So many gemstones, so little time! With the rainbow of options that Apples of Gold offers, how do you know which to choose? Here’s the rundown on a number of gorgeous gems from amethyst to tanzanite:
The regal purple amethyst is a favorite of many women for its ability to make anyone feel like a princess. It has captured both eyes and imaginations for thousands of years. Since the time of the Old Testament, it has been prized as a stone of beauty, and it was treasured by both the ancients Egyptians and the Romans. Even the Russian empress Catherine the Great is said to have sought after this gem. Amethyst is the February birthstone, adding a pop of rich color to a month that’s often cold and gray. Since it’s a semi-precious gemstone, it adds a splash of life at a relatively wallet-friendly-price, despite its fit-for-royalty appearance.
Pliny, the ancient philosopher, said that aquamarine “has charms not to be denied,” and he was right. The March birthstone exhibits a stunning light blue color that complements nearly any skin tone. Aquamarine serves as the birthstone for the month of March, adding welcome vibrancy and sparkle. In addition, it’s almost always completely free of inclusions (flaws) and is able to stand up to a bit of wear and tear, due to its hardness. The word “aquamarine” comes from two Latin words meaning “water” and “the sea,” and once you’ve seen this mesmerizing blue gem, it’s not hard to see how it got its name: its light indigo is truly like the clearest blue ocean, glittering in the sunlight.
Sunny citrine, the November birthstone, is loved for its ability to brighten a rainy day and to add a pop of vibrant color that’s both playful and sophisticated. Its name comes from a French word for “lemon,” giving a clue to its appearance; it’s a golden, intense yellow, a color that’s caused by trace amounts of iron. Citrine, a type of quartz, is fairly common in nature, and as a result, it’s usually considerably more affordable than another popular golden stone: topaz. And, since it’s relatively abundant, the citrine that is used in jewelry has very few flaws. Like other types of quartz, it’s resistant to scratches and is a good pick for those who tend to be rough on their jewelry.
The rich green color of emerald, the May birthstone, has made this gemstone a favorite for millennia. Emeralds were found in Cleopatra’s mines and are considered to be one of the four classic precious gemstones. They’re actually the most precious stones in the beryl family and their rare, deeply saturated good looks give them a timeless appeal. They’re also resistant to scratches and quite durable, making them suited for jewelry that will be passed down to future generations.
Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January, but this deep red gem adds welcome color and warmth any time of year. As a semi-precious gemstone, it’s significantly less expensive than the classic red precious gemstone, the ruby. However, with its rich hue, it’s not a mere substitute for another gem—it holds a beauty all of its own.
The Romans gave peridot the nickname “emerald of the evening” because of its unique ability to retain its color, even in the dim lights used after dusk. As the birthstone for August, peridot is drenched in both the lush green of summer and the golden rays of the sun. This gem is type of the mineral olivine, and pays homage to this name with its olive-like hue. As a semi-precious gemstone, it’s a wallet-friendly alternative to an emerald and a uniquely gorgeous stone in its own right.
The July birthstone, the ruby, is one of the four classic precious gemstones. It’s known for its bright, bold red color, so much so that the word “ruby” is often used to describe the most crimson of crimson hues. Even King Solomon acknowledged the ruby when he compared this stone to wisdom, indicating that the wisest man who ever lived thought that the ruby was of incredible value. As a variety of the mineral corundum, rubies are also quite hard, giving them a beauty that can endures across generations.
As the September birthstone, sapphire captures the color of an evening sky and glitters as though it’s covered with stars. Many cultures have regarded this deep blue gemstone as a symbol of heaven, and even more have sought after it as an object of beauty. Even Helen of Troy is said to have worn a large sapphire. Like the ruby, the sapphire is a type of the mineral corundum, and as such it’s very hard and resistant to wear—the only gemstone that’s harder is a diamond. One of the four classic precious gemstones, the sapphire exhibits a timeless appeal that has never fallen out of favor.
Tanzanite hasn’t been on the jewelry scene for very long compared to most other gemstones, but it’s making a big impact. This gem was discovered just 45 years ago in Tanzania near the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. To this day, it’s been found only in this one location, an area about five miles square, giving jewelry that contains it a large measure of exclusivity. The majority of tanzanite that’s found in nature is green or brown, though a fraction of these stones are naturally blue or purple. Most of the tanzanite that’s found in jewelry is heat treated to create a hue that’s unlike any other: an alluring cornflower blue with a hint of purple that makes it hard to look away. Tanzanite is an alternative birthstone for the month of December and its color is universally flattering any time of year.
From amethyst to tanzanite, there’s a gemstone that’s a perfect fit for your personality and sense of style. Use this gemstone jewelry guide to pick one that suits you and explore Apples of Gold’s collection of rings, pendants and earrings to find your perfect pieces.
Related: Gemstone Rings