View Full Version : help to identify a jar of gemstones

21-08-2006, 10:57
I have a jar filled with stones. I think that they are gemstones? I'm not sure. What's the difference between tumbled stones and gemstones? I don't know where I got them, so I don't know what they are. And I have no idea how to go about identifying them. Does any-one have any suggestions? Any-thing you have would help me.

21-08-2006, 11:08
Hi madmoiselle,

I think that tumbled gemstones are just gemstones that have been tumbled so that they have a smooth finish rather than the natural, raw, jaggedy finish. There are many books and online resources you can use to determine which stones you have. Are they all the same stone or do you have several different ones? I do have a few crystal books here and would be happy to offer suggestions if you wanted to describe some of them. Otherwise, I would advise you do a search for crystals online and see what you can find.

Take care,


The Hanged Man
21-08-2006, 11:14
Bonsoir Mademoiselle,

Est-ce que je peux répondre à votre question?

You're probably refering to semi-precious stones such as agate, quartz and obsidian for example. Usually though, semi-precious stones would be generally referred to as 'gemstones'.

As to whether these are tumbled stones or not would depend on their texture and appearance. If they are smooth and rounded, with no sharp edges or corners or a rough texture, then they are tumbled. This is because such stones have been placed in a machine called a tumbler, which smooths out and enhances the appearance of a material, to increase their attractiveness and hence their marketability. Sometimes, gems are naturally tumbled, from having been in a fast flowing river or stream for a long period of time. I would imagine that the gems in your possession are artificially tumbled, as they are most likely to have been commercially obtained.

To help identify some of these stones, then perhaps you could place them in a scanner, if you have one. I understand that this would mean that the lid will not close down all the way, so take a large pice of material and place this over the scanner as it scans to shut out the light. This would be an easier way to identify the gems, rather than describing them, as sometimes gems can be hard to identify even when seeing them.


21-08-2006, 19:26
yep, do as hanged man says and get them scanned.

jars and bags of tumblestones are usually the various forms of quartz and agate, but if we have a pic then we can tell you which types they are.

jue xx

22-08-2006, 02:11
A scanner for papers, right? I have one. Will scanning them damage the surface or any-thing? I'll try that.

22-08-2006, 03:19
Do you have a digital camera ? some photographs scanned into or uploaded
would be useful. barring that look through some of the Ebay adverts for stones and crystals or other web sites with pictures to see if you can mach some by appearance.

22-08-2006, 04:17
madmoiselle, your scanner will be fine....just place a piece of paper opr some material over the stones and they will be fine - this will just block out the light when the scanner is working.

a lot of the agates are sometimes dyed, so if you have some brightly coloured ones - pink, orange or green - then they will probably be common agates.

jue xx

22-08-2006, 05:11
I think they probably will just be common stones, but I'll upload them any-way. I've grouped them into piles according to what I think feel or look the same. Do you want me to number the groups as so to keep track?

22-08-2006, 05:47
yeah, sure. :)

sometimes in these mixes you will get citrine, quartz and amethyst so don't think you will only have agates in it.

jue xx

22-08-2006, 05:48
All-right, I've numbered them then. Here is the link, let me know if you can't see them or what.
If you have any questions, just ask. I'll try to answer with what I know. Thanks.

22-08-2006, 11:47
Looks like you have a big collection of Quartz, Agates & some Jasper.
those that are bright pink and blue are dyed.

22-08-2006, 11:49
Thanks, but which are which, exactly? Do the Agates have names, or are they just common stones? Is there any-thing more you can tell me about them?

22-08-2006, 12:29
I'm certainly no expert, but I'm going to post some first impressions.

2 - Looks similar to carnelian to me.
3 - Garnet perhaps? Looks a little bright, maybe.
23 - A lot of this group looks like moss agate to me.
37 - Possibly obsidian or onyx. I'm still not sure how to tell the two apart.
42 - I'd probably say moonstone.
53 - Agate by the look of the markings.
55 - Again, looks like carnelian to me.
59 - Not sure, but the bright blue piece at least looks as though it could be kyanite.
61 - Clear quartz.

