Gemstone Density: The Definitive Guide

This illustrated chart shows density or specific gravity ratings for 155 natural gemstone varieties. It is the most complete and accurate density scale for gemstones available online, and includes many rare varieties. 

Click on a gem link to see examples or find more information.

  Gem Variety Density Chemical
Composition
Cinnabar Cinnabar 8.0-8.2  Mercury 
sulfide
Cassiterite Cassiterite 6.7-7.1 Tin oxide
Cerussite Cerussite 6.46-6.57 Lead 
carbonate
 
Scheelite Scheelite 5.9-6.3  Calcium
tungstate
Cuprite Cuprite 5.85-6.15  Copper
oxide
Hematite Hematite 5.12-5.28 Iron oxide
Barite Barite 4.43-4.46 Barium sulfate
Spessartite Garnet Spessartite
Garnet
4.12-4.18  Manganese
aluminum
silicate
Painite Painite 4.01  Calcium 
aluminum
zirconium borate
Smithsonite Smithsonite 4.00-4.65 Zinc
carbonate 
Natural Ruby Ruby 3.97-4.05 Aluminum
oxide
Star Ruby Star Ruby 3.97-4.05  Aluminum
oxide
Celestine Celestine 3.97-4.00  Strontium
sulfate
Sapphire Sapphire 3.95-4.03 Aluminum
oxide 
Star Sapphire Star 
Sapphire
3.95-4.03  Aluminum
oxide
Zircon Zircon 3.93-4.73   Zirconium
silicate
Almandine Garnet Almandine 
Garnet
3.93-4.30  Iron
aluminum
silicate
Sphalerite Sphalerite 3.90-4.10 Zinc
sulphide 
Rhodolite Garnet Rhodolite 
Garnet
3.84 Magnesium
aluminum
silicate 
Color Change Garnet Color-Change 
Garnet
3.78-3.85 Complex
aluminum silicate
Malaia Garnet Malaia Garnet 3.78-3.85  Complex
aluminum
silicate
Gaspeite Gaspeite 3.71  Nickel 
magnesium
iron carbonate
Demantoid Garnet Demantoid 
Garnet
3.7-4.1  Calcium
iron silicate
Azurite Azurite 3.77-3.89 Basic
copper
carbonate 
Color Change Alexandrite Alexandrite 3.70-3.78 Beryllium
aluminum
oxide 
Alexandite Cat's Eye Alexandrite 
Cat's Eye
3.70-3.78 Beryllium
aluminum
oxide  
Chrysoberyl Chrysoberyl 3.70-3.78   Beryllium
aluminum
oxide 
Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl 
Cat's Eye
3.70-3.78  Beryllium
aluminum
oxide  
Vanadium Chrysoberyl Vanadium 
Chrysoberyl
3.70-3.78  Beryllium
aluminum
oxide 
Mali Garnet Mali Garnet 3.65  Calcium 
aluminum
silicate
Benitoite Benitoite 3.64-3.68 Barium titanium
silicate 
Pyrope Garnet Pyrope 
Garnet
3.62-3.87  Magnesium
aluminum
silicate
Taaffeite Taaffeite 3.60-3.62  Magnesium
beryllium
aluminum oxide
Grossular Garnet Grossular 
Garnet
3.56-3.73  Calcium
aluminum
silicate 
Hessonite Garnet Hessonite
Garnet
3.56-3.73 Calcium
aluminum
silicate 
Leuco Garnet Leuco Garnet 3.56-3.73   Calcium
aluminum
silicate
Tsavorite Garnet Tsavorite 
Garnet
3.56-3.73  Calcium
aluminum
silicate
Spinel Spinel 3.54-3.63  Magnesium
aluminum
oxide
Kyanite Kyanite 3.53-3.70  Aluminum
silicate
Sphene (Titanite) Sphene 
(Titanite)
3.52-3.54  Calcium
titanium
silicate
Natural Diamond Diamond 3.50-3.53 Carbon 
Imperial Topaz Imperial 
Topaz
3.49-3.57  Aluminum
fluosilicate
Topaz Topaz 3.49-3.57   Aluminum
fluosilicate 
Sinhalite Sinhalite 3.46-3.50  Magnesium
aluminum
borate 
Rhodochrosite Rhodochrosite 3.45-3.70  Manganese
carbonate
Serendibite Serendibite 3.42-3.52  Complex
borosilicate
Uvarovite Garnet Uvarovite
Garnet
3.41-3.52  Calcium
chromium
silicate
Rhodonite Rhodonite 3.40-3.74  Manganese
silicate
Tanzanite Tanzanite 3.35 Calcium
aluminum
silicate
Idocrase (Vesuvianite) Idocrase 
(Vesuvianite)
3.32-3.47   Aluminum
calcium
silicate
Epidote Epidote 3.3-3.5  Calcium
aluminium iron
sorosilicate
Hemimorphite Hemimorphite 3.30-3.50  Hydrous
basic zinc
siilcate
Diaspore Diaspore 3.30-3.39 Hydrated
aluminum
oxide
Jadeite Jade Jadeite Jade 3.30-3.38 Sodium
aluminum
silicate 
Peridot Peridot 3.28-3.48  Magnesium
iron silicate
Dioptase Dioptase 3.28-3.38  Copper
cyclosilicate
Jeremejevite Jeremejevite 3.28-3.31 Aluminum
borate 
Kornerupine Kornerupine 3.27-3.45  Magnesium
aluminum
borosilicate
Dumortierite Dumortierite 3.28-3.41  Aluminum
borate silicate
Axinite Axinite 3.26-3.36  Calcium
aluminium
borosilicate
Malachite Malachite 3.25-4.10 Basic copper
carbonate 
Sillimanite Sillimanite  3.27-3.27  Aluminum
