A brief description of gemstones
In jewellery quality it is a popular gemstone. Its colour ranges from a light, slightly pinkish hue to a very deep purple. The colour bleaches quickly under direct sunlight.
From the Latin “aqua marina” (sea water). The name refers to the light blue or blue-green colour. Aquamarines are available with various cuts. The colour suffers under direct sunlight.
Is a stone from fossilized tree resin. Ambers are mainly found around the Baltic Sea. The colour ranges from colourless through white, yellow and orange to dark red and brown hues. The turbidity depends on the number of bubbles included within the gem.
A brilliant (from the French “shining, luminous”) is a diamond with a special cut. The brilliant cut has at least 32 facets in the upper part and at least 24 in the lower part. The brilliant cut guarantees a high grade of light refraction and luminosity.
Belongs to the family of quartzes. The bluest ones come from Namibia. The old Greeks named it after the town Chalkedon at the Bosporus.
The name of the yellow gemstone derives from the Greek and means lemon stone. Depending on its provenance and the origin of its colour it can be a pale greenish yellow, orange or brownish-orange.
The name means “grainy” and derives from the Latin word “granum”. Most common is a red colour but there are pale or deep yellow garnets, some are green in various hues, some are fiery orange and some are earth coloured.
It belongs to the group of feldspars. It was named for its shimmering called adularescence which reminds you of moonlight. Its colours are: colourless, yellow, white, or various hues of brow, green, red and blue with a light or bluish shimmer.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that appear only in one colour because the iron which is causing the colour is part of the chemical formula. The name derives from the Greek “peridona” which means “to fill”. Its shining green colour does not change under artificial light.
The name already tells us about its smoky brown or smoky grey colour. An old name for the very dark or nearly black quartzes is “morion” from the Greek “moreis” = dark.
It is a variety of the mineral elbaite from the group of tourmalines and is used for precious jewellery. Rubellite can be any reddish colour from light pink to deep, dark red. They are most popular when they resemble strongly coloured rubies.
The red gemstone was already appreciated in the Bronze Age. The name comes from Latin and means “the red one”. Rubies are found on all continents apart from the Antarctic. Stones with a strong red colour and a bluish hue are most popular.
The sapphire appear in nearly all colours apart from red. The blue sapphire is the most valuable. The gemstone is particularly durable and resistant against abrasions. High quality stones are usually facet cut and more opaque ones or stones with a star shaped reflection are used for cabochons.
The green colour is characteristic for this stone, it ranges from light to deep green.
The name derives from the Greek “smaragdos” which means “green stone”. Emeralds are hardy and change colour only at very high temperatures. Emeralds from Brazil with their strong colour are the most valuable.
South Sea Pearl
The South Sea Pearl is also called the queen of the cultured pearls. It is often recognised by its majestic size. It has built up a thick layer of mother-of-pearl around the implanted nucleus so that the beauty of these pearls is maintained for a long time. There are two types of South Sea Pearls, white and dark. The dark ones are called Tahiti pearls.
It is a variety of the zoisite which was made popular by the jeweller Tiffany from New York who named it after his home country Tansania. Its colour ranges from a deep blue through a light purple-blue to greenish-yellow or reddish-purple. The bigger the stone the more intensive the colour.
The colours of the topaz are yellow, light blue, light green, yellowish brown, reddish brown, red, purple or colourless. The most common colour is yellow. The topaz can be coated with gold vapour to achieve a shimmer or a rainbow effect. Those gemstones are very popular and maintain their colour.
The characteristic blue-green turquoise is exclusively used for gemstones. The turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones. The stone loses its colour when dehydrated.
The name derives from the Singhalese “tura mali”. It means “stone with mixed colours”. The tourmaline is doubtlessly one of the high class gemstones. It can appear naturally in nearly all colours of the rainbow. There are over 50 hues from colourless through pink, red, yellow, brown, green, blue to black. One crystal can have more than one colour.
The name derives either from the Arab “zargun” (vermilion/cinnabar) or from the Persian “zargun” (gold coloured). Or maybe the name comes from the chemical element zirconium. A zircon of yellow to brown colour is called hyacinth. The colours vary between colourless, golden yellow, yellow red, red and brown. It can also be green, blue or black.