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The Origin of Crystal Names

posted on 9 August 2016 | posted in Articles


Read this page if you want to discover just why your crystal has the name that it does.

Why is Tanzanite called Tanzanite?

What's the connection between Garnets and Pomegranates?

What do Whitby Jet and Asia Minor have in common?

And just how does Moldavite bring together Southern Germany, the Slovak Republic
and Outer Space?


-A-

Abalone/Paua Shell - Entered American English about 1850 from the Spanish abulon which itself came from the Costanoan (a California coastal Indian language) aluan, meaning "red abalone".
Adamite - Named after the French mineralogist Gilbert Joseph Adam (1795-1881) who first discovered this mineral.
Afghanite - Only identified in 1968, this mineral is named after the country in which the majority of it is found, i.e. Afghanistan.

Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily.
Ajoite - Named from where it was first discovered, in the town of Ajo, in Pima County, Arizona, USA.
Albite - Named from the Latin, albus, in reference to the most common colour in which this mineral is found, i.e. white.
Alexandrite - Named in honour of Czar Alexander II (1818-1881) of Russia.
Almandine Garnets - A corruption of the place name from where they were originally found, in Alabanda, Turkey.
Alunite - From the Latin alunit, meaning "alum." Alum is extracted from this mineral and is a chemical used in a myriad of industrial applications.
Amazonite - Named from where it was originally found, at a site by the side of the Amazon River in South America.

Amber - From the French word ambre taken from the Medieval Latin ambar which in itself came from the Arabic word anbar meaning "ambergris". Presumably because of Amber's similarity to Ambergris.
Amblygonite - Amblygonite's name comes from the two Greek words amblys meaning "blunt" and goni meaning "angle" - hence "blunt angles" in allusion to its variously angled cleavages. (Cleavage refers to the specific way that a mineral will split, or cleave, when struck by a sharp blow). Amblygonite has no less than four different directions of cleavage at different angles from one another and with different qualities of cleavage. This distinguishes it from Scapolite for which it was originally mistaken.
Amethyst - From the ancient Greek amethystos meaning "not drunken" as being in possession of a piece of Amethyst was thought to prevent drunkenness.
Ametrine - A made up name to reflect the fact that this stone is half Amethyst and half Citrine.
Angel Aura Quartz - Angel Aura Quartz (also sometimes called Opal Aura Quartz) is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Platinum and Silver particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Platinum and Silver to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent shimmering white colour with rainbows.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Angel (or Opal), because the resulting colour reminds one of perhaps Angels wings, or Opals, and Aura, because the Platinum and Silver deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Angel Skin Quartz - A made up marketing name for a type of Pink Quartz found in South Africa. The colour is said to represent the colour of an Angels skin.
Angelite - Named from it's "Angelic" colouring.
Anhydrite - Anhydrite is Gypsum without the inclusion of H2O, water. The name is from the Greek anhydros, meaning "waterless", in contrast to Gypsum, which does contains water.
Annabergite - Named after the town of Annaberg, in Saxony, Germany, where this mineral was first discovered.
Apache Tears - Apache Tears are a type of Obsidian named from the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. This particular variety of Obsidian is called Apache Tears because it is believed that these semi-transparent stones are tears cried by Apache women for their men folk lost in battle and for their lost lands taken away from them by the white man.
Apophyllite - From the Greek apophylliso meaning "it flakes off" alluding to the way that the points of Apophylite easily break off.
Aqua Aura Quartz - Aqua Aura is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Gold particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Gold to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent electric blue colour.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Aqua, because the resulting colour is blue, and Aura, because the Gold deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Aquamarine - From the Latin aqua marina meaning "water of the sea" or more simply, "seawater" alluding to its pale bluish-green colouring. (also see Beryl)
Aragonite - Named from where it was first identified, the region of Aragon in Spain.
Arfvedsonite - This mineral was discovered in 1823 and was named in honour of the Swedish chemist J.A. Arfvedson (1792-1841).
Ashburton Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Ashburton, is in reference to the fact that this Agate comes from the Ashburton River area of Western Australia.
Astrophyllite - From the Greek aster or astro meaning "star" and fyllon meaning "leaf". Both of these allude to the star like or leaf like sprays that are characteristic of the way that Astrophyllite forms.
Atacamite - Named from where it was originally mined, in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
Atlantisite - "Atlantisite" is a trade name registered and owned by The Crystal Universe Pty, Melbourne, Australia in respect of a type of green serpentine and pink to purple stichtite mix of minerals. The actual name "Alantisite" was invented by Gerald Pauley, an officer of the company.
Aurichalcite - Of uncertain origin, but probably from the Greek oreichalchos meaning "mountain copper".
Azeztulite - Naisha Ahsian named this stone after she had been channeling information from a group of extraterrestrial interdimensional beings called The Azez who told her that they had engineered this stone to anchor the "Nameless Light" here on Earth. In her subsequent work with Robert Simmons and his wife Kathy Warner - owners of Heaven and Earth Publishers - this stone was successfully bought to the public's attention in 1991.
Azurite - From the Persian lazhward, meaning "blue".
Azurite & Malachite - These two minerals often grow together. Azurite from the Persian lazhward, meaning "blue" and Malachite From the Greek, malache, meaning "mallow" (i.e. the plant) in reference to the green colour of the mallow's leaves.

-B-

Barite - From the ancient Greek barys meaning "heavy" or "dense".
Benitoite - Named after the only location where it is found, San Benito County, in California, USA.
Beryl - The actual word Beryl possibly derives from the Greek beryllos which referred to any number of blue-green stones in antiquity. It may even have meant "a precious blue/green stone the colour of sea-water" Beryl itself however, is not a type of stone but rather a family of stones. Goshenite is a Clear Beryl. Aquamarine is a Blue Beryl. Morganite is a Pink Beryl. Emerald is a Green Beryl. Heliodor is a Golden Beryl.
Biotite Mica - Named after the person who discovered it, the French physicist, astronomer and mathematician, Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774-1862).
Birds Eye Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. The prefix Birds Eye, is of course, in reference to the striking pattern of this stone with its multi-coloured roundels that look rather like birds eyes.
Black Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Black, is of course, in reference to the colour of this Agate.
Black Moonstone - A trade name for a type of Labradorite with a black gloss sheen.
Black Obsidian - Obsidian is from the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Black, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Black Onyx - From the Greek word onyx which means "a claw" or "a hoof" or "a fingernail". These terms allude to the more usual colour of Onyx. The prefix Black, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Black Tourmaline - From the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone. The prefix Black, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Bloodstone - Sometimes also called Heliotrope. Grinding up this stone and applying it to wounds was said to staunch the flow of blood, hence the name.
Blue Apatite - In past times Apatite was often confused with other minerals (notably Calcite and Beryl) and it was not until 1786 that it was recognised in its own right when it was given the name Apatite from the Greek apatao meaning "I delude" or "I am misleading". The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Aragonite - Named from where it was first identified, the region of Aragon in Spain. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Aventurine - From the old Italian word aventurina given to this mineral. This word was itself from the Italian aventura meaning "by chance" as this mineral was often found by accident. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Chalcedony - Named after the ancient maritime city of "Chalcedon" (sometimes spelt "Calchedon") in the region of Bithynia by the Sea of Marmara in modern day Turkey. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Blue of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Blue Goldstone - A man-made stone named with reference to its colour.
Blue Halite - Named from the Greek halos meaning "salt". The prefix Blue of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Blue John - Named from a corruption of the French, Bleu et Jaune, meaning "Blue and Yellow" alluding to the most common colours of this mineral.
Blue Lace Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Blue Lace, is of course, in reference to both the colour of this particular varirty, and the fact that the pattern on the stone resembles lacework.
Blue Obsidian - From the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Onyx - From the Greek word onyx which means "a claw" or "a hoof" or "a fingernail". These terms allude to the more usual colour of Onyx. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Blue Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone". The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Tigers Eye - Named from the markings on the stone that resemble the pattern found in the eye of a tiger. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Topaz - From the ancient Greek word Topazion, meaning "to seek". Topazos was an island in the Red Sea (now called Zibirgit) difficult to locate as it was often covered in mist. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Blue Tourmaline - From the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone. The prefix Blue, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Botswana Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Botswana, is of course, in reference to the fact that this Agate which displays particularly fine patterning, comes from Botswana.
Boulder Opal - This is Opal found in thin veins in Ironstone. The Ironstone nodules are rather like mini boulders - hence the name.
Brazilianite - Named from the country where it was first discovered in 1945, in Conselheiro Pena in Minas Gerais region. Interestingly enough, the name Brazilianite had first been used back in 1818 when geologists discovered a fibrous mineral in Córrego Carmo, also in Minas Gerais region, which afterwards turned out to be the already known mineral Gibbsite. The name Brazilianite was re-awarded when "true" Brazilianite was discovered in 1945.
Bronzite - Bronzite with Magnesium, Silicon & Oxygen is technically called Hypersthene from the Greek hyper meaning "above" or "over" and stenos meaning "power". This is an allusion to its greater hardness than the mineral hornblende, a mineral with which it is often confused. Bronzite with Iron also included is technically called Enstatite from the Greek enstates meaning "opponent" as this mineral has a very high melting point and it is therefore an "opponent" to heat.
Brookite - Named after the English mineralogist and crystallographer who discovered it, Henry James Brooke (1771-1857).