silicate
Chrome Diopside Chrome
Diopside
3.22-3.38   Calcium
magnesium
silicate
Diopside Diopside 3.22-3.38   Calcium
magnesium
silicate
Enstatite Enstatite 3.20-3.30  Magnesium
silicate
Apatite Apatite 3.16-3.23  Fluoro or chloro
calcium
phosphate
Cat's Eye Apatite Cat's Eye
Apatite
3.16-3.23   Fluoro or chloro
calcium 
phosphate
Zoisite Zoisite 3.15-3.38  Calcium
aluminum
silicate
Hiddenite Hiddenite 3.15-3.21 Lithium
aluminum
silicate
Kunzite Kunzite  3.15-3.21   Lithium
aluminum
silicate
Spodumene Spodumene 3.15-3.21  Lithium
aluminum
silicate
Clinohumite Clinohumite 3.13-3.75  Magnesium
silicate
Euclase Euclase 3.10  Beryllium alum. 
hydroxide
silicate
Andalusite Andalusite 3.05-3.20   Aluminum
silicate
Actinolite Actinolite 3.03-3.07  Basic calcium
magnesium iron
silicate
Amblygonite Amblygonite 3.01-3.11  Lithium sodium
aluminum
flurophosphate 
Fluorite Fluorite 3.00-3.28  Calcium
fluoride 
Brazilianite Brazilianite 2.98-2.99 Sodium
aluminum
phosphate 
Danburite Danburite 2.97-3.03 Calcium
boric
silicate
Grandidierite Grandidierite 2.97-3.03 Magnesium
aluminum
borosilicate
Phenakite Phenakite 2.95-2.97 Beryllium
silicate 
Aragonite Aragonite 2.94  Calcium
carbonate
Pezzotaite Pezzotaite 2.90-3.10 Caesium
beryllium lithium
alum.
 silicate
Nephrite Jade Nephrite Jade 2.90-3.03 Calcium
aluminum
iron silicate 
Datolite Datolite 2.90-3.00  Calcium boron
hydroxide
nesosilicate
Chrome Tourmaline Chrome 
Tourmaline
2.82-3.32 Soldium lithium
boron silicate
with chromium
Paraiba Tourmaline Paraiba 
Tourmaline
2.82-3.32 Soldium lithium
boron silicate
with copper
Rubellite Tourmaline Rubellite 
Tourmaline
2.82-3.32 Soldium lithium
boron silicate
Tourmaline Tourmaline 2.82-3.32  Soldium lithium
boron silicate
Prehnite Prehnite 2.82-2.94 Basic calcium
aluminum silicate 
Lepidolite Lepidolite 2.80-2.90 Potassium
aluminum lithium
silicate 
Sugilite Sugilite 2.76-2.80 Pot. sodium lith.
iron manganese
alum. silicate
Ammolite Ammolite
(Korite)
2.75-2.80  Calcium
carbonate
Eudialyte Eudialyte 2.74-2.98  Zirconium
silicate
Larimar Larimar
(Pectolite)
2.74-2.88 Sodium calcium
inosilicate
hydroxide
Calcite Calcite 2.69-2.71 Calcium
carbonate
Cobaltoalcite Cobaltocalcite 2.69-2.71 Calcium
carbonate & cobalt
Aquamarine Aquamarine 2.68-2.74  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Emerald Emerald 2.67-2.78  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Golden Beryl Golden Beryl 2.66-2.87  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Goshenite Beryl Goshenite 
Beryl
2.66-2.87  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Morganite Morganite 2.66-2.87  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Red Beryl Red Beryl
(Bixbite)
2.66-2.87  Aluminum
beryllium
silicate
Labradorite Labradorite  2.65-2.75  Sodium calcium
aluminum
silicate
Andesine Andesine 2.65-2.69  Sodium calcium
aluminum
silicate
Amethyst Amethyst 2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Ametrine Ametrine 2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Citrine Citrine 2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Rock Crystal Rock Crystal 2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Rose Quartz Rose 
Quartz
2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Smoky Quartz Smoky 
Quartz
2.65 Silicon
dioxide
Aventurine Aventurine 2.64-2.69  Silicon
dioxide
Oligoclase Oligoclase 2.62-2.67  Sodium calcium
aluminum
silicate
Sunstone Sunstone 2.62-2.65  Sodium calcium
aluminum 
silicate
Pearl Pearl 2.60-2.85 Calcium
carbonate 
Coral Coral 2.60-2.70 Calcium
carbonate 
Agate Agate 2.60-2.64 Silicon
dioxide 
Jasper Jasper 2.58-2.91 Silicon
dioxide 
Iolite Iolite 2.58-2.66  Magnesium
aluminum
silicate
Bloodstone Bloodstone 2.58-2.64  Silicon
dioxide
Carnelian Carnelian 2.58-2.64  Silicon
dioxide
Chalcedony Chalcedony 2.58-2.64 Silicon
dioxide 
Chrome Chalcedony Chrome 
Chalcedony
2.58-2.64  Silicon
dioxide
Chrysoprase Chrysopase 2.58-2.64  Silicon
dioxide
Gem Silica Gem Silica 2.58-2.64

