Our Gemstones

A patite

Apatite is named for the Greek word meaning “to deceive” since it can be mistaken for other minerals.

Gem quality apatite is quite rare, and when found appears in shades of blue and green. On the Mohs scale, apatite is a 5 so we advise that it be handled with care, and ideally only worn as a pendant. It should be kept in its protective pouch when not being worn and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. It is unusual to find apatite that meets our criteria but very occasionally that happens. Recently a singular apatite made its way into our collection of unique Ambrosia Pendants.

Apatite is thought to be an inspirational stone that contributes to learning. Interestingly, crushed apatite was used as a pigment for the 3rd century BC terracotta soldiers discovered in a burial site near Xi’an, China.

A quamarine

Mimicking the color of the sea, aquamarine (Latin: aqua marina = sea water) is a highly prized and remarkable stone that touches on tones across the blue spectrum. Aquamarine is part of the beryl family that includes green beryl, yellow beryl, morganite (pink beryl), and its precious sibling, emerald. The deepest natural blues, known as Santa Maria, were originally discovered in Brazil. While the Santa Maria mine has been exhausted, similar material has been found in Mozambique and is now referred to as Santa Maria Africana. We utilize various exquisite shades of aquamarine from both Brazil and Africa including Santa Maria gemstones. Aquamarine and other colors of beryl are typically heated to even out color. Aquamarine is 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale for hardness.

Aquamarine is naturally associated with the aquatic sign of Pisces and is the birthstone for those born in the month of March. These watery gems are said to be the treasures of mermaids, and a symbol of hope.

B eryl

Beryl is the mineral family that includes aquamarine, morganite (pink beryl), yellow or golden beryl, sea foam green beryl and emerald. The Beryl Family ranks 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale for hardness. Beryl typically is mined in South America, though deposits of fine Morganite are found in Madagascar, and Emerald is mined in Zambia. The colors of these gems differ depending on where it is mined (see Aquamarine, Emerald, Morganite).

B lue Moonstone

Blue Moonstone, a precious form of moonstone, is our most signature gemstone and is central to our Royal Blue Moonstone Collection.

Moonstone’s mineral name is feldspar; it is natural and never treated. Feldspar ranks 6 on the Mohs scale for hardness. Our blue moonstone gems are responsibly sourced in small family- and state-owned mines in the Bihar region of India. Each gem is cut and polished to reveal its unique blue flash and glow known as adularescence; this is a particular moonstone term for the optical phenomena exhibited as the stone moves. Blue moonstone was popular in Art Nouveau jewelry and particularly in the work of one of Temple’s heroes, Louis Comfort Tiffany.

If you are born in the month of June, moonstone is your birthstone. This magical stone is thought to be captured moonlight, a protector of travelers and swimmers! (Please learn to swim well though. We cannot guarantee blue moonstone’s protective characteristics while submerged).

D iamond

Diamonds are the most famous and successfully marketed gems in the world. Diamond is a solid form of carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal. It is prized for its brilliance. Although it is the hardest of gemstones, top of the Mohs scale at 10, it is not indestructible. Diamonds can be scratched by other diamonds and can be worn down over time. Small diamonds are quite plentiful while large gems that meet the highest standards of the “Four C’s” (color, clarity, cut, carat weight) are rare and valuable.

We use diamonds in different setting styles to bring light and focus to our colored gemstones and to accentuate our gold work. Our minimum quality requirement is G-H for Color and VS1 for Clarity. We use full brilliant cut diamonds in a variety of shapes, and sometimes, mogul cut gems that have fewer facets. All our diamonds are natural, untreated and Kimberley Process certified. Temple St. Clair diamonds are fully traceable and only sourced from Responsible Jewellery Council certified sources.

Diamond is associated with the fiery first sign of the zodiac, Aries, and is the birthstone for those born in April. This brilliant gem is a symbol of strength and invincibility. Historically diamonds are found in the scepters and crowns of monarchs around the world.

E merald

Emerald is the bright green member of the beryl family. Today emeralds are primarily mined in Colombia and Zambia. We seek out the most beautiful stones available with vivid, green color and minimal inclusions. The appearance of inclusions in emeralds is referred to as “le jardin". This “emerald garden” gives individuality and identity to the gem. Like all members of the beryl family, emerald ranks 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale.

For centuries, emeralds have been treated with oil to minimize inclusions and brighten color thus further beautifying the stone. This treatment is a recognized and accepted practice throughout the industry. At Temple St. Clair, we accept the use of natural colorless oil for our emeralds.