-C-

Cacoxenite - Named from two Greek words kakos, meaning "bad" or "wrong" and xenos meaning "guest". This alludes to the fact that the presence of Phosphorous with Cacoxenite reduces the quality of Iron smelted from ore containing it.
Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime".
Calcite Fairy Stones - These strange flat stones are found by the shores of the Harricana River in Northern Quebec in Canada. The Algonquin Indians who first discovered them thought they looked like biscuits that were left there by the Fairies of the river or the river spirits. In modern times, once it was established that they were a form of Calcite, the old legend just stuck - and Calcite Fairy Stones they became! Incidently, the name Harricana River translates from the Algoquin Indian as "River of The Biscuits"
Carnelian - Sometimes spelt as Cornelian, this word comes from the Old French Corneline which is of unknown origin. However, the alternative spelling Carnelian probably owes its "Car" beginning to the Latin word carneus meaning "flesh coloured".
Cavansite - Named after its composition of Calcium, Vanadium, and Silicon. i.e. as a contraction of those three words CA/VAN/SI - ite
Celestite - From the Latin caelestis meaning "heavenly" probably due to it's faint or pale blue colour resembling the sky.
Cerussite - From the Latin cerussa meaning "white lead". Cerussite is about 77% Lead and an important source of Lead ore.
Chalcanthite - From the Greek chalkos meaning "copper" and the Greek anthos meaning "flower".
Chalcopyrite - From the ancient Greek chalkos meaning "copper" plus the fact that the mineral is similar to pyrite.
Charoite - Named for the impression that it gives. Chary in Russian means "charms" or "magic". NB It is not named from the Chara River, which, although in Russia, is actually over 70 km away from the area in which Charoite is found.
Chiastolite - Chi is the Greek letter that looks like an "X" therefore the stone was named for this fact due to the Carbon inclusions in the mineral that produce a distinctive X in the crystal.
Chinese Writing Stone - Named after the angular inclusions of Celestite on the Black Limestone which look rather like the characters used in Chinese writing.
Chlorite - Derived from the Greek word khlortis meaning "green" or "yellow" (or possibly "a greenish or yellowish precious stone") in reference to the colour of the mineral. Note that in modern times the name Chlorite no longer refers to a specific mineral. Rather, it refers nowadays to a group of minerals. The Chlorite Group.
Chrome Diopside - Derived from the Greek words dis meaning "double" and then possibly either opsis meaning "appearance" or opse meaning "face" in reference to the fact that there are two ways to orientate the prism zone of Diopside. This variety also has traces of Chrome which darken the green colour, hence Chrome Diopside.
Chrome Grossular - Named after the Latin for the fruit gooseberry, "Ribes Grossularium", as many Garnets display a typical pale greenish colour as found in the gooseberry. This variety also has traces of Chrome which darken the green colour, hence Chrome Grossular.
Chrysanthemum Stone - Named after the sprays of Celestite on the Black Limestone which look like Chrysanthemum flowers.
Chrysocolla - Derived from the two ancient Greek words, chrysos meaning "gold" and kolla meaning "glue" in allusion to the name of the material used to solder gold.
Chrysoprase - From the ancient Greek chrysos meaning "golden" or "yellow" plus also the ancient Greek prason meaning "leek" alluding to the colour green.
Chrysotile in Serpentine - Named from its two constituent members, Chrysotile and Serpentine. Chrysotile is from the two Greek words, chrysos meaning "gold" and tilos meaning "fibre" and the word Serpentine has two possible explanations. 1) Serpentine means serpent-like, i.e. snake-like, and it has long been thought that anyone who carries anything made from Serpentine had protection from snake bites. 2) It could be that the mottled colours and patterns on some types of Serpentine resemble the skin of some types of snakes.
Citrine - This is either taken from the Latin citrus or the old French citron both of which mean "lemon" in reference to its yellow colour.
Clear Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Clear of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Cobalt Aura Quartz - Cobalt Aura is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Cobalt particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Cobalt to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent sheen of indigo, violet, red, blue and purple.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Cobalt, because the mineral used to enhance the natural Quartz is Cobalt, and Aura, because the Cobalt deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Cobolto Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Cobolto, is a corruption of the German "Koballd" meaning gremlin or demon, as German miners in the past thought that this was a mischievous or hurtful mineral !
Conichalcite - From the Greek konis or konia meaning "powder" and chalx or chalkos meaning "lime" or "copper" and referring to the way the mineral is deposited, usually as a lime green powdery coating.
Copper - From the Greek, Kyprios, the Greek name for the island of Cyprus, that once produced this metal.
Cornetite - Named after the Belgian geologist Jules Cornet (1865-1929) who first discovered this mineral.
Covellite - Named after the Italian mineralogist Niccolo Covelli (1790-1829) who first discovered this mineral on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
Crazy Lace Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Crazy Lace is in reference to the fact that the pattern on this stone resembles some sort of "crazy" or "abstract" lacework.
Creedite - Named after the location in which it was first discovered in 1916, The Wagon Wheel Gap, Creedite Quadrangle, Mineral County, Colorado, USA.
Crocoite - From the Greek krokos, meaning "crocus" or "saffron" and alluding to its deep red colouration.
Cryolite - Discovered in 1799 in Ivittuut, Arsuk Firth, Greenland, this mineral is named from the Greek, kryos meaning "frost" or perhaps "ice" and lithos meaning "stone". It is therefore literally frost stone or ice stone in allusion to its appearance. Cryolite has a very low refractive index which means that when it is placed into water it virtually disappears.
Cuprite - From the Latin cuprum, meaning "copper".

