Coloring the Page: Precious Stones

For the last entry in the Color Thesaurus series, I thought it’d be fun to look at hues and descriptions for precious stones. These are great not only as descriptors, but as possible inspiration for stand-alone objects or trinkets in your story.

Agate: Fine grained and fibrous with color banding or irregular clouding; can occur in a variety of colors
Amethyst: Purplish to violet transparent quartz
Basalt: Volcanic rock, often has a gray porous appearance
Beryl: Pale green to olive yellow
Carnelian or Cornelian: Vibrant orangeish red
Chert: A milky white stone, sometimes with veins of rust or brown
Chrysoprase: Apple green gemstone
Diamond: Naturally colorless or white crystal
Emerald: Brilliant green beryl
Garnet: Usually a very dark rich red
Jacinth: A red to reddish orange
Jasper: Rusty brown
Onyx: Features a variety of color bands, from flesh-tone or white to pure black
Opal: Translucent, often milky gemstone with a variety of other colors within
Quartz: Hard and crystalline; can occur in a number of colors
Sapphire: Brilliant blue, sometimes approaching deep indigo
Sard: Deep orange red to brownish red
Sardonyx: Alternating reddish brown and white bands
Topaz: Often golden in appearance
Turquoise: Blue to greenish blue


  1. And the names are colorful to match. Chert - everybody say it out loud!

  2. this is a magical post! i love finding new ways to describe colors!
    hey, you couldve done this for a to z!

  3. just looked back at some other color posts, you did so much work! i am bookmarking this stuff!

  4. Such nice sounding words! Unfortunately, my WIP doesn't have much colour in it, lol. But I'll bear this in mind!

  5. Jewel tones, perfect way to bring out new colors. I love it!

  6. That IS a good list, but I read somewhere that said jasper was a black precious gem, which is why I named one of my black cats Jasper. Now I discover he's not as jaspery as I thought!

  7. It reads great. I know nothing about that sort of stuff. The list would be a good thing for me to keep handy.

  8. Alex - I almost used chert once for a novel! :)

    Optimistic - I'm glad you do.

    Tara - Thanks! I'm so happy they're helpful. I know I use 'em All. The. Time.

    Nick - So, for you, I need to list shades of gray, huh. Wait, isn't there a book... :)

    J.A. - Thank YOU.

    Margo - You're welcome.

    MS - Some of these surprised me a little too. But I did look all of them up.

    Cherie - Thanks.

    Rusty - Glad it could help.

  9. Such lovely sounding words... Instead of referring to something as Barney purple, I can get all fancy and say that it has an amethyst tone. =)