Gemstones have always fascinated men and women alike and are used in making jewellery. They lend an elegance and royalty to a simple piece of ornament. Gems hold astrological importance in Eastern as well as Western part of the world. They are regarded as symbols of peace, prosperity and happiness.
Gems are mostly minerals but certain rocks like Lapis Luzli are cut and polished to turn them into gem stones. The basic characteristic of a gemstone is its clarity, texture and durability. Gemstones are valued on the basis of their purity and scarcity. Gems are broadly classified in two categories.
• Precious Gems
Precious gemstones are costlier, rare and more durable. Precious gems include Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.
Diamond is the king of gems. It is the hardest of all the gemstones and is colourless with a brilliant shine.
A tint of colour such as yellow or brown may signify impurity in this precious gem. It has become a symbol of love and romance and is known as a woman’s best friend.
Ruby is a red coloured stone that has all the qualities of a precious gemstone. It is brilliant, hard and durable and it can be as costly as a diamond. Ruby is valued by the richness of its colour.
It signifies health and prosperity. It is a favourite gemstone of jewellers and is widely used in ornaments studded with pearls or diamonds. Ruby needs more care than diamond as it may chip or crack if not handled with care.
Sapphire is mostly identified by its deep blue colour, but you can find this gem is many other colours also. It is found in green, orange, pink, grey colours and some sapphires appear colourless.
It is a precious gem stone and symbolizes loyalty, friendship and harmony. It is an excellent choice for jewellery and can be worn everyday considering its strength and durability.
Emerald is also one of the precious gems and is deep green in colour. It is widely used in jewellery and is associated with royalty and splendour.
It is a durable gem stone and a flawless emerald, though it is rare, can be more valuable than a diamond.
• Semi Precious Gems
Semi precious gems are valued for their beauty in comparison to the qualities of the precious gem stones. There are many types of semi precious gems available such as-
Amethyst belongs to the quartz family of mineral gems. It is of deep violet colour and is associated with good fortune, nobility and love.
According to the Greeks Amethyst is an antidote for intoxication and they used to stud their goblets with this gem to reduce the effect of alcohol.
Amber is an organic gem that is produced from the resin of pine tree.
It is of translucent brown colour and is used in making ornaments.
Citrine belongs to the quartz variety and it is a yellow coloured gem. It can be worn in everyday jewellery because of its durability.
Natural Citrine is pale in colour and it acquires brilliance when treated and used in an ornament.
Coral belongs to the organic family of gems and is obtained from coral reefs. It is deep red in colour and is a delicate gem stone and chips easily.
Coral gives an elegance and richness to an ornament. It holds a lot astrological value.
Garnet comes in various hues and colours like white, green, yellow, brown and black.
But red coloured Garnet resembling the pomegranate seeds is the most popular and it is used in silver jewellery to make different types of ornaments. Garnet is known for its medicinal properties and it is used to treat lung and blood diseases in the alternate therapy.
Opal is a unique gem stone that comes in a variety of colours. It is identified by its colour such as Black Opal, White Opal or Crystal or Milk Opal, Fire Opal etc.
Play of light on this semi precious gem gives it a distinct beauty and aura. You have to be careful while wearing this gem to avoid breakage. You should keep it away from heat as Opal can become dehydrated.
Peridot comes in different shades of green like olive green, yellow green and brownish green.
It is gaining popularity in jewellery making as it compliments other gem stones very well.
Pearls belongs to the family of organic gems and are obtained from oysters. Those which are formed inside the Oysters are known as Natural Pearls and Pearls that are artificially created in Oysters are called Cultured Pearls.
They come in different shades like white, off white, creamy, pink, brown etc. Pearls represent dignity and purity. It also has curative value and is worn to cure nervous disorders and to control temper.
Topaz belongs to the mineral quartz family. It is mostly available in yellow colour. You can also find Topaz in yellow brown colour, orange brown and sometimes you may even see a colourless topaz.
The most valuable topaz is the one that has shades of pink in it. This one is known as the Imperial Topaz. Topaz is known to have the power of changing its colour when it is exposed to poison. It is associated with knowledge, intellect and enhances the mental ability of the wearer.
Tourmaline comes in a variety of colours like brown, violet, green, pink, red and blue.
It is a stone with mixed colours and is good to be used for making fashion jewellery. Tourmaline is easy to maintain and holds a special place in the jewellery market.
Zircon is a beautiful gem with a crystallized brilliance. It is available in yellow, blue, orange, red and brown shades.
Colourless Zircon is often been used as a substitute for diamond. It should be worn with care as it tends to become dull and cloudy if worn regularly.
These days Synthetic Gems and Imitation Gems are also becoming popular. They are affordable and more durable as well as easy to maintain.