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Gemstone info

This page contains some useful birthstone information relating to most of the gemstones used within our silver jewellery designs.

Please note: Birthstone information was extracted from the Standard UK Birthstone Chart and differs to the information provided by The 1937 British National Association of Goldsmiths. Birthstones may also vary depending upon your country of origin.
Amethyst

Amethyst

Traditional birthstone: February

Amethyst is a beautiful vivid purple or violet gemstone available in a wide variety of faceted and cabochon styles. Its wonderful variety of colours makes it the most popular of the quartz family to be used in jewellery production.

Amethyst can differ in colour depending upon the region in which it has been mined and generally varies from a pale lilac to a deep purple.

It is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Zambia and several other African countries. A darker variety of amethyst is also found in Australia.
Carnelian

Carnelian

Alternative birthstone: July (also see Onyx)

Carnelian is also known as chalcedony and ranges in colour from bright orange to reddish orange. The shades of red are due to inclusions of iron oxide.

Most carnelian is stained chalcedony from Brazil or Uruguay, but it can also be naturally sun-treated to change its brown tints to red.

The best carnelian is found in India.
Chalcedony (Blue)

Chalcedony (Blue)

Blue chalcedony is a translucent to transparent milky blue or grayish quartz. It is a finely crystallised or fibrous quartz that forms rounded crusts or stalactites in volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Chalcedony, agates, jaspers, bloodstone, carnelian and onyx all make up the chalcedony gemstone family.

Being relatively inexpensive, chalcedony is the best available and most collected gemstone. Having good healing powers, the gemstone is believed to banish fear, depression and reduce fevers.

Chalcedony is found in many parts of the world, but the most valued chalcedonies are from India, Madagascar, Burma, Brazil, Mexico & the USA.
Citrine

Citrine

Alternative birthstone: November (also see Topaz)

Citrine is a pale yellow variety of crystalline quartz resembling topaz. It is considered an alternative to topaz but is a separate mineral altogether.

Being one of the most affordable gemstones, citrine is durable, slightly softer and has less brilliance than precious topaz.

Citrine derives its name from the French word citron, meaning 'lemon'. The different shades range from yellow, gold, orange and brown.

Most citrine is mined in Brazil, although some is reproduced through heat treating amethyst.
Garnet

Garnet

Traditional birthstone: January

Garnet is an aluminium or calcium silicate mineral found embedded within igneous and metamorphic rocks.

The colour of garnet ranges from shades of red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green, colourless and occasionally black.

Garnet derives its name from ancient Greeks, as its colour reminded them of the pomegranate seed or granatum. It is a renowned ancient gem and has been treasured for thousands of years.

Garnet is said to stimulate the bloodstream and help to combat depression and lethargy. It symbolizes fire, faith, courage, truth, grace, compassion, constancy and fidelity.

It is found in the regions of Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Canada, Czech Republic, Spain and the USA.
Iolite

Iolite

Alternative birthstone: September (also see Lapis Lazuli)

Iolite is a blue silicate mineral that occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks, as a result of the contamination of volcanic magma by aluminous sediment.

Iolite has different colours running in different directions within the crystal, which helps us to understand how the gemstone changes colours depending upon which angle it is viewed.

The name iolite comes from the Greek word ios, meaning 'violet'.

It is found in the regions of Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar and Brazil.
Labradorite

Labradorite

Labradorite is one of a series in the family of plagioclase feldspars (complex silicates with varying amounts of sodium and calcium). This family also includes the moonstone and sunstone.

The mineral property 'labradorescence' gets its name from this mineral and refers to the luminous blue, green, gold and red sheen given off when turned under light.

Labradorite is thought to have excellent healing properties for eyesight, stress and mental agitation. It is found in Madagascar, Finland, Oregon and Mexico.
Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli

Alternative birthstone: September (also see Iolite)

Lapis Lazuli is an opaque to translucent blue, violet-blue or greenish-blue gemstone composed mainly of lazurite, calcite, pyrite and sodalite. The rich blue colour is due to the sulphur inherent within the structure of lazurite.

Lapis Lazuli is said to cleanse the mental body while releasing old karmic patterns.

It is currently mined in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but important amounts are also mined in Russia, Italy, Canada and the USA.
Onyx (Black)

Onyx (Black)

Alternative birthstone: July (also see Carnelian)

Onyx is a chalcedony that occurs in bands of different colours. It is also found in brown, gray and white.

