Multicolored Gemstones: Facts and 10+ Top Picks (+Alternatives)

Gemstones occur in all colors. While they are usually categorized by color (blue, green, red, and so on), there are also unconventional gemstones that feature multiple colors simultaneously.🌈 These are called multicolored gemstones.

This article features interesting facts about multicolored gemstones as well as recommendations for the 10 best options available to you.

Multicolored Gemstones With Black Background

What are multicolored gemstones?

Multicolored gemstones are gemstones that display two or more hues and their tones at the same time. Quite simply, they are gems with multiple colors, rather than one solid color throughout.

Colored gemstones vs. Multicolored gemstones

General colored gemstones like orange gems, yellow gems, green gems, and so on, only display the same hue with its different tones. Multicolored gems can display multiple colors, everything on the full-color spectrum in fact!

Why do multiple colors exist in the same stone?

Most multicolor gemstones display several colors as a result of double refraction of light. In most multicolor minerals, light enters the crystal lattice of the stone and follows two different paths. The light then travels at different speeds. Depending on the shape of the crystal, the color of the stone will change with the viewing angle.

Some gemstones have different color zones. The different colors present in a gemstone are determined by the physical conditions surrounding the gemstone during its formation. In the case of ametrine, the two colors are a result of the presence of iron during the quartz formation—resulting in citrine and amethyst.

Additionally, some gems have a “color-changing” feature—the color will change according to the lighting conditions. This attributes to the properties of particular elements inside.🔬

Classification of multicolored gemstones

  • 💡When gemstones exhibit different colors when viewed from different angles, they can be referred to as dichroic, or pleochroic. Dichroic gemstones display two colors while pleochroic gemstones display more than two.
  • When they have multiple colors when they are viewed from a single angle, they are called bicolor or multicolor gems. Bicolor gemstones have two zones of different colors while multicolor gemstones have more than two zones or regions of different colors.  
  • Another group of multicolor gemstones is known as color change gemstones. These have different colors when viewed under different lighting conditions. Gemstones with a strong color change are very rare and are highly sought after by collectors.

Reviews of top 10 multicolored gemstones (aesthetics, properties & more)

The quality of multicolored gemstones depends on the intensity, hues, tones, and saturation of the colors displayed by the stone. Generally, the more vivid the display, the more valuable the stone.

The most popular types of multicolored stones include multicolored tourmaline, ametrine, multicolored fluorite, multicolor ammolite, multicolor sapphire, spectrolite, multicolor pietersite, rainbow hematite, multicolor jasper, multicolor mystic quartz, and rainbow pyrite.👇🏻

Multicolored Tourmaline

Tourmaline is the official October birthstone. Its name is derived from the Sinhalese word “tura mali”, which means stone of mixed colors. The stone is available in a wide range of colors, ranging from blue to neon blue, black to bluish-black, lime to dark green, yellow, dark brown, pink, red, purple, and more.  

Handmade Multicolored Tourmaline Pendant Necklace
MetalMetGems / Etsy

Tourmaline is believed to help with the nervous system, lymph, and blood. It is also believed to strengthen one’s body and spirit. The gemstone is also thought to increase creativity and was commonly used as a talisman by writers and artists.

Tourmalines are mined everywhere in the world. The main locations, however, are Sri Lanka, Madagascar, the USA, Siberia, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

Features

Bi-colored and multicolored tourmaline may be pink at one end and green at the other. Watermelon tourmaline, for instance, is pink on the inside and green on the outside. Some tourmaline gemstones are also dichroic, meaning that they display different colors when viewed from different angles. Multicolored tourmalines are durable, having a rating of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros

  • Durable

Cons

  • Some varieties are expensive

Ametrine

Ametrine is a rare gemstone. There is only one commercial source of the stone: the Anahi mine in Bolivia. The colors of ametrine combine, contrast, and blend uniquely in each gemstone. The presence of citrine and amethyst colors in ametrine is a rare occurrence.🙌🏻  

Ametrine Gemstone Silver Ring

Features

Ametrine is a rare variety of quartz. It is a durable stone, having a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. The stone has a high refractive index, allowing it to display multiple colors when viewed in light. Several treatments are used to alter the clarity, color, and to improve the durability of the gemstone.  

