Tourmaline gemstones are found in an incredible range of colors. An Egyptian legend explains this variety by saying the gemstone traveled along a rainbow, gathering the diverse array of colors as it went.
One legend relates tourmaline to the world’s ancient knowledge. Magicians living in the Andes mountains used tourmaline to create magical staffs to access this resource.
Ancient Indian ceremonies used tourmaline for enlightenment and help in seeking good. Inversely, they felt it could also bring insight as to what was causing trouble.
In the 18th Century, a Dutch scientist believed that wrapping a tourmaline gemstone in silk and placing it on the cheek of a child with a fever would help them fall asleep.
Many people have believed folklore around tourmaline gemstones having the ability to cure depression, strengthen the body and spirit, improve relationships, and increase intuition and creativity. In fact, it’s association with creativity meant it was often used by writers, artists, and actors.
Folklore also suggests that tourmaline could help improve self-awareness, self-confidence, psychic energies, communication, and the ability to relax. It is also believed that the gemstone can counteract fear, grief, and negative energies.
When it comes to color, October birthstones give you some amazing choices. Whether you choose opal or tourmaline, you’ll get a display of exciting and intense colors, making them popular choices for jewelry designers and collectors.
The name “opal” derives from the Greek opallos, meaning “to see a change (of color).” They range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. An opal’s beauty is the product of contrast between its color play and its background.
Opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel that seeped into crevices in the sedimentary strata. Through time and nature’s heating and molding processes, the gel hardened into the form of opals. The opal is composed of particles closely packed in spherical arrangements. When packed together in a regular pattern, a three-dimensional array of spaces is created that gives opal its radiance.
Approximately 90 percent of the world’s precious opal comes from Australia. The following are other countries that produce precious or fancy varieties: Brazil, Mexico, United States, Hungary, Peru, Indonesia, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Ethiopia.
Each opal is totally unique, like fingerprints!! To get a really good look at the opals in these designs, click on the images below for a larger view.
Blue-green black opal and diamond bracelet, by Lightning Ridge Collection.
White opal, aquamarine, and diamond pendant, by Yael Designs.
Australian black opal and diamond ring, by Parlé Gems.
Opal, blue sapphire, and diamond vintage-inspired earrings, by Beverley K.
Since tourmaline is available in a wide variety of colors, it is ideally suited to almost anyone’s taste. It is known for displaying several colors in the same gemstone. These bi-color or tri-color gems are formed in many combinations; the gemstones with clear color distinctions are highly prized.
Tourmaline is found in many localities including Brazil, Afghanistan, East Africa, and the USA.
The following designs feature the varying hues of tourmaline. Click on the images to see a larger view.
Cuprian elbaite tourmaline and diamond ring, by Omi Privé.
Brazilian blue tourmaline and diamond ring, by AG Gems.
Tourmaline and diamond flower pendant, by Atlantic Diamond Company.
By Alethea Inns, CGA,
Director of Gemology and Education, American Gem Society
Buying jewelry can be intimidating—it’s a bit like buying a home. It’s a big purchase and you need help from qualified professionals—that you trust—to close the deal. And it’s an emotional purchase; it can represent a big life change.
This is experience talking. I recently bought my first house. It was scary. How was I supposed to spend so much money on something that was so unknown? I had the comps, knew the area, knew the specs of the house and all the data and statistics. But that wasn’t enough. How did I know if there weren’t issues that I couldn’t see? What if the foundation was cracked, or there was mold behind the walls? What if there was a weird smell no one knew the cause of?
That’s why I brought in the experts. I had an amazing real estate agent who knew the area and even researched the owners. I had an appraiser that was ethical who refused to raise the appraised value of the house beyond what he thought was fair. I had an inspector who I trusted to come in and point out every little issue that could be a problem later on.
These professionals were people that I trusted. I knew they had their professional credentials and licenses. They were experts in their fields and most importantly, upheld standards of practice.
These jewelers are AGS titleholders, which means they are professionals who have pre-requisite gemological or jewelry industry education, verified by the AGS, and then tested by the AGS in their proficiency to grade diamonds. Not only that, they are required to write a Recertification Exam every year to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent developments in the jewelry industry. If they do not take the annual exam, they cannot maintain their title.
More than being knowledgeable, AGS titleholders are also required to sign an ethics agreement every year and are required to uphold the AGS standards for protecting you, the customer, every day, and in every interaction.
