Gemstone Types

Some of the most popular stone types that are tumble-polished and can be found in the Scratch Patch


A usually yellow-brown stone formed from seams of fibrous asbestos which through the ages have been transformed into quartz.Its unique silky reflections, called chatoyancy, are caused by light bouncing back from the asbestos filaments.

Unknown to the ancients, tiger’s eye is a relatively recent discovery found in workable quantities only in South Africa.It is thought to help eliminate the “blues” and to bring brightness and optimism to the user; Tiger’s-eye has a smooth appearance and is said to produce soothing vibrations, bringing a calmness in times of turmoil.

Rose Quartz

Generally, as the name suggests, a very delicate soft pink, rose quartz is always somewhat milky rather than transparent, and varies in colour from an off-white pink to a warm rose-pink colour. The pink colour is created by the inclusion of manganese and sometimes titanium in the quartz rock.

While Namibia and South Africa are the main sources of the stone used today in jewellery and gemstone products, deep pink varieties are also found in Brazil and Madagascar. The stone is used extensively in the manufacture of necklaces, pendants and small sculptured ornaments. Rose quartz is said to produce a restful, cooling energy that will restore calmness, balance and clarity to the emotions.


A variety of crystallised quartz that occurs in colours ranging from deep purple to pale lavender. The presence of manganese in clear quartz produces amethyst, while the amount of iron content varies the strength of the purple colouration.

Amethyst is a powerful healing gem, used in treating disorders of the nervous system, digestive tract, heart, stomach, skin and teeth. It has also been helpful in the treatment of blood disease, burns and scalds, colour blindness, infections and oedema. An amethyst under the pillow can aid sleeplessness and one placed on the centre of the forehead can relieve the pain of headaches and other disorders. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the zodiac gem for Pisces.


A fine-grained variegated chalcedony (a member of the quartz family), usually with colours arranged in stripes, blended in clouds or showing moss-like forms.Agates are generally formed by water seeping into cavities in volcanic rocks and depositing mineral salts in layers, which over the centuries have hardened into varied-coloured bands of chalcedony.These bands are often concentric, producing beautiful patterns.

Named after the River Achetes in Sicily, agate is thought to protect the wearer from danger, encourage boldness and stimulate success, it has been used as a cure for insomnia, to ensure pleasant dreams and to relieve stress. Agate is the zodiac gem for Gemini.


A form of opaque, usually patterned, chalcedony which is found in massive formations, agate is usually stained by impurities and occurs in various colours such as red, green, yellow and blue. The popular red variety is a fine-grained quartz, coloured by inclusions of haematite.

From ancient times this stone was cherished for its beauty and mystical properties.The jasper mentioned in the Bible and in the wall of the New Jerusalem is believed to have been a dark green, opalescent stone. Because of its physical properties, engravers of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt carved this stone into exquisite cameos, intaglios and scarabs. Jasper was considered a sacred stone by the Native American Indians.


The "purest" of all quartzes, crystal is a clear, transparent form of quartz which has not been coloured by the presence of other minerals.

In ancient times crystal was believed to have been ice that had lost its ability to melt, and it was said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. Quartz crystals have been used extensively by many cultures for healing.People as widely dispersed as Native American Indians, African tribes, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Australian Aborigines, Romans, Celts, Scots and Tibetan Buddhists relied on quartz crystals to recognise the origin of disease. Crystal is used more frequently today for healing and diagnosis than any other stone type.