While some gemstones are manufactured to make them more affordable for everyone, true gemstones, in their natural state, are found all over the world, and there are hundreds of different gemstones – several having different varieties. The most common gemstones are the garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby, sapphire, opal, jade, onyx, and topaz.
Garnets are found in Africa, Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and even in the United States. In the United States, you can find garnets in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia. Amethysts are also found in the United States in Colorado, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. Amethyst can also be found in Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, and Sri Lanka.
Aquamarine is a gemstone found in Brazil, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and The United States. In the United States, Aquamarine can be found in Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Vermont. Diamonds are scarcer in the United States, and in other countries, which attributes to their high value. In the United States, they are found in Arkansas, California, Colorado, and North Carolina – and the two biggest diamonds found in North America came from Arkansas. Other countries that diamonds come from are Australia, Ghana, Zaire, and Russia.
North Carolina is the only state in the United States where emeralds are found. Australia used to mine emeralds as well, but emeralds now typically come from Columbia and Zambia, although they are still found in Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, and Russia.
Pearls, unlike other gemstones, are not really mined. They are formed inside shellfish, and start formation from a single grain of sand. Pearls are harvested from the Red Sea, Gulf of Manaar, and the Persian Gulf. Cultured pearls come from the waters of Australia and Polynesia. Austria, France, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States produce fresh water pearls. In the United States, fresh water pearls are found in waters in Florida, California, and Delaware, and various states that the Mississippi River runs through.
Rubies are found all over the world, but different color and quality stones come from different areas. The highest quality stones come from Myanmar, and the brightest stones come from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Darker stones are found in Thailand, Australia, India, Russia, and the United States in Georgia, North Carolina, and Wyoming. Myanmar also produces the highest quality sapphires, as well as Sri Lanka and India. Lighter colored sapphires are produced in Montana in the United States. Darker colored sapphires come from Thailand, Australia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cambodia, Columbia, Kenya, and Malawi.
Opals, which are one of the least expensive stones, are actually harder to find. They are only found in Australia, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, and the United States – in Idaho. Topaz is another inexpensive gemstone, and is only found in Africa, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Russia, and the United States. In the United States, topaz is only found in Colorado, Maine, and Utah.
Jade, which is more expensive than opal or topaz, and is only found in Myanmar, Japan, Russia, China, and the United States – in Wyoming, Alaska, and California. Onyx is found all over the world, and is considered to be common.
With the exception of Pearls, gemstones are mined from mountains and underground lodes. In some areas, they are simply lying on the ground. Once they are mined – or harvested in the case of pearls – the gemstones are cleaned and cut into various shapes. Few gemstones are sold in their natural state to consumers. Usually, jewelry makers or mass jewelry producers purchase larger stones, and cut them down into smaller designs.
Where Are Gemstones Found