Clear gemstones are the most versatile choice for jewelry as they complement any and every outfit. While they may not have a color of their own, clear gems add beauty to your looks by refracting light, lending their glitter and sparkle to every set of attire irrespective of color. Do you know the different clear crystals used in jewelry? Here is a list of clear jewels, from the most expensive to the more affordable.
Note: This article list clear stones that may appear white due to brilliance. If you’re looking for white stones that are actually opaque, please see White Gemstones for Jewelry.
While found in colored varieties, diamonds are most popular as clear stones. The hardest on earth, diamonds are clear crystals in their pure form, when the mineral lacks impurities that would otherwise give it color. These clear rocks boosts of a 2.418 refractive index, which means that light is trapped in a diamond crystal more than twice longer the time it travels through air. This make the clear crystal shine so brilliantly it appears white, hence the trade name white diamond. Diamond is the most expensive of clear gemstones, with prices of up to $45,000 per carat. Diamond is the birthstone for April; while in astrology, the clear precious stone is the birthstone of Aries. See —
Beside purple, taaffeite also occurs as colorless crystals. With prices of up to $4,600 a carat, taaffeite is the most valuable of clear gemstones next to diamond. Discovered in 1945, taaffeite was named after Richard Taaffe, who was able to distinguish the gemstone from spinel, with which the new gemstone was commonly confused at the time.
While most popularly blue, benitoite also occurs as clear stones. Glassy in luster, these clear crystals have a hardness of 6 to 6.5 in the Mohs scale. With value as high $1,800 a carat, benitoite is among the most expensive of clear gemstones. Benitoite was named after the San Benito River in Calfornia, USA, where the gemstone was first discovered, and hailed as official state gem.
The second hardest gemstone next to diamond, sapphire is the gemstone of the mineral corundum, except for the red variety, which is known as ruby. While most popularly blue, sapphire occurs as clear crystals in pure form. Though not technically white, this clear stone is called white sapphire, thanks in no small part to a high refractive index, which makes the clear crystal appear indeed white. With prices of over $1,000 a carat, white sapphire is also among the most expensive of clear gemstones. Sapphire is the modern birthstone for the month of September. In astrology, this precious stone is the birthstone of the zodiac sign Taurus.
This article is part of the series
RAREST STONES BY COLOR
Chrysoberyl is the same mineral that produces cat’s eye and alexandrite. While commonly a greenish yellow, chrysoberyl also occurs as clear crystals. This clear stone is the third hardest, with hardness pegged at 8.5 in the Mohs scale, just behind sapphire and diamond.
While usually found in colored varieties, spinel also occurs as clear stones, better known as white spinel. With a high refractive index almost equal to sapphire, this clear gem may indeed appear white. The biggest and most valuable of this clear stone came from Sri Lanka. It was a 71.25 white spinel now estimated to have a value of $1,000,000.
While most popular in blue, iolite also occurs as clear crystals. Known as cordierite in mineralogy, this clear stone is quite hard, with hardness pegged at 7 to 7.5 in the Mohs scale. First discovered in 1813, cordierite was named after the French mineralogist Louis Cordier.
While found in all the colors of the rainbow, tourmaline actually occurs as clear crystals, which was given the name achroite, from the Greek for “colorless.” Although among the rarest of tourmalines and usually found in very small crystals, this clear stone is rather inexpensive. Tourmaline in general is regarded as a birthstone for October. In astrology, tourmaline is a birthstone for the zodiac sign Leo.
Found in a variety of colors, zircon also occurs as clear stones. These clear crystals have excellent quality, both in brilliance and hardness, that zircon is often made a substitute to diamond. This gave clear zircon the name Matura diamond. Zircon is a traditional birthstone for December. In astrology, zircon is associated with the zodiac sign Virgo.
While more often yellowish in color, phenakite sometimes occur as perfectly colorless stones. These clear crystals look like quartz, although more brilliant, owing to a higher refractive index. Phenakite is harder than quartz too, with hardness pegged at 7.5 to 8 in the Mohs scale.
Want to see the rarest of these white clear gemstones? Jump to —
While most popularly blue, sodalite also occurs as clear stones. These clear crystals come from the white variety of sodalite called hackmanite, which is known for tenebrescence, or the ability to change color when exposed to sunlight. Though glassy, the luster of this clear gemstone may be dull. See also Sodalite: Stone of Clarity.
While usually opaque to translucent, enstatite also occurs as clear stones. Clear crystals may also be cut from thin sections of the colored varieties of enstatite, which includes white, yellow and green. This clear stone may be glassy in luster, and has a hardness of 5 to 6 in the Mohs scale.
Beside blue, green and yellow, sillimanite also occurs as clear stones. These clear crystals have a hardness of 7 in the Mohs scale: as hard as quartz and accordingly suitable for jewelry. First discovered in 1824 in Connecticut, USA, sillimanite was named after the American chemist Benjamin Silliman.
Known as hiddenite when green and kunzite in lilac, spodumene also occurs as clear crystals, which are regarded as colorless kunzite. These clear stones have a vitreous luster, and a hardness of 6.5 to 7 in the Mohs scale. The clear gemstone is the least expensive of the varieties of kunzite.
Labradorite, while usually blue, also occurs as clear stones. These clear crystals still show labradorescence, or the iridescent play of colors found in labradorite. A variety of this clear gemstone is called rainbow moonstone, whose play of colors is mostly blue. Indeed, contrary to what the name suggests, rainbow moonstone is not in fact true moonstone, but clear labradorite.
Known as emerald when green and aquamarine in blue, beryl occurs as clear stones. These clear crystals are called goshenite, a name derived from Goshen, Massachusetts, where the clear stone was originally discovered. Beryl in general is a traditional birthstone for October. In astrology, beryl is the birthstone of the zodiac sign Scorpio.
Apatite is a phosphate mineral primarily used in the manufacture of fertilizer. While usually green, gem-quality apatite also occurs as clear crystals. These clear stones are glassy in luster, with a hardness of 5 in the Mohs scale. Apatite has a refractive index of 1.638, making the clear stone nearly as brilliant as sapphire.
While most sought-after in its yellow variety, danburite usually occurs as clear crystals. The glassy clarity, hardness and brilliance of this clear stone make it a valuable gemstone for jewelry. Danburite was named after Danbury, Connecticut in the U.S., where the mineral was first discovered.
Quartz is a hard mineral that consists of many different varieties, including amethyst and citrine. In pure crystalline form, quartz occurs as clear crystals, known as rock crystal, or just clear quartz. These semi-precious clear stones may have dark needle-like inclusions of rutile, which gives it the name rutilated quartz. If the acicular inclusions consist of black or dark green tourmaline, the gemstone is known as tourmalinated quartz. Clear quartz may also be found in dendritic agate and moss agate.
Clear quartz was made an alternative to diamond as April birthstone in Britain. In astrology, the clear gemstone is the birthstone of Pisces. See also Rock Crystal: Stone of Clairvoyance.