Gemstones are some of the oldest and most beautiful items in the world. Many – if not all – of them are made from deposits of minerals such as beryl, corundum, pure carbon and many others that go through some kind of transformation process, before they become gemstones.
There are different types of gems in the world. Each one of them is unique in the sense that they cannot be found everywhere in the world; only in specific places on the planet, where the materials, and the conditions necessary for their formation, abound.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF GEMSTONES?
There are different gemstones in the world, which include the following;
A ruby is a precious gemstone, which is renowned for its very distinct color, which ranges from pink or pinkish red to crimson (or a blood-red hue). It is a form of corundum; a type of mineral that is also the primary raw material for another precious stone (i.e. sapphire). For several thousands of years, this gemstone has been employed in the making of traditional jewelry pieces such as crowns of great renown, and generational heirlooms, however not many people know about this precious gem’s roots.
The origin of the name, ruby, can be traced back to the ancient language, Latin; wherein it (i.e. ruby) means “red”. And the formation of the gemstone’s famous red color, after which it has been named, can be attributed to the presence of the element known as chromium.
Rubies are one of the most precious and expensive gemstones in the world and they are usually worth quite a lot of money per unit, depending on their purity and quality.
Culturally, rubies are seen as very good presents between lovers, since their brilliant red color is often used to represent passion; therefore fuelling the belief that rubies attract passionate love into its wearer’s relationship. Asides this, this gemstone is also thought to attract good luck into the life of its wearer. It is the birthstone for the month of July.
Emeralds are a type of precious gems that are known for their brilliant green color. They are formed from the reaction and transformation of a mineral known as beryl (and this is a process that usually occurs on its own in nature, under the influence of natural forces that exist deep beneath the earth’s crust). Interestingly, the green color of most emeralds is usually attributed to the presence of elements such as vanadium and chromium, which are usually present in the emeralds’ crystal structure in trace amounts.
In terms of hardness and toughness, emeralds are not generally seen as the strongest – or one of the strongest – gemstones in the world. On the Mohs scale, their hardness generally registers between 7.5 and 8.
The origin of the name “emerald” can be traced back to Old French, Middle English, Vulgar Latin, Latin itself and even Ancient Greek, where it has been derived from various variants such as esmeraude (Old French), emeraude (Middle English), esmaralda (Vulgar Latin), smaragdus (Latin) and smaragdos (Ancient Greek); all of which ultimately mean green gem.
The quality of a particular piece of emerald can be determined by qualities such as the color, clarity, cut and carat. It is the birthstone of the month of May.
CATEGORIES OF GEMSTONES
All the gemstones in the world can be divided into two major categories, which are known as; precious stones and semi-precious stones.
- Precious stones
Precious stones are gemstones that are generally regarded to be worth a lot of money, compared to all the others that exist in the world. This is because they are usually very rare and highly desirable. Yet – and perhaps, because of this, they remain highly popular and famous. Precious stones are prized, not just because of their quality (which can be measured based on the intensity of their color, their carat value, their clarity and the accuracy or precision of their cut), but also because of their rarity. As a matter of fact, rarity is so important when it comes to the case of precious stones that a gemstone can lose its status if it suddenly becomes too accessible. This was what happened in the case of amethyst, which used to be regarded as a precious stone until large deposits of it were found in Brazil.
Examples of precious stones include; emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
- Semi-precious stones
Semi-precious stones are gemstones that are not usually seen or regarded as extremely valuable, when compared to precious stones. Examples include stones such as topaz, turquoise, celestite, alexandrite, citrine, quartz, rose quartz, tiger’s eye, garnet and so many others, which can be found in places scattered across the world.
Semi-precious stones generally cost less than precious stones per unit, because they are generally not as rare as precious stones. Also, many of them are not seen to have very high quality, compared to precious stones. However, they are largely used in industries for construction of buildings, roads and other structures; as well as other industrial applications.
WHICH GEMSTONE WAS ONCE SUNG ABOUT TO BE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND?
As a result of the fact that gemstones are so important in the world, particularly in the realm of fashion, some of them have been written about in books, and many have even been used as lyrics in various songs. One of such iconic songs is “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” which was written by Leo Robin and composed by Jule Styne.
The song was originally released in 1949, but it wasn’t until 1953 that it became truly iconic. This is because that was the year the famous legendary American actress and singer, Marilyn Monroe, performed it in the film titled Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Since then, this description has stuck with diamonds, which are perhaps the most popular gems in the world and most people consider it to be true. After all the gemstone lasts forever, is expensive, and also happens to be the most famous gemstone used in making engagement and wedding rings.