Sapphires are one of the most precious gemstones you can buy, and their extraordinary hardness makes them ideal for an engagement ring. Rating 9/10 on the MOHS scale of hardness, this beautiful stone is a popular alternative to diamond. Sapphires also have excellent durability making them hard to break which means they can be worn every day.
Best known for their blue colour these gems also come in a variety of rainbow shades known as fancy colour sapphires.
We are currently seeing a trend for stunning teal and green shades which are ethically sourced from either Australia or Montana. We have also made beautiful jewellery set with pretty peach toned sapphires from a Fairtrade mine in the Ilakaka region of Madagascar.
Like many other coloured gemstones, there is no specific way of grading colour. A clear even colour is the most prized quality in a sapphire although what matters most is whether the colour is appealing to you.
As with diamonds, sapphires do show inclusions from when they are formed in the Earth and are exhibited through small internal crystals or needle like inclusions. The clarity is graded by eye and sapphires free from any inclusions are rare.
Inclusions within the stone can make the stone unique and interesting. Like with salt and pepper diamonds, these nuances add intrigue and make your sapphire one of a kind.
Long regarded as one of the rarest and most precious coloured gemstones, the emerald is famous for its recognisable vivid green colour. As part of the Beryl family of minerals this beautiful stone has been a popular gem since royalty wore it in ancient Egypt.
The beautiful colour they possess is due to the presence of chromium and vanadium when the stone is being formed. The most desirable colour being a saturated bluish green tone, although colour variations differ depending on the country from which they are mined. An overwhelming majority of the world's emeralds are sourced from Columbia, Brazil and Zambia.
Emeralds are a popular choice for jewellery, and we have made some truly amazing engagement rings using this stone. However, emeralds are notoriously fragile and are much less durable than other precious stones such as sapphire and diamond. This is due to the internal inclusions that are common within this gemstone. These inclusions, known as an emerald's 'jardin' due to their plant like appearance, make the stone prone to chipping and breaking. It is a higher maintenance gemstone that requires a little more care and attention.
Known as 'The king of precious stones' ruby is the rarest and most expensive gemstone.
This stunning stone is, like many coloured gems, graded by eye. The most desirable colour is a vibrant red and this is the most significant factor in a rubies cost.
Rubies and sapphires are the same mineral, corundum, and trace elements of chromium give the ruby its recognisable bright red colour. However, the difference in the saturation of colour can determine whether it is regarded as a ruby or a pink sapphire.
As with sapphires, rubies are the second hardest gemstones after diamond and are the perfect stone to wear every day. Ruby is a great choice for engagement rings as the vivid red colour symbolises love and passion.
The finest examples of this majestic stone are sourced in the Myanmar, Mozambique and Vietnam.
Having a name synonymous with water, the aquamarine conjures up images of clear, cool water, and for that reason is a gemstone associated with calmness and tranquillity. This stunning blue-green stone is part of the beryl family (the same as emerald and morganite) and exhibits a lovely seawater colour.
The aquamarine gets its pretty colour from traces of iron within the mineral and, unlike with emerald, the elements within the structure do not weaken the stone in anyway making it a hard enough for everyday wear. Rating 7.5-8 on the MOHS scale, this gem rarely features internal inclusions meaning it is exceptionally transparent and sparkles beautifully.
Most aquamarines are mined in Brazil or high in the mountains of Pakistan.