There’s nothing like beautiful gemstone jewelry to make a woman’s eyes light up in delight. For thousands of years women and men have used gemstones to add a little something special to an outfit or even items like daggers and swords. To this day, gemstone jewelry is prized for its value and beauty.
What are Gemstones?
Gemstones are generally minerals found in rocks, like ruby quartz or emerald, or sometimes a petrified substance, like amber. Even though a miner may find a gem stone, it might not be of good enough quality to be used in fine jewelry, and might instead wind up as a pretty bookend on a shelf.
Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstone Jewelry
Ge stones are generally divided into two categories: precious and semi precious stones. Precious stones are generally considered rarer and more valuable than the rest. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are considered precious gem stones. The others, stones like aquamarine, tanzanite and amber, are called semi-precious stones. The purple stone in amethyst rings was once considered a precious gemstone, but after rich deposits were discovered it became less rare and valuable, and today amethyst is generally classified as a semi precious stone.
When gemstone are first mined, even first rate gemstones are not ready to be set in jewelry. They must first be cut, and then polished til they shine. Jewelers usually cut the gems into a smooth, rounded shape, called cabochon, or more frequently into facets. Facets are smooth flat planes, that catch the light and reflect it, enhancing that coveted sparkle
Sometimes cleaning and polishing aren’t enough, and jewelers employ other methods to help a gem look its best. For example, the gem used in tanzanite rings is a dull brown color when it’s pulled from the earth, but after heat treatment it becomes a stunning shade of blue or violet. Stones prone to surface imperfections, like emeralds, are frequently treated with oil or wax to make those imperfections less noticeable.
While there are countless types of gemstone jewelry – emerald engagement rings, garnet earrings, anklets, mood rings and more – birthstone jewelry is a particularly well-liked kind of gem stone jewelry. When a child is born, the month she is born in is associated with a gemstone, and that stone will be her birthstone throughout her life. Most months have two and sometimes three birthstones – a main stone and an alternate.