Please contact me if you have any questions about the properties of specific gemstones or their suitability in different pieces of jewellery.
Types of Gemstones ~
Natural Gemstones ~ These are the stones that have been mined from the ground and then cut and polished before being set in jewellery. Natural stones come in a variety of colours and qualities and often have natural inclusions and cracks. These can add to the beauty of a stone or can be considered undesirable. For these reasons, natural stones can be very expensive and hard to match because of natural variations. When I use natural gemstones in my jewellery I only use suppliers that guarantee that they are ethically sourced and conflict free.
Synthetic Gemstones ~ Synthetic or laboratory stones possess the same material composition and structure as their natural counterparts but are, as the name suggests, ‘grown’ in a lab. Lab stones can therefore be an excellent (and cheaper…though not always) alternative to natural gemstones as, contrary to popular belief, they are ‘real’, they are guaranteed conflict free, ethically sourced and won’t have the cracks and inclusions found in natural stones.
Simulants ~ These are commonly known as cubic zirconia and are artificially made to be sufficiently close in appearance to other more costly gem materials. They are very hard, cheap and can provide a superficially convincing substitute to a natural or lab made stone.
Gemstones are measured on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness according to how scratch resistant they are against a harder mineral. Diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth. Below are a few examples of commonly used stones against the different grades ~ where a stone is between grades, e.g. peridot is 6.5-7, I’ve noted them under the lower grade.
10 ~ Diamond
9 ~ Corundum (ruby, sapphire)
8 ~ Topaz (spinel, topaz, alexandrite)
7 ~ Quartz (emerald, aquamarine, amethyst, smokey quartz)
6 ~ Feldspar (moonstone, tanzanite, peridot)
5 ~ Apatite (star diopside, lapis lazuli)
4 ~ Fluorite (fluorite, malachite)
3 ~ Calcite
2 ~ Gypsum
1 ~ Talc
Much of my jewellery can be customised with your choice of gemstone. Many people find that choosing gemstones according to the birthstone of those close to them ~ family, children, friends ~ adds to the significance and uniqueness of their jewellery. I’m happy to answer any questions regarding birthstone customised jewellery, please get in touch.
January – Garnet
February – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine
April – Diamond
May – Emerals
June – Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite
July – Ruby
August – Peridot
September – Sapphire
October – Opal, Tourmaline
November – Topaz, Citrine
December – Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite