Colored Gemstones FAQs

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Gemstones are beautiful to look at, and their various colors and brilliance make them wonderful additions to fine jewelry. If you are looking to purchase a fine jewelry piece, read our frequently asked questions about colored gemstones.

What is a gemstone?

A gemstone is a precious, or semi-precious, crystal that is usually cut, faceted then polished and mounted into various jewelry designs. Gemstones that have been properly cut intensify their bright colors and shine they add to jewelry. 

There are so many different types of gemstones, some far more rare than others. They are measured for durability with the Mohs scale, which gives each gem a 1-10 rating based on how easily it can be scratched. A diamond, for example, is rated a 10, rubies and sapphires are a 9. Emeralds are 7.5 to 8.

What type of jewelry contains gemstones?

Gemstones are used in almost every kind of fine jewelry, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Gemstones that rate 7 or higher on the Mohs scale are better for everyday jewelry because they are durable enough to withstand daily use.

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What are the most popular gemstones?

The most popular gemstone is the diamond, which is highly desired world wide. The diamond is frequently used for engagement rings, wedding bands, and anniversary rings. You will often see it set into necklaces, bracelets, and pendants, along with many other designs.

Other popular stones include the emerald, which is well known for its beautiful, vivid green hue. The sapphire, which is usually a bright blue; and the ruby, which is a ripe red. These brightly colored gemstones are all popular choices for jewelry.

What are the birthstones for each month?

January’s birthstone is garnet. Garnets are usually thought of as red, but they actually can come in many colors except blue.

February‘s birthstone is amethyst. This stone ranges from a pale lavender to deep royal purple and is very scratch-resistant.

March’s birthstone is aquamarine. The stone is named for its bluish-green color, which can resemble the many colors of the ocean.

April’s birthstone is diamond. Diamonds can come in many colors, with beautiful white diamonds being the most well-known and desired.

May’s birthstone is the emerald. Emeralds are known for their beautiful, bright green color.

June has two birthstones, pearl and alexandrite. Pearls are usually thought of in creamy white but can also occur in other shades, and found in different kinds of mollusks. Alexandrite is a extremely rare gem that can appear to be different colors depending on the kind of light it is viewed under.

The July birthstone is the ruby. Rubies are a bright, vibrant red and are a stunning stone for jewelry.

August’s birthstone is the peridot. Ideally bright lime-green in color, it can also come in softer shades.

September’s birthstone is sapphire. Sapphires are always highly desired for jewelry and are known for their brilliant blue color, and are also available is every color of the rainbow.

October also has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. Opals can have a white-ish background color, with a play of many colors and pin-points of color against the pearly white back ground, but they can reflect different many colors in different lighting. Tourmaline is a beautiful gemstone that can come in many colors and even show many colors within a single gem.

November has 2 gems also. Citrine has a golden tone, and can be very pale yellow, and can deepen to the richest caramel shades. Topaz can be golden also, or a rare combination of peachy-pink-gold, often called “precious topaz”. Blue topaz is well known, and is a brilliant turquoise, and looks amazing in many styles of jewelry.

December is tanzanite. This gem actually refracts the light the enters it, back out in a ray of blue, and a ray of violet. That’s why it’s hard to describe the color, since it’s really both!

Gemstones and Fine Jewelry at Preusser Jewelers

Stop by Preusser Jewelers in Grand Rapids to see all kinds of unique wedding bands, engagement rings, and fine color gemstone and diamond jewelry! Contact Preusser Jewelers for more info and make an appointment.