-D-

Dalmatian Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. This particular variety is named after the way it looks like a spotted Dalmatian dog.
Danburite - Named from the locality at which it was first found, i.e. Danbury, Connecticut.
Datolite - Derived from the Greek word dateisthai, meaning "to divide" because the larger granular aggregates of Datolite crumble easily.
Desert Rose - Actually a type of Gypsum, the name is taken from the way that the wind blows across the surface of this mineral as it is forming and "cuts" it into a seemingly rose like shape.
Dianite (Blue Jade) - Dianite was discovered in the Murran Mountains, Yakutia, in Siberia, Russia in 1997, the same year that Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris. The stone was named in her honour.
Diopside - Derived from the Greek words dis meaning "double" and then possibly either opsis meaning "appearance" or opse meaning "face" in reference to the fact that there are two ways to orientate the prism zone of Diopside.
Dioptase - Derived from the two Greek words, dia meaning "through" and optomai meaning "vision".
Dolomite - Named in honour of the French mineralogist and geologist, Dieudonnč Sylvain Guy Tancrede de Gratet de Dolomieu (1750-1801) although he later changed his first name to Deodat. The part of the Alps where he made his discovery are today still called The Dolomites.
Dumortierite - Discovered in 1881 by the French mineralogist, M.F. Gonnard, who named it after the noted French Palaeontologist, Eugene Dumortier (1803-1873).

-E-

Eilat Stone - Named after where it was once mined, near the city of Eilat in Southern Israel at the Northern tip of the Red Sea.
Emerald - From the Latin smaragdus and the Greek smaragdos both meaning "Emerald". Probably both are words of Jewish origin and was an ancient name applied to any number of green minerals. (also see Beryl)
Epidote - From the Greek word epidosis meaning "addition" or "increase". This alludes to the fact that one side of its crystal formation is noticeably longer than the other sides.
Erythrite - Named in 1832 by Francois Sulpice Beaudant from the Greek word erythros meaning "red" in reference to the colour of the mineral.
Eudialyte - Eudialyte was first discovered in 1819 by Frederich Stromeyer (1776 -1835), Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Göttingen University, who named it after the two Greek words eu meaning "well" and dialytos meaning "decomposable". This refers to the fact that Eudialyte is "well decomposable" in acids, where it dissolves completely.

-F-

Fire Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Fire, is of course, in reference to the fact that the interplay of colour in this stone resembles a fire within the stone itself.
Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point.
Fossilised Wood - A very common - but incorrect - name for Petrified Wood.
Frosterley Marble - Quarried from the Rogerley Mine, Frosterley Marble takes its name from the town nearest to the quarry, i.e. the town of Frosterley, in County Durham.
Fuchsite - Named after Professor Johann Nepomucene Fuchs, (also known as Johann Nepomuk Von Fuchs) a German mineralogist and chemist who as born at Mattenzell in 1774 and who died in Munich in 1856 where he was a professor at Munich University. He was also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Munich and the curator of it's mineralogical collections.
Fulgurites - Formed when lightning hits silica rich sand. The temperature generated is hot enough to melt the material at the edge of the strike leaving a hollow tube where the sand in the middle has been vapourised. The name is taken from the Latin, fulgur meaning lightning.

-G-

Gaia Stone - Gaia Stone, sometimes called Gaia Glass, is refined from the ash of the Mount St. Helens (Washington State, USA) volcanic eruption of May 18th 1980. According to some stories it was discovered by accident when, following the eruption, workers went up the mountain to try to recover as much of their property as they could salvage as much of it had been engulfed in an avalanche of volcanic ash. Using cutting torches, workers noticed that the heat from their torches fused the ash together which then melted and reformed into a greenish glassy material. Local craftsmen caught on to this phenomenon and worked to refine the process under laboratory conditions. Ultimately, their work yielded the transparent green material that is available to us today. The name Gaia Stone was adopted by the metaphysical community because the stone was "born from Mother Earth". Gaia was an ancient Greek Goddess whose name meant "land" or "earth" and who was particularly identified with the Earth.
Galaxyite - A marketing name for a stone also called Micro Labradorite. This stone is actually comprised of tiny flecks of Labradorite in Feldspar, and because the flecks of Labradorite look like a distant galaxy of stars when turned in the hand, the reason for the name becomes obvious.
Galena - From the Latin galena meaning "lead ore" or the dross that remains after melting lead. The name was also used by the Roman naturalist, Pliny.
Garnet - Derivation unclear but possibly either from the Latin granatum meaning "a pomegranate" as it resembles the red seeds found in a pomegranate, - or from the Latin granatus meaning "like a grain" as garnet resembles seeds or grains when seen embedded in it's natural matrix.
Gaspeite - Named after the place it was first discovered in 1966, The Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Canada.
Glendonite - Named after the town of Glendon in NSW, Australia, where it was first discovered.
Goethite - Named after the German poet, playwright, novelist and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) who was also an avid scientist and mineral collector.
Gold - Name derivation is of uncertain origin, but most probably from the Anglo-Saxon gold meaning something like "to shine" or "to be yellow". Possibly from the Latin aurum meaning "yellow metal"
Gold Sheen Obsidian - Obsidian is from the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Gold Sheen, is of course, in reference to both the colour and shine or sheen of this particular varirty.
Golden Danburite - Named from the locality at which it was first found, i.e. Danbury, Connecticut. The prefix Golden, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Golden/Yellow Beryl - A Golden/Yellow variety of Beryl (see Beryl) named for its colour. When Golden/Yellow Beryl is of see through gem-quality, it is often known by the trade name Heliodor. The word Heliodor was originally applied as a trade name for Golden Beryl mined from the Rössing mine in Namibia, however, the name is now in common use for any gem-quality Golden Beryl mined worldwide.
Golden Labradorite - A marketing name for a Feldspar mineral whose true mineralogical name is Bytownite and which was actually named after the location where it was first discovered, Bytown in Canada. Bytown is now, in modern times, known as Ottawa.
Goldstone - A man-made stone named with reference to its colour.
Goshenite - Named after the location where it was originally discovered, The Barrus Farm locality, Goshen, in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA.
Grand Canyon Wonderstone - A made up marketing name for an attractive type of red/gold/tan/black striped Rhyolite or Jasper found in Utah, Nevada and Arizona. As these 3 states either contain, or are near to, the Grand Canyon, it was thought that by pre-fixing the words "Grand Canyon" to a "Wonderful Stone" it would have more gravitas and impact.
Graphic Feldspar - A variety of Feldspar named from its appearance. It rather looks like this stone has ancient writing on it, or at least, some sort of graphic design is apparent in its patterning.
Green Apatite - In past times Apatite was often confused with other minerals (notably Calcite and Beryl) and it was not until 1786 that it was recognised in its own right when it was given the name Apatite from the Greek apatao meaning "I delude" or "I am misleading". The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Green Apophyllite - From the Greek apophylliso meaning "it flakes off" alluding to the way that the points of Apophylite easily break off. The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Green Aventurine - From the old Italian word aventurina given to this mineral. This word was itself from the Italian aventura meaning "by chance" as this mineral was often found by accident. The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Green Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Green Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Green of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Green Fossilised Wood - Named for exactly what it is, wood that has become fossilised over millions of years and that has become coloured blue/green by the presence of fossilised algae present in bogs and swamps of millions of years ago.
Green Onyx - From the Greek word onyx which means "a claw" or "a hoof" or "a fingernail". These terms allude to the more usual colour of Onyx. The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Green Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone". The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Green Tourmaline - From the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone. The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Gyrolite - From the Greek guros meaning "circle" in allusion to the way the crystals form round groupings.

