A  List  of  Neon  Gemstones

1. Amethyst

ORIGIN
Brazil, Uruguay

COLORS
purple, reddish purple

WHY YOU'LL LOVE AMETHYST
"The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings." - GIA.edu

amethyst info
Purple Rain - Amethyst and Lemon Quartz with 18K Yellow Gold Earrings

HOW TO WEAR AMETHYST

Amethyst performs well on the Mohs Hardness scale - making it a good jewel to add a touch of feminine color to any jewelry piece. 

By season: 

  • For summer, pair it with a bright yellow stone such as the lemon quartz shown above in my Purple Rain earrings for a sparkle reminiscent of a refreshing glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. 
  • For winter, find a deep purple amethyst with red flashes to add depth and allure to your go-to pair of boots and sweater dress. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF AMETHYST

In the 19th century, long after its discovery elsewhere, large deposits of amethyst were discovered in Brazil. While this did decrease its value, it didn't slow down consumer demand making amethyst a prized jewel in both fine jewelry and mass-market production. Before this discovery, amethyst was considered of equal value to emeralds, sapphires and rubies and was frequently used by royalty and high religious people in ancient times. Greek legend associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine, due to its wine-like color and because of this association, amethyst was rumored to prevent drunkenness. It was also believed to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, wore an amethyst with an image of Cupid carved into it. 
  • A single amethyst crystal weighing 164 pounds (74.39 kilos) was once displayed in the GIA museum. 
  • Amethyst is the gem of 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. It is also the February birthstone. 

2. Indicolite Tourmaline

ORIGIN
Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Namibia, Madagascar, USA and Afghanistan

COLORS
Greyish-blue, blue, blue-green

WHY YOU’LL LOVE INDICOLITE TOURMALINE
Blue tourmaline is the rarest color of the entire tourmaline group and if you love color, you'll love this stone for its deeply saturated, alluring hues. 

Indicolite Tourmaline Gem Info

HOW TO WEAR INDICOLITE TOURMALINE
Tourmaline is a relatively durable stone that can tolerate many different settings. 

By Season:

  • For summer, try a bracelet or ring to show off its glamour with every movement under the summer sun.
  • For winter, the deep glow of this stone pairs well with cozy, cool-toned sweaters and jackets (think greys and blues). 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF INDICOLITE TOURMALINE
Tourmaline has been around for many centuries so, of course, there are a few legends surrounding its history. One of these legends is that the ancient Egyptians believed tourmaline traveled over the rainbow, gathering a vast array of colors as it passed which is why we have so many different color varieties of tourmaline available today. The indicolite tourmaline in particular, is colored by iron and can vary from a light to a deep blue. Indicolite which appears in a pure blue is extremely rare, and most specimen will have some green secondary hue. A teal of blue-green color is quite common in indicolite. The purer blues tend to be found only in small sizes, often under 1 carat.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • While the blue tourmaline that has attracted the most attention is the extra-special, copper-bearing paraiba tourmaline, also the non-copper bearing blue tourmaline, indicolite, is coveted by collectors as blue is so special. 
  • Blue tourmaline is the birthstone for the month of October. 
  • Like most tourmaline, indicolite is strongly pleochroic, meaning it shows different hues when viewed from different directions. 

3. Paraiba Tourmaline

ORIGIN
Originally exclusive to the Brazilian state of Paraiba. That mine is virtually exhausted now but similar gemstone material can be found today in Mozambique and Nigeria.

COLORS
Neon-bright, electric blue or green (almost like an extraordinary turquoise, swimming pool-blue).

WHY YOU’LL LOVE PARAIBA TOURMALINE
The vivid glow that appears to light up the stone from within makes it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. 

paraiba tourmaline info
Kopie van Tourmaline

HOW TO WEAR PARAIBA TOURMALINE
This incredibly rare, stunning stone deserves the spotlight so why not feature it in a jaw-dropping set of sparkling earrings? This is a stone that is best suited for a jewelry piece that doesn't encounter a lot of wear-and-tear, for instance, in a cocktail ring, as it commonly has inclusions inside the stone and is more fragile. However, if you do like to wear it in a ring - who am I to say no;) - do choose a protective ring setting, either with a bezel setting or by setting other stones like diamonds around the Paraiba gemstone. 

By Season:

  • For summer, pair it with your brightest beach attire or glam evening looks.
  • For winter, glow up any little black dress with this dazzling stone. Warning: to be worn with caution as it will cause some envious glances your way. 

