Complete guide to alternative engagement rings
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We did tons of research and put everything in one place for you.
Whether you looking at gemstone engagement rings or you almost set on traditional diamond ring stay with us for the next 15 min and we'll open the whole world of colors and sparks!
Romantic Hollywood stories and fashion trends assure us that the ideal option is a diamond engagement ring. However, we live in a time when stereotypes get collapsed, and everyone wants to express their individuality. The primary rule is the absence of any rules! In case, if you and your beloved are quite bold and extraordinary persons or vice versa, you are a conservative fan of vintage jewelry, anyway, you can safely consider the gemstone engagement rings as an option for engagement. This kind of engagement ring is suitable for those, thinking outside the box.
Furthermore, wearing a gemstone engagement ring is a special aristocratic manner. If you look at all the rings that European princesses or royal families in general, you can see that there are very few diamond models. Before rubies, sapphires, and emeralds become an alternative engagement ring stones the were the top pick for higher society.
Two points can explain the aristocracy’s addiction to coloured stone rings. Firstly, gems were more decorative and brightness, unlike diamonds in closed settings. Until the beginning of the 19th century, when jewelers started using the open diamond setting. Another advantage of the gemstones is that there has never been a “fever” on colored stones when they become a massive object of attraction for the general population. Representatives of royal families still have a tradition to propose with a gemstone engagement ring. So, if you want your fiancee to feel like a European princess, present her with a ring of color stone.
How is the material shown in this article?
There is a wide variety of gemstones that differs by colors and shades, by clarity and lusk, and by hardness. We’ve selected only those stones which in our opinion are suitable for engagement rings in order to make you more comfortable during the searching process. Gems below are sorted in terms of value, beauty, and wear resistance. In our list, you can find quite gentle exceptions like opal and pearl. These jewels are delicate and require special care and need to be worn neatly. In this case, we’ll mark it separately. Think of your lifestyle and how carefully you used to wear rings before choosing these unique gemstones for engagement rings. Or maybe you plan to have several engagement rings. By the way, Victoria Beckham has got 21 engagement rings corresponding to the number of years being married.
Usually, our clients want some specific color and only then some definite stone. Therefore, we’ve distributed all the stones by color. If the same stone has several colors, we’ll repeat it without duplicating the description. Features of the gemstones are listed from the most expensive to the most available.
What are gemstones?
A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal which, in cut and polished form, is used to make jewelry. You can find other names of this material such as gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone. By the way, certain rocks such as lapis lazuli and opal, and occasionally organic materials such as amber, jet, and pearl, are classified as gemstones and are also used for jewelry. The gemstone is any of various minerals highly prized for beauty, durability, and rarity and used in jewelry. Therefore, a gemstone engagement ring essentially nothing else but engagement ring stones other than diamonds. Gems can be mounted at the center place as well as on the sides of the ring using traditional ring settings as halo, solitaire, three-stone design, and others.
How much does a gemstone engagement ring cost?
Answering this question is complicated because it depends on a chosen stone, its value, and origin, what market is sold, and by what brand. We decided to simplify the task as much as possible and with each gemstone, we’ll show the cost of the ring by the following parameter: solitaire setting gemstone engagement ring with 1 ct stone, yellow gold 14K which was made by us on a tailor.
Natural or Lab-grown
Lab-grown stones have become very popular recently. Some of these gems are rarer and hard-to-find, thus it can be grown in laboratories. So, lab-grown gemstones are identical chemically, physically and optically to natural gems. There are several lab-created gems listed below for today (March 2020):
- Lab alexandrite
- Lab corundum
- Cubic zirconia
- Lab diamond
- Lab emerald
- Synthetic opal
- Rainbow Quartz
- Lab Spinel
- Synthetic turquoise
- Yttrium aluminum garnet
These gemstones for rings are created under specific conditions to get stones identical to the natural. The rest you need to search for natural. But there is some danger while finding the desired stone - up to 90% of the market stones are from plastic. In order to exclude the possibility of using fakes in the rings we follow two steps:
- we cut our stones on our own;
- we buy RAW stones from only one supplier.
We take photos and videos for each tailored gemstone engagement ring to show what materials it’s made of. Be careful about buying. If you don’t see any evidence of authenticity and quality, then the likelihood that you’ll buy something fake is almost 9 out of 10 cases.
The Decision-making process is highly dependent on the gems. But as a rule, you have to choose between two options. Firstly, among inexpensive stones such as Opal, Alexandrite, and others, you’ll most likely want to buy natural stones. Therefore you’ll be faced with the question of not just which one to choose, but how to choose a natural one. If you aren’t a professional gemologist, buy such a ring only from reputation valued brands. eBay and doubtful shops on Etsy aren’t your friends in this case. The chance to buy a plastic designed ring is too great and then you’ll make a request to Google like “Why did my opal go dark or float?” Opal doesn’t deform and doesn’t darken, unlike plastic. Another approach will be applied to expensive stones, for example, Alexandrite. If you’re willing to spend about 7-10 thousand dollars per carat for such a gem, then, of course, take it naturally. This is a great jewelry investment. But if your budget is within $2.000 and you still want Alexandrite then buy a lab-grown high-quality one. There are proposers who intentionally choose lab-grown gems for environmental reasons. Whatever you choose, make sure what exactly and what quality you are going to buy. Be careful if you see too good offers. If you are offered a ring at a very affordable price, then most likely there is a catch somewhere. Keep in mind, any expensive gemstone, as a natural diamond, sapphire, or ruby comes with a certificate and serial number.
Alternative engagement rings by color: Red stones
Ruby is a mineral, a kind of corundum, belongs to the class of oxides. It’s one of the most expensive gems. The colors of this gemstone range from bright red to dark red and even violet red. But the most vivid and sought after is pigeon blood-red color. Made of corundum, rubies are like the red versions of sapphires.
Ruby is widely used in jewelry, and its synthetic version can be seen in lasers and clockworks.
