False and Confusing Gemstone Names

Some of the names commonly used for gemstones can be confusing. 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.

The seller may not actually know that the name is misleading, having purchased it in good faith, but often these names are used to confuse buyers and misrepresent stones.

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

False Name Gemological Name
Adelaide Ruby Almandine Garnet
 African Emerald  Green Fluorite
 Alaska Diamond  Quartz Rock Crystal
 American Jade  Green Idocrase
 American Ruby  Pyrope Garnet, Almandine Garnet or Rose Quartz
 Arizona Ruby  Pyrope Garnet
 Arizona Spinel  Red or Green Garnet
 Arkansas Diamond  Quartz Rock Crystal
 Balas Ruby  Red Spinel
 Blue Alexandrite  Colour Change Sapphire
 Blue Moonstone  Chalcedony – artificially blue tinted
 Bohemian Chrysolite  Moldavite – natural glass
 Bohemian Diamond  Quartz Rock Crystal
 Bohemian Ruby  Pyrope Garnet  or Rose Quartz
 Brazilian Aquamarine  Bluegreen Topaz
 Brazilian Ruby  Red or Pink Topaz
 Brazilian Sapphire  Blue Tourmaline
 Californian Ruby  Hessonite – grossular garnet
 Candy Spinel  Almandine Garnet
 Cape-chrysolite  Green Phrenite
 Cape-ruby  Pyrope Garnet
 Ceylon Diamond  Colourless Zircon
 Ceylon Opal  Opal-like Moonstone
 Copper Lapis  Azurite
 German Diamond  Quartz Rock crystal
 German Lapis  Chalcedony – artificially blue tinted
 Gold topaz  Citrine Quartz
 Indian Jade  Aventurine Quartz
 King’s Topaz  Yellow Sapphire
 Korean Jade  Serpentine
 Lithia Amethyst  Kunzite Spodumene
 Lithia Emerald  Hiddenite Spodumene
 Madeira Topaz  Citrine Quartz
 Marmarosch Diamond  Quartz Rock crystal
 Matura Diamond  Colourless Fired Zircon
 Mexican Diamond  Quartz Rock Crystal
 Mexican Jade  Marble – artificially tinted green
 Montana Ruby  Red Garnet
 Oriental Amethyst  Violet Sapphire
 Oriental Hyacinth  Pink Sapphire
 Oriental Topaz  Yellow Sapphire
 Palmyra Topaz  Brown synthetic sapphire
 Salmanca Topaz  Citrine Quartz
 Saxon Chrysolite  Greenish-yellow Topaz
 Saxon Diamond  Colourless Topaz
 Serra Topaz  Citrine Quartz
 Siamese Aquamarine  Blue Zircon
 Siberian Chrysolite  Demantoid Garnet
 Siberian Ruby  Red Tourmaline
 Simili Diamond  Glass imitation
 Slav-diamond  Colourless Topaz
 Smoky Topaz  Smokey Quartz
 Spanish Topaz  Citrine Quartz
 Strass Diamond  Glass imitation
 Transvaal Jade  Green Grossular Garnet
 Ural Sapphire  Blue Tourmaline
 Viennese Turquoise  Artificially blue-tinted argillaceous earth

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

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