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Crystal Trade Names, Synonyms & Misnomers


Herkimer 'Diamond' - not actually a Diamond, but a misnomer for a variety of double terminated Quartz

A TAXONOMY OF STONE


Naming is deeply rooted in our relationship to the natural world. Intrinsically, as humans we feel compelled to ascribe names to the immense beauty of form and myriad complexity of nature that surrounds us. Names hold power and vibration, and open new portals of connection to the natural world. On naming, biologist Michael Ohl notes that 'we feel we are among the initiated, the entrusted, the knowing.'

In the world of crystals, learning the nomenclature of species and subspecies is a big job. Mineralogical names are considered the 'gold standard' (yes, pun intended!) when it comes to crystal identification, often relating to the name of the mineral's type-locality, the geologist credited with its discovery, or a Greek or Latin root describing the stone's classical properties. However, especially for those new to crystals, it can be particularly confusing to discover that all is not what it seems when it comes to names. Trade names, metaphysical names and pure misnomers abound, often with little or no reference to the crystal's actual composition. Many names were developed over the last century by the fine jewellery industry as a means of 'romancing the stone' to create more intrigue around a particular gem, and the same is true for many metaphysical and marketing names today. In some instances, misleading misnomers have also been created to obscure the true identity of a stone. Not all is intended as deception, however, and some trade names have emerged in an attempt to distinguish subtle differences in formation, colour, or inclusions - especially for such a varied mineral group as Quartz. This list of 400+ names is the product of more than 15 years of industry knowledge and experience by Solstice Stones' founder Michelle Cunningham, and will undoubtedly be expanded upon as other trade names emerge. It aims to shed light on the true mineral origins behind each fancy new moniker (as well as some historical ones, too!). We hope this list may serve as a navigational tool and empowering reference, as well as offering some deeper insight into stones that may already be in your collection.



 

ACHATE - an old name for Agate, as listed in medieval Materia Medica lapidary texts


ADELAIDE RUBY - not actually Ruby, but a misleading marketing name & misnomer for Almandine Garnet from Australia


AERIS - an ancient Roman and medieval alchemical name for both Copper & the element of Air (though sometimes differentiated by the 'ae' ligature)


AFRICAN JADE - not actually Jade, but a misleading marketing name & misnomer for Verdite (Fuchsite with impurities) from South Africa; also referred to as Buddstone


AFRICAN TURQUOISE - not actually Turquoise, but a misleading marketing name & misnomer for a spotty, teal-coloured Jasper


AGAPE CRYSTAL - a trademarked name for a combination of Clear Quartz, Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, Cacoxenite, Goethite, Lepidocrocite, & Rutile; a synonym for Super Seven


AGNI MANI - a fabled stone known as the 'Fire Pearl' in Sanskrit legend; now considered by some to be a variety of Tektite; an occasional synonym for Javanite and Indochinite


AGNITITE - a trademarked name for Clear Quartz with red Hematite inclusions, also known as Agni Fire Quartz


ALASKA BLACK DIAMOND - not actually Diamond, but a misleading marketing name & misnomer for Hematite


ALLIGATOR QUARTZ - a trade name for a type of Quartz growth form (usually seen in Smoky Quartz) composed of multiple small terminations with parallel rhombohedral faces, often creating an overall double terminated effect; synonymous with Jacare Quartz and Elestial Quartz


ALMANDINE SPAR - an antiquated name & misnomer for Eudialyte


ALUM CRYSTAL - not a genuine crystal, but a common name for manmade lab-created material composed of potassium aluminium sulphate, seen in a variety of colours & easily grown from a science kit; also known as Cermikite or Alunite (though not to be confused with the genuine mineral Alunite)


AMATRIX - a trade name for Variscite from Nevada, USA; short for 'American Matrix'; also known as Utahlite


AMAZON JADE - not actually Jade, but a misleading marketing name & misnomer for Amazonite (Microcline Feldspar); also known as Amazon Stone


AMEGREEN - a trademarked name for Amethyst with Prasiolite (Green Quartz)


AMBRITE - a synonym for Amber that occurs in New Zealand coal seams; also known as Resinite


AMEZEZ - a trademarked name for banded Amethyst, otherwise known as Chevron Amethyst


AMMOLITE - a trade name for gem-quality rainbow Ammonite fossils from Alberta, Canada


AMULET STONE - may refer to any stone of ancient or modern use kept on one's person for qualities of healing, magic, or protection; also a trademarked name for a type of Rhyolite


ANANDALITE - a trademarked name for Quartz with subparallel Brazil-law twinning (not Rhodium inclusions as previously suggested); synonym for Iris Quartz and Aurora Quartz


ANCESTRALITE - a trade name for Martite (pseudomorphic Hematite after Marcasite)


ANCHI CRYSTAL - a trademarked name for a variety of lithium Pegmatite rock


ANDARA CRYSTAL - not a genuine crystal, but a notorious scam for manmade coloured 'slag glass' or 'cullet glass' (used in landscaping & aquarium decoration) being sold as authentic natural crystals from the earth; also known as Monatomic Andara


ANGEL HAIR QUARTZ - a trade name for Quartz with fine threads of Rutile (titanium dioxide) inclusions; also known as Rutilated Quartz


ANGEL PHANTOM QUARTZ - a trade name for Amphibole included Quartz (it should be noted that these crystals do not actually include a true 'phantom' within); the red-orange variety is also known as Papaya Quartz, or Rabbit Hair Quartz if the inclusions are delicately & ubiquitously dispersed


