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False and Confusing Gemstone Names

False Confusing Gemstone Names

Some of the gemstone names we commonly use can be very confusing, and often costly to those unaware. For example, ‘Indian Jade’ is actually Aventurine, a form of quartz. The reference to ‘Jade’ is confusing and simply incorrect.

There are many such names that are still in use and you need to be careful when purchasing stones that use common names without referring to the true gemological name.

If you have purchased stones that were advertised using one of these names, the seller may have not know that the name is misleading. They also may have purchased it in good faith. However, often these names are used to confuse buyers and misrepresent stones.

Have a look at this list and you may find a few surprises.

Table of False & Confusing Names

False NameGemological Name
Adelaide RubyAlmandine Garnet
African EmeraldGreen Fluorite
Alaska DiamondQuartz Rock Crystal
American JadeGreen Idocrase
American RubyPyrope Garnet, Almandine Garnet or Rose Quartz
Arizona RubyPyrope Garnet
Arizona SpinelRed or Green Garnet
Arkansas DiamondQuartz Rock Crystal
Balas RubyRed Spinel
Blue AlexandriteColour Change Sapphire
Blue MoonstoneChalcedony – artificially blue tinted
Bohemian ChrysoliteMoldavite – natural glass
Bohemian DiamondQuartz Rock Crystal
Bohemian RubyPyrope Garnet or Rose Quartz
Brazilian AquamarineBluegreen Topaz
Brazilian RubyRed or Pink Topaz
Brazilian SapphireBlue Tourmaline
Californian RubyHessonite – grossular garnet
Candy SpinelAlmandine Garnet
Cape-chrysoliteGreen Phrenite
Cape-rubyPyrope Garnet
Ceylon DiamondColourless Zircon
Ceylon OpalOpal-like Moonstone
Copper LapisAzurite
German DiamondQuartz Rock crystal
German LapisChalcedony – artificially blue tinted
Gold topazCitrine Quartz
Indian JadeAventurine Quartz
King’s TopazYellow Sapphire
Korean JadeSerpentine
Lithia AmethystKunzite Spodumene
Lithia EmeraldHiddenite Spodumene
Madeira TopazCitrine Quartz
Marmarosch DiamondQuartz Rock crystal
Matura DiamondColourless Fired Zircon
Mexican DiamondQuartz Rock Crystal
Mexican JadeMarble – artificially tinted green
Montana RubyRed Garnet
Oriental AmethystViolet Sapphire
Oriental HyacinthPink Sapphire
Oriental TopazYellow Sapphire
Palmyra TopazBrown synthetic sapphire
Salmanca TopazCitrine Quartz
Saxon ChrysoliteGreenish-yellow Topaz
Saxon DiamondColourless Topaz
Serra TopazCitrine Quartz
Siamese AquamarineBlue Zircon
Siberian ChrysoliteDemantoid Garnet
Siberian RubyRed Tourmaline
Simili DiamondGlass imitation
Slav-diamondColourless Topaz
Smoky TopazSmokey Quartz
Spanish TopazCitrine Quartz
Strass DiamondGlass imitation
Transvaal JadeGreen Grossular Garnet
Ural SapphireBlue Tourmaline
Viennese TurquoiseArtificially blue-tinted argillaceous earth

Source: Gemstones of the World (5th edition), Walter Schumann

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