While it’s a cliché to say that for every colour in the rainbow there is a gemstone, it’s definitely true. As well as having its own colour or shade of colour, each gemstone has its own meaning and symbolism. But what are the different types of coloured gemstones? To help you better understand, here is a brief but helpful guide.
A ruby is the rarest member of the mineral corundum family. They are found in different shades of red, from dark scarlet through to light pink. Over the centuries, rubies have been known to symbolise health, love, and wisdom. It’s often believed that wearing rubies attracts positive energy toward one’s life.
A sapphire is any member of the corundum family that is not red. While the most iconic type of sapphire is the royal blue variety, they can be found in other colours such as orange, yellow, green, and purple. Over history, sapphires have been worn for good luck and for warding off evil spirits.
An emerald is from the mineral beryl family of gemstones. They are renowned for the different shades of green that they come in. Like a ruby, an emerald is said to be a lucky stone, promoting feelings of love and joy, as well as being associated with wealth and success.
Pearls are unique in the gemstone world as they are the only ones made from a living organism, an oyster. They range in shades from white to black. Historically, pearls have symbolised many things, from purity and innocence to wealth and social status. Natural pearls are extremely rare; most pearls available now are ‘cultured’ pearls, which means they were cultivated in a pearl farm.
Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl family of gemstones, just like Rubies. It comes in colours ranging from light blue through to deep blue. Aquamarine is often coveted for its ability to complement eye colour, and in the past was carried by sailors as a good luck talisman.
A Spinel is a gemstone that comes in a myriad of colours, from blue to pink to red and many more. Given their brilliant lustre, Spinels have been sought-after for centuries; red Spinel, in particular, has often been mistaken for Ruby. When worn, a Spinel is said to promote passion and optimism.
A Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that ranges in colours from pale pink to deep red. Tourmaline is known for its ability to transmit energy, owing to its strong electrical charge. Tourmaline is a popular gemstone for ornamental items such as sculptures, figurines, and carvings. Traditionally, it is known as a symbol of healing and friendship.
Tanzanite is a rare type of gemstone found only in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania. It ranges from pinkish-purple to intense blue. Given its unique clarity and brilliance, Tanzanite is highly sought-after for ornamental pieces. However, due to its relative softness, Tanzanite is not usually recommended for everyday use.
Like Tanzanite, Tsavorite is only found in one place, the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. A rare type of garnet, it varies in colour from deep blues to lush greens. Tsavorite is used in both jewellery and ornamental pieces and is often praised for its beauty and durability.
Like Ruby and Aquamarine, Morganite is from the Beryl family of gemstones. Morganite ranges in shades of pink, from soft peach through to vibrant lilac, and is found in Afghanistan, Brazil, Madagascar, and Mozambique. As well as being said to bring harmony, joy, and balance, Morganite is known as the universal stone of unconditional love.