Gemstone names, colors, meanings, characteristics

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Gemstone names, colors, meanings, characteristics

Gemstone names, colors and characteristics has been a topic for discussion for hundreds – possibly even thousands – of years. Over this period, gemstones, precious and semi-precious stones have been associated with certain characteristics or been attributed with specific powers. Read any books on ancient customs and you will come across precious and semi-precious stones, which are not only prized for their rarity but are attributed with certain, often mystical powers.

The following is a brief summary of the characteristics usually associated with each gemstone.


Agate Colors: almost any color from white, grey-blue, violet, red, orange, yellow, brown and black, depending upon the minerals that are embedded in them.

Agate Gemstone Meanings: Agates are power stones that have properties of protection and energy. They have the variety and versatility typical of a Gemini personality. Other characteristics and meanings of Agate are:

  • Bring calmness and tranquillity
  • Reduce anxiety and effects of Stress
  • Improve communication – including confidence in public speaking
  • Build self esteem
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Prevent insomnia and promotes improved quality of sleep
  • Attract good fortune
  • Assist with concentration – especially for analytical work

Blue Agate: Tranquility, confidence, intuition and development of spirituality

Moss Agate: Helps expand the mind, opens up new friendship, appreciation of nature, brings a sense of balance into one’s life. 


Amethyst color: Purple

Amethyst Gemstone Meanings: Historically seen as a gemstone for spirituality and serenity, the Amethyst is considered helpful for the following:

  • Improving mood and energy
  • Attracting love and happiness
  • Finding spiritual guidance
  • Overcoming insomnia and improving quality of sleep
  • Conquering addictions – especially to alcohol
  • Promoting a sense of peace and healing


Aquamarine Colors: Light blue and blue-greens

Aquamarine Gemstone Meanings: The cool blue colors of the Aquamarine truly reflect its qualities. The Aquamarine is considered helpful for:

  • Calming and overcoming fears and phobias
  • Uplifting mood from depression to cheerfulness
  • Keeping focused in order to achieve success
  • Improving communication between couples
  • Maximising love and fidelity in relationships
  • Enhancing knowledge and insight
  • Protection from the sea – the Aquamarine was historically used by sailors and believed to be the stone of mermaids.


Beryl Colors: These Beryls form a family of other gemstones such as: the Emerald, the Aquamarine and others such as the Helidor (also known as Golden Beryl), Morganite (that is a pink Beryl), Cat’s Eye (a Chrysoberyl) and many others. Beryls therefore comprise just about every color.

Beryl Gemstone Meanings: See specific gemstones such as Emeralds and Aquamarines for their meanings. Otherwise, Beryls generally have been considered to possess the following qualities:

  • Enhances the personal charm of the wearer
  • Increases the intellect
  • Create energy – including healing energy
  • Protection from harm when traveling
  • Assists in fighting battles and legal matters

Morganite: Helps create a positive attitude when under stress, enables feelings of peace and joy, provides clarity of thought


Bloodstone Colors: Dark Green with red splashes of Red Jasper

Bloodstone Gemstone Meanings: The Bloodstone is also known as Heliotrope – a name which is derived from the Greek Helios and means the “Stone of the Sun”. The Red Jasper within the stone was believed by ancient civilisations to be symbolic of the rays of the sun setting over the sea. Other beliefs for the Bloodstone include:

  • Helps reduce conflict and protect against the “evil eye” of others
  • Provides courage to wearer to overcome difficulties – has been known as the “Hero’s Gemstone”
  • Increases endurance – Greek and Roman athletes wore bloodstone
  • Improves creativity
  • De-toxifies the body, strengthens immunity system
  • Also known as the “Martyr’s Stone” and worn as a sign of Christian Faith – due to the Red Jasper within the stone symbolising the blood of Christ.

Note: Readers thinking that the Bloodstone is not the least bit romantic for their loved one should consider gemstones for the two zodiac signs that fall into the month: Aries (March 21st – April 19th) that has a diamond as its gemstone – and you don’t get more romantic than that! Or, Taurus (April 20th – May 20th) that has Sapphire – known as a gemstone of passion!


