This page is a kaleidoscope of colour. You’d expect nothing less when discussing gemstones. Vivid and vibrant gemstones range from the well-known to the relatively obscure, and can be used in all sorts of jewellery including rings, pendants, bracelets, and earrings. They’re all beautiful, but we sadly don’t have time to mention them all! What we can do is offer a tempting glimpse at the personality and characteristics of some of our favourites, and yours.
- Sapphire: We often associate this stone with the colour blue, but sapphires can be pink, yellow, purple…even delicious apricot, orange or peach! Most of the sapphire mined worldwide is of poor quality, and only a tiny amount is considered good enough for jewellery. This makes sapphire a rare gem, in spite of its popularity, and it’s a hard one too, rating a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Ruby: Ruby is adored as a light red to dark red coloured gemstone. It’s the red variety of the mineral known as corundum; other coloured varieties of corundum are called sapphires. This connection means that ruby also ranks highly on the Mohs scale of hardness, so its durability, like its beauty, is unquestionable. This birthstone for July is becoming increasingly rare, especially in larger stones.
- Emerald: Emerald is the green variety of the mineral Beryl. It has long been prized for its alluring colour, ranging from mid green to deep green. It’s a stone of undeniable character, imperfections and all; emerald is actually one of the few gemstones where visible imperfections (inclusions) within the stone are acceptable. With a hardness of 7.5, emerald isn’t exactly a soft stone and is not easily scratched, but inclusions and miniscule breaks can make them prone to chipping or breaking on impact. Wear with care.
- Morganite: This is the pink variety of Beryl, with a similar hardness to its cousin, emerald. Being pretty in pink – light to mid pink to be exact – morganite is becoming increasingly popular and it’s so easy to see why. One of the most appealing features of morganite is that it is usually found with few inclusions.
- Aquamarine: Beryl makes another appearance, this time in the sea green to sky blue form of aquamarine. Deeper and pure blue shades tend to have a higher value but lighter shades with a pale green shimmer are still beautiful and affordable, and should not be discounted from consideration. Being related to emerald and morganite, aquamarine offers good hardness and durability to go along with its beauty.
- Spinel: Categorising spinel by colour is not an easy task. Spinel stones can be orange, red, pink, purple, grey, blue, or even black, depending on the elements within them. For example, a red spinel is coloured by the element chromium, while cobalt saturates spinel with a vibrant blue shade. With this complex range of colours, spinel is a very affordable alternative to a number of more expensive stones, and a hard and durable one to go with it.
- Garnet: In its most common form, garnet is red but gemstones have a great capacity to surprise! So it is with garnet, which can also be yellow to brownish green, orange, vibrant green, or even greyish in certain light. The lesser known varieties make garnet jewellery something of a talking point, which is why it is very popular with people looking for something different. With a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5 to 7.5 depending on type, garnet is not the hardest gemstone but it is durable enough for everyday wear provided you treat it with care.
- Tourmaline: This popular gem takes you on quite a journey, from one end of the value spectrum to the other, and across a wide range of colours including red, pink, green, blue and brown tones. In fact, it has been said that tourmaline displays a greater range of colours than any other gemstone, making it a versatile stone in jewellery making. At 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, tourmaline is fairly hard and tough but certainly not on the same level as diamonds, emerald or sapphire.
- Alexandrite: One word best describes Alexandrite; changeable. Greenish in daylight and red in incandescent light, Alexandrite is highly sought after because of its beguiling and variable nature. A rare stone, Alexandrite is a superb investment when you want something distinctive, or just something that will capture attention at all the best parties! At 8.5 on the Mohs scale, Alexandrite brings a good deal of hardness to its ever-changing nature.
We could go on all day. There are hundreds of gemstones in nature’s kaleidoscope, and just as many ways to use all that colour and character in beautiful jewellery. Dimitries Jewellers has gemstone experts in store, and designers who really love working with the stones, so come in for a wide ranging and colourful chat.