“I adore wearing gemstones, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance; you can only admire it.” – Elizabeth Taylor.
Well, rightly said! Gemstones are popular for their radiance. These are the most treasured stones that we use for jewellery. You might know a few popular gemstones, such as diamonds, emerald, ruby, etc. But the world of gemstones is vast.
So, read on to know more about gemstones, coloured gemstones and their meaning.
What are Gemstones?
A Gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal that is cut and polished and fashioned into jewellery. Gemstones, in most of the cases, are hard. But we use some soft minerals to make jewellery, such as engagement rings, gemstone necklaces, bracelets, etc. The lustre and other physical properties of these soft minerals have great aesthetic value. Another characteristic of gemstones is the rarity, which adds to their value. Also, the high price of gemstones is because of their rarity.
Gemstone Classification – Precious & Semi-Precious
In the mid-1800s, our ancestors classified gemstones as “precious stones” and “semi-precious stones” based on value differentiation. But, price is not the only parameter to categorize gemstones today. Instead, rarity, quality and provenance are the three main criteria to evaluate gemstones.
Mainly 4 types of gemstones fall under the category of “precious”. These include Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. These stones are the most expensive and sort out of all the gemstones.
Take a look at the gemstones list and know more about each of them.
Birth month – April; Zodiac – Virgo, Libra
It is the most common type of gemstone known and admired since ancient times. Made up of carbon, Diamond is the hardest gemstone. It rates 10 on the Mohs scale. Besides, Diamond is also 58 times harder than any other mineral on earth. The incomparable lustre and resilience of this gemstone make it so desirable. Undoubtedly, diamonds are popular for their purity and colourless sparkle. They are also available in a wide range of vibrant colours. Further, the extent of their saturation determines their worth.
Diamonds are the Gem of Strength.
Birth month – May; Zodiac – Cancer
The dazzling deep green colour is what makes Emeralds instantly recognizable. The darker the hue of green, the more valuable the gemstone is. Emeralds are denser than diamonds which makes even a 1-carat emerald look larger than a 1-carat diamond. Since high-quality Emeralds are rare to find, these are often treated with heat or water to improve their clarity, colour, and durability.
Emerald is the Gem of Rebirth.
Birth month – July; Zodiac – Capricorn
Considered to be the second-hardest after diamonds, red-fiery rubies symbolize luxury. These gemstones represent courage and passion. Since Ruby has the highest per-carat over any other coloured gemstone, it is also known as the “gem of precious stones” because they have the highest per-carat price over any other coloured stone.
Ruby is the Gem of Passion.
Birth month – September; Zodiac – Taurus
Remember the ‘Hearts of Ocean’ in the Hollywood epic, Titanic? These deep blue coloured diamonds are the Sapphires. Produced in a rainbow of hues, Sapphire gemstones can come in any colour, excluding red. This is because then people would recognise these as the ruby diamonds. Madagascar is the leading producer of sapphires in the world today. However, many other nations also produce these gems.
Sapphire is the Gem of Loyalty.
All stones other than the four precious gemstones fall under this category. Though the list is endless, some of the common ones include amethyst, alexandrite, aquamarine, garnet, peridot, pearl, tourmaline, turquoise, moonstone, opal.
It might come like a surprise to you that some semi-precious gemstones are more priceless than a precious stone. Many natural pearls, for example, garner high prices, which is often more than a low-quality precious gemstone like sapphire.
Birth Month – February; Zodiac – Pisces
Amethyst Crystals come in different shades of purple ranging from light lilac to a mix of deep red/violet. The purple hues of this gemstone complement all settings and metal tones beautifully. Besides, the gemstone signifies devotion and peace.
Amethyst is the Gem of stability.
Birth Month – June; Zodiac – Scorpio
Originally, Alexandrite was discovered in the 1830s in the Ural Mountains of Russia. But now can be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa. (Source)
Known as the very rare ‘colour-change gem’, Alexandrite changes its colour according to the light. In daylight, it appears bluish and mossy green. But it turns to a red gem with a warm raspberry hue in lamplight (emerald by day, ruby by night). The gemstone symbolizes increased creativity, imagination and intuition.
Birth Month – March; Zodiac – Pisces, Aries
Aquamarine gemstones resemble all the possible colours 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 centre 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 colour.
Aquamarine is the Gem of Tranquillity
Birth Month: June; Zodiac – Cancer
Humans have always admired and even worshipped pearls. Women love wearing gemstone necklaces made of beautiful pearls. Do you know natural pearls are rare and hard to extract from the Ocean’s depth? For this reason, humans produce pearls using the technique of culturing freshwater and salt molluscs. Also, Pearls are the only gemstones in nature to be formed inside a living organism.
Pearl is the Gem of Purity.
Birth Month – January; Zodiac – Aquarius
What do you visualize when you hear the term “garnet”? You might see a deep red hue stone just like a pomegranate seed. Garnets are minerals formed in rocks and come in a variety of colours ranging from deep red to light green. These are also rare stones and change colour in different lights.
Garnet is the Gem of Faith.
Birth Month – August; Zodiac – Leo
These gemstones are incredibly rare. Why? Peridots are the only gemstones to be created deep within the earth and brought to the surface through volcanoes. Peridot comes in various shades of green and brown. For those who desire earthy, or citrus tones prefer Bright Lime Green and Olive-Green Peridots the most.
Peridot is the Gem of Prosperity.
Birth Month – October; Zodiac – Libra
The gemstone is not as popular as the other gemstones. However, its quality is worth a consideration. Tourmaline can be obtained in blue, pink, green, purple, orange, yellow, red, brown, black, or even colourless.
Tourmaline is the Gem of Triumph.
