Nettletons Jewellers Guide To Precious Stones

Nettletons Jewellers Guide To Precious Stones

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?

Precious Gemstones

Diamond
Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material. Diamonds are one of the most precious stones in the world. 

Blue Sapphire
After diamonds, sapphires are the hardest gemstone. They belong to the corundum family.

Red Ruby
Red rubies come from red corundum stone. All other corundum colours are sapphires. Rubies are rarer than diamonds and blue sapphires.

Green Emerald
This stone belongs to the beryl group. Its green colour is unique and attractive.

Semi-Precious Gemstones

Pink Sapphire
Pink sapphires also belong to the corundum family. They are gaining in popularity and are sometimes described as “Pink Rubies”.

Tanzanite
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.

Opal
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.

Topaz
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.

Peridot
A beautiful green stone from the olivine family, often mistaken for an emerald.

Garnet
The name “garnet” derives from “gernet”, an old English for the colour “dark red” and “granum” which is Latin for “seed”.

Rhodolite
Part of the garnet but lighter in colour than a garnet, a pink-red or rose shade.

Moonstone
Like the opal, moonstones diffract light. Their scientific name is sodium potassium aluminium silicate.

Pearl
Renowned for their lustre, pearls occur naturally in molluscs such as mussels.

Haematite
This is a form of iron oxide (rust). The stone is red, and its name comes from the Greek word for “blood”.

Onyx
Scientifically called banded chalcedony, onyx is a form of silica that contains quartz.

Amethyst
This variety of crystalline quartz has colours ranging from lilac to purple.

Citrine
A yellow variety of crystalline quartz named after the French word for “lemon”.

Tourmaline
Tourmaline is available in a full spectrum of colours. Often more than one colour can be seen in a single stone.

Cubic Zirconia
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.