Gemstones are some of the most treasured stones used for jewelry because of their colors and durability. Gemstones are taken from their rough and jagged natural states and cut and polished into bold, bright, and breathtaking stones that can become treasured heirlooms in the time to come. Gemstones are classified in 2 ways – precious and semi-precious. Precious Gemstones are diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Semi-Precious gemstones are all other gemstones including Amethyst, Aquamarine, Peridot and Citrine to name a few.
Amethyst Crystals are found in geodes (rocks where minerals combine and form in their hollow center) and come in various shades of purple from light lilac to a deep red/violet mix. The birthstone of February, its purple hues beautifully complement all metal tones and settings. Amethysts are believed to represent peace and devotion, making them a perfect stone choice for those who wish to give a meaningful gift to their loved one.
Aquamarine gemstones resemble all the possible colors of the ocean - “aquamarine” translates into “water of the sea”. These gemstones look their best with white toned metals and can be used as both center stones or accent stones. They truly offer both beauty and versatility. Aquamarine is the birthstone of March, and they have a soothing effect due to their tranquil color.
Citrine gemstones range in color from light yellow to brownish orange. The name “Citrine” from the French word “Citron” meaning “lemon”. Traces of iron in these stones creates their various shades of color. Citrine is the most popular yellow gemstone and a worthy alternative to a topaz or yellow sapphire. Citrine looks best in yellow gold but also looks modern and fresh in white tone settings.
The diamond, made up of carbon, is the hardest gemstone reaching a 10 on Mohs Hardness scale. It is 58 times harder than any other mineral found in nature. A diamond’s resilience and incomparable luster when cut and polished are one of the many reasons it is so desirable. Though diamonds are known for their colorless sparkle and overall purity, they are also produced in an array of vibrant colors ranging from pink to black. The more saturated the color, the higher the value.
Emeralds are instantly recognizable due to their dazzling and deep green color. A darker green means a more valuable emerald. Emeralds are denser than diamonds, so a 1-carat emerald looks larger than a 1-carat diamond. High-quality Emeralds are rare, so it is common for these to be treated with either heat or water to enhance their color, clarity, and durability. Emeralds are the official birthstone for May.
When you think of the word “Garnet”, you think of a deep red hue like a pomegranate seed. However, “garnet” refers to the group of minerals that form in rocks and come in a range of colors, from deep red to light green. The rarest of these color formations are blue, colorless, and stones that change color in different lights. Garnet is the birthstone for January.
Out of all of the gemstones, Pearls are the only gemstones formed inside a living organism. Any clam can produce a pearl, but there are only 2 types of clams in the world that produce the cream-colored and rainbow-like pearls we treasure in the jewelry industry. Pearls are one of the birthstones for June.
Peridots are rare because they are only created deep within the earth then brought to the surface through volcanoes. Peridot colors can be different shades of green and sometimes brown. Olive Green and Bright Lime Green Peridots are most desired gemstones for those who appreciate citrus or earthy tones. Peridot is the birthstone for August.
Rubies instantly make you think of a stone with a fiery-red color that symbolizes passion and courage. Rubies are the second-hardest gemstone after Diamonds. They are known as the “gem of precious stones” because they have the highest per-carat price over any other colored stone. There are some rubies that can grow large enough to crystallize into gems that are more valuable than diamonds of the same size. Ruby is the birthstone for July.
Sapphires are usually associated with the royal blue variety of this gem, but it actually produced in a rainbow of hues. The royal gem can come in any color except red because then it would classified as a ruby. Interestingly enough, pink sapphires walk a fine line between a ruby and a sapphire. As of today, Madagascar leads the world in sapphire production; although these gems can also be found in many other countries, it’s their origin that can affect their value as much as color, cut, clarity, and carat size.
Topaz gemstones symbolize friendship and can be many different colors. They are mostly connected to warm hues like orange, yellow, and brown. The rarest Topaz colors are pinkish-red, purple, and orange. Yellow Topaz is the birthstone for November, and Blue Topaz is the birthstone for December.
Not widely known as a quality gemstone, Tourmaline Gemstones can be blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow, brown, black, or colorless. These colors can be combined with the most common being a green and pink cut into a red center resembling a watermelon. Tourmaline is the birthstone of October.