Birth Month – November (yellow), December (blue); Zodiac – Scorpio
Available in many colours, Topaz is mostly connected to warm shades such as yellow, brown and orange. The gemstone signifies friendship. Of the many, pinkish-red, orange and purple Topaz are the rarest.
Topaz is the Gem of Comfort of the home.
Coloured Diamonds – Gemstone Based on Colours
Natural fancy coloured diamonds have been in the limelight for the past few years. Having been adorned by popular stars like Beyoncé, coloured diamonds are today on the top of everyone’s shopping list.
Often coloured diamonds are mistaken to be synthetically coloured stones. But in reality, these are naturally occurring stones and are available in a variety of colours including pink, orange, yellow vibrant red, brilliant blue, muted yellow, green, violet, grey, brown, and even black. In all, coloured diamonds in 27 base colours resulting in over 200 colour combinations.
You might be surprised to know that coloured diamonds are rare as there is one carat of colour diamonds for every 10,000 carats of colourless diamonds. Further, no two stones are exactly the same. (Source).
Among the many, red diamonds are the rarest and hence most expensive coloured diamonds. Even Purple and Violet diamonds are also extremely rare and hence pricey. Blue and Green diamonds are considered as Chameleon Diamonds as they change colours when exposed to heat or light. The most popular colours of diamonds are Pink and Yellow. The Yellow diamonds are also known as the Canaries.
Let us know more about coloured diamonds.
The Blue colour symbolises the sky and even reminds us of seawater. This colour also signifies peace, truth and youth. Blue gemstone, when worn by a woman, signifies politeness, jealousy in love, and vigilance. But when worn by man represents noble thoughts and wisdom. With blue representing calmness, it can make the wearer give off significant vibrations and feel open to communication.
Gemstones include Sapphire, Agate, Apatite, Aquamarine, Tanzanite, Zircon, Topaz, Spinel, Tourmaline, Rainbow moonstone, Paraiba Tourmaline, Lolite, Fluorite, Kyanite.
Red means courage and vitality. A woman in red shows traits like pride, obstinacy, and haughtiness. But a red stone on man denotes lordship, nobility, command, and vengeance. Further, Red gemstones are also known for their beautiful fiery eye-catching quality. Often women wear red stone jewellery on special occasions.
Gemstones include Red Ruby, Garnet, Spinel, Andesine, Zircon, Red Beryl, Tourmaline, Red Jasper.
Green gemstones are popular for their lushness that lasts forever. The green colour is a symbol of nature, well-being and fertility. Hence, the wearer who wears Green diamond feels a need for change, expansion, and welcomes new ideas. Moreover, it also symbolises wealth.
Gemstones include Peridot, Emerald green, Garnet, Tsavorite Garnet, Tourmaline, Apatite, Demantoid garnet, Chrome Diopside, Jade, Aventurine, Green Sapphire, Prehnite, Ruby Zoisite.
Three classic shades include Violet, purple and lavender. The hues present in these stones appear passionate and exotic. Purple symbolises mystery, magic, royalty and good judgement. One feels calm and energetic with purple. Moreover, Gemologists also believe it to bring balance in life by eliminating obstacles.
Gemstones include Fluorite, Chalcedony, Spinel, Amethyst, Tourmaline, Purple Sapphire.
It is the most common gemstone of all and hence very high in demand. The one who wears a yellow gemstone feels creative and is full of intellectual energy.
Gemstones include Yellow Sapphire, Fire Opal, Agate, Tourmaline, Citrine, Sphene, Orthoclase, Beryl, Chrysoberyl, Zircon, Quartz, Spodumene, Diamond.
In recent years, the Black gemstone has experienced immense popularity with huge consumer purchases. This has been of great interest for men, particularly. Its solid tones look very desirable and trendy. This colour represents earth, stability, and death. It is also popular for its mysterious shade.
Gemstones Include Diamond, Agate, Tourmaline, Onyx, Sapphire.
Some of the Orange gemstones are nature-born, while some others are the result of heat treatment. The colour symbolizes vitality, power, and even endurance. It also has powerful healing capabilities. Those who wear Orange gemstones experience an increase in their creativity. Also, it also tends to boost stamina or energy when feeling low.
Gemstones include Zircon, Sapphire, Spessartite Garnet, Sapphire, Imperial Topaz, Tourmaline, Moonstone, Citrine, Star Moonstone, Andesine.
While there are many forms of White Gemstone, white diamond is probably the most expensive. White diamond signifies purity, cleanliness, and kindness. It also makes the wearer feel clear-headed.
Gemstones include Moonstone, Diamond, Zircon, Topaz, Sapphire, Jade, Quartz.
The thing with Gemstones jewellery is that you get a wide variety of options. Be it in their colours, setting or ring, you have got a long list to choose from. While your choice matters in most of the decisions you make, choosing a gemstone based on your Zodiac is a special consideration. You must seek an astrologer’s advice before you proceed with buying a Zodiac-based gemstone.
How do synthetic gemstones differ from natural gemstones?
Both natural gemstones and synthetic gemstones are similar in their physical properties and chemical composition. The only difference is in the way they are born or produced. Natural gemstones are born in nature and no alterations are done by humans. However, synthetic gemstones are manufactured and grown in laboratories within strictly controlled environments.
Which Sapphire is the best – yellow or blue?
Since the words Sapphire and blue go hand in hand, it would be right to say that blue Sapphires are the most popular. However, yellow Sapphires have gained popularity recently because they are a cheaper alternative to pricey yellow diamonds.
Which is the most expensive precious gemstone in the world?
The red diamond is the most expensive gemstone with a price tag of over $1 million per carat. Acquired in 2011 and sold for $8 million, the famous 5.11ct Moussaieff Red Diamond is the most expensive gemstone. Also, it is the largest red diamond in the world.