EXTRA NOTE OF CARE FOR PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Besides trying to avoid to wear the stone on a daily basis, tourmaline gemstones also need to be wiped down frequently as they tend to attract more dust particles than other gemstones due to their pyro- and piezoelectric properties. You can also use warm soapy water and a soft cloth to clean.

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF PARAIBA TOURMALINE
Even newer to the scene than the tanzanite, Paraiba tourmaline was first discovered in the late 1980s based off the hunch of Hector Dimas Barbosa. He spent years digging, with just a feeling he would discover something new and special. It wasn't until 8 years later that a group of his friends came upon the stone while he was at home recovering from an illness... The original source of Paraiba tourmaline was exclusive to the state of Paraiba in Brazil but the mine was exhausted quite soon after. Luckily, about 5 years later miners moved to the adjacent state, Rio Grande de Norte and today most paraiba is minded in Mozambique and Nigeria. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • One gem-quality Paraiba is mined for every 10,000 diamonds - talk about rare!
  • A high quality Paraiba tourmaline weighing over 3 carats is almost unheard of and can easily be found with a 5-figure price tag... per carat. 
  • In 2003, a similar new dazzling blue-green stone was found in Mozambique and Nigeria. This is not that surprising when you realise that at one time, Africa and South America belonged to one continent which means that you can find similar gem material in very different locations. While they are paraiba-like, there are a few minor chemical differences that set them apart. Purists believe that only those found in Brazil can be considered "Paraiba tourmalines" while the mainstream of gemological labs do consider the African stones as paraibas as well provided the stone fulfills 2 conditions:
    1) The labs’ gemologists regard the color of the stone as ‘electric' or 'vivid blue or green’, AND
    2) The stone contains the chemical elements of both copper and manganese which cause its color.

4. Mint Tourmaline

ORIGIN
Brazil, Mozambique, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka

COLORS
Neon mint-green

WHY YOU’LL LOVE MINT TOURMALINE
If you’ve ever dreamed of adding instant polish to any of your outfits, this is your chance to get creative and make your own signature jewelry piece. It's the perfect jewel for maximum impact. 

Mint Tourmaline Info

HOW TO WEAR MINT TOURMALINE
This glamorous green tourmaline would make a gorgeous engagement ring, especially for green-eyed ladies and redheads. In fact, this color green can be easily worn by many different women. It also flatters lighter and darker-toned women with blue or darker eyes without any problem. Add a halo of small diamonds for some extra sparkle. 

By Season:

  • For summer, pair with a floral cocktail dress for an enviable, feminine look. 
  • For winter, try it with a pair of cool trousers and your black go-to winter jumper. This juicy, glamorous gem will warm up any cold-weather attire.

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF MINT TOURMALINE
In the 1500s, somewhere in Brazil, a Spanish conquistador came across a green tourmaline and assumed the vibrant jewel was an emerald. The confusion surrounding this stone is even reflected in the stone's name. The name comes from the Sinhalese word tourmalli whichs means "mixed gem" - a reflection of the early confusion between tourmaline (which comes in countless colors) and other gems they were mistaken for. Brightly colored Sri Lankan tourmalines were brought to Europe by navigators from the Dutch East India Company in the late 17th century who gave the stone the name 'aschentreckers' meaning 'ash attractors' because it could attract dust and lint when charged with static electricity and so, they used it to clean their pipes after smoking. 

It wasn't until later, in the 1800s, that tourmaline became its own mineral species and also later became known as an American gem thanks to the writings of Tiffany & Co. gemologist George F. Kunz. He praised the production of tourmaline in the mines of California (where some of the first reports of tourmaline occurred in 1892) and Maine.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Green is the most common tourmaline color. Chrome tourmaline is top green color with a deep grass green hue but neon mint is something different altogether... a modern color choice for the fashion-savvy woman. 
  • Tourmaline has strong pleochroism meaning when viewed from different angles, it can show different colors or different depths of color. Because of this, it can sometimes be cut to appear multicolored.
  • Brazil has been the world's leading source of tourmaline for over 500 years. 

5. Tsavorite Garnet

ORIGIN
Kenya, Tanzania

COLORS
Deep sparkling grass green, mint green

WHY YOU’LL LOVE TSAVORITE GARNET
Many prefer tsavorite garnets over other green gems because of their fantastic quality and beauty along with their hardness. It is also about 200 times rarer in nature than emerald yet is still, generally, less expensive... 

tsavorite info

HOW TO WEAR TSAVORITE GARNET
Tsavorite's great hardness and brilliance make it one of the world's highest quality rare gemstones. It can be worn in a variety of jewelry pieces. Why not use it to build your dream custom jewelry piece? 

