Stones have been set by artisans into jewellery since the ancient times. They remain as appealing to us today as they were to our ancestors. What types of precious stones are used in jewellery?
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material. Diamonds are one of the most precious stones in the world.
After diamonds, sapphires are the hardest gemstone. They belong to the corundum family.
Red rubies come from red corundum stone. All other corundum colours are sapphires. Rubies are rarer than diamonds and blue sapphires.
This stone belongs to the beryl group. Its green colour is unique and attractive.
Pink sapphires also belong to the corundum family. They are gaining in popularity and are sometimes described as “Pink Rubies”.
This rare stone has a deep purple sparkle. Tanzanite was only discovered in 1967 and comes from a single mine in Tanzania. It is not as hard as the “big four” which prevents it being classed as a precious stone.
This captivating, multi-coloured stone comes in white but features wonderful colours as the internal structure diffracts light. Solid opals can feature pink, red, orange, yellow, green or blue shades.
A hard blue gem with excellent clarity. Sky Topaz is pale blue, Swiss Topaz is a mid-bright blue, and London Topaz is a dark blue.
A beautiful green stone from the olivine family, often mistaken for an emerald.
The name “garnet” derives from “gernet”, an old English for the colour “dark red” and “granum” which is Latin for “seed”.
Part of the garnet but lighter in colour than a garnet, a pink-red or rose shade.
Like the opal, moonstones diffract light. Their scientific name is sodium potassium aluminium silicate.
Renowned for their lustre, pearls occur naturally in molluscs such as mussels.
This is a form of iron oxide (rust). The stone is red, and its name comes from the Greek word for “blood”.
Scientifically called banded chalcedony, onyx is a form of silica that contains quartz.
This variety of crystalline quartz has colours ranging from lilac to purple.
A yellow variety of crystalline quartz named after the French word for “lemon”.
Tourmaline is available in a full spectrum of colours. Often more than one colour can be seen in a single stone.
Often set in silver, the cubic zirconia is an affordable alternative to the diamond. It is the only man-made semi-precious stone.
For more information about our guide to precious stones call Nettletons Jewellers Clitheroe on 01200 422127 today.