We use both cabochon and faceted cut emeralds. Our master setters are skilled at setting emeralds even in bezel settings, rarely attempted by most jewelers. We are always on the hunt for a prize cabochon emerald to set in our signature Arcadia Ring.

Emerald is the jewel of luxury loving Taurus and is the birthstone for those born in the month of May. This brilliant gem is considered to bear a gift of wisdom and intuition (see Beryl).

G arnet

Garnet is part of its own mineral family. This gem is natural and untreated and is found in every color from the most familiar brownish reds to rare rich oranges, velvety purples, bright greens, blues, and color-change varieties. Garnets range from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness.

At Temple St. Clair, we love the rich orange shade of spessartite referred to as Mandarin garnet. Vivid green Tsavorite is often our first choice when designing with green. In fact, Tsavorite often completes our spectrum when creating a rainbow of gems. Demantoid is a rare green form of garnet known for its diamond-like brilliance and dispersion. Unusual garnets are chosen for our Limited Edition and Haute Couture pieces.

Garnets are mined in many far-flung locales from the Ural Mountains of Russia to the Tsavo area of Kenya to Namibia and the United States. Those born in January or under the sign of Aquarius have an array of colors to choose from as their garnet birthstone. Garnets are said to balance energy and bring serenity.

H aüyne

Haüyne is an electric deep blue mineral from the sodalite family. It forms as small crystals inside lapis lazuli. Its striking color is due to the presence of sulfur within its crystal lattice. It is extremely rare and even rarer to be faceted for jewelry. The most prized gem quality specimens come from Germany and are quite small.

When the Medusa Moon Jellyfish Ring was being created for The Golden Menagerie, we attempted successfully to set haüyne along the borders to bring out the rich blues of the center Andamooka Opal. Since then, we have used haüyne around Black Opals sometimes beside bright green tsavorite garnet and windex-blue Paraiba tourmaline. Haüyne, 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale for hardness, is brittle and difficult to cut so almost never large enough to be a center stone but adds magic to any stone that it encircles. Haüyne is extremely hard to obtain; at TSC we guard a small cache of these gems that we have collected over the years and use discerningly.

Haüyne was first discovered by a French priest and mineralogist René Just Haüy (1743-1822). The gem is said to represent joy and laughter and a free heart.

I olite

Iolite gems come in a deep blue with a slight violet tint. It is the gem form of the mineral cordierite and is natural and never treated. It is 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale for hardness.

Iolite is widely found around the world in Australia, Africa, South America, and Sri Lanka. Gems with rich blue tonality are not available in abundance. Larger cabochon pieces in velvety blues appear in our Limited Edition jewels when possible.

Iolite has the nickname “water sapphire” but is in no way related to sapphire. Iolite is associated with the zodiac signs of Libra, Sagittarius and Taurus and is said to strengthen intuition.

I ndicolite

Indicolite is another name for blue tourmaline. This gem ranges in color from greenish blue to a strong blue; its tone varies from light and bright to moody and velvety. Indicolite is found in Brazil, Afghanistan, and Namibia. As with all the tourmalines, it is quite durable and rates on the Mohs scale at 7 to 7.5. We are always on the hunt for beautiful indicolite to use in our Limited Edition and High Jewelry pieces.

Indicolite is associated with genuine and generous love and is said to help overcome shyness. This gem represents the third chakra, and when worn close to the throat, helps to balance and enhance communications (see Tourmaline).

J adeite

Jadeite is the most precious form of jade and originates from Myanmar (Burma). Imperial Jadeite in apple green is one of the most sought-after colors, but jadeite also exists in red, lavender, black and icy white. Lavender is the most valuable color of jadeite after imperial green. True jadeite of fine quality is known for its unique glow. Jade is 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.

Top quality jadeite is extremely rare in nature and therefore, extremely valuable. We have worked with all colors of jadeite for high jewelry pieces and can source unique pieces upon request. Jadeite has always been immensely significant in Chinese culture.

Jadeite has many meanings from prosperity and harmony to mental clarity and spiritual purity.

K unzite

Kunzite belongs to the spodumene mineral family and is named after the pioneering gemologist George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932). Manganese gives this gem its pink coloration, ranging from shades of lilac, cool lavender, hot fuchsia, and rich orchid purple by candlelight. Another distinctive quality of kunzite is its pleochroism, meaning it displays different colors when viewed from different angles, further enhancing its allure. The kunzite we use principally originates from Brazil. Kunzite ranks 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.

