Category Archives: Gemstone Rings

Gemstones: rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and other quality gemstones

Gemstones: rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and other quality gemstones

From the earliest times, diamonds and other gemstones – both precious stones and semi-precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls – have adorned the richest and most noble people in the land. Kings, Queens, Emperors – even dictators – have all been amongst the privileged few able to afford to wear gemstones, precious and semi-precious stones on their clothing, on their heads and hands and in ceremonial decorations like crowns and coronets.

Although fashions change, there is still a desire for those rich enough to show off their wealth by wearing rare and expensive objects such as gemstones – gemstone rings, gemstone bracelets and other gemstone jewelry.

Over the years, a wide range of materials have been classified as gemstones and we provide a list of gemstones.

However, these days, whilst a diamond – along with a ruby,  emerald, a sapphire and even a diamond – is still one of the most expensive gemstones around, you don’t need to be wildly rich or regal to afford one. Nevertheless you do need to be able to assess the quality of the gemstones you want to buy – whether it is a diamond, a ruby, sapphire or emerald. 

sapphire-deep-blue-tRubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds are considered to be the main gemstones. These four precious stones are considered the most important of all the gemstones. Other colored stones(precious stones and semi-precious stones) tend to be prized for their color and their association with certain months of the year (eg as birthstones, birthday gemstones) and their  perceived characteristics.

In recent years, colored gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds – and even colored diamonds – have been attracting much attention. That extra touch of dramatic color to a piece of jewelry is now seen as highly desirable.

Chalk emeraldOf course, diamonds are still considered to be “a girl’s best friend” and the demand for large, good quality diamonds with that touch of “oomph” is increasing. Jewelers around the country have been receiving requests for super-sized diamonds – largely as a result of the huge rocks worn by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.

millenium_starIn this environment, it is important to be able to assess the quality of a stone and its setting. Ultimately, it is the quality of the stone together with the setting and the metal that determines the value of any piece of jewelry.

Of course, that may be secondary to the fact that you like a particular piece of jewelry. There can be no substitute for a ring, necklace, pendant, or some other piece of jewelry that has romantic or other associations. Whether it is a family heirloom handed down from a close relative, a gift from a loved one or simply the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself. Even if you can’t put a value on these memories and associations, you can still put a value on the piece itself. This can only enhance the memory and its value to you.

Here on the pages of this website you will find an alphabetical list of the most important gemstones and precious stones, together with background information on each gemstone – name, colors, mineral origins and any meanings or associations that are connected with each stone. We also provide a list of birth stones – the stones associated with each birthday – and with each Zodiac sign. All of this is brought together on our Birthstones Chart.




Ruby Gemstone Rings – Choosing Your Ruby Ring

How to choose your ruby ring; how do you assess the quality of a ruby ring?

Vintage 1990 1.60 ct Ruby and Diamond Engagement RingRubies are very much in vogue nowadays; demand for rubies-along with diamonds –  is one of the top trends in rings and there has been increasing demand for ruby rings for the past few years. This is understandable. Rubies are one of the 4 major gemstones and a premium ruby ring can often put some of the larger diamonds to shame. 

The question is how do you detect the quality of a ruby ring; how do you assess the quality of the stone and the setting? How do you choose the one ruby ring that is right for you? 

First of all the stone itself. Continue reading Ruby Gemstone Rings – Choosing Your Ruby Ring

Sapphire Gemstone Rings – symbolising love, longing, loyalty

The Sapphire gemstone symbolises love, longing and loyalty.

Overstock - princess Diana ring - white gold, sapphire, diamondAlthough we can describe the Sapphire as an example of the mineral corundum, it is more sensible to describe the sapphire in terms of the feelings it generates: love, longing and loyalty. 

In practical terms, Sapphire is the mineral corundum – as is the ruby. This mineral is the second hardest gemstone after the diamond: red corundum is known as ruby, while all other colors are referred to as Sapphire. 

Blue is the most famous of the sapphire colors and the prized Kashmir and Burmese sapphires have a deep blue that is intense and velvety.

However, these sapphires are not often seen on the market today. Sri Lankan and Madagascar sapphires are the most common today, with a wide range of colors from light sky blue to dark blue. Other producers of blue sapphire are Australia, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, and the USA (Montana). Continue reading Sapphire Gemstone Rings – symbolising love, longing, loyalty

A Royal History of Ruby Rings

Rubies, particularly ruby rings, have been a popular choice for jewelry for  members of the British Royal Family for several hundred years.

For example, Queen Victoria was given a ruby ring at the time of her marriage to Prince Albert, by her half sister Feodora, Princess Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The ring has two overlapping pear shaped gemstones with a ruby and diamond tiara setting above the stones – see right.

Many years later, a similar style of ruby and diamond ring was given by Charles Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, to his first wife Victoria Lockwood – see below left.

Another beautiful Victorian diamond and ruby ring was given to HRH the Duchess of York (who later became Queen Mary) as a wedding gift from her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward Vii). The ring is a Marquise shaped diamond with rubies set in platinum and gold.

A ruby engagement ring was also the choice of gemstone for another Duchess of York – Sarah Ferguson, who became engaged to Prince Andrew later

The ruby ring has similarities to that of another royal ruby engagement ring, that of HRH Princess Margaret, the Queen of England’s late siste, rin that both rings have a central ruby stone surrounded by diamonds

HRH Princess Margaret’s Ruby and Diamond Engagement ring was designed by her husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowden. The ring, comprising a central ruby surrounded by diamonds, was set in the shape of a rose, because Princess Margaret’s second name was Rose.

See a more in-depth article on Rubies and Royalty; Click Here.