 Silicon
dioxide

Onyx Onyx 2.58-2.64 Silicon
dioxide 
Scapolite Scapolite 2.57-2.74 Sodium calcium
aluminum
silicate 
Moonstone Moonstone 2.56-2.59  Potassium
aluminum
silicate
Amazonite Amazonite 2.56-2.58   Potassium
aluminum
silicate
Orthoclase Orthoclase 2.56-.2.58   Potassium
aluminum
silicate
Charoite Charoite 2.54-2.78 Complex alkaline
calcic silicate 
Williamsite Williamsite 2.51-2.63 Hydrous magnesium
iron phyllosilicate
Poudretteite Poudretteite 2.51-2.53 Potassium
sodium boron
silicate 
Lapis Lazuli Lapis Lazuli 2.50-3.00 Sodim calcium
aluminium
silicate 
Howlite Howlite 2.45-2.58  Calcium
borosilicate
hydroxide
Carletonite Carletonite 2.45  Hydrated pot.
sodium calcium
carb. silicate
Hauyne Hauyne 2.40-2.50 Sodium 
aluminum
silicate
Petalite Petalite 2.40  Lithium
aluminium
phyllosilicate 
Obsidian Obsidian  2.35-2.60  Siliceous
glassy rock
Hambergite Hambergite 2.35 Beryllium
borate 
Moldavite Moldavite 2.32-2.38  Silicon dioxide
compound with
other minerals
Turquoise Turquoise 2.31-2.84 Hydrated copper
aluminum
phosphate 
Hackmanite Hackmanite  2.14-2.40  Sodium aluminum 
chloride
silicate
Sodalite Sodalite 2.14-2.40  Sodium aluminum
chloride
silicate
Chrysocolla Chrysocolla 2.00-2.40 Hydrous
copper silicate 
Mexican Fire Opal Mexican 
Fire Opal
1.88-2.50   Hydrous
silicon dioxide
Opal Opal 1.88-2.50  Hydrous
silicon dioxide
Ulexite Ulexite 1.65-1.95 Hydrated sodium
calcium borate
hydroxide
Jet Jet 1.19-1.35 Carbon
(bituminous
coal)
Amber Amber 1.05-1.09   Fossilised 
organic resin

Different types of gemstones vary in density, and this fact is of interest to both gemologists and consumers.

It is important for consumers to understand gemstone density because buying colored gems by carat weight alone can lead to unexpected results. Though it is common to buy diamonds by weight, colored gems vary greatly by density. For example, a 1 carat sapphire is significantly smaller than a 1 carat diamond, while a 1 carat opal is significantly larger.

In gemology, the density or specific gravity of a gemstone is computed as the ratio of the density of the material to the density of water. The density is expressed as a number which indicates how much heavier the gemstone is compared to an equal volume of water.

Most gemstone varieties are 2 to 4 times denser than a equal volume of water. But the range is quite wide -- from 8 for cinnabar to 1 for amber. Diamond, at 3.50 to 3.53, falls approximately in the middle.

See also:

Gemstone Hardness Chart

Refractive Index Chart

 

 

 
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