By Season:

  • For summer, try pairing a set of sparkly green tsavorite earrings set with diamonds to go with a deep green sundress for a monochromatic chic look. 
  • For winter, perhaps an enviable, deep green tsavorite ring set with black gold to make the color pop and draw all eyes in. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF TSAVORITE GARNET
Tsavorite was discovered in 1967 by a Scottish gemologist called Campbell Bridges, a consultant for Tiffany’s, whilst he was taking a walk in Tanzania. Apparently, Bridges was charged by a buffalo, and avoided the animal by diving into a gully. While looking around, he noticed some greenish rocks glinting in the sunlight. Soon after, Bridges and Tiffany & Co introduced tsavorite garnet to the world. The name "tsavorite" comes from the place where it was first discovered: Tsavo National Park in Kenya on the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. To this day, this area is the only source of tsavorite garnet.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Garnets are one of the few gemstones that typically do not receive treatments (i.e. they are not ‘enhanced’) in any way, and so their colors are fully natural. And so far, this variety also hasn’t been recreated as a synthetic (man-made) gemstone either.
  • To some, tsavorite garnet is believed to be the stone of prosperity, bringing good luck in business, success and wealth to the wearer.
  • Garnet comes in 6 main mineral groups / species -- almandine, andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine and uvarovite -- and often they form chemical mixtures between 2 or 3 garnet species. This makes garnet one of the hardest stones to identify and always forms a nice challenge for gemologists… Tsavorite garnet belongs to the grossular family and is the green variety within that group.

6. Sphene

ORIGIN
Brazil, Baja California (Mexico), Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Canada

COLORS
Yellow, green, orange, brown, pink, black, colorless

WHY YOU’LL LOVE SPHENE
Sphene's fire - rainbow flashes flying from a gem - outranks the famed fire of even a diamond and makes it a great choice for collectors or adventurous jewelry connoisseurs. 

HOW TO WEAR SPHENE
While sphene's dispersion (or fire) makes it a beautiful gem, it remains a risky choice for heavy-wear jewelry due to it's low position on the Mohs hardness scale. It does make for a stunning collectors item or special occasion piece that isn't like to see a lot of wear-and-tear. 

By Season:

  • For summer, slip on a pair of sphene earrings for early evening cocktails by the water.
  • For winter, perhaps a sphene pendant safely sparkling under a mesh top and jacket. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF SPHENE
Sphene is a member of the titanite family, the only one used as gem material. Titanite get its name from the high levels of titanium found in its composition. Sphene crystals often have wedge shape ends which is how it earned its name from the Greek word "Sfena" meaning wedge. Sphene's scarcity has prevented it from becoming more main-stream and because it isn't very well-known or popular, there aren't many myths or legends associated with its history. It has been prized for many years for its high amount of fire.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Chrome sphene, usually found in Baja California, is the most valuable. It is the color of fine emerald and very rare, especially if clean/free of inclusions and larger than 1 carat. 
  • Sphene is the only known gemstone with a higher dispersion than the diamond.
  • If properly polished well, a sphene's luster can match that of a diamonds. However, this level of polishing is a very difficult task given the stone's low hardness which makes it prone to scratches and the fact it has distinct cleavage in one direction, meaning the stone can easily chip or break in that direction.

7. Mali Garnet

ORIGIN
Mali in Africa

COLORS
 yellow, green-yellow, greenish, golden-yellow, brown

WHY YOU’LL LOVE MALI GARNET
Mali garnet is one of the rarest of the garnet group with a spectacular yellow brilliance and dispersion that will turn heads wherever you go.

HOW TO WEAR MALI GARNET
This rare beauty is suited for all kinds of wear - the sky is the limit...

By Season:

  • For summer, this glowing yellow stone is a perfect match for all of your summer adventures. Try it set in matte gold with two smaller diamonds on either side for an extra sparkly look. 
  • For winter, a deeper golden hue pairs well with an earth-tone winter wardrobe (think forest greens and warm browns).

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF MALI GARNET
Mali garnet was named after Africa's Republic of Mali where the gem was first discovered in 1994. Mali continues to be the only known source of this stone to this day.

