Gemstone guide. Ruby, sapphire, emerald.

Precious gemstones can come in all different shapes, sizes and qualities.

Please click on each gemstone to learn a bit more about it.


Sapphire - gem of the heavens, or the divine gemstone, has been cherished for thousands of years. The ancient Persians believed that the earth rested on a giant sapphire and its reflection coloured the sky. Sapphire blue is by far the most popular colour, but they can be almost any colour, including yellow, green, white, colourless, pink, orange, brown, and purple. Sapphire symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness, and is an excellent choice for an engagement ring. When Prince Charles gave Princess Diana a sapphire engagement ring, couples all over the world were inspired to revive this ancient tradition.


Ruby's day is Tuesday, its season summer, and is said to accord wearers wisdom, happiness and health, and to bring particularly good luck to gamblers and lovers. Rubies - especially fine rubies - are rarer than diamonds, emeralds or sapphires and are harder than any other material except diamonds but though exceedingly hard, stones may crack or chip when hit. Of course, colour is everything with rubies. How much red can you afford? The richer, deeper, better the red, the more expensive and rarer the ruby.


Emeralds have been cherished for as long as there has been a written history. Archaeologists have traced the origins of the use of emerald to almost 3000 B.C. in both ancient Egypt and India. Cleopatra prized her emeralds more than any other gem, the Romans also loved emeralds.Emeralds are found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil are the major producers and Columbia is recognized as the source for the finest stones. They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States. Because emeralds usually contain many cracks, fissures, and inclusions, the majority of these stones are "oiled". This means that they are immersed in oil which reduces the visibility of the inclusions, and also improves the clarity. Oiling is almost universal and because it is so common today, it is not considered necessary to disclose this fact Emeralds are brittle stones and care should be taken when wearing or cleaning them. 


Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family and ranges in colour from an almost colourless pale blue to blue-green or teal. According to some legends, it is the treasure of mermaids, with the power to keep sailors safe at sea. The most prized colour is a deep-blue aqua, it gets its name from Latin words meaning water and sea.


Amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favourite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty. . Its purple colour made it a stone of royalty for many thousands of years. It must be purple to be amethyst, but it can display a range of shades including deep purple, light lilac, lavender and mauve.


Topaz occurs in a wide range of colours including red, orange, peach, pink, gold, yellow, brown and clear and is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Russia. Naturally pale to medium blue topaz is enhanced by irradiation to produce a more intense blue colour, from sky blue topaz, London blue topaz and Swiss blue topaz. Red and pink topaz gems were used in the jewellery of the 18th and 19th Century Russian Czarinas and is why topaz is sometimes called "Imperial Topaz"


Tanzanite is rare. In fact this beautiful blue violet gem is beyond rare. With just an estimated 30 years of supply remaining in the mine, as time passes Tanzanite becomes ever more precious. Tanzanite is found in only one place on earth, deep in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa.

Tanzanite shows different colors in different crystal directions. Becauseblue is usually located on the short axis of the crystal, it is often more difficult to cut a large blue stone. As a result blue is more rare thanpurple and commands a premium.

Found in just one place on earth, tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery. This blue variety of zoisite was named after Tanzania, the country where it was found, by Tiffany & Co. Because crystals show different colours depending on viewing direction, cutters can choose bluish purple or the more favoured pure blue or violetish blue hue depending on how much weight they want to retain from the rough.

Tanzanite is the blue to violet to purple variety of the mineral zoisite. It is mined commercially only in one area of the world: the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, which is where it gets its name.


There is nothing more classic and gracious than a string of pearls.

A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries. Because of this, pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.

The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but are extremely rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of those currently sold. Imitation pearls are also widely sold in inexpensive jewelry, but the quality of their iridescence is usually very poor and is easily distinguished from that of genuine pearls. Pearls have been harvested and cultivated primarily for use in jewelry, but in the past were also used to adorn clothing. They have also been crushed and used in cosmetics, medicines and paint formulations.