For thousands of years, Emeralds have been considered some of the most beautiful and valuable gems in existence. In many instances, their value can exceed the value of a diamond of comparable carat weight. Emeralds are rare and precious gems of the beryl family, distinguished by their rich green color. The largest quantities of Emeralds are found in Brazil, Colombia, and East Africa.
Some more precious and semi-precious gemstones include Amethyst, Ametrine, Aquamarine, Citrine, Iolite, Peridot, Topaz, Tourmaline and more.
Emerald is a member of the beryl family of minerals. Other gemstones in this family include Aquamarine, Bixbite, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, and Morganite. The most prized color for Emerald is a deep, vibrant, rich green. Inclusions are extremely common among Emeralds. These are an important way to mark the distinction between natural and synthetic stones.
Almost all Emeralds have some inclusions. The visibility of fractures can be reduced by filling them with oils and resins. Both of these methods are accepted practice and do not in any way diminish the value of the stone.
Emeralds are very delicate stones. They should NOT be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. The most recommended way is using a soft brush with warm, soapy water as the best way to clean your Emerald jewelry.
Amethyst is a very popular gemstone and a member of the Quartz family of gemstones. The color of this jewel varies from light lavender to deep purple. The darker colors are considered most desirable and are more expensive than the lighter gems. Most Amethysts are free of inclusions. It is a durable gemstone, suitable for everyday wear.
Amethyst is not usually treated. Although it is relatively safe to clean Amethyst in ultrasonic and steam cleaners, it is recommended to use a soft brush and warm, soapy water as the best method to clean your Amethyst jewelry.
Ametrine, a member of the Quartz family, is part violet Amethyst and part yellow Citrine. The color separation in the gemstone can be very distinct. This separation, however, does not define the value of the stone. Ametrine is found naturally only in South America. Ametrine is not usually treated. Although it is relatively safe to clean Ametrine in ultrasonic and steam cleaners, we recommend using a soft brush with warm, soapy water as the best way to clean your Ametrine. Read also this post about sapphire mining in the Gemfields of Queensland, Australia.
Aquamarine comes from the Beryl family of gemstones. (Emerald is another gem in this family.) Aquamarine ranges in color from colorless to light blue, darker blue and green. Most gem quality Aquamarine is found in Brazil, however, some fine quality stones are also mined in the United States.
Most Aquamarine is “Irradiated” or “Heat Treated” to achieve or enhance its color. This is a permanent color alteration process and is widely accepted within the trade. There is no need to fear this treatment as it is commonly used and does not depreciate the value of the stone in any way. Aquamarine should NOT be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. We recommend using a soft brush with warm, soapy water as the best way to clean your Aquamarine jewelry.
Citrine is a gemstone in the Quartz family. Its name is derived from the French word “citron,” meaning lemon. Color ranges from pale to medium yellow to medium dark yellow-orange. Bolivia and Madagascar are both suppliers of Citrine, however, most gem-quality Citrine comes from Brazil. Citrine is a durable stone suitable for everyday wear.
Citrine can be “Heat Treated” to enhance its reddish color, a widely accepted practice in the trade. Natural Citrine is a more pale yellow. Although it is relatively safe to clean Citrine in ultrasonic and steam cleaners, we recommend using a soft brush with warm, soapy water to clean your Citrine jewelry.
Opal gemstones come usually from Australia. High-quality opals are fiery and rich in color. Opals are generally eye-clean and possess great color and fire. Opal is a soft gem that looks beautiful in any setting and goes well with many other gems. White or yellow gold are both flattering to opals.
Most garnets are a deep red, and rich in color. They are found and mined in Brazil. Garnet is a very durable gem that looks beautiful in any setting and goes well with many other gems. White or yellow gold are both flattering to garnet
Peridot is an exceptional yellow-green gemstone that is sometimes mistaken for Emerald. The color can vary from yellowish to olive-green. Historically, many of Cleopatra’s “Emeralds” were probably Peridot, as these were also mined in Egypt. Peridot was a favorite of ancients because of its professed powers to cure disease and aid friendships. Peridot is not usually treated. Peridot should NOT be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. It is recommended to use a soft brush and warm, soapy water as the best method to clean your Peridot jewelry.
Topaz can be found in several different colors: colorless, white, clear, blue, yellow, orange, and pink. There are several varieties. B>lue Topaz is very popular for use in fine jewelry, especially, the “London Blue Topaz.” This stone bears a resemblance to Aquamarine but is more gray-blue rather than the green-blue of Aquamarine. Most Blue Topaz is mined as a colorless gem and is “Irradiated” to enhance its brilliant blue color. The color is then stabilized through a heat process. The more vibrant the blue color, generally, the more valuable the stone.
Natural Yellow Topaz. Yellow and yellow-brown are the more inexpensive of the Yellow Topaz. Natural Golden Topaz. Golden and warm orange have greater depth of color and are more valuable. Natural Imperial Topaz is found only in Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. It is a highly valued and collected stone because of its limited supply. Most of this gemstone comes from two mines: Vermelhao Mine and Capao Mine. Natural Imperial Topaz sources are expected to be depleted within a few years. Its value is only expected to increase as it is found in shorter supply.
Natural Pink Topaz is mined mainly in Brazil. Its light to light-medium color is similar to Pink Tourmaline, Morganite, and Kunzite. A strong pink-red color is considered valuable. Topaz should NOT be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaners. We recommend using a soft brush with warm, soapy water as the best method to clean your Topaz jewelry.
Of all gemstones, Tourmaline has the widest color range. Shades of pink and green are the most common, but color can even vary within the same stone, producing bi-color and tri-color ems. An example of this is the “Watermelon Tourmaline” with its green “rind” around the edge surrounding a red center. Multi-colored stones are popular because of their uniqueness.
Until the 18th century, most Green Tourmaline was mistaken for a form of Emerald and Red Tourmaline was often mistaken for Ruby. Green Tourmaline is one of the most popular Tourmaline colors. Shades of green vary from light to deep, vibrant green. Pink Tourmaline is the other popular shade, with its color ranging from light pink to orange-pink to a hot, deep Fuschia pink.
Chrome Tourmaline is a rare green-hue variety. Indicolite Tourmaline is a deep indigo blue, similar to Blue Sapphire. Rubellite Tourmaline is a deep pinkish-red, similar to Ruby. One unique variety of Tourmaline is found in Paraiba, Brazil. These Paraiba stones are also referred to as “Neon” Tourmaline because of their intense green, blue and purple colors. Brazil holds many of the largest and best deposits of Tourmaline in the world.
The bright pink Tourmaline can be heat or Cobalt Irradiation treated to stabilize and brighten the color. Tourmaline should NOT be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. We recommend using a soft brush and warm, soapy water as the best method for cleaning your Tourmaline jewelry.