Mali garnets first appeared on the market around the 2000s when parcels were offered by African dealers in Bangkok. The lack of water and the high temperatures in Mali makes the mining of these stones problematic and production has been declining, making this jewel more of a collectors item - rare and valuable. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Mali garnet is perfect for faceting because of its remarkable fire and dispersion. 
  • Like its sister stone, tsavorite garnet, mali garnet owes its green colors to hints of chromium (for the green variety).
  • Stones over 5 carats are quite uncommon and the price per carat increases dramatically with size. 
  • The rarest chrome-green color is mali garnet's most valued hue. 

8. Canary Yellow Tourmaline

ORIGIN
Africa, Afganistan, Pakistan

COLORS
Bright neon yellow with hints of green

WHY YOU’LL LOVE CANARY TOURMALINE
It's exceptional neon-like glow is unmatched among yellow gems. 

canary tourmaline info

image credit: constantinwild.com

HOW TO WEAR CANARY TOURMALINE
Looking for a yellow engagement ring? Tourmaline is another stone exhibiting higher hardness making it good for everyday wear.

By Season:

  • For summer, pair it with your favorite summer whites to add a pop of glamorous sun-inspired color.
  • For winter, let it shine as a low-hanging pendant over a blouse and blazer set. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF CANARY TOURMALINE
Yellow is one of the rarest and least well-known colors of tourmaline, a gem that is famed for being found in almost every color of the rainbow. This canary yellow is the rarest and most valuable of the yellow shades. Often a collector's item...

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Tourmaline has strong pleochroism meaning when viewed from different angles, it can show different colors or different depths of color. Because of this, it can sometimes be cut to appear multicolored.
  • Yellow tourmalines over 2 carats are considered extremely rare.
  • Yellow tourmaline is normally untreated. However, some specimens can be slightly heated in an attempt to reduce a greenish or brownish tint.

9. Spessartite (Mandarin) Garnet

ORIGIN
Namibia, Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, USA

COLORS
Orange, yellow-orange, red-orange to red-brown. Before the discovery of the extremely crisp, Fanta orange mandarin garnets in the 1990s, bright, orangish reds were the most valuable spessartite colors.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE SPESSARTITE GARNET
The brilliance and hardness of spessartite make it a great choice for jewelry, especially as it's one of the few high-quality orange gemstones out there.

HOW TO WEAR SPESSARTITE
With reasonable care, this stone can last for decades in an unbeatable jewelry piece. Always store this stone separately from other hard stones or make sure its properly wrapped in cloth and protected from rubbing up against other stones to prevent scratches.  

By Season:

  • For summer, find a piece featuring a spessartite garnet in a yellow gold setting - the perfect way to highlight the warmth of this stone.
  • For winter, choose a white gold setting and some diamonds scattered around it to add a stunning contrast and a cool winter look.

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF SPESSARTITE GARNET
Spessartite deposits were first found in the Spessart Mountains in Germany in the 1880s. In fact, the name spessartite came from the Bavarian word "Spessart" meaning "forest". In ancient times, spessartite garnets were used to represent authority and power among the Egyptians, Greek and Romans. In the Middle Ages, the stone was used as a symbol of truth and faith. Today, the bright hues of spessartite are believed to help battle depression and stimulate creativity, communication and analytical thinking. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Gem quality spessartite is actually very rare and of far higher quality than another better-known orange gem, the citrine. Spessartite easily outsparkles the citrine and is considered a fine quality gem.
  • The most expensive spessartites are the rich mandarin oranges and the deep burnt orange-red gems. 
  • REMOVE THIS BULLET

10. Hot Pink Sapphire

ORIGIN
Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and East Africa.

COLORS
Sapphires come in every color but red → a “red sapphire” would be called a ruby. Rubies and sapphires belong to the corundum family. Although the most famous sapphire is the blue sapphire, pink sapphires are gaining momentum. That’s because these pink gems come in a variety of shades, ranging from powdery hues, to bubble gum or ‘hot’ pink and everything in between. There’s also the stunning and sought-after orange-pink padparadscha sapphire, whose name derives from the Sinhalese word for ‘aquatic lotus blossom.’ This stone has an extraordinary color reminiscent of a sunset.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE PINK SAPPHIRE
Sapphire is an extremely durable stone with very good hardness and high brilliance, which makes it one of the world’s top gemstones - on par with rubies, diamonds and spinels.

HOW TO WEAR PINK SAPPHIRE
Opt for light pink sapphires or fabulous neon pinks. Even more rare is the pink-orange