Carnelian Colors: Red, orange-red and red-brown

Carnelian Gemstone Meanings: Historically, Carnelians have been used as talismans to for good fortune and protection against harm. The Canelians were only worn by people of high social status and it is reputed that the Emperor Napoleon had a Carnelian. Signet rings made from Carnelian were commonly used by Romans in authority for sealing letters with wax. The Carnelian gemstone, therefore has had a long history of being associated with power and the characteristics of powerful people. Some of these qualities are:

  • An action stone – motivates people to take action to achieve career success
  • An energy booster – increase of physical strength
  • Increases sexual energy
  • Instils confidence and courage
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Protects against negative emotions – especially anger
  • Enhances sociability and emotional warmt 


Citrine Colors: Yellows

Gemstone Meanings: Yellow is the color that is symbolic for the intellect and various beliefs about the Yellow Topaz, centre around matters of the mind: Some of these are:

  • Stimulates the mind and makes it more alert
  • Helps develop intuition
  • Promotes creativity
  • Takes away negative thoughts and brings joy and optimism
  • Brings confidence and self esteem
  • Instils self discipline
  • Assists in spiritual development
  • Generates abundance, prosperity and career success
  • Energises and develops physical strength


Diamond Colors: Colorless, pink, blue, green, champagne, brown and black

Diamond Gemstone Meanings: Believed by the ancient Greeks to be “splinters of stars fallen to earth from the heavens”, the diamond have been adorning people for many thousands of years. Some of the beliefs include:

  • They have magical powers
  • Symbolize love and beauty
  • Have purity
  • Enable inner peace and calm
  • Give courage and invincibility
  • Build self respect
  • Bring clarity of thought – for meditation and intellectual pursuits
  • Provide protection against poisoning
  • They enhance the power of other gemstones


Emerald Color: Green

Emerald Gemstone Meanings: Known for its elegance and exquisite beauty – and considered by some to be the sacred stone of the goddess Venus – the Emerald is believed to possess the following qualities:

  • Promotes love and romance – and luck with romance
  • Maximises female fertility
  • Serenity and tranquillity
  • Enables clarity of mind – practical insight
  • Improve memory and focus
  • Ability to work in harmony and create unity
  • Development of psychic insight
  • Optimism and abundance


Garnet colors: Pink, Purple, Red, Orange, Brown

Garnet Gemstone Meanings: Viewed by some as “Earth” or “Power” stones the Garnet is considered helpful for the following:

  • Courage, bravery and strength
  • Developing self esteem
  • Confidence building – public speaking – improving communication skills
  • Creating balance, harmony, tranquillity and reducing stress and anxiety
  • Reducing anger, resentment, acceptance, being able to forgive and move on
  • Maximising creativity
  • Improving concentration
  • Attracting good fortune, abundance and wealth
  • Pleasant dreams
  • Protective and healing energy

Lapis Lazuli:

Lapis Lazuli Color: Deep blue with gold

Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Meanings: Like the Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli was also viewed by ancient cultures as a gemstone with connections to the sky – being given names such as “Light of the gods”. Lapis Lazuli has been worn by kings and priests for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used it extensively for jewelry and ornaments. Lapis Lazuli qualities include:

  • Knowledge and wisdom
  • Calmness
  • Love and faithfulness
  • Passion – the Romans believed that it was an aphrodisiac
  • Strengthening of physical, mental and psychic powers
  • Overcomes shyness


Moonstone Colors: milky whites and blues, silver greys, pinks, peach, orange and silvery rainbow – all with lustrous sheens

Moonstone Gemstone Meanings: This mystical looking gemstone has associations with the moon and the goddess Diana. The Moonstone has a history of association with the following meanings:

  • Helps to calm and balance the emotions
  • Brings out the “feminine qualities” – gentleness and intuition
  • Used by gemstone healers for balancing hormone cycles
  • Enhances passion for couples when worn at full moon
  • heals damaged relationships and creates new ones
  • Bestows good fortune upon the wearer


Onyx colors: mostly known for its black, black and white or brown and white bands of color – although it can be found in orange, honey and red.

