A gemstone is the naturally occurring crystalline form of a mineral, which is desirable for its beauty, valuable in its rarity and durable enough to be enjoyed for generations. There are more than 40 popular gem varieties and many rarer collector gemstones. Although some gemstone varieties have been treasured since before history began and others were only discovered recently, they are all nature's gifts to us.
Its color, a vivid, radiant green, is what makes the Tsavorite so desirable. It has a refreshing and invigorating effect on the senses. The color range of the Tsavorite includes a spring like light green, an intense blue-green and a deep forest green. Unlike many other gemstones, the Tsavorite is neither burnt nor oiled. This gemstone is not in need of any such treatment. Like all the other garnets it is simply a piece of pure nature. Thanks to its great brilliance, the Tsavorite is, in this respect, a partner to match the classics: diamond, ruby and sapphire
Now treasured for its own sake, Spinel is a favorite on account of its brilliance, hardness and wide range of spectacular colors. In addition to beautiful rich reds, Spinel can be found in a range of gorgeous pastel shades of pink and purple. Of particular interest is a vivid hot pink with a tinge of orange mined in Burma. It is one of the most spectacular gemstone colors seen in any species at all. Spinel also comes in beautiful blue tones called cobalt Spinel, but these are very, very rare.
Its beauty, its magnificent colors, its transparency, but also its constancy and durability are qualities associated with this gemstone by gemstone lovers and specialists alike. The sapphire belongs to the corundum group, the members of which are characterized by their excellent hardness (9 on the Mohs scale). Indeed their hardness is exceeded only by that of the diamond - and the diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth! Sapphires are easy to care for, requiring no additional care on the part of the wearer. Blue Sapphire is the birthstone for the month of November.
The Peridot is one of the few gemstones which come in one color only. The rich, green color with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron. The color itself can vary over all shades of yellowish green and olive, and even to a brownish peridot is not particularly hard but it is easy to care for and fairly robust. Peridot cat's eyes and star Peridot are particularly rare and precious. The Peridot adds a wonderful variant to the color spectrum of green gemstone. Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August.
Many people have come to know and love this stone under the name Gold Topaz, or Madeira or Spanish Topaz, although it has very little in common with the higher-quality gemstone topaz except for a few nuances of color. The history of the citrine is closely interwoven with that of the topaz, and coincides with it completely when it comes to the interpretation of alleged miraculous powers. However, the citrine is a member of the large quartz family, a family which, with its multitude of colors and very various structures, offers gemstone lovers almost everything their hearts desire in terms of adornment and decoration, from absolutely clear rock crystal to black onyx. And it does so at prices which are by no means unaffordable. The mellow, warm tone that captured the last glow of autumn, citrine jewelry shimmers and brings a hint of sunshine to those dull November days. Citrine is the birthstone for the month of November.
Red is the color of vivacity, passion and love. Red is also the color of the Ruby. It radiates warmth and a strong sense of vitality. Ruby is hot and passionate. Ruby is the perfect way to express powerful feelings. Ruby is the king of the gemstones in the fascinating world of gemstones and is the birthstone for the month of July.
From the light blue of the sky to the deep blue of the sea, Aquamarines shine over an extraordinarily beautiful range of mainly light blue colors. Aquamarine is a fascinatingly beautiful gemstone. Women the world over love it for its fine blue shades which can complement almost any skin or eye color. Its light blue arouses feelings of sympathy, trust, harmony and friendship. Good feelings. The blue of aquamarine is a divine, eternal color, because it is the color of the sky. However, aquamarine blue is also the color of water with its life-giving force.
And aquamarine really does seem to have captured the lucid blue of the oceans. No wonder, when you consider that according to the saga it originated in the treasure chest of fabulous mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors' lucky stone. Its name is derived from the Latin 'aqua' (water) and 'mare' (sea). It is said that its strengths are developed to their best advantage when it is placed in water which is bathed in sunlight. However, it is surely better still to wear aquamarine, since according to the old traditions this promises a happy marriage and is said to bring the woman who wears it joy and wealth
The tourmaline is a unique miracle of color. The gemstone comes in green, red, blue, yellow, and pink but there are also colorless specimens and black ones. Often two or more colors are found in a single tourmaline crystal. Also rare and very highly esteemed are tourmalines which appear to change their color and cat's eye tourmalines. Having said all that, green is regarded as the classical tourmaline color. If you ask a gemstone dealer about a tourmaline, green, in most cases, is the first color he will think of. However, even among the green tourmalines there is a broad spectrum. Some of them are very light, others so dark that the green color can only be recognized when the stone is held against the light. There are green tourmalines in fine leek hues, but also in intense yellowish-green, olive green and brownish-green nuances. And there are especially wonderful tourmalines in the range from blue-green to dark bottle-green. These, indeed, are its best colors. They are rare and much sought-after. Green tourmalines are very popular as precious stones among women, but many men like wearing them too.
Tourmalines are gems with an incomparable variety of colors. The reason, according to an old Egyptian legend, is that the tourmaline, on its long journey up from the center of the Earth, passed over a rainbow. In doing so, it assumed all the colors of the rainbow.
The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese words 'tura mali'. In translation, this means something like 'stone with mixed colors', referring to the color spectrum of this gemstone, which outdoes that of all other precious stones. There are tourmaline from red to green and from blue to yellow. They often have two or more colors. There are tourmaline which change their colors when the light changes from daylight to artificial light, and some show the light effect of a cat's eye. No two tourmaline are exactly alike. This gemstone has an endless number of faces, and for that reason it suits all moods. No wonder that magical powers have been attributed to it since ancient times. In particular, it is the gemstone of love and of friendship, and is said to render them firm and long-lasting.
