Discernment on Brown Gemstones

Brown is not among the fancied colors in the jewelry. In fact, it is hard to find brown gem jewelry in stores. However, with the rising popularity of colored gemstones, many people seem to be looking at gemstones from a different angle. People want unique, designed gemstones that are not worn by many.

Brown diamonds have also captured the attention of many, with celebrities rocking the brown gems in red carpet events. It is crucial to understand that brown gemstones are pretty unique and very stunning. In symbolic matters, brown is considered a warm color representing warmth, friendliness, simplicity, health, and nature. These gemstones have an earthy appearance and occur in beautiful tones.

They can occur as opaque, gorgeous transparent, and light or dark materials. Since brown is gender-neutral, its gemstones can be worn by women and men alike. If you want to purchase some alluring and stunning brown jewelry, then you are right where you should be. This guide gives you all the relevant information about different astonishing brown gemstones.


Brown Agate

Brown agate is relatively rare but a tough gem all the same. The gemstones showcase stunning colors almost similar to opal. It occurs in diverse swirls and bubbles. Brown agate bears a smooth sheen and fascinating iridescence. It is only found in selected places, and this could be in Mexico and the USA only.

The perfect quality stone occurs as translucent, bearing a waxy luster. Belonging to the quartz family and having a 7 Mohs hardness rating means this gem is ideal for daily jewelry wear. Brown agate can be cut into cabochons, but it is hardly faceted.



Typically, amber is formed via tree resin fossilization. However, you need to understand that Amber resin is different from the typical tree sap. The amber resin is acquired from the Pinus succinifera tree. The gemstone occurs in diverse colors, including brown, yellow, and orange. The golden-yellow variety of the stone is translucent resin and is quite hard.

Amber can also occur as a rare blue gem, rare red, and rare green. Rare blue amber is found in the Dominican Republic. The gemstone clarity could range from opaque to transparent. The majority of amber deposits bear inclusions, while others have air bubbles making them look majestic. Most of the amber varieties bear a cloudy clarity as a result of many minute bubbles.

The gemstone is cut en cabochon most of the time and rarely faceted. It is also soft, meaning it gives lapidaries an easy time. Popular shapes include oval and round deposits, while they may also appear in other classy shapes like pentagons, hexagons, heart shapes, and stars.


Brown Andalusite

Andalusite is not a popular gemstone. It acquired the name andalusite from Andalusia. It is where the gem first occurred. However, it appears in diverse places in the world now. These include Canada, Sri Lanka, Australia, the USA, and Russia. Andalusite shares similar composition to kyanite and sillimanite. All three will be polymorphs though they bear different crystal structures. The gemstone also has a unique and spectacular range of colors when viewed from different angles due to pleochroism.


Brown Axinite

Axinite is a rare gemstone occurring in the calcium aluminum borate silicate stones family. These minerals do not easily occur as gemstones. Its colors can differ depending on the mineral composition, but most gems occur in a golden-brown color. It can also occur in violet, lilac, and reddish-brown colors.

The stone, however, is quite popular among collectors because of the rarity property and the majestic crystal structure. Axinite has a perfect cleavage even though it is fragile compared to other minerals. Its hardness is pleasing as it stands at 7 Mohs on a scale. The stone is pleochroic and can exhibit different colors when viewed at different angles.

Sources of this mineral include France, the USA, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Tanzania, and Pakistan.


Brown Boulder Opal

This stone is quite valuable and is embedded in huge ironstone boulders. The precious opal forms in the boulders’ veins, fissures, and hollows. The stone is also known as “opal in matrix” since when the opal is extracted, some matric rock is kept and cut to produce stunning gemstone. Brown boulder opal occurs as an opaque material and might appear in diverse colors as translucent and transparent material.


Brown Chocolate Opal

Brown chocolate opal is different from the other opal stones due to its brown color. The gem may occur, bearing fascinating snakeskin-like patterns and a dark tone. Chocolate opal gives mineral and gemstone enthusiasts a reason to look for it as it has an intense color flash.

