Colored Gemstones

A Jeweler’s Rainbow.

Colored gemstones are exotic, vibrant, sensual and irresistible. They come in every hue and shade. And each has its own utterly unique and fascinating story to tell.


The tradition of birthstones is believed to date back to Aaron’s breastplate, which displayed gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Over time, legends began to boast the healing powers of these gemstones. In any case, a birthstone gift does indeed have one special power: the power to make someone smile! 

January – Garnet

The garnet group of related mineral species offers gems of every hue, including fiery red pyrope, vibrant orange spessartine, and rare intense-green varieties of grossular and tsavorite.

February – Amethyst

A purple variety of the mineral quartz, it often forms large, six-sided crystals. These fine velvety-colored gems come from African and South American mines and are often in demand for jewelry at all price points.

March – Aquamarine

A blue to slightly greenish-blue variety of the mineral beryl, with crystals sometimes large enough to cut fashioned gems of more than 100 carats.

April – Diamond

This hardest gem of all is made of just one element: carbon. It’s valued for its colorless nature and purity. Most diamonds are primeval—over a billion years old—and form deep within the earth.

May – Emerald

The most valued variety of beryl, emerald was once cherished by Spanish conquistadors, Inca kings, Moguls, and pharaohs. Today, fine gems come from Africa, South America, and Central Asia.

June – Pearl

Pearls are produced in the bodies of marine and freshwater mollusks naturally or cultured by people with great care. Lustrous, smooth, subtly colored pearls are jewelry staples, especially as strands.

June – Alexandrite

The color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl, alexandrite is bluish-green in daylight, purplish-red under incandescent light, hard and durable. Top quality examples are rare and valuable.

July – Ruby

Traces of chromium give this red variety of the mineral corundum its rich color. Long valued by humans of many cultures, ruby was called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones” in ancient Sanskrit.

August – Peridot

Peridot is a yellow-green gem variety of the mineral olivine. It is found as nodules in volcanic rock, occasionally as crystals lining veins in mountains of Myanmar and Pakistan, and occasionally inside meteorites.

September – Sapphire

Depending on their trace element content, sapphire varieties of the mineral corundum might be blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple or even show a six-rayed star if cut as a cabochon.

October – Tourmaline

Available in many colors, including the remarkable intense violet-to-blue gems particular to Paraíba, Brazil, and similar blues from Africa, tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of any gem.

October – Opal

Shifting play of kaleidoscopic colors unlike any other gem, opal’s microscopic arrays of stacked silica spheres diffract light into a blaze of flashing colors. Its color range and pattern help determine value.

November – Topaz

Colorless topaz treated to blue is a mass-market gem. Fine pink-to-red, purple, or orange gems are one-of-a-kind pieces. Top sources include Ouro Prêto, Brazil, and Russia’s Ural Mountains.

November – Citrine

Citrine is a yellow-to-golden member of the quartz mineral group. Deep golden varieties from Madeira, Spain can resemble costly imperial topaz. It is thought by ancient cultures to increase psychic powers.

December – Tanzanite

Named for Tanzania, the country where it was discovered in 1967, tanzanite is the blue-to-violet or purple variety of the mineral zoisite. It’s become one of the most popular of colored gemstones.

December – Zircon

Optical properties make zircon bright and lustrous. Best known for its brilliant blue hues, it also comes in warm autumnal yellows and reddish browns, as well as red and green hues.

December – Turquoise

Ancient peoples from Egypt to Mesoamerica and China treasured this vivid blue gem. It’s a rare phosphate of copper that only forms in the earth’s most dry and barren regions.

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