Tumbled Stone Identification


 Tumbled Stone Identification Chart

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Amazonite

Amazonite is a green microcline feldspar. It is named after the Amazon River of South America, where the first commercial deposits were found. The stones shown here are a light green Amazonite that was mined in Mozambique.

Apache Tears

Apache Tears

Apache Tears are round nodules of obsidian that polish to a beautiful jet black color. If you hold them up to the light you will see that they are a translucent to transparent glass. These polished Apache Tears were produced from a material found in Arizona (USA)

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Apricot Agate

Apricot Agate

Apricot Agate is a banded agate that is named for its apricot pink or orange color. It is a beautiful material with bands of whites, creams, yellows, oranges and pinks. The stones shown here were produced from agate mined in Botswana (Africa).

Banded Amethyst

Banded Amethyst

Amethyst is the name given to transparent to translucent purple quartz. It often forms in alternating bands with white to clear quartz. The resulting material is called Banded Amethyst or sometimes Chevron Amethyst. The Banded Amethyst used to produce these stones was mined in Namibia (Africa).

Banded Carnelian

Banded Carnelian

Carnelian is a translucent orange to red or brown agate. It often forms in alternating bands with white chalcedony. The result is known as Banded Carnelian. These stones were produced from an orange to pink material mined in Botswana (Africa).

Black Moonstone

Black Moonstone

Moonstone occurs in a wide variety of colors, including black and dark gray. The black to gray bodycolor is visible from most directions, but when the angle of light or angle of observation is just right, a flash of silver adularescence is produced. The luster approaches metallic.

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline

Tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of any gem. The colors are caused by the mineral’s many compositions. The most common tourmaline color is a material that is so black that it is essentially opaque. This pitch-black variety is known as “schorl.”

Bloodstone

Bloodstone

Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, is a green jasper splashed with small drops of red. The red drops remind many people of blood and that is the source of the name Bloodstone. It has been a popular stone since Biblical times. The Bloodstone shown here was produced from material mined in India.

Blue Beryl

Blue Beryl

Beryl is mineral that occurs in a variety of colors. When it is attractive it is used as a gem. Transparent blue beryl is the very popular gemstone known as “aquamarine”. When it is translucent to opaque the name “blue beryl” is most appropriate but some mall jewelry stores use the name aquamarine.

Blue Chalcedony

Blue Chalcedony

There are very few blue gemstones. Occasionally the variety of microcrystalline quartz known as chalcedony occurs in a blue color, such as this blue material mined in Namibia (Africa).

 

Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate is the name given to a chalcedony that consists of alternating bands of white agate and subtle blue to transparent agate. The result is a lacy appearance that looks like blue lace. The Blue Lace Agate shown here was produced from material found in Namibia (Africa).

Blue Quartzite

Blue Quartzite

Blue quartzite is a metamorphosed sandstone that receives its color from tiny blue inclusions of a fibrous mineral that is probably dumortierite. The abundance of the inclusions causes color variation within the stone and some intense blue bands where the inclusions are most abundant.

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Botswana Agate

Botswana Agate

Botswana Agate is a name given to a banded agate found in Botswana (Africa). This agate typically has wonderful white, gray and brown banding – sometimes with “eyes” – and takes a very high polish.

 

Brecciated Jasper

Brecciated Jasper

“Breccia” is a rock composed of angular fragments. Brecciated jasper consists of jasper fragments cemented together with agate or jasper. The Brecciated Jasper shown here is a bright red material with white, gray and black markings. These stones were produced from material found in South Africa

Carnelian

Carnelian Agate

Carnelian Agate is a translucent orange to red or brown agate. It has been a popular gemstone since Biblical times. The stones shown here have a bright orange color and a very bright polish. They were produced from agate found in Botswana (Africa).

Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla in Quartz

Chrysocolla is a vivid blue to blue-green mineral that contains copper. It often forms in intimate association with quartz or chalcedony to yield a durable gemstone. Chrysocolla is often found associated with copper deposits much like the mineral turquoise. These stones were produced from material mined in Namibia (Africa)

Magnesite

Magnesite

Magnesite is a magnesium carbonate mineral. It usually has a white or gray color and is sometimes marked with gray to black veins. It is porous and its white color allows it to accept dye with very predictable color results. It is often confused with Howlite.