The stone can display a wide range of colors when viewed from different angles. Its deposits are usually opaque to translucent, bearing glossy and waxy luster. However, most of the chocolate opals come with flaws and minor impurities, but that does not affect the gem’s value. The expensive pieces of this gemstone do not have any cracks or defects.

With a hardness of 6.5 Mohs, this stone is used to make spellbinding pieces of jewelry that can be graced for important occasions.


Brown Cassiterite

For a long time now, cassiterite has been a significant source of tin. The mineral is abundant in rough form, but the transparent and quality gemstone is rare. This gem is popular among stone collectors since it is rare. It has a 7.1 hardness rating making it ideal for use as jewelry. Brown cassiterite also bears an incredibly high refractive index giving it exceptional dispersion and fire.

The stone also bears a phenomenal luster often called ‘diamond-like.’ Its deposits are at times confused with quartz, idocrase, sphene, and diamond. Most of the time, this gem will be distinguished from all the alike gemstones with its hardness. Cassiterite’s most essential sources are Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Somalia, Namibia, Mexico, the USA, Peru, Spain, Bolivia, England, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.


Brown Diamond

Brown diamond is one of the typical diamond types. The gemstone is quite alluring with incredible brilliance. Brown diamonds were not as fancy as they appear today since back then, people judged diamonds based on clarity alone. However, with the new era, the colorless diamond has counterparts that are pretty exquisite.

Brown diamonds have been nicknamed champagne, cognac, and chocolate. The brown gems are also quite affordable, with the dark brown deposits being expensive as they are more valued. Many people love the dark brown varieties as they do not show any inclusions. The gems can be used to make astounding jewelry pieces.


Brown Garnet

Brown color change garnet

It is a precious and rare garnet gemstone. Gemstone enthusiasts love this stone as it changes its color beautifully. However, most people will mistake its color-changing abilities for pleochroism, which changes color in a stone when viewed from diverse angles. The top sources of this stone include East Africa, especially in Tanzania.

Other sources include Madagascar, Tunduru, Sri Lanka, the USA, and Norway. This gemstone occurs as a transparent material, but some may have inclusions. Most garnets are not treated to enhance their properties, so the color change garnet is also not treated.

Brown Mali Garnet

Mali garnet is quite rare, and it is typically a hybrid grossular garnet. The gemstone occurred in West Africa and was initially discovered in 1994. Mali garnet occurs in a wide range of colors, from brown to yellow. However, the most valued stones are green in color. The gemstone has a remarkably high refractive index and excellent dispersion, which give it an exquisite brilliance and fire.

With a hardness rating of 7 Mohs, this gem is ideal for use as a daily jewelry. The stones occur in opaque or transparent gemstones.

Brown Hessonite Garnet

Hessonite appears as an orange, honey-yellow, or reddish-brown gemstone. The gem is also known as kaneel stone or cinnamon stone due to the brown-red color resulting from manganese. Brown hessonite is a January birthstone that occurs as a translucent or transparent stone and bears a vitreous luster.

The gemstone has incredible brilliance due to the high refractive index it has. It appears in various locations, but the most notable is Sri Lanka.


Brown Enstatite

Enstatite is typical pyroxene that is not easily found as a gemstone. The name enstatite is coined from Greek which means “resistor.” That is because the gem has a high melting point. High-quality enstatite may occur as a green, brown, greenish-brown, or colorless gem. It may also appear as golden-brown, which is a result of iron in its composition. The gemstone is relatively soft and can only be used for earrings and pendants.


Brown Golden Beryl

Many gem enthusiasts are aware of the famous beryl family members aquamarine and emerald. Not many people know of the golden beryl. Its first deposit was discovered back in 1913 in Namibia. However, other deposits have occurred in Madagascar and Brazil.

With a hardness rating of 8 Mohs, this gemstone is used for various stunning jewelry pieces. This stone has also occurred in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka.


Brown Jasper

It is an opaque chalcedony that is kind of different from chalcedony because of the grainy structure. The gemstone was named jasper because it is a Greek word meaning “spotted stone.” The gem has multicolored stripes, spots among other incredible patterns. Jasper is a resounding stone as it bears a ton of patterns and colors. Jasper can also be used to make breathtaking jewelry.