Given its pastel pink hues, it’s no wonder that kunzite is associated with love. It is believed that kunzite has a calming energy and a capacity to connect the heart with the mind, encouraging balance between the two.

M organite

Morganite is the pink member of the Beryl family. Named for American financier and gem enthusiast, J.P.Morgan (1837-1913), morganite can range from a pale pink, to a rarer rich pink typically mined in Madagascar (see Beryl).

Australian Black O pal

Black Opal is the most precious and valuable variety of opal, and one of the more valuable gemstones on earth. These gems formed over millions of years in sedimentary rock when a solution of silicone dioxide and water evaporated from cracks of sandstone. Black opal originates exclusively from the mines of Lightning Ridge, in a remote outback region of Australia. Lightning Ridge black opals are distinctive for their high luster and full display of spectral colors from blues to greens to yellows to oranges and rare reds. The finest opals display a multitude of dancing colors, diverse patterns, and brilliant depth of field. Black Opals are always untreated and are judged on spread of color, clarity, pattern and blackness of undertone.

At Temple St. Clair, we specialize in uniquely patterned solid Black Opal variants such as Harlequin, Rolling Flash and Vivid Reds (We do not work with doublets). Because of their unique nature, black opals show up in our Limited Edition and Haute Couture collections. We have created settings for some rare named gems such as the Crimson Rosella and the Butterfly Wing.

Fire O pal

Fire Opal is a bright translucent gem that typically ranges in color from yellow to orange to red. It is natural and never treated. The most typical source for fire opal is Mexico but the gem is also sourced in Australia, and even in Oregon, and British Columbia. At Temple St. Clair, we occasionally feature brilliant fire opals among our Limited Edition jewels. We love the rich orangey-red cabochon-cut fire opals that display an inner array of color including greens, yellows and blues. A fire opal is another great choice for someone with an October birthday or for anyone that would enjoy this magical gem. Fire opals can be washed with gentle dish soap and rinsed with cool water. Like black opals, if kept in a safe, it is recommended to store fire opals in a closed container or plastic bag with a damp cloth.

P eridot

The distinctive green of peridot has long been prized. Ancient Egyptians believed that peridot arrived on earth from the explosion of a star. Peridot is the only other gem besides diamond that is born not in the upper crust of the Earth but in the mantle, brought to the surface by tremendous seismic activity. Some of today’s sources for this gemstone are Brazil, Pakistan, China, and the United States. Peridot can also be found in meteorites. This gem is natural and never treated and ranks 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness. Peridot is August’s birthstone and is associated with the zodiac sign of Leo. Ancient civilizations believed that peridot had protective powers and gave a gift of inner radiance.

R hodochrosite

Rhodochrosite comes in pink, rose, rose-red, yellowish grey and white. As a well-formed crystal, rhodochrosite is extremely rare. Gem quality is found in Colorado. Its Mohs hardness ranges between 3.5 and 4.5 so must be treated delicately. This is a singular gem, truly a collector’s piece, that has made it into our unique collection of Ambrosia pendants.

Its name is a combination of Greek words for rhodos, meaning rose and chrosis, meaning coloring. Ruled by the planet Venus, like many red hued gems, rhodochrosite is said to bring unconditional love and emotional balance.

R ock Crystal

Rock Crystal is the name given to the clear, colorless, purest form of quartz. It is a hard crystalline mineral composed of silicone and oxygen atoms, natural and never treated. Rock crystal occurs in many different forms of rock from igneous to sedimentary and is found in far-flung locales from North Carolina to Madagascar with some of the finest being sourced in Brazil.

Rock Crystal is one of Temple St. Clair’s most iconic gems and is central to our signature collection of amulets. Ours is chosen for its clarity and lack of inclusions. Crystal has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. We love color but with rock crystal, there is something magical about the way this colorless gem holds and reflects the color and light surrounding it. It’s as if it captures the essence of the wearer.

The word crystal comes from the ancient Greek meaning “icy cold”. The Greeks believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice. The Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder expanded upon this theory, adding that quartz was found near glaciers in the Alps, and that large crystals were carved into spheres to cool the hands. In metaphysics, rock crystal is called the “master healer”. Of all gemstones, it is said to be the one that brings the greatest balance and clarity. That’s why many of us can never be without our rock crystal amulets!