Pros

  • Durable

Cons

  • Rare
  • Possible confusion with synthetic varieties

Multicolored Fluorite

Fluorite occurs in every color of the spectrum. It is a very popular multicolored gemstone. It is a favorite stone for collectors because of the bold colors it displays.

Natural Rainbow Fluorite Chakra Healing Pendant
Justinstones / Amazon

Features

Multicolored Fluorite is composed of cubic crystals which result in many crystal shapes. Many specimens of fluorite exhibit intense fluorescence. The fluorite crystal displays prismatic color variation when viewed in ultraviolet light. Fluorite is a soft stone, having a rating of 4 on the Mohs hardness scale. As such, the stone is rarely used to make jewelry. Instead, it is usually curved into ornamental objects. However, you can still secure it on a bezel setting to make a piece of nice multicolored jewelry.

Pros

  • Exhibits intense fluorescence

Cons

  • Soft

Multicolor Ammolite

Multicolor ammolite is considered to be one of the rarest gemstones on earth. It is primarily mined in Alberta Canada. Its name is derived from the Egyptian god Ammon. The stone is believed to have the ability to absorb cosmic energy from the universe, giving the owner enlightenment, health, and wealth. It is also said to enhance the vitality, harmony, and the overall well-being of occupants and visitors of a home.

Ammolite Drop Style Earrings in Sterling Silver
Starborn Store / Amazon

Features

Ammolite is a colorful and iridescent gemstone. It’s composed mainly of aragonite, which is responsible for the intense and beautiful color display in the stone. When light hits the aragonite layers of the stone, it is diffracted, displaying intense yellows, blues, reds, greens, and other colors of the rainbow. Ammolite is very fragile, having a rating of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs hardness scale.  

Pros

  • Exhibits intense color display

Cons

  • Very rare
  • Extremely fragile

Multicolor “Color Change” Sapphire

Sapphire is the September birthstone. It is a variety of corundum that occurs in a variety of colors except for red. The red variety of corundum is known as ruby. Blue is the most color for sapphires. However, sapphire occurs in almost any color including pink, green, yellow, orange, colorless, white, purple, and brown. 👉🏻There is also a rare variety of sapphires known as color change sapphires.

Color Change Sapphire Pendant - Vintage Style
SearchEndsHere / Etsy

Features

Color change sapphires are a rare variety of sapphires that displays different colors with different lighting. A color change sapphire is usually blue in natural light and violet in artificial light. Multicolor sapphires are very durable, having a rating of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. They are second only to diamonds in their hardness. Since they are rare, multicolor sapphires are very expensive.  

Pros

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Rare
  • Very expensive

Spectrolite

Spectrolite is a variety of labradorite, named after Labrador, the main and original source of the Canadian variety of this feldspar gemstone. This stone is also found In Newfoundland, India, Russia, and Madagascar. Spectrolite is believed to bring out people’s originality and strengths. It is also said to help people sleep and relate better with others.

Dangle Style Spectrolite Earrings (Pear Shape)
Chuvora Store

Features

Spectrolite is a translucent feldspar. It exhibits strong iridescence when viewed from different angles. The Finnish variety of spectrolite displays vivid colors of bright aqua, peacock blue, greens, golden yellow, red, and reddish-orange. The stone is relatively soft, having a rating of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros

  • Displays strong iridescence

Cons

  • Fairly soft

Multicolored Pietersite

Pietersite is a variant of chalcedony with enclosed amphibole minerals. The stone was first described in 1962 by Sid Pieters, who named the stone in his father’s honor. The stone is also known as the tempest stone. It is a high vibration stone that is used by most healers in their energy work.

Multicolored Pietersite Wedding Bands
Crystal Nation

Features

Pietersite occurs in various colors, ranging from yellow and blue to red to brown. The different colors usually come together, making pietersite a rare beauty. The stones are mined primarily in Namibia and South Africa. Pietersite is fairly durable, having a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Popular gem for healing activities

Cons

  • Fairly durable

Rainbow Hematite

Hematite is a common stone whose main component is iron oxide. It is available in a wide variety of colors, ranging from steel gray to almost black, red, or reddish-brown to brown. Hematite is believed to be a grounding and healing stone. The stone is also believed to help reduce stress and strengthen the body.