Brown Kornerupine

It is a magnesium-aluminum borosilicate stone that is quite rare. Kornerupine was named after Nikolaus Korneup, who was a Danish artist, explorer, and naturalist. Despite being discovered in 1887, this gemstone is not widely known by many. The gem may occur in a wide range of colors such as yellow, pink, white, green, blue, brownish-green, and brown.

Kornerupine has pleochroism and displays different colors such as brown, green, and yellow depending on its angle.


Brown Moonstone

People love the moonstone gemstones for the glowing sheen that floats on their surface. It occurs in various colors such as brown, yellow, pink, white, gray, red, and white. The different colors are a result of impurities that blend with Aluminum and Silicon chemicals. These stones appear as translucent to transparent material, with the transparent gems being more valuable.

Moonstones are usually cut into a circle or smooth oval-shaped pieces of art or cabochons. They are also used to make extraordinary pieces of jewelry.


Brown Pietersite

It is a reddish breccia or dark gray gemstone and comprises of the tiger’s eye and the hawk’s eye. Pietersite was first discovered in 1962 in Namibia by Sid Pieters. Now Pietersite is used to describe the tiger’s eye. This gemstone bears distinctive streaks of orange and gold and stunning swirls.

All that is because of the crocidolite inclusions. Upon being polished, the inclusions here showcase chaotic chatoyancy and elegant brilliance. Its sources include China, South Africa, and Namibia. The gem may occur in a wide range of colors such as gold, orange, red and brown. Its swirls can appear fiery red, yellow, golden, or orange.


Brown Rutile Quartz

Rutile Quartz is a quartz family member that occurs as macro-crystalline quartz. The gem is transparent but might contain inclusions that look like fiber or hair. These inclusions are titanium oxide and may appear in diverse colors such as brown, red or yellow. These colors give most deposits their value, with the bright golden yellows being the most valuable. The coppery red stones are also quite popular and fetch higher prices.


Brown Scapolite

Brown scapolite is another rare gemstone. It acquired its name from a Greek word which means stem or stick. The stone was named that because of the long columnar crystals. The popular color of this stone is honey yellow even though it occurs in other colors such as gray, orange, violet, colorless, and pink.

Initially discovered in 1913 in Northern Burma occurring as violet, white and pink crystals, other deposits have been found in Brazil, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Another purple variety of this stone occurred in 1975 in Tanzania and was named petschite.


Brown Sillimanite

This is an extremely rare gemstone and known by very few gem collectors. Sillimanite consists of aluminum silicate. The gem shares its chemical composition with kyanite and andalusite though each has its specific crystal structures. Due to the gem’s incredible resistance and resilience, it is perfect for bewildering jewelry pieces and ornaments.

Since sillimanite is a durable and intricate material, it can also be used to shape other materials. Essential sources for this gemstone include Kenya, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and the United States. Sillimanite occurs in a brown to a grayish color, while the rarer colors may consist of greenish-yellow, violet to purplish brown, and light-bluish. Transparent deposits may occur in yellow to greenish color.


Brown Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz occurs as a brown, black, or smoky-gray gemstone. The stone occurs due to the natural radiation of a colorless rock crystal. Smoky stones gained recognition during the cognac diamond era but are quite affordable than brown diamonds. Even as large deposits, the stones are still cheap. Smoky is also very versatile and can be acquired in any shape and size. Brown smoky is used to make mind-blowing jewelry pieces.


Brown Sphalerite

Sphalerite consists of zinc ore and has an incredible dispersion. That means the gemstone has a mysterious fire. The gemstone occurs in diverse colors such as brown, red, orange, and yellow. Sphalerite is also loved for its adamantine to resinous luster. Different sources worldwide hold deposits for this gemstone, such as Spain, Canada, Bulgaria, Namibia, Congo, Zaire, and the USA. However, in gemstone quality, the stone is scarce. It can be used to produce spectacular jewelry and ornament pieces.


Brown Tiger’s Eye

Brown Tiger’s eye is a stone that bears the cat’s eye effect. Many people know the yellow tiger’s eye. The stone occurs as a yellowish or golden color gemstone that is slightly translucent. The stone has a perfectly arranged silky pattern making it appear like a tiger, and it also bears an adamantine luster.

