Think you know everything about gemstones? Find out by taking this Quiz!

By: Sarah Crozer
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

They say that diamonds are forever, but is your knowledge? How well do you know gemstones? These gems come in a vast sea of colors, properties, and characteristics! Test your memory on nature's finest creations, while learning facts your might not have otherwise known! Start the challenge now with this quiz!

What is the hardest gemstone?

Diamonds are one of the most hard substances on earth. That’s why they must be cut with lasers!

Agate is a form of _________.

Agate is a form of chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in a remarkable variety of colors and textures. Geodes are rock cavities with internal crystal formations!

This unique stone reflects light in a distinctive shimmering phenomenon know as adularescense.

In ancient times, it was supposed to arouse tender passions in lovers and give them the power to read the future; to be effective as a means of determining one’s personal future, it had to be placed in the mouth when the moon was full!

How long does it take to grow a (cultured) pearl?

Pearls can be found in the wild also! When a pearl is cultivated, a small piece of shell or a bead, also known as the nucleus, is planted within the mollusk in order to grow into a beautiful pearl!

What was Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone?

The ancient Egyptians were known to have valued green gemstones! Emerald and Peridot were their favorite!

The word “Diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” meaning what?

“Unconquerable and indestructible” The diamond is the hardest natural substance found on the Earth and Diamonds have very high melting point!

What color is a Garnet Stone?

Instead, the garnet is named from the pomegranate because of the blood-red seeds that are found on the inside of the fruit. The pomegranate is believed to represent one’s own life, dying, and rebirth.

What is the softest gemstone?

The softest and lightest gemstone on earth is amber. It is so light that it is able to float when in salt water. It is a stone that is a result of the sap and resin from prehistoric trees that have been fossilized. In order to be considered the gemstone that is amber, the fossilized sap needs to be at least 30 million years old.

What kind of gemstone is the “Star of Asia?”

It currently resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington. It is a 330-carat stone that came from the Magok mine in Burma. Its color is rich and the stone is clear, and it is one of the biggest star sapphires on earth!

This gemstone is found on Mars.

Opal is one of the only handful of gemstones that have ever been discovered outside of our planet! Diamonds are found on a different planet made of mostly carbon!

About what size is the biggest diamond in record history?

It was found in South Africa in 1905, weighed an astounding 3,106 ct! It was cut into a total of 105 diamonds of exceptional color and clarity!

Agate is known to have natural _____ of color.

Creating stripes that give the stone individuality and creativity. These stripes appear because of other minerals, such as quartz or chalcedony, within the actual gemstone that give it a “banded” appearance.

Sapphires are what color?

Sapphires get their colors from trace elements in the mineral corundum. It is turned to blue sapphire when it contains iron and titanium, and trace elements of chromium can turn corundum pink, while more chromium turns it into a ruby!

Second to diamonds, this stone is the next strongest gem.

Most natural sapphires undergo heat treatment to improve their color and clarity! This industry-accepted practice results in a permanent enhancement and helps protect against accidental chipping or breakage!

What color is Howlite?

Howlite is a white to grey stone that has erratic streaks that look like cracks! These lines are often brown, grey or black. Howlite is a silicate that can be found in large masses. Named after the Candian chemist that found the gem!

Diamonds are dated to be how many years old?

Over a million years old! Diamonds were used to engrave gemstones in India by 300 BCE!

Ancient Greeks believed that Opal was what?

Opal was believed to be tears from the gods! The ancient Greeks believed that opals were formed from the tears of joy wept by Zeus when he defeated the titans, and that the opal bestowed prophetic powers!

What color is Amethyst?

Amethysts is a purple variety of quartz! According to Ancient Greek lore, the stone could ward off the intoxicating powers of the Roman god of wine and intoxication! The color purple was traditionally the color of royalty, and amethyst was used to adorn the richest and most powerful monarchs and rulers!

What percentage of Diamonds which are mined, are actually gem quality?

Prior to the 18th century, most diamonds were found in India! Diamonds were discovered in South America as early as 1725. The discovery occurred in Minas Gerais, Brazil, just as the production in India was dwindling! Later on, Africa became a huge location for Diamond mining as well.

What is one way of testing pearls for quality?

X-ray pictures and microtomography imaging is a standard procedure for pearl testing! High values are involved for natural pearls, and cultured pearls are safely separated from natural ones. Saltwater cultured pearls are luxury items compared to freshwater cultured pearls.

Diamonds come from what?

Diamond is mineral consisting of carbon crystallised in the cubic system! The mineral appears in different colors, the best-known diamond is colorless to slightly yellowish!

How much does one carat weigh?

There are 5 carats is 1 gram! Think about the weight a diamond would have on your finger!

Where was the “Great Diamond Rush” primarily?

Diamonds were found in North America in the 1840s, although this was soon eclipsed by the discovery of diamonds in Africa in the late 1860s and early 1870s and the ensuing Great Diamond Rush.

Which ancient civilization was a fan of Opals?

Opals have been the muse of artists, writers, and other creatives since what seems like the beginning of time. The exact origin of opal's name is disputed, but historians are confident that in ancient Rome opal was known as opalus which translates as the "precious stone."

Diamonds can be created in _______.

Lab-created diamonds possess the identical chemical structure and physical properties as diamonds mined from the earth. Even professional gemologists can’t tell the difference between lab-created and mined diamonds without extensive testing using specialized equipment!

Almandine and glossular are two of six main types of this gemstone.

These stones come in all colors except blue. Garnets were found among the ruins of the most ancient civilizations of the world such as Egypt and Rome and until the 19th Century, Czechoslovakia remained the largest source of garnet in the world!

What is the only difference between a ruby and sapphire?

Both are corundum minerals. Those that are light pink are called pink sapphires, while only the deeply rich red gemstones are qualified to be rubies. Sapphires come in all colors except for red, because that’s a ruby!

What is the national gemstone of Australia?

It also the most valuable gem of its kind. Almost all available Black Opal comes from the Lightning Ridge mine in New South Wales. Black opal is worth over $2300 per carat!

What is one characteristic of Benitoite?

Under UV lights, it glows a brilliant chalky blue. A few specimens have been found in Arkansas and Japan, but the only commercial mine is in San Benito County, California!

Which is one type of color of sapphire?

Though most commonly available in blue, sapphires are also available in a variety of other colors except red. The most expensive variety of sapphires are mined in Sri Lanka – these are found to be pinkish-orange in color!

What is the one place Tanzanite is found?

Only found at the foothills of Mount Kililmanjaro in Northern Tanzania! It’s availability is limited, so the stone is at risk of being mined out within 20 or so years!

This gemstone is also found in space!

In fact, scientists have discovered a planet that they believe is composed mostly of carbon, and is one-third pure diamond! Discovered in 2004, the planet orbits a nearby star in the Milky Way!!

What is Opal made out of?

According to popular theory, silica (which is what opal is made out of) flooded parts of Australia 20 to 30 million years ago! As millions of years passed, this silica solidified between boulders and crevices to form opal. This didn't happen overnight! It takes roughly 5 million years to solidify 1cm of opal.

What color are rubies?

Rubies are red! The color comes from the chemical, chromium. The finest of rubies come from Myanmar!

The original “Blood Diamond” was found in what country?

The movie Blood Diamond traces the path of a large pink diamond found in Sierra Leone in the 1990’s by a fisherman working as a slave in a rebel-controlled diamond mine! That diamond changed and ended many lives and the story of that stone carries a strong social message.

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