Another ask for help ID'ing gemstones

I’m stuck on identifying these two types of stones.

The group on the left are opaque and I guess i would describe the luster as “waxy” or maybe “silky”. They are tough to get an RI with my cheap refractometer, but I think it’s around 1.6-1.66 (that may be wrong, tho). They are pretty hard, a bit more than 7, I think (steel won’t scratch them and they just barely scratch glass). Since they are wholly opaque on the surface, I cant see any inclusions inside. The SG or about 3-3.4.

The two on the right are translucent and have a beautiful forest green color with a luster as you can hopefully see in the closeups. They have no chatoyance, and I won’t try and describe the crystal structure, I am not super clear on crystal structures. These are harder than the other group, maybe 7.5 or so. They scratch glass but a ruby will scratch them and they will not scratch a ruby (correct me please if I got the number wrong). The RI is around 1.75 and the SG is 4 or so.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Searched here using several keywords: vitreous, waxy, silky and purple, etc… Then followed link on individual pages to here for associated gemology information.

As for hardness: Glass is 5.5 and a Steel nail is at 6.5. If steel doesn’t scratch but they can scratch glass its probably somewhere in-between or higher. A good quality Hardness Test Kit could provide qualitative results.

All of the specimens look like they have been processed with a tumble polisher. Is there any chance the final polish steps included powered wax or resins? (I used sawdust as final stage…for many years, which was pine or cedar… i.e. light resin)

Group on the left:
Two show some purplish tint, and the third has some blue present, which could be different specimens, or stray light reflections. Here are a few candidates:

Violan meets some of the observations…

Purpurite In the SG range but not hardness

Sugilite In the hardness range, Purple and vitreous… but does not meet SG

Sodalite Just because of the blue one…

Group on the right:
The green hue and semi-transparent nature has several possibilities. Using same search technique here are a few candidates:

Jadeite Green, semi-translucent, Hardness and RI are close. Luster is not greasy/dull. A good look at the grain structure under a microscope could help.

Chrysoprase Several localities have different parameters that fall into one or another observed data point… this includes Chrome-Chalcedony

There are a few other candidates out there with a refined keyword list.

None match all the parameters, but as you mentioned, there is some uncertainty with collecting the data on these.


Forest green seems to me similar to blood stones which can have multiple colors and varieties within luster.
Dark blue stones to me similar to a gem I just obtained from a grab bag of sorts took nearly 5 hours sorting out each type of item inside the 1800 grams of various items inside. Multiple types were obtained.
Blue lapis is the type similar shown in photo.
My opinion.
Keep in mind I am no expert in this field.

My best guess is that the two green stones are labadorite. The bluish grey one is sodalite. The two dark blue are lapis. (Not sure about this one.)

On another note:
When using a refractometer, you need “gem” material. And it needs to have a flat side. If light can’t get throught it, then you won’t get an accurare RI if any at all. The IGS has some great resources on using refractometers.

Thank you, this is super helpful, and I appreciate the guidance on hardness, I am admittedly a hack but that’s something I need to learn.

Re. treatment, it is impossible to know, they were processed thousands of years ago, I got them in Sumatra from a very (very) local source, someone who finds them himself as-is locally, so all I can really say is that whatever the technique, it didn’t involve electricity. That is not to say they are originally from Sumatra, this was South Sumatra (Palembang), which was once a hub for the gemstone trade, and I also got a bunch of stones from Burma, New Guinea, and Thailand from him (among other locations, so who knows the origin origin. He had hundreds of “Millefiori” glass beads where are said to have been originally Roman or Italian, but he insisted they were made in Sumatra, which is possible; I have no reason to doubt him, but that would have pre-dated the Italian invention of that technique buy at least a millennium, which again, is possible. There is a lot of worked Tektite glass from northern Thailand that can be found all over the place, dating back thousands of years. Interesting side note: a big astroid hit that region ~81,000 years ago, a growing group of researchers believe it triggered the Toga eruption which, when the dust settled (literally and figuratively) wiped out 80+% of the megafauna as far away as Australia). So bottom line, that was a bang big enough to produce a lot of tektite. I consider for a moment that the second group could be tektite but It doesn’t measure or look remotely like tektite. Northern Thailand, Burma and Laos had invreadible metallurgy since at least 3800BC, so between the great stone work and metalwork, they may have originally come from that region.

