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    Gemstone Guide



    Agate is a banded form of Quartz, its lovely color patterns and banding distinguishes it from most gemstones. Though Agates have distinctive patterns each stone is unique, with no two Agates being exactly the same. Agates can be cut and polished into jewelry beads, cameos pendants and even small ornaments and figures. They may be naturally colored, but they are often dyed – they may come in colors such as, white, blue, red, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink, purple, gray, black and multi-colored.



    Alexandrite is a rare stone. The most facinating feature of this gem is its ability to change its color. It is blue-green in daylight and turns a soft purple-red in artificial light, the more noticeable the color change the more valuable the stone. This unique characteristic makes it one of the most valuable gemstones.



    Amethysts are a violet variety of quartz, the color range from light to dark purple, and the transparent deep purple colors are the most highly regarded. One of the worlds most popular gemstones, Amethysts have been considered of value since ancient times. Amethyst was once among the precious gemstones like Ruby and Emerald, but since huge deposits of the gemstone has been discovered, Amethysts are now fairly inexpensive and very obtainable.



    Also known as trystine or by its trade name as bolivianite, is a naturally occurring variety of quartz. The term Ametrine was coined recently for these quartz gemstones that are part Amethyst and part Citrine. This stone has a unique color combination – purple and yellow – that sparked the interest or gemstone enthusiasts and experts.



    Aquamarine is a blue to blue-green Beryl. It name originated from the Latin phrase "water of the sea", named such because its color ranges from a faint light blue to blue and bluish-green – the deeper the blue the rarer and more expensive the stone. Light green Beryl can be transformed into Aquamarine if heated to 750º F (400º C). Some aquamarines have a light, greenish shimmer; these green hues can be removed through heat treatment.


    CAT’S EYEcat-s-eye.jpg

    Cat's Eye describes a gemstone that has a bright and straight light band going across the width of the stone. The clarity and intensity of this band determines the value of the gem. The most well known gemstone that exhibits the cat’s eye is the Chrysoberyl's cat's eye. It also comes in different colors: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray and even Multicolored. The cat’s eye is used mostly as ring center stone or pendant.



    Citrine is a yellow to orange variety of Quartz and got its name from the yellow fruit, citron. It is uncommon to see naturally occurring Citrine, most Citrine in the market are either Amethyst or Smoky Quartz treated with heat. Often this stone is confused with orange-yellow Topaz, but Topaz is more expensive than citrine. Buyers have to be careful as some sellers try to pass citrine for a topaz, using such names as "Madeira Topaz", "Gold Topaz", and "Bahia Topaz".


    MOTHER OF PEARL (CONCH)conch.jpg

    Mother of Pearl (MOP) is a blend of minerals that coat the shells of mollusks for protection; it is made from the same substances as a pearl. It falls under the organic jewelry group. In the past, MOP is more desirable than the actual pearl itself, because of its colorful nature. Mother of Pearl can also be referred to as Nacre.


    red-coral.jpgCORAL (RED CORAL)

    Most gemstones are from minerals but Corals are organic in nature, formed by living organisms like MOP and Pearls. It forms from branches of coral polyps in salt-waters. When the coral polyps die, the hardened skeleton remains is used to create the Coral gemstone. Most coral is white, but nature can create coral in several other colors, including the popular orange to red forms, the popular Red Coral.



    The most famous gemstone of all, the Diamond is truly a unique indeed. It is the most prized of all stones –known for these qualities: Durability (it is the hardest substance on earth), Luster (it sparkles like fire) and Rarity (it is difficult to come across) make Diamond the most prized of all gems. Diamonds used as gemstones in most jewelry are colorless or very faintly colored but colored Diamonds, termed as "Fancy", can be very expensive and hard to find.



    The Emerald is the most expensive and sought after green gemstone in the market. This variety of Beryl is known for its beautiful green color, rarity and durability. Emeralds with a deep green color are most desired and price-higher, in general the paler the color of an Emerald, the lesser its value. Some very pale green colored stones are not called Emeralds but rather Green Beryl.



    Most Garnets are deep, warm red polished mineral used in antique jewlery and cocktail rings. However these stones come in different colors as well, various shades of green (Tsavorite and Demantoid), soft to intense yellow (Grossular), fierce reddish-orange (Spessartine) and some fine earth-coloured instances.



    Morganite is a pastel-colored Beryl ranging from soft pink shades to purplish-pink and orangey-pink. The gemstone’s color range includes pink, rose, peach, and salmon. In today’s market, the pink and rose tints are more desirable. Faceted Morganite usually does not have inclusions that are visible to the eye and it can be cut in all standard shapes and sizes as well as in unique designer cuts.



