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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Druzy 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.