Although we hate to admit it, it would seem that not all gemstones are created equal. There are four very special stones that are considered truly precious due to their superior properties of rarity, strength and sparkle. These are the ruby, the sapphire, the emerald and of course the diamond. Loved and collected by many, precious gemstones are the keepsakes, the inherited and the treasured. The Crown Jewels are one of the few collections we can think of that are known to be encrusted with many large and rare precious gemstones simultaneously and whilst we cannot afford the Queen’s collection we can certainly try and emulate her style! Maybe you are lucky enough to have one of these as your birthstone, or maybe you just have expensive taste. Either way, here is our guide to the big four precious gemstones.
The colour of passion marks ruby as an incredibly romantic red gem and one that is used to gift loved ones over and over again. Known in Sanskrit as ratnaraj or ‘king of precious stones’ the ruby is a colourful competitor to the diamond, some rubies have even been known to reach higher values than similar sized diamonds. As the birthstone for July and the symbolic gem for 40th wedding anniversaries, rubies have a special significance when worn in jewellery. In pop culture, rubies have made waves in Hollywood as the iconic bright red gemstone that decorated Dorothy’s slippers in classic movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and also named the famous Rolling Stones song ‘Ruby Tuesday.’
Most iconically known as the ultimate blue gemstone, sapphires can also occur in a variety of colours from black and orange to pink. Sapphires can display asterism, which refers to the way light passes through the stone. Asterism can be seen in star sapphires, named for the shape of the display that appears on the gem when an overhead light is shone over it. Helen of Troy, famous in beauty and the art of attraction, was said to have a star sapphire that symbolised her magnetism.
Classic blue sapphires have started to become popular engagement ring gemstones again. Penelope Cruz, Elizabeth Hurley and Kate Middleton the Duchess of Cambridge all flaunt big beautiful sapphires as their focal gemstone with complimentary diamonds.
The green of the emerald is so loved that the gem’s name has become an adjective for all manner of green things. From the ‘Emerald Isle’ to ‘Emerald City’ (The Wizard of Oz seems to keep appearing!) this gemstone inspires because its colour is so very vivid it’s reminiscent of nature. Emeralds by their own nature have inspired many of our own floral jewellery designs.
Naturally included, emerald’s markings are like individual fingerprints telling the story of each stone as they form. Celebrity fans of emerald jewellery include Beyonce, Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie.
Without a doubt the most popular gemstone, diamonds are the astounding clear stones formed from compressing carbon under extreme conditions. Diamonds are known for their great strength and striking dazzle, being used in industrial drilling and cutting tools as well as in beautiful jewellery works.
Known as the birthstone for April, many a lucky girl is offered this gemstone not just as a birthday gift but also in eternity and engagement rings. Coloured diamonds have started to become more popular with beautiful canary yellow, champagne, black and pink diamonds being used in modern jewellery designs. Would you go for classic or colourful?
Do you have any precious gemstone facts you’d like to share? Get in touch in the comments. If you want a piece of the precious action, why not take a look at some of our new ruby, emerald, sapphire and diamond jewellery pieces and go about your day in the most royal of ways.