    Onyx is a gemstone of solid black Chalcedony, or a banded or layered black and white Chalcedony. The term Onyx is sometimes used to described any engraved stone with a solid color base, or it may describe any banded gemstone with parallel banding. In its solid black form, Onyx is the most traditional black gemstone.



    Opals are the product of seasonal rains in semi-desert places. The water creates a chemical reaction with ancient underground stones and when dried it produces the Opal. The color play of the opal makes it the most colorful of gems with its flashing rainbow colors that change in every angle the stone is viewed. This phenomenon is often called opalescence. The value of an Opal is determined by the intensity and distribution of the color flashes on the stone.



    In the early times, Pearls have been one of the most prized of gemstones because of its alluring beauty and its difficulty to obtain. Like Mother of Pearl, Pearls are classified as organic jewelry forming from the soft tissue layer of mollusks. Justin's Fine Jewelry carries 3 types of Pearls:

    South Sea Pearls

    These Salt-water Pearls are regarded for their exceptional quality - smooth and round - ranging from silver to white, cream, and golden colors. Typically these pearls are 10mm and 14mm but they range from 8mm up to massive 22mm sizes. One of the rarest South Sea Pearl is the Golden Pearl which comes from the "gold-lip" oyster.


    Freshwater Pearls

    These Pearls are from freshwater bodies of water. Most of these pearls are white and round but they can also be produced in various shapes and in different pastel colors.

    Tahitian Pearls

    Named after Tahiti in the tropical islands, this Pearl can also be farmed from the Cook Islands and other places in the South Pacific. Naturally these Pearls are black but its color can range from metallic silver to black with hues of blue, purple and green. Their size ranges from 7mm to 20mm, with most of them between 10mm to 14mm. 



    A vivid light to olive green gem with slight notes of gold is the color of Peridot. This gemstone has been used since the ancient Egyptian times and has been reintroduced in the market recently. The most desirable color of Peridot is the deep olive-green with a slight yellowish tint, but the deeper olive-green tones tend to be more valuable than lighter colored greens and yellowish-greens.



    Quartz is one of the most common and most popular of gemstones. Some popular quartz include: amethyst, citrine, ametrine, rose quartz, onyx, agates, chrysoprase and rutilated quartz. Although this stone has been overlokked since it is not as valuable as most gems it is beautiful in its own merit and is used in most jewelries, this includes Rose, Smoky, Tiger’s Eye, Chalcedonies, Rutilated Quartz and Tourmalinated Quartz.



    The Ruby is the most popular red gemstone. Best known for its for its bright red color, hardness, durability, luster, and rarity. The rarest of these stones are the Transparent Rubies and are even harder to find than diamonds. Ruby is a red colored mineral called Corundum. Sapphires are also a variety of this mineral which has different except for red. It is safe to say that the Ruby is a red Sapphire, since Ruby and Sapphire are identical in all properties except for color. However, because of its magnificence and history, Rubies have their own classification.



    One of the most desirable gemstones vibrant color, hardness, durability, and luster; the Sapphire is the most precious and valuable blue gemstone. In the market, Sapphires without any specified color refers to the blue kind of this mineral Corundum. Sapphires, however, come in a wide array of colors except for red (these are Rubies).



    Sunstone is a type of quartz that has a glittery appearance with colors in red, orange, golden yellow, brown and pink, its shine and color earned it its name. Sunstones closely resemble orange Aventurine, but these stones are usually green in hue.


    Tanzanite is named after its origin, Tanzania in the Arusha region of Africa. This gem is a variety of the mineral Zoisite with a very beautiful blue to purple color. Extra care must be taken when handling Tanzanite as they are softer than most gemstones thus easily scratched.



    Topaz is the most used gemstone in the market today for many reasons, first is because of its abundance and availability, it is of good hardness and it comes in many desired colors. The most valuable Topaz is the Imperial Topaz (golden orange-yellow) and Topaz that comes in dark pinkish-red and orange-red colors, as the colors deepen so does the value of the stone. The most used Topaz in jewelry is the Blue topaz but this stone comes in various colors including: White, Colorless, Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple, Gray and Multicolored.



    Tourmaline is one of the most colorful of gemstones. It is found in all colors but most abundantly in pink, red, green, blue and multicolored. This gemstone is widely used in jewelry, Tourmaline crystals can be cut into large exquisite and flawless gemstones used as necklace and ring center stones or cabochon for beads used in bracelets or necklaces.



    One of the oldest to gemstones, the use of the Turquoise as an ornamental piece has been dated back in the ancient empires of Persian and Native American civilizations. Turquoise comes in different shades of blue or green, and is commonly veined with brown or black oxides. The most desired color of this stone is a solid, deep turquoise-blue hue. Today, Turquoise remains a popular gemstone due to its unique color it is also important to note that it is the only gemstone with a color named after it.

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