Whether it be because of their monetary allure, their cultural significance, or their beauty, gemstones have been popular for a while. Gemstones are formed by minerals, which according to National Geographic are inorganic solids that have a characteristic chemical composition and crystal structure.
There are various types of gems, both precious and semiprecious, that are popular. The gems that are considered precious are diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Some gems that are considered semi-precious are quartz, topaz, and amethyst.
Fun fact: Though the majority of stones are considered semi-precious, it does not mean that they are necessarily worth less money. These terms were utilized in the past as sometimes still are; however, the truth is that there is no real difference between the two types of gems. This classification usually only confuses those looking to buy gems and determine prices. People thought that the classifications would help make a distinction between gems that were more vs. less rare, however, they are based on outdated information.
Buying and Selling Gemstones
In terms of buying and selling gemstones, it often comes down to personal preference. According to the Jewelers of America, gemstones use the four C’s rule like diamonds.
Color: With diamonds cut is usually most important, however, with gemstones the color is most valuable. The hue of your gem indicates its purity. The tone of a gem refers to whether it is light or dark. Finally, the saturation is indicative of the intensity of the color.
Cut: The cut of a gemstone heavily depends on nature. Some gems are more likely to come in a big block, while others are minuscule. The texture of a gem weighs in, such as how certain gems are rough and certain gems are smooth.
Clarity: The clarity of a gem will determine its value as well, such as whether or not light can move through the surface.
Carats: The size of a gemstone is measured in carats and depending on how small or large the piece you’re looking at is will determine its cost.
Another factor to consider about gemstones is their strength. Some gems are tough, while others are more delicate and must be treated with care. Looking into the natural state of your gem also gives you an idea of its worth, as most of the time gems will be color treated. Those that are not will often be worth more.
Gemstones and Zodiacs
Gemstones are often utilized to represent a specific meaning. Therefore, when they are gifted to people, they will symbolize something special to the receiver. Alongside their popularity as gifts, gemstones are also often used as crystals believed to have healing powers. Below is a list of popular gemstones and their correlations to horoscopes, as according to the American Gem Society.
Garnet- This stone is known for its hypnotizing deep red color; however, it also comes in a wide range of other colors. This gem is also known for bringing peace and good health, and it symbolizes a true friendship. Garnet is the gemstone for January.
Amethyst- This stone is known for its soft purple color and strong healing powers. You will often see this jewel worn to soothe, as it stands for peace, stability, and strength. Before it was found to be abundant, royals would favor the gem. Amethyst is the gemstone for February.
Aquamarine- Aquamarine is widely known to relate to the sea, as shown by the “aqua” part of its name. Reflective of its relationship to the sea is its light blue/green color. This gem was often utilized by sailors to protect them when on the water, and it is also supposed to give those who wear it a sense of level-headedness. Aquamarine is the gemstone for March.
Diamond- Perhaps one of the most beloved gems of all time is the diamond. Though most diamonds are known to be clear and ice colored, it is actually the case that this jewel comes in a variety of colors. Diamonds can also be pink, blue, yellow, or red, for example. One of the reasons people believe diamonds are so valuable is because of the way they are made, which is under the Earth’s crust and then pushed upwards. This gem symbolizes eternal love, hence its popularity with engagement rings. Diamond is the gemstone for April.
Emerald- Emeralds are birthstones for May, which is when spring is finally back. Therefore, their symbolism is the rebirth. Also like the rebirth of nature, emeralds are a green color. They range from a lighter green to a rich, dark green. The deeper the color, the more valuable the gem. Emerald was believed to have healing health powers in the past and would be used to treat issues such as stomach bleeding.
Pearl- Interestingly, pearls are gems that come from living creatures. The more valuable a pearl, the more reflective of a shine it will have. Since it is so rare to find a natural pearl, they historically were very expensive and elite. This gem is a symbol of wisdom, as ancient people would say that they were tears of mythical creatures. Pearls are the gemstone for June.
Ruby- Known for success, this vibrant red jewel is considered one of the precious gems. This gem is reminiscent of blood, which is why it is thought to amplify energy and bring about bouts of courage. Like diamonds, rubies are strong gems and are useful not only as jewelry but for things such as watchmaking and medicine as well. Rubies are the gemstone for July.
Peridot- Peridot, a lime-colored gem, is known to bring good fortune. Unlike many other gems, it only comes in one color. While it is a gem that is less known, the process in which it's formed is amazing. This gem is not formed in the Earth’s crust but is instead formed in molten rock and brought up to the surface through the force of volcanoes. Peridot is the gemstone for August.
Sapphire- Similar to many other gems, sapphire comes in a range of colors (besides red), however, it is most known for being deep blue. These gems symbolize loyalty and sincerity, and people believe that they help with focus. These beautiful blue stones are supposed to provide guidance, such as they did for the Greeks. Sapphire is the gemstone for September.
Opal- Hypnotizing because it can change color, opal can take the shade of many other gems. People have to take extra care with this gem because it can crack under any extreme temperature or light. It is highly debated if this gem is good or bad luck. A gem that garners tons of fascination, opals are currently in high demand and are the birthstone for October.
Topaz- This is a gem that comes in a wide range of colors, such as yellow, orange, blue, and clear. Before people discovered that topaz came in a range of colors, people thought that all topaz was yellow. Topaz is believed to have healing effects as well, such as curing madness. More recently, the gem has been found in abundance and has become very affordable. Topaz is the birthstone for November.
Tanzanite- This gem is more recent in its discovery and is only found in Tanzania near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Considering that it is so rare, it is a cherished gem. Tanzanite has a deep blue color perfect for the season it is representative of- winter. Tanzanite is the birthstone for December.
Just as they are popular for their symbolism, gemstones are also often used because of their belief to have healing powers. Many of these gems are utilized to bring peace, harmony, and healing to users. They are known to help de-stress, keep people grounded, and remove toxins from our lives. For example, Amethyst is one of the most popular gems in crystal healing. It is believed to bring peace, relaxation, and focus. Blue Topaz, on the other hand, is known to bring about clarity and good fortune. As researched by Time, whether or not you choose to utilize these alternate methods of medicine, their power is “in the eye of the beholder”.
Altogether, gems come in a variety of types, sizes, shapes, and colors. There is a gem out there for everyone to choose from, as their beauty is in accordance to personal taste. These natural elements are treasured amongst our species and will continue to hold their value for years to come.