Agate, which can trace it's use back to the ancient Bronze Age, is a beautiful stone known for its rich color and fine grain. Agate is available in a wide spectrum of shades, including lush reds, oranges, blues, black and shades of gold or tan. The stone was given its name by the Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophastrus, who discovered it along the river bank of Achates in the 3rd Century BC. Most agates develop in the presence of volcanic rock or ancient lava, and can be found in several geographically diverse regions of the world.
Jade is primarily used as an ornamental stone, dating back to it's key uses in Neolithic Chinese art and utility. Jade, with it's discreet lustre, comes in a variety of arresting shades of green; but also in certain shades of white, black, yellow, and orange- and even in delicate violet tones. Jade is, strictly speaking, a generic term used for two different stones: nephrite and jadeite. While the different varieties of jade can be found in such diverse locations as China, New Zealand, Guatemala, Russia, and even the Swiss Alps- the most precious forms of jade are found in Myanmar.
The word turquoise dates back to the 16th century, and is derived from the old French word for 'Turkish', owing to the fact that this beautiful and uniquely hued stone was first introduced to Europe through Turkey. Turquoise is an opaque blue-green mineral that has been highly prized as a gem for thousands of years due to its intense and unusual coloring. Turquoise can mostly be found in Iran, the Sinai peninsula, or parts of the USA.
Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl, also known as nacre, is a composite material produced on the inner shell layer of certain mollusks. Mother of pearl is the basis for the formation of pearls, and has a enchanting iridescent quality, while at the same time being incredibly strong and resilient. The international trade of mother of pearl is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flauna and Flora, an agreement that has been signed by more than 170 countries. Mother of pearl is commonly used to decorate watches, guns, knives, and of course all kinds of jewelry and accessories.
Pearls are a universal object of beauty; the ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but other shapes of pearls (known as baroque pearls) also occur and equally prized for their aesthetic appeal and the connotations they carry of being rare, admirable, and valuable. The most valuable of pearls occur in the wild, but are extremely rare. Cultured or farmed pearls make up the majority of those that are used in jewelry and other production. The value of a pearl when used in jewelry comes about by comparing a variety of factors including their luster, size, color, and symmetry.