The little kingdom in my fantasy novel has a climate and geography loosely based on New England (see this post). That's because I'm from New England originally and I make no apologies for loving it.
One of many things that New England is not known for, though, is its supply of gemstones. And any kingdom needs a stash of jewels, let's be honest. I knew my fantasy kingdom was not going to be rich, powerful, or luxurious but they do need some sparkly things to pull out for important occasions.
I am not a geologist. But I did do some homework and here's what I turned up:
Rocks in general
What's under the dirt? In New England, it's essentially all granite under the thin layer of dirt that the glaciers left behind. Therefore, I went looking for gemstones that are often found in association with granite. To use a more technical term, granite is the matrix in which the gemstones will be found.
Everyone's seen big, clear quartz crystals and yes, they're nice. Rose quartz is pretty and smoky quartz has a certain mysterious air. Quartz is a very common mineral, though, so it's not very exciting. Right?
Don't forget that amethyst is just purple quartz. Purple being a royal color (due to the difficulty of creating the color with natural dyestuffs), a nicely colored amethyst is a natural match for royalty. It was a valuable gemstone before they discovered tons of it in Brazil.
This is not a gemstone you hear a lot about, but it comes in a variety of nice colors including green, yellow, blue, pink, and sometimes two colors at once. Which, you must admit, is kinda funky looking.
Classic topaz is yellow, but it can also be found in blue, orange, or pink. I'm fond of blue gems, and while this might not be sapphire it's still a nice shade.
Pure topaz is colorless and clear. While that may sound as boring as clear quartz crystals, consider: like glass, it's hard and transparent, but this gemstone is tougher than glass. Topaz is on the high end of the Mohs hardness scale, so if you could find a nice, big crystal... what sorts of useful things could you carve it into? (assuming you have the tools to carve it!) For an idea of the comparison, glass ranks about 6-7 on the Mohs scale, whereas topaz is an 8. That's on par with steel.
Like quartz, beryl comes in many colorful varieties. Some of them are quite pretty.
|Red||Gold||Pink, aka Morganite|
Oh, and don't forget beryl's most popular color...
|Green, aka Emerald|
Now that's a sparkly thing worth mentioning.
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