Precious ruby can be found on all continents except Antarctica. The most valuable are the rubies mined in Asia. The main suppliers of red corundum are Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. Rubies are also in demand from East Africa, from countries such as Kenya and Tanzania. This kind of gemstone also is highly mined in Pamirs, Tajikistan. Rubies brought from East Africa, namely from Kenya and Tanzania, are also not uncommon.
Since ancient times, in Europe, the ruby is considered a symbol of strength, beauty, devotion to faith, dignity, and courage. It was the gemstone of dominant rulers and nobles. In the East, it represented love, health, strength, and vitality. In India, ruby was a stone of the sun. Therefore, the ruby is a rather unusual stone. It brings the wearer inspiration, confidence, and influence, in addition, it helps to fulfill all desires. As it’s considered as a symbol of love and passion, ruby increases energy, sharpens the mind, and attracts romantic partners.
Supposedly rubies were mined already in the Bronze Age in Burma. Rubies were also valued in India and used as talismans about 2.000 years ago. It is known that the large ruby, according to the evidence of the ancient Greek writer Lucian, adorned the statue of the wife of Zeus Hera in Hierapolis (Hierapolis, the modern territory of Syria).
Rubies can be used for any type of jewelry and due to their high level of hardness can be worn every day without any worries about scratching or cracking. This gemstone looks good in just every desired shape. The most common ones are ovals and cushions. Gemstone engagement ring decorated with ruby is a special piece of art.
Spinel is a semiprecious stone represented by an impressive palette of shades and sometimes reaching a price comparable to high-quality rubies and sapphires. Out of all different stones for engagement rings this is one of my absolute favourite. This group of minerals includes transparent and opaque stones of various shades.
Among the varieties of the mineral, noble spinel, ordinary, chrome, and granite (zinc spinel) are distinguished. The noble spinel includes the ruby, sapphire, ruby-bale, oriental amethyst, blue and green spinel. Ordinary spinel is presented by stones of dark green and black color. The chrome spinel is a thick black color. But red stones because of its resemblance to ruby are especially appreciated.
Red spinel is usually used for necklaces and rings. In old times, this gemstone helped to emphasize the status and wealth of dignitaries. Royal clothes, crowns, treasures were often decorated with a massive gem of spinel rather than rubies, as many people believed.
The stone served as a decoration and a symbol of the power of representatives of Germany, Great Britain, Russia, France:
- a huge stone, the pride of the crown of Britain - "Ruby of the Black Prince" was a spinel;
- the crown of Catherine the Great who was Empress Of Russia was inlaid with this stone;
- numerous drop-shaped spinels were set on the Wittelsbach crown;
- The brightest and largest spinel is in the crown of Persian shahs and has a weight of 500 carats.
Noble spinel mining sites are located in Ceylon, India, the Pamirs, and Tajikistan. In addition, spinel is found in Russia: in the Southern Urals, Southern Baikal and Yakutia. Bright red-ruby spinel is mined in Myanmar. Also, stones are found in Thailand, India, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.
In addition to the use of stones in jewelry, it finds some application in ceramics, as well as in the production of stable ceramic paints.
Spinel represents nobility, power, energy, and passion. Gemstone engagement rings decorated with spinel will amaze any woman.
Ametrine is a colored kind of quartz. The name comes from amethyst (purple stone) and citrine (lemon yellow mineral). Most often in one crystal, there are two colors. Another rarely used name for the stone is bolivianite. It comes from the largest deposit of ametrine.
Almost all high-quality ametrines are mined at the Anahi, Bolivia. Less saturated stones are in Brazil, in small quantities. And sometimes this type of the gem is found in Siberia.
Ametrine is highly susceptible to cutting and therefore is used to make rings, pendants, beads, etc. There are also artificial gems that are produced by irradiating and heating an amethyst. Therefore the price of such stones is several times lower than the price of real Bolivian stones.
Ametrine symbolizes peace and balance, gives its owners benevolence and caution, to prevent quarrels and conflict situations. Most of all, ametrine is suitable for extraordinary, very active people, who are constantly striving for development and understanding of the environment.
Commonly, in creating the gemstone engagement ring are popular emerald-cut and trillion-cut ametrines as well as pear and round-cut ones.
Garnet is a group of minerals that includes different shades of red and orange. The stone can be completely transparent or doesn’t shine through at all, like black melanite. Its shine is pure glass right down to diamond. These representatives of semiprecious stones include such well-known and valuable varieties as demantoid, tsavorite, rhodolite, pyrope, andradite, spessartine, almandine, grossular, uvarovite, garnet chameleon.
In addition to the jewelry sphere, garnets are used as an abrasive, in construction industries (additives in cement and ceramic masses), in lasers, in various equipment and electronics.
The most common and inexpensive almandines are mined in Karelia, the Kola Peninsula, Brazil, Madagascar, and Alaska (Fort Wrangell). Beautiful demantoids and topazolites are found in Chukotka while uvarovite is located in the Urals, Finland, and Canada. In Madagascar and Tanzania, the most expensive and rare “blue” grenades are mined, changing color under different lighting conditions.
Garnet known as a stone of bright saturated red color, is considered a stone of passions, emotions, and desires. It activates a person’s vital energy, gives inspiration and strength to the realization of the most complex plans.
In Persia, garnet was considered a stone granting power and the ability to control people. The crusaders believed a ring decorated with this gem was able to protect them from wounds in battle. While in the East the mineral was symbolized perseverance, devotion, and good health.
Garnet looks amazing in different variants of cuts - round, pear, oval, heart, marquise, and cushion cuts emphasize the versatility of color, and the emerald, princess and radiant cuts show the color depth. Gemstone engagement ring with a garnet in it underlines the elegance and special features of its owner.
Agate is a variety of chalcedony, it’s a semi-precious natural gemstone. The raw surface of the mineral is dull, and after polishing acquires a glass luster. A variety of colors and fancy ornaments on the cut are created by the durable process of a gradual layering of chalcedony. It has a layered texture, and the last one can be of different colors, which creates a unique pattern on the surface of the mineral. Moreover, there can be created some voids between layers, which eventually are filed by other minerals. More than 150 varieties of agate are found in nature, depending on the type of pattern on a cut.
