Stone Guide

Gemstones are minerals or petrified materials that have been specifically selected solely for their durability and aesthetic beauty. They are then polished and cut for use for human adornment. Precious and semi-precious are both commercial classifications of gems.

The allure of a precious stone is characterised by its translucency, its richness in colour (except for the diamond), its beauty, its rarity and the method by which it is produced.

Examples of precious stones are: diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Semi-precious stones have less commercial value than precious stone due to two major factors: availability and quality. Natural gemstones are not perfect in finish. These are not faults but a display of authenticity, which is why we love them!

These are some of our favourite stones to use for our Raya pieces.


Agate, traditionally used for crafting grand sculptures and fine ornaments, is formed by microscopic crystals of quartz laid down in bands. The gemstone is characterised by its waxy yet finely-grained, and uniquely translucent composition. With hues ranging from milky white and grey to pink and green, agate is believed to possess harmonising and calming powers.


Amethyst, once more revered than sapphires and rubies, is a quartz crystal characterised by its purple tone and angular appearance. Its purple tone ranges from light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple and from brownish to vivid.

Baroque Pearls

Baroque pearls, highly regarded by renaissance jewellers, are characterised by their irregular, non-symmetrical and non-spherical shape formation. Their irregularity makes them extremely versatile and complementary to the bold, modern woman who wants to express her individuality.

Cat's Eye

Cat’s Eye describes a gemstone polished into a cabochon that displays a narrow band of concentrated light going across the width of the stone. This effect is known as chatoyancy, or cat’s eye effect.

Chrysoberyl has the strongest and most distinct cat’s eye effect of all gemstones. Though several different gemstones types exhibit the effect, only Chrysoberyl’s cat’s eye enjoys the privilege of having the name “Cat’s Eye” without any prefix. Whenever the term “Cat’s Eye” is used, it refers to Chrysoberyl cat’s eye by default, unless otherwise specified.


Chalcedony, believed by Native American Indians to be a sacred stone, is a transparent or opaque gem. Chalcedony is a treasured member of the quartz family and can be found in a plethora of colours: white, pink, blue, red or grey.


Citrine is a transparent, yellow variety of Quartz, ranging in colour from pale to golden yellow, honey or almost brown, and may contain rainbow or sparkle inclusions. The name comes from the French word citron, meaning lemon.

Crystal Quartz

The word ‘crystal’ stems from the Greek word ‘krustallos’ which loosely translates to ‘icy’. Ordinary yet extraordinary, colourless yet bright, the crystal quartz is composed of various prismatic hexagonal structures, the crystal quartz perfectly reflects the light of its ubiquitous environment.

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia is currently the most popular substitute to a diamond because to the untrained eye they look identical. Cubic Zirconia or CZ as it is referred to is made from zirconium dioxide a different material than diamonds, which although a different chemical composition comes closer than any other gem to matching the characteristics of a diamond. Natural CZ was first discovered in 1899 but it wasn’t until the late 70’s that man made CZ first came into production for use in jewellery. CZ is not as hard as a diamond, it’s slightly less sparkly but displays more prismatic fire which means more colour sparkles within the gem.


or drusy refers to the sparkling effect of granular quartz crystals inside or on the surface another host stone. The druse effect is created by the relationship between water and a rock making a sugary and sometimes sparkling appearance. Druzy takes on its host stones colour but is often further intensified when being used for jewellery by a process called electroplating. Druzy is perhaps most commonly found within the cavity of a geode stone.


Named after the locality it was first found: Labrador, Canada. Labradorite is composed of aggregate layers that reflect light causing a semi-translucent finish flashes of iridescent colours called labradorescence. It has hues of violet, blue, green, yellow and orange. Both lighter and darker specimens of Labradorite can be found.

Lapis Lazuli

Dating back to 4,0000 B.C., Lapis Lazuli is one of the oldest gemstones. Being one of the only gemstone that is considered to be a rock rather than a mineral, it gets its deep, celestial blue with gold specks colouring and texture from the mixture of multiple minerals: Lazurite, Sodalite, Calcite and Pyrite. A favourite of Cleopatra, Lapis Lazuli is believed to be a symbol of wisdom and truth.

