Tag Archive | diaspore

Call it what you will

We’re all used to the majority of gems being called by their name:
Diamond is diamond;

Opal is opal;

Turquoise is turquoise;

Even in it’s many different colours Topaz is still Topaz.

Emerald is emerald…well actually it’s Beryl…as is Morganite, Aquamarine, Heliodore and Goshenite!  What distinguishes each of these is the colour that the gem comes in (green, pink, pale blue, yellow and colourless respectively).

Ruby, well that’s actually a form of Corundum, called Ruby only when it is red, when it is pinky orange it is called Padparadscha.  All other colours of Corundum are called sapphires so you can find all kinds of sapphires, such as the green one below.



Green sapphire


Tourmaline comes in a variety of colours and several of these have particular names too.  When it is red/pink it is Rubellite, green is Verdelite, blue is the fabulous Indicolite and colourless is Achroite.

Tanzanite is a form of zoisite, Morganite is a Beryl and they were both named by Tiffany and Co.

Amazonite is a type of Feldspar, as is Labradorite.  Incidentally Feldspar is the most prolific mineral in the Earth’s continental crust and can be found on Mars!  This is a good example of two types of mineral which are chemically related but clearly very different.

Quartz (the second most abundant mineral behind Feldspar) has another wide variation in colour, and many names or nicknames to go with it.  From the yellow citrine, to stunning purple amethyst (and of course the incredible ametrine is therefore part of this family).

Another variation is green quartz, sometimes referred to as green amethyst although if we were going to be strict about it that’s not it’s real name!  So we are going to go with the official Prasiolite, and here’s an example:



However the quartz pseudonyms don’t stop there, even more strangely Chalcedony (see ring below), Agate, Onyx, Jasper, Tigers Eye, Aventurine and Carnelian are all types of quartz that you might not guess from the name!



Blue Chalcedony



Smokey Quartz


Of course the feminine pink of rose quartz to the stunning brown hues of smokey quartz (ring above) and the fascinating Rutilated Quartz are also, more obviously part of the family.

Another slight confusion may arise when considering the names of gems in that often the gem quality variation of a type of mineral has a different name to the non-gem form, Csarite/Diaspore, Peridot/Olivine and Iolite/Cordierite by way of example.


Call them what you will, they’re all beautiful to us!

Turkish Delight…Csarite

This is a gemstone you may not have heard of, whilst it’s use is increasing in popular jewellery and it has made many appearances on the red carpet, this is an incredibly rare gem and still unknown in many areas.

Csarite has some amazing features, in particular the ability to display different colours under different lights.  Under natural light this gem displays light green colours, but under candlelight it displays colours in the pink range, and a whole lot in between.  If colour change alone wasn’t enough, Csarite also displays chatoyancy or a “cat’s eye” effect which means it shoes a band of light in the middle of the gemstone – it’s caused by the reflection of light in parallel inclusions and this is the only colour change gemstone currently known to have this effect!



These amazing features are even more surprising when you know that there are currently no known treatments used in Csarite.  It’s actually a form of Turkish Diaspore, but don’t get confused between Csarite and Diaspore – they are very different.  Csarite is gem quality and Disapore is not.  Csarite is mined by hand, only in Mugla in Turkey and is difficult to cut in order to achieve the best emphasis on the colour change feature.  If you think you’re getting cheap Csarite, beware!




It has a hardness of around 7 on the Mohs scale and once set into metal the colours are intensified.  Whilst this is a pretty tough gem of course you need to be wary of mixing it with other harder gems such as sapphires or diamonds as they might scratch it.  Gentle cleaning is best with this gem, no chemicals or ultrasonic treatments, just a little gentle soap, water and a soft cloth.

In the UK the only stockist of Csarite is Gemporia aka Gems TV.  Whenever you’re thinking of buying this precious gem it’s definitely worth checking that you are buying from a reputable stockist to ensure that it’s the genuine article you are buying.