Agate is widely used in jewelry and as a material for artistic carving. It also serves as a raw material for the manufacture of decorative dishes Furthermore, it’s used in precision engineering.
Agate is a highly widespread mineral. It’s extracted from volcanic and sedimentary rocks on almost all continents.
Gem's deposits are located in South America (the richest in Brazil and Uruguay), Africa, Russia - in the Caucasus and the Urals, as well as in Mongolia and India.
Presumably, the name of the mineral comes from the Greek and means ‘’kind, good and happy’’. In ancient Rome, agate was a symbol of fertility. Stones were laid out in the garden to protect the crop from the weather.
Imperial houses of Europe competed in the sophistication of agate jewelry. Many jewelers gained a reputation by endowing customers with clasps, gems, incense containers carved from agate of incredible beauty. The largest piece made from agate is a 75-centimeter solid stone dish kept at the Vienna Museum.
The wavy iridescent colors found within fire agates, created by the Schiller effect as found in mother-of-pearl, is created by the alternating silica and iron oxide layers.
Fire Agate is a protective and grounding stone with a calming energy. It is also believed to instill bravery and spiritual fortitude, it reduces fear and encourages feelings of security and safety.
Creating a gemstone engagement ring with a piece of Fire Agate can really become a thing of art. Each piece of Fire Agate, being unique, requires a custom setting – not some sort of generic ring mounting or setting. Individual cutting accents the intense colors of the stone and its uniqueness.
This type of agate is among the most beautiful and precious of the agates found in Northern Mexico. This one has intense colors of orange, pink, yellow, and white.
Сreating engagement rings using this stone requires special individual design and shape to maximize the rarity and sophistication of this mineral. This option is for absolutely extraordinary personalities with immeasurable imagination. Gemstone engagement rings decorated with coyamito agate are quite rare, but unbelievable.
We are going to talk about quartz later in this article. I just want to point that rose quartz engagement ring is a great choice for someone who is looking for a gentle and lighter tones.
It’s a gem of various shades, one of the varieties of corundum. In mineralogy, sapphires are called corundum exclusively blue. There are also specimens of fantasy colors: yellow sapphires, orange, green, colorless, pink sapphires in nature. They have the same chemical formula but differ in the content of impurities. The star sapphire has a very unusual look. Titanium oxides create incredible light overflows on the sapphire surface, so-called asterism effect. Such kind of this gem is quite rare and highly valued.
Sapphires are widely used in jewelry. Star sapphires are usually crafted as a cabochon, in which it acquires a smooth polished surface without edges. Synthetic sapphires are used as raw materials for the manufacture of ophthalmic scalpels and lenses of the eye; for the production of high-strength optically transparent elements; in dentistry - for the manufacture of aesthetic braces.
The richest sapphire placers are located in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Burma, China, Vietnam), India, Australia, and the United States. The most valuable and beautiful are Kashmir sapphires, which got their name from the place of their extraction - Kashmir (a disputed area occupied by India and Pakistan).
Sapphire is considered a stone of heaven and has powerful cosmic energy. He has always been a symbol of wisdom, justice, purity, and spirituality. In many cultures, sapphire was the main decoration of temples, it was worn by priests and worshipers, it contributed to the unity of man and God. Gemstone engagement ring decorated with sapphires is highly widespread and sought after. The most famous and adorable is Princess Diana’s engagement ring with sapphire with a weight of 1,8 carats.
The most popular cuts for sapphire are oval, round, pear, and cushion. These are most common types of stones for rings, pendants, and earrings.
The world's largest faceted blue sapphire is named the Blue Giant of the East and weighs 466 carats. Sapphire was found in Sri Lanka in 1907.
There are following world-famous sapphires:
- Sapphire of St. Edward is a stone of dark blue color weighing 167 carats, faceted in the shape of a rose. Installed in the center of the upper cross crowning the Crown of the British Empire;
- Sapphire Logan is a bluestone from Sri Lanka. One of the largest known faceted sapphires, its mass is 423 carats. It has a perfect saturated and deep blue color;
- Queensland's black star is a large gem, the world's largest star sapphire, 733. It was discovered in Queensland in the 1930s;
- Stuart Sapphire or Charles II Sapphire is a historical gem of the Scottish crown, according to legend, set back in the crown of King Alexander II. It has a weight of 104 carats.
Alexandrite is a natural variety of the chrysoberyl mineral with an admixture of chromium. It differs from others, as a rule, of yellowish-green chrysoberyls in that it has a strong pleochroism. Alexandrite has the property of changing color from blue-green in daylight to red-violet and raspberry in artificial light. This effect of pleochroism is popularly called the "alexandrite effect". Some stones have a cat-eye effect.
This gem is extremely rare in nature. Alexandrites were mined only in the Urals, Russia until the end of the 20th century, but now this deposit is depleted. Currently, alexandrites are found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar. Natural alexandrites are usually very small - from 1 to 3 carats.
Alexandrite is named after the Russian ruler Alexander II: for the first time, a stone was found in the Urals in 1833 and presented to the future Russian emperor on the day of his majority.
In Europe, alexandrite was a symbol of amorousness and jealousy, and in India and Sri Lanka, it was a symbol of longevity and prosperity. The priests favored this stone, believing it pacifies the soul. It was believed that the color of alexandrite may depend on the mood of the owner. It was considered a stone of strong people.
The most common forms of cutting alexandrite are stepwise and teardrop-shaped. In jewelry, these stones are often combined with emeralds, diamonds, and pearls.
It’s a solid mineral with a glass sheen that belongs to the beryl family. The color palette is from deep blue to almost transparent pale turquoise, which is caused by impurities of iron. Sometimes, there are specimens with the effect of asterism or “cat's eye” among aquamarines.
The largest aquamarine deposits are in Brazil (including in the state of Minas Gerais), in Madagascar and in Russia. It is found in small volumes in many countries, for example, Australia, India, Namibia, Tanzania, the USA, and Sri Lanka.
