Gems in the Earth

The origins of rocks, minerals, and gemstones

Rocks and minerals are created in the rock cycle. All rocks begin as igneous, but over time they are altered by remelting, erosion, or metamorphosis— weathering and erosion lead to the formation of sedimentary rock, which can turn into metamorphic rock through temperature or pressure conditions.

Gems in Nature

Mineral gemstones are directly mined from the rocks in which they were originally formed examples of these include diamond, tanzanite, ruby, kyanite, celestine, emerald, tourmaline, and aquamarine. Other types of gem, released from their original rock by weathering, can be mined from placer deposits found in stream gravels. Examples of these varieties include topaz, sapphire, chrysoberyl, garnet, zircon, and spinel.

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