Coloured precious gems have always been prized, whether bright and dazzling or deep and brooding. From cheerful to mysterious, bright gems in colourful hues capture the eye in a way that simple white stones do not, and complement or contrast a wardrobe, or mood, in a unique and personal way. Everyone has seen large white diamonds, so something a little different is required for those who wish to make an individual statement. While diamonds will always be popular, nothing quite matches the mystique of exotic coloured precious gems. Some coloured stones have been treasured for thousands of years, some are only recent discoveries, but all are unique and desirable. Glowing blue Paraiba Tourmaline. Deep forest-green Tsavorite Garnet. Acidic-orange Mandarin Garnet. Sapphire. Emerald. Ruby. Their names alone conjure exciting images of majesty and wonder. Strong, rich colours are rare, more exclusive, and more expensive than their paler counterparts.
Top-quality examples of the finest stones can be worth far more than diamonds per carat, and are often much more difficult to acquire. Some rarer stones are found in only a single mine on Earth; once the mine is exhausted, the supply of the stone will simply cease forever, leaving a fortunate few to enjoy their rare possession. Tanzanite, found in only one place in Tanzania, is an example of such a stone. Red stones, associated with passion, have always been objects of desire, and Ruby is the best known of these. Immensely valuable,large rubies are very rare, prized for their silky shine. Rubies are not the only precious red stone, however. Red Spinel is also vivid, known to jewellers and the wealthy for centuries. In fact, the famous and priceless 170-carat stone that adorns the Imperial State Crown of England, originally assumed from its breathtaking appearance to be ruby, is spinel.
Emerald, with its distinctive blue-green hue, is one of the oldest precious stones, and amongst the most valuable. Ancient societies treated emerald with religious deference - it was particularly sought after by the Egyptian pharaohs. Like many gemstones, it exhibits breathtaking beauty in larger sizes, so large stones are particularly valuable - again, often more than diamond, per carat. Startling green is found in stones other than emerald, however. Tsavorite Garnet, a bright and sparkling stone, is found in hues from strong apple green to deep luxurious tones without the inclusion of any other colour. Garnet also has the advantage of robustness, an important consideration for a stone that might be worn regularly. Sapphire is known for its deep blues, but is a valuable stone that comes in many hues. Pink, purple, lilac, yellow, and orange are all found in sapphire, and in fact, ruby is simply sapphire that has formed with a rich red hue. However, the familiar sapphire blue is still a favourite. Another blue stone, Tanzanite, is a relatively recent discovery in the world of gemstones, made popular by Tiffany’s, the New York jeweller. It does not share the physical strength of sapphire, but exhibits a spectacular blue glow, with just a hint of purple, and has rapidly become one of the most sought after gems in the world.
Of course, precious gems are available in practically every colour of the spectrum. Popular summer stones include the powdery pink of Morganite, the delicate azure of Aquamarine. Kunzite’s pale, delicate pink also looks spectacular as a cocktail ring that stands out from the crowd. One of the rarest and most expensive of all stones, Alexandrite, even changes colour depending on the light, from raspberry red to bluish green. Stones like garnet and sapphire are found naturally in many colours, but tourmaline is found in almost every colour, with some stones exhibiting multiple colours mixed together. Every type of stone has unique characteristics, and its setting in jewellery must be carefully considered to ensure it is presented at its best.
A master jewellery designer considers how best to drawlight into a stone through its setting, and how the stone interacts with the rest of the jewellery design. When choosing precious stones, always seek expert advice; jewellers and gemmologists can provide important insights, and show you rare gems you might never have considered. White diamonds will always be popular, but for those after something unique, there will never be a substitute for precious coloured stones. Visit JWG’s Gold Coast jewellery design studio today, and see what the world of coloured stones has in store for you. Their display of loose, unset gemstones, pearls and natural fancy coloured diamonds along with one off handmade designer jewellery set with rare and precious gemstones and coloured diamonds will inspire you.