Gemstone Guide

Gemstones Guide

For centuries gemstones have been given as gifts, as well as used as healing/spiritual and magical aids. They are steeped in history, myth and legend. Each stone has its own historical meaning and value, so when you purchase a piece of Jewellery Garden, either for yourself or as a gift, you are purchasing not only a piece of beautiful jewellery but also a personal message to be treasured forever. You will find lots of different gemstones in our jewellery, which make our jewels so special and unique. We would like to give some guide about gemstones and their care, which is interesting and helpful to know.


Agate

agateMostly formed in cavities of ancient lavas or other extrusive igneous rocks, Agate is a variety of chalcedony, formed from layers of quartz which follow the cavities outline, hence its uniquely banded appearance. A popular choice for jewellery due to its varied appearance and relative hardness, agate ranges from transparent to opaque. Varieties include Blue Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Green Agate, Indian Agate, Moss Agate, Fire Agate, Tree Agate, Onyx, Sardonyx and Wood Agate.

Cleaning

To clean your agate jewellery use mild soapy water when needed. Do not use other household chemicals as this may effect the durability of the gemstone. Agate is quite a hard gemstone but should be stored away from other jewellery in a clothed pouch to prevent damage and should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight as this can cause discolouration.


Amethyst

February Birthstone

amethystAmethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple.

 

Cleaning

Amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in the rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning is not recommended, and amethyst should not be subjected to heat.


Citrine

November Birthstone

citrineCitrine—the transparent, pale yellow to brownish orange variety of quartz. Citrine’s attractive color, plus the durability and affordability it shares with most other quartzes, makes it the top-selling yellow-to-orange gem. It’s an attractive alternative not only for topaz, but also for yellow sapphire. The finest citrine color is a saturated yellow to reddish orange free of brownish tints.

 

Cleaning

Citrine can be safely cleaned with warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in the rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning is not recommended, as citrine should not be subjected to heat.


Iolite

ioliteA blue-violet gemstone whose name comes from the Greek ios, meaning violet, and lithos, meaning ‘stone’.Iolite exhibits strong pleochroism, showing different colours when viewed from different angles – it can appear colourless when viewed across the crystal while the best blue is seen down the length of the crystal.

 

Cleaning

It’s important to avoid steam or ultrasound for cleaning iolite: Warm, soapy water works best.


Cultured Pearl

June Birthstone

pearlPearls are unique because they are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Since natural pearls are rare and difficult to recover from the ocean’s depths, man invented the technique of culturing salt and freshwater pearls from mollusks carefully seeded with irritants similar to those produced by nature. Cultured pearls come in many beautiful colors, from pale cream and white to rose, lilac, green, gold, gray, and black. There are four main types of cultured pearls: Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian, and Freshwater each having unique qualities that separates them for the other.

Cleaning

Pearls are soft and delicate. When storing pearl jewellery, keep it separately wrapped in soft material, away from other metal jewellery to prevent the pearls from being scratched. As pearls are porous they must not be immersed in water or cleaning products. Contact with perfume, hairspray and body cream may cause discoloration so always put pearl jewellery on last. Wipe pearls clean with a soft cloth and use special pearl cleaning solutions if necessary.


Peridot

August Birthstone

peridotPeridot is one of the few gemstones that exists in only one color, a distinctive signature lime green. In ancient times it was believed that Peridot was a gift of Mother Nature to celebrate the annual creation of a new world. Peridot gemstones smaller than three carats are very common but gemstones over five carats are rare and therefore have a higher value. Peridot in 10 to 15 carats are even more rare, but provide a big and bold look for an affordable price.

Cleaning

Peridot is not an especially hard stone so to avoid scratches and damage store separate from other jewellery in a soft pouch. To clean use mild soapy water, you should not get Peridot jewellery ultrasonically cleaned. You should also avoid subjecting your Peridot jewellery to extreme high or low temperatures.


Rose Quartz

rose quartzThe largest of the gemstone families, quartz comes in a myriad of colours, shapes and sizes, a characteristic we think makes it perfect for jewellery.Colourless and transparent quartz is the purest form of quartz. The spectrum of other colours arises when little amounts of impurities are added. Of the many colours available, different names have been attributed to them, some notable examples include: red (carnelian),  pink (rose),  yellow (citrine), green(aventurine), purple (amethyst), brown (smoky),clear (rock crystal).

Cleaning

Rose quartz is a very durable and hard gemstone. You should store separately in a soft cloth pouch to prevent damage and scratching to other jewellery. Rose quartz is not as sensitive to light as the very similar pink quartz however direct sunlight should be avoided to prevent discolouration. To clean use warm soapy water and a soft cloth.


