Our polished gemstones and agates are natural undyed material and sold in 1/4 pound lots. There are approximately 40 to 60 pieces per 1/4 pound. Piece sizes range from approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Gemstones have natural variation in their exact color, pattern and shape. Use our Quick Order Checklist to order rapidly using a list. We also have a page of unpolished rough minerals.
Read more about using gemstones in mosaics at the bottom of this page.
Gemstones Used As Mosaic Tile
We do not sell dyed gemstones. All of our stones are natural material that has been rounded and smoothed by tumbling in silicon carbide grit and then polished with metal oxide.
The gemstones we sell have been running fairly consistent over the years, but there is always the potential for pattern, color and roundness to vary slightly from the product photographs.
There is no straightforward answer to coverage for materials that are irregular in shape such as the gemstones. Certain pieces will be thin, and these do not always look right when you position them flat next to a piece that is much fatter or rounded. For this reason, the thin pieces are usually nested on end, or at least semi-overlapped, which is best accomplished by pressing them into thinset mortar (but can be done with glue as well). Nesting or overlapping the gemstones on end means that they cover less area than they would if laid flat, and that is why they are mostly used for accents in mixed-media mosaics instead of covering areas.
Area coverage would probably be about 2 to 3 square inches per 1/4 pound maximum, but probably less if you nest them a little as recommended. If you are serious about using gemstones for area coverage in a large mosaic, we strongly recommend first ordering a few units and making a prototype of your mosaic, maybe a small section 2 inches x 2 inches.
Gemstones can be used in mosaics with regular flat glass mosaic tile. Most pieces are fatter than 1/8-inch thick tile, and their raised rounded surfaces can add a dimensional element to an otherwise flat mosaic. However, thin pieces should be oriented so that they aren't covered by grout. You can use sand and glue to "shim up" thin pieces so that they are level with surrounding tile. If you are interested in using a lot of irregularly-shaped objects instead of flat tile, then consider using thinset mortar instead of glue. Thinset is sticky concrete, and you can press marbles and gemstones and other globular objects into it, which is a lot easier than trying to glue them to a flat surface.
Cutting tumbled gemstones tends to mar their polished surfaces and is usually not done. We have cut some varieties of our gemstones in half with tile nippers and then glued them cut side down, which was conveniently flat. All that being said, the gemstones are different types of minerals, and some may be extremely hard or likely to shatter instead of cutting cleanly. As always, test your materials and methods before planning a large project around them.
- tumble-polished natural undyed gemstones.
- material can vary by color and pattern.
- 1/4 pound.
- approximately 40 to 60 pieces per 1/4 pound.
- Piece sizes range from approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
For more information on how to design mosaics and use gemstones, tile and other vitreous materials to create artwork, see our page of Frequently Asked Questions
or our List of How-To-Mosaic Pages, which are topic specific.
Return to Top