Dyed magnesite

Magnesite – Dyed

Magnesite is one of the most commonly dyed lapidary materials. It is often dyed to produce bright colors that are not often found in natural stones. It is also used as a substitute for turquoise. These are sometimes sold without disclosure.

Mahogany Obsidian

Mahogany Obsidian

Mahogany Obsidian is a rare variety of obsidian (a natural volcanic glass) that gets its name from its brown color. It ranges from a “black obsidian with brown markings” to a solid brown material. It accepts a very bright polish and is very popular because of that polish.

Malachite

Malachite

Malachite is a green copper carbonate mineral. It often displays swirled and banded patterns in shades of light through dark green. It is a very heavy material because of its high copper content. These stones were produced from malachite mined in Zaire (Africa

Montana Moss Agate

Montana Moss Agate

Montana Moss is a transparent to translucent agate with brown and black mossy inclusions. The base color ranges from clear through milky to amber brown. It is named after the State of Montana where it is found at many locations and is a popular rough with lapidarie

Mookaite

Mookaite

Mookaite is silicified radiolarian siltstone that is found in Western Australia. Many specimens of Mookaite can accept a very high polish. It is widely known for its spectacular contrasting color patterns of yellows, creams, reds and maroons.

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nephrite

Nephrite

Nephrite and jadeite are the two minerals that can rightfully be called “jade.” Nephrite is the less valuable of the pair. It occurs in colors that range through white, cream, green, gray and black. It can be difficult to polish in a rock tumbler because it is so tough

Ocean Jasper

Ocean Jasper

Ocean Jasper, sometimes called “orbicular jasper,” is a silicified rhyolite or tuff that contains “eyes” formed from radial quartz and feldspar crystals. It occurs in a variety of colours, but green, yellow, white, pink and cream colour patterns are very common. It often has an amazing

Oil Shale

Oil Shale

Most people think of a sticky, gooey rock when they hear the name “oil shale”. However, it is often silicified enough that it can be polished in a rock tumbler to produce beautiful banded tumbled stones with subtle shades of gray, brown, tan and green

Olive Opal

Olive Opal

Olive opal is a color variety of common opal with a greenish yellow or yellowish green to black color. It can be translucent to opaque and translucent pieces often have a resinous appearance that reminds you of a greenish amber. S

Orange Quartz

Orange Quartz

Quartz naturally occurs in almost every color of the spectrum. These colors are caused by impurities in the quartz crystal. This gemmy orange quartz in a beautiful “peach” color was produced from a mine in India.

 

Orthoclase

Orthoclase

Orthoclase is a very common mineral of the feldspar family. It often has a pleasing peach color and soft pearly luster. Surprisingly orthoclase has not received the same level of lapidary attention as amazonite – another feldspar mineral with an interesting color. It has right angle cleavage and often breaks into interesting shapes.

Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood

Petrified wood forms when plant debris is buried and then replaced by mineral material such as chalcedony or opal. This often occurs when a forest is buried under a volcanic ash fall. When polished these pieces of wood often display interesting grain patterns that can sometimes be linked to a specific type of plant.

Arizona petrified wood

Petrified Wood (Arizona)

Petrified wood is found at many localities worldwide. The most famous are in the state of Arizona (USA). Much of the petrified wood found there is various shades of red without distinctive wood grain. It is sometimes found as logs or tree segments. Most is found as small pieces scattered on the surface or in dry washes..

pyrite

Pyrite

Pyrite is one of Earth’s most common minerals. It is found almost everywhere and in almost every type of rock. Its metallic yellow color causes it to be often mistaken for the much more valuable gold. That’s how it earned the name “fool’s gold.” Some people call this material “healer’s gold” – but it has no medicinal value.

Picasso Stone

Picasso Stone

“Picasso stone” reminds many people of the interesting art style of the famous painter, Pablo Picasso. It is a beautiful material with angular patterns in gray, brown, black, cream, white and other colors. These stones were produced from material found in Utah (USA).

Picture Jasper

Picture Jasper

Picture Jasper is a material marked with colors and patterns that look like “landscape” scenes – thus the name “picture jasper.” If you study a stone you will often find interesting “pictures” of landscapes and deserts. These stones were produced from material found in Namibia (Africa).

