Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everybody has their opinion on their favourite colour, what colour looks good on them, or what colour combinations work best together. This debate is especially important with jewellery, given the many possible gemstone and colour combinations available. The issue we often see is that although people have more often than not heard of, for example, Emeralds, Sapphire, or Rubies, they do not know what family of gemstone they belong to, what makes said gemstones unique, or the variety of colours these gemstones come in. With this short journal, we hope to educate you on these factors to better help you decide what's best for you when it comes to buying or designing your piece of jewellery.
The Beryl stone family is a fantastically versatile group of gems widely used in jewellery. You may have thought that you'd never heard of a Beryl Stone before, but Emeralds and Aquamarines are just that.
The most popular and well-known Beryl stone there is are Emeralds. These are renowned for their vibrant green colour. What gives them their special colour are the traces of chromium and vanadium. The finest Emeralds are traditionally found in Colombia, but Zambia has recently been a significant producer. Brazil is also a very important producer of emeralds and historically ancient Egypt (Think Cleopatra!).
Translating to "Sea Water", Aquamarines are a greenish-blue to blue form of a beryl stone. They're also the most popular light blue gemstone, frequently used in jewellery. In addition, Aquamarines can form in stunning flawless crystals, creating some of the most beautiful mineral masterpieces. Although relatively abundant in comparison with Emeralds, numerous localities worldwide produce the most outstanding specimens. Pakistan stands at the top producing the most desirable aquamarine crystals. Brazil is also a major producer, with beautiful crystals also coming out of China and Nepal. Intensely colour aquamarines can be found in the African country of Namibia, with Madagascar, Myanmar, and Nigeria also being serious producers.
Corundum is best known for its gem varieties, Ruby and Sapphire. Ruby and Sapphire are scientifically the same minerals but differ in colour. Ruby is the red variety, and Sapphire is the variety that encompasses all other colours. However, Sapphire's most popular and valued colour is blue, though different Sapphire colours, such as orange, yellow, and green, are becoming increasingly popular in gemstone use. Corundum is the second hardest mineral, with Diamond being the only harder and more stable thing.
The centre of the Ruby gemstone trade is in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand has always been an essential source of Rubies, producing gems with excellent clarity but less desirable browner tones. However, the colour of Thai Rubies can be improved by heat treatment. The Thai Ruby deposits were exhausted in the 1980s. In 2000, new Ruby sources were discovered in Madagascar (in Vatomandry and Andilamena). These deposits turned out to be very extensive and productive, and Madagascar is now one of the leaders in Ruby output. Sri Lanka, India, and Cambodia are also significant producers of rubies. The best quality Rubies come from Myanmar (Formerly Burma). However, these are extremely expensive, and there are strict trade embargoes due to human rights accusations. We do not deal in Burmese Rubies because we believe in ethically sourced materials.
The most valuable colour of Sapphire is a cornflower blue colour, known as Kashmir Sapphire, found in the Kashmir province of India. Another precious Sapphire form is the very rare, orange-pink Padparadscha. This is found in Sri Lanka and is highly regarded. Sri Lankan Blue Sapphires are referred to as Ceylon Sapphires. They are distinguished by their excellent brightness, brilliance, and saturation. The beauty of a Ceylon sapphire is breathtaking. For over 2,500 years, Sri Lanka has been mining sapphires, earning the country a reputation in the industry.
Sapphire is pleochroic, displaying a lighter and more intense colour when viewed at different angles. For example, some pleochroic Sapphire is blue when viewed at one angle and purple at a different angle. Sapphire is a tough and durable gem. Despite this, Sapphire is still subject to chipping and fracture if handled roughly, and care should be taken to ensure it is appropriately handled.
It's important to note that prices greatly vary for all gemstones based on colour and clarity. To discuss pricing and ideas with us, please get in touch with us.