During the ancient civilization of the Sumerians, which existed until 2000 BC. e., beautiful greenish-blue stones symbolized longevity, happiness, and youth. In Rome, aquamarine personified sincere love and devotion.
Aquamarine was used by the ancient sailors of Rome and Greece, who believed that the stone was a gift from Poseidon. It was a companion to sailors. Later it could be seen in the headdress of Pope Julius II. Nowadays monarchs show interest in aquamarine. For example, Elizabeth ll, the Queen of Great Britain, owns a jewelry set, one of the main elements of which is azure stone. Moreover, one of the largest faceted aquamarines inserted into the crown of the Queen of England.
Aquamarines are usually cut in stepped cuts or wedges in a rectangular or oval shape, but emerald cuts are most often used. Gemstone engagement ring decorated with aquamarine has a gentle sophisticated look.
One of the rarest minerals in the world. The color of benitoite varies from blue to dark blue, as in sapphire. The color of the gem changes depending on the angle of view relative to the stone.
Benitoite is a very rare mineral. And it is found only in the form of very small crystals.
The deposit of gem-quality stones is located in the same place where it was first discovered - in California. However, from time to time, benitoite is also found in Texas and Belgium.
Benitoite is used not only in jewelry but also in construction, agriculture, and even in medicine.
This gemstone is able to endow the owner with charm and attractiveness that no one can resist. The most common cutting for gemstone engagement ring decorated with this stone is pear, trilliant, triangle.
Tanzanite is an extremely rare and expensive stone that belongs to the silicate group. The color of tanzanite varies from sapphire blue to deep purple. In addition, the stone has an alexandrite effect and changes color depending on lighting and even the viewing angle.
There is only one field in the world where it is mined. It is located in Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro.
Durable wearing jewelry with tanzanite helps to activate the latent abilities of the body, allows us to understand the meaning of life, and answer questions that have long worried all of humanity. Tanzanite has a meaning as a spiritual guide.
The world's largest faceted tanzanite weighs 242 carats and is located in the Queen Kilimanjaro tiara, which belongs to the first chief executive of Apple Computers, Michael Scott. Elizabeth Taylor had a special love for this stone and repeatedly appeared in jewelry with this it, which brought great popularity to the gem. In the famous necklace with a heart pendant “Heart of the Ocean” used in the film “Titanic”, it was tanzanite that was the central stone.
There is no typical or ideal cut for tanzanite. You can choose from the wide range of gemstone cuts available, such as princess, marquise, emerald, round, heart, radiant or pear. Tanzanite is widely used in the gemstone engagement rings, it's pretty flashes of dark blue, violet and sometimes red or deep bourbon colors have a great look at the women’s hand.
This mineral belongs to the group of silicates. The color of lapis lazuli varies from sky blue to deep purple and depends on the number of sulfur anions present in the mineral. Most often, the stone is processed in the form of a cabochon or plate.
The richest deposits of this mineral are located in Afghanistan. In Badakhshan, the most valuable lapis lazuli is mined. Lapis lazuli mines are also located in such countries as China, Chile, Tajikistan, India, and Africa.
In ancient times, lapis lazuli was one of the most highly valued gems. This mineral was used for the manufacture of amulets, vases, caskets, and other expensive household goods, as well as a material for the compilation of mosaics and inlays. Also, this gem was considered a stone of sincerity, was a symbol of ability, talent, success, and divine disposition. In Europe, lapis lazuli symbolizes well-being, luck, and success. In India, it was meant as love and prosperity. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that with lapis lazuli it is possible to establish a connection with the gods.
Lapis lazuli stone is used as a natural coloring pigment called ultramarine, including in watercolors and tempera.
The most expensive high-quality lapis lazuli has long been considered the royal (imperial) stone and was used to make state regalia, items of the royal household, and the highest gifts.
Nowadays, this mineral is widely used in jewelry as a decorative element in gemstone engagement rings, earrings, bracelets.
Tourmaline is a mineral from the group of boron-containing aluminosilicates; complex borosilicates of variable composition. Tourmalines come in all colors of the rainbow, in some stones pleochroism is pronounced - the ability to change color depending on the lighting.
Industrial production of tourmaline is conducted in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Spain, China, Brazil, the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Canada.
Tourmaline Paraiba is an unusual mineral of blue color. Passing the light through itself, the gem enhances it several times, creating the effect of a neon glow. Nowadays, this is one of the rarest and most beautiful gems. Heat treatment of paraiba tourmaline at high temperatures makes the color of the stone brighter and more saturated.
Paraiba Tourmaline is believed to calm feelings and mind. It develops the creativity and imagination of a person. This gemstone is helpful in terms of wisdom, enlightenment, and expressions.
The largest paraiba tourmaline is the Kaufmann de Suisse Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraiba stone, which has a weight of 191.87 carats, and the estimated cost ranges from 25 to 125 million dollars. The stone is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
The most common forms of cutting paraiba tourmaline are round diamond, oval, emerald, and cabochon. It can be used in all forms of jewelry, rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces. This stone is one of the most beautiful semi-precious gemstones, its jewelry is always in trend and demand.
Sodalite is a rich royal blue tectosilicate mineral widely used as an ornamental gemstone. Although massive sodalite samples are opaque, crystals are usually transparent to translucent. The most common shades of sodalite are blue, blue-green. Sodalite is a member of the sodalite group.
It is a rare stone that occurs in clusters of pegmatites and rocks of igneous origin. Mineral suppliers are Portugal, Canada, Norway, Italy, Romania. In addition, the field was discovered in Germany, Brazil, India, Italy, and the USA.
Sodalite encourages rational thought, objectivity, truth, and intuition, along with verbalization of feelings. Sodalite brings emotional balance and calms panic attacks. It enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-trust.
It’s a fairly versatile gemstone that can be used in a variety of jewelry designs and it's great alternative engagement ring. Sodalite beads are popular in beaded necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Beads can be spherical, tubular, square or tumbled. Sodalite also makes attractive cabochon pendants, rings, and earrings.
Also called copper-blue azure mineral of blue color with glass luster, is fragile.
The name azurite denotes its blue, sky, or sea color.