Onyx Gemstone Meanings: A “grounding” stone that has been used for attaining physical and mental strength for power and success. The Onyx is believed to enhance many of the qualities needed for success as a politician or business person. These qualities include:

  • Acquisition of self mastery and self confidence
  • Ability to repel negative thinking and negativity of others
  • Protection from adversaries – wards off the evil eye
  • Development of stamina and strength
  • Courage and control
  • Increased prosperity
  • Health and happiness
  • Vigor and constancy
  • Determination 


Opal Colours:
Opal colors: milky white, creamy yellow, pink, blue and purple iridescent hues
Fire Opal colors: yellow, orange and red – due to the influence of iron oxides
Black Opals: dark grey and dark blue to black – due to the influence of manganese oxides and organic carbon

Opal Gemstone Meanings: These mesmeric gemstones, with transparent or pearly iridescent colors, have been used historically by Australian and North American Shaman for dream work and other visionary healing rituals. Some of the beliefs attributed to Opals are:

White Opals:

  • A gemstone of God and Angels
  • Clears negative thoughts and creates positive thinking
  • A balancing gemstone

Blue and Blue/Green Opals:

  • For Hope and love
  • Fulfils wishes
  • Used by Shaman for its Visionary qualities
  • A stone of the fairies – to see beyond the physical world
  • A stone of the mermaids and dolphins
  • Relaxing
  • Facilitates restful sleep
  • Improves communication

Pink Opals:

  • A stone of hope and love
  • Lifts and balances the mood
  • Peace and tranquillity
  • Heals the emotions
  • Clairvoyance

Fire Opals:

  • Passion – raises the passion of love
  • Creativity – facilitates new ideas
  • Increases energy and motivation
  • Supports during times of change
  • Protects against danger
  • Helps to increase wealth

Black Opals:

  • An important good luck stone
  • Improves sexual attraction
  • Greater spirituality

Ancient cultures also had a belief that the Opal could make people invisible. This may well have been because the changing nature of the Opals colors looked as if they were disappearing and then re-appearing.

The gemstone also has an association with healing the eye – possibly due to the watery composition of the Opal and it’s similarity to the human eye with its inner watery structure and combination of white and colors within the iris.


Pearl Colors: white, cream, peach, pink, silver, gold, grey, purple, blue and black

Pearl Gemstone Meanings: With associations to the moon, because of their lustrous moonlike qualities, Pearls have a history dating back to the times of Cleopatra and St. Augustine.

Meanings for Pearls include:

White pearls: innocence, purity and honesty
Gold pearls: wealth and prosperity
Pink and Peach pearls: femininity and love from the heart
Freshwater Pearls: the power of love, wealth, good luck and protection from harm


Peridot Color: pale green and olive green

Peridot Gemstone Meanings: The Peridot has been worn by ancient people for centuries. Prized by the Egyptians and believed to be sacred by the early Christians, the Peridot has been a favourite of many famous people in history. A peridot was given by Napoleon to his mistress, Josephine as an expression of his love and it is believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually Peridots. Peridots are thought to help with the following:

  • For dreams to become a reality
  • Attract love and wealth
  • Promote a positive attitude
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Increases strength and vitality


Ruby Color: The best rubies are rich, carmine red

Ruby Gemstone Meanings: Steeped in ancient history, the ruby has been a significant gemstone of choice for kings, priests and warriors. In more recent years the ruby has become a symbol of love and passion and a popular gemstone for engagement rings. Ancient and more recent meanings include:

  • Develops confidence and self belief
  • Helps with wise decision making
  • Protects and gives courage – some ancient cultures believed the ring warned of danger by becoming darker until the danger had passed.
  • Motivates and lifts mood
  • Nurtures positive change in one’s life
  • Passion and fertility
  • A gemstone for celebrating the 15th and 40th wedding anniversary 


Sapphire Colors: blue, pink, yellow, green and colorless

Sapphire Gemstone Meanings: Sapphires have been highly prized by royalty – one of the most famous and iconic sapphires being Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring.