Chrysoprase seems pretty possible for the second group, i’ll dig into that. This may be way off, but I have some very dark rubies that are shaped the same way (there are some very subtle “tells” that suggest they were worked the same way), and I wonder if these may be some kind of Beryl, they really “feel” similar, but the fractures don’t look that way (the inclusions do, though).

The first group is a head scratcher. He had a lot of those, and so they must have been prized, but it is very possible they were prized in the Oceanic world, a lot of gemstones are endemic to that region, especially Sumatra and New Guinea, and don’t seem to have been traded broadly. I have some stones from New Guinea (purchased there) which as known to only exist in New Guinea, but they measure and look exactly like Larimar, I can’t find any differences, so again, who knows.

One thing I forgot to mention is the first group is fluorescent under UV. This sounds strange, but the surfaces almost look pigmented, and if that were true, ancient pigments were regular organically-based (made with certain types of bacteria - it’s what made petroglyph pigments last so long, and it’s impossible to wash/scrape off - the pigments outlast the stone), so one very wild idea is that they are somehow pigmented. Again, just a wild guess, but it would explain why their surfaces are thoroughly opaque.

Anyhow, thanks again for the feedback, super helpful.

1 Like

Hi Paul, the white background is great but you take some pics next to a window without shadows?

Quick edit to above, these stones are not florescent. That was an error. I put them next to some unmistakably florescent stones today and i realized they was an error. Sorry about that.

My guess is Lazulite and a green garnet–either Hydrogrossular or Tsavorite

Sure, here are a few:

Thanks, I’ll check that out. On that topic, are blood stones exactly? I seem to recall seeing several examples of “blood stone” that were quite different from one another. Is that a formal classification?

Thanks, for both the help in IDing and the tip with the refractometer. I had no idea, for whatever reason, I assumed if things like opal can be tested, anything can. It explains my difficulty for sure.

Thank you! I love this forum!

Blood stones are a grouping of various stones in multiple colors associated by smaller spots of red across spectrum of colors in stones — think of a blood spatter but not blood.
Weird name for a stone gem. I did not come up with the name. I have bought several batches of beads in multiple sizes and they generally can be large or very small. Personally an ugly stone. Some like the stone. Some enjoy other stones such as Painite which I do not understand the attraction. The other example of ugliest stone ever found is an Alexandrite.
My ancestor - the stone was named after changes color in certain lights. Alternate light sources can alter perceptions of color spectrum when green exposed to various light types.
Some enjoy Alexandrite. I bought 5+ Alexandrites mainly for others who ask for it. I did not like it. I also do not like Padparadscha gems while others love them. About 20 purchases ago I bought 2 Padparadscha gems over 22 Ct each, a 18+ Ct, a 17+ Ct. Total bill was acceptable because I bought the gem for my father in law who many years ago lost due a home burglary. I wanted him to have one again before he passes away. He is 90. His wife turns 90 very soon. My goal is to give them items they always wanted. Then I will do same for other family members. I am doing this as a hobby not so much to make money. I buy via auctions globally. 15 sellers across 15 nations so far. Most have various great gems. Not every item has been perfect. Those I buy if not able to resell I break down into components. Will eventually use later. Blood stones acquired from a grab bag of sorts sold to me for $75 with 1,800 grams of loose items and all needing repair or to be broken apart for parts.
Most items in grab bags if you have time to deal with mess. Gets messy. Took me 5 hours of separation each catagory items my time means nothing. I can do more with my time. I found 2 1/2 Ct diamond/sapphires — I think they are diamonds because my scale does not detect certain weights of measure and needs to be replaced. Those stones individually could not be weighed but together came up to 1 Ct.
My scale is wrong so actual weight irrespective of issue. Bought 2 half Ct blue diamonds at the very bottom of the bag. Sometimes taking your time is worth effort. Now I need to start making necklaces, bracelets and rings. I have a lot to do.

Looking for loose stone gems

Search loose gem auctions.
I bought so many from sellers.

Bloodstone is one of my favorite materials to cab! It takes a great polish. Easy to use with gold or silvery colored metal!

I got a kick out of this response for a few reasons, so thanks. It’s interesting your process of giving stuff away, it’s exactly mine as well. But I seek to always acquire at a rate greater than i de-aquire stuff (ie, give it away). Oh, and now i’m headed down the rabbit hole of ugly gems, I need to leaned more about alexandrite, though, before I form an opinion :slight_smile: I will check the through all my beads and other items for blood stone. It’s a very curious rock.