Sapphires come in a variety of colours, but they are most commonly used in jewellery in a dark blue colour, fancy sapphires come in yellows, greens and pinks.
Sapphire is the third hardest gemstone after diamond and moissanite. It is the birthstone for September and often given in celebration of a 45th wedding anniversary.
Ruby is closely related to sapphire, as they both come from the corundum family. Rubies can be any shade of red, from pinkish, to purplish and even brownish red depending on the chromium and iron content of the stone.
Ruby is also the third hardest gemstone and is the birthstone for July and is often given in celebration of a 40th wedding anniversary.
Emerald’s are predominately green, either pure green, green with a tint of blue or lighter green with more of a yellowly tone.
The chemical make-up of an emerald means that it is stable against light and heat so will not fade.
An Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May and is often given on a 55th wedding anniversary.
Diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth. Although the pure, colourless diamond is the most popular, diamonds also come in a variety of colours such as yellow, brown, green, blue, pink, red, grey and black.
Diamonds are graded by the 4 c’s colour, cut, clarity and carat (weight). Diamond is the birthstone of April and is often given in celebration of 60th wedding anniversary.
Aquamarine is closely related to an Emerald and comes in a variety of colours such as sea green, sky blue and dark blue.
Almost all aquamarines have been heat treated to enhance their colour so care must be taken not to overheat the stones as they may become colourless.
Aquamarine is the birthstone of March and can be given in celebration of a 19th wedding anniversary.
Tourmaline comes in a huge variety of colours from pink and red, green and blue and orangey brown to a rarer colourless shade.
Tourmaline is a great lower budget alternative to precious gemstones as they have good lustre and sparkle. Tourmaline is the birthstone of October and is often given on an 8th and 38th wedding anniversary.
Peridot is an olive or bottle green coloured semi-precious stone, due to the iron present in the stone.
Peridot is the birthstone of August and is often given in celebration of a 16th wedding anniversary.
Topaz comes in a variety of colours from deep golden yellow to pink, blue and green. It is one of the harder semi-precious stones.
Topaz is the birthstone for November and is often given in celebration of a 4th wedding anniversary.
Tanzanite is a rare and beautiful transparent indigo-violet gemstone. It is a relatively soft gemstone, that can be brittle and will chip quite easily so is therefore recommended for earrings, necklaces, and pendants.
Tanzanite is the birthstone of December and is often given in celebration of a 24th wedding anniversary.
Alexandrite is a hard and durable stone, particularly suitable for making jewellery.
Alexandrite is very rare and valuable and changes from green in daylight to red, mauve, and brown under incandescent light from a light bulb. Alexandrite is the birthstone of June and is often given on a 15th wedding anniversary.
Pearls are formed in shellfish, especially oysters and mussels. Pearls vary in colours from white, white with a hint of colour (often pink) to brown or black.
They are sensitive to several factors, such as acids, dryness, humidity so is less durable than many other gems. Pearls are the birthstone of June and are often given in celebration of a 30th wedding anniversary.