Sapphire

September Birthstone

sapphireWhen hearing the word Sapphire many people immediately envision a stunning violet-blue gemstone because the word “Sapphire” is Greek for blue. Sapphire is found in many parts of the world, but the most prized Sapphires are from Myanmar (Burma), Kashmir and Sri Lanka. Sapphires with highly saturated violet-blue color and “velvety” or “sleepy” transparency are more rare. The purer the blue of the Sapphire, the greater the price. Sapphires are not only blue, they come in almost every color of the rainbow: pink, yellow, orange, peach, and violet colors. The most sought-after color fancy Sapphire is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha: a pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset.

Cleaning

Renowned for its hardness, when you own a piece of sapphire jewellery, keep it safely in a cloth or pouch, so that it does not scratch other jewellery items. Whether it’s a pink sapphire pendant or a blue sapphire ring, try not to expose it to high temperatures which could affect the colour of the stone.


Mother of Pearl

mother of pearlMother of Pearl is an organic gem, meaning that it has been created from a living organism, rather than a mineral. It is produced by molluscs and is found on the inner layer of their shells as well as on the outer layer of pearls as a protective layer against parasites and its technical name is nacre. It is strong, resilient and iridescent.

 

Cleaning

To clean your mother of pearl, use a soft damp cloth. Do not use harsh chemicals to clean or whilst wearing your mother of pearl jewellery. Store it separately in a soft cotton pouch to avoid it getting scratched or damaged by other jewellery. Avoid direct sunlight and high temperatures.


Topaz

November Birthstone

topazIn shades of yellow, brown, honey, green, blue, red, pink and sometimes no color at all, Topaz has a mass appeal. Topaz is often found in an amber gold, yellow, or a blushing pink orange but a pale pink or a sherry red Topaz is very exceptional. The most prized color of Topaz is called Imperial Topaz and features a magnificent orange with pink undertones. Blue, once the most rare color of Topaz, is the most common today due to man’s ability to enhance its color, Topaz with a naturally blue color is very rare.

Cleaning

Like diamond, topaz is a hard gemstone, so ensure it’s stored away from other jewellery pieces so that it can’t scratch other stones or metal. If you want to clean your topaz jewellery then simply use mild soapy water and a soft brush if required. Avoid using harsh detergents when washing at home.


Tourmaline

October Birthstone

tourmalineAvailable in a spectrum of colors and color combinations, Tourmaline lives up to its name, which means “mixed stone”. With a rainbow of colors, Tourmaline can easily enhance any jewelry collection. Cranberry red, hot magenta, bubblegum pink, peach and orange, canary yellow, mint, grass and forest green, ocean blue, violet: Tourmaline is all of these and more.Tourmaline is also known for displaying several colors in one gemstone. These bi-color or tri-color gems are formed in many combinations and are highly prized. One multi-color variety is known as Watermelon Tourmaline and features green, pink, and white color bands.

Cleaning

Warm, soapy water is the best method for cleaning tourmaline. The use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners is not recommended.


Turquoise

December Birthstone

turquoiseTurquoise is among the oldest known gemstones and its popularity has spanned the globe for centuries. Turquoise is an opaque, light to dark blue or blue-green gem with its finest color being an intense blue. Turquoise may contain narrow veins of other materials either isolated or as a network. They are usually black, brown, or yellowish-brown in color. Known as the matrix, these veins of color are sometimes in the form of an intricate pattern, called a spider web.

Cleaning

Turquoise is sensitive to heat, it should not be exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight in order to prevent discolouration. Avoid contact with perfume, hair spray, creams and any other household products, which could cause the gemstone to turn a dull green. Most turquoise jewellery can be cleaned using mild soapy water however some dyed stones may discolour. Test on a small area of stone. Be sure to remove any soapy residue. Store your turquoise jewellery separately in a soft cloth pouch to avoid damage and scratching from other jewellery.


Garnet

January Birthstone

garnetThis gem is available in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. We also see it appearing in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron. Legend says Garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home.

Cleaning

If you want to clean your garnet jewellery simply clean with mild soapy warm water and avoid harsh detergents. To keep your jewellery in its original condition always store away from other jewellery pieces to avoid damage such as scratching.


Diamond

April Birthstone

diamondSince ancient times, diamonds have been admired objects of desire. Formed one hundred miles beneath the Earth’s surface over a billion years ago, diamonds are the hardest gem of all. For centuries, diamonds have been adorned by women and men and regarded as the ultimate gift and a symbol of eternal love. Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no standard by which diamonds could be evaluated. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4C’s of Diamond Quality are the universal method for assessing the quality of any diamond, anywhere in the world.

Cleaning

Diamonds are the hardest of all gems and due to this, it’s best to avoid contact with other jewellery pieces. Keep your diamonds in a protective pouch or cushioned box to ensure they do not scratch your other items or become scratched themselves. Diamonds should be kept clean to make the most of their brilliant sparkle. Diamonds can be cleaned using special liquid jewellery cleaner.

by Jewellery Garden

A delicate piece of Jewellery Garden is a gift of everlasting beauty that speaks volumes of innocent love and can be kept for a long long time while it reminds every woman the defining moments in her life.