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GEMSTONES

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Choosing a gemstone is an incredibly personal and important choice in any piece of jewellery.

At A Bespoke Life we love to incorporate truly one of a kind gemstones into our pieces, either with a spectacular colour, distinctive cut or a unique story.

We see the beauty in all gemstones, however not all gemstones are suitable for every type of setting, so this is our gemstone guide to help you choose your perfect stone. 

DIAMOND

££££

Hardness 10

If you think engagement ring you tend to think diamond (which you can mainly thank DeBeers for) however it’s no coincidence that a diamond was their stone of choice. 

 

Diamonds are the king of gemstones for a reason; not only are they rare and beautiful, two of the main requirements for a stone to be classified as a gemstone, but also They are also the most durable. 

Most common are the colourless diamonds, which range in colour from D-Z, however diamonds come in every colour of the rainbow; the rarest colour being red (of which there are less than 30 in the world).

Although most of our bespoke pieces champion colourless diamonds we do also use a variety of fancy colours including: champagne, yellow and black. 

Because of their rarity, diamonds have their own set of rules that they play by, if you would like to know more about diamond grading, click here.

SAPPHIRE/RUBY

£££

Hardness 9

Second in popularity after Diamonds come corundum stones: sapphires and rubies.

Sapphires are some of the most versatile stones and come in every colour imaginable, all of which are referred to as a sapphire, unless they are red, and then they are referred to as Rubies. 

An excellent choice for an engagement ring or an investment you want to wear everyday, as they are the second hardest gemstone after diamonds. 

These beauties boast rich colours and a fantastic sparkle, perfect if you want a pop of colour. 

EMERALD

£££

Hardness 7.5

(Brittle)

Emeralds, alongside sapphires and rubies, are referred to as a precious stone, and therefore carry a slightly higher price tag. 

Renowned for their intoxicating ‘emerald’ green colours, the cost of an emerald is directly related to their clarity and intensity of colour. 

 

Emeralds are packed full of personality, with even the highest quality of stone boasting a variety of internal inclusions, known as the Jardinof the emerald (from the French for Garden). 

Whilst they are beautiful stones, Emeralds are frustratingly brittle, meaning that they are liable to chip and wear with time; for this reason we would recommend using these precious stones in either necklaces or earrings, and try to stay away from an Emerald engagement ring, unless you take great care of it (no more washing up for you!) 

AQUAMARINE

£££

Hardness 7.5

The sister of the Emerald the Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl species of gemstone. 

These stones are the perfect light blue and make excellent stones if you would like a bigger piece without the price tag, as their crystals naturally grow to a much larger size.

Unlike their sister, the Emerald, these stones are often very ‘clean’, meaning that they have very few internal inclusions, and aren’t brittle, so you don’t need to be as concerned with their durability, the perfect piece for a cocktail ring.

EMERALD

£££

Hardness 7.5

(Brittle)

Emeralds, alongside sapphires and rubies, are referred to as a precious stone, and therefore carry a slightly higher price tag. 

Renowned for their intoxicating ‘emerald’ green colours, the cost of an emerald is directly related to their clarity and intensity of colour. 

 

Emeralds are packed full of personality, with even the highest quality of stone boasting a variety of internal inclusions, known as the Jardinof the emerald (from the French for Garden). 

Whilst they are beautiful stones, Emeralds are frustratingly brittle, meaning that they are liable to chip and wear with time; for this reason we would recommend using these precious stones in either necklaces or earrings, and try to stay away from an Emerald engagement ring, unless you take great care of it (no more washing up for you!) 

AQUAMARINE

£££

Hardness 7.5

The sister of the Emerald the Aquamarine belongs to the Beryl species of gemstone. 

These stones are the perfect light blue and make excellent stones if you would like a bigger piece without the price tag, as their crystals naturally grow to a much larger size.

Unlike their sister, the Emerald, these stones are often very ‘clean’, meaning that they have very few internal inclusions, and aren’t brittle, so you don’t need to be as concerned with their durability, the perfect piece for a cocktail ring.

TOURMALINE

££

Hardness 7.5

Tourmalines are one of our all time favourite stones to work with. There is no colour you won’t find in these versatile gems, with some even containing multiple colours at once.

One of the most beautiful types of Tourmaline are the watermelon coloured stones, which look like (you guessed it) a watermelon!

