Tag Archive | smokey quartz

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!

Getting to know us – Victoria Arslan-Ward

What’s your favourite item in your jewellery box?

It’s so hard to choose, can I have more than 1?  Ok my favourite item is my Tiffany bracelet.  Whilst I LOVE Tiffany it’s a really atypical Tiffany piece, it’s understated and very simple, practical but the square chain design is unusual, If you didn’t know you wouldn’t think it was Tiffany, I absolutely love it, it was a gift so has huge sentimental value, as well as reminding me of the bracelet my mum used to wear when I was a child (I don’t know why – that was gold, with circular links…but hey).  It’s one of the few things I wear 24/7, I can sleep in it and party in it, perfect (not that I party much you understand, but in theory…)

Tiffany bracelet

What are you wearing today?

Today is Sunday so I am sitting at home doing nothing exciting, I am wearing my Tiffany bracelet (see above), my wedding ring (see below) and tiny little diamante earrings in my second ear-piercing.  Practical jewellery is essential when looking after a baby, as are things that he can’t pull off or damage by chewing!  These are the bare minimum for me, I wear them all the time and I hope to replace the earrings with real diamonds one day!

Wedding rings

White gold or yellow gold?

Neither (unless it’s my engagement ring which is white gold…and constantly needs re-plating 😦 )

Who’s your favourite jewellery designer today?

Today I’m still caught up with a recent trip to the British Museum where I fell in love with some upcycled jewellery by Louise Pringle (or www.eclecticshock.net).  Note to self: trips to museums are NOT an opportunity to shop…

What’s your jewellery style?

I like chunky large pieces of statement jewellery, but I’m very small so can’t really get away with them as they tend to wear me, so in reality simple and classic, I like clean lines and soft corners but I do love colour in my jewellery.

How did you become interested in jewellery?

I like shiny things generally, I like shopping.  I met Deborah; the rest is history.

Favourite holiday destination?

I love Singapore, the food, the lack of chewing gum, the airlines.

What is your favourite gemstone and why?

I think Morganite at the moment, I love the delicate shades of pink/peach and I find the whole Beryl family fascinating, such a range of beautiful colours.  The only loose gemstone I have ever bought was a Morganite and one day I’m going to have it set into a beautiful ring.  Although having said that I recently discovered purple turquoise, I love the beauty and individuality of gems where you can visibly see the inclusions and effects of nature, amazing.

What was your last jewellery purchase?

A smokey quartz ring, I’ve bought a couple of quartz items recently, I think the colours are fab and it’s such an affordable gem.