Precious gemstones are minerals that, by nature, have key differences from all other rocks. They may have the same chemical composition, but due to special conditions when created, they present some rare characteristics that make them distinguished, such as transparency, luster, color, hardness and fluorescence.
When a mineral has these characteristics, experienced craftsmen work on it in order to show off its uniqueness. Their value is calculated according to gem’s weight (measurement unit is the carat/ct.) and its rarity.
The most important precious gemstones, besides the diamond which is considered as the crowning precious gem, are the ruby, the sapphire and the emerald.
The ruby is formed by the mineral corundum, which is constituted by aluminum oxide. The ruby took its name from the latin rubber-rum, which means red. Its coloring substances are chrome and iron. Color and size determine also the gem’s value. The most desirable color is “pigeon’s blood” red. The ruby is found in a crude dull form but once it is cut, its sparkle is close to that of a diamond. It is the hardest gem after the diamond and one of the most precious ones.
It symbolizes freedom, energy and philanthropy.
The sapphire is formed like ruby by the same mineral, corundum. Its name comes from the latin sapphirus which means blue. What makes the difference between the sapphire and the ruby, is its coloring substance. It can be found in all colors except red. Blue is the most common color due to the presence of small quantities of iron and titanium. The most desirable color is pure blue without brown or green nuances. The orange-pink sapphire is called Pad-Paradschah, from the lotus flower’s color and it is very rare. The hardness is the same as the ruby’s.
It symbolizes strength, love and innocence.
The name emerald comes from the vulgar latin esmeralda and the greek smaragdos —both mean green gemstone. The emerald and the aquamarine belong to the family of mineral beryl, but the emerald is rarer than all the other precious gems of the family. The most desired color is pure deep green, without blue or brown nuances. The substances which give this color are the chromium and the vanadium. The emerald is often dull due to some inclusions such as liquid, gas bubbles, cracks and unknown crystals. But this is not a flaw, on the contrary, it is evidence of the gem’s authenticity. Experts call these inclusions “garden”. Sapphire is not as hard as the ruby and, for this reason, it needs more attention, as it is sensitive to clangs.
It symbolizes hope.