GEMSTONE GUIDE

GEMSTONE GUIDE

  • Amazonite

    Amazonite is an opaque gemstone of a blue-green hue. The gemstone is a member of the feldspar family – the same family as labrodorite and moonstone.

    It is said to be named after the Amazon river in Brazil – however there are no deposits of amazonite found in this area. It is therefore assumed that it is name is derived from the colour resemblance to the Amazon rainforest. There are deposits of amazonite in other areas of Brazil, as well as in Russia, India and the United States.

    Amazonite is a relatively soft gemstone, with a MOH strength of 6 to 6.5. Care should be taken when wearing an amazonite piece of jewellery as the gemstone is sensitive to pressure.

  • Amazonite
  • Amethyst

    Amethysts are the beautiful purple coloured stone of the quartz family. Amethysts are commonly known as protection stones, and are believed to protect the wearer against sleeplessness and stress. In ancient Greece, it was believe that amethysts would protect the wearer against the effects of alcohol.

    For centuries, amethysts have been used in royal and religious jewellery. Amethysts used to be as expensive as rubies, before large deposits of the stone were found in Brazil.

    Amethysts change colour on heating, so amethyst jewellery should not be kept or worn in direct sunlight.

    Amethysts are the birthstone for February, as well as the traditional gemstone gift for a 6th wedding anniversary.

  • Amethyst
  • Ametrine

    Ametrines are a rare type of quartz, which display both the colours of an amethyst and a citrine within one gemstone. There is only one significant source of ametrine in the world, the Anahi mine in Bolivia; small amounts of the gemstone have been found near Hyderabad, India and in Brazil.

  • Ametrine
  • Aquamarine

    Aquamarine is the blue gemstone of the beryl family, which is the same family of gemstone that the emerald derives from. The aquamarine derives its’ name from the Latin word for seawater – ‘aqua’ means water and ‘mare’ means sea, inspired by the natural hues of the gemstone. The aquamarine is found in a variety of different shades of blue – from pale green-blue through to a deep blue.

    Aquamarines are thought to have a soothing effect on married couples, enhancing happiness and helping to soothe out difficulties.

    Aquamarines are hardwearing, with a MOH strength of 7.5 to 8. This allows the gemstone to be cut in a multitude of different ways.

    The aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the traditional gift for a 19th wedding anniversary.

  • Aquamarine
  • Chalcedony

    Chalcedony gemstones are a member of the quartz family. There are many varieties of chalcedony, however pure chalcedony is known for its’ solid colour, which ranges from bluish to white/grey.

    The chalcedony gemstone is known for its’ shine. After a polish, some chalcedony gemstones can emit a glow that appears to emanate from within the stone.

  • Chalcedony
  • Citrine

    This yellow or orange gemstone is a member of the quartz family, and is found in our Venice collection. A natural citrine is very rare, and citrines are commonly produced by heating an amethyst.

    Citrines are believed to protect the wearer against poisons and to protect him/her from sudden death. In fact, citrines were commonly used as a charm to protect against snakebites.

    Citrines are the birthstone for November, as well as the traditional gemstone gift for a 13th wedding anniversary.

  • Citrine
  • Diamond

    Diamonds are the strongest mineral on earth, with a MOH strength of 10. Only another diamond can scratch a diamond.

    A diamond is formed of pure carbon and can only produced in the high pressure and high temperature conditions found at approximately 100 miles below the earth’s surface. On average, it takes between 1 and 3.3 billion years to produce a diamond. In fact, in a diamond mine, one diamond is usually found in every 1 million parts of rock. The diamond is also the only gemstone to be composed purely of one component.

    The quality of a diamond is graded by the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. Within our collection, all diamonds are within the colourless to near colourless scale (F-G range). In addition, our diamonds are VS clarity, which mean they have very slight inclusions.

    Coloured diamonds, such as black diamonds, are also found naturally. The colour of stone is due to the presence of chemical impurities within the stone.

    Diamonds are the birthstone for the month of April and the traditional wedding anniversary present for a 60th wedding anniversary.

  • Diamond
  • Emerald

    An emerald is the green coloured member of the beryl family, which is the same family as the aquamarine. The emerald is the most precious member of the beryl family and is commonly considered one of the ‘precious four’ gemstones – along with sapphires, rubies and diamonds.

    Although there are other green gemstones available, including peridot and tsavorite, emeralds are favoured due to their rich green colour, reminiscence of rich landscapes.

    The first emerald mines were found in Egypt at approximately 330 BC.

    An emerald often features inclusions within the stones, which are referred to as international ‘jardins’, or gardens. Emeralds with few or no inclusions are extremely rare and valuable. These inclusions make the gemstone very susceptible to damage and therefore care must be taken when wearing or caring for a piece of emerald jewellery.

    Columbia is often considered the most famous source for emeralds, although deposits of the gemstones are found in multiple countries worldwide. Within our collections, Niquesa has collaborated with Gemfields, whom have provided responsibility sourced Zambian emeralds for our designs.

    Emeralds are the birthstone of May and also the traditional gift for a twentieth or thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.

  • Emerald
  • Labradorite

    The labradorite gemstone is from the feldspar family – the same family as the amazonite gemstone. It is named after Labrador in Canada, which was were the gemstone was first found in the 1700s.

    Labradorites are a dark grey colour, however they exhibit rainbow coloured reflections when seen from different angles. This optical affect is unique to labradorites, and has led to it being called ‘labradoresence’. It is caused by the diffraction of light between the thin layers within the gemstone.

