Gemstone Guide

Alexandrite

A symbol of prosperity, longevity, and spiritual growth, Alexandrite is a rare variety of mineral chrysoberyl. This alluring gem is also known as the color change-gem —“Emerald by day, ruby by night”. Some of the finest color alexandrites came from Russia, although today those historical mines produce very little. Alexandrite may be found in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and valuable. Because of its scarcity especially in larger sizes. Alexandrite is one of the more valuable colored gemstones.

Major sources: Brazil, Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania
Mineral: Chrysoberyl
Toughness: Good to Excellent
Color: In daylight they are bluish green to yellowish green; in incandescent light they are purplish red to purple to purplish brown
Birthstone: June

    Amethyst

    Believed to quicken intelligence, dispel evil thoughts, and protect from negative energies. Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, available in small and large sizes although as with all gemstones very large sizes in rich deep colors, also tend to be very rare. Most of the fine color Amethyst on the market today comes from Africa

    Major Sources: Brazil, United States, Uruguay, and Zambia
    Mineral: Quartz
    Toughness: Good
    Color: Purple
    Birthstone: February

    Aquamarine

    Thought to enhance the happiness of marriages, Aquamarine means water of the sea. Aquamarine is a light-toned to a medium toned color gem ranging from greenish-blue to blue. They are a variety of the mineral, Beryl.

    Major Sources: Brazil, Pakistan, United States. Uruguay, and Zambia
    Mineral: Beryl
    Toughness: Good
    Color: Greenish-blue to blue
    Birthstone: March 

    Emerald

    Emerald is believed to protect against evil, also known as the stone of successful love. The most desirable Emerald colors are bluish-green to pure green with strong to vivid color saturation and medium to dark tone. Emerald's hue, tone, and saturation determine its value. "Eye clean" Emeralds are very rare. Colombia produces the highest quality and the best volume of Emeralds. Some Emeralds are treated with oils and or resins to make inclusions less visible and improve the color.

    Major Sources: Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
    Mineral: Beryl
    Toughness: Fair to Good
    Color: Green to Greenish-Blue
    Birthstone: May

    Garnet

    Garnet is a stone thought to possess calming effects and restorative powers. Garnet comes in many colors and some have specific names. The vibrant greens are Demantoid and Tsavorite. The oranges and browns are Spessartite. Purple-red to purple are Almandine and Rhodolite.

    Major Sources: Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iran, Kenya, Myanmar, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania
    Mineral: Garnet group
    Toughness: Good
    Color: All Colors
    Birthstone: January

    Kunzite

    Kunzite is a highly spiritual stone believe to aid the experience of unconditional and abundant love. Kunzite colors range from delicate pastel pink to intense violetish purple. Kunzite should be protected from heat and continued exposure to strong light which may gradually fade its color.

    Major Sources: USA, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar
    Mineral: Spodumene
    Toughness: Fair
    Color: Pastel pink to intense violetish purple
    Birthstone: The alternate birthstone for February

    Morganite

    Morganite is known as the stone of divine and everlasting love, is believed to attract love and prosperity. Morganite is the pink to orange-pink variety of beryl. The color is usually pastel pink and a deeper bluish pink, pastel pink apricot blends, and sometimes lavender and fuchsia. Morganite is very popular for engagement rings.

    Major Sources: Brazil, Mozambique, Namibia, Afghanistan, and Russia.
    Mineral: Beryl
    Toughness: Good
    Color: Pastel Shades of pink, pastel shades of pink apricot blends, lavender, Fuchsia
    Birthstone: N/A

    Opal

    Opal is believed to contain lightning, also symbolizes love and hope. An Opal's clarity can range all the way from completely transparent to opaque a cloudy or milky background, can sometimes signal a lack of stability. Opals can have fractures and surface blemishes matrix, or host rock along with signs of crazing, a fine network of cracks, they also have an impact on opal durability and value.

    Varieties: Fire Opal, White Opal, Black Opal, Boulder Opal
    Major Sources: Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, Peru, and United States
    Mineral: Hydrated Silica
    Toughness: Very poor to Fair
    Color: All colors
    Birthstone: October

    Pearl

    Pearls symbolize purity, generosity, and integrity, also they are believed to attract wealth and good luck. Pearl body color varies by the type of mollusk it is formed in. White pearls are the more traditional, but other colors are very popular.