The largest crystals of azurite are mined in Tsumeb (Namibia), Katanga (Congo), and Touissit (Morocco), also large. The most famous deposit of azurite in the United States: Bisbee (in Arizona).
This gemstone is used in jewelry as an ornamental stone. Since ancient times, the mineral pigment was used in the visual arts, as well as in icon painting for the preparation of blue tempera paint. For example, the background of Lady with a Squirrel by Hans Holbein the Younger was painted with Azurite. The greenish tint of Madonna's mantle in Raphael's Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints is due to azurite weathering to malachite.
The rich color of azurite makes it a popular collectible stone.
Since ancient times, the blue mineral is considered a symbol of ambition, good nature, decency, and is a talisman for everyone who possesses it.
Azurite is commonly cut en cabochon, which brings out the stone’s luster. However, you will also find many jewelers working with free form azurite. This creates for exclusive, one-off pieces that celebrate the gemstone’s natural look.
This mineral is not a mainstream. In fact, azurite on its own is rarely used in jewelry. More often in jewelry, especially in creating gemstone engagement rings it is used in combination with malachite.
Labradorite is a magmatic plutonic main normal alkaline rock of the gabbroid family, a type of anorthosite.
It’s most commonly known for its brilliant flashes of color called labradoressence caused by lamellar twinning inside the crystal. Named after the first find on the Labrador Peninsula in North America.
Polished labradorite is characterized by blue, less often red, or yellow iris. It is widely used as an ornamental and facing stone.
Labradorite is common in the Adirondack Mountains (USA, pc. New York) and Wichita (the USA, pc. Oklahoma). Large massifs of labradorite are available in Canada (Labrador Peninsula), Finland.
Labradorite is considered a tremendously spiritual stone, especially helpful for people who tend to overwork. It helps an individual regain energy while aiding the body and spirit in healing itself.
Labradorite cabochons are often set in open-back settings so the light can illuminate their brilliant flash. Since labradorite's color play is more noticeable when light is passing over the stone rather than when static, designers especially love to create drop earrings or beaded dangles for necklaces, which move and catch the light.
Lazulite is a blue, phosphate mineral containing magnesium, iron, and aluminum phosphate. This mineral can be opaque to crystally transparent. The color of lazulite varies from medium to dark green-blue to violet-blue and is often mottled with white. When fashioned into gems, finished stones typically weigh less than 5 carats.
Lazulite is found in the form of granular masses in other minerals, for example, in quartzite or in quartz or pegmatite veins. There are finds of transparent pyramidal crystals of lazulite, quite suitable for jewelry cutting. These crystals are found in Brazil (Minas Gerais). In Europe, lazulite samples are found in western Austria and in Switzerland. In the USA, such findings are characteristic of California and North Carolina.
In ancient Egypt, it was called the "fragment of heaven", which was caught by Mother Earth. It is attributed to the stones of wisdom and truth, which doesn’t allow his owner to succumb to the tricks of fraudsters and become a victim of illusions.
It is worth noting that it is used as an ornamental stone, in folk medicine and to imitate other types of minerals.
Emerald is a gemstone that belongs to the group of beryls. It belongs to the first group of minerals along with diamond, ruby, sapphire, and alexandrite. The word "emerald" literally means "green gem". And in ancient times in Greece and Rome, emeralds were called "stones of green radiance." An ideal emerald is a transparent stone of evenly distributed saturated color. Large defect-free emeralds of a thick tone weighing more than 5 carats are valued more than diamonds.
Currently, the largest number of all emeralds is mined in Colombia, in New Granada, Zambia, Brazil, and Egypt. Emeralds of a lower quality are found in Khabakhtal, in Salzburg (Austria), in the Mourne Mountains (Ireland), on Lake Miesen (Norway). Emeralds are also mined in Russia, the USA, Canada, Australia, Spain, France, Switzerland, and others.
Emeralds were highly regarded by ancient cultures. As early as the 4th century BC Babylonians traded this gemstone. Furthermore, 37 centuries ago, during the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Sesostris III near the Red Sea, a deposit of these precious stones was developed. It was known that Emerald was a favorite gem of Cleopatra. Also, the ancient Greeks greatly valued emeralds, and the Egyptians decorated mummies with them. According to legend, the blood of Christ was collected in the cup of emerald. Now, this vessel is known as the “Grail” or “Holy Grail”.
Throughout history, emeralds have been prized and worn by royalty and celebrities. Below is a list of famous and historical emeralds:
- Queen Isabella (stone weighing 964 carats). In the Palace of Justice in Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), the Aztecs kept an emerald with the size of an ostrich egg;
- The figure of the “Griffin” is dated to the 4th – 5th centuries BC, made from a single piece of beryl. Emerald, weighing 1,422 kg;
- Colombian emerald Unguentarium weighing 2860 carats. Presented in the Vienna Treasury;
- Queen Elizabeth II had an amazing collection of emerald jewelry including an emerald diadem.
- The world's largest faceted emerald weighs 11.5 kg (57,500 carats), was mined in Brazil, and has a name Teodora or “God's Gift”.
The main scope of emeralds is jewelry. Unclear emeralds, with cracks and interspersed, have a form of the cabochon without faces, only a flat surface. The classic cut for emerald is Emerald-cut which contains 65 facets. But often, jewelers experiment with fantasy cuts of emeralds in their products. For example, you can find a alternative engagement rings with a round, cushion or radiant cut.
This is a fragile ornamental stone known since ancient times, bringing the fulfillment of desires to its owner. The color scheme of malachite is represented by all shades of green: from pale green to almost black. This gem can have both a glass luster and a matte finish.
Currently, the main source of malachite for jewelry and decoration is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Malachite is known in the deposits of the Urals, Russia, Altai, and Kazakhstan.
Mention of it was found since the days of Ancient Egypt. At that time, this mineral was associated with the name of the goddess Hathor, the patroness of the family, fertility, and female beauty.
Despite its low hardness, malachite is one of the most famous and popular minerals used not only in jewelry it is used also for the manufacture of vases, table cladding, jewelry boxes, and other luxury goods.
