Phenomenal Gems – Unique Phenomena in Gemstones

Step 5: Advanced Gem Information

Lesson 3

Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl - phenomenal gem
Phenomenal gems, like this cat’s eye chrysoberyl, display striking visual effects created by the interaction of light and the gemstone. However, not all visual effects are considered phenomenal. Some phenomenal effects are not well known, and others are not yet well understood, even by gemologists. “Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl 6.05 $18,500” by Ian Brown in licensed under CC By-ND 2.0

What Are Phenomenal Gems?

Some optical effects in gemstones, such as color, brilliance, dispersion, and birefringence, can be quite impressive. However, not all optical effects are considered phenomenal. A few gems do things with light that may seem magical. These are called phenomenal gems. Some of the most well-known examples in this category are opals with their fabulous play of color, alexandrites that change color, and star sapphires. This article covers these and more phenomenal effects as …

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