    The GIA Pearl Value Factors: The qualities that determine the overall value of a natural and cultured pearl are size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality and matching.
    Major Sources: Australia, China, French Polynesia, Gulf of Manner, Japan, Panama, Persian Gulf, Philippines, Venezuela
    Mineral: Calcium Carbonate
    Toughness: Good
    Color: White, Cream, Black, Gray, Silver, Green, Blue, Pink, Yellow, Orange
    Birthstone: June

    Peridot

    Peridot is believed to be a symbol of the sun, worn for luck and success. Peridot is also thought to help with nightmares. Peridot’s color ranges from yellowish green to greenish yellow. But the lime greens and the olive greens are the more desired. The best quality Peridot has no eye-visible inclusions.

    Major Sources: China, Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, United States, Vietnam.
    Mineral: Olivine
    Toughness: Fair to Good
    Color: Yellowish green
    Birthstone: August 

    Ruby

    The Ruby represents love and courage a symbol of wealth and royalty. Rubies have been worn by royals around the world for centuries. Ruby is the most valuable gemstone. The color is the most important feature of the gemstone to determine its value. Rubies are available in rich red to dark red and orangey red to purplish red. The brightness and more valuable color of the Ruby is often a “Burmese Ruby”, Usually a rich, passionate, full red color with a slight blue hue this color is also referred as “pigeon blood red.”

    Major Sources: Afghanistan, Greenland, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam.
    Mineral: Corundum
    Toughness: Excellent
    Color: Red
    Birthstone: July 

    Sapphire

    Major Sources: Australia, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Kashmir, Kenya, Madagascar, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka Tanzania, Thailand,United States, and Vietnam.
    Mineral: Corundum
    Toughness: Excellent
    Color: Every color except red
    Birthstone: September

    Spinel

    Spinel is believed to soothe away sadness and to be a symbol of power and hope. Red Spinel is often confused with Ruby. Spinel is available in a range of colors, from intense red, vibrant pink, all shades of purple, and the rare Blue Spinel.

    Major Sources: Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vietnam
    Mineral: Spinel
    Toughness: Good
    Color: Red, orange, pink, purple, black, blue.
    Birthstone: August

    Tanzanite

    Tanzanite is thought to aid with communication, creativity, spiritual path, and wisdom. Tanzanite its name after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered. Tanzanite is mine only in Tanzania at the feet of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is blue to bluish purple, exceptional Tanzanites display an intense violetish blue with Red flashes. Tanzanite usually has no eye-visible inclusions.

    Major Source: Tanzania
    Mineral: Zoisite
    Toughness: Fair to Poor
    Color: Blue to violet to bluish purple
    Birthstone: December 

    Topaz

    Topaz is a symbol of love and affection, is believed to aid one sweetness and disposition. Topaz is available in a range of colors from colorless, light blue, yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown and very rarely red. The most prized color is a vivid purplish pink. Imperial Topaz is a pinkish orange color, is highly valued, and very rare.

    Major Sources: Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Sri Lanka, United States.
    Mineral: Topaz
    Toughness: Poor
    Color: Yellow, orange, brown, pink to red, purple, blue, light green colorless
    Birthstone: November

    Tourmaline

    Tourmaline is believed to encourage artistic intuition with the colors to express every mood. Tourmaline's wide range of color varies in intensity. Some are named by their color: pink tourmaline, green tourmaline, bicolor tourmaline to name a few. Some have earned their own trade names. These include:

    Watermelon Tourmaline: which features green, pink, and white colored bands.

    Rubellite Tourmaline: also known as a red tourmaline, a combination of vibrant pink and ruby red colors. A true rubellite shines just as intensely in artificial light as it does in daylight.

    Paraiba Tourmaline: the color is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue or ocean blue, is mined in the state of Paraiba, Brazil. These unique colors are not found in any other gemstone in the world.

    Chrome Tourmaline: intense and vivid green color.

    Indicolite Tourmaline: deep blue color, some with a tint of turquoise.

    Major Sources: Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania, United States, Zambia.
    Mineral: Tourmaline group
    Toughness: Fair
    Color: All Colors
    Birthstone: October 

    Zircon

    Believed to aid sleep, bring prosperity and wisdom, Zircon is available in a variety of colors, colorless, green, blue, yellow, brown, orange, dark red and all in between. The most popular colors of Zircon are the vivid blue and bright Caribbean Sea colors.

    Major Sources: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, and other countries
    Mineral: Zircon
    Toughness: Fair
    Color: Colorless, blue, green, yellow, brown, orange, red, purple, and more
    Birthstone: December