    Due to this optical effect, Eskimo legend claims the Northern lights shone down on the shores of Labrador and have been captured within the stones.

  • Labradorite
  • Onyx

    Onyx is a member of the quartz family. It is a black and white banded agate, with a black base colour and white parallel banding on the upper layer. However, when in gemstone form, it may just exhibit one colour.

  • Onyx
  • Rose Quartz

    The quartz family is the largest family of gemstones – which contains amethysts and citrines. Quartz gemstones are available in a variety of colours; the pink colour is known as a rose quartz.

    The colour of a rose quartz ranges from a very light shade to a medium-dark shade. The most appealing shades tend to occur in larger stones, and small stones with a good colour tend to be rare.

    Rose quartz is often cloudy in colour and therefore is often found cut as a cabochons, rather than a faceted stone.

  • Rose Quartz
  • Ruby

    The ruby gemstone is from the Corundum gemstone family. The Corundum is available in a multitude of different colours; the red shade is known as the Ruby, whilst any other shade is known as a Sapphire.

    The colour of a ruby is caused by the presence of chromium (in its’ natural form, corundum is actually colourless). Rubies are normally found in smaller sizes, as the presence of chromium also inhibits the growth of the gemstone. Rubies over 10 carats are incredibly rare and over one carat, the price of rubies greatly increase due to their increased rarity. The ruby is the most valuable and expensive of the coloured gemstones.

    Within the Rose of the Desert ring, there is a 2.68ct GIA certified cushion cut ruby. The ruby was part of a partnership with ethical mining company Gemfields, and the stone was ethically sourced from Mozambique, Africa.

    Over the years, rubies have attracted a host of different myths and still today remain a popular gemstone, with the rich red colour signifying success and wealth.

    Ruby is the birthstone for July and the gem for the 15th and 40th anniversaries.

  • Ruby
  • Rutilated Quartz

    The rutilated quartz is a type of quartz gemstone which features needle-like shards of rutile within it.

    Rutilated quartz is found in a variety of different colours, although the golden and black shades feature most predominantly within the Venice collection.

  • Rutilated Quartz
  • Sapphire

    The sapphire gemstone is from the Corundum gemstone family. The Corundum is available in a multitude of different colours; the red shade is known as the Ruby, whilst any other shade is known as a Sapphire.

    The sapphire gemstone is most commonly associated with its’ blue colour, however they are also found in other shades which are known as ‘fancy sapphires’. Sapphires can be found in violet, green, yellow, orange, pink and purple, to name but a few shades.

    Sapphires have a hardness of 9 on the MOH scale, making them the second hardest mineral on earth, behind the diamond.

    For years sapphires have been associated with royalty, a fact reinforced with the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring featuring a 12 carat Ceylon sapphire.

    Sapphires are the birthstone for the month of September and are also the traditional gift for a 45th wedding anniversary.

  • Sapphire
  • Smokey Quartz

    The smokey quartz is a type of quartz gemstone which has a smokey brown or black colour. This is the result of the stones prolonged exposure to natural radioactive elements.

    This colour is not found in many gemstones, which is what makes the gemstone so desirable.

  • Smokey Quartz
  • Spinel

    Spinel is a mineral composed of magnesium aluminium oxide. Spinels are available in a wide variety of colours, from red to purple to black, with the different colours being the result of the presence of different impurities.

    The red versions of the spinel gemstones have historically been confused with rubies or garnets, and have long been used as substitutions for these stones. The colour of a red spinel gemstone rivals that of a ruby, and the need to distinguish between to two led to the development of the science of gemmology.

    The spinel is found naturally alongside rubies and sapphires.

  • Spinel
  • Tanzanite

    Tanzanites are a relatively new gemstone, with Tiffany & Co. finding the gemstone in the 1960s. The tanzanite is named after its’ country of origin, with the gemstone only located near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The tanzanite is rarer than a diamond, and in recent years, a piece of tanzanite jewellery is becoming a highly prized possession.

    Tanzanites vary in shades of blue, with some tanzanites appearing very similar in colour to sapphires, whilst others have a more purple colouring.

    This extraordinary gemstone is a member of the zoisite family. It is a relatively soft stone, with a strength of only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. This means any tanzanite jewellery must be worn and cleaned with care.

    Tanzanites are the birthstone for December (along with blue topaz and turquoise), and also the traditional gift for a 24th wedding anniversary.

  • Tanzanite
  • Tourmaline

    The tourmaline can be found within the pave of many of the pieces in our Venice collection. The tourmaline gemstone is found in a wide variety of different colours, although rubelite (it’s pink hue) is the one found most predominantly within Niquesa jewellery. It was historically thought that the reason for the multitude is colours is because the tourmaline travelled along a rainbow and gathered all of its’ colours.

    The tourmaline is the birthstone for the month of October and is also the traditional gift for an 8th wedding anniversary.

  • Tourmaline
  • Tsavorite

    Tsavorites are the green shade of the garnet gemstone. The name of the gemstone came from the location in which it was originally found, the Tsavo National Park in Tanzania, Africa. The gemstone is still only found in one location worldwide.

    The tsavorite is a relatively new gemstone, which was only discovered in 1967 by Scottish gemmologist Campbell Bridges. The gemstone was then introduced to the world in the 1970s by Tiffany’s & Co.

    The garnet family is the birthstone for the month of January.

  • Tsavorite