Pink Aventurine

Pink Aventurine

Aventurine is a quartz with abundant inclusions of platy minerals such as mica. The inclusions reflect and scatter light within the stone to produce a glittering phenomenon known as “aventurescence.” The pink stones shown here were produced from material mined in Canada.

Pink Botswana Agate

Pink Botswana Agate

“Botswana agate” is the name given to banded agates produced in the country of Botswana (Africa). Some of these stones occur in a gray through creamy pink color. These are known as “Pink Botswana.”

 

Pink Opal

Pink Opal

Pink opal is a variety of common opal that is rarely seen as a tumbled stone. It can be a beautiful material even though it lacks the “play of color” exhibited by precious opal. These specimens were mined in Peru, a country that is well known for producing pink opal.

Polychrome Jasper

Polychrome Jasper

Polychrome Jasper gets its name from its many colors – “poly” + “chrome”. It is often red, brown, orange, gray, white, and bluish or greenish colors. These colors are usually arranged in banded or swirled patterns. The most famous deposit is in Madagascar, but look-alike material is found in many areas.

Prehnite

Prehnite

Prehnite is a yellow to green silicate mineral that is occasionally found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The specimens used as gemstones generally are transparent to translucent with a pleasing yellow-green color. The stones shown here were produced from material mined in South Africa.

Rainforest Rhyolite

Rainforest Rhyolite

Rainforest Rhyolite is a mottled greenish to brown, heavily-patterned material that is thought to have formed from the silicification of rhyolite. It can contain numerous orbs, poppy-shaped structures and occasional vugs that are sometimes filled with a milky to bluish chalcedony. Some people call it “Rainforest Jasper”.

Rainbow hematite

Rainbow “Hematite”

Rainbow “Hematite” is a man-made material that is often given a thin coating of an iridescent metallic material. The bright iridescent colors really attract attention and produce sales in gift, souvenir, and science stores. The name “hematite” is in quotes because it is a misnomer.

Red Jasper

Red Jasper

Jasper is an opaque chalcedony and red is one of its most common colors. This red jasper from South Africa has a fire-engine red color that in some stones is interrupted by a white to transparent quartz vein. It often accepts an exceptionally high polish.

Rhodonite

Rhodonite – Pink

Rhodonite is a metamorphic manganese mineral that is well known for its beautiful pink color. It is often found as nodules that are cut by abundant black veins of other manganese minerals. The material used to produce these stones was mined in Canada.

Raspberry rhodonite

Rhodonite – Raspberry

Raspberry rhodonite is a bright pink variety of the manganese mineral, rhodonite. It is a metamorphic mineral with a gemmy pink color that is often interrupted by veins of black manganese oxide. The specimens shown here were found in Madagascar.

Rhyolite

Rhyolite

Rhyolite is an extrusive igneous rock that is produced during gas-charged explosive eruptions. When rhyolite has been silicified, it can be polished in a rock tumbler. The material shown here is known as “chipboard” because its broken appearance reminds some people of the inexpensive substitute for plywood.

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is a transparent to translucent variety of crystalline quartz with a soft pink color. It takes a very high polish and is an exceptionally popular semiprecious stone. The material used to produce these stones was mined in Namibia (Africa).

Ruby in Fuchsite

Ruby in Fuchsite

Fuchsite is a green mineral of the mica family, and ruby is a well-known gem material. When together they are called Ruby in Fuchsite. It is often confused with Ruby in Zoisite. They are easy to tell apart because R-i-F usually contains some blue kyanite near the “rubies.”

Ruby in Zoisite

Ruby in Zoisite

Zoisite is a mineral that is rarely found in metamorphic rocks. Even more rarely it contains bright red corundum crystals (rubies). This bright green zoisite mined in Tanzania (Africa) contains occasional red rubies a few millimeters in diameter.

Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated quartz is clear to smoky quartz that contains needle-like inclusions of rutile. The number of rutile needles can range from a few thin isolated needles to a dense network of intersecting fibers. The needles are often golden in color and align with the crystallographic axes of the quartz.