Lemon Quartz

Lemon Quartz, otherwise known as Oro Verde Quartz, is the deep yellow-orange colour variety of quartz. Structurally, the citrus-toned gemstone is comprised of hexagonal silicone dioxide molecules. This gemstone’s beauty truly radiates when light reflects form its facets, with the majority of the world’s supply originating in Brazil.

Moon Stone

This stones name derives from the effect cause by light diffraction giving the stone its opalescent luster. Romans believed the stone was made of solidified moon rays. It is made up of layers of orthoclase and albite, cooling to form a light reflective effect known as adularescence.

Mother of Pearl

Named after Queen Elizabeth I, Mother of Pearl is the inner iridescent shell of mollusks such as mussels and oysters. Mother of Pearl has a distinctive multi-coloured, milky and faint glow optically similar to other enchanting moon-like gemstones.

Mystic Quartz

Naturally white, the Mystic Quartz is artificially coated with an ultra-thin layer of metallic titanium, resulting in a stunning rainbow-coloured effect. The radiance of this enhanced gem is dependent on the eminence, shine and cut of the original stone. Also known for its durability, the Mystic Quartz is often called the ‘fun quartz’


Onyx is a variety of layered Chalcedony. The colour bands of onyx ranges from white to blue, green, and red (knows as sardonyx) though it is most popularly known in its black form. It was made popular by Greek and Macedonian artisans during the time of Alexander the Great, with its name coming from the Greek word for nail or claw. The stone has a silky luster finish.


Pearls, the product of mollusks, have been the symbol of influence and wealth for centuries. Beloved by many monarchs, Pearls appear in different shapes, sizes and colours. All arbitrary measures are contingent on the water the mollusk was submerged in and the type of mollusk. Delicate in appearance yet impossible to crush, this gemstone acts as the ultimate representation of femininity due to its ability to exude an air of purity and virtue.

Rose Quartz

Legend has it that the Rose Quartz, otherwise known as the Heart Stone, was brought to earth by Cupid and Eros in the hope of inspiring love. This gemstone has a gentle pink colour and its milky translucence is owed to its inclusions. Being the epitomy of femininity and a symbol of unconditional love, the Rose Quartz is believed to exude benevolence, tranquillity and comfort.

Rutilated Quartz

Rutilated Quartz is usually clear or smoky quartz, or rarely citrine, with hair or needle-like inclusions of Rutile, an ore of Titanium.  These inclusions usually form as fine strands or fibres of metallic gold, silver, red or brown. Gold is the most common, and its fine, flowing strands give rise to the alternative names Angel Hair Quartz and Venus Hair Stone. Its alignment refracting light to form an asterism or six-pointed star, which is sometimes referred to as ‘star stone’ or ‘fairy star’.

Solar Quartz

Naturally, the agatized Solar Quartz is cut from stalactites. At this stage of extraction, it is best described as grey, white or transparent, with mossy inclusions. Further, when sliced there are often transparent mossy shapes. Although it does not possess the electric colouring of other members of the Quartz family, the Solar Quartz is often dyed into numerous vivid colours. The shape comes round with distinctive vain patterns within the stone around a circular centre.

Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski Crystal isn’t a gemstone or even a crystal, it’s a form of glass that’s made at high temperatures by melting silicon oxide powders with lead to form what is known as lead crystal. The exact process is one that’s patented by Swarovski. To produce a diamond like effect the crystal glass is precision cut and then polished again by a Swarovski patented process that gives the crystal a high quality finish. The crystals are often further enhanced by coating the glass with an Aurora Borealis or AB coating that gives the surface a rainbow like appearance to simulate dispersion from a diamond.


The name Turquoise stems from the French words ‘pierre Turquoise’, which translates to ‘Turkish stone’ as it was first brought to Europe from Turkey. Turquoise, considered sacred by the Aztecs, is a favourite amongst artisans as a medium for creating elegant jewellery because of its dazzling beauty and relatively soft structure and composition. It is best known in its blue/ green form often with a scattering of coloured line pattern throughout the stones surface.