Why shop with an AGS jeweler?
For the same reason you see a certified professional accountant (CPA) to do your taxes, or a doctor that not only has a medical degree, but has their board certification, or the reason you rely on experts with any major purchase, investment, or life event.
An AGS jeweler is there to protect you, their customer. They are there to give you the information you need to make an informed buying decision. Yes, they are there to sell you jewelry, but more than that, they are there to share their passion for jewelry and help you celebrate the moments and reason you walked into their store in the first place.
Ask your jeweler, “Are you an AGS jeweler?” If not, find one that is.
As a credentialed gemologist, Alethea has some favorite gemstones, although it’s not easy to narrow the list down to just a few. Click below to get a closer look at these beautiful gems!
Cushion cut pink spinel and diamond ring, by Omi Privé.
The 18k gold “Eva” ring features Paraíba tourmaline, demantoid garnet, and diamonds, by Erica Courtney.
This ring, by Le Vian, features Chocolate Diamonds® and Vanilla Diamonds®.
Russian demantoid and diamond ring, by Michael Schofield & Co.
We often share beautiful images of American Gem Society members’ jewelry. Today, we wanted to take that a step further and give you a sneak peek into their passion for jewelry, the symbolism it represents, and the way it makes them feel. In some cases, we just wanted to give you a glimpse of their humor, with jewelry as their much-adored punchline.
To achieve all that, we asked these five members to give us a quote about jewelry, along with an image of one of their favorite pieces. Enjoy!
Opal brooch from Paula Crevoshay.
Pink tourmaline pendant from Sharon Wei Designs.
Moonstone, sapphire, and diamond ring from Omi Privé.
Custom-designed ring from Michaels Jewelers.
Diamond engagement ring by Tacori.
To find some jewelry inspiration of your own, visit your local American Gem Society (AGS) jeweler. Ask your AGS jeweler if they have a personal saying or a favorite quote about jewelry! You can ask them to show you one of the above pieces or something that inspires you and your imagination. Visit ags.org/findajeweler.
“The jeweler allows me to wear the sapphire blue lake on my finger, emerald green leaves around my neck, and take the citrine sunset with me wherever I go. Jewelry has become my daytime link to nature in an office with no windows. And if I have to work late, there’s nothing like diamond stars and a pearl full moon against an onyx night sky.”
“Gossip” emerald cut three stone rings by Goshwara.
This wonderful quotation, by author Astrid Alauda, perfectly expresses the emotional connection that has been provided by colored gemstones for thousands of years.
Fine colored gemstones have been revered throughout history. Gemstones have been imbued with the power to foretell events, strengthen memory, quicken intelligence, ensure purity, avert lightning, prevent intoxication, ensure happiness and are often equated to the fountain of youth.
What Defines a Colored Gemstone?
Colored gemstones are described as all the various gemstones except for diamonds. Only a select few of the vast number of minerals known qualify as gemstones. In order to become a gemstone, the mineral must be rare and beautiful and be durable enough to be worn as jewelry.
Blue sapphire ring by AG Gems.
Precious vs. Semi-Precious Gems?
In the past, the term “precious” was used to describe diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire. The term “semi-precious” referred to all other gemstones. Today, most jewelers and gemologists agree that these terms no longer accurately reflect the true value of these gems. In particular, some species of colored gems, such as alexandrite or demantoid garnet, are so rare that they have been known to command prices exceeding those of emerald, ruby, and even diamonds.
Alexandrite and diamond pendant by Omi Privé.
Gemstones generally can be grouped into three major clarity categories:
Gems that are flawless or have very minor inclusions (e.g. aquamarines and amethysts)
Gems that are moderately included (e.g. rubies and sapphires)
Gems that tend to be highly included (e.g. emeralds and red tourmalines)
Color is the single most important deciding factor in determining the value of a gemstone, followed by the cut. The cut of a gemstone is designed to bring out the best possible color or colors in the rough uncut material while retaining as much weight as possible. The color in a fine gem is saturated evenly throughout the stone and is of a brilliant deep, rich, and pleasing color—not too dark and not too light.
Indicolite earrings by Erica Courtney.
Each variety of colored gemstone has a range of highly prized colors that have evolved over the years. Many of these colors are tied to historical sources such as “Burmese” rubies from Burma, “Kashmir” sapphires from India, and “Persian” turquoise. This is by no means a sure bet. Not all rubies from Burma have the “Burmese” signature color and furthermore, you may find a fine color from a ruby that was mined in Thailand.