Indians consider this stone sacred and as a prestigious symbol too. Some use it to prevent depression. The stone is also used to inspire courage. Tiger’s eye is used to make jewelry pieces that can be graced for any momentous occasion.


Brown Tourmaline

It is a boron silicate stone occurring in various colors, including brown. One marvelous wonder why people love this stone is its pleochroism ability. The gemstones can exhibit different colors when viewed at different angles. It gives fascinating multicolor that could appear as green, yellow, or brown.

Brown tourmaline has a hardness of 7.5 Mohs, meaning it is perfect for any jewelry use, be it necklaces, earrings, etc. It is also a durable stone meaning your jewelry will stay for a long time. Brown tourmaline is also known as tsilaisite and dravite.


Brown Citrine

Citrine is a rare gemstone that backs in the days, was confused for topaz. Today, however, the stone is desired and loved by many for its affordability, durability, and attractive color. Citrine occurs in diverse colors such as earth tones, vivid yellow, and reddish-orange. The stone does not contain eye-visible inclusions.

The presence of inclusions decreases its value. The stone can be calibrated into incredible jewelry pieces, carved and even custom-cut for pre-orders. Gemstone enthusiasts love collecting the stone for its impeccable features. Citrine occurs in different sizes that can be used for different types of jewelry. Deposits of this stone can be discovered in Madagascar, Russia, Bolivia, and Brazil.


Mahogany Obsidian

It is a volcanic glass that occurs naturally and has been regarded as a gemstone for a long time now. The gem was named ObsidianObsidian after a roman known as Obsius, who had discovered another stone resembling obsidian. This stone is not a legit mineral as it does not contain a crystalline structure.

Because of the lack of cleavage, the stone is used to make sharp surgical scalpel blades. It is also used to produce knives and arrowheads. Some of these gemstone sources include Chile, Canada, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Mexico, Kenya, Peru, Scotland, Japan, Greece, Turkey, New Zealand, and the USA.

Pure ObsidianObsidian occurs in a dark color due to the magnesium and iron present. Since this is volcanic glass, it contains a glassy luster and could also have inclusions.


Cat’s Eye Apatite

It falls in the apatite family and showcases a rare illusion called chatoyancy. Chatoyancy does not happen in many minerals, which is why this gemstone is quite unique. This effect resembles the cat’s eye when looked at from different lighting conditions. The effect is desirable, which is why many gem collectors will look for this stone.

Cat’s eye effect comes as a result of needle-like inclusions or parallel fibers in the gemstone. Even though this apatite is abundant as a mineral, it is not easily found as a transparent gemstone quality. The gem is not widely known since it is pretty rare. Cat’s eye apatite is not hard with a rating of 5 Mohs.

The gemstone occurs in South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, Burma, Austria, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Israel, India, the USA, and Tunisia. It occurs in diverse colors like yellow, pink, blue, brown, violet, and green. The valuable deposits are the most saturated materials. However, the eye’s sharpness is also a significant factor in determining the value of the stone.


Brown Topaz

In as much as blue topaz is the most famous topaz category, the brown topaz is also a force to reckon with. Brown topaz is an elegant gemstone that is faceted to enhance its properties. It can be faceted into stunning shapes such as marquis, ovals, round, trilliants, squares, and baguettes. These shapes make the gemstone appear sparkly and fiery.

Brown topaz is quite hard with a rating of 8 Mohs, meaning it can make various types of incredible jewelry pieces such as rings, necklaces, etc. The November birthstone occurs in different colors apart from browns such as colorless, blue, and other rare stones such as red, pink, and golden orange.

The colorless variety is low-value even if it occurs in large sizes. Topaz is mainly sourced from Russia and Brazil. However, other areas include Australia, central Europe, and southern Africa.

Take Away

Some of the brown gemstones are not widely known since they are quite rare. However, they can be used to make alluring pieces of jewelry. The list covers some of the most unique gemstones that bear incredible properties and features.

Emoche ᛜ Gemstones & Jewelry