-H-

Healers Gold - This is a made up name for a naturally occuring mix of Iron Pyrite and Magnetite found in Arizona, in the USA. Metaphysically, the stone is predominantly of benefit to healers and the gold of the Iron Pyrites stands out very well against the black of the Magnetite, hence, Healers Gold.
Hematite - From the Greek haimatites meaning "blood like" alluding to its rusty red colour.
Hematoid Quartz - Hematite in Quartz, so for the Hematite element, from the Greek haimatites meaning "blood like" alluding to its rusty red colour - and for the Quartz element, from the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz.
Hemimorphite - Named after the nature of the crystals which grow with a termination at each end, the "top" being pointed and the "bottom" being rounded. Hemi means "half" and morph means "shape" in recognition of the fact that each half has a different shape.
Herderite - Named after the person who discovered it, Baron Siegmund August Wolfgang von Herder (1776-1838) who was a mining official in Freiberg, Saxony in Germany, and who was also a geologist and a mineralogist and was created a Baron in 1816. He discovered Herderite in 1828.
Herkimer Diamond - Double Terminated Quartz points grown in soft mud and originally discovered in the town of Herkimer, New York State.
Hessonite Garnet in Wollastonite - A mix of 2 different minerals with 2 different name origins.
Hessonite Garnet - From the Greek hesson, meaning "inferior," in allusion to its lower hardness and density than most other garnet varieties.
Wollastonite - Named after William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828), an English chemist and mineralogist.
Heulandite - Named after John Henry Heuland (1778-1856), an English mineral collector.
Hiddenite - Named after A.E. Hidden, a mine owner and the first person to observe this mineral.
Hilutite - Why this stone is called Hilutite is unknown. Steve suggests that perhaps it is named after some location in Sri Lanka where it is found ?
Himalaya Gold Azeztulite - A type of yellow/gold coloured Azeztulite discovered in the Himalayas, hence the name.
Hollandite - Named after Sir Thomas Henry Holland (1868-1947) who discovered it. He was the Director of the Geological Survey of India in 1903.
Holmquistite - Named after the Swedish petrologist who first discovered it, Per Johan Holmquist (1866-1946).
Honey Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Honey, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Howlite - Named after Henry How (1828-1879), a Canadian chemist and the first observer of this particular mineral.
Hubnerite - Named in 1865 by Eugene N. Riotte (of Elberfeld in Germany) in honour of Friedrich Adolph Hübner (1830-?) a German mining engineer and metallurgist from Freiberg, in Saxony.
Hypersthene - From the Greek words hyper meaning "over" and sthene meaning "strength" so literally "over strength" an allusion to its greater hardness than the mineral hornblende, with which it is often confused.

-I-

Ilvaite - First discovered on the island of Elba in 1811, Ilvaite takes its name from the Latin name of Elba, which the Romans called Ilva.
Imperial Topaz - From the ancient Greek word Topazion, meaning "to seek". Topazos was an island in the Red Sea (now called Zibirgit) difficult to locate as it was often covered in mist. The prefix Imperial, is said to come from the fact that the Russian royal family loved the colours in this stone and the prefix "Imperial" was added in their honour.
Infinite - A trade name for light green Serpentine with inclusions of Chrysotile. Healers very much took to this stone when is was first discovered, and thought that it had infinite possibilities - hence the name.
Iolite - From the Greek ios meaning "Violet" alluding to its colour.
Iron Pyrites - From the ancient Greek pyrites meaning "flint" or "millstone from Pyros" (Pyros was a place of fire) since it gives off sparks when struck.

-J-

Jade - From a Spanish term piedra de yjada meaning "stone of the side" since the stone was supposed to cure kidney problems that were causing pain in ones side.
Jet - From the old French jaiet which in itself came from the Latin word gagates which in turn derived from the ancient Greek lithos Gagates meaning "a stone from the town of Gagai" Gagai was a town in Lycia, in Asia Minor.

-K-

Kalahari Picture Stone - Named from where it is found, the Kalahari Desert region, which extends into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and from what it looks like - you can see "pictures" in the patterns on the stone.
Kambaba Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. This particular variety comes from Madagascar, where it is sometimes called Crocodile Stone. This is just a guess by Steve, but could Kambaba be a local dialect word for crocodile ?
Kammererite - This mineral was discovered in 1841 by Nils Gustaf Nordenskjold (1792-1866) who named it in honour of August Alexander Kammerer (1789-1858) who was the Ober-Bergmeister Chemist working for the Mining Department of Russia and who was the author of several geological and pharmaceutical works.
Kimberlite - Named after where it was first discovered, the town of Kimberley in South Africa. The whole Kimberley region is famous for its Diamond mines and Diamonds are frequently found in Kimberlite.
Klinoptilolith - Although nearly always referred to as Klinoptilolith, this is actually the German name for a mineral called Clinoptilolite in English. This name is derived from two Greek words klino meaning "inclined" or "oblique" and ptylon meaning "feather", both in allusion to the appearance of the crystal structure of this mineral.
Kunzite - Named after G.F. Kunz, the American mineralogist.
Kyanite, Black - From the Greek kyanos meaning "dark blue" reflecting the most common colour of this mineral. The prefix Black, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Kyanite, Blue - From the Greek kyanos meaning "dark blue" reflecting the most common colour of this mineral.
Kyanite, Green - From the Greek kyanos meaning "dark blue" reflecting the most common colour of this mineral. The prefix Green, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Kyanite, Orange - From the Greek kyanos meaning "dark blue" reflecting the most common colour of this mineral. The prefix Orange, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.

-L-

Labradorite - Originally, this mineral was first mined on the Isle of Paul, in Labrador, Canada, about 1770.
Lapis Lazuli - From the Latin lapis meaning "a stone" and the Persian lazhward meaning "a blue colour".
Larimar - This name was made up by Miguel Méndez, a resident of the Dominican Republic (where Larimar is found) by combining his daughters name LARIssa, with MAR, the Spanish word for the sea. The stone of course being a sea blue colour.
Larvikite - Takes it name from where it was first discovered i.e. the Larvik or Laurvik Fjord region which is on the Skagerrak, approximately 100 km south of Oslo, in Southern Norway. It was first discovered by Waldemar Christofer Brögger (1851-1940), who was the Professor of Petrology at the University of Oslo.
Lavender Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Lavender, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Lemon Chrysoprase - From the ancient Greek chrysos meaning "golden" or "yellow" plus also the ancient Greek prason meaning "leek" alluding to the usual green colour of Chrysoprase. The prefix Lemon, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Lemurian Jade - A made-up name used by metaphysical practitioners to identify a type of Black Jade with inclusions of Iron Pryites, Quartz and other minerals mined in Peru.
Leopardite - The name alludes to the pattern on the stone, which closely resembles that of a Leopard.
Leopardskin Rhyolite - Takes its name from the pattern on the surface of the mineral which resembles that of a leopard.
Lepidolite - From the ancient Greek lepis meaning "scale" and lithos meaning "a stone". These terms allude to it's structure.
Libethenite - Named from where the mineral was first mined, namely the town of Lubietova in the Slovakian Republic. In German this town is called Livethen.
Lithium - From the ancient Greek lithos meaning "a stone".
Lizardite - A type of Serpentine named after where it was first discovered in 1955, namely at the Eastern Cliff, Kennack Cove, Lizard Point, Cornwall in the UK.
Llanite - Named after the location where it is found, the Llano Uplift, in central Texas, USA.
Lodestone - Lodestone is a type of naturally occuring magnetised Magnetite. Early navigators found that if you suspended Lodestone so that it could turn, it always pointed towards North. The name derives from the Middle-English Lode-stone meaning "lead stone" or "course stone"
Luxullianite - Named after the village of Luxulyan in Cornwall (between Bodmin and St Austell) which is the only place in the world where this rock is found.

