Organic Gemstones: This colorful collage features some of the organic gems of this article. Starting at the top and moving to the left are: amber, ammolite, fossil coral, petrified wood, fossil stromatolite, mother of pearl, fossil sand dollar, turritella agate, freshwater cultured pearls, fossil dinosaur bone, fossil crinoidal limestone, and red coral. See below for more.
What are Organic Gems?
Although most gemstones are mineral materials, a number of organic materials are also considered to be gemstones. The most common of these are pearl, bone, amber, coral, jet, and ivory. These are materials, produced by organisms, that have been cut into gems and other ornamental objects.
There are also organic materials that have been mineralized (replaced and infilled by chalcedony, opal, calcite, aragonite, pyrite, or other mineral material). Although the material itself is not organic, it does preserve an organic structure. Examples include petrified wood, fossil coral, dinosaur bone, and other fossilized organisms or parts of organisms.