(updated February 2022)
You know about diamonds and rubies, emeralds and sapphires. All gems that have long decorated the most famous pieces of jewelry. You love the lush tones of an amethyst, and know how to spot a fiery opal from miles away. But there’s more than just those familiar gems.
Sometimes I look at my collection of gems and think ‘oh you are criminally underrated!’ – so today I’m going to introduce you to a few of my favorite gemstones you should know!
Don't you agree sunstone is so gliterrific?
Sunstones are stunning. That’s all I want to say, really. It often comes with inclusions that make it look like a glitter bomb just exploded! But even without these inclusions called Schiller effect, they refract light beautifully to give you a brilliant show every time you look at it. We’ve got a few Oregon sunstones waiting for a good home.
SUNSTONE FUN FACT
Here’s a fun word to describe the sunstone; aventurescence. It means an optical illusion which looks like metallic glitter. I prefer to just say glitterific!
Having only recently been promoted to a birthstone (shout out to August babies!), spinel is available in so many gorgeous colors. From red, pink, blue, lavender, violet, dark green, brown, black, to colorless. The color depends on the mining location and what other minerals it interacted with during its creation. All I know is, I want them all!
SPINEL FUN FACT
Pink spinel is often mistaken for ruby. One of the most famous instances is the Timur Ruby, which is actually a red spinel weighing 361 carats. It’s currently owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
Apatite makes me dream of submerging in a tropical water.
Discovering apatite is like finding a secret creek. Pure and untainted, apatite’s vibrant blue color makes me dream of being in a pool of spring water, or catching a wave all to myself just after sunrise.
APATITE FUN FACT
Apatite is the name of a group of minerals (called phosphate) found commonly on Earth. It’s so common it’s in your teeth and bones! What’s even more amazing, a piece of apatite can exist within other gemstones’ crystal structure. So a sapphire can contain an apatite within.
The blush pink morganite is one of the sweetest gemstone shades. I just can't love it enough!
The sweetest and softest pink, morganite is a blushing variety of beryl - the same family as emeralds and aquamarines. They sometimes come with patches of yellow, though most go through a heat treatment to make them more uniform and intense in its peach pink color. Pair a morganite with rose gold, and I’m sold. It looks a little like how a first love feels.
MORGANITE FUN FACT
"The Rose of Maine" is one of the largest morganites ever found, weighing a whopping 23 kgs. It was found at the Bennett Quarry in Buckfield, Maine. It was soon cut up and polished into smaller pieces though.
Owning a piece of zircon is literally owning a piece of history!
Zircon can be found on the crust of the earth. They come in a lot of colors, ranging from reddish brown, yellow, green, blue to gray and translucent. They’re dazzling in their clarity. I’ve always ended up designing them as individual pieces, because I like having zircon as a focus. But they also make stunning partners to other stones.
ZIRCON FUN FACT
Using Uranium–lead dating, zircon from Western Australia is so far dated as the oldest mineral on earth. It goes back 4.404 billion years, to what is often interpreted as the age of crystallization.