Gemstone history, legend, lore and other fun, non-technical articles.

Alternative Birthstones

Not happy with your birthstone? Explore these alternative birthstones associated with astrological signs, angels, the hour or day of your birth, and more.

foundation stones of the New Testament - amethyst
The Foundation Stones of the New Testament

The foundation stones of Revelation in the New Testament influenced the growth of the idea of birthstones. Learn more about this connection here.

Jackie Kennedy Engagement Ring
10 Most Famous Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings

Colored gemstone engagement rings are a trend that has been around for awhile, and the results are unforgettable and beautiful.

What is my Birthstone?

The idea of a single birthstone for each month is a modern idea with a long history, but today's consumers can choose gems from traditional or modern lists.

10 gemstones rarer than diamonds
10 Gemstones Rarer than a Diamond

They say a diamond is a girl’s best friend. But would she feel the same way if she knew that diamonds are not very rare? Check out these 10 stunning and gemstones that you wouldn't have guessed are rarer than diamonds.

The Sacred Emerald Buddha

Carved in Thailand in 2006 from a 3,600-ct. emerald, “The Sacred Emerald Buddha” has a message of peace. Read the inside story of this amazing sculpture.

moonstone symbolism - necklace
Moonstone Symbolism

While moonstone has many popular mystical associations with the Moon, it's also connected to meditation and love. Learn about moonstone symbolism and lore.

sapphire symbolism - ring
Sapphire Symbolism

Beautiful blue colors and the star stone effect have influenced sapphire symbolism through the ages. Learn more about the legends surrounding this gem.

pearl symbolism - Dole Plantation
Pearl Symbolism

Prized for millennia, pearls are organic gems with strong associations with The Moon, high value, and femininity. Learn more about pearl symbolism and lore.

topaz symbolism - faceted American Golden
Topaz Symbolism

Topaz's most popular mystical association has been with wealth. However, topaz symbolism and lore also covers areas such as health, love, and astrology.

emerald symbolism - heart-shaped cut
Emerald Symbolism

Emerald symbolism encompasses not only royalty but also wit, eloquence, and foresight. Learn more about the legends surrounding this prized jewelry stone.

ruby symbolism - star stone
Ruby Symbolism

Many cultures have long considered ruby a king's gem. Not surprisingly, ruby symbolism and lore have many associations with power, wealth, and protection.

faceted Welo opal - opal symbolism
Opal Symbolism

Once the stone of kings, the fragile opal has a convoluted personality and lore. Opal symbolism is as varied as the play of color of the stone itself.

turquoise symbolism - Zuni pin
Turquoise Symbolism

Many people consider beautiful sky blue turquoise stones to be lucky. Learn about the turquoise symbolism and lore of Native American and other cultures.

jade symbolism - Mayan pendant
Jade Symbolism

Both jadeite and nephrite have inspired beautiful works of art and a rich body of lore. Jade symbolism covers themes of harmony, eternity, and virtue.

malachite symbolism - travels
Malachite Symbolism

Behind every mystical gem is a merchant, and since ancient times malachite has been “the salesman's stone.” Learn more about malachite symbolism and lore.

amethyst symbolism - fantasy cut
Amethyst Symbolism

Long associated with preventing drunkenness, amethyst has other purported spiritual and protective powers. Learn more about amethyst symbolism and lore.

onyx symbolism - cameo
Onyx Symbolism

Onyx symbolism and lore is filled with negative associations. Learn how people have counteracted these purported effects and enjoy this beautiful, dark gem.

carnelian symbolism - Sassanid era seal
Carnelian Symbolism

Carnelian symbolism and lore covers health, luck, and royalty. However, just wearing these gems isn't always effective. Would-be Napoleons beware.

Lapis Lazuli Symbolism

How do you say “love me” with a stone? Learn about lapis lazuli symbolism and legends. This beautiful blue mineral has fascinated people for millennia.

amber symbolism - floral motif earring
Amber Symbolism

Amber has a long history of ornamental use and popular associations with animals, energy, and The Sun. Learn more about amber symbolism and lore.

Opals in the Australian Outback

Peter Brusaschi explains how he felt when he first discovered the opal town of Yowah in the outback opal fields of Australia.

The world’s largest cut cat’s-eye chrysoberyl

The Eye of the Lion.This Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl is the largest cut example in the world(as documented by the Smithsonian Institute)with a fascinating history

Interviews

The transcription of the interview of International Gem Society IGS with C.D. Parsons of Santa Paula, Calif. and Gerald Wykoff GG, CSM.

Rose Quartz Stone
Gemstones with Health Benefits

Learn about some gemstones said to have physical and emotional healing benefits.

Sharing the Fun and Folklore of Gemology

My goal is to share with each of you the fun and folklore or gemstones. Since this is my first article for IGS, my goal is to introduce you to the difference between a rock, mineral and a gemstone.

Old Mine Tales

Old Mine Tales that were submitted as letters to Faceter's Digest. They are a personal history of the author's experiences with the mines in North Carolina

Out Back Mining Company

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what he has to share about Oregon Sunstone Mining - Out Back Mining Company.

Double Eagle Mining Company

Jeff R Graham shares his opinions on various topics on Just Ask Jeff. See what his thoughts are on Oregon Sunstone Mining - Double Eagle Mining Company.

What Are Carbonados and Black Diamonds?

Although called "black diamonds," carbonados are a polycrystalline material. Learn how they may have originated in ancient supernova explosions.

emerald unguentarium - world's largest emeralds
The World’s Largest Emeralds

Emerald crystals can grow very large. Learn about some of the world’s largest emeralds, old and new, uncut or faceted, rough or carved.

Gemstone Crossword Puzzle Collection

Our gemstone crossword puzzle collection is a fun and challenging way to test your knowledge of gemology, whether you’re an amateur or advanced student.

Gemology For Kids: Games And Activities

Make gemology for kids educational and fun with these gemstone-themed games for all ages. Try these solo and party activities.

Master Diamond Cutter Mike Botha Takes On Esperanza

The Esperanza is the most valuable diamond ever mined in the US. Learn the story behind the find and the unique triolette cut designed to showcase this gem.