Despite the immense popularity of diamonds, coloured gemstones have always been among the most popular and expressive forms of jewellery. Only three coloured gemstones are considered precious. These are the emerald, ruby and sapphires, which have retained their prized positions among jewels due to their extraordinary colours and extreme rarity.
Precious gemstones with good colour and large size are very hard to come by. Because of their rarity, it is common to use stones with inclusions and blemishes in jewellery. A semi-precious gemstone includes any gemstone other than emerald, ruby or sapphire.
The bright colours of coloured gems give each a unique personality while almost all coloured gems were believed to have special powers or cure specific illnesses.
Birthstone month: May
Tradition states that emerald aids fertility, improves eyesight and gives the wearer psychic powers. It is also believed to lift depression and relieve insomnia. Promotes self-knowledge, peaceful dreams and encourages balance and patience.
Birthstone month: July
Famous as a protector from misfortune and bad health, ruby is also used to open the heart and promote love. Given as a gift, ruby is a symbol of friendship and love. The ruby is also a symbol of vitality and royalty.
Birthstone month: September
Long associated with peace and happiness, and believed to help with communication, insight, intuition, inspiration and prayer. The ancients believed that sapphires could help them predict the future.
Birthstone month: March
Associated with courage and the release of anxiety and fear. It is thought to soothe, calm and alleviate fear and to help relaxation on long journeys. Tradition holds that it gives insight and promotes mental clarity.
Birthstone month: October
Regarded as a stone strongly associated with the emotions, including love and passion. It is also thought to promote spontaneity, imagination, dreams and healing.
Birthstone month: December
A recently discovered gemstone, but said to be connected with the traditions of the Masai tribe, who believe that it has healing properties. The Masai give tanzanite to new-born children since it is thought to represent life.
Gemstones come in a variety of colours and a particular hue will help determine the quality and price of the gemstone.
Derived from minerals, gemstones are rated for their hardness and durability using the Mohs scale. Created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, the scale is based on the ability of one natural sample of mineral to scratch another mineral visibly. Ranging from talc which measures 1 on the Mohs scale, up to diamond, the hardest, which measures 10.
Hardness measured by the Mohs scale (out of 10).
Emerald: 7.5 to 8
Aquamarine: 7.5 to 8
Tanzanite: 6.5 to 7
Opal: 5.5 to 6.5
The Mohs scale is very useful as it allows you know which particular gemstone needs the most care.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please contact us if you need any more information on coloured gemstones. We will be happy to answer any of your questions.