When the word gems or gemstones is mentioned, often the first things that come to most people’s minds are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. The treasures of kings and queens, engagement rings, movie stars on the red carpet. Precious gemstones.

Whilst its true its these precious gemstones that have captured our imagination when it comes to the definition of gemstones, this is really only the tip of the gemstone iceberg.

Gemstones also include:-

Semi precious stones such as such as garnet, moonstone, topaz, peridot and many more….. or lesser known examples such as Spectrolite, Labradorite and Rhodochrosite.

Natural material gemstones, such as fossilized coral, amber, fossilized wood and opal.

To become a gemstone, the raw material must be cut but there are so many options for cutting. Free form shapes, cabochons and facets.

And then many options for each cut, there are dozens of different variations of all of these and different cuts suit different materials.

Gemstones can be perfect or flawed, natural, man made or colored. Gemstones of the same material, can be vastly different colors. Many common semi precious stones such as bright blue topaz and bright orange citinre get their colour from a special coloring process – specimens found naturally in these colors are very rare.

In the following pages we hope to give you an insight into some different varieties of gemstone, how to tell the genuine from the fake, what cuts suit different stones and much more