About

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison's interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth's geological processes began in her elementary school's environmental club. When she isn't writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

Articles by


Addison Rice

Agate Buying Guide

Decorative, patterned forms of agate are excellent natural gems. Learn more about agate’s mesmerizing patterns in our agate buying guide.

Akoya Pearls: the Complete Guide

Since the beginning of the cultured pearl industry, Akoya pearls have ruled the market. Learn more about the quintessential round, white pearl.…

Alexandrite Buying Guide

Vivid color change makes alexandrite one of the world’s most coveted stones. Our alexandrite buying guide can help you find the best gem for your…

Amber Buying Guide

One of the earliest known gems, amber’s bright sunshine hues delight and enthrall. Learn more about this ancient gem’s qualities in our amber…

Amethyst Buying Guide

Long valued for its purple color and symbolic associations, amethyst is a versatile gem. Our amethyst buying guide can help you pick an excellent…

Ammolite Buying Guide

With bright rainbow iridescence, ammolite is sure to draw attention. Read about this gem’s unique quality factors before your next ammolite…

Aquamarine Buying Guide

No gem evokes the blue-green colors of the sea like aquamarine. Our aquamarine buying guide can help you choose the best gemstone for your jewelry…

Chrysoprase Buying Guide

With bright, apple-green hues, chrysoprase makes an attractive, eye-catching jewelry stone. If you’re looking for a top-quality gem, read…

Citrine Buying Guide

Citrine’s affordable autumn hues make it a great option for trendy jewelry. Read about the quality factors for this stylish gem in our citrine…

Conch Pearl Buying Guide

Considering a conch pearl buying trip to the Caribbean? Quality factors for these gems differ from colored gemstones. Before you make a purchase,…

Crystalline Quartz Buying Guide

Although often overlooked, quartz is available in many styles at reasonable prices. Our crystalline quartz buying guide can help you pick your…

Demantoid Garnet Buying Guide

Stunning green hues and a brilliance that outshines diamond combine to make demantoids truly captivating. Read more in our demantoid garnet buying…

Eight Opal Types Explained

Opal is a complicated gemstone, and many factors affect its price. Learn how to distinguish these eight opal types and how they differ in value.…

Emerald Buying Guide

Our emerald buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.…

Freshwater Cultured Pearls

As consumers compare price and quality, freshwater cultured pearls are rapidly becoming more popular than Akoyas. Learn more about these amazing…

Garnet Buying Guide

With so many colors and varieties available, garnet buying can be daunting. Whether starting your collection or completing it, our guide can help.…

Gems in Cufflinks

Wearing gems in cufflinks is a great way to add personality and style to an otherwise standard tuxedo. Read about ways to incorporate gems in cufflinks.…

Gemstone Toxicity Table

Gem faceters and jewelry enthusiasts alike should learn about gemstone toxicity. This table has toxicity ratings for 280+ gems, based on their…

How Do Opals Form?

Curious about how opals form and show such stunning colors? Learn about the scientific theories behind opal formation and why some opals show a…

How Do Pearls Form?

Do pearls form around grains of sand trapped in oysters? Learn the facts about pearl formation and the various mollusks that create these organic…

How to Start a Gem Collection

Although many gem enthusiasts want to become collectors, they may not know where to begin. Read this article for tips on how to start a gem collection.…

Identifying Opal Patterns

Opal connoisseurs all have their favorite opal patterns. Learn how to identify the patterns of these beautiful gems with plenty of photo and video…

Iolite Buying Guide

Soft, violet-blue hues have made iolite a popular stone. Read about the quality factors for this trendy gem in our iolite buying guide.

Jade Buying Guide

“The Stone of Heaven,” jade has an unmatched elegance. Learn more about the unique quality factors of both jadeite and nephrite in our jade…

Kunzite Buying Guide

Rare and fragile, kunzite challenges lapidaries and delights jewelry aficionados. Our kunzite buying guide can help you add this gem to your collection.…

Lapis Lazuli Buying Guide

Our lapis lazuli buying guide can help you learn how to grade these gems, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the…

Malaya Garnet Buying Guide

Rare malaya garnets come in many colors and make wonderful jewelry stones for any style. Learn the 4Cs of this gem in our malaya garnet buying guide.…

Melo Pearl Buying Guide

Bright orange colors and flames that seem to dance across the surface make the melo pearl a fascinating gem choice. Learn how to find a quality specimen.…

Moonstone Buying Guide

With sheen reminiscent of moonlight, moonstone is treasured across civilizations. Our moonstone buying guide can help you pick a gem for your…

Morganite Buying Guide

Morganite has become a popular jewelry stone, especially for engagement rings. Our morganite buying guide can help you pick a great gem for any…

Natural Pearls vs Cultured Pearls

Many consumers don’t understand the difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls. Learn what these terms mean and how to distinguish…

Opal Prospecting and Mining

Headed out to the opal fields? Read on to learn more about opal prospecting and mining, plus some expert tips for finding precious opal beneath your…

Paraíba Tourmaline Buying Guide

Paraíba’s neon blue hues stunned the gem world in the 1980s. Read about the quality factors for this striking gem in our paraíba tourmaline…

Pearl Buying Guide

In this golden age of pearls, a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors are available. Our pearl buying guide can help you select a pearl you’ll…

Pearl Treatments and Enhancements

Did you know that routine pearl treatments are the most common enhancements in the gem trade? Learn more about these procedures and how they impact…

Precious Coral Buying Guide

Deep-water coral displays bright, rich reds and delicate pinks. Our precious coral buying guide will help you choose a gem for your next jewelry…

Raw Stone Jewelry Design and Care

There’s no denying the raw stone jewelry trend. Read this article for tips on incorporating raw stones into your jewelry design and for cleaning…

Rutilated Quartz Buying Guide

Silky golden rutile inclusions in quartz have become quite popular. Read our rutilated quartz buying guide to help you choose a stone for your next…

Synthetic Opal Types

Distinguishing synthetic opal from a mined gem is a vital skill for opal dealers. Learn about five different types of lab-made opal and what they…

Tanzanite Buying Guide

More than just a simulant for sapphire, tanzanite’s vivid hues have stunned the gem world. Our tanzanite buying guide can help you find a gem you’ll…

Ten Gemstones Rarer than Diamond

From the seemingly common to the utterly obscure, you wouldn’t guess these ten gemstones are rarer than a diamond! If you’re looking for something…

Tourmaline Buying Guide

Known for stunning, saturated hues, tourmaline is a colorful and modern gemstone. Read about quality factors for this gem in our tourmaline buying…

Trapiche Gems: An Introduction

Satisfying the human desire for symmetry, trapiche gems have a special allure. Learn what makes these rarities so unique in our introductory article.…

Tridacna Pearl Buying Guide

Clam pearls can grow to be some of the largest in the world. Learn more about these aquatic gems and how to buy a top-quality tridacna pearl of your…

Turquoise Buying Guide

Revered for millennia, sky blue turquoise still has a dedicated following. Our turquoise buying guide can help you pick a gem for your next jewelry…

Watermelon Tourmaline Buying Guide

Looking for a fun summertime gem? Watermelon tourmaline adds a pop of color that’s perfect for a playful summer look. Learn about the quality factors…

Zircon Buying Guide

Long valued for its brilliance, zircon is a natural and affordable beauty. Learn more about the quality factors for this gem in our zircon buying…