R ubellite

Rubellite is a rich, hot pink version of pink tourmaline (see Tourmaline).

R uby

When a sapphire moves into the deep red spectrum, it qualifies as ruby. Ruby, like all sapphire, belongs to the corundum mineral family, very hard (9 on the Mohs scale) gems of great depth and brilliance. Ruby can range in color from a pinkish red to a bluish red, with so-called “pigeon blood” red being the most sought after. Some of the most prized rubies have come from Burma (Myanmar) and Kashmir, though today very fine gems are also found in Thailand, Afghanistan, Australia, Namibia and Mozambique.

As with the rest of the corundum family, rubies are often heated to even out their color. This is an industry-accepted practice. At Temple St. Clair, most of our rubies are heat treated unless indicated otherwise.

Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer and with the sun. Ruby is said to improve energy and creativity and has been held in high esteem for thousands of years by many cultures.

S apphire

Sapphire and ruby are part of the corundum mineral family. Sapphires are available in a full spectrum of colors from blue, green, yellow, to orange, pink and white. Red sapphires are known as ruby. Sapphires are hard durable stones (Mohs Scale 9), good for any type of jewel and great for everyday wear.

At Temple St. Clair, we use a rainbow of sapphires in many of our multi-colored jewels such as the Tolomeo and the Rainbow Moonface and the Eternity Bracelet. We also use a range of blue sapphires from deep rich blue known as Kancha from Thailand to the bright cornflower blue known as Ceylon from Sri Lanka. We use both natural and heated gems. Heat is the only form of treatment that we allow for our sapphires; it is an industry accepted practice used to even out color. At Temple St. Clair, most of our sapphires are heat treated unless indicated otherwise.

For Limited Edition jewels, we have used natural Burmese and Kashmiri blue sapphires as center stones. Such collectible gems can be sourced upon special request. For those born in the month of September, there is a full spectrum of sapphires to choose from as your birthstone. Sapphire is associated with the zodiac sign Virgo. This gem is said to be the wisdom stone and is believed to calm the mind and enhance creativity. Throughout history, blue sapphires have often been chosen for engagement rings. Famously Napoleon gave his Empress Josephine a blue sapphire engagement ring.

S tar sapphire

Star sapphires fall under the category of “phenomenal gemstones.” These are gems that possess striking optical effects such as six-pointed stars and cat’s eyes created by needle-like inclusions within the stone.

Star Sapphire gets its name from the rare display of asterism: single or multiple stars that appear to float across the dome of the stone. Like traditional sapphires, star sapphires come in a multitude of colors such as blue, blue-gray, pink, yellow and red (Star Ruby). Star Sapphires are natural and never treated. Like all sapphires, stars are hard stones with a 9 on the Mohs scale.

Star sapphires are considered the traveler’s stone and guide to your destiny. We use star sapphires in our Limited Edition and Haute Couture jewels. To us, these “phenomenal gems” like stars and cat’s eyes are just plain magic!

S pessartite

Spessartite, also referred to as Mandarin Garnet, is the brilliant orange form of garnet. Individual pieces show up in our Limited Edition and High Jewels (see Garnet).

S pinel

While mining for rubies, another beautiful red gem occasionally emerges and that is spinel. Sometimes mistaken for ruby and often just as valuable, spinel is in its own family of gemstones. Before the arrival of modern science, spinels and red sapphires were all considered ruby. Like corundum (sapphire), spinel is a hard stone (Mohs scale 8) and actually has a higher light dispersion so is brilliant when set.

Spinel forms in igneous rock in the uppermost earth’s mantle. Spinel has long been found in Sri Lanka, but also in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Tanzania, and other locales. Recently blue spinels were found in the Baffin Islands of Canada. Spinel comes in bright red, pink, and blues. The most vibrant reds are compared to the bright fiery red end of a burning cigarette. Spinels are typically natural and not treated.

In yoga lore, spinel is associated with the root chakra and is said to promote longevity and endurance.

T anzanite

Tanzanite is named after Tanzania, the East African country where it is found. Though geologically formed over 500 million years ago, it was Tiffany & Co. that named and first marketed Tanzanite in 1968. This gem is always heated to bring out its rich blue-violet shade. At Temple St. Clair, we love the richer blue hue of tanzanite and are always on the look out for special pieces.

