Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Gemstones are all sparkly, but they each have their own qualities, just like the characters representing them in Land of the Lustrous, the currently-airing anime. Let’s look at each gem appearing in the anime and their real-life counterparts in order of hardness.


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Cinnabar

Hardness: 2-2.5 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale
Etymology: There are multiple theories to what the name cinnabar originates from, but one says that it comes from the Medieval Latin word “cinnabaris,” which means “dragon’s blood.”

In the anime, Cinnabar is a character who is separated from everyone because of her ability to poison anything she touches. She also states that she has the lowest hardness of all the other gems. As a stone, is a stone that is found near areas with recent volcanic activity and hot springs. The character’s poisonous ability is probably inspired by the stone’s toxic property. Since cinnabar is a mercury mineral, this stone—which was initially used as a pigment in places like China in ancient times—poisoned the very artists that crafted with it. Real cinnabar is no longer produced due to its extremely poisonous properties.

Image Source: JJ Harrison‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Phosphophyllite

Hardness: 3-3.5
Etymology: This stone gets its name from phyllos, the Greek word for leaf, which refers to the cleavage of the stone.

In the anime, Phosphophyllite (nicknamed Phos) is one of the weakest of the Gems. Instead of being sent onto the battlefield to fight the Lunarians who are out to kidnap the Gems and turn them into decorations, she’s told to create an encyclopedia—something the others around her basically consider desk work. While her hardness isn’t off from real life, the way others treat her is severely different from her value. This fragile but valuable stone can range from hundreds of dollars to thousands.

Image Source: Rob Lavinsky‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Obsidian

Hardness: 5~6
Etymology: From the explorer who found this material in Ethiopia named Obsius.
Fun Fact: Obsidian is a black, shiny volcanic glass that is made when lava cools at a high speed. It is hard, but very brittle, making it perfect for weapons like arrowheads.

Image Source: Ji-Elle‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Neptunite

Hardness: 5~6
Etymology: From Neptune, the Roman god of the sea.
Fun Fact: This stone is named after Neptune in association with the stone aegirine—which is named after Scandinavian god of the sea Àgir.

Image Source: Didier Descouens‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Rutile

Hardness: 6~6.5
Etymology: From the Latin word “rutilus,” meaning “red.”
Fun Fact: Rutile is a very versatile and helpful mineral, and its powder is used in everything from paint to paper to food. Because it is made of mostly titanium dioxide, it is also widely-used as a pigment.

Image Source: Steve Jurvetsonn‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Zircon

Hardness: 6~7.5
Etymology: From the German word “Zirkon.”
Fun Fact: Despite its name, this is not the stone that makes cubic zirconia, often known to be used as “fake diamonds.” Rather, Zircon is used in many things, like rocket propellants and X-ray opacifiers.

Image Source: Rob Lavinsky‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Jade

Hardness: 6.5~7 (for jadeite), 6~6.5 (nephrite)
Etymology: From the Latin word for “loins,” referring to its supposed ability to cure renal colic.
Fun Fact: Jade actually refers to two different minerals that are often interchanged for each other despite their different hardnesses: nephrite and jadeite.

Image Source: Manfredwinslow‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Euclase

Hardness: 6.5~7.5
Etymology: From the French roots “eu” and “clase,” meaning “good cleavage,” referring to the way the stone breaks. Another theory is that it comes from the Greek “eu” and “clase” basically meaning the same thing.
Fun Fact: This stone is a decomposition of beryl within pegamite rocks.

Image Source: Rob Lavinsky‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Amethyst

Hardness: 7
Etymology: From the Ancient Greek word “amethystos,” which means “not drunk.” This name comes from the Greek belief that it was impossible to get drunk if you put an amethyst in your mouth.
Fun Fact: In addition to its Greek roots to the Greek god Bacchus, this gemstone has been used as a sacred stone to make prayer beads with by the Tibetans.

Image Source: Pithecanthropus4152‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Morganite

Hardness: 7.5~8
Etymology: From the jewelry brand Tiffany & Co who introduced the stone to America and decided to name it after financier J.P. Morgan, a stone-lover himself.
Fun Fact: Morganite is a stone in the beryl family, made pink by additional magnesium.

Image Source: DonGuennie‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Goshenite

Hardness: 7.5~8
Etymology: From the town of Goshen, Massachusetts, where it was first discovered.
Fun Fact: Goshenite is a also stone in the beryl family, and is considered the purest of the family due to a lack of additional minerals, giving it its clear color. Goshenite is always teamed up with Morganite due to them being part of the same Beryl family.

Image Source: Parent Géry‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Alexandrite

Hardness: 8.5
Etymology: From the name of the Russian Czar Alexander II.
Fun Fact: This stone is a very expensive variety of chrysoberyl, and it changes color from green to red depending on the light.

Alexandrite 26.75ctsImage Source: David Weinberg‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Diamond

Hardness: 10
Etymology: From the ancient Greek word “adámas,” meaning “unbreakable.”
Fun Fact: The De Beers corporation created the tradition of presenting diamond wedding rings to brides in the United States through a very successful advertising campaign. Because of the high demand, it is considered a very precious stone, explaining the gap between the gentle Diamond and the brutish Bort.

Image Source: Steve Jurvetsonn‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Yellow Diamond

Hardness: 10
Etymology: From the ancient Greek word “adámas,” meaning “unbreakable.” This color of yellow, “Canary,” comes from the hue of the feathers of the bird of the same name.
Fun Fact: The naturally-colored yellow diamond is extremely rare, even when compared to its clear counterpart. Also called canary diamonds, the color of this diamond is made through additional nitrogen in the stone.

Image Source: Jorfer‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Image Source: TVアニメ『宝石の国』‏ on Twitter

Bort

Hardness: 10
Etymology: Bort originates from the “brot” of the Old English word “Gebrot,” meaning fragment.
Fun Fact: Bort is the term used to describe shards of non-gem-grade diamonds, explaining why Diamond looks so gorgeous and white, while Bort is black and stand-offish. Bort is not considered a gemstone, but instead is used for things like drill bits.

Image Source: Rob Lavinsky‏ via Wikimedia Commons


Land of the Lustrous is streaming on Amazon’s Anime Strike service with English subtitles.

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