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Precious Gemstones

Ruby

The word ruby comes from the Latin word “rubens” which means Red. Rubies are found in various spectrum of red colour, from brilliant dark red to pigeon blood red and pinkish red. The red hue arises from hints of the mineral chromium. Ruby is a customary gift for those couples celebrating their 40th anniversaries, and is also the birthstone for the month of July.

Rubies are exceptionally strong gemstones, recording 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. They are as durable as sapphires and only slightly softer than diamonds (which measures 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness). Rubies are mined all over the world, including Burma, Africa, Australia and the United States. The majority of rubies, however, originate in Burma, Thailand and other locations in Asia.

Almost all rubies have imperfections. Rubies without any flaws are extremely scarce and tend to command very high prices – even more than diamonds of similar characteristics. The most valuable rubies are those with a full, vivid red colour with a touch of bluish flare. Initially, the best rubies were mined in Burma. Hence, the term “Burmese ruby”, which is used to describe the best quality Rubies.

Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their colour and strengthen them. This is standard practice in the jewellery industry. Any enhancement due to heat treatment is permanent, and should be declared by the jeweller.

Rubies, because of their rich red colours, represent the emblem of eternal love. When paired with two brilliant cut round diamonds in a yellow gold setting they make a stunning ring.

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Sapphire

The word sapphire comes from the Greek word “sappheiros”, which means “blue stone”. Sapphires belong to a variety of minerals known as corundum. They are amongst the most durable natural gemstones known to gemmologists, second only to diamonds. Although the vibrant blue is their most recognised colour, and are found in a rainbow of colours including pink, yellow and orange amongst many others.

The cost of natural sapphires varies depending on their colour, clarity, size, cut, and overall quality – as well as their geographic source. Significant sapphire deposits are known to exist in Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America . Almost all Sapphires are treated to improve their colour and strength. This is standard practice in the jewellery industry. Any enhancement due to heat treatment is permanent, and should be declared by the jeweller.

Sapphires are often associated with nobility and dignity and are a favourite gemstone for royalty. That association was reinforced in 1981, when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a blue sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana Spencer. Sapphire is a customary gift for those couples celebrating their 45th anniversaries, and is also the birthstone for the month of September. Sapphire jewellery is fabulous when surrounded with small brilliant cut diamonds, in a white gold or platinum setting.

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Emerald

The word emerald comes from the Latin word “smaragdus” which means green. The first known emeralds emerged from the mines of ancient Egypt perhaps from at least 330 BC in the 1700s. One Famous emerald lover was Cleopatra. Known to be deeply passionate of emeralds, she used it for her royal embellishments. Emeralds are mined in many countries, including Columbia, Russia and Brazil, which is the world’s largest supplier of emeralds.

Emeralds are famous for their deep, unique green colour, and are represented in different intensities of green, from deep dark green to vibrant soft green. Emeralds are comparatively strong gemstones, recording 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. While they are fairly robust, they can be chipped or scratched relatively easily. Emeralds belong to the beryl mineral family. Their colour is caused by minute amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Most natural emeralds are subjected to treatments to enhance their colour and reduce visible flaws. The most common practice is to use a green-tinted oil to fill in any inclusions and strengthen the emerald against damage from accidental knocks.

Representing the colour of spring, emerald is the birthstone for May. It is also a customary gift for those couples celebrating their 35th anniversaries. Emeralds are best presented in a yellow gold claw setting with pavé set diamonds shoulders

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