-M-

Magnesite - Named from its chemical composition - it contains a lot of Magnesium.
Mahogany Obsidian - From the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Mahogany, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty which reminds one of the rich browns and reds found in Mahogany wood.
Malachite - From the Greek, malache, meaning "mallow" (i.e. the plant) in reference to the green colour of the mallow's leaves.
Mangano Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Mangano, is in reference to the fact that this variety of Calcite has a high Manganese content giving it its distinctive pink colour.
Mariposite - Takes its name from the location where it was discovered, Mariposa County, California, USA
Master Shamanite - A made up name given to a complex variety of Black Calcite from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA. This Black Calcite has a high percentage of pure Carbon and other minerals including Quartz, Iron Pyrite, Marcasite, Chlorite, Strontianite and Zircon. Small fossils are also present. Locally, this stone is also known as North American Black Calcite.
Melanite - Melanite is the name given to Black Ganets belonging to the Andradite group of Garnets. Andradite itself is named after the Brazilian mineralogist J. B. de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838), whilst Melanite derives its name from the Greek word Melas or Melanos meaning "black" and lithos meaning "a stone". The word Melanite was coined in 1799 by A. G. Werner (1750-1817), a German geologist.
Menalite - Possibly an incorrect transcription of Menilite, a strange variety of Opal that occurs in many and varied forms. Named from where it was first discovered, Ménilmontant, Paris, Ile-de-France, France.
Merlinite - A lot of confusion surrounds the name of this stone. Merlinite is actually a completely made-up name for Dendritic Opal. Sometimes the name is also applied to Dendritic Agate, and other times to the druzy form of a black mineral called Psilomelane. The name Merlinite was probably used as the "real" names do not easily roll off the tongue and the word "Merlinite" conjures up magical and mystical times past. In the USA, "Day and Night Stone" is sometimes used in place of Merlinite.
Midnight Lace Obsidian - From the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Midnight Lace is in reference to the colour of this particular variety whose blacks are as dark as midnight and whose appearance looks rather similar to lace.
Moldavite - Named from where it is found. About 14 Million years ago a meteorite struck the Earth in what is now Southern Germany leaving behind the present day Nordlinger Ries crater. Debris from this impact was blown high into the air and the prevailing winds at the time blew this material into what we now call the present day Slovakian Republic, typically into an area now called Moldavia - hence the name.
Mookaite - Named from where is was first found - in outcrops, principally on Mooka Station (a sheep farm of around 700,000 acres) on the west side of the Kennedy Range in Western Australia.
Moonstone - So named because its translucent white colour resembles the colour of the moon in the night sky.
Morganite - Discovered in Madagascar in 1908 by George Frederick Kunz, but named by him as Morganite in honour of his financier and benefactor, John Pierpoint Morgan, the noted American banker and gem collector. (also see Beryl)
Moss Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Moss, is of course, in reference to the fact that the pattern on the stone resembles a sort of blue/green moss growing over the stone.
Mother of Pearl - Usually abbreviated to MOP and sometimes referred to as Nacre, it takes its name from the fact that it is the lining of the shell in which a Pearl grows - and hence, is the "Mother of the Pearl".
Mtorolite (Chrome Chalcedony) - Named after where it was first found, the mining town of Mtoroshanga, on The Great Dyke, a rich geological feature in Zimbabwe. It is sometimes called Mtorolite with an "L" and sometimes Mtorodite with a "D". Sometimes it is also called Matorolite. It is actually a type of Green Chalcedony coloured by the presence of Chromium Oxide.
Muscovite - Originally known as "Muscovy Glass" in allusion to the fact that much of this mineral was mined from the province of Muscovy in Russia, the term Muscovite became much more popular around the 1750's - 1790's and is still in use today.
Mystic Merlinite - A type of Merlinite found in Madagascar with a swirling pattern of dark colours which give it a rather "mystical" look - hence the name.
Mystic Topaz - An "enhanced" stone used in jewellery making. It is a type of colourless Topaz, treated with an extremely thin layer of Titanium applied to the underneath of the stone. When viewed from above, i.e. looking at the faceted surfaces of the gem set into jewellery, the effect is rather mysterious - even mystic - hence the name !

-N-

Natrolite - From the Greek word natron meaning "soda", in allusion to the Sodium content of Natrolite, plus lithos meaning "stone".
Nebula Stone - Nebula Stones dark green, almost black background, resembles the night sky while the lighter green radiating and circular areas remind us of galaxies, stars and nebulae - from which it takes its name. It was only recently discovered in 1996 by Ron and Karen Nurnberg.
Neptunite - Discovered in Greenland in 1893 in the Narssârssuk pegmatite in Narssârssuk, Igaliku, Narsaq, Greenland, it was discovered alongside the mineral Aegirine which was itself already named after the Scandinavian god of the sea. It was therefore thought to be a good play on words to name this newly discovered mineral after the Roman god of the sea, Neptune. So Neptunite it was !
Novaculite - Derived from the Latin novacula meaning "razor stone". This refers to the fact that the edges of Novaculite are indeed, razor sharp, and were used in the USA in prehistoric times to make arrow heads and spears etc.
Nunderite - Named after the town where it was first discovered, Nundle in New South Wales, Australia.
Nuummite - Nuummite is a unique combination of Anthophyllite, a magnesium iron silicate, and Gedrite, a lithium-bearing amphibole and is found near the town of Nuuk in Greenland. In the native language of Greenland Nuummite means "derived from Nuuk" and this name was given to the mineral by the town council of Nuuk.
Nzuri Moyo - This is a made up marketing name for a type of pale pink Quartz with possible Malachite and/or Chlorite inclusions found in Tanzania.

-O-

Ocean Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. The prefix Ocean is relatively new as this type of Jasper used to be called Orbicular Jasper referring to the small "orbs" of different colours in its makeup. However, marketing forces thought that the name Ocean Jasper conjured up a better image for this stone, and being as how it was in fact found by the edge of the ocean in Madagascar ... !
Okenite - Originally discovered by a group of geologists on Disko Island, off Greenland, in 1898 who named it in honour of Lorenz Ocken (1779-1851) a German natural historian from Munich in Germany. It was originally called Ockenite but the name quickly became shortened to Okenite.
Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone".
Opal Aura Quartz - Opal Aura Quartz (also sometimes called Angel Aura Quartz) is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Platinum and Silver particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Platinum and Silver to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent shimmering white colour with rainbows.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Opal (or Angel), because the resulting colour reminds one of Opals or perhaps Angels wings, and Aura, because the Platinum and Silver deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Orange Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Orange, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Orange Kyanite - From the Greek kyanos meaning "dark blue" reflecting the most common colour of this mineral. The prefix Orange, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Oregon Opal - A type of Opal named after where it was first discovered, namely, Opal Butte in Oregon, USA.
Owyhee Blue Opal - This is a type of Blue Opal found along the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon, USA. In 1819 this was all unchartered land and the North West Company were sent to explore and map the region. They sent 3 Hawaiian trappers who were employed by them upriver to do some preliminary mapping. The 3 never returned, and it is presumed that they were killed by Indians from the Bannock tribe. In their honour, the whole region was named Owyhee (pronounced Oh-WAH-hee) this being at the time, the correct spelling in the old Hawaiian language of what today we called Hawaii.

