Garnet is mined in a rainbow of colors from the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized color of Pyrope Garnet. The name garnet is derived from the word pomegranate, because the deep red varieties of the gemstone resemble the seeds of the pomegranate fruit.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. It should be noted that amethyst is known to lose its color when exposed to too much direct sunlight, so care should be taken to remove any amethyst jewelry when spending time in the sun.
Aquamarine is the blue to greenish blue variety of the mineral beryl. Its name is derived from two Latin words: aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, meaning “of the sea.” Its mesmerizing color ranges from pale to deep blue and are reminiscent of the sea.
Diamond is the hardest of all gemstones. They form deep within the earth and reach the surface through violent volcanic eruptions. Some diamonds are more than three billion years old, which is likely the reason that they represent endurance.
Emerald is among the most valuable of gemstones and carries the rich green color of Spring and radiates a beautiful vivid tone.
Pearl is different from other gems because it forms in the soft tissue of a living mollusk. Natural pearls are rare; most pearls are cultured by implanting a bead into the mollusk and letting the mollusk coat the bead with nacre for up to two years before the pearl is harvested.
Moonstone ranges in appearance from semitransparent to opaque and colorless to white, with a blue, silver, or white adularescent effect. Moonstone bodycolors vary widely. They can be green, yellow to brown, or gray to nearly black. Along with adularescence, some moonstones show chatoyancy, also called the cat’s-eye effect. A few show four-rayed stars in an effect called asterism.
Ruby is esteemed among gems because of its rich red color. The finest examples come from Myanmar (Burma). In ancient times, rubies were believed to give the wearer strength and courage in battle.
Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. The most ancient source of fine peridot is a tiny island in the Red Sea known as Zabargad. Peridot has also been recovered from meteorites.
Spinel comes in a painter’s palette of colors: orange, intense “stoplight” red, vibrant pink, and all shades of purple, blue and violet through bluish green. Fine specimens became the treasured property of kings and emperors. .
Sapphire comes in every color of the rainbow! When hearing the word Sapphire many people immediately envision a stunning violet-blue gemstone because the word “Sapphire” is Greek for blue. But, they also come in pink, yellow, orange, peach, and violet colors.
Opal may exhibit a spectrum of colors called play-of-color. When this is set against a dark background, it is known as black opal. Australia is the source of most of the world’s fine opal.
Tourmaline exhibits a wide range of colors. Bicolored and multicolored crystals are common. Sometimes crystals are green on the outside and pink inside; these are called watermelon tourmalines.
Turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gems. Archaeological excavations revealed that the rulers of ancient Egypt adorned themselves with turquoise jewelry, and Chinese artisans were carving it more than 3,000 years ago. Turquoise is the national gem of Tibet, and has long been considered a stone that guarantees health, good fortune, and protection from evil.
Tanzanite (a variety of the mineral zoisite) was discovered in 1967 in northern Tanzania, which remains the world’s only known source. This gem possesses an exotic velvety blue with a rich overtone of purple, a color unlike any other.
Lapis is an ancient rock and is an aggregate of several minerals. The three major minerals that comprise lapis are lazurite, calcite, and pyrite. The rock can also contain lesser amounts of diopside, amphibole, feldspar, or mica. Lazurite is the ingredient responsible for producing the gem’s most prized color—bright royal blue.