Apple green variety of the mineral olivine. The color of peridot is due to the presence of nickel, iron, and chromium in its composition. A stone exists in one color in nature, its shades can slightly change. Moreover, the more pronounced the pure green color in the stone, the higher its value and cost. The crystals have a glass luster with a slight “oily coating” that distinguishes it from other minerals of a similar color.
It is mined in Pakistan, Afghanistan, South and North America, South Africa, and Australia. The oldest deposit that is still being developed is located in Egypt on the uninhabited Zeberget island in the Red Sea. The largest and most expensive stones are mined here.
The golden-green semi-precious stone has been known to history since the 4th millennium BC. Its name is translated from Greek as "golden stone." Since the time of ancient Rome, peridot has been assigned another name - “evening emerald”.
There are many references to peridot in biblical books; clothes of the high priest and temples were decorated with it. Rare olive-green peridot of excellent purity and weighing 193 carats is one of the "seven historical stones" stored in the Diamond Fund of Russia. A lot of beliefs and legends are associated with peridot. For example, in Ancient India it was a stone of lovers, helping them to find mutual understanding and strengthen feelings. And in the XIX century in Europe, there was an opinion that peridot eliminates male impotence. The Mongols called peridot the “dragon stone” and believed in its ability to bestow strength and courage.
This green gemstone is widely used in jewelry with different cuttings as round, marquise, or trillion cutting.
Turquoise is a popular ornamental stone of blue or greenish color. The mineral is opaque, with a faint wax shine. The color is uneven, with streaks and interspersed, the color of turquoise is directly dependent on its age. Light, almost white color means that the stone is very young, sky-blue in color the most valuable type of "ripened" turquoise, a greenish color is characteristic of the stone in the "advanced" age.
It was delivered to Europe from Iran via Silk, which passed through Turkey, so Europeans often call the mineral turquoise, which in French means “Turkish stone”. In Persia, where turquoise was mined, it was called the "viruze" - a happy stone. Turquoise was known in Ancient Egypt and the Indians of North America took it for the highest value.
The oldest deposits are located on the Sinai Peninsula, in Egypt, Iran, and Central Asia. Some of them are already exhausted, while others are still functioning. Currently, the bulk of natural turquoise is mined in the United States, Chile, Mexico, Australia. But so far, the highest quality and most valuable minerals have been delivered to the market from Iran, where turquoise is mined manually.
This mineral is considered a happy and kind stone. It has strong protective power.
This semiprecious stone is widely used in alternative engagement rings. Processed mainly in the form of cabochon. Among adherents of Islam, turquoise is an indispensable element of the bride’s wedding dress, as a symbol of virginity, purity, and future happy life together. Traditionally, lovers exchanged with gemstone engagement rings decorated with turquoise. They were given as a sign of attraction and were symbols of eternal love. Wedding rings stones were matched to horoscope signs as well.
This is a beautiful and bright semi-precious stone, which some ancient peoples valued more than gold. The name fluorite comes from the Latin "fluere" - "flow". The gem is unusually beautiful and is found in the most beautiful and bright shades - from emerald green to rich purple. For its beautiful violet-green hue, fluorite is sometimes called the “Transylvanian emerald." Fluorite has been known since Roman times. Then, Murin vases were made from it.
One of the properties that made fluorite known is luminescence. It is thanks to this stone that this phenomenon was revealed and studied.
Fluorite deposits are located in Turkey, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Greenland, in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States of America.
Since ancient times, the Stone has been used for the manufacture of medium-sized types of dishes, vases, caskets, as well as in jewelry. Currently, fluorite is used in optics, in the smelting industry, and in jewelry. When heated in the dark it glows.
Fluorite is a stone of universal harmony; it fills the whole space with complete peace of mind.
Today, this gem is used for production glaze and enamel a for coating ceramic products, also it is used in optics and used to produce fluorine.
Any jewelry made of fluorite looks very elegant.
This is an ornamental stone, which is a chalcedony variety of quartz. A distinctive feature of onyx is its peculiar striped color, which is created by parallel layers of stone containing various impurities. The color these bands depending on the type of these impurities can be different: Arabic (black) onyx - black and white, carnelian - has red and white stripes, sardonyx - brown or orange-white.
The most beautiful and high-quality stones are mined on the Arabian Peninsula, in Brazil, Uruguay.
Onyx has a very ancient history. Vessels and figures made of this stone were found by archaeologists in the territory of Ancient Egypt and Babylon. In the Bible, there are references to this gem as one of the stones that adorned the throne of King Solomon, and from which the walls of his temple were made.
In ancient Greece, in India, it was a stone of a leader, a man who boldly goes to the goal. It gave an additional boost of energy and brought good luck.
Onyx has a long history of use for hardstone carving and jewelry. A black ring is a really unique thing and chances are that no one else will have anything like it. Absolutely stunning look onyx has with the princess and round cut.
Opal is a mineraloid that is very close to quartz. However, unlike quartz, opal has variable water content. Opals contain up to 30% of water. The more water in the stone, the more transparent it is. Precious types of opal can be of very different colors, including black, white, blue, violet (light and dark), green, red, and even yellow. The luster of the stone also varies, for example, glass or wax. Black opal has a purple, blue, green, burgundy shade.
The largest amount of this stone was found in Australia. Moreover, the greatest opal in the world was found there - its weight exceeded 5 kg. Also, deposits of opals were found in Brazil. Other opal deposits are located in Mexico, Japan, Czech Republic, USA.
Black opals give their owner inspiration and imagination, so this stone is useful for creative people to wear.
From the earliest times, opal was considered valuable, and often not because of its beauty, but precisely because of the properties that it possessed. For example, in ancient Rome, opal was considered a symbol of love. In Europe, the black variety of opal was called a symbol of hope, faith, and optimism.
Jewelry with black opals, due to its exceptional beauty, is in demand among admirers of jewelry. The gem is usually framed in gold or silver. In jewelry, opal is present in the form of a doublet or triplet. A doublet is a framed and a processed fragment of opal or another gem, which is attached to the black base of obsidian. In a triplet, a transparent quartz-shaped dome is attached to the opal insert. Opal engagement rings are outstanding choice for an unreal woman.
