You may know that gems
come in virtually every color of the spectrum. But you might be surprised that one gem variety can have many different hues. Sapphire, for example, not only comes in blue, but yellow, pink, as well as a range of other colors-some exhibiting phenomena such as cats eye or even a six-point star. Gem varieties like tourmaline and garnet are available in almost every color.
The ultimate red gem was long considered the most valuable gemstone. Regarded as the king of gems by the sages of ancient India, Ruby, like Sapphire, is the tough and durable mineral Corundum.
Long associated with royalty and romance, sapphire symbolizes fidelity and the soul. Sapphire comes from the Greek word for Blue, sappheiros, and this gem provides the most beautiful blues of the gem kingdom. But sapphire also comes in many different colors. Every color but red, because a "red sapphire" is know as a Ruby. These gems are both the tough and durable mineral corundum.
Instantly recognizable with its distinctive "lime green" color, peridot is the extreme gem, found in the rocks created by volcanoes and even in meteors that fall to earth. A few samples of extraterrestrial peridot have even been faceted into gems. Today peridot is mined by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.
Tanzanite is found only in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. A "velvety" blue variety of the mineral zoisite, tanzanite is a gem of the twentieth century, introduced to the world market in 1968, named in honor of the country of its birth.
Although Pink and a reddish-orange color known as imperial are the most valuable colors of topaz, this gemstone variety is now most often seen on the market in a blue color, and sometimes known as London Blue.
Tourmaline's name comes from the Sinhalese word turmali, which means "mixed." Occurring in more colors than any other gemstone variety found in nature, this gem lives up to its name. Perhaps this is why ancient mystics believed tourmaline could encourage artistic intuition: it has the palette to express every mood. These gems can be found in California at the Pala Mine on the Pala Indian reservation.
A royal purple admired by kings and queens for centuries, amethyst is an affordable luxury. Its rich color and durability have made it one of the most popular gemstones.
Sunny and affordable, citrine blends especially well with the yellow gleam of polished gold. This yellow to gold quartz is readily available and affordable: in fact, the largest faceted stone in the record book is a 19,548 carat citrine!
Aquamarine, the gem of the sea, derives its name from "sea water." The reference is obvious: aqua sparkles like the sea and its color is pale to medium blue, often with a slight hint of green.
Because its rich green is the color of spring, emerald has long symbolized love and rebirth. Treasured by such diverse rulers as Cleopatra, Shah Jahan, and the Spanish monarchy, emeralds have been international currency for thousands of years.
Although most people think of it as a dark red gem, garnet actually comes in a spectrum of different hues, including bright orange and green, almost every color except blue. There is a garnet for every taste and budget: vibrant green tsavorite garnet or red garnet. There is a garnet to fit into every price range. [end collapse containers