-P-

Pargasite - Named after where it was first discovered in 1814 in Pargas in Finland.
Paua Shell/Abalone - see Abalone
Peacock Ore - Peacock Ore is actually a Copper rich mineral called Bornite. When freshly mined, it is a brown/tan/gold colour, but it quickly tarnishes and displays an irridescence of reds, blues, purples and vioilets. This colour display gives it the name Peacock Ore as it resembles the colours of a peacocks feathers.
Peanut Wood - Named because the holes left by the small marine wood boring molluscs that feature in this stone, look like small peanuts. Also, the overall colouring is that of peanut shells.
Pearls - The word Pearl was first used in England in the 1300's and came to us from France, where in turn, it originated from Italy. In old colloquial Latin there was a word Perna which could mean either "a ham" as in a leg of ham, or "a seashell". The word Pernula referred to "a little ham" or "a little shell" but was often used to refer to "the little mollusc whose feet resemble hams in shape".
Pentagonite - Named from the Greek, penta, meaning "five" plus the word angle, in allusion to the almost symmetrical five fold habit of twinning commonly found in Pentagonite.
Peridot - From the old French péridot of unknown origin.
Peruvian Serpentine - A type of pale yellow Serpentine named from where it is mined.
Petalite - From the Greek petalon meaning "leaf" alluding to the way the crystal grows.
Petrified Wood - Named for exactly what it is, wood that has become petrified (i.e. turned to stone) over millions of years.
Phenacite - The name is derived from the Greek word phenakos meaning "deceiver" alluding to the fact that Phenacite is found in many different forms and in its clear form, resembles Quartz, which it can be easily mistaken for.
Phosphosiderite - Named after its chemical composition, i.e. it is a PHOSPHate with Iron and the Greek for Iron was SIDERos.
Picasso Stone - A type of marble with wild patterns, as abstract as anything ever painted by the artist Pablo Picasso - hence the name.
Pietersite - Named after Sid Pieters, who first discovered it in Namibia in 1962.
Pink Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Pink, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Pink Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Pink of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Pink Halite - Named from the Greek halos meaning "salt". The prefix Pink of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Pink Lazurine - Pink Lazurine is a man-made laboratory grown pink Quartz fused with Platinum, which was originally developed by US scientists in order to make lenses through which lasers could be focused as part of experiments into cold fusion. Cold fusion is the attempt to create energy and power by the fusion of atomic particles at room temperature instead of in a nuclear reactor. The generally accepted story is that the Quartz for these lenses had to be so pure that it had to first be molten and then purified, and that this was done in crucibles made of Platinum. The slightest error in this process rendered the whole batch unusable for its intended use. The resultant material was, however, first used by the jewellery trade and then came to the attention of the metaphysical market - and so, Pink Lazurine was born ! The name "Pink Lazurine" was given to this new material, firstly because of its colour, it is quite obviously pink, (or at least it is under natural sunlight and incandescent light, whilst under fluorescent light it turns a shade of lavender/purple) and secondly the name Lazurine was chosen in reference to its originally intended purpose of making laser lenses.
Pink Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone". The prefix Pink, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Pink Tourmaline - From the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone. The prefix Pink, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Plancheite - First described as a distinct mineral type by A. Lacroix in 1908. The samples sent to him for analysis were supplied by a French explorer, Mr Planche, after whom the mineral is named.
Polychrome Jasper - From the Greek poly meaning "many" and chrome meaning "colour" - so this is literally a many coloured type of Jasper
Precious Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone". The prefix Precious, is of course, in reference to both the interplay of colour of this particular varirty, and to its rarity, both factors that make it highly sought after by the jewellery trade.
Prehnite - Named after the Dutch Colonel, H. Von Prehn (1733-1785).
Prehnite with Epidote - These two minerals often grow together. Prehnite is named after the Dutch Colonel, H. Von Prehn (1733-1785). Epidote is from the Greek word epidosis meaning "addition" or "increase". This alludes to the fact that one side of its crystal formation is noticeably longer than the other sides.
Preseli Bluestone - Named after where it was originally mined, Preseli in Wales, and alluding to the colour of freshly mined stone which normally has a blue or blue/green colouring. This was the stone used by the ancients to build the inner Bluestone Circle at Stonehenge.
Psilomelane - From the Greek psilos meaning "smooth" and melas meaning "black."
Purple Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Purple of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Purpurite - The name alludes to the colour of the mineral which is a lovely rich regal purple.
Pyromorphite - Named in 1813 from the Greek pyr meaning "fire" and morfe meaning "form", because after being melted into a globule a sample will begin to take on a crystalline shape during cooling.

-Q-

Quantum Quattro - A mix of Shattuckite, Chrysocolla, Dioptase and Malachite all present in Smokey Quartz. As there are 4 minerals present in a base, the name is in some way derived from this fact !
Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz.
Que Sera Stone - A made up name created by Melody, the renowned crystal author, who used the Q from Quartz (one of the constituent parts of Que Sera Stone) and the UE for what she termed as "Undulatory Extinction". Having arrived at QUE, the last part was named after the old Doris Day song "Que Sera Sera ... Whatever Will be Will be" and this second part of the name, she said, related to the stones energy.

-R-

Rainbow Obsidian - Obsidian is from the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Rainbow is in reference to the fact that microscopic particles of oil and gas that were trapped within the structure of the obsidian as it was forming, when held under a light source, display all the colours of a rainbow.
Rainforest Rhyolite - Takes its name from the colours of the mineral which remind one of the greens and browns found in a tropical rainforest.
Red Calcite - From the Latin calx meaning "lime". The prefix Red, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Red Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. The prefix Red, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Rhodochrosite - From the ancient Greek rhodochros meaning "rose coloured" because of its colour.
Rhodonite - From the ancient Greek rhodon meaning "a rose" alluding to its colour.
Rose Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Rose, is of course, in reference to the rose pink colour of this particular varirty.
Rubies in Zoisite - These two minerals often grow together. Ruby is from the Latin rubeus meaning "red" and alluding to its colour, whilst Zoisite is named after Siegmund Zois, Baron von Edelstein (1747-1819) an Austrian scholar.
Ruby in Fuchsite - These two minerals often grow together. Ruby is from the Latin rubeus meaning "red" and alluding to its colour, whilst Fuchsite is named after Professor Johann Nepomucene Fuchs, (also known as Johann Nepomuk Von Fuchs) a German mineralogist and chemist who as born at Mattenzell in 1774 and who died in Munich in 1856 where he was a professor at Munich University. He was also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Munich and the curator of it's mineralogical collections.
Ruby - From the Latin rubeus meaning "red" and alluding to its colour.
Rutilated Quartz - This is a combination of the mineral Rutile growing within the mineral Quartz. Quartz comes from the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The word Rutile is a French corruption from the original Latin rutilus meaning "red" because of its colour, although Rutile can actually be found in other colours apart from red.

