False Confusing Names

False and 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 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