Onyx is a chalcedony quartz that is typically mined in Brazil and India. The name comes from the Greek word onyx, which means nail of a finger or claw. Legend has it that black onyx derives from the nails of Venus.
Turquoise is the only gemstone that has a colour named after it. The word turquoise originated in the 17th century where Turkish traders transporting turquoise to Europe, were referred to as turquies.
The blue to green colour is caused by the presence of copper ions, hydroxide ions and water.
Lapis is the shortened names for Lapis Lazuli which means blue stone. In Latin, Lapis means stone and Lazuli is derived from the Persian word Lajward or Lazhward, meaning heaven, sky or the colour blue. It is considered a rock not a mineral, however, it contains a number of minerals including Lazurite, Calcite, Sodalite and Pyrite. The best quality Lapis is found in Afghanistan, where it has been mined for over 6,000 years. The stone is known to be soft and porous.
Calcite is a carbonated mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. Calcite is derived from the German “Calcit”, a term created in the 19th Century from the Latin word for lime, “Calx” with the suffix “ite” used to name minerals.
Its colour is white and can range from opaque to transparent, although it can come in shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue violet, brown, black or grey when the mineral is charged with impurities.
Unlike most gemstones coral is organic, it is formed by living organisms. Coral is generally white but can come in a range of colours including shades of orange and red.
Green Onyx is one variation of the Onyx stone. It is commonly found in Brazil and was traditionally used as a plinth for art deco sculptures during the 1930’s.