Brown Coloured Gemstones

Brown Coloured Gemstones
By Alice Koh
[For educational purposes only].


Moonstone comes in a great variety of colours which include white, orange, yellow, pink, red, peach, gray, blue and brown. The most sought after are blue and white.

Moonstone is the trade name of Orthoclase Feldspar. It is a variety of Feldspar which is a very common mineral here on Earth.

Moonstone hardness ranges from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale which makes it suitable for most types of jewellery. However to protect the gemstone from being easily chipped at the corners or edges, it is always cut en cabochon with round domed tops and flat bottoms.

Moonstone is one of the official birthstones for June and the 13th wedding anniversary gemstone gift.

Ancient civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, Greek, Roman and Hindu were in awe with this precious stone. They believed that these gemstones were created by the rays of the moon or that the shining spirit of the moon was trapped in it.

This trapped moonbeam is known scientifically as the Schiller effect or adularescence and it is due to its lamellar crystal formation. This sheen happens when light is scattered between microscopic layers of feldspar.

Since ancient times Moonstones were believed to have been endowed with spiritual energy. They were thought to be of supernatural origins and that they came from heaven.

Ancient civilizations equated the moon with feminine power and energy. As such, it displays strong intuition, unconditional maternal love, protection, nurture and creativity.

Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Eye is a crocidolite that psuedomoroph or changed into a type of chalcedony quartz. Traces of crocidolite is still visible in the stone and it is this mineral that creates both the golden colours and the cat's eye effect.

Tiger's Eye is golden-brown or amber-yellow with a silky luster. However, most often it can come in multicolour, with brown, black or golden stripes with a silky, wavy shimmer across the stone.

Most Tiger's Eyes are not treated in anyway. However, some are dyed to create such colours as green or purple which are unnatural colours to Tiger's Eye. It has a hardness ranging from 6.5 - 7 on the Mohs scale. It is suitable for all types of jewellery.

Tiger's Eye is an alternative birthstone for June and for the 9th wedding anniversary gift.

Tiger’s Eye has been known for thousands of years. It was used as a warrior's stone. Warriors used Tiger’s Eye as a protective talisman and also as a giver of courage.

Roman soldiers wore Tiger's Eye for protection in battle. To protect the warrior from evil in battle and diseases. Tiger’s Eye was often worn by children for protection against the evil eye.

Since ancient times, Tiger’s Eye was considered to be a bringer of good luck and fortune. It was used by scholars and wisdom seekers as well as merchants and traders.

Brown Tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in the whole rainbow of colours which include brown.

Tourmaline comes from the ancient Sinhalese (from Sri Lanka) "THORAMALLI" which means a Mixed Coloured Stone.

Tourmaline occurs in every colour of the rainbow in deep reds, pastel pinks, dark greens, vivid yellows and vibrant blues and also in combinations of 2 or 3 colours; rarely is it colourless. Though it can be found in a myriad of colours, it is more common in black to bluish-black. It is called Schorl and this variety accounts for 90% of tourmalines in nature.

Some Tourmaline varieties are sold under their own trade names such as Paraiba, Indicolite, Rubellite, Chrome Tourmaline and Watermelon Tourmaline.

Tourmaline is divided into species which is determined by its crystal structure and chemical make up. It can either be Schorl, Elbaite, Dravite, Liddicoatite or Uvite.

Tourmaline has a hardness ranging from 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is the official birthstone of October and the 8th wedding anniversary gemstone gift.

The ancient Egyptians firmly believed that Tourmaline could heal the nervous system, blood diseases and lymph glands. Ancient magicians relied upon this stone for protection against evil spirits.

Today, Tourmaline is still revered as a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies on all fronts.

Tourmaline promotes healing and brings balance to the soul. It is often referred to as a stone of wisdom as it inspires positive attitude and stimulates creativity and learning.

Brown Smoky Quartz

The Quartz family include the violet or purple amethyst, yellow or orange citrine, pink rose quartz and smoky quartz. Smoky Quartz comes in lovely light yellow brown, orange and reddish brown hues, and browns so dark that they appear almost black.

The variety of browns in Smoky Quartz are described as umber (dark brown), caramel, hickory, honey, mocha, etcetera.

Smoky Quartz is a macrocrystalline quartz as opposed to a cryptocrystalline quartz (like agate, carnelian, jasper). In cryptocrystalline quartz the crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye as compared with macrocrystalline quartz in which you can see the crystals with the naked eye.

There are two varieties of smoky quartz that are well known. These are Cairngorm Quartz and Morion Quartz, both are chemically identical to each other.

The Cairngorm variety tends to be a rich yellowy brown while the Morion type is much closer to black.

Most Smoky Quartz is not treated or enhanced in any way.

Smoky Quartz like all quartzes have a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale which makes it suitable for all types of jewellery.

Quartz is one of the gemstones that is most used in magic and magical rituals. For example, Rock Crystal and Smoky Quartz are used in fashioning the crystal ball. This crystal ball has been used and is still being used by fortune tellers, gypsies, and by powerful psychics to see the future and talk to spirits.

