- Garnet Garnet
occurs in a variety of colors such as red, orange, purple and green. It
is a durable, affordable, beautiful semi-precious gem that is the mainstay
of the jewelry industry. Garnet can be faceted, cabochon cut, beaded or
carved. Star stones do exist. Rhodolite, a vivid purple-red to purple
garnet, is the most expensive of the red garnets. Of the green varieties,
Tsavorite has an intense pure green color, while the rarer Demantoid is
a vibrant yellow-green color.
- Amethyst Amethyst
is a variety of Quartz that occurs in varying shades of purple, the deeper
the color, the greater the value. It is a soft gemstone that is often
faceted, beaded, or cabochon cut for jewelry use. The semi-precious amethyst
shares many similarities with its sister stone, citrine, and can occur
in a beautiful half amethyst, half citrine form called ametrine.
is the blue gem form of the mineral Beryl. It is a relative of gemstones
such as the emerald and morganite. It is a precious gemstone that often
displays a pure blue to greenish-blue hue. It is most valuable when it
has an absence of green. The word aquamarine literally means seawater.
Bloodstone is an alternate birthstone for March.
is the most highly sought after gem. It is the hardest mineral on Earth.
Diamonds are created by the transformation of carbon due to intense pressure
and extreme temperature. They occur in a spectrum of colors from colorless
to yellow, green, pink, orange, red, purple, blue, brown and black. However,
it is the colorless variety that is the most revered. Diamonds have the
greatest brilliance and luster of any gem.
is the richly colored green variety of Beryl. It ranges in color from
bright clear green to deep bluish-green. A bluish-green color with a lively
appearance is the most desirable and valuable. Emeralds are unique in
that they are notoriously flawed, and yet they remain a precious gemstone.
The "garden effect" of eye visible inclusions is acceptable.
Emeralds, while lovely, are brittle and should be worn with care.
are an organic gem formed in shellfish, mainly oysters, occasionally mussels
and conch. Pearl forms around an irritant whether it be the tiniest piece
of grit or an inserted bead, as a natural reaction; the oyster builds
up a layer of nacre around the pearl. As the nacre layer grows, so does
the pearl. Pearls are grown in both salt and freshwater. Coldwater areas
such as Japan produce pearls generally up to 9.00 mm. Warm waters such
as around Tahiti grow the large South Sea variety. Pearls are sensitive
and must be cared for gently. Alternative birthstones for June include
moonstone and alexandrite.
is the red variety of Corundum. It is a tough mineral, second only to
diamond in hardness. Large rubies are difficult to locate, much more so
than diamonds, sapphires and emeralds; their value increases more dramatically
than any gem, hence ruby is referred to as the King of Gems. The finest
rubies are called Burmese. They are intensely red and are often referred
to as being "pigeon's blood" red. Jewelers may claim that a
gem is Burmese, but technically, it must be certified by an accredited
laboratory such as Gubelin or American Gem Labs (AGL) to bear the title
is a semi-precious gemstone that occurs in shades of green from clear,
watery green to vibrant yellow-green to brownish-green. It was once referred
to as the "evening emerald". Due to its abundance, unmistakable
color and versatility, it is widely used in the jewelry industry.
that occurs in colors other than red is called sapphire. The various colors
such as yellow, orange, blue, green, pink and purple are all colored by
different elements. Like their ruby counterpart, sapphires are a tough
mineral, second only to diamond in hardness. Blue is the most popular
color. Kashmir is the most valuable of sapphires. It possesses a rich
velvety-blue appearance. Colorless sapphire is often used as a more affordable
consists of hardened silica combined with water. It is a delicate gemstone
that has a tendency to dry out or crack over time. Opal occurs in many
different colors including white, orange, gray and black. An opal's internal
structure determines the opalescence, "rainbow" or play-of-color;
based upon the individual silica spheres alignment. Opals are unique in
that their play-of-color changes as the light strikes; shades of yellow,
orange, red, blue and green dazzle the eye. Of them, red is the most valuable.
As for body color, black is highly prized, followed by crystal, white
and milky opals. Boulder opal is a particular variety consisting of a
slice of opal with its natural matrix rock attached. Fire Opal is a vivid
orange with no play of color. The various play-of-color patterns have
their own value scale as well. Pink
Tourmaline is an alternate October birthstone.
- Citrine or Golden Topaz
is a semi-precious gemstone that is the golden yellow variety of Quartz.
Citrine shares many similarities with its sister stone, amethyst, and
can occur in a beautiful half amethyst, half citrine form called ametrine.
In its most valuable form, madeira citrine, the gemstone has a rich burnt
orange or brandy color. Due to its abundance and versatility, citrine
is widely used in the jewelry industry.
is a semi-precious gemstone that occurs in a wide spectrum of colors,
such as yellow, blue, brown, pink, green and a colorless variety. Pink
is the most valuable color. Blue topaz is a popular gemstone in its own
right, but is also recognized as an affordable alternative to zircon,
December's birthstone. Colorless topaz is utilized as a diamond substitute.
Golden topaz is the traditional birthstone for November; however, many
substitute citrine as a more affordable option.
- Blue Topaz or Zircon
topaz is a popular gemstone in its own right, but is also recognized as
an affordable alternative to zircon, December's birthstone. Topaz is a
semi-precious gemstone that occurs in a wide spectrum of colors, such
as yellow, blue, brown, pink, green and a colorless variety. In its golden
form, it is recognized as the traditional birthstone for November.
occurs in a variety of colors, such as blue, green, brown, orange and
colorless. It is a transparent gemstone with a high degree of brilliance,
much akin to diamond. Blue zircon is the most sought after color. Zircon
is the traditional birthstone for December; however there are two other
birthstone options; blue topaz, is more affordable and readily available,
or turquoise, the historical birthstone for December.
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