Guide to coloured gemstones

In the previous article I took you through all the basics and interesting facts about diamonds. This time I would like to introduce you to the colored gemstones I work with when making jewelry. Most often you will find coloured sapphires, rubies and emeralds. As is the case with diamonds, it is a good idea to know the specifications of coloured gemstones. At the same time, they are associated with all sorts of legends, myths and recommendations. Let’s do it!


Basic information

The name sapphire comes from the Greek ‘sappheiros’, which translates to blue. It belongs to the corundum family, just like the red ruby. In terms of hardness, it is second only to diamond and, like ruby, it is number 9 on the Mohs scale. Although its most famous and sought-after colour is blue, you can find a whole range of sapphires. These depend on the amount of admixture of other elements and thus colour the stones purple, pink, red, orange, yellow to yellow-greenish.

Specification of stones

Even with sapphires, you can orient yourself according to the so-called. 4C. If you are hearing about them for the first time, check out the article on diamonds where I have explained everything carefully. In terms of colour, the most common and most popular colour is clearly blue. Its intensity is clearly the most important factor that determines quality and price, largely at the expense of its size. Sapphires can be processed into a variety of shapes, most commonly seen in oval, round or cushion cut. The purity of natural sapphires is usually graded on a letter scale, with AAA being the best grade. Stones with poorer clarity and larger inclusions then move down the scale.

Myths, trivia and uses

The sapphire is considered a symbol of heaven, innocence, truth and good health. It is believed to bring gifts of fulfillment, joy, prosperity, inner peace and beauty. Some have worn it to ward off illness or as protection when travelling.They are one of the most valuable gemstones. Popular in ancient Rome, ancient Persia and throughout the Middle Ages. Dark blue sapphires are associated with royalty (which probably contributed to the colour being named “royal blue”). Royal blue sapphires were often worn by medieval kings, some of whom believed the gems would protect them from enemies. We can also remember Princess Diana’s engagement ring, one of the most famous jewels in history. The ring consists of a unique 12 carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds.


Basic information

Ruby has been valued for centuries for its beautiful colour and rarity. It is one of the most valuable gemstones and its price can, in exceptional cases, surpass that of diamonds of approximately the same size. Thanks to its truly excellent hardness and durability, which reaches grade 9 on the Mohs scale, it has ideal proportions for grinding. The deep red colour symbolising passion and desire rightly makes it a favourite symbol of romantic love.

Ruby Specifications

Like the sapphire, the ruby belongs to the corundum family. The most important factor by which we measure not only the quality but also the price of a ruby is the colour. The colour range of rubies is quite wide, the rarest and therefore the most desirable is the colour called. of pigeon blood. It is a deep red shade with hints of purple to violet. In terms of clarity, ruby, unlike diamonds, tolerates inclusions. Ideally, they can produce rare effects, such as the smoke effect or the cat’s eye effect. The price of rubies with this characteristic can often be higher than the price of clear rubies. Thanks to the already mentioned high hardness, rubies can be cut into a variety of cuts and shapes.

Myths, trivia and uses

Rubies symbolize strength and protection. When worn as a talisman, the ruby was believed to help protect warriors in battle. They are even mentioned four times in the Bible because of their beauty and wisdom. The most expensive ruby ever sold was the so called. “Hope Ruby,” which sold for $6.74 million with a total weight of 32.08 carats. The Crown of the Czech Saint Wenceslas contains a total of 250 carats of rubies.


Basic information

Although the specific green color is not for everyone, emeralds maintain their own class and are one of the most sought after gems on the market. Emerald, which is the most valuable stone in the beryl family, has and always has had the edge over other green gems such as peridot and tourmaline with its lush blue-green tones. Unlike the aforementioned stones, emerald ranks 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale, making it a much more fragile stone. The intensity of the specific blue-green colour reflects primarily the chromium and vanadium content. The more of these two elements an emerald contains, the more intense its colour.


Even with emeralds, color is a key factor in determining value. The most valuable emeralds take on deep green hues with blue highlights. These emeralds mostly come from Colombia, the world’s largest emerald deposit. Paradoxically, from the point of view of clarity, inclusions resembling small cracks are welcome, because thanks to them we know that these are also genuine, natural emeralds.

As I mentioned above, emeralds are considerably more fragile than other gemstones, so they must be handled with extra care. They are the only stones that have their own cut, the emerald cut. This rectangular or square cut has cut corners that not only visually flatter the stone, but also protect it from damage.

Myths, trivia and uses

The oldest emeralds are up to 2.97 billion years old. The first known emeralds were mined in Egypt around 1500 BC. They were Cleopatra’s favourite stones and her passion pr According to ancient folklore, an emerald placed under your tongue will help you see into the future. Emeralds are said to protect against memory loss and enhance intuition.