By Naomi Shaw
Forget the purity and reputation of colorless diamonds for a second: the world contains some of the rarest and most colorful gemstones that will leave you speechless. Some of them are even more valuable than diamonds, so the following might just become your new best friends.
Taaffeite gemstones contain a range of purple shades, such as lavender, mauve and violet. You can find these gems in Sri Lanka and Tanzania, but they are one of the rarest and most valuable stones in the world. Another purple gem is the amethyst, which is a much more common name. Although amethyst stones are usually heated when used in jewellery so as to deepen their color, serious collectors will opt for the prismatic (or pencil-like) crystals that are rare and naturally filled with color.
Beautiful in Black
Darker gemstones add sophistication and style to jewelry. The rarest type of opal is the black opal. Most of it hails from New South Wales. What’s so amazing about the black opal is that you can see multi-colored flashes in its surface. Its uniqueness and rarity obviously makes it a pricey affair.
Red might not feel like it’s uncommon in gems, but some red stones are actually highly rare and precious. One of these is the Red Beryl. Known as the scarlet emerald, this gemstone is regarded as 1,000 times more valuable than gold. It also has a mystical element to it, believed to possess healing qualities.
Pretty in Pink
Remember when celebrity Jennifer Lopez displayed her gorgeous pink Harry Winston diamond engagement ring? It was a six carat diamond that certainly caught our attention. Since then, pink has grown in popularity in jewelry. An example of a rare pink gem is the poudretteite, first discovered in Canada. The only other source of this gem is the area of Mogok in northern Myanmar, Burma. Poudretteite has a glassy, sparkling appearance but since it is of a soft consistency and vulnerable to scuffs, it is unsuitable for rings. It can, however, be used in other jewelry pieces.
Green with Envy
When thinking ofgreen jewelry we often hear of emerald stones, but jadeite is actually one of the most precious and rare green gems. However, in spite of its name it comes in a variety of colors. Its darker green specimen is specifically valuable as it is of the finest quality, known as the Imperial Jade. It is almost transparent and contains a bright green color tone running through it.
Some rare gemstones have a chameleon characteristic to them that allows them to change color, like Alexandrite. It was named for Tsar Alexander II of Russia and it changes color depending on the light. In one shaft of light it might appear to have a reddish glow, while in others it will look green. Excitingly, it has been found in a variety of regions, such as Sri Lanka, Brazil and East Africa, but it is still one of the world’s most wanted gems.
Another gemstone that changes color is the painite. It shifts from pink to red and even brown, all depending on the light that is shining down on it. Interestingly, if the painite stone is set under shortwave ultraviolet light, it will become a deep green color. There are only 18 samples of this gemstone that have ever been found.
Although the rarest gems are also the priciest, it’s interesting to see how some of these stones are giving diamonds a run for their money. As they have become more intriguing and popular, you can find less costly colored gems in a variety of jewellery without having to burn a hole in your pocket.
Naomi Janelle Shaw is a journalist, beautician and full-time mom. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years, she now works full-time as a freelance writer, which she enjoys because it allows her to still be at home and there with her kids in the mornings and when they come home from school. You can Follow her on Facebook. Or check her work samples at https://www.25karats.com/articles/
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About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!