Gemstone Education

 

We all delight in the beauty of a gemstone, especially here at Parrys Jewellers. These natural wonders, created by crystallised chemical compounds, come directly from Mother Nature and are chosen for their beauty but also for their durability.

Just like every person is unique, so are gemstones, thus creating completely unique pieces often becoming heirloom pieces for future generations.

At Parrys Jewellers, we help guide you in your choice of gemstone, based not only on their appeal, but also their rarity, hardness, symbolism to you and the type of jewellery piece they will be adorning.

Gemstone hardness, rating a gems resistance to scratching and everyday stress is a primordial factor to consider when choosing how to wear your precious stone. Based on the Mohs Scale, a hardness of 9 or 10 would be best chosen for an engagement ring. Gemstones with a hardness of 8 are also a good choice for everyday wear, however a rating of 7 or less works best for occasional wear only such as dress rings or pendants.

If you are looking to create a custom jewellery piece, we have an incredible range of natural gemstones in-store or can source any particular cut, size or colour you desire. Discover our Custom Design process here.

See our birthstone list

 

Exceptional Gems

 

Emerald

  • Variety: Beryl
  • Colour: Vibrant green to blueish green
  • Mohs Hardness: 7.5 - 8
  • Etymology: Derives from the Greek “smaragdos” meaning “green gem”
  • Did you know? Most emeralds will have some type of internal inclusion, usually quite visible to the naked eye
  • Birthstone: May
 

 Ruby

  • Variety: Corundum
  • Colour: Pinkish red to dark red
  • Mohs Hardness: 9
  • Etymology: From the Latin "ruber" for red
  • Did you know? A ruby’s colour comes from traces of chromium, all other colour varieties of corundum are referred to as sapphire
  • Birthstone: July

 

Sapphire

  • Variety: Corundum
  • Colour: Every colour but red
  • Mohs Hardness: 9
  • Etymology: From the Latin "sapphirus" for blue
  • Did you know? The only natural item that scratch a sapphire is a diamond
  • Birthstone: September

 

 

Precious Gems

 

 Aquamarine

  • Variety: Beryl
  • Colour:  Blue to greenish blue – light in tone
  • Mohs Hardness: 7.5 - 8.0
  • Etymology: From the Latin aqua marina for "sea water," in allusion to the colour
  • Did you know? Hundreds of years ago, Aquamarine was referred to as sea-green beryl
  • Birthstone: March

 

Morganite

  • Variety: Beryl
  • Colour: Pink to Orange-Pink
  • Mohs Hardness: 7.5 - 8
  • Etymology: Named after J. P. Morgan, an American investment banker and financier
  • Did you know? Morganite is currently the third most popular choice for an engagement ring stone, with diamond in first place and sapphire in second

 

Pearl

  • Variety: Pearl
  • Colour: The most familiar colours are white and cream with black, grey, and silver a close second. In cultured pearls, the main colour is often modified by additional colours called overtones, which are typically pink, green, purple, or blue
  • Mohs Hardness: 2.5 - 4.5
  • Etymology: From the Middle English "perle", ultimately from the Latin "perna", meaning sea mussel
  • Did you know? Pearls are the Only Gemstone to Come from a Living Creature
  • Birthstone: June

 

Tanzanite

  • Variety: Zoisite
  • Colour: Violet Blue to Bluish Violet to Violet Purple
  • Mohs Hardness: 6 - 7
  • Etymology: Zoisite is named after Baron Sigmund Zois, who presented the first specimens of the material. Tanzanite is the Tiffany & Co. trade name for blue zoisite, named after the country of origin, Tanzania
  • Did you know? Tanzanites have trichroism. This means that the crystals exhibit a perceptible difference in colour when looked at under different lights, or from different angles
  • Birthstone: December

 

Tourmaline

  • Variety: Tourmaline
  • Colour: All colours
  • Mohs Hardness: 7 to 7.5
  • Etymology: Tourmaline is from the Singhalese word “turamali”, meaning mixed-coloured stones
  • Did you know? Tourmaline has pyroelectric properties which basically means they are naturally electrically polarised
  • Birthstone: October

 

Amethyst

  • Variety: Quartz
  • Colour: Purple
  • Mohs Hardness: 7
  • Etymology: From the Ancient Greek "amethystos", meaning not drunk
  • Did you know? It was believed you could drink all night and remain sober if you had an amethyst in your mouth
  • Birthstone: February

 

Citrine

  • Variety: Quartz
  • Colour: Golden Yellow, Orange – Orangey-Red
  • Mohs Hardness: 7
  • Etymology: From the old French "citrin", meaning yellow.
  • Did you know? A trace of iron in citrine’s structure is responsible for its yellow-to-orange colour
  • Birthstone: November

 

Garnet

  • Variety: Garnet group
  • Colour: Many colours
  • Mohs Hardness: 6.5 - 7.5
  • Etymology: From the Latin "granatus" for grain
  • Did you know? Many garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in or on their host rock
  • Birthstone: January

 

Lemon Quartz

  • Variety: Quartz
  • Colour: Bright yellow to pale green
  • Mohs Hardness: 7
  • Etymology: From it’s intense lemon yellow colour
  • Did you know? Very clean and large stones can be found, even in sizes over 150 carats

 

Moonstone

  • Variety: Orthoclase
  • Colour: a variety of colours including brown, colourless, green, grey, pink, rainbow, white and yellow
  • Mohs Hardness: 6 - 6.5
  • Etymology: After the lustrous moonlight sheen of the adularescent effect found in these stones
  • Did you know? The colourful versions of moonstone are only found in India, all the other countries only contribute the white moonstone
  • Birthstone: June

 

Opal

  • Variety: Opal
  • Colour: Colourless, white, yellow, orange, and red (various shades), yellowish brown, greenish, blue, grey, black, violet
  • Mohs Hardness: 5.5 - 6.5
  • Etymology: From the Latin name "opalus", possibly derived from the Ancient Greek "opallios" for colour changing
  • Did you know? Gem cutters can take opal pieces too thin to use as a solid gemstones and assemble them into doublets and triplets
  • Birthstone: October

 

Peridot

  • Variety: Olivine
  • Colour: Yellowish Green to Greenish Yellow
  • Mohs Hardness: 6.5 to 7
  • Etymology: unknown
  • Did you know? Peridot has been found in some meteorites, making it one of the few gems known to exist outside of our solar system
  • Birthstone: August

 

Smokey Quartz

  • Variety: Quartz
  • Colour: Brown
  • Mohs Hardness: 7
  • Etymology: From it’s dark brown colour
  • Did you know? In 12th century China, the first sunglasses were created with flat planes of smoky quartz

 

Topaz

  • Mineral: Topaz
  • Colour: Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Red To Purple Red, Blue, Light Green And Colourless
  • Mohs Hardness: 8
  • Etymology: From "Topazios", an ancient Greek name for St. John's Island in the Red Sea where the gem was said to be mined
  • Did you know? A topaz stone was once mistaken for the world’s largest diamond
  • Birthstone: November