-S-

Sanda Rosa Azeztulite - Naisha Ahsian named this stone after she had been channeling information from a group of extraterrestrial interdimensional beings called The Azez who told her that they had engineered this stone to anchor the "Nameless Light" here on Earth. In her subsequent work with Robert Simmons and his wife Kathy Warner - owners of Heaven and Earth Publishers - this stone was successfully bought to the public's attention in 1991. This particular variety, Sanda Rosa Azeztulite, meaning "Rose of the Sand Azeztulite" is of uncertain origin, but probably refers to the minerals slight rose pink colour and grainy or sandy texture.
Sapphire - An ancient name of uncertain origin. It possibly derives from the Hebrew word sappir or the Sanskrit word sanipruja.
Sardonyx - In the Middle Ages, Sard was the old word for Carnelian. This stone is alternate layers of Carnelian and Onyx.
Satyaloka Quartz - Named from where these stones are reputedly collected, i.e. in the grounds of, and in the area surrounding, the Satyaloka Monastery in Southern India. It is often said that the monks there believe that this stone carries the energy of their own spiritual enlightenment as well as the pure spiritual energies which permeate the mountains and the area surrounding the monastery.
However, our latest understanding is that the monastery itself has been closed for many years now and the monks who lived there, and the retreats and workshops that used to be run there, have now relocated to "The Golden City" in Southern India and operate as "The Golden Age Foundation" in conjunction with "The Oneness University".
Scapolite - Named from the Greek skapos meaning "rod" or "shaft" plus lithos meaning "stone". This is alluding to the fact that when Scapolite crystals are found, they are usually stubby to long prismatic crystals, hence the name.
Schalenblende - Named from the German and meaning "shell ore" in allusion to its concentric-layered structure rather like a shell. Schalenblende is actually a mix of four separate minerals, namely, Sphalerite, Wurtzite, Pyrite and Galena.
Scolecite - There are many and various tests made on newly discovered minerals in an attempt to positively identify them. When Scolecite was first discovered in 1813, one such test was to place a small sample of the mineral on a charcoal block, direct a blowpipe flame at it, and observe the colour and intensity of the flame as it hit the sample. During this blowpipe test, it was noticed that Scolecite would curl up and retract from the flame. To observers at the time it looked like the action of a worm and so the minerals name is derived from the Greek skolec meaning "worm".
Selenite - From the Greek selenites meaning "moon" since the stone has a pearly lustre and moon-like white reflections.
Septarian - Derived from the fact that when a Septarian is cut open, it's possible to see that the Aragonite has formed a dividing wall within the geode, separating the Calcite from the Limestone/Clay. In Latin the word "Septum" means "partition" or "chamber" hence we get the modern day word Septarian. There is an incorrect explanation that the name comes from the Latin word "Septem" meaning "seven". This refers to the number of cracks that commonly occur within a Septarian, but as some have 6 or 8 cracks, this explanation would seem to be incorrect.
Seraphinite (Clinochlore) - From the Greek klino meaning "oblique" and chloros meaning "green" both referring to the pattern and colour of this mineral. Seraphinite is a modern name alluding to the fact that specimen pieces resemble the wing patterns of angels, cherubims and seraphims.
Seriphos Quartz - Named after the only place in the world where this type of Quartz is found, the island of Seriphos, off the coast of Greece.
Serpentine - Two possible explanations here. 1) Serpentine means serpent-like, i.e. snake-like, and it has long been thought that anyone who carries anything made from Serpentine had protection from snake bites. 2) It could be that the mottled colours and patterns on some types of Serpentine resemble the skin of some types of snakes.
Serpentine in Obsidian - Named after exactly what it is - Serpentine in Obsidian !
Shamanic Dream Stones - These are Quartz pebbles with inclusions of other many and varied minerals. As you look into each one, it is possible to envisage a whole world within each stone. Shamans throughout history and in many cultures around the world, have long been thought to travel into other worlds to find solutions to illnesses, disease and problems besetting their people. These stones look as though they could facilitate such Shamanic travel.
Shattuckite - Named from where it was first found, i.e. the Shattuck mine, Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA. Until around 2003/2004, this was the ONLY mine in the world producing this mineral.
Shiva Lingham - Named from the fact that the shape of the stone resembles the male part, called Lingham in Sankrit, and after the Hindu God, Shiva, who has links in Indian mythology, with fertility and creation. Other stories, however, relate to the struggle by Bhrama and Vishnu to discover the origins of Lord Shiva who appeared to them both from within a column of fire. The shape of the column of fire is supposed to be represented by the Lingham. Traditionally, these stones are hand collected collected from the Narmada River, where it runs through the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
Shungite - Named after the only known location where this mineral can be found, i.e. the Zazhoginskoye deposit, near Lake Onega, in the Shunga region of Karelia, North Western Russia.
Silver - Silver has been known since prehistoric times and it is widely believed that man first learnt to separate silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C. The word Silver comes from the Old English seolfor, whose original meaning has long since been lost. The word can, however, be traced back through the Saxon language, Old Dutch, German and Gothic languages. From the Latin we get argentum, meaning Silver.
Smithsonite - Named after James Smithson (1765-1829), the English mineralogist who financed the founding of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, USA.
Smokey Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Smokey, is of course, in reference to the fact that the translucent colour of this Quartz makes it look like it is filled with smoke.
Snakeskin Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Snakeskin, is of course, in reference to the fact that the pattern on the stone resembles the skin of a snake.
Snow Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Snow, is of course, in reference to the pure white colour of this particular varirty.
Snowflake Obsidian - From the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Snowflake refers to the inclusions of Cristobalite in the Obsidian that look just like snowflakes when the stone is polished.
Sodalite - From the Latin solidus meaning "solid" since it was a solid used in the process of glassmaking.
Spessartine Garnet - Named from where it was first discovered, in the town of Aschaffenburg, in the Spessart Mountains, Bavaria, Germany.
Sphalerite - Sphalerite is the main ore of Zinc. Galena is the main ore of Lead. Some of the darker pieces of Sphalerite were often mistaken for Galena, but yielded no Lead. The name is derived from this fact and comes from the Greek sphaleros meaning "treacherous"
Spider Web Obsidian - From the Latin obsidianus which is allegedly an incorrect translation of the ancient Greek obsianus lapis meaning "stone of Obsius". Obsius was an ancient Greek person who discovered a stone similar to Obsidian. The prefix Spider Web, is in reference to the pattern on this stone that looks like a spider has woven a web across its surface.
Spinel - Of uncertain origin, but possibly from the Latin spina meaning "thorn" in allusion to the fact that the crystals often have quite sharp points.
Staurolite - Named from the two Greek words, stauros meaning "cross" and lithos meaning "stone" in allusion to the way that the crystals commonly form as cross shaped twins.
Stibnite - Named from the Latin stibium meaning "a mark", possibly in reference to it's use in marking the faces of women when used as make-up. Stibnite was used to make Kohl, a type of black eye-liner.
Stichtite - Named after Robert Stich, general manager of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, Dundas, Tasmania. (Dundas supplies over 80% of the worlds Stichtite).
Stilbite - From the Greek stilbe meaning "lustre" referring to the pearly or vitreous lustre of its crystals.
Strawberry Quartz - From the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The prefix Strawberry is in reference to the colour of this particular varirty, which is said to resemble a pale coloured strawberry.
Stromatolite - Derived from two Greek words stroma (or possibly stromatos), meaning "blanket" and lithos meaning "rock". This is supposed to signify how one layer of bacteria would grow upon the remains of an earlier layer, and so on and so on, giving us the fossilised remains that we see today which are quite markedly layered, i.e. rather like a pile of blankets.
Strombolite - A seemingly made up name that the jewellery trade uses to describe nice pieces of the mineral Spurrite.
Sugilite - Sugilite was originally discovered on the Iwagi Islet in Japan and was named after Dr. Ken-Ichi Sugi, the Japanese mineralogist who discovered it.
Sulphur - The mineral Sulphur has been known since antiquity but the exact derivation of this word is uncertain. It is likely that the English spelling of Sulphur (note that the American spelling is Sulfur) is derived from the Latin Sulphurium meaning "sulphur" which itself is probably derived from the Sanskrit word Sulvere, also meaning "sulphur". It is also quite possible that the word is derived from the Arabic Sufra, meaning "yellow".
Sunstone - So called because it contains red and gold flecks which reflect the sun's light.

