Colour Gem Stones

Looking for something other than diamond?

 Mother Nature has created a vast array of beautiful gemstones for literally any occasion in every colour of the spectrum. The Big Three coloured gemstones: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. But there are so many more: Aquamarine, Jade, Tourmaline, Opal, Tanzanite, Topaz, Citrine, Rhodolite, Rubelite, Garnet, and Amethyst to name but a few.

Gemstones are classified into different groups, species, and varieties. For example, ruby is the red variety of the species corundum, while any other colour of corundum is considered sapphire. Emerald (green), aquamarine (blue), red beryl (red), goshenite (colourless), heliodor (yellow), and morganite (pink) are all varieties of the mineral species beryl.

Ruby

Passion, excitement, luxurious opulence… these are just a few words that describe our fascination with this most precious of gems. For thousands of years, men have sought to own these precious rubies; they are symbols of devotion and objects of desire.

 

Imperfections and impurities may be removed by controlled heating of the gemstones. Some rubies have fissures or surface breaks that are filled with a glass-like by-product of the heating process. Care should be observed when wearing fissure-filled rubies. This enhancement technique may wear over time if treated harshly or exposed to strong solvents or abrasives. Your jeweller will inform you of the best method to care for your natural gemstone treasures.

Sapphire

Soothing, sensuous blue; liquid blue; evening sky blue; cornflower blue… these are among the many shades of this lovely gemstone. And yet there are many colours and hues of sapphire from which to choose; the hot and soft pinks; the oranges, greens, purples, yellows and whites… all for your pleasure.

Since ancient times, man has treasured sapphire. Some thought the heavens crystallized to form a huge sapphire upon which the earth rested. All sought the pure colours of this gem variety as an expression of beauty and wealth. Yet the perfect sapphire is as rare as the finest work of art. And thus, we have evolved methods over the centuries to enhance the purest hues of sapphire. This is often achieved by controlled heating of the gemstones to improve their clarity and color. Heating sapphires is a permanent enhancement, as lasting as the gems themselves.

Emerald

Emerald, to many, symbolizes rebirth and life abundant. The rich green hues bring to mind regeneration of life in spring, and hope of new possibility. Yet perfection in emerald, as in all things, is among the rarest of nature’s treasures. When they are mined from the earth, almost all emeralds have unique birthmarks that distinguish them as truly natural gemstones.

Early gem merchants in India sought to purify the colour of their emeralds by immersing them in clear oils or paraffin. They found that clear oils and waxes rendered surface fissures nearly invisible to the naked eye. Today, we have many sophisticated technologies with which to enhance clarity in emeralds. In addition to the oils and waxes of ancient method, we now use clear resins to penetrate the open fissures surfacing in the stones. Hardeners are often added to solidify these liquids. This step prevents the resin from evaporating from the stones, thus making the clarity enhancement more permanent than oiling or waxing the gem. Ask your jeweller for information regarding your emerald selection and care. To understand the journey that your emerald has traveled is to gain special insight into its magic.

Aquamarine

The very name Aquamarine brings to mind the clear blue tint of the sea. Many Aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut. For those who prefer the purer blue, these gems are heated to enhance their blue colour permanently. Yet many Aquamarine collectors prefer the greenish hues, saying the greener tones remind them more of the sea. The colour tones of Aquamarine are subtle and varied and their soft lustre is a wonderful addition to any natural coloured gemstone jewellery collection.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is renowned for its exquisite combination of purple and blue hues making it one of the more lovely gemstones discovered in modern times. Â Mined in Tanzania, at the feet of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, virtually every tanzanite is heated to permanently change its colour from orange-brown to the spectacular violet-blue colour for which this precious gemstone variety is known.

Blue Topaz

Larger diamonds are found relatively infrequently in nature, which makes them rare. However, a large diamond is not necessarily a better or more valuable diamond. In fact, a smaller diamond may actually be more valuable than one with a greater carat weight if its cut, colour, and clarity are superior to that of the larger diamond. A diamond’s weight is the simplest of its characteristics to measure.

The carat is a unit of weight which derives from the carob seed. The pods of the carob, or locus tree, contain tiny seeds which are remarkably consistent in weight. These seeds were used by early gem traders to weigh their diamonds. Today one carat weighs exactly 1/5 of a gram and each carat is divided into 100 points. For example, a quarter of a carat is 25 points, written as 0.25; a half a carat is 50 points, written as 0.50, and so on. Once a diamond is in its setting, it is only possible to estimate its weight by using special gauges and formulae.

While larger diamonds are highly prized, diamonds of equal size may vary widely in value and brilliance, depending on their qualities of clarity and colour.


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