Cushion cut Mozambican Ruby ring by Real Gems Inc.
Ultimately the wearer decides what color speaks to them, keeping in mind that this may not be that color defined as being the most valuable. Since we all perceive color differently it’s ultimately a very personal choice.
Today, with the ever-increasing advances in gemstone enhancements and synthetic gemstone production, it is more important than ever to work with a reputable and properly trained jeweler.
About Gleim the Jeweler
We have been serving the Peninsula since 1931 and have been members of the American Gem Society (AGS) since 1954. Our membership with the AGS assures you that we earn and maintain the education necessary to provide you with the most up to date information about gems and their different markets.
We also have American Gem Society Accredited Gem Laboratories, assuring you that we have the proper instruments to identify and grade gems. And, what’s perhaps most important, we love colored gems!
ASBA USA, Inc. is a prime supplier of Tahitian cultured pearls and finished diamond, colored stone, and cultured pearl jewelry.
For over 25 years, ASBA USA has been owned and operated by the Israileff family and are long-time members of the American Gem Society. Joshua, Nathan, and Nicolai Israileff carry on their family’s tradition of providing fine quality jewelry.
The following images are just a mere sampling of the artistic, whimsical, and one-of-a-kind designs ASBA USA creates with pearls—their specialty—or a variety of gemstones.
Mint tourmaline and diamonds set in yellow gold.
Right hand ring featuring pink and yellow sapphires. This ring can be customized with any gemstones!
White South Sea baroque pearl wrapped in a diamond bow.
Tahitian pearls drop from diamond and gemstone butterflies.
A one-of-a-kind drop Ethiopian opal pendant with an enhancer bale and diamonds.
Custom eternity band of amethyst and blue topaz.
A 15-17mm Keshi Tahitian pearl set in rose gold with a diamond halo.
Rubellite and yellow diamonds set in 18k rose gold.
If you’d like to see more designs by ASBA USA in person, contact a credentialed AGS jeweler near you.
It has been some time since a green hue has been chosen as the color of the year, and this version—a bright shade with just a hint of yellow—is a refreshing color indeed!
Pantone says it was chosen as a symbolic color of new beginnings and renewal, a calming hue to soothe and relax, and a call to reconnect with the world around us. Indeed, Greenery reminds us of nature, and few things calm like plants and animals.
The color will be coming to the forefront of all things fashionable this year; clothes, interior décor and of course, jewelry.
Gems that embody this color are reviving peridot, versatile tourmaline, vibrant tsavorite garnet and of course, comforting emerald. In fact, emeralds have been a symbol of renewal and growth for ages, as well as wealth and status.
Alternately, peridot is considered the gem of the sun, while garnets and tourmalines have many meanings and supposed health benefits.
Certainly, all gems that match this sublime “Greenery” represent nature at its finest.
The color green, at its scientific core, is a color between blue and yellow, a mixture of those two opposing colors, if you will. The word, “green”, is thought to be derived from Middle English or possibly Germanic roots, most likely meaning, “grass” or “roots.”
Peridot and tsavorite ring by Erica Courtney.
Colombian emerald and diamond necklace by Takat.
Tsavorite and diamond band by Supreme Jewelry.
In many cultures and languages, green and blue often have similar names associated with the color, making it a great transition from last year’s Pantone color of the year, Serenity (a soft blue).
Science has proven that green is restful on the eyes, balancing to emotions and also helps combat fatigue.
Green is surprisingly hard to “copy” from nature’s mix to create pigments and dyes, including food coloring. Older methods included finely powdered malachite, another gemstone, to create stains.
Historically, green has an interesting history; in more arid locations, the color was one of hope for things to come and rebirth. The Egyptians used the color often, even going so far as to characterize some of their deities with green skin.
The Greeks weren’t overly fond of the color and rarely used it in artistic purists. The Romans, however, linked the color to their goddess, Venus, who was the goddess of love and nature, thus making the color more romantic.
During the Renaissance, where clothing colors denoted social status and occupation, green tones were worn primarily by merchants and bankers. It was a featured clothing color in many famous paintings of the era, including Mona Lisa, who wears a shade of darker, muted green.
Jade, ruby, and diamond earrings by Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry.