Until recently, there were no pure yellows in the rich color range of the 'gemstone of the rainbow', as this stone is also known. Most of the yellow tourmalines found thus far had a slight tinge of brown. But the tourmaline not only has many different colors; it is also good for a surprise now and then, as for example at the beginning of the 1990s, when some fantastic blue-green to turquoise tourmalines suddenly arrived on the market from a find in Paraiba, Brazil.
Meanwhile, this colorful gemstone has taken the world by surprise again with another new variety, and this time it is a yellow one: in southern East Africa, in Malawi, a gemstone deposit with some wonderful yellow tourmalines was discovered in the autumn of 2000. The fresh, spring like yellow of these tourmalines is clear and pure and has just a very fine hint of green. Under the trade name 'canary', the new tourmaline variety has now begun to circulate.
Pure blue tourmalines are much coveted on account of their beauty and rarity. In fine qualities, blue tourmalines are almost always one-offs. They are also highly esteemed by collectors. They are at their most valuable when they show an intense, clear, radiant blue which is not too dark, the kind of blue that puts one in mind of an aquamarine or a beautiful sapphire. The pure blue of the tourmaline radiates harmony. Perhaps it is for that reason that the gemstone therapists claim that a blue tourmaline makes people both honest and tolerant.
Pearls are organic gems, created when an oyster covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for just one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance.
Today pearls are cultured by Man. Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are later harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre. Most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured in mussels, mostly in China.
The quality of pearls is judged by the orient, which is the soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre, and luster, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Fine pearls do not have any flaws or spots in the nacre: it has an even, smooth texture. Other factors which affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and color: rose tints are the most favored.
Cultured and natural pearls can be distinguished from imitation ones by a very simple test. Take the pearl and rub it (gently!) against the edge of a tooth. Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is molded or painted on a smooth bead.
Color appeals to our feelings directly. It makes us happy and cheerful or calms us down, and has a magical or liberating effect. Where is color more lastingly and more beautifully captured than in a gemstone? In the fascinating world of precious stones, emeralds glow in the fieriest green imaginable. Aquamarines sparkle in a whole range of blues - from the light blue of the sky to the deep blue of the sea. And the charming pink of Morganite puts a spell on women the whole world over. Yet how many people are aware of the fact that these gems, different as they are, belong to a single family? Aquamarine, Emerald and Morganite are all Beryls - just like golden beryl, yellowish-green heliodor, colorless Goshenite and the rare red beryl. Whether blue, green, yellow, colorless or pink, their chemical and physical properties essentially correspond; it is only in their colors that they differ from one another so much.
So where does this diversity come from? It is an exciting and very ancient story, which began millions of years ago when the appropriate pressure and temperature conditions formed precious crystals in the center of the Earth. Beryls are beryllium-aluminum-silicates. As pure beryl, they are colorless, but they are able on account of their structure to store various foreign substances, and it is these which give rise to the various colors, turning a plain, colorless gemstone into a green, yellow, pink or blue treasure.
Iron colors beryl in the most beautiful sea-blue hues, turning it into aquamarine, one of our best known and most popular gems. This gem not only shines in all the colors of water - fine blue shades which can complement almost any skin or eye color; a slight green shimmer is also one of its typical features. Aquamarine is the favorite stone of many a creative designer and distinguishes itself by a whole series of good qualities: even distribution of the color, inclusions which hardly spoil the effect at all, good hardness and a wonderful shine.
The Emerald is closely related to the Aquamarine. This most valuable of all the Beryls is given the most beautiful, intense and glowing green imaginable, namely emerald green, by chrome and/or vanadium. Small crystal inclusions, cracks or fissures are not merely tolerated in this precious gemstone; they are actually regarded as features of its identity. Connoisseurs refer to them affectionately as the jardin (garden) of the emerald.
This gemstone loves generosity, since it is only from a certain size upwards that the beauty of its color, mostly ranging from a tender pink to a pale violet, is shown to its full advantage.
Small traces of iron, and a natural aura which emanates from minerals containing uranium, are sufficient to give a colorless beryl a more or less intense yellow tone - the typical color of the golden beryl. This gem has practically the same good qualities as its light blue cousin, the Aquamarine. Golden Beryl holds a fascination with its fine spectrum of yellow hues, from a weak lemon yellow to a warm golden color. Unlike the emerald, however, it seldom has inclusions.
Occasionally, Beryl is found which lacks these coloring substances. In such cases it simply remains a 'mere' colorless Beryl often referred to as Goshenite after the place where it was originally found, Goshen, in Massachusetts. Colorless Beryl is rare, and has little significance as a gemstone.
Emeralds are fascinating gemstones. They have the most beautiful, most intense and most radiant green that can possibly be imagined. The green of the Emerald is the color of life and of the springtime, which comes round again and again. It is also the color of beauty and of constant love. In ancient Rome, green was the color of Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. The magnificent green of the emeralds is a color which conveys harmony love and Nature.
The name emerald comes from the Greek 'smaragdos' via the Old French 'esmeralde', and really just means 'green gemstone'. The Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. This color still occupies a special position in many cultures and religions. Green, for example, is the holy color of Islam. Many of the states of the Arab League have green in their flags as a symbol of the unity of their faith. Yet this color has a high status in the Catholic Church too, where green is regarded as the most natural and the most elemental of the liturgical colors.
The lively luminosity of it color makes the emerald a unique gemstone. A really good quality is fairly rare. Even with inclusions, an emerald in a deep lively green still has a much higher value than an almost flawless emerald whose color is paler. Emerald is is the birthstone for May.
Other popular stones: Garnet, Blue Topaz, Coral, Iolite, Chrysoprase,Turquoise, Moonstone, and Smokey Topaz.