When we buy jewellery for ourselves or loved ones, there are so many choices to be made. What metals will be chosen? What will be the overall style? Perhaps most importantly, what gemstone will take centre stage?
Today we’re reviewing choices for luxury gemstones, to help you pick the perfect jewellery ahead of the festive season.
Rubies are one of the most expensive coloured stones. Chromium laced into the crystalline structure of corundum creates the deep red we adore. This deep red is naturally associated with love and relationships, making it a perfect choice for jewellery for a partner or spouse.
Rubies are typically priced slightly below diamonds, but still command an impressive price.
What’s the difference between a ruby and a garnet?
Garnet group stones vary in colour, but are commonly red, similarly to rubies. While very high quality garnets can be precious, often they are much cheaper than rubies and differentiating them is paramount.
As with all precious gems, you should speak to an authorised professional to know for sure what you’re handling. Garnets may in some cases have earthy or orange tones which are a dead give away. Real rubies are also extremely tough, and will not be easily scratched. Composite rubies or garnets may be scratched by metal instruments, while rubies can only realistically be damaged by diamonds.
Emeralds are fascinating stones, with deep green tones and hues which seem to shift in your vision each time they are examined.
Fine grade emerald’s per-carat price rises significantly with size, as it does with many other stones.
At present, a fine quality 3-ct Colombian stone, for example, is six times more costly than three equal quality 1-ct stones. Practically, when buying Emerald jewellery, this translates into a much lower price point that rubies or diamonds.
Fake emeralds can be often detected under the microscope: natural-emeralds feature tendril-like imperfections, while bubbles and disc shaped imperfections are generally indicative of glass material.
Sapphire’s exotic blues reek of opulence and luxury, although their colour can differ widely, with pink sapphires being commonly available.
Sapphires engagement rings have been historically used by royalty, making them an ideal alternative choice to diamonds. This prestige is ancient: according to Judeo-Christian belief, Moses’ Ten Commandments were engraved on sapphire tablets.
Opals are often chosen for jewlery for their beautiful colour and firey, bright light. They are found in all parts of the world, but mostly in Australia. They are found in many different colours and it is very rare to find a pure white opal.
The opals were formed millions of years ago when molten lava cooled and became solid rock. The opal is made up of silica, which is a mineral that comes from the earth. The silica was then later changed into a stone by the heat and pressure of the magma. This process takes place over thousands of years, so it takes quite some time for an opal to form.
As there is no singular form of opal, they can range in cost from £10 to over £100,000.
Diamonds are many things, to many people, and typically command the highest prices of any gemstone, as I’m sure you’re aware.
While most diamonds are clear, the most desirable diamonds are coloured, with only around 0.01% of all natural diamonds being coloured. These can range in tones, with a wide range of colours.
Synthetic diamonds are also becoming increasingly popularly, and differ very little from naturally found stones. Their prices are well below those of naturally found diamonds, making them an attractive choice for many.
Pairing Gemstones with Precious Metals
Personally I prefer to see the cooler tones from white gold or platinum, paired with emerald and topaz, whereas warmer colours from rubies look more compatible with gold. Many gemstones’ colours will shift as their light source changes and depending on the precious metal they are housed swithin, so always visually inspect your choice in a range of environment before making a final decision.
What is your favourite gemstone for this season? Which gemstones should I explore next? Get in touch and let me know.