Gemstones & Birthstones

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.

Mohs –

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

Birthstones –

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.

Each month of the year is associated with a birthstone, and can be incorporated into jewellery as a way to bestow good luck, healing or a particular meaning.

JANUARYGarnetGarnetRose QuartzJanuary - Faith, Eternity and Truth
FEBRUARYAmethystAmethystOnyx, MoonstoneFebruary - Luck, Wittiness and Health
MARCHAquamarineBloodstoneRock CrystalMarch - Happiness and Understanding
APRILDiamondDiamondQuartz (Rock Crystal), White SapphireApril - Eternity, Courage and Health
MAYEmeraldEmeraldChrysoprase, Emerald, AquamarineMay - Fidelity, Goodness and Love
JUNEAlexandritePearl June - Peace, Nobility and Beauty
JULYRubyRubyCarnelianJuly - Love, Enthusiasm and Strength
AUGUSTPeridotSardonyJadeAugust - Success, Peace and Love
SEPTEMBERSapphireSapphireLapis Lazuli, Diamond, ChrysoliteSeptember - Serenity and Truth
OCTOBEROpal, TourmalineTourmalinePink Tourmaline, Zircon, AquamarineOctober - Purity, Hope, Health
NOVEMBERYellow Topaz, CitrineCitrineDiamondNovember - Wisdom, Courage and Sincerity
DECEMBERTopaz, TanzaniteTurquoiseRubyDecember - Love, Happiness and Luck