Diamonds Are Forever. Are Gemstones? The Expert’s Guide to Brilliantly Coloured Gemstones, Birthstones and Diamonds

by | Jewellery Wisdom, Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Tweed
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Image via SH Jewellery

The fact that bold colour is making its way back into weddings is music to our ears here at PDB HQ! Or should I say, a sight for sore eyes. But it’s not only being embraced among the likely suspects including florals and styling. Nope, our resident jewellery geniuses Larissa Landinez and SH Jewellery say the push for dynamic, rich and brilliant colours are hitting the jewel trade too.

We know diamonds are forever, but are all gemstones? And what is the significance behind them?

We asked our experts to tell us everything we want, need and didn’t already know about these coloured gems. 

Colour is making a comeback! What trends are you seeing in colour and sentimental wedding jewellery?

Larissa Landinez says:  Your engagement ring is probably the most sentimental piece of jewellery you will ever own. Diamond settings have always been the preferred choice but lately there’s an exciting increase in demand for a coloured diamond or brilliant gemstone.

SH Jewellery says: The use of birthstones. Birthstones are a collection of 12 or more gems typically worn in jewellery to symbolise the wearer’s month of birth. Including your birthstone in your engagement ring setting is becoming an increasingly popular choice with modern and sentimental brides and even grooms!

Birthstones also make great personalised gifts for your bridal party. Each birthstone carries its own unique attributes based on colour psychology, history and folklore. (See the table below!) At the end of the day, the true symbolism of any gemstone is what you give it, whether it’s your corresponding birthstone according to a dorky gemologist… or something much more personal!

Larissa Landinez says:  Diamonds are also available in other (and more affordable) colours such as cognac or black which could very well match your personal style and still achieve a high level of hardness. Only consider an exclusive and soon to be unavailable Australian Argyle Diamonds pink diamond if you are prepared to pay for that considerable privilege and investment.

After diamonds, we have sapphires in a range of interesting blue hues and even yellow, pink and white! And of course there is the classic Ruby, an enchanting gem – the colour of love, red! But the tonalities can vary all the way to deep pinks and fuchsia.

Is there a catch? Anything we need to know about these stones?

Larissa Landinez says:  Yes – reality check time. When it comes to jewellery and every day wearability not all metals and stones were created equal. There’s a very important fact to consider, hardness. Hardness is measured in the scale of Mohs and is the characteristic for resistance to scratch the material.

It is measured from 1-10 with Diamond the king of hardness having scored a 10, then Corundum Sapphire and Rubies (9), Topaz (8) Emerald (7.5-8) and Opal (5.5-6.5) and so on. So yes, it’s important to always consider a balance between aesthetic and practicality!

Where did the idea of birthstones and their significances originate?

SH Jewellery says: Some believe birthstones can be traced back to Bible’s Book of Exodus, in which the breastplate of Aaron contained 12 gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Others attribute the concept to the Ancient Greeks, who believed each stone possessed unique powers bringing the bearer good luck, health, wealth and even resistance to inebriation, which may come in handy after a few flutes at your wedding reception! Some believe they represent the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Below is the list recognised by the GIA, the world’s leading source of knowledge and education in gems and jewellery.

January Birthstone: Garnet

Image source: Igor Kali via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Egyptian pharaohs were laid to rest with lavish Garnet-encrusted necklaces.

Traditionally gifted for: January birthdays, and 2nd wedding anniversaries.

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Image sources: Sebastian via Adobe Stock and Alexander Hoffmann via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Slip one of these in hubby’s pocket to help ward off inebriation at your wedding reception. At least that’s what the Ancient Greeks believed! Italian astronomer Camillo Leonardi believed the Amethyst to quicken intelligence and eliminate evil thoughts.

Traditionally gifted for: 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

Image source: boykung via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: From the Latin for ‘sea water’, Aquamarine was once used to calm waves and protect sailors. It was also believed to improve the happiness in a marriage!

Traditionally gifted for: 19th wedding anniversaries.

April Birthstone: Diamond

Image source: SH Jewellery

Fun Facts: This Carbon Queen reigns supreme as the hardest material on earth – 58 times harder than anything else found in nature.

Traditionally gifted for: 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.

May Birthstone: Emerald

Image sources: science photo via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: The first Emerald mines were in Egypt, which explains Cleopatra’s love for these beauties. Emerald is the gemstone for Spring, and believed to lessen stress.

Traditionally gifted for: 20th and 25th wedding anniversaries.

June Birthstone: Pearl or Alexandrite

Pearl image source: SH Jewellery and Alexandrite image source: Ekaterina via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: June babies are spoilt for choice! Alexandrite exhibits a fascinating optical reflectance effect called ‘chatoyancy’, otherwise known as the ‘cat’s-eye effect’. Is it as versatile as the classic wardrobe staple Pearls? We’ll let June babies be the judge of that.

July Birthstone: Ruby

Image source: SH Jewellery

Fun Facts: Medieval Europeans wore rubies to ensure great health, wealth, wisdom and love. Early warriors of Burma (now Myanmar) and believed the ruby made them invincible in battle.

Traditionally gifted for: 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

August Birthstone: Peridot

Image source: Joachim Roth via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Discovered in lava, meteorites and deep in the earth’s mantle, peridot is inherently mysterious. Egyptians referred to it as the “gem of the sun.”

Traditionally gifted for: 15th wedding anniversaries.

September Birthstone: Sapphire

Image source: SH Jewellery

Fun Facts: Featured in what is arguably the world’s most famous engagement ring – formerly belonging to Princess Diana and now Kate Middleton – sapphires are synonymous with royalty and romance.

Traditionally gifted for: 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

October Birthstone: Tourmaline or Opal

 

Image sources: Choucashoot via Adobe Stock Marcel via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Tourmaline can be found in rich reds, pastel pinks, peachy hues, vivid greens, vibrant yellows and intense blue. Opals, too, possess colours of other gems, leading Romans to believe it was the most precious and powerful gemstone of all.

November Birthstone: Topaz or Citrine

Image sources: Apttone via Adobe Stock and Portia via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Ancient Greeks believed Topaz gave them strength, while for centuries Indians believed that worn above the heart, Topaz ensured a long life, beauty and intelligence.

Traditionally gifted for: 13th wedding anniversaries.

December Birthstone: Tanzanite, Zircon or Turquoise

Turquoise image source: MGkhan via Adobe Stock

Fun Facts: Tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery, first unearthed in 1967 and found only in Africa. Zircon, found in Australia, is estimated to be 4.4 billion years old. Turquoise discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs adorns some of the world’s oldest jewellery dating back to 4,000 BC.

Traditionally gifted for: 11th wedding anniversaries.

Ms Zebra Says: I love that coloured gems are having a moment. There are so many wonderful and unique designs – and with all of this great info, they can be extra meaningful too!

About SH Jewellery: As an independent jeweller, the SH Jewellery collection is exclusive to our brand, allowing us full creative freedom over the look and feel of our engagement rings and wedding bands. All our rings are designed in-house at our Springvale showroom, combining decades of design history with modern influences from across the globe.
About Larissa Landinez: She is Venezuelan born, formed as a jewellery Designer and Goldsmith in the wonderful city of Florence, Italy in the best European contemporary jewellery schools. She also was trained by Pontevecchio goldsmith Masters. Her Cosmopolitan background helped her envision the perfect stylish woman that appreciates craftsmanship and Jewellery pieces with unique taste.

COMMENTS
  • Larissa Landinez says:
    February 15, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Thanks for this feature! it is a great pleasure to share knwoledge that help assist future brides to make an informed decision 🙂

    REPLY

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