As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.
One of the most unique and distinctive types of gemstones, dinosaur bone (a.k.a. gembone) is unlike anything else you’ll find in the jewelry industry.
People tend to think that dinosaur bone is a made-up concept and that any dinosaur bone jewelry is fake. After all, isn’t dinosaur bone rare and expensive? Isn’t it illegal to use at all, let alone in jewelry?
Yes, dinosaur bone (especially gem-quality bone) is exceedingly rare and a highly unique addition to your jewelry collection. But no, it’s not illegal or overly expensive.
Because dinosaur bone is the most common type of gembone, we’re going to cover that in this article.
What is Gembone?
Gembone refers to ancient bones (most commonly dinosaur bones) that have fossilized over time with minerals. Each individual cell has been fossilized with minerals like hematite, agate, quartz, marcasite, or jasper, preserving the original cell structure of the dinosaur.
What this means is that the end result is a mixture of fossilized bone and gem-quality minerals, creating a unique new substance. These are often described by the type of mineral found in them, for example, agatized dinosaur bone.
Gembone, like pearl, ammolite, jet, coral, and amber, is an organic material, created from a living (or once living) organism.
Gembone specimens tend to be around 150 million years old, dating from the time the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
What Does Gembone Look Like?
Dinosaur bones vary in appearance depending on the type of minerals it’s combined with. They tend to exhibit beautiful patterns, colors, and textures. The minerals in the bone, like chromium and manganese, give the bones a distinctive appearance.
Gembone is typically reddish-brownish in color, but you can find them exhibiting green, lavender, purple, blue, and orange hues as well.
They tend to have patterns of color mixed in with dark lines and cells, which enhances the color of the stone.
When polished, they have a smooth, lustrous surface. Dinosaur bones are typically cut en cabochon to emphasize their unique patterns. They’re also used as inlay and paired with various metals.
Best Types of Gembone Jewelry
Gembone is best crafted into boho jewelry designs, used as tumbled stones, or crafted into inlays. They’re ideal for dinosaur lovers, people with a love for history, mineral collectors, or just about anyone who wants something very unique.
You can find gembone in pendants and charms, but our favorite type of dinosaur bone jewelry is wedding bands.
These are ideal for someone who wants an alternative ring, going beyond the classics of platinum and gold. Gembone is typically paired with tough industrial or alternative metals, like titanium, tungsten, or gibeon meteorite (yes, real meteorite rings!).
These types of rings have a unique, modern look to them that goes beyond the ordinary with no two rings being exactly alike. They’re a sure talking point.
Where to Find Gembone?
Dinosaur bones are found around the world but these aren’t always gem-quality. The fossilized bones mixed with previous minerals, especially the agatized versions, are much rarer. The agatized patterned dinosaur bones are only found in the US, near the Colorado Plateau.
Using gembone is legal, as there are no restrictions on using fossils. You can own them or distribute them without issues.
How Do I Know if my Gembone is Real?
Most retailers that deal with gembone offer a certificate of authenticity, verifying that the material is true gembone. This is why it’s important to purchase from a reputable source that stands by its products.
How Much Does Gembone Cost?
Gembone varies in price but isn’t as expensive as you’d expect. Depending on the quality of the piece and the workmanship gone into it, a piece of dinosaur bone jewelry can cost anywhere between $50 to $300 and upwards.
How to Look After Your Dinosaur Bone Jewelry
Gembone might look extremely tough, but this doesn’t mean that it won’t easily get damaged when exposed to the knocks and bumps of daily life. Taking care of your gembone will ensure that it lasts for a long time.
Don’t expose your gembone to knocks or hard impact, as this can cause it to fracture (like any other rock). Avoid exposing the gembone to harsh chemicals, including chlorine, acidic substances, cosmetics, or hairspray.
Simply use water and mild soap to keep your gembone clean and to get rid of any grime buildup.
Metaphysical Properties of Gembone
Like all crystals, gembone also has acquired various metaphysical properties attributed to it over time.
These include increasing energy and vitalism when wearing gembone. Some believe that it also helps to enhance memory and assists in concentration.
Gembone is also believed to help with enhancing calm and relaxation, especially when anxious or worried about something.
*Disclaimer: Jewelry Shopping Guide does not guarantee or validate any of the claims related to the metaphysical and alternative healing powers of this or any other gemstone. This information should in no way be used as a substitute for medical advice.
Where to Find Gembone Jewelry?
Gembone is a rare and typically unknown material for jewelry. You won’t find many jewelers working with this because it’s not a mainstream lapidary item. The best option to find unique and beautiful dinosaur bone jewelry is to check on marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon, where there is a wide range.
From artisan pieces to rare loose gembone, you can find them here.