Serpentine

Serpentine

Serpentine is the name used for a large group of minerals that are often cut and polished into beautiful gemstones, ornamental stones and architectural materials. It is sometimes used for fine carvings. It can be difficult to tumble to a bright polish but a few people have mastered that work.

Snowflake Obsidian

Snowflake Obsidian

Obsidian is a natural volcanic glass that can be polished to a very high luster. Some stones of obsidian contain white crystals of the mineral cristobalite. When polished these stones produce a gemstone known as snowflake obsidian.

Sodalite

Sodalite

Blue rocks and minerals are rare and that is what makes sodalite an interesting mineral. It is an igneous mineral named for its sodium content. It typically occurs in a range of blue hues but white and pink colors are also common.

Sunstone

Sunstone

Sunstone is a plagioclase feldspar that contains abundant inclusions of platy minerals such as mica or metals that sparkle in reflected light. This sparkling luster is known as aventurescence. These specimens of sunstone were mined in India.

Blue Tiger's-Eye

Tiger’s-Eye – Blue

Tiger’s-Eye receives its name from how reflected light forms a band that crosses the stone at a right angle to linear structures within the stone. Although the most popular Tiger’s-Eye is golden to brown in color, it also occurs in other colors such as this deep blue material found in South Africa.

Gold Tiger's-Eye

Tiger’s-Eye – Gold

Tiger’s-Eye receives its name from reflections of light that form a band crossing the stone at a right angle to fibrous structures within the stone. The Tiger’s-Eye shown here is the popular and typical golden brown color. These stones were produced from material found in South Africa.

Red Tiger's-Eye

Tiger’s-Eye – Red

Most Tiger’s-Eye is a honey to golden brown color; however, it is sometimes heat-treated to produce a deep reddish color. A small amount of red tiger’s-eye is produced by natural heating. These stones were produced from material found in South Africa.

Tree Agate

Tree Agate

Tree agate is a name used for a white chalcedony that has green dendritic markings. It is a very popular material used to make beads, cabochons and tumbled gemstones. The stones shown here were produced from material mined in Botswana.

Turquoise

Turquoise

Turquoise is a gemstone that is so famous for its distinctive blue-green color that the name of the gemstone has entered common language. Turquoise has been mined in many parts of the world. It is most famous use is in the Native American art produced by the people of the southwestern United States.

Turritella Agate

Turritella

Turritella is a rockhound name used for a brown, translucent, fossiliferous agate found in the Green River Formation of Wyoming. The name was given because the christener thought the fossils were of the Turritella genus (they are really Elimia tenera), but the name has stuck.

Unakite

Unakite

Unakite is an igneous rock that contains mostly green epidote and pink orthoclase, but with minor amounts of quartz and other minerals. It is often polished to produce an interesting gemstone. The stones shown here were produced from material mined in South Africa.

White Moonstone

White Moonstone

Moonstone is the name used for stones of orthoclase feldspar with a soft pearly luster, sometimes with adularescence or fluorescence. These white to cream-color stones have a nice pearly luster and bright polish. They were produced from moonstone mined in India.

White Quartz

White Quartz

White quartz is one of Earth’s small number of ubiquitous minerals – that means it is found almost everywhere. Perhaps it is rarely polished because it is so common that it is overlooked. However, it is a beautiful tumbled stone that works nicely in jewelry and craft projects.

Yellow Feather Jasper

Yellow Feather Jasper

Yellow feather is a multi-color jasper found in Utah. The name “yellow feather” was inspired by dark feather-like markings that cut across a basecolor of yellow, brown or reddish orange. IIt is used to make interesting tumbled stones.

 

Yellow Jasper

Yellow Jasper

Yellow Jasper is an opaque yellow to yellow-brown-beige chalcedony that can be polished to a very high luster. These stones, produced from material mined in South Africa, show some dark brown to cream color zones that produce a scenic pattern.

Yellow Quartz

Yellow Quartz

Yellow Quartz is a translucent to transparent quartz with a light to deep yellow color. These translucent stones were produced from material mined in India and have a very bright polish.

 

Zebra Marble

Zebra Marble

Zebra Marble is a black and white material that has a coloration similar to a zebra. It is a dolomitic marble in which the banded appearance is actually foliation caused by the heat and pressure of metamorphism.