Zoisite is the natural, unheated mineral before being heated to become Tanzanite. Zoisite is generally a muted brown or yellow color but sometimes is found in attractive subtle blues, greens, pinks and peaches. Zoisite is not as colorfully intense as in its heated tanzanite form, but it can be very beautiful. When we can find beautiful zoisite we use it in Limited Edition and Haute Couture one-of-a-kind jewels.

Tanzanite and zoisite rank 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added Tanzanite as a December birthstone! Yogis say this gem affects the third chakra so facilitates communication and self-knowledge.

T opaz

Most topaz in its natural state is colorless. At TSC, we seek out Precious Topaz and Imperial Topaz, the two rarest occurrences of this gem ranging in color from intense golden to reddish orange. Precious Topaz refers to yellow to orange colors, while Imperial Topaz exhibits a blend of pinkish-orange to red.

We are always on the hunt for Imperial Topaz that shows a pleochroic range of soft orange and pink. Only about 1% of topaz qualifies as “Imperial” and is mined in Brazil. Topaz has a Mohs hardness of 8, just under sapphire. Topaz is thought to clear your aura and to be revitalizing.

(Note: Topaz is commonly thought of as an inexpensive blue gemstone; blue topaz is not natural and is irradiated to be blue. At TSC, we do not use irradiated gems).

T ourmaline

At Temple St. Clair, we love tourmalines and utilize the full spectrum of this gem. In the blues and greens, we seek out forest greens, mint greens, blue green indicolite and “windex-blue” Paraiba tourmaline. The pinks we use range from pale pink to hot pink to red rubellite pink. In yellow, we seek out rare vibrant Canary Tourmaline for our High Jewelry pieces. Each gem is unique and is selected according to our strict criteria for clarity, color saturation, and individuality. Within our selections no two gems—unless a perfectly matched pair—will ever be identical so don’t hesitate when you find just the gem that “speaks to you.”

Our tourmalines are mostly natural or lightly heated. Tourmaline is sourced in Brazil and in many parts of Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique, and Madagascar. Tourmaline is considered a resistant gem with a Mohs ranking of 7 to 7.5.

Tourmaline is associated with the heart and is said to be a calming stone and good for meditation.

T savorite

Tsavorite is a bright green form of garnet and one of the rarest gems of this species. Tsavorite is never treated and is free of inclusions and quite rare in large sizes. At TSC, we love the strong green of this gem and often use tsavorite as an alternative to emerald or as a bright green when needed to complete a rainbow of hues as in our Tolomeo Pendant (see Garnet).

T urquoise

Turquoise is a brilliant blue green mineral that has been prized since antiquity. Temple St. Clair turquoise is a high-quality material sourced from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona. Our turquoise is free of chemicals, dyes, oils, resins, or fillers of any kind. It is enhanced through a natural method known as the Zachery Process. We love the richness of our turquoise set in our classic yellow gold.

Turquoise has been thought to be a lucky gemstone and is traditionally associated with the month of December. It was a central gemstone to the Persian Empire and to the Ancient Egyptians, and sacred to many indigenous peoples of the American Southwest and the pre-Colombian Aztec and Maya. Turquoise is said to create inner calm.

Since our turquoise is treated with the Zachary Process and polished to a high sheen, its porosity is greatly decreased so it is safe to lightly wash your gems in the usual delicate soap and cool rinse. Turquoise ranks 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale.

Z ircon / Starlite

Zircon is a natural occurring stone, not to be confused with lab created cubic zirconia. Zircon comes closer to resembling diamonds than any other natural gem. It has a superior luster and intense fire comparable to diamond. Zircon comes in an array of colors from blue, green, cognac, champagne, and deep burgundy. Brilliant green is the rarest color of this gem. Blue zircon is typically heated to achieve a brilliant turquoise-blue color. Occasionally we find a natural blue that tends have a softer hue. You will find blue zircon in our limited edition Sassini and Magna Rings. A mix of zircon colors show up in our Limited Edition and High Jewelry pieces. Zircon is 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Zircon is one of the oldest dated minerals on earth. In the Middle Ages, it was used to aid in sleep and to bring prosperity. Gemologist, George Kunz who named Kunzite, proposed the name “Starlite” for Zircon speaking to the stone’s fiery nature.

Z oisite

Zoisite is the natural mineral that is heated to become Tanzanite. Zoisite comes in array of colors from yellow, green, brown to pink, peach, violet and blue. Bright rich natural colors in zoisite are considered rare (see Tanzanite).