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With the launch of our new range of gems, pearls and Semi Precious Stone Chips this month we thought we’d take a look at the process of selecting stones using colour.
The Earth yields up a rich variety of gemstones that can be used in jewellery making, with every hue and colour imaginable available to incorporate into stunning pieces that will compliment any outfit. The choice of which gemstone to include in a piece is purely down to the individual and is subject to all kinds of influences including birthdate, fashion or even superstition.
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Birthstones are a good place to start. Each zodiac sign has a particular gemstone associated with it, and giving someone a piece of jewellery that incorporates that stone shows the recipient that much more thought has gone into the piece. The gemstones range from the lavish such as sapphires, emeralds and rubies, to the more subtle like moonstone and lapis lazuli. Because of the sheer range of gemstones available, you can spend as little or as much as you like and still have a beautiful piece of jewellery with a hidden meaning, which will be cherished by the recipient.
Breaking down gemstones by colour is also an alternative. If you like red but can’t afford to buy a high quality ruby, then you could look at cheaper alternatives such as garnets or spinel. Spinel can range in colour to a delicate pink through to a deep red and can look every bit as stunning as a ruby. Garnets offer a deeper shade of red with hints of violet and purple in them. They’re popular in eastern jewellery and can be used to produce exotic looking jewellery at a fraction of the cost of most rubies.
For blue stones, sapphires are the first choice, but even though these range in colour, quality and price, there are other alternatives. A particular favourite is the deep royal blue of lapis lazuli, which is often flecked with gold within the stone. This can produce a stunning effect with gold findings. Lapis can also be bought as beads as well as cabochons, meaning that the stone can be used in necklaces or as a setting for a ring, for example. Kunzite is another alternative that has a violet tint and is a relatively cheap alternative to precious gemstones such as sapphires.
Not strictly a gemstone but still valued highly in jewellery making, amber is a perennial favourite. Its warm, golden tone compliments silver findings perfectly and it has a honey-like lustre that is hard to resist. It can be a difficult gem to work with as it is very soft, but the results it produces are well worth the effort. Baltic amber is the most highly prized, but Middle Eastern amber can range in tone from a golden yellow to a deep red.
The most obvious green gemstone to go for is emerald, and surprisingly these can be far less expensive than you first think. Again, quality stones will cost more, but if you’re willing and capable of doing a little work to refine a lower quality stone the effects can still be beautiful. Peridot is a cheaper alternative and is a much paler green with a translucency that is extremely delicate and effective for use with small findings.
The opal carries a great deal of superstition with it, but is probably one of the most beautiful gemstones to work with. It ranges from a milky white to deep blue or even the rare ‘fire opal’, which is like a small firework captured in stone. Its ability to catch the light and produce a rainbow of colours is dazzling, and opal retains its popularity even today.
There are thousands of gemstones to choose from, and cooksongold.com carries a full selection, ranging from emeralds and rubies right through to cheaper but no less beautiful alternatives. Don’t be afraid of including gemstones in your jewellery making – the results can be inspiring!�
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