s perfection but the
’something extra’ lies in imperfection recognized and exploited.


Drusy and rutilated quartz are favorites here. Customers are
always attracted to the sparkle of drusy, and whenever I wear it,
there are many compliments. 

If you have gemstone collection which is in a vault and nobody but
you will ever see them. Which ones would you choose, and why? Let’s
assume that money is not the issue. Your budget is unlimited.

Leonid Surpin


to me opals are my favorite number one! Original australian opals
from Queensland…awsome! I’m lost when I see multicolor patterned
black opals. A complete meltdown is caused by the rare picture opals,
they are to dye for…I can’t help it.

Another gemstone I realy like is Ammolite for it’s one of a kind
colorplay and the only place to find them in Alberta (Canada)

I’m not going to talk about them. This could end up in a veryvery
long story-)

Have fun and enjoy

Color shifting sapphires, natural color diamonds, jadite.

My favourite stones are those that have light effects such as opals
and cats eye or star stones. I love cutting and polishing them as
there is a satisfaction in getting out of them a phenomenon that is
often very well hidden in the rough. I can empathise with Shekina
when it comes to selling them as you cannot price the story that
goes with each stone.

Nick Royall