Mint tourmaline and diamond pendant by Parle.
Green quartz and diamond earrings by NEI Group.
The Masonic orders use green to symbolize immortality of all that is divine and true. Since the natural aspect of the color is unchanging, it is considered an immutable color.
In terms of jewelry, green was a popular color in both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. In the former, it was used for accents of sweeping, nature-inspired designs that dominated the movement.
In the latter it was often used as a striking aside to other colors, using the bolder, darker hues of the color rather than the light and airy versions.
Greenery may seem like an odd choice…until the plants bloom once more. As spring hits, sooner rather than later, green becomes the prominent color we see. It is a surprisingly balanced color, managing to be both soft and bold. It is a romantic color, when you think about it, and invokes emotions when seen.
We all need a connection to nature in some form, and Greenery gives us that connection with our most obvious sense, sight.
And when it is seen, it is felt.
To see green colors is to feel them, and to wear a gemstone that holds such a deep tie to the world around us grounds us, makes us feel.
Wearing green jewelry is sure to help you feel at peace throughout your day. Who doesn’t need to feel relaxed during hectic and overfull days?
Embrace a green gemstone, make it your own and begin to enjoy 2017’s color, Greenery!
Isabelle Corvin is an AGS Certified Gemologist (CG) who is the Staff Gemologist at Panowicz Jewelers. Since she was 14-years-old, she knew she wanted to be a gemologist. Ms. Corvin also writes for Panowicz Jewelers’ blog.
If you haven’t already, be sure to mark your calendar for this Sunday, February 26, so you don’t miss the 89th Academy Awards! Millions of film and fashion fans will be tuning into ABC at 7:00 p.m. EST/4:00 p.m. PST when the stars begin to walk the red carpet.
What will this year’s fab fashions be? Here’s a list of five trends that are predicted to be “scene” on the stars. We’ve included a few designs from AGS members that we think would best complement these lovely looks.
Flowers and Nature
Floral designs never seem to go out of style and with spring just around the corner, what better place to display some flower power than at the Oscars! They can either be classic and demure or big, bold, and bright! With the growing trend of floral patterns, other nods to nature are sure to follow. Animals, birds, and leafy plants are leaving a trail on this season’s designs.
Sapphire, white and brown diamonds flower ring by Supreme Jewelry.
Flexible diamond tiger cuff by Roberto Coin.
Cobra drop earrings with diamonds by John Hardy.
Here’s a hue that has been popular of late. When it comes to pink gemstones, we can choose from pink diamonds, pink sapphire, Morganite, kunzite, and rose quartz, to name a few! Which gal—or guy—will be thinking pink on the red carpet?
Fancy light purplish pink heart shape diamond necklace by Scott West Diamonds.
Fancy pink diamond ring by Jeffrey Daniels Unique Designs.
Pink sapphire flower cluster diamond earrings and pendant by Whiteflash.
The elegant drape of a one-shoulder dress or top embodies a mix of sophistication and sultriness. An ensemble like this should be punctuated by some serious sparkle!
Diamond Angel Feather ring by KC Designs.
The Helen necklace by Harry Kotlar.
White Kites Bird long earrings by HOF X Stephen Webster.
Reminiscent of old Hollywood, satin is one of the biggest trends this spring. Expect to see the silky-smooth and shimmering fabric in bright jewel tones. Enhance the look with gorgeous jewels like these!
Trillion cut Tanzanite and diamond earrings by AG Gems.
A two-tone gold necklace featuring rose-cut emeralds and diamonds by Yael Designs.
Paraiba tourmaline and diamond ring by Takat.
Gone are the days of drab black and gray. Enter the brilliant and daring blocks of color! Bold and beautiful gemstones make these jewelry designs absolute showstoppers.
“Amazon” pendant featuring peridot accented by purple garnet and diamonds by Erica Courtney.
“Gossip” emerald cut citrine earrings with diamonds by Goshwara.
Rhodolite and spessartite garnet ring by Omi Prive.
Shopping for fine jewelry should be just as exciting as the Oscars but without unwelcome surprises. American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jewelers adhere to standards that not only comply with governing laws, but that go beyond, to ensure that you are buying from jewelers who have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most informed buying decision. To find an AGS jeweler near you, click here, and leave the nail-biting uncertainty for the Oscars!
