The focal point of many jewellery pieces, gemstones come in all shapes and sizes, and every colour of the rainbow. Gemstones have a multitude of uses and connotations and can be common or incredibly precious. Discover all you need to know about gemstones here.
Gemstones Associated With Peace
Alongside the sentimental value we often associate with our personal jewellery collections, many of the individual stones and crystals often used in jewellery making have come to represent a deeper meaning over the years.
What Is A Star Sapphire?
A star sapphire is a variety of sapphire which exhibits a unique reflection, giving the impression of a star trapped within the stone. They have long been a highly coveted and prizes stone, used both for aesthetic purposes and as a talisman across centuries.
Gemstones Associated With Love
Throughout history, gems and precious stones have often been associated with certain emotions or said to bring luck to those who wear them. Gemstones have been used in prayer, medicinal practices, and casual wear across the millennia, and many of the notions associated with them come from their individual histories.
What Is Jade?
Jade refers to either of two durable, compact, typically green gemstones that take a high polish. Since records began, both minerals have been carved into jewellery, ornaments, small sculptures, and utilitarian objects. Today, jadeite is the most coveted jade stone; the other is nephrite.
The Significance of Birthstones: January and Garnet
Birthstones are used in many different types of jewellery and have been for decades, and they’re a great way to choose jewellery that you have a more personal connection to. Certain birthstones are gems that have been used consistently throughout history, such as the garnet, and they have historically been popular in engagement rings, necklaces, and bracelets.
What is Marcasite Jewellery?
Used for millennia, marcasite is a gemstone that features in many distinctive jewellery pieces. The term ‘marcasite’ generally refers to jewellery set with the semi-precious stone, but also to jewellery made from silver with tiny pieces of its chemical twin, pyrite. Marcasite creates a uniquely intricate design that is instantly recognisable, and it’s for this reason it’s such a sought-after vintage gemstone.
A-Z of Gemstones
Gemstones are pieces of mineral crystal that can be cut and polished to make jewellery. They come in all shapes and sizes, and there are hundreds of types out there on the market. Diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, and rubies are all examples of gemstones. Some organic materials that are used for jewellery are often described as being gemstones even though they aren’t technically: amber, pearl, and jet are all examples of this.
The Significance of Birthstones: February and Amethyst
February’s birthstone is the amethyst, a purple stone that is a variety of quartz. With a triangular crystal system, the stone forms by lining a cavity within basalt rock – known as a geode.
The Significance of Birthstones: April & Diamond
April’s birthstone is diamond, the most popular and precious of all gems. Enduring and iconically romantic, diamonds are steeped in tradition, from symbolising status and wealth to an eternal symbol of love. Cupid himself was said to wield a diamond-tipped arrow. Given their radiance, it’s little wonder why diamonds are among the most valuable gemstones.
The Significance of Birthstones: May and Emerald
Emerald is May’s birthstone, a stunning gem prized by civilisations throughout history. Assigned to the month of May, it carries the green colour of spring and is a symbol of rebirth and love. At 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, it’s suitable for careful everyday wear.
The Significance of Birthstones: June and Pearl
Those born in June are lucky enough to have three birthstones: pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. Of these three, pearl is the most popular – and so it is pearl that we will focus on.
The Significance of Birthstones: July and Ruby
July’s birthstone is ruby, a gem representing love, passion, courage, and emotion. It’s one of the most popular coloured gemstones and is used in all varieties of jewellery, from birthstone jewellery to engagement rings.
The Significance Of Birthstones: August And Peridot
Peridot – a vibrant yellow-green variety of the mineral olivine – is the birthstone for August. Often confused with topaz and emerald due to the tonal similarities, peridot’s formation in the Earth’s mantle shares a path that’s similar to the most precious gemstone in the world: diamond.
The Significant Of Birthstones: September & Sapphire
The September birthstone is sapphire – a gem that has been cherished by cultures the world over for millennia. The word “sapphire” is now synonymous with a vibrant blue colour, which makes perfect sense, as sapphire is the Greek word for blue. The blue sapphire has signified many virtuous traits since ancient times, such as honesty, purity, and loyalty. In keeping with this tradition, sapphires are one of the world’s most popular engagement gemstones.
The Significance of Birthstones: Opal and October
October’s birthstones are tourmaline and opal. Tourmaline, the primary birthstone, is rare as it is one of few birthstones that can be found in any colour. Some pink tourmalines have clarity as transparent as diamonds. Opals on the other hand are in a class of their own.
What is Lapis Lazuli and How is it Used in Jewellery?
Lapis lazuli is a semi-precious gemstone, prized for its intense blue colour and gold flecks. It is most commonly known for being used in Tutankhamun’s death mask, as well as many of the amulets and scarabs found in his tomb.
The Significance of Birthstones: November & Topaz or Citrine
People born in November are lucky enough to have two birthstones to choose from: topaz or citrine. Topaz comes in numerous hues: colourless, blue, red, yellow or orange, whereas citrine is only ever orange.
The Significance of Birthstones: December & Turquoise
Turquoise is December’s birthstone – a semi-translucent or opaque stone that is blue-green in colour. Often, the stone has rock forms running through it that is called turquoise matrix. Because of its beautiful colour, it has been cherished for thousands of years – so much so that the word turquoise is often used to describe the colour itself.
A Guide to Emerald Jewellery
Emeralds are a stunning gem known for their mesmeric green colour. They evoke luxury and elegance in a way perhaps no other coloured gemstone does.
The Magic of Opal Gemstones
What do soap bubbles, oils spills on wet roads, butterfly wings, and seashells have in common with the opal gemstone?
A Guide to Sapphire Jewellery
Sapphire are one of the most important and iconic gemstones. Most commonly associated with the colour blue, these precious gems are as distinguishable as white diamonds, red rubies and green emeralds. It is said that a sapphire engagement ring represents faithfulness and sincerity and, in a wider symbolic sense, stand for wisdom, virtue, good fortune and holiness.
A Guide to Ruby Jewellery
The vibrant, passionate colour of rubies makes them one of the most distinguishable gemstones – and one of the most desired!