The world of coloured gemstones is vast and multifaceted – offering an eclectic range of shapes, colours and sizes to increasingly discerning consumers. Apart from the so-called “Big Three,” gemstones come in other types and forms that are turning heads in the jewellery sector.
Coloured gemstones possess other unique characteristics that make them more endearing. For instance, alexandrite’s rare colour-change quality is highly admired by gemstone afficionados. A variant of the mineral chrysoberyl, alexandrite exhibits a crisp, elegant green colour in daylight or fluorescent light that changes to an intense brownish or purplish red under an incandescent light from a lamp or candle flame. The shift in colour is based on how the mineral absorbs light.
Steeped in myths and legends, aquamarine is celebrated for its captivating blue colour – from crystal-clear or greenish/greyish hues to more vivid variations. Belonging to the beryl family, aquamarine has a Mohs hardness of 7.5 to 8, making it highly durable. It is suitable for any shape, including the classical emerald cut; the many-facetted cuts in round and pointed shapes; modern cabochons and other fantasy cuts.
Tanzanite is another beloved unconventional gemstone, with colours ranging from rich blues to invigorating violets. It is likewise celebrated for its rarity. Mined from only one source – a small 4km strip of earth in Tanzania at the foot of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro – tanzanite has been marketed as a stone “a thousand times rarer than diamonds,” with industry experts estimating that its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.