Onyx is composed of relatively straight, parallel layers of different colours. When the dark layers are brown or brownish red, it is often called sardonyx. Onyx is usually cut into cabochon or beads. Some onyx is natural, but much is produced by the staining of agate.

It is available in the regions of the USA, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, India and Africa.
Pearl

Pearl

Traditional birthstone: June (also see Rainbow Moonstone)

Pearls are not classed as gemstones, although we thought the information would be useful. They are created by oysters (and a small group of other shellfish) when a small irritant such as a grain of sand gets trapped under their shells. To avoid further irritation, the oyster will start producing nacre and coat the intruder to sooth its discomfort. Over years of treatment, a pearl is produced.

Nearly all marketed pearls are cultured, where a relatively large bead or piece of tissue from a mussel is placed inside the body of the host oyster. This stimulates the formation of a cultured pearl. These pearls generally come from Japan, Tahiti and other South Sea waters including Australia.

Pearls vary in colour from black, pink, cream, silver-gray, blue, yellow, lavender and green.

The pearls we use in our silver jewellery are of the freshwater variety.
Peridot

Peridot

Traditional birthstone: August

Peridot, which is a volcanic gemstone, is a yellow-green variety of olivine. It is composed of silica, magnesia and iron. The gemstone is formed of olivine; a silicate found in igneous rocks and a major constituent of the Earth's upper mantle.

Small crystallites of peridot are often found in the basalt rocks created by volcanoes but have also been found in iron-nickel meteorites called pallasites.

Peridot derives its name from the French word peritot, meaning 'unclear'. It is also believed to take its name from the Arabic word faridat, meaning 'gem'.

Peridot is mined in the USA, Myanmar, Egypt, China, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Rainbow Moonstone

Rainbow Moonstone

Alternative birthstone: June (also see Pearl)

A significant portion of the Earth's crust is composed of minerals from the feldspar group such as moonstone, amazonite, oligoslase and labradorite.

In India, moonstone is considered to be a sacred stone and has a floating light effect and sheen called adularescence, similar to the light of the moon.

It is usually set as a cabochon and rarely faceted.

Moonstone specimens commonly exhibit chatoyancy and sometimes display a strong cat's eye. Colours vary from typically white, colourless or light grayish blue.

The rainbow moonstone often produces a full spectrum of colours when turned under a light, hence its name.
Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz is one of the most desirable varieties of the quartz family. Its colour is obtained through iron and titanium impurities within the natural stone.

Rose Quartz beads, dating back to 7,000BC, have been located in Mesopotamia. It is said that the Assyrians and the Romans were the first to use it.

Rose Quartz is often referred to as the 'love stone', as it is said to open the heart. The gemstone is also believed to bring gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, tolerance and remove fear and anger.

It is found in Madagascar, Brazil, India, Germany and several regions of the USA.
Topaz (Blue)

Topaz (Blue)

Traditional birthstone: November (also see Citrine)

Topaz is a blue, yellow, brown, pink or colourless aluminium silicate mineral, often found located within granite rocks and valued as a gemstone. Under suitable conditions, topaz grows into enormous crystals. It derives its name from the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning 'fire'.

Being a transparent stone with a vitreous lustre, its pure crystals look beautiful in exclusive jewellery items. Although red and pink are the most rare and most desirable colours for topaz, blue topaz is extremely popular. Topaz is a very hard gemstone but it can be split with a heavy blow - a trait it shares with diamond.

It is said that topaz balances emotions and gives feelings of joy and is referred to as the spiritual rejuvenation gemstone.

Deposits of topaz are found in the regions of Russia, Siberia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Africa, China, Japan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico, and the USA.
Turquoise

Turquoise

Traditional birthstone: December

Turquoise is a blue to blue-green mineral of aluminium and copper.

It derives its name from the name Turc ('Turkish' in French), as it was transported to Europe through Turkey.

It is one of the oldest known gem materials on our planet. Turquoise is a mineral deposited from circulating waters.

Ancient manuscripts from Persia, India, Afghanistan and Arabia report that the health of a person wearing turquoise can be assessed by variations in its colour. It is also said to bring good fortune.

Deposits are found in Iran, Africa, Australia, Tibet, China, Siberia, Europe and South West USA.