Table of Contents
Gemstones Used in Jewellery
There are a wide variety of gemstones used in jewellery, each with its unique properties and beauty. Here are some of the most popular gemstones used in jewellery:
- Diamonds: Perhaps the most famous and sought-after gemstone, diamonds are known for their brilliance and hardness. They are used in engagement rings, necklaces, earrings, and many other types of jewellery.
- Rubies: Known for their deep red color, rubies are one of the four precious gemstones (along with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires). They are often used as a centerpiece in rings and necklaces.
- Sapphires: Available in a range of colors, sapphires are a popular gemstone used in jewellery. They are often used in engagement rings and as accent stones in necklaces and bracelets.
- Emeralds: Another one of the four precious gemstones, emeralds are known for their rich green color. They are often used in rings, necklaces, and earrings.
- Amethysts: A popular semi-precious gemstone, amethysts are known for their purple color. They are often used as accent stones in rings and necklaces.
- Topaz: Available in a range of colors, topaz is another popular semi-precious gemstone used in jewellery. It is often used in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
- Garnets: A popular semi-precious gemstone, garnets are known for their deep red color. They are often used in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
- Pearls: While not technically a gemstone, pearls are a popular material used in jewellery. They are often used in necklaces and earrings.
These are just a few examples of the many gemstones used in jewellery. Other popular gemstones include aquamarine, opal, tourmaline, and many others.
Precious Gemstones: Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies
Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are all considered precious gemstones because of their rarity, beauty, and durability. Here is some more information about each of these precious gemstones:
- Diamonds: Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on Earth and are formed from carbon under extreme pressure and heat. They are prized for their brilliance and are often used in engagement rings, earrings, and other pieces of fine jewellery. Diamonds are graded according to their cut, clarity, color, and carat weight, with the highest-quality diamonds being colorless and flawless.
- Sapphires: Sapphires are a type of corundum mineral that come in a range of colors, including blue, pink, yellow, green, and purple. The most valuable sapphires are deep blue in color and are often used as accent stones in jewellery. Sapphires are also known for their durability, with only diamonds being harder.
- Rubies: Rubies are also a type of corundum mineral, but they are only red in color. The finest rubies are a deep, rich red and are highly prized for their rarity and beauty. Like sapphires, rubies are also very durable and are often used in rings, necklaces, and other types of fine jewellery.
All three of these precious gemstones have a long history of use in jewellery, and each one is treasured for its unique beauty and rarity. They are often combined with other gemstones and metals to create stunning pieces of jewellery that are sure to be cherished for generations.
Semi-Precious Gemstones: Turquoise, Opal and Amethyst
Turquoise, opal, and amethyst are all examples of semi-precious gemstones. While they may not be as rare or expensive as precious gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, they are still valued for their beauty and are often used in jewellery. Here is some more information about each of these semi-precious gemstones:
- Turquoise: Turquoise is a mineral that is often found in shades of blue or green. It has been used for thousands of years in jewellery, particularly in Native American jewellery. Turquoise is relatively soft and porous, which means that it requires special care to maintain its beauty.
- Opal: Opal is a unique gemstone that can display a variety of colors, including white, yellow, green, and blue. It is formed from silica and can contain tiny spheres of water that create a “play of color” effect. Opals are often used in rings, earrings, and pendants.
- Amethyst: Amethyst is a type of quartz that comes in shades of purple, from pale lilac to deep violet. It has been used in jewellery for thousands of years and is often associated with spirituality and healing. Amethyst is relatively hard and durable, which makes it a popular choice for rings and bracelets.
While semi-precious gemstones may not have the same level of rarity or value as precious gemstones, they are still prized for their beauty and can add a touch of color and elegance to any piece of jewellery.
Popular Synthetic Gemstones
Synthetic gemstones are man-made stones that have the same chemical and physical properties as natural gemstones. They are often more affordable than natural gemstones and are a popular choice for those who want the look of a precious or semi-precious gemstone without the high price tag. Here are some popular synthetic gemstones:
- Cubic zirconia: Cubic zirconia is a popular diamond simulant that is often used in jewellery. It is made from zirconium oxide and is optically flawless, which means that it is very clear and has a lot of sparkle.
