Where to Find Precious Gem Stones

Where various gems and precious stones are found, including the agate, opal, jade, peridot, moonstone, turquoise, lapis lazuli, malachite, and azurite

Agate. Agates of the finest types, such as carnelian and sard, come principally from Brazil and from India.

Opal. Opals now come most largely from Australia, the Hungarian mines yielding but few stones at present. The fine black opals of New South Wales are unsurpassed by any that have ever been found elsewhere, Mexico furnishes considerable opal, and is notable for its fine "fire opal" or "cherry opal."

Jade. Most of the jade of the variety nephrite that is obtained to-day comes from several of the provinces of China or from Siberia or from Turkestan. A dark-green nephrite comes from New Zealand.

Jade of the jadeite variety, which is harder than nephrite and more highly valued, is rare. The best specimens come from Upper Burmah. It is also found in China and in Tibet.

Peridot. Peridot, and the brighter olivine or chrysolite, while of the same mineral species, do not seem to occur together. The darker bottle-green specimens come from the Island of St. John in the Red Sea. It is said that many of the finer peridots now available have been recut from old stones mined many years ago.

Queensland supplies light-green chrysolite, and Arizona a yellowish-green variety. Light-green stones have been found near the ruby mines of Upper Burmah.

Moonstone. Moonstone comes mainly from Ceylon. The native cut specimens are sent here and recut, as, when native cut, the direction of the grain is seldom correct to produce the moonlight effect in symmetrical fashion. The native cutters apparently try to retain all the size and weight that is possible, regardless of the effect.

Turquoise. Turquoise of the finest blue and most compact texture (and hence least subject to color change) comes from the province of Khorassan in Persia. Several of our western states supply turquoise of fair quality, notably New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

Lapis Lazuli. Lapis Lazuli comes from Afghanistan, from Siberia, and from South America.

Malachite. Malachite is found in many copper mines, but principally in those of the Ural Mountains.

Azurite. Azurite is found in the Arizona mines and in Chessy, in France (hence the name chessylite, sometimes used instead of azurite).

References. Students who wish to get a fuller account of the occurrence of precious stones should run through G. F. Herbert-Smith's Gem-Stones under the different varieties. This work is the most recent authentic work of a strictly scientific character. Dr. George F. Kunz's Gems and Precious Stones of North

America gives a detailed account of all the finds in North America up to the time of publication. Many of these are of course of little commercial importance. The Mineral Resources of the United States contains annually a long account of the occurrences of gem materials in this country. A separate pamphlet containing only the gem portion can be had gratis from the office of the United States Geological Survey, Washington, D. C.


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