Esoteric schools from antiquity, as well as scholars of the occult in the Middle-Ages said that different quartz represent a specific planet; Neptune is represented by Amethyst; Chalcedony is represented by Saturn; Pluto is represented by Smoky Quartz; Rose Quartz represents Venus; Citrine and Tiger’s Eye represent Mercury.

Quartz has been used in healing since ancient times by shamans, medicine persons and healers. It has been known to cure headaches, eye inflammation, sore throat, heart ailments, pancreas diseases, aching back, varicose veins and toenail diseases.

Star Sunstone

Sunstone comes in a variety of colours such as orange, red, brown, and pink. When cut and polished, it has a sparkling glass-like luster. It also has a dark brown-red fluorescence. Sunstone is known as "heliolite" and more commonly "aventurescent feldspar."

Feldspar minerals are the most abundant minerals on Earth, the second most abundant mineral are Quartz. Feldspars are classified based on their chemical composition either as Plagioclase Feldspar or Potassium Feldspar.

Plagioclase Feldspars, which are a mixture of calcium and sodium, include Oligoclase (Sunstone), Labradorite (Rainbow Moonstone) and Andesine.

Potassium Feldspar gemstones include Orthoclase (adularescence Moonstone) and Microcline (Amazonite).

There are two types of Aventurine Feldspar. A type of green quartz and a variety of Feldspar that is golden. Sunstone refers to the Feldspar, whereas Aventurine refers to the quartz variety. Both types of Felspar have an unusual metallic glittery appearance caused by inclusions. This glittery effect is known as aventurescence (often referred to as the Schiller Effect).

Sunstone is composed of sodium calcium aluminum silicate, with a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It has a perfect cleavage.

The opaque Sunstone is cut as cabochons especially those that display the cat’s eye effect or asterism (star effect). Some of the Sunstone cabochons exhibit the star effect and are sold under the name of Star Sunstone. These are extremely rare.

Sunstone is not known to be treated nor enhanced in any way.

Native Americans believed that the reddish inclusions found within the Sunstone was the blood of a great and powerful shaman warrior who was wounded by an arrow. Thus the spirit of this great warrior was carried into the stone giving it enormous sacred power.

It was also believed that Sunstone contains within itself the power and influence of the sun, and therefore a Sunstone was used to call upon the sun for its protection.

Brown Rutile Quartz

Rutile Quartz, also called Rutilated Quartz, is a phenomenal gemstone with brown hair-like needle inclusions. Rutilated quartz contains inclusions of the mineral rutile, and these inclusions can be thick or thin, straight or curly, parallel or criss-crossed. They come in a variety of colours from light yellow to reds, black, silver grays and browns.

Rutile quartz are also known as Venus Hair Stone, Angel Hair Quartz, Cupid's Darts and Sagenitic Quartz.

Rutile occurs in gemstones mainly as inclusions especially in quartz (rutile quartz) and topaz. It occurs in a tetragonal crystal structure. It comes in brown, reddish brown, blood red, red, brownish yellow, pale yellow, yellow, pale blue, violet, rarely grass-green, grayish black colours.

Rutile Quartz is not treated in any way to enhance its beauty and colour. It has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale which is hard enough for all types of jewellery.

Rutilated quartz crystal amplifies and increases all energies with which it is brought into contact. It brings everything into balance. It brings inner peace and eases the negative energies arising from worry and anxiety. It amplifies the power of quartz crystals and also the thoughts of the wearer.

Rutile Quartz which is a type of Clear Quartz is also an alternative birthstone for April.

Cat's Eye Opal

Opal is known for its dazzling play-of-colours. Though rare, it can be found with the cat's eyes effect which resembles the slit pupil of a cat. This optical phenomenon is due to parallel rutiles in the stone.

Cat's Eye Opal usually comes in golden honey colours and yellow, cream and earthy brown tones. It lacks the rigid crystal structure found in most gemstones and is considered amorphous silica mineraloids.

Cat's Eye Opal shares the spiritual benefits of regular opals plus the spiritual benefits of all cat's eye which are used to ward off the evil eye.

Opal since ancient times has been considered a healer’s stone. It gives self-love, self-confidence, self-esteem and can help you discover your hidden potentials and powers.

Opal is linked with love and passion. It is a stone that brings faithfulness and loyalty. It also has tremendous power of seduction.

Cat's Eye Opal is not artificially enhanced or treated in any way. It has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.

Cat's Eye Opal is a birthstone of October and the traditional gemstone gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.

Cat's Eye Scapolite

Cat's Eye Scapolite is very rare. Due to its rarity and lack of hardness, it is primarily a collector's gemstone.

Cat's eye scapolite is typically greenish, gray or brown in colour but it is known to naturally occur in vibrant pink and violet. However, bright pink or vivid violet coloured stones could be the result of heat or irradiation.

Cat's eye scapolite is usually translucent. It displays a clear and distinct cat's eyes and this clear chatoyancy distinguishes it from other cat's eye gemstones.

Brown Cat's Eye Scapolite is not enhanced or treated in any way,

Cat's Eye Scapolite has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. To protect the gemstone from easily being chipped at the corners or edges, it is always cut en cabochon with round domed tops and flat bottoms.

Scapolite is known as The Stone for Problem Solving and Cat's Eye in particular is believed to help you solve past and present problems. It gives inspiration and promotes change and a purpose in life to the wearer.