Obsidian is a stone that is formed as a result of the rapid cooling of an igneous rock. Color varies from dark brown to black. From the bands of stone, you can determine in which direction the flow of magma was directed.
Obsidian is considered a rather rare stone. It is found only on the ancient volcanoes, as well as in those places where archaeologists discovered places of ancient settlements. Such finds were in Russia, China, and Japan, India, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan.
Obsidian known since ancient times. The ancient Mayan settlements made spears, stakes, and various ornaments from obsidian. Presumably, the name comes from the Greek “obsis” - “sight” (small mirrors were made of this stone). Others argue that the Obsidium is the name of the Roman who first brought this mineral to Rome.
Obsidian is perfectly polished, and that’s why it is used in the manufacture of jewelry. Amulets, beads, and talismans from obsidian are preserved from ancient times. Along with many other properties, this mineral is very beautiful. Black shiny glass with a variety of inclusions, stains looks impressive on modern jewelry.
Decorative elements in the form of caskets, stationery coasters, photo frames from obsidian are original decor elements that will find a place in any interior.
Andalusite is a transparent semi-precious stone, aluminum silicate. The color palette of andalusite is wide enough, there are gray, pink, red-brown, yellow, dark green, brown minerals, as well as very rare colorless ones. Andalusite has a pleochroism effect, that is, it can change color at different angles of illumination.
In addition to jewelry, andalusite is used for the production of refractory materials and for the manufacture of ceramic machine parts.
The formation of andalusite occurs in rocks. The extraction of the mineral is carried out on the banks of rivers, where crystals come to the surface. Spain is the main place of its extraction, however, the most high-quality and beautiful crystals are found in Sri Lanka and Brazil.
Andalusite has always been considered a strong magic stone. Among the ancient priests, he was an attribute in the rites of communication with the gods.
In the era of Christianity, the stone was also not forgotten: monks carved crosses and a rosary from it.
Minerals are processed differently depending on color, transparency, and cruciform pattern, which is why jewelry is made different.
If there is a cross in the stone, faceting is not performed, but polished, creating cabochons. They are widely used in massive men's rings, amulets, as a central stone in necklaces.
Transparent Andalusians which are very rare are amenable to cutting. Such stones are beautiful in rings and earrings. Alternative engagement ring with this mineral is sought after too. Round, oval and teardrop-shaped cuts are found most often.
Diamonds are transparent, colorless minerals, less often have pink and yellow hues, have a bright shine, and high refractive indices. Among a variety of fancy colors, brown diamonds are most commonly found.
Until the mid-80s, brown diamonds were not used for jewelry, they did not even belong to fancy diamonds and were used mainly for industrial purposes. The change in marketing strategy was caused by the opening of a new mine in Australia, which currently produces 1/3 of the world's natural diamonds, 80% of which are brown.
Brown diamonds vary depending on the intensity of the color and its shade, which start from light brown and reach a very beautiful dark brown color. There are a variety of names for shades: champagne, chocolate, coffee, hazelnuts, walnuts, bronze, cinnamon, cognac, etc.
This gorgeous stone is faceted in a wide variety of shapes, such as princess cut, emerald, Asscher, oval, marquise, pear, radiant, heart, and pillow cut.
The mineral belongs to the class of pyroxenes, it is considered a type of enstatite. In contrast, it contains a greater amount of iron. Bronzite is considered to be an integral part of igneous rocks, such as peridotites, basalts. In most cases, it is brown or greenish-bronze. All the stones shine. Sometimes there are specimens with internal microcavities that resemble the effect of a cat's eye.
Most of the stones of excellent quality were mined in Sri Lanka. Unique translucent stones are found in Tanzania. The USA, Australia, Austria, and Sweden are also considered suppliers of bronzite.
Jewelers use this gem to decorate jewelry. Particularly, it is cut in cabochon. It looks beautiful as inserts on various jewelry such as earrings, bracelets, gemstone engagement rings.
The low price category and original appearance make bronzite in demand. Jewelers love it for its versatility and ease in the design process. The stone is often polished to a rounded shape, which allows us to consider the beauty of the shades.
The bronzite is also great for creating souvenirs. Also, the mineral is of value to collectors.
Dravit is a sodium-magnesium variety of tourmaline, which is used as jewelry and semi-precious stone. It is named after Dravograd, in Slovenia, the area where Dravite was first described. Nowadays, this mineral is mostly mined in Kenya.
The shade of natural Dravite is different - from light brown to brown-honey.
High quality transparent brown dravite is used as a gem in jewelry. They are encrusted at rings, rings, beads, pendants, and pendants. The cut can be different depending on the purity of natural brown tourmaline.
Petrified Palm Wood
Petrified Palm Wood is from a various extinct genus of palm trees that existed between the Cretaceous Era to the Oligocene Epoch. Individual fossils can range anywhere from 145.5 – 33 million years old. Petrified Palm Wood is a relatively “new” stone on the market and so is not included in ancient texts describing gemstones and their qualities. Today, this stone is the official “state stone” of Texas and the “state fossil” for Louisiana. The word “petrified” comes from the Greek petra meaning “rock”.
The color of the stone is brown with distinct fossil patterns, has wood texture, getting vitreous effect when polished.
The largest deposits are located in Argentina, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Libya, and the United States (Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington).
Petrified Wood has very loving and peaceful energy.
It is used in jewelry, mostly in the form of cabochon. It looks interesting in such products as bracelets, rings, pendants.
Petrified Peanut Wood
Peanut wood is a variety of petrified wood that is usually dark brown to black in color. It contains cream-colored blotches resembling peanuts. It received its name from these peanut-size markings. It is an opaque, solid, or patterned variety of the quartz family.
Commonly used in many different forms of jewelry and clothing.
The most commonplace of mining Peanut Wood is the Kennedy ranges near Gascoyne Junction in Western Australia.
This stone has a meaning as the “Stone of the Earth”, which helps to ground and stabilize emotions.