Directional colors and styles of jewelry shape up annually based on a trio of familiar factors—what’s trending in Hollywood, what the fashion designers are sending down the runways, and the gem material that Mother Nature provides. The following six jewelry trends were born from the intersection of these occasions, so keep them top of mind this year for gifts and self-rewards.
Oversize earrings. Calderesque versions in costume materials were evident on models at several spring couture shows though karat-gold numbers are an heirloom-quality choice. AGS members have plenty of options!
Chandelier earrings in 18k gold with rose-cut diamonds and rubies from Vivaan.
Hearts. Love takes a literal interpretation next season. Just look at the word itself on sweaters by Michael Kors! While hearts can elicit mixed reactions—are they kitsch or cool?—know the fashion gods have committed to them this year. Would you wear a heart? Diamond options (here and below) are hard to resist!
Ring in platinum with a heart-shaped yellow diamond, a heart-shaped emerald, and colorless diamonds from Setaré.
Choker necklaces. These continue to enjoy the spotlight. Both Céline and Versace sent choker-wearing models down the spring runways to create chic style messages. Chokers can feature traditional (think cameos) or contemporary elements ideal for wear dressed up for evening or down with denim during the day.
Choker necklace in 18k Strawberry Gold with Chocolate and Vanilla diamonds and a Neon Paraiba Tourmaline from Le Vian.
Mismatched earrings. These range from subtly mismatched styles—one stud and one drop—at Dior to completely different designs on each ear. And related to this trend of uneven mates are the large single earrings being worn solo. No matter how you wear the mismatched look, its novelty will attract attention and admirers.
Statement necklaces. Recent red carpet jewelry placements have fueled a growing appetite for attention-grabbing necklaces. Expect to keep seeing bibs, big pendants on long chains (think Givenchy’s über-cool agates), and multi-layer options that build a look by using many slimmer styles.
Collar necklace in 18k gold with blue chalcedony from Goshwara.
Pearls. From natural-color Chinese freshwaters to Japanese Akoya and South Sea varieties, pearls are making a comeback among jewelry designers for their iconic beauty. Even fashion brands like Gucci worked pearl accents into 2017 lines, further cementing the lustrous orb’s must-have status.
If you’re loving these jewelry trends, search for an AGS jeweler near you. They’ll help you find any of the above designs, match you with similar looks, or help you design your very own trend-setting style!
If you’re in search of some great gift ideas—or some hints to give your true love—then look no further than today’s hottest jewelry trends. Below we feature designs by AGS members that represent these styles, just in time for Christmas.
The hoop is a wonderful go-to classic that works for both day and night. They can be subtle silver or gilded gold loops, be studded with diamonds and gemstones, thread through the ear from behind vs. the front, or lay close to the lobe for the “huggie” style.
Naga medium hoop earrings by John Hardy.
Symphony Earrings by Roberto Coin.
Mini Ara hoop earrings by Jade Trau.
You can never go wrong with pearls—they are forever chic, sophisticated, and classy. They can be mixed with metals and other gemstones, and worn with anything from evening gowns to jeans.
Stack of stretchy pearl bracelets by Honora.
Never Blue necklace featuring pearls and sapphires, by Mastoloni.
Golden Pearl diamond ring by Baggins Pearls.
Like the lariat, the Y-necklace doesn’t need to be wrapped or knotted. They are elegant all on their own, adding a slick touch of glamour to the neckline.
Mini B Collection Y Necklace by Gumuchian.
Uneven Tailored Y-Necklace by KC Designs.
If you would love to have gemstones at an accessible price, slices are a wonderful alternative. Designers have discovered that slices also reveal the unique patterns and inclusions in the gemstone, enhancing their raw beauty.
Rose cut emerald slices and champagne diamonds, by Lika Behar Collection.
Paraiba tourmaline slice pendant framed by diamonds, by Parle.
It’s hard not to be happy when you see the vibrant colors of a rainbow. The gemstones can be placed together in a single piece or stacked with gemstone bands and bracelets. No matter the combination, they make a great addition to your jewelry wardrobe.
Rainbow gemstone bands by Etienne Perret.
Rainbow sapphire slice pendant by Whiteflash.
These trends only scratch the surface of what’s new and en vogue. If you are looking for some more ideas, be sure to ask your trusted jeweler. AGS jewelers keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry and are always happy to help you choose the best look for you and your loved ones. To find an AGS jeweler near you, click here.