The Dynamic Earth View Multimedia Version

Main Menu >  Gems and Minerals >  All About Gems
TITLE: All About Gems


[Photo: Various Gems]

Any of the nearly 4,000 kinds of minerals could be cut into a gemstone—if a crystal of sufficient size and quality were found. But only about 15 different minerals are commonly used for gemstones. They combine desirable colors or optical effects with hardness and availability.







Bottom Navigation Bar

 

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits