What are Organic Gemstones?

In nature, there are a small percentage of gemstones that are considered organic gemstones. Most people today would no doubt recognize gemstones to be mostly made from minerals. What this means is that there are certain gemstones that are formed through various processes that are biological. This could be a process relating both animals and vegetables.

Just like the mineral gemstones, the organic gemstones also have certain characteristics which would help you identify them. For one thing, organic gemstones have the ability to be renewed which is quite different from the gemstones that are derived from minerals. They can also be farmed too. An example of this would be Pearl Gemstone.

Though they are basically grouped together as organic gemstones, they can also be sub-divided into four main groups. These groups are;

  • Coral
  • Jet
  • Amber
  • And pearl as earlier mentioned.


This group of organic gemstones are mostly found in water bodies such as the oceans and the sea. It is made up of mainly Calcium Carbonate which is a substance that is found in large quantities in oceans. Corals as a body are tiny little animals that have the ability to build and live in what is called colonies.

In order to survive and build their home, corals use the calcium carbonate that is present in the ocean to build strong homes that would protect them. Once a certain group of corals have died or passed away, the newer generation would build their homes on top of the old ones and continue to live in the same spot. As this continues, the outcome would be the reefs made of corals that are so popular today.

The coral gemstones can look transparent when viewed from angles and also look opaque.  Other colors which it can appear in would be orange, red, pink and even black sometimes. There are many uses of coral gemstones. One of them is to make beads while it can also be used in the production of figurines.

Organic gemstones - coral carving


The Jet gemstone can be derived from coal. It is a mixture of carbon and hydrocarbon compounds. Jet has the title of being not quite a mineral but is often referred to as mineraloid. However, its origin has organic written all over it. It is created from the process that decaying wood undergo when they are under extreme pressure. Jet can take on dark brown color or the black color completely. They would also contain other elements such as the pyrite inclusions.

The jet gemstone is also called black amber for various reasons. One of those reasons is because of the electric charge which it releases when the gemstone is rubbed together. The jet gemstone can be either hard or soft in nature. When it is hard, it is said to be the result of compression of carbons and the presence of salt water. When it is soft, it is because of the presence of compressed carbon and fresh water.

Organic gemstones - Jet


Amber is the definition of an organic gemstone. It is often considered to be a hard sap which can be found from pine trees. The use of amber can be seen in the various decorative objects that it helps in creating. Amber is not a recent development. History points that it has been available since ancient times. In fact, it has been seen and made into jewelry for the past 10,000 years.

The amber gemstones have the ability to appear in a number of colors. These colors would range from yellow, orange, and brown to the original amber color itself. It can also appear in black which is quite fascinating to think of. You can also expect to see colors such the green and blue amber. However, the blue amber is one of the rarest of its forms and is highly craved in society today. This is because it has traces of inclusions from insects and pyrite.

organic gemstones - amber


One of the most popular organic gemstones would be the pearl. The pearl is one gemstone which has been in existence for quite some time. Just like the amber gemstone, it has been used to make pieces of jewelry for a very long time.

Pearl gemstones can be found from mollusk animals. The term “mollusk” refers to animals who have shells that cover up their bodies. Think oysters and clams. The tissues which are usually present in these animals would help to create nacre which is a mucus. The animals that are responsible for making pearls would most times be found in water bodies (both salt and fresh water). However, you would find out the animals that reside in the salt water makes pearls gemstones that are valued more than the ones which come from the freshwater animals.

The shape of a pearl is usually round. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, a pearl can come in different shapes and can have rough or sharp edges. The color of a pearl would also vary depending on the animal and where it was created. Colors that are normal for a pearl would include gray, bronze, dark green, blue, violet and even the yellow color.

organic gemstones - pearl

Other Organic Gemstones

Other organic gemstones which are worthy of mention would include the Ammolite. This is a gemstone which is made from the ammonites shell. It is made from aragonite which is very similar to the ones which are found in the mucus nacre. This Ammolite can normally be found in North America especially in places such as Alberta in Canada and Montana in the United States.

For millions of years, organic gemstones have provided the world with the most beautiful decorations. Somehow, the gemstones have remained so precious and valuable despite the passing of time. This is what surely what makes them unique. The amber, pearl, coral, and jet gemstones are the golden gemstones that can be gotten from the organic family of gemstones.




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