- Moissanite: Moissanite is another diamond simulant that is becoming increasingly popular. It is made from silicon carbide and has almost the same hardness and brilliance as a diamond.
- Synthetic sapphire: Synthetic sapphire is made from aluminum oxide and is often used as a substitute for natural sapphires. It is very hard and durable and comes in a range of colors, including blue, pink, and yellow.
- Synthetic emerald: Synthetic emerald is made from a variety of materials, including beryl and spinel. It is often used as a more affordable alternative to natural emeralds.
- Synthetic spinel: Synthetic spinel is a durable and affordable gemstone that comes in a range of colors, including blue, red, and pink. It is often used as a substitute for other precious and semi-precious gemstones.
These are just a few examples of the many synthetic gemstones that are available. While they may not have the same rarity or value as natural gemstones, they can still be a beautiful and affordable option for those who want the look of a precious or semi-precious gemstone.
How to Identify Real Gemstones
Identifying real gemstones can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience working with gemstones. Here are some tips on how to identify real gemstones:
- Know the characteristics of the gemstone: Each type of gemstone has its own unique characteristics, including its color, transparency, and hardness. Research the characteristics of the gemstone you are trying to identify and look for these characteristics when examining the stone.
- Use a magnifying glass: A magnifying glass can help you see the details of the gemstone more clearly. Look for any inclusions, fractures, or other imperfections that may indicate that the stone is real.
- Check for scratches: Real gemstones are typically harder than glass, so they should not scratch easily. Try scratching the surface of the stone with a sharp object. If the stone scratches easily, it is likely a fake.
- Perform a density test: Gemstones have a specific gravity, which is the ratio of their weight to the weight of an equal volume of water. You can perform a density test by weighing the stone and then suspending it in water to measure its displacement. Compare the weight and displacement to the specific gravity of the gemstone to determine if it is real.
- Seek professional help: If you are unsure about the authenticity of a gemstone, seek the help of a professional gemologist. They can use specialized equipment and techniques to determine if the stone is real or fake.
Keep in mind that some gemstones, such as cubic zirconia, are intentionally made to look like real gemstones, so it can be difficult to tell the difference. By using these tips and seeking professional help if needed, you can increase your chances of identifying real gemstones.
Tips on Buying Genuine Gemstone Jewelry
Buying genuine gemstone jewelry can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with gemstones. Here are some tips to help you ensure that you are buying genuine gemstone jewelry:
- Research: Before you start shopping, research the type of gemstone you’re interested in. Learn about its characteristics, properties, and how to tell if it’s genuine. This will help you make an informed decision when buying gemstone jewelry.
- Buy from reputable sellers: Only buy gemstone jewelry from reputable sellers who have a proven track record of selling genuine gemstones. Look for sellers who have certifications from trusted gemstone organizations such as GIA or AGS.
- Inspect the gemstone: When examining the gemstone, look for any inclusions, cracks, or chips. Genuine gemstones should not have any bubbles, scratches or blemishes on their surfaces. Use a magnifying glass to examine the gemstone’s surface closely.
- Check the setting: The quality of the setting can also be an indicator of whether the gemstone is genuine or not. The setting should be well-crafted and secure, and the prongs should be strong enough to hold the gemstone in place.
- Check the price: If the price of the gemstone seems too good to be true, it probably is. Genuine gemstones are valuable, and their prices reflect that. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, as they may be selling fake gemstones.
- Ask for a certificate of authenticity: A certificate of authenticity is a document that proves that the gemstone is genuine. Ask the seller to provide you with a certificate of authenticity from a reputable organization.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of buying genuine gemstone jewelry. Remember to always do your research and buy from reputable sellers to ensure that you are getting a high-quality, genuine gemstone.
In conclusion, gemstones are a beautiful and valuable addition to any jewelry collection. They come in a wide variety of colors and types, ranging from precious diamonds, sapphires, and rubies to semi-precious gemstones like turquoise, opal, and amethyst. Synthetic gemstones are also a popular alternative for those who want the look of a natural gemstone without the high price tag. When shopping for gemstone jewelry, it’s important to do your research, buy from reputable sellers, and inspect the gemstone closely to ensure that you’re getting a genuine, high-quality stone. With these tips in mind, you can make an informed decision when buying gemstone jewelry that you will treasure for years to come.