Know your Gemstones
Our jewellery features both precious and semi precious stones, so here we share a little something about the gems you are likely to see in store or online. We will occasionally update the information here to feature different gemstones so check in for any updates when you visit the site.
Diamonds are probably the precious stone most often associated with love and romance and as such you find them in many of our items of jewellery, not least of course engagement rings. Diamonds are unique among precious stones in generally being more valuable for their absence of colour, and are graded accordingly from D for the best colourless stone through to Z. Diamonds are seldom flawless and their worth is also affected by any inclusions which will reduce their value. Fancy diamonds with a strong clear colour are also prized and have a high value. In our vintage jewellery you will find diamonds in modern cuts as well as old hand cut styles such as Cushion cut, Old cut, Rose cut and others, all giving a unique look to the stone.
Rubies & Sapphires
Rubies and Sapphires are a variety of mineral known as corundum. In its pure form corundum is colourless and this is what we know as white Sapphire. People sometimes confuse them with diamonds, but jewellers will be able to test them and know the difference. If there is a small amount of chromium in corundum a wonderful red colour results and the stone is known as Ruby. Sapphires get their blue colour from the presence of titanium or iron in corundum. Rubies and Sapphires of various quality can be found in fine antique, vintage and modern jewellery and we have good examples of each in our range of rings and other items of jewellery.
Emeralds are technically silicate of beryllium and owe their wonderful green colour to small traces of chromium. Emeralds have been highly valued for thousands of years, and the deeply coloured and old stones are highly prized rather than the often less colourful more recently mined stones, so in vintage jewellery you can find some of the finest examples of emerald.
Garnets are sometimes confused with rubies with their usually red colour however it can be found in many colours although blue is very rare. Garnets have been used in jewellery dating from the bronze age and there are examples from ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman eras through to vintage and even modern jewellery today. They rose to their height in popularity in our recent history in the 1870s.
Tanzanite and Blue Spinel are stones that can be confused with Blue Sapphire, although with the recent popularity of Tanzanite it is much better recognised and has become very desirable. We often have examples in our gem set rings.
Topaz is a hard lustrous gemstone ranging in colour from yellows to reddish browns and through to blues. Often cut along the length of the Crystal into an oval or oblong shape, this is a beautiful and less expensive gemstone found in our vintage and modern rings and other jewellery.
Aquamarine is at its best a perfect sea blue stone, although you will also see examples with a greenish tinge that are less valuable. They make stunning pieces of jewellery and are increasingly popular, the will feature from time to time in our range of Vintage and modern jewellery.
Tourmaline is mainly found in its green and red varieties, but they are strongly two coloured with typically bluish and yellowish greens that can be seen as the stone is rotated. Blue, brown and black forms are also found.
Peridot was originally known as Olivine since it is a gem of that mineral and not surprisingly it is an olive or yellowish green colour. We often see them in Victorian jewellery, a very distinctive and easily identified stone. Look out for them in our vintage ranges.