Peanut wood can be cut into various shapes. It is commonly formed into the oval, cushion, round and pear shapes. Petrified peanut wood as a gemstone is suitable for any type of jewelry, such as daily-wear earrings, gemstone engagement rings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets.
Diamonds are transparent, colorless minerals, less often have pink and yellow hues, have a bright shine, and high refractive indices.
The exact time the diamond was opened hasn’t been established yet. The thing is that untreated minerals is quite trivial and does not attract much attention. The first mention of Indian stones dates back to the III millennium BC. But these stones began to use in jewelry only about 500 years ago after the craftsmen mastered the methods of diamond cutting. In Russia, Catherine II had a special love for them; during her reign, the meaning of a diamond came into use, as a synonym for wealth and luxury.
The name of the mineral in different languages has a similar sound and meaning. The Arabs called it “Almas”, that is, “the hardest”, the Greeks - “Adamas”, which means “indestructible”.
Its deposits are found on almost all continents, and the largest is located in South America (Brazil), Russia (Yakutia), Africa (Botswana, Angola).
There are diamonds that are valued for colorlessness, most of them are on the market. But diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow.
A cut diamond has been a popular and expensive gem for many decades. The overwhelming price of a diamond is due to the extremely high monopolization of this market, but not by the diamond miners, but by the diamond cutters and traders.
The most popular is the round cut (initially it was called the “diamond”, in English - until now), it is attached to 90% of the stones. But there are also forms of “marquise” (in the form of a boat), “oval”, “pear”, “princess” (square), “emerald”, “heart”, etc. The choice of the type of cut does not affect the beauty of the diamond but slightly reflected in its value.
The moonstone belongs to the group of feldspars and got its name due to the unusual silver-blue color. The moonstone is particularly fragile and is subject to temperature and weather extremes.
The richest and most famous moonstone mining site is located on the Indian island of Sri Lanka. In the second half of the 20th century, several more deposits were discovered. Among them is the island of Madagascar, Virginia in the United States and Tanzania.
At almost all times, the moonstone was connected with luck in love and relationships. Moreover, he was always a stone of tender and reverent relations, and it had property to curb and calm excessive passion.
Moonstone is quite popular and in-demand among jewelers. Prices for it can vary significantly, and the most expensive ones are those with intense blue color, bright internal glow, and the greatest color depth.
Gem cuts allow the natural color and incandescence of the stone to transpire. The most common shapes of this gem are round (reflect the main phase of the moon), square (underlines the duality in the things around us), oval, ear or tea drop, marquise cut.
Moonstone is widely used in jewelry due to its luminous beauty. This stone can be an elegant choice for a gemstone engagement ring.
Pearl is the inner layer of shells. The name is German and comes from two words: pearl and mutter - mother. This unusually beautiful substance accumulates some types of mollusks inside their shells. It does not belong to semi-precious or precious stones but is appreciated by jewelers for their strength and extraordinary luster.
The color of the substance can be green, blue, pink, white, cream, gold, gray, and even almost black. Such a variety arises as a result of different refraction of light inside aragonite flakes. The color depends on the place of development of the mollusk. For example, shells mined in the Indian Ocean are almost white.
Pearl is known to mankind since 2200 BC and mention of it can also be found in the Old Testament, Talmud, and the Qur'an.
It is extracted in the Persian Gulf, in the waters of the Red Sea, near Ceylon, Japan, Borneo, in the vicinity of the Philippines and some islands in the Pacific Ocean in the tropical region. In addition, there are real farms for cultivating cultured pearls.
For a long time, the pearl has been used to create buttons, keys for musical instruments, and even spoons for caviar. With this material, different paints are made. And, of course, pearl found its application in jewelry.
However, if earlier it was mainly combined with silver and other organic materials, then the modern trend is the creation of bright collections of jewelry in which pearl is combined with precious stones, for example, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires.
The name of a stone means a whole group of silicate minerals. The color scheme of scapolite is very diverse. They have a white, gray, grayish-white, colorless, yellowish color. There are crystals in which the "cat's eye" appears.
It is a stone that may provide emotional balance to its owner. The scapolite is a stone that is known for the energies that it has in solving problems.
Scapolite deposits can be found around the world in Austria, Italy - Vesuvius region, Germany, Scandinavian peninsula; Russia, Madagascar, Brazil, USA, Canada. Regardless of the geography of the distribution of the mineral, it is a rare jewelry stone.
The most popular area of application is the jewelry industry. Mineral at the end of processing can be confused with other types of stones. Very transparent and elongated crystals are faceted with an oval or a quadrangle cut, and with inclusions have a form of cabochon.
It’s one of the most common minerals in the earth's crust, the rock-forming mineral of most igneous and metamorphic rocks.
The feature of this quartz is that rutile filaments (titanium oxide) are present in it. These strands are clearly visible in rock crystal, transparent quartz, and smoky quartz in bright colors. Rutile fibers, known as Venus's hair, can be red, black, or gold, depending on the concentration of iron. And the thinner these hairs, the more valuable the material itself is considered. Rutile quartz is distinguished by the uniqueness and originality of the pattern. It is impossible to find two stones with an identical texture in nature.
Deposits are located in America, Brazil, Madagascar, and Australia. Separate subspecies of rutile quartz, for example, the “arrows of the Amur,” can be found in the northern regions of the Urals and Pakistan. Gem-quality stones are mined in Norway and the Circumpolar Urals.
The ancient Egyptians used the stone in the decoration of the tombs and bedrooms of the pharaohs. It is also present in the crowns of many rulers.
The crystals have a form of cabochon. Wedge-shaped or stepped cut stones are inserted into rings, earrings, gemstone engagement rings, and pendants. As frame jewelers use silver, as well as white and yellow gold.
What is the best stone for an engagement ring?
There is an incredible number of types and shades of gemstones. It's like the whole universe of precious and semi-precious stones. Each of them has its own attractive and gorgeous features, color, and shine. We have told you a lot of useful information about stones, and now you are more confident about choosing a engagement stones and know which one you want.