Blue sapphires were known by the ancients as “celestial gems” because their colors reflected the sky at various times of the day from dawn to sunset. Some of their perceived properties are:

  • Faithfulness and devotion
  • Truthfulness
  • Clarity and perception
  • Calmness

Pink Sapphires promote:

  • Passion
  • Emotional healing
  • Overcomes shyness 


Tanzanite Colors: Deep blues and purple

Tanzanite Gemstone Meanings: A relatively new gemstone, discovered in the 1960’s, Tanzanite does not have the long history of beliefs and meanings, as many other gemstones do. The Massai tribesmen, who were the first to discover Tanzanite, believe that it brings good fortune and have given it to their newborn children. Some of the attributes that crystal therapists give to Tanzanite :

  • The gemstone has healing powers
  • Increases spirituality
  • Helps people become calm and more physically grounded
  • Balances the throat chakra and helps improve communication 


Topaz Colors: Yellow, orange and brown

Topaz Gemstone Meanings: Ancient Egyptians believed the Topaz became yellow after contact with the arms of Ra, their Sun God – and because of this, it would protect them. Other beliefs about Yellow Topaz are:

  • Promotes happiness and positive thinking
  • Develops creativity
  • Enables knowledge, understanding and wisdom
  • Energising
  • Creates wealth
  • Calming
  • Used for meditation and developing spiritual awareness

Blue Topaz:

Blue Topaz Colors: blue hues include: sky blues, greenish blues and electric blues

Blue Topaz Gemstone Meanings: From the beautiful transparent blue of the Topaz we can imagine why the ancient people believed that this gemstone could help improve a person’s eyesight and mental clarity. Other beliefs include:

  • Helps calm and reduce the effects of stress
  • Lightens mental burdens and uplifts the mind to cope more positively
  • Improves communication
  • Enables concentration and focus
  • Relieves insomnia and promotes better quality of sleep
  • Attracts love and wealth
  • Protects against physical harm


Tourmaline Colors: Found in many colors: green, blue, yellow, red, pink, violet, brown, black and occasionally white and colorless

Tourmaline Gemstone Meanings: A belief from ancient mythology, holds that the tourmaline gained it’s wide range of colors by rising from the earth and passing through a rainbow. Other beliefs about the properties of the Tourmaline include:

  • For love, joy and peace
  • Helps fertility
  • Develops creativity
  • Calming – reduces the effects of stress
  • Protecting
  • Life energising
  • Encourages self confidence
  • Enhances spirituality and wisdom


Turquoise Colors: sky blue, turquoise and greenish blues – with flecks of gold

Turquoise Gemstone Meanings: Turquoise has been an important gemstone for many ancient cultures: The ancient Egyptians believed it had protective qualities and incorporated it into swords and other weapons. The Aztecs believed that it had magical properties and would help recovery from illness and the North American Indians thought that it would bring good fortune. Turquoise was frequently used in many of the early North American Indians’ ceremonies. They decorated their idols with the stone and hoped that the use of turquoise would find favor with their spirit world. Wearing Turquoise is also believed to help with the following:

    • Protecting the wearer from negative energy
    • Creating peace
    • Enhancing friendships
    • Portraying status and accumulation of wealth
    • Activating creativity

Please note that the above list of gemstones and their meanings has been collated  from a wide range of sources including books and other sources on ancient beliefs and customs. Any properties or claimed curative powers associated with any of the gemstones are not intended to be a substitute for any medical or professional advice or recommendations. Please seek medical or professional advice from a medical doctor or other expert, if you are experiencing any health issues or any other problems in your life. The above is for general interest or amusement only.





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