ANGELITE - a trade name for opaque massive blue Anhydrite from Peru


ANYOLITE - a trade name for a combination of green Zoisite, Pargasite, & Ruby from Tanzania; also known as Tanganyika Artstone, or more commonly as Ruby in Zoisite


APACHE GOLD - a trade name for a combination of Pyrite & Marcasite from Arizona; also known as Healer's Gold


APACHE TEAR - a common name for rounded pebbles of translucent dark brown Obsidian, often found embedded in a Perlite matrix; these formations are referred to as Marekanites in mineralogy


APHRODITE STONE - a trade name for Cobaltoan Calcite, also known as Cobaltocalcite


AQUAPRASE - a trademarked name for a variety of blue-green Chalcedony from Africa


ARIZONAITE - a trade name for a 'pseudotektite' variety of Obsidian; a synonym for Saffordite, Colombianite & Cintanami Stone


ARKANSAS STONE - a trade name & synonym for Novaculite (a variety of Chert) from Arkansas, USA; not to be confused with Arkansas Quartz


ASCENSIONITE - a trade name for a combination of Pyrite & Marcasite


ASTARALINE - a trademarked name for low grade Quartz with Muscovite & Cronstedtite inclusions


ASTERIA - an ancient name for any gemstone that displayed a star or asterism when cut, such as Sapphire, Ruby & Diopside, as described by Pliny the Elder in Natural History


ASTRION - an ancient name for Moonstone, as described by Pliny the Elder in Natural History


ATLANTIS STONE - a blue stone foretold in its discovery by medium Edgar Cayce, now considered by some to be Larimar (Blue Pectolite)


ATLANTISITE - a trade name for Stichtite with Serpentine from Tasmania, Australia


ATLAS ORE - an antiquated synonym for Malachite


AURA QUARTZ - a trade name for a series of artificially enhanced Quartz varieties available in a spectrum of rainbow colours, created by the deposition of pure elemental vapours of Gold, Titanium, & Indium in a vacuum chamber; varieties include Aqua Aura, Opal Aura (Angel Aura), Titanium Aura, Tangerine Aura, Imperial Gold Aura, Sunshine Aura, Tanzan Aura, Cobalt Aura, Ruby Aura & more


AURALITE-23 or AURALITE - a trade name for banded Amethyst with Prasiolite, Quartz, Hematite, Goethite & many other inclusions from the Boreal Forest in Ontario, Canada


AURORA QUARTZ - a trade name for Quartz with subparallel Brazil-law twinning (not Rhodium inclusions as previously suggested); synonymous with Iris Quartz and Anandalite


AZEZTULITE - a series of trademarked names for opaque & mostly massive low grade Quartz


AZUL - an antiquated synonym for Lapis Lazuli


AZUMAR - a trademarked name for Quartz with Kaolinite from Arizona, USA


 

BALAS RUBY - a historical name and misnomer based on a misidentification of Red Spinel


BALINYOUQI STONE - a trade name a combination of Cinnabar, Dickite, & Quartz; also known as Chicken Blood Stone, or Changhua Stone


BANALINGA - a Sanskrit name for a variety of Shiva Lingam (a sacred ovoid shaped stone) fashioned out of red & cream banded Jasper found along the Naramada River in India


BELLO OPAL - not a genuine crystal, but a trade name for a manmade lab-created polymer material commonly sold as an Opal imitation


BLACK AMBER - a historical name & misnomer for Jet, as listed in medieval Materia Medica lapidary texts


BLACK JACK - a historical name for Sphalerite, a term used by miners in Wales & England


BLACK LABRADORITE - a synonym & partial misnomer for Larvikite (a variety of Augite-Syenite with chatoyant Feldspar)


BLACK STRONGSTONE - a trademarked name for black Quartz from Mexico


BLEU JAUNE - a trade name for a special variety of banded purple & yellow Fluorite from Darbyshire, UK; also known as Blue John & Darbyshire Spar


BLIZZARD STONE - a trademarked name for a variety of Gabbro, an intrusive igneous rock


BLOOD JASPER - a synonym for Bloodstone; also known as Heliotrope


BLOOD STONE - a synonym for Hematite; or in other cases, a variation of Bloodstone


BLUE GOLDSTONE - not a genuine crystal, but a trade name for a manmade glass containing tiny glittering flecks of Cobalt particles suspended in a coloured matrix; also seen in green & copper coloured 'Goldstone' varieties


BLUE IRON EARTH - a synonym for Vivianite


BLUE JOHN - a trade name for a special variety of banded purple & yellow Fluorite from Darbyshire, UK; also known as Darbyshire Spar & Bleu Jaune


BLUE LIBERITE - a trademarked name for Rhyolite with blue Quartz phenocrysts from Brazil


BLUE MALACHITE - not actually Malachite, but an old synonym and misnomer for Azurite


BLUE OBSIDIAN - not a genuine crystal (most commonly), but a trade name for a manmade glass with a bright transparent aqua or peacock blue colour; not to be confused with authentic blue Obsidian, which only occurs naturally as a turquoise-blue sheen against a black background as one of the colours sometimes seen in Rainbow Obsidian


BLUE TARA QUARTZ - a trade name for Riebeckite (blue-grey Amphibole) in Quartz, sometimes possibly with Olenite Tourmaline inclusions