-T-

Tangerine Aura Quartz - Tangerine Aura is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Gold particles, combined with Iron Oxide particles, into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Gold and Iron Oxide to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent orange/tangerine colour.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Tangerine, because the resulting colour is tangerine/orange, and Aura, because the Gold and Iron Oxide deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Tanzanite - A type of Blue Zoisite discovered in Tanzania in 1967. Some samples were taken back to Louis Tiffany, of the famous New York jewellers, Tiffany & Co, who - according to legend - loved the stone as soon as he saw it but thought the name reminded him of "Blue Suicide". He therefore ordered the stone to be renamed Tanzanite, derived from the country in which it was mined, and the name has stuck, in the fashion world and the mineral world, ever since !
Tanzine Aura Quartz - Tanzine Aura is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Iridium particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Iridium to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it an iridescent violet colour.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Tanzine, because the resulting colour is somewhat similar to Tanzanite, and Aura, because the Iridium deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Thomsonite - Named after the person who first discovered it in 1820, the Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson (1773-1852)
Thulite - The ancient Greeks thought that the mythical island of Thule (sometimes called Ultima Thule or Tile) was the Northernmost habitable region of the world. Now days we think that the Greeks were referring to Trondheim in Norway - and as this mineral was first discovered in Lom, in Norway in 1820, it was named in honour of the island of Thule.
Tiffany Stone - Named after the patterns frequently found on the stone, i.e. black veins of Manganese Oxide plus various minerals of differing colours, which often resemble the patterns found on Tiffany Lamps.
Tigers Eye - Named from the markings on the stone that resemble the pattern found in the eye of a tiger.
Tiger Iron - Named from the fact that this mineral is comprised primarily of Tigers Eye and Iron in the form of Hematite.
Titanium Aura Quartz - Titanium Aura is Quartz that has undergone a laboratory treatment to enhance the colour of the natural crystal.
The process involves placing the Quartz into a vacuum chamber and reducing the pressure to 2 earth atmospheres. The temperature in the vacuum is then raised to between 800 - 1600 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of some 12 hours, then letting pure Titanium particles into the vacuum chamber whilst putting an electric charge through the Quartz. This bonds the Titanium to the outside surface of the Quartz and gives it its iridescent colouring.
This process is known as Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD and, although known about for many years, the using of this process specifically on gemstones and decorative articles was granted a United States patent No 6997014 in 2006 to it's inventors Steven F. Starcke, Ronald H. Kearnes and Keven E. Bennet, and is held by Vision Industries.
Titanium, because this is the metal used in the process, and Aura, because the Titanium deposited on the Quartz forms a cover or sheath or Aura around the crystal being treated.
Tourmalinated Quartz - This is a combination of the mineral Tourmaline growing within the mineral Quartz. Quartz comes from the Saxon word querkluftertz meaning "a cross vein ore". Later condensed to querertz. The word Tourmaline is from the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone.
Tree Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Tree, is of course, in reference to the fact that the pattern on the stone resembles the branches of trees growing over the stone.
Triphane - Named from the Greek triphanes meaning "appearing threefold". This refers to the minerals natural cleavage, i.e. it breaks 3 ways when hit.
Tsavorite (Green Garnets) - Named from where they were originally found, in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.
Tugtupite - In the modern world, Tugtupite was named from where it was first discovered in 1962, Tugtup Agtakorfia (Tuttup Attakoorfia), Tunugdliarfik Firth, Ilimaussaq complex, Narsaq, Kitaa (West Greenland) Province, Greenland - however, according to the myths and legends of the Inuit inhabitants of Greenland, Tugtupite is attributed to "Tuttu" - the Reindeer Girl. Legend has it that when
Tuttu went to the mountains to give birth to her first child, some of her miraculous life-giving blood seeped into the mountain stones during the birthing process and created Tugtupite.
Turquoise - From the old French word turqueise meaning "Turkish Stone" as Turquoise originally found its way to Europe from Persia via Turkey.
Turritella Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Turritella refers to the inclusion of many fossilised sea snails and sea creatures in the stone. It was originally thought that the fossilised creatures were snails from the genus Turritella, but newer evidence suggests that they are in fact snails of the genus Elimia Tenera, in the family Pleuroceridae. None the less, the name first applied still lives on.

-U-

Ulexite - Named after George Ludwig Ulex (1811-1883) a German chemist who was the first to correctly analyse this mineral.
Unakite - A mix of Epidote and Red Feldspar, named after the Unakas mountain range in North Carolina, USA, where it was first discovered.
Uvarovite - Named after the Russian nobleman Count Sergei Semeonovich Uvarov (1786-1855) who was an avid amateur mineral collector and a member of the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg.

-V-

Vanadinite - Named for its Vanadium content. Vanadium is a 19th Century word from New Latin and Old Norse Vanadis which was an epithet (alternative and/or descriptive name) of the Norse goddess of love and fecundity Freya + the ending -ium, a suffix indicating a metallic element.
Variscite - Named after the place it was first discovered, Variscia, the medieval name of Vogtland in Germany.
Vesuvianite (Idocrase) - Named after the place it was originally discovered, Monte Somma, Vesuvius, Italy. Vesuvianite is also alternatively called Idocrase, a name derived from the Greek word krasis meaning "mixture" which is an allusion to the fact that its crystals show a mixture of other mineral types.
Vivianite - Named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1817 who named it after the English mineralogist John Henry Vivian (1785-1855) who discovered it in Cornwall.

-W-

Wagnerite/Triplite/Pyrite - A mix of 3 minerals with 3 different name origins.
Wagnerite - Named for F. M. von Wagner (1768-1851), a mining official in Munich, Germany.
Triplite - From the Greek triplos, meaning "three-fold", alluding to its three prominent cleavages.
Pyrite - Iron Pyrites, from the ancient Greek pyrites meaning "flint" or "millstone from Pyros" (Pyros was a place of fire) since it gives off sparks when struck.
Watermelon Tourmaline - From the Sri Lanka Singhalese word turamali meaning "many coloured" and thought to have been applied by Sri Lankan jewelers to many gems other than Tourmaline alone. The prefix Watermelon, is of course, in reference to the fact that a slice through this type of Tourmaline looks exactly like a slice of the fruit watermelon, with its green rind and pink fleshy middle.
White Aragonite - Named from where it was first identified, the region of Aragon in Spain. The prefix White, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
White Aventurine - From the old Italian word aventurina given to this mineral. This word was itself from the Italian aventura meaning "by chance" as this mineral was often found by accident. The prefix white is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
White Jade - From a Spanish term piedra de yjada meaning "stone of the side" since the stone was supposed to cure kidney problems that were causing pain in ones side. The prefix White, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
White Onyx - From the Greek word onyx which means "a claw" or "a hoof" or "a fingernail". These terms allude to the more usual colour of Onyx. The prefix White, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular variety.
Wollastonite - Discovered in 1818 by J Leman and named by him in honour of William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828) the English chemist who discovered Palladium and Rhodium.
Wulfenite - Named after Austrian mineralogist, F. X. Wulfen (1728-1805) who first discovered this mineral.

-Y-

Yellow Fluorite - Named after its composition containing fluorine and from the Latin, fluere meaning "to flow" as it has a very low melting point. The prefix Yellow of course, refers to the colour of this particular variety.
Yellow Jasper - The origin of the word Jasper is unknown but it is thought to be traceable back to the Latin iaspis, and the Assyrian ashpu. The prefix Yellow, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.
Yellow Opal - From the ancient Sanskrit word upala meaning "a stone" or "a precious stone". The prefix Yellow, is of course, in reference to the colour of this particular varirty.

-Z-

Zebra Agate - Named from where it was first found - by the River Achates (now called the river Drillo) in Sicily. The prefix Zebra, is of course, in reference to the fact that both the pattern, and the black and white colouration on the stone, resemble the skin of a zebra.
Zincite - Named after its composition which contains zinc (From the German, zink)
Zircon - Derived from the Arabic word zarqun, which itself was derived from the two Persian words zar meaning "gold" and gun meaning "colour".

 

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