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4 Precious Gemstones: The Complete Guide

Precious gemstones are luxurious additions to jewellery which captivate the eyes of anyone who wears them. They are also a beautiful way to symbolise your feelings to another, as each stone can carry its own meaning. If we return to basics, gemstones are minerals which have been mined for their beauty. They are then cut and polished, which allows them to be adored by many in the shape of jewellery.

4 Precious Gemstones

Gemstones can be seen in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to precious gemstones there are only four which make the cut. These valuable, sort-after stones hold their own meaning and value. Which is why they are so popular! The four precious gemstones are:

  • Diamond: Diamond jewellery is often referred to as a girl's best friend. It's easy to see why! As the hardest mineral substance on earth, the durability a diamond can bring will last a lifetime. In a pure form, a diamond is colourless. But, as with all gems, diamonds have variations from colourless, near colourless and coloured. At Monica Vinader we use an H colour diamond, which is categorised as a near colorless gem.
  • Sapphire: Sapphires are also an elegant precious gemstone. They are the second toughest stone, after diamond, and are favoured by many for its beautiful blue shade. This gemstone belongs to the corundum mineral rock family. Within this set, all colours are considered sapphires except red. Although it is the deep blue which most are familiar with. They are a beautiful, statement addition to many rings and can be a popular choice for an engagement ring.
  • Ruby: Rubys hold a captivating red colour, which can symbolise the colour of love. Being a popular choice for gifts, rubys can feature in bracelets, earrings and rings. They are also commonly connected with 25th wedding anniversaries and are the official birthstone for July. The gemstone itself is from the same family as the sapphire. Which shows how sort after these stones are from the corundum mineral rock family.
  • Emerald: The final of the four precious gemstones is the emerald. This dazzling gem is unique due to its deep green appearance. What makes this gemstone different from the others is that it is more fragile. Experts also recommend avoiding exposing this gem to excessive amounts of moisture. Something to consider if this is your gem of choice.

Precious vs Semi-Precious Stones: What's the Difference?

Precious and semi-precious stones, what differs them? It was in the 1800s when gemstones were first divided into precious and semi-precious. Within that time period, this division was a way to classify the rarity of the stone. If a stone was rare and had great craftsmanship it would typically be seen as a precious gemstone. This definition saw amethysts be classed as a precious gemstone for a short period, until a huge reserve was found. It is now seen as a semi-precious stone due to wide accessibility. Semi-precious gemstones are still high-quality and can often be more rare than precious gemstones. Sought after, semi-precious gemstones include pearls, moonstones and green onyx. All of which are beautifully set in a number of our pieces.

In today's society, many valuers believe these terms have become commercialised. Although, it is still widely accepted and a good indication to knowing high-quality stones.

The Difference Between Precious Gemstones & Birthstones

Precious gemstones and birthstones live in perfect harmony. In fact the four precious gemstones (diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald) are included in the twelve birthstones.

Birthstones are gems which were assigned to the twelve months of the year to represent a different birth month. Old tales suggest these stones are to aid in various aspects of an individual's life, from health, money, luck and love. Although there is no scientific proof to back this. It is also common to see more than one gemstone assigned to a month. Which can be important to know when deciding whether to gift someone a birthstone. Our birthstone earrings, birthstone necklaces, birthstone rings, and birthstone bracelets are an elegant choice for those with an April birthday.

Traditionally the four precious gemstones are associated with the following months:

  • April - Diamond
  • May - Emerald
  • July - Ruby
  • September - Sapphire

Diamond Jewellery: Monica Vinader's Precious Gemstone

Diamonds can be a sought after precious gemstone, due to their beauty, cut and style. At Monica Vinader we only use ethical diamonds in our pieces, to help reduce the sales of conflict diamonds. This is one part of our quality promise to our customers.

In our diamond collections you will find the H colour diamond. To the naked eye, this gemstone is near colourless. You would only find a faint yellow hue if you were to place it under a microscope or lay it next to a higher graded diamond. In diamond grading the categories are broken down into:

  • D/E/F = Colourless
  • G/H/I/J = Near colourless
  • K/L/M = Faint colouring
  • N/O/P/Q/R = Very light colouration
  • S/T/U/V/W/X/Y/Z = Light colouration

As well as being graded by colour, there are three other elements which are considered when buying everyday diamonds. They are also known as the 4Cs.

  • Cut
  • Clarity
  • Colour
  • Carat

These factors are what diamond graders use to ensure your gemstone is of high-quality.

Just like all of our materials, we source our gemstones ethically. We are ensured that our suppliers meet high ethical standards and commit to the Kimberley Process. This is a certification which aims to follow a diamond from mine to market, in order to help reduce the trade of conflict diamonds across the globe. Another requirement we check, is to see whether our suppliers adhere to The World Diamond Council's System of Warranties. By checking this ensures our gemstones at least meet the minimum requirement set out in the Kimberley Process.

About Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader is a jewellery brand which was founded in 2008. All of our wearable pieces, such as our necklaces and rings, combine fine jewellery and fashion. Our sustainability promise ensures we only use 100% recycled silver and gold vermeil. Our high sustainability standards, which leave a positive impact on the world, have been recognised - we have been Positive Luxury Certified. Which means we have earned the Butterfly Mark accreditation.

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