A Guide to Gemstones

Gemstone Jewellery Guide Yorkshire Jewellery Company

Gemstones are naturally occurring materials formed deep within the earth over millions of years. These precious and semi-precious stones exhibit a dazzling array of colours and textures, each with its own unique characteristics. There are four gemstones classified as precious – diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald. These precious gemstones are rarer to find and are harder than semi-precious stones making them the most valuable. At Yorkshire Jewellery Company we specialise in and offer a wide range of different gemstones set in beautiful jewellery pieces. The guide below will explore some of the gemstones that we offer, giving you a greater insight into the different stones and which will best suit you.

What are the precious gemstones?

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Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material, rating 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. This hardness makes diamond the perfect choice for everyday wear jewellery and is one of the many reasons of why diamond is extremely popular. Due to its high durability, diamond is believed to give the wearer eternal love which is why it is the main gemstone used in engagement rings. Diamond is the birthstone for April.

Using our engagement ring builder, you can create your own diamond ring step by step. By choosing your preferred ring style, metal colour and diamond shape, you can create the perfect diamond ring for you. 

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Sapphires are found in an array of colours but the most popular is deep blue. They rate 9 on the Mohs hardness scale making them another great choice for everyday and occasion wear. Sapphire is the most valuable blue gemstone and is found mainly in Sri Lanka. It is believed to protect the wearer from negative thoughts but is also known for symbolising wisdom and wealth. Sapphires are commonly worn by the royal family such as in the late Princess Diana and now Kate Middleton’s engagement ring. Sapphire is the birthstone for September. 

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Rubies are known for their fiery red colour with beautiful undertones such as pink and orange. As well as sapphire, ruby also has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. Rubies are thought to be extremely rare and can even be harder to find than diamonds. Believed to bestow vitality, protection, and love upon their wearers, rubies continue to be a symbol of strength, passion, and commitment. Ruby is the birthstone for July.

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Emeralds are dark green in colour and are very popular gemstones with their striking colour and rich history. Their velvety glow and exceptional transparency, when combined with their rarity and durability, make emeralds highly sought after in the realm of jewellery. Cleopatra was known to have loved emeralds and owned all the emerald mines during her reign. These precious gemstones have long been associated with nature, symbolising renewal, growth, and prosperity. Emerald is the birthstone for May.

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What are the semi-precious gemstones?

Yellow Gemstones

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Amber holds a remarkable story. It is formed from fossilised tree resin over millions of years and is a window into the ancient past. Its warm, honey-like colour and captivating translucence create a sense of warmth and timeless beauty. Amber is often prized for its unique inclusions, such as prehistoric insects or fragments of plants. This gemstone is revered for its mystical properties and is believed to hold healing and protective properties. When you buy amber jewellery, the unique stone enables you to have something that nobody else has. 

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Citrine is a yellow variety of quartz. Displaying a range of golden and yellow hues, citrine's vibrant colours are reminiscent of the sun's radiant glow. This gemstone, known for its durability and brilliance, is often associated with abundance, prosperity, and positivity. Its name is derived from the French word "citron," meaning lemon, reflecting its citrus-like hues. Citrine is believed to carry the energy of the sun, infusing its wearer with optimism, creativity, and clarity of mind. Citrine is the secondary birthstone for November. 

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Purple Gemstones

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Amethyst displays a captivating spectrum of purple hues, ranging from delicate lilac to rich violet. The colour variation is influenced by the presence of aluminium or iron within the stone. Holding steadfast to ancient beliefs, amethyst is renowned for its spiritual properties, believed to possess a protective aura that shields the wearer from negative thoughts while fostering a connection to the divine. With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, amethyst is a resilient gemstone, making it an excellent choice for everyday jewellery, blending both beauty and durability. Amethyst is the birthstone for February. 

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Blue John 

Blue John gemstones captivate with their unique beauty and mesmerising patterns. Found exclusively in the Derbyshire region of England, Blue John displays a stunning palette of blues, purples, and yellows. Its name is derived from the French "bleu et jaune," which means blue and yellow. Blue John has intricate banding and veining, resulting in exquisite patterns that make each piece truly one-of-a-kind. Blue John gemstones are cherished as rare and collectible treasures, often used in ornamental objects and bespoke jewellery. 

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Tanzanite is deep blue shifting into warm purple tones. It was first unearthed in Tanzania. This remarkably rare gemstone is in limited supply and faces the risk of depletion, adding to its allure. Tanzanite is closely tied to the bonds of friendship and is believed to empower the wearer in navigating life's transitions while creating a calming aura. Valued for its scarcity and its symbolism of personal transformation, Tanzanite makes an exceptional piece of jewellery. Tanzanite is the birthstone for December. 

