Europe is not as prolific of a source for gems as some of the other continents such as Asia or South America but it does contribute some beautiful gemstones. Although amber is found on other continents Europe is considered the premier source of high quality specimens, with Poland offering the best amber deposits. Russia provides the widest variety of gemstones of any country on the European continent including alexandrite, diamonds, lapis lazuli, topaz, tourmaline, garnets, and emeralds. Other gemstone deposits in Europe can be found in Spain, which produces aventurine, agate, and quartz. Spectrolite, a form of labradorite, can be found in finland, and thulite is deposited in Norway. The United Kingdom is a source of fluorite and the only known source of Blue John in the world. See the countries section below for a detailed list of gemstones produced by each country.
● Diamonds: Russia is one of the largest sources of diamonds in the world providing not just a high quantity of gemstones but also incredibly high-quality specimens.
● Moldavite: Czechoslovakia is renowned for producing the best Moldavite in the world. Moldavite is a naturally forming glass that is belived to have formed becuase of a metorite impact in southern Germany.
● Amber: Amber, of the highest quality in the world, is found in Poland and can often be found washed up along the coastline of the Baltic Sea. Amber is a unique gemstone that can provide a glimpse into the past. Made of fossilized tree resin, Amber is actually made of organic matter and is not a mineral. Interestingly it often contains inclusions of prehistoric insects, vertebrates, and foliage. Amber is available in a range of colors from pale yellow to dark orange.
● Aventurine: Aventurine is a form of quartz most commonly found in a green color. However, the adventurine found in Spain is more commonly deposited as a cream, grey, or orange gem. Aventurine is often used for ornamental carvings and jewelry.
● Fluorite: The United Kingdom is home to a unique form of fluorite known as Blue John. This purple/blue and yellow-banded fluorite has only been found in one location in central England, making it extremely rare. It was historically used to create bowls and glasses but it is now mostly used to create cabochon jewelry, perhaps due to limited availability of large specimens.
● Garnets: The European continent produces some beautiful garnets, in fact Russia was the first source of demantoid garnets. This iron rich gemstone is a stunning green variety of garnet whose color ranges from pale, yellowy green to deep green. Demantoid gems are the brightest, rarest, and most valuable form of garnet.
● Spectrolite: This uncommon variety of labradorite is exclusively found in Finland. Spectrolite exhibits a range of colors that show as blue, grey, and green and it is mined for its use in jewelry cabochons.
● Thulite: With a color ranging from pink to red, thulite is a form of zoisite found in Norway. Norway’s national stone derives its name from Thule, a mythical island, but it can also be known as Rosaline.
Garnet (often called Bohemian garnets)
● Charoite Chrysoberyl
● Lapis Lazul
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