They’re vibrant, durable and affordable: all words we like, and for this reason a great choice for a bespoke piece.  

TOURMALINE

££

Hardness 7.5

Tourmalines are one of our all time favourite stones to work with. There is no colour you won’t find in these versatile gems, with some even containing multiple colours at once.

One of the most beautiful types of Tourmaline are the watermelon coloured stones, which look like (you guessed it) a watermelon!

They’re vibrant, durable and affordable: all words we like, and for this reason a great choice for a bespoke piece.  

GARNET

(ALMANDINE & PYROPE)

£

Hardness 7.5

Garnets are a perfect choice if you are looking for a rich coloured stone for an affordable price. One of the most complex stones chemically there are many different varieties on offer, each with a different colour and price point. 

The almandine and pyrope garnets are probably the most widely used, and are often seen in antique and vintage pieces. 

These rich, dark fruit, coloured stones are great if you want a deep coloured, durable, stone for a smaller budget. 

GARNET

(TSAVORITE)

££

Hardness 6.5

Although this bright green stone is chemically structured very similar to its Almandine & Pyrope siblings, it could not look more different.

Renowned for their vibrant green colour Tsavorite garnets were only discovered in their namesake park, Tsavo, Kenya, in 1967.

These punchy gemstones make a brilliant alternative to an Emerald; however sadly, like an Emerald, they are fairly brittle, and so are advised against being set in an everyday ring. 

They are also a little higher in price range due to their scarcity and trend to only grow in very small crystals, meaning bigger stones will set you back a fair sum. 

OPAL

£

Hardness 6

If you can’t choose which colour, why not have them all?

Opals are beautiful semi-precious stones with a unique ability to show you all the colours of the rainbow as you turn them; this unique phenomenon is called play of colour and is the result of lots of tiny silica spheres in the atomic structure of the opal which splits daylight into all its spectral colours. Essentially you’ll be wearing your own personal rainbow.

To keep your rainbow shining it is important to make sure that you don’t let those little silica spheres dehydrate, therefore we suggest storing in a cool place, ideally with a little ball of mist cotton wool near by. 

The main opal base colours are white and black, with black being a little pricier due to its rarity.

Popular in jewellery these stones can last centuries, however they are a little softer than some gemstones, meaning that we would only recommend a bezel setting and advise against an engagement ring. 

MOONSTONE

£

Hardness 6-6.5

Moonstones are entirely unique. Prized for their unique shimmer, adularescence, which looks like a moonlit pool of water glistening at night, the moonstone is a truly unique choice.  

Moonstones are most often cut as cabochons (flat backed shapes with a domed head) as this shows off their adularescence the best.

MALACHITE

£

Hardness 4

Malachite is a vibrant and unique stone, formed from concentric layers of bright and dark green layers, creating a really tactile and beautiful piece.

As malachite is opaque and has such beautiful patterns it is only ever cut as flat panels, cabochons, or carved into luxurious sculptures. 

LAPIS LAZULI

£

Hardness 5

One of the oldest gemstones known to us, lapis lazuli can be found in pieces dating back past the Egyptian dynasties. 

Known for its royal blue colour, this hardstone is often flecked with veins of gold pyrite running through it.

As lapis lazuli is opaque and known for its colour it will be found fashioned only as plaques, cabochons or sculptures. 

TANZANITE

£££

Hardness 6.5

(Brittle)

Tanzanite is a fairly new gemstone, having only been discovered in 1967, yet it has become a staple gemstone in a very short amount of time. This, vibrant, purplish-blue stone is native to Tanzania only and as such is relatively rare. 

Although beautiful, tanzanite’s are unfortunately fairly brittle, so aren’t recommend for engagement rings as they are liable to chip with time. However tanzanites make perfect choices for necklaces, earrings, bracelets and dress rings.  

QUARTZ

£

Hardness 7

Quartz is one of the most abundant materials naturally occurring on the planet. It is a hero gemstone that has been used for centuries in fine jewellery, celebrated for its diverse range of colours, size and durability.

Quartz naturally grows into very large crystals, the largest ever found being 6.1 meters in length, because of this quartz makes the perfect, inexpensive, cocktail ring. 

Some of the most interesting quartz crystals have grown with other materials inside them, resulting in things like rutiled quartz.