Rainbow Hematite Ring
WireWrapWorld / Etsy

Features

Rainbow hematite exhibits color similar to oil patches on water. Rainbow hematite is quite fragile. The stone is usually reinforced with a quartz material to make the stone more durable. Rainbow hematite occurs in several forms. However, they all have a red streak. Although hematite is harder than pure iron, it is very brittle.  

Pros

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Brittle

Multicolor Jasper

Jasper is one of the birthstones of October. It is a fine-grained and opaque variety of chalcedony. Jasper is found in a variety of colors including brown, green, red, pink, shades of purple and blue, among others. The stone was popular in ancient times and is referenced in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and Assyrian literature. Jasper is believed to aid in kidney, stomach, and gall bladder disorders.

Indonesia Multicolor Jasper Drop Style Earrings
StarGems

Features

Jasper contains traces of mineral oxides and organic materials which gives the gemstone beautiful bands, patterns, and colors. The patterns resemble landscapes with mountains. The stone is fairly durable, having a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Fairly durable

Multicolor Mystic Quartz

Mystic quartz is originally natural quartz. The original rock for mystic quartz occurs all over the world. However, it is primarily mined in Africa, Russia, Brazil, the USA, Japan, Mexico, and China. The stone is believed to help in lifting one’s spirits. It also helps in dispelling negativity.

Features

Mystic quartz is a form of natural white quartz. It has a coating that gives it a stunning rainbow effect. Multicolor mystic quartz is not natural; it is an enhanced gemstone. The treatment given to the stone is not permanent. However, while the enhancement lasts, the stone produces a kaleidoscope of colors.🌈

Mystic Quartz Silver Ring
BlissfulBohoDesigns / Etsy

Multicolor mystic quartz produces all the colors of the rainbow in one stone. The intensity of the colors depends on the original stone, the cut, eminence, and the shine. For this reason, high-quality quartz is the most preferred to produce mystic quartz.

The stone is durable, having a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros

  • Stunning rainbow effect

Cons

  • Enhancement on the stone is not permanent

Rainbow Pyrite

Pyrite is commonly known as fool’s gold. Every mineral collector is familiar with this gemstone. Pyrite has been used for centuries as an ore of iron and as jewelry.

Rainbow Pyrite Choker With Gold Chain
TwoStylishSisters / Etsy

Features

Pyrite is a soft gemstone, having a rating of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. For this reason, pyrite is usually used to make inexpensive jewelry. It usually occurs in brassy yellow. Rainbow pyrite is not as common. It has a metallic luster and has an iridescent tarnish.  

Pros

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Brittle
Other Multicolored Gemstones
Other notable multicolored gemstones that did not make it to this list include boulder opal, Koroit Opal, Alexandrite, drusy, Picasso marble, Texas Llanite, azurite, and color change garnet.

What to consider for choosing and styling with multicolored gemstone jewelry?

Multicolored gemstones have a dazzling effect.😍 Since they have different colors, using them in jewelry can be a challenge. If they are not cut aesthetically and precisely, you may end up with an ugly piece of jewelry. The value of multicolored gemstones is determined by how beautifully the colors blend. This usually depends on the taste of the consumer.

When choosing multicolored gemstone jewelry, several factors need to be considered. The colors of the gemstone need to complement the colors of your outfit. This may be a challenge, but you should find a balance to avoid color conflict. Multicolored stones can be paired with silver metals to create a contrast between the two—and to draw more attention to the gemstone. Multicolored gemstones are ideal for social occasions.🎊

Bonus tip: An alternative option

Instead of going for one multicolored gemstone, you can use a few gemstones in different colors to make up a multicolored gemstone pattern for your jewelry.

Ring With Multi Colored Gemstones

Where to shop?

Multicolored gemstones are not very common in the market. Every piece of multicolored gemstone is unique. You can shop for multicolored gemstones on platforms such as Etsy where they are sold by jewelers and gem collectors from all over the world. You can also search for multicolored gemstones on Google Shop to see all the available designs.

Some final words on multicolored gems

Keep in mind that some multicolored gemstones undergo treatment to improve their color, durability, and apparent clarity. Make sure you get a piece that suits your preferences. With the tips outlined here, that shouldn’t be hard to do.

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