About Semi-Precious Colour Stone
People often refers the term “precious stones” as diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. Every other gemstone that isn’t one of these four is considered to be semi precious. Some of the more common semi-precious stones include alexandrite, agate, amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, lapis lazuli, moonstone, opal, peridot, spinel, tanzanite, tourmaline, and turquoise.
At LFX, we offer many semi-precious colour stones that are much more affordable. Here are some interesting facts and features and our buying guide for Tourmaline, Tanzanite and Aquamarine.
Tourmaline is a gemstone believed to increase flexibility, happiness, hope, objectivity, compassion and serenity….and if that’s not enough, it also enhances tolerance and understanding.
As the October birthstone and also the gem of the 8th wedding anniversary, tourmaline is found in an array of colors and hues. Many tourmaline colour varieties have inspired their own trade names:
- Rubelite – pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red tourmaline.
- Paraiba – intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraiba, Brazil.
- Chrome tourmaline – intense green tourmaline.
- Watermelon tourmaline – pink in the centre and green around the outside tourmaline.
Tourmaline Buying Guide
Colour is the most important quality factor for tourmaline. With all the amazing colours of tourmaline there is a colour for every preference. Paraiba being the most rare coloured tourmaline, it is currently the most highly priced. Other highly demanded colour including pink, green, and watermelon colour.
Tourmalines are usually expected to be eye-clean, meaning they usually have high clarity with little visible inclusion. It is also common to see large sized tourmaline on the market.
Being one of the most demanded semi-precious stones, tourmaline’s prices have increased significantly over the recent years. It is many people’s favourite stones for a cocktail ring due to its large sizes and everyday wear earring or pendant for its rainbow colour choices.
Care and Clean for Tourmaline
Tourmaline is considered fair in toughness, which means it can easily scratch and abrade with everyday wear. It does depend greatly on the wearer, if you tend to be hard on your jewelry, Tourmaline should be an “occasional wear” gem unless it is set into earrings or necklaces.
Warm, soapy water is the best method for cleaning Tourmaline. The use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners is not recommended.
Tanzanite is a blue-purple flavour of the mineral zoisite and is named after its country of origin, Tanzania, where the only known deposit occur, which makes tanzanite one of the rarest of gemstones. It is the December birthstone.
All tanzanite is a mix of blue and violet – and will show the two colours when tilted and rocked. Tanzanite is described as being blue with a violet tint or the other way around. Tanzanite’s rich velvety blue can be as beautiful as a Kashmir sapphire. The value can be quite high in these color tones, just a little less than the sapphire it resembles.
Tanzanite Buying Guide
As with all coloured gemstones, it is the colour of the Tanzanite that determines the value. Originally, tanzanite was used as an inexpensive replacement for sapphire. So the most desired colour is a slightly violet blue.
Care and Clean for Tanzanite
Measuring 6-7 on the MOHS hardness scale, Tanzanite is a softer gemstone than sapphire and must be handled with care when setting and when wearing. Avoiding the ultrasonic cleaner is recommended as it is sensitive to sudden temperature changes and also has a low resistance to ultrasound.
When wearing Tanzanite in a ring setting, over time the gem will become abraded and the facets blurred. Wearing your ring for special occasions is suggested to preserve the longevity of the gemstone, given the proper care it can last a long time.
Part of the beryl family and closely related to emeralds, Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. It is also the gem representing the 19th wedding anniversary. Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool. Its colour is usually a light pastel greenish blue.
Did you know Aquamarines are named after seawater? It is derived from two Latin words, aqua, meaning “water,” and marina, meaning “of the sea.”
Aquamarines have been adored by Kings and Queens, in fact Queen Elizabeth II has adored these beautiful gems since her coronation in 1953. Presented with a spectacular necklace and earrings she later added a bracelet and even an Aquamarine tiara to her fine collection of jewels.
Termed as “semi-precious”, Aquamarines are actually very precious and a must for every jewelry wardrobe. They are stunningly beautiful, can protect the wearer and if you suffer from sea sickness, this is the gem sailors wore to prevent this affliction on long voyages... so the stories are told.
Aquamarine Buying Guide
A fine Aquamarine has the perfect combination of color and clarity. Most sought after are the gems with a dark blue to a faint greenish blue with no eye visible inclusions. The best cutters will take into consideration all of these attributes to create the most beautiful gem possible!
Care and Clean for Aquamarine
Aquamarines are not recommended to be cleaned in an ultrasonic machine. At home, care is as simple as using warm soapy water with a soft brush (to get into all the spaces creams and soaps can hide) then wipe dry with a soft cloth.