There’s no denying we love diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and Moissanite which are all glamorous choices for bridal jewelry and other kinds of jewelry wardrobe staples. But we’re also craving some color once in a while, right? The trait we adore about colored gemstone jewelry is how personalized it can become. And everyone wants jewelry to sparkle with the wearer’s individuality, right?
Let’s take a look at many of the colored stones we’re obsessing over lately.
The Top Three Colored Stones are Considered Royal Gems
First of all, a good place to start is with the Trinity-of-Colored-Gems. That is sapphire, ruby and emerald. These stunning jewels have been coveted for centuries by the world’s aristocracy and royal households.
Sapphire is a corundom mineral, and so is ruby. Different trace elements in the crystals change their color from blue to red. They are glamorously rich in color and rare. But you may discover the exciting group of fancy color sapphire too, which are wildly popular with today’s collectors. Simply put, fancy color sapphire is any other color than straight blue. Sapphire is produced in a rainbow of hues which delight consumers—pink, violet, green, yellow, black, peach, brown, orange and more!
Emeralds have such a long history that no wonder collectors still desire this lively verdant stone today. We say if it was good enough for Cleopatra, it’s good enough for us. While many places around the world produce emeralds, many high end jewelry connoisseurs claim that Colombian emeralds reign supreme. Their clarity, and straight green tint makes for sensational jewelry pieces.
Tourmaline Offers Many Colors to Gemstone Lovers
Let’s not overlook other colored stones which offer extraordinary design opportunities for jewelers.
Tourmaline for instance is often found in large crystal sizes which makes designing a dream. Also the natural inclusions found in tourmaline are many times not prominent, so the finished polished stone is quite impressive. Sometimes tourmaline is formed with a charming blend of two colors on the same crystal. With green on the exterior of the stone and rosy pink inside, we call that watermelon tourmaline. It’s eye catching and memorable. With its varied colors, like blue, green, purple and black just to name a few, tourmaline has its also enjoyed the praise of its loyal fans.
Quartz is Abundant and Stunning
Did you know that quartz is the most abundant natural material on the face of the earth? It’s literally everywhere, in the sand on the seashore and in the ground. Gem quality quartz is found in striking colors that consumers adore. Citrine in all its many shades is perennially popular. Whether its pure yellow or in a deeper-warm tone like Madeira citrine it definitely has its followers.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and has been popular with nobility for centuries. This is due to the fact that purple is a royal color in many societies. What happens when 2 mineral varieties appear on one crystal? Then you might end up with ametrine. This is a blend of citrine and amethyst on one stone and it’s a beauty for sure. Its also a bit rare as there is only one commercially viable place in the world where these stones are from and that is Bolivia.
Time Honored Favorites—Garnet
Garnet must be mentioned as a world class stone because it has been beloved for so long. Deep brownish red, purplish in hue, or straight crimson, garnets have been found in jewelry throughout time. During the Victorian era, especially after the death of Prince Albert, the ladies of high society pivoted to wearing somber toned jewelry—and the deep richly hued garnets provided just the right blend of beauty and subtlety that aristocratic life demanded.
Over the last several decades, we’ve come to find exciting grape-purple toned garnets from Africa and even green garnets. Demantoid garnets have been around for quite some time and were the darlings of Russian royalty. Many demantoid garnets were found in Russian mountainous regions years back. They are a slightly yellowish green stone and a real head turner too. But Africa has turned up an intensely saturated straight green garnet that is remarkable in its good looks.
The Royal Deceiver
Have you heard of spinel? This natural gemstone was said to be located in the same deposits a ruby. So there were many occasions in the past—before reliable gemstone testing was developed---where the two stones were confused for each other. At one time, all red stones were called ruby—but now we know its simply not true. Spinel is produced in a luxurious red of course, and also colorless. There are many spinel found in pink, blue, lavender, dark green, and even black.
Beryl is for Connoisseurs
Most collectors know about the gem mineral beryl. This lively jewel is found in larger carat sizes and with great clarity. This is a designer’s dream. An artist’s imagination can run wild in creating special pieces from this material. We already touched on emerald which is also from the beryl family. But beryl can be produced in yellow (Heliodor, or Golden Beryl), pastel blue (Aquamarine). Morganite is the name for a pink beryl but let’s not forget the rarest of the beryl varieties, red beryl.
You may have never heard of the gem-mineral spodumene but hearing the name Kunzite may ring a bell. This feminine and delicately lilac colored gemstone is avidly collected today because of its lady-like allure. Whether it’s paired with white gold, platinum or the now trendy rose gold, this stone makes a big statement.
We all Love Topaz
One of the best collected gems turns out to be simply called Topaz. That is its mineral species. Several varieties of this stone give us all the colors we could ever want to create a dazzling jewelry wardrobe.
Topaz appears in a range of tints including yellow, orange, brown, pink to red to purple red, blue, light green and colorless. This lustrous hard stone with its 8 rank on the Mohs scale tells us that it can take a marvelous polish for a very high sheen, and that it will last a lifetime with careful wear.
Peridot has become a go-to gemstone choice for fans who like a high clarity stone that is also richly saturated. The distinctive green in peridot is easily recognizable and collected for its lime green rich hues that make gorgeous jewelry.
A to Zircon
Is Zircon one of your favorite colored stones? If so, you’re in great company. One of the outstanding traits of zircon is its high brilliance and intense ‘fire’, or dispersion. This doubly refractive stone is super sparkly and as such has been a coveted stone for royal collections throughout time. Zircon is found in the colorless variety—and because of its extraordinary dispersion has found itself in bridal jewelry. But for colored stone fans, you’ll be glad to learn that zircon is produced naturally in a great variety of colors and countless shades in every range. For instance, you can find zircon in these colors; green, deep red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, all shades of blue, plus brown. The blue shades are very collectible and provide a fashionable look for today’s jewelry pieces.
The More the Merrier
Besides the wonderful color stone options we’ve mentioned above, there are also seemingly countless more colored gemstones for you to discover. Some are not transparent but rather translucent, semi-opaque and completely opaque. Yet they have an allure all their own and you’ll want to investigate those –because there may be some that are calling your name. Stones like opal, jade, coral, labradorite, onyx, lapis lazuli, carnelian, bloodstone, malachite, aventurine, gold in quartz, common opals in pastel blues and pinks, agate and so many more. Our love for colored gemstones expands the more we learn about them.
Collect with Intent—but on Your Own Terms
You may want to collect stones by their species for example. If you like the species of quartz, you can add citrine, amethyst, prasiolite (green quartz) rose quartz and so on. But you can also build a collection on your favorite gemstone colors! You love blue? Think of all the stones you can collect just in that hue alone! Sapphire, lapis lazuli, blue zircon, topaz, aquamarine, blue spinel, kyanite, Peruvian blue opal and many more. You get the idea. Your appreciation for colored gemstones grows the more you learn about what’s available to you.
Develop the Collector in You
Whether you delight in faceted gemstone rings that sparkle way across the room, or the sophisticated and subtle cabochon cut stones, you can find the stones to enjoy for a lifetime. We hope you continue to learn all about them. It won’t be long before you’ll have found the ones that reflect your taste and personality. Happy Discovering!