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Black/ Brown Gemstones

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Whitby Jet

Whitby jet is renowned for its intense deep black colour and smooth, lustrous appearance when it is polished. It is a form of fossilised wood that comes from the ancient Araucaria trees about 180 million years ago and is now found along the North Yorkshire Coast. Whitby Jet is very light in weight with a hardness of 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale making it perfect for jewellery. Throughout history, Whitby jet was thought to contain magical powers. When rubbed, it creates a static charge and a lack of scientific knowledge caused people to believe it had magic. Whitby jet is worn for protection and improving wealth, love, and health.

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Smoky Quartz 

Smoky quartz has a translucent Smoky brown to black colour. With its earthy tones, smoky quartz represents strength and resilience. This gemstone is known for its ability to absorb negative energy and promote a sense of grounding and stability. It is often associated with detoxification and purification, assisting in the release of emotional blockages, and fostering a sense of clarity and balance. Smoky quartz has also long been known for bringing good luck to foresters and gardeners.  

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Black Pearl 

Black pearls have a captivating allure with their dark and lustrous beauty. Formed within molluscs, these rare gemstones are distinguished by their deep black or charcoal colour. Black pearls are renowned for their rarity and are often associated with sophistication and refined taste. Their dark tones shimmer with hidden colours, offering a sense of depth and intrigue. Symbolising strength and protection, black pearls are believed to carry the wisdom of the ocean, fostering a connection with the mysterious depths of life.

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Blue Gemstones 

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Aquamarine is a beautiful blue or cyan colour. Its colour is determined from the amount of iron present within the stone. The intensity of colour in aquamarine directly influences its value, with stronger shades being highly coveted. Beyond its visual allure, aquamarine carries symbolic significance, representing love, youth, happiness, and good health. Legends speak of it as a treasure of mermaids, believed to possess heightened protective qualities when submerged in water. In past times, seasoned sailors would rely on this precious gemstone while navigating the treacherous seas, trusting in its reputed ability to safeguard them from harm. Aquamarine is the gemstone for March.

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Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is an intense deep blue stone with bands of colours such as yellow and green. Lapis lazuli has been treasured since ancient times for its captivating beauty and rich history. It carries symbolic significance, representing wisdom, truth, and inner vision. It is believed to enhance one's spiritual journey, promote self-expression, and stimulate intellectual pursuits. With a hardness rating of 5-6 on the Mohs scale, lapis lazuli is not easily scratched during everyday wear and makes a unique addition to any outfit. Lapis Lazuli is the secondary birthstone for September. 

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Turquoise has a distinctive hue ranging from vibrant blue to greenish tones, giving an aura of calmness and harmony. It is known for its rich history and cultural significance. This gemstone has been cherished by civilisations across the globe for thousands of years. Well known as a symbol of protection and good fortune, turquoise is believed to bring balance, dispel negativity, and promote inner peace. Its unique veining and patterns make each turquoise gemstone a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

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Topaz has a hardness score of 8 on the Mohs scale. However, despite its remarkable durability, topaz is considered a delicate gemstone. Pure topaz can be colourless and has even been mistaken for diamond due to its brilliant cut. Additionally, topaz is found in captivating shades of blue, yellow and brown. Topaz is believed to support creativity and concentration while also being worn to prolong death. Topaz is the birthstone for November. 

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Red/ pink Gemstones

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Derived from the pomegranate fruit, garnets exhibit a captivating array of colours, including but not limited to red, orange, yellow, purple, and green. While its deep red shade symbolises the heart and life force, garnet is renowned for representing love and friendship. Beyond its symbolism, this gemstone is believed to bestow protective energies upon its wearer, shielding them from negative influences and fostering a path to success. Garnet is said to create a barrier against evil thoughts and fill one's life with positivity and success. Garnet is the birthstone for January. 

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Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is a symbol of unconditional love and compassion. With its delicate pink hue ranging from pale blush to soft rose, rose quartz exudes a soothing and nurturing energy. This gemstone is known for opening the heart, promoting self-love, emotional healing, and harmony in relationships. Rose quartz is often treasured as a symbol of love and tenderness, making it a popular choice for heartfelt gifts and meaningful gestures. According to myth, Cupid (the god of desire) gave the gift of love to humans in the form of rose quartz. 

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Morganite is an orange or pink variety of beryl. It is transparent and mostly free of inclusions with magnesium causing a pink hue and iron giving a yellow hue. This causes it to show as a peachy colour. Morganite is also dichroic. This means that it can appear as different colours and shades depending on the angle it is viewed from. Morganite is often associated with innocence, romance and love. It is also thought that morganite will bring healing, compassion and promise to those who wear it. 