Anyone agree/disagree, please post. I'm interested in how I did... :-)

Briar Rose
22-08-2006, 12:59
Wow, Madmoiselle, You are the quite the lucky one!!!! I am seriously learning and practicing Crystal Healing. If you ever find that these crystals are collecting dust, and you aren't using them, and you would like to put them to good use then I am open you trading with you, or buying from you. Please keep in touch. Thank you, Aurora

22-08-2006, 21:02
ok.....starting from the first pic in your bucket. :)

58 looks like granit - hard to tell without touching.
59 calcite - are the darker ones purple? if so, they are amethyst.
60 if they are dark red, then they are garnet.
61 clear quartz crystal - bridge formation.
62 citrine cluster - i have one EXACTLY like that! lol
40 probably quartz dyed pink to look like rose quartz
41 don't know, not clear enough.
42 agate - if it is pale blue, then it is blue lace agate
43 moonstone
44 don't know, not clear enough
45 i know it, but can't ruddy remember the name! lol
46 top two calcite or agate, bottom two clear quartz.
47 jasper.
48 don't know, not clear enough.
49 some for of agate.
50 probably moonstone.
51 don't know, not clear enough.
52 don't know, not clear enough.
53 agate - bottom one probably blue lace agate if pale blue.
54 don't know, not clear enough.
55 carnelian.
56 agate.
57 don't know what it is.
24 dyed clear quartz
25 dyed stone - no idea what it is! lol
26 hard to tell - could be kyanite, aventurine or calcite.
27 agate.
28 agate.
29 agate.
30 agate.
31 dyed quartz and agate.
32 amethyst.
33 dyed qyartz or agate.
34 dyed quartz or agate.
35 don't know, not clear enough.
36 agate.
37 if it is black, then probably obsidian.
38 looks blue, so could be sodalite or lapis lazuli.
39 dyed agate.
11 mix of agates and green aventurine.
12 green aventurine.
13 green aventurine.
14 green aventurine.
15 green aventurine.
16 green aventurine.
17 green aventurine.
18 green aventurine.
19 green aventurine.
20 green aventurine.
21 bloodstone.
22 agate.
23 some form of agate but can't remember the name!
1 carnelian.
2 carnelian.
3 red jasper.
4 agate.
5 brown jasper.
6 brown jasper.
7 red jasper.
8 red jasper.
9 carnelian.
10 carnelian.


hope that i have gotten most of them right, but it is hard to identify from a scanned pic without actually touching them.

jue xx

Briar Rose
22-08-2006, 22:35
This is quite a collection. What do you plan to do with them? I'll use them for healing! Let me know, please.

Looks like # 25 might be some turquiose, or sometimes howlite is dyed blue, Hard to tell.
# 26 might be amazonite
#31, 32, 34 might be lepidolite (s), and (grayish/purple amazonite). Amazonite doesn't just come in greenish blue!

There's lots of books that give close up pictures so you can identify them.

22-08-2006, 23:27
There's also a website that has really good pictures of crystals and minerals, as well as their hardness and metaphysical properties that you could use for identification. Tumbled Stones (http://www.bestcrystals.com/tumbled.html)

I agree with the others that there are a lot of agates, many of them dyed in the bunch. Personally I don't care for dyed stones, but some people find them very pretty for making jewelry.

23-08-2006, 00:40
What a great collection you have there. **jealous** There's a lot of information on the net regarding properties and uses of stones. You should do a search.

23-08-2006, 03:25
What is the best way to store these to keep them separate, or how do you put your's? Also, does any-one have a good book on this that they think might help? I'm going to do a search for these, now that I have some-thing to go on. I'll let you know what I come up with, and what I'll be using them for, just give me some time.
chrisam-crystals - Thanks so much, I know that was a long list, lol.
Aurora - I'll contact once I decide if I'm going to keep all or not :)

23-08-2006, 06:48
try one of melody's books - love is in the earth is the best one, but you will also need the accompanying pictorial book as weel, as the first one doesn't have any pictures on it.

or you could try the crystal bible, as it lists the more accessible crystals/healing stones.

as for keeping them you can place them in seperate boxes or bags or just have them out on display in a nice dish. :)

jue xx

23-08-2006, 11:22
It is still hard to tell what a lot of them are lots of agate
59 probably has some calcite and maybe a little rose quartz m not sure what else is 60 black or deep red if red Garnet the cluster at the bottom is either amethyst of heat treated citrine depending on whether its purple or brown-yellow 61 is Quatz not sure of the rest on that page.
40 maybe some rose quartz some clear flourite and maybe some agate
most of the rest on that page is agate or not identfiable to any degree of certainty 24 looks to have some flourite in it some of the other stones look dyed. 23 looks like tree agate 1,2,4 and 10 look like agates of different sorts the others on that page may be some jasper and or chalcedony.

23-08-2006, 12:11
What a wonderful unknown blessing!

Gems and Their Gifts to Us (http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/crystal/gemtext.html)

Maybe this site might be of some help to you.

Enjoy your journey!

25-08-2006, 09:48
How do you figure out what they are for sure? I mean, you can look at a photo and see what they match. But how do you know if that's really it, with-out damaging it in some way?

26-08-2006, 21:32
Are you anywhere near a shop that carries crystals?
If so, take one of each, and compare them to what the store has, talk with the manager or cashier, to let them know what your doing, before you pull yours out, so they know your not poking their goods in your pocket.
They may even be able to identfy some of them for you.