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Diamond/Gemstone Education

Gemstones: Everything You Need To Know

Once overshadowed by its gleamingly brilliant cousin — diamonds — coloured gemstones are slowly rising in popularity and gaining a cult following. The world of coloured gems boast an incredible array of varieties and it is time we give them more credit.

Coloured gems are fun, exciting and are interesting to express individuality. There are so many varieties of gems out there in the market, from the passionate, deep crimson of a ruby to a soft fairy-like, iridescent light show of an opal, there is definitely a gemstone for everyone!


Why do some prefer coloured gemstones?

In ancient times, coloured gemstones have been thought to carry historical symbolism or that they possess some sort of spiritual power to either protect or heal the wearer. However, these legends have been diluted over time as wearers prefer to put their own meaning and significance onto the stones.




Nowadays, coloured gems make a great conversation starter because unlike diamonds, they are unconventional. On face level, coloured gems can simply be adored for their interesting colours but if you dig a little deeper, they also add meaning and depth to your ring.


Gemstone Grading 101

Coloured gems tend to be graded more on their colour although they still share the same GIA 4C’s grading system as diamonds. The GIA colour grading for coloured stones consists of 3 components: hue, tone, and saturation.


  • Hue is the basic colour of the gem
  • Tone is the gem’s lightness or darkness
  • Saturation is the intensity of the hue



7 colours make up the hue family: Red (R), Orange (O), Yellow (Y), Green (G), Blue (B), Purple (P) and Violet (V).


You might be thinking, some gemstones do not fit into one hue but looks like a mix of two hues. For example, a rubellite is a primarily red gemstone that looks a little pink, so the appropriate classification would be pinkish red. The primary colour would always be at the end of the classification.  If the two colours are graded evenly, it will be represented with a hyphen like pinkish-red.




Tones are graded by numbers and it can range from 0 (white) to 10 (black). It is the first number of the colour grading code and it reflects the relative brightness and darkness of the gem when viewed from the top.




The saturation of a gem is represented by the second number in the grading code and it can range from numbers 1 to 6. The brighter the saturation, the higher the number.


Can all coloured gemstones be a centre stone?

The answer is no, because different gems have different relative hardness. Some of the more common gemstones that can be mounted are sapphires, emeralds, rubies and amethysts. These stones rank higher (7 and above) on the Moh scale which means they are more durable and are less susceptible to cracks and damages! 

Gemstones like pearls, moonstones and opals look great, set as earrings and necklaces, but are not practical choices for the everyday wear of an engagement ring. These gems are brittle and soft, so a little knock may just chip or scratch the gem.




If you do not already know, there is a special stone for every birth month! Putting together you and your partner’s birthstones together can signify the unity of two completely different individuals. The symbolism here also speaks volumes of your love story! Check out this table that references the month, the gem and the wishes they symbolise:



Classic Birthstone




wealth, happiness, health



balance, quick wit, clarity of thought



Youth, health and hope



Strength and resilience



growth, wisdom and patience.


Pearl, Moonstone

Purity, humility and innocence



the king of gems and represent love, health and wisdom



Symbolizes strength



Wisdom, loyalty and nobility



Purity, hope and truth


Yellow Topaz

Longevity, beauty and intelligence



Love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success


Our little tip!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it is just a matter of picking the right gemstone for your special someone. If you already have a gemstone in mind that you would like to be set for a lifetime, book an appointment with us below and we would love to walk you through your next milestone. 


Join our Complimentary Coloured Gemstone Workshop!



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