Green Gemstones

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Renowned for its distinct olive-green hue, peridot gemstones are found in various countries, including China. With its colour resembling that of money, peridot is often associated with good fortune and prosperity. It is believed to possess the power to alleviate anger, shield the wearer from nightmares, and ward off evil spirits. Highly prized for its exquisite colour, peridot is a coveted gemstone in the realm of fine jewellery, making it a perfect and unique choice for jewellery. Peridot is the birthstone for August. 

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Malachite is a striking mineral with a vibrant green colour and unique patterns. It is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral, formed through the weathering of copper ore deposits. The deep green hue of malachite resembles the lush foliage of a dense forest. The distinct banded patterns give it a captivating and organic appearance. Malachite has been used throughout history for ornamental purposes, as well as in the creation of jewellery and decorative objects. Malachite is also believed to possess metaphysical properties, such as promoting emotional healing, transformation, and protection from negative energies.

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White/ Clear Gemstones

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Pearls are formed within mussels and oysters and are cherished for their pristine white hue and perfectly spherical shape. Pearls are loved for their purity and symmetry and are among the most sought-after and valuable. However, naturally occurring pearls are often imperfect, making them even rarer. Symbolising purity and innocence, pearls are treasured and are especially popular in wedding celebrations. In folklore and myths, pearls are believed to bestow wisdom, provide protection, and possess calming properties that alleviate anxious thoughts. With their timeless beauty and symbolism, are a meaningful gemstone. Pearl is the birthstone for June. 

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Cubic Zirconia 

Cubic zirconia possesses a dazzling brilliance similar to that of diamonds. It is made from a synthesised form of cubic crystalline zirconium dioxide. Cubic zirconia showcases an impressive range of vibrant colours. With its flawless clarity and exceptional refractive properties, cubic zirconia sparkles in the light. While it may not possess the natural rarity of diamonds, cubic zirconia is cherished for its affordability This makes it a popular choice for those seeking an elegant yet affordable alternative. 

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Swarovski Crystal 

Swarovski crystal is a renowned brand that has become synonymous with brilliance and luxury. It was created by Daniel Swarovski in the late 19th century. Swarovski crystals are precision-cut glass crystals that possess exceptional clarity and radiance. Through the manufacturing process, Swarovski crystals are crafted to resemble diamonds and reflect the light to create a sparkle. Swarovski crystals have become a symbol of craftsmanship and exquisite beauty. Swarovski crystals are said to bring positive energy, hope, joy, and good luck. 

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Mother of Pearl  

Mother of Pearl is celebrated for its beauty and unique origin. It is formed within the inner layer of certain mollusc shells, such as oysters and abalones. Mother of Pearl is composed of aragonite crystals and an organic substance called conchiolin. This gemstone's mesmerising array of colours ranges from pearly white to delicate pastels. It reflects light creating a lustrous and ethereal appearance. Mother of pearl symbolises purity and feminine energy. 

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Multi-coloured Gemstones

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Opal, a captivating gemstone, exhibits a rainbow of colours that creates a radiant glow, making it a standout gem in the world of jewellery. In the Middle Ages, opals were considered symbols of good luck until a novel published in 1829 portrayed them as omens of misfortune and death. However, opals have since reclaimed their power and are now celebrated as potent gemstones symbolising love and romance. They represent hope, purity, and truth, offering reassurance to those who wear them. Opals possess an enchanting allure that speaks to the heart, evoking passion and igniting a flame of deep connection. Opal is the birthstone for October. 

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Labradorite is a captivating and iridescent mineral that belongs to the feldspar group. Known for its mesmerising play of colours, labradorite exhibits a unique phenomenon called labradorescence, where it displays a brilliant spectrum of hues when viewed from different angles. The captivating colours often include shades of blue, green, yellow, and even flashes of orange and purple. Labradorite is known for its metaphysical properties and is believed to enhance intuition, protect against negative energies, and promote spiritual awakening. Labradorite is also highly valued in the world of jewellery and decorative arts, for its shimmering beauty. 

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Gemstone Ring Builder

By using our gemstone ring builder, you can create your own gemstone ring step by step. You are able to choose the style, metal type, gemstone and design, creating the perfect gemstone ring for you. 

Design your own gemstone ring

Gemstone Jewellery at Yorkshire Jewellery Company 

With our wide range of gemstone earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings, bracelets and more in-store and online, there is something for everyone.

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