The word Garnet comes from the word “seed” because of its resemblance to a pomegranate seed and is the traditional gemstone for the second year anniversary of marriage. They have been associated with eternal friendship, loyalty, and trust. Garnet is relatively hard and highly reflective with the most common colour being red, but they are available in all colours other than blue. The variation in colours comes from metals such as manganese, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Green garnets are considered the most highly prized due to their rarity.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz, although it does not have the same crystal structure as other quartzes. It is stratified, which results in very few larger pieces with evenly distributed dark color, even though it is found abundantly all over the world.
Aquamarine is named for Latin word meaning seawater. From the Beryl family along with emerald (green) and morganite (pink), aquamarine is usually even in color with very little inclusions and is one of the more durable gemstones. The more intense the blue color, the more value it evokes, although many people prefer the lighter, crystal clear color. Since ancient times, it has been sailors brought aquamarine to ensure a safe and prosperous passage across stormy seas.
Diamonds in Greek means “unbreakable” and are created from crystallized carbon created under extreme heat and pressure. They are the hardest gemstone in nature and the quality of diamonds is based on the “4Cs” – cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight. Most people think of diamonds as being white, but they are also available in other colours such as blue, red, green, and pink. In ancient times, diamonds have been associated with purity and fearlessness and more recently, with love.
The emerald is a symbol of rebirth and belongs to the beryl family of minerals that include aquamarine. A beryl, or beryllium aluminum silicate, is a six-sided symmetrical crystal. Emeralds are found in a variety of green colours, ranging from light to deep green. They are most often found inside a form of shale as a result of recrystallization and are created due to changes in pressure and temperature. The availability of high quality emeralds is limited and therefore, they are often treated to improve their quality.
Pearls are the most commonly used organic gem in jewelry. Pearls are created by certain types of marine or freshwater oysters and clams as a reaction caused from an irritating outside particle that gets lodged inside their shell. In nature this is usually a piece of grit that floats into the mollusk’s open shell, but cultured pearls result when a particle is inserted by human intervention. As part of a defense mechanism to lessen the irritation, the mollusk starts to secret nacre (mother of pearl) coating the particle layer by layer resulting, when thick enough, in a pearl. They are a symbol of purity, integrity and loyalty.
Ruby is one of the uppermost valued gemstones, due to it's high score on the scale of hardness, 9 out of 10, and to its prized rich red hues and lustrous reflective properties. Rubies are part of the corundum group, shared only with the sapphire. Only red corundum is called ruby and all other colours (blue, green, yellow, orange,..) are sapphires. The most preferred colour is a deep blood red with a slightly bluish hue that is known as "Pigeon's Blood". The vivid red colour of ruby means that it is associated with desire, and it is thought by some to be a stone of love with an aphrodisiac effect.
Peridot is a green gem formed deep in the earth’s mantle under extreme pressures and temperatures. In gemology it belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series. Peridot is only ever found in green and is one of the only gems that exists in one colour. The tint of green varies from light yellow-green to deep brownish green, depending on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure. Peridot is believed to relieve stress in relationships, to lessen anger and jealousy and also to slow signs of aging.
The sapphire is a part of the gem species corundum. Red corundum is called a ruby and all other types of corundum gems are called sapphires. They most often appear as blue stones and can vary from pale blue to deep indigo due to small amounts titanium and iron within the structure. Sapphires also come in many other colours such as colourless, yellow, orange, and green, all of which are known as fancy sapphires. They have earned its place in honour in crown jewels, royal accessories, and some modern engagement rings.
The opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel that seeped into sediment. With time and nature’s heating and molding processes, the gel hardened to form opals. The changing colours within an opal when the stone is moved results from the play of light on small cracks within it. Opals can range in colour from yellows and reds to white mixed with orange, green, red, and blue. The range of colours depends on the impurities within the stone, such as gas bubbles and mixtures of elements. The most valuable opal pattern is perhaps one with large angular patches of red, yellow, and green.
Citrine is a member of the quartz group of gemstones that includes amethyst, rock crystal, and carnelian. It can be found in a variety of shades ranging from pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is one of the most affordable gemstones and can be found easily in nature. Citrine can be found in many sizes, shapes, and cuts as result of the innovation of modern equipment.
Blue Topaz (December)
Topaz is a mineral that contains aluminum, silicon, and small amounts of other elements including iron. Topaz comes in a variety of colours, but naturally blue topaz is extremely rare and their blue colour is almost always created through irradiation from light and heat. Blue topaz is a shiny and transparent gemstone, but their weaker atom bonds make this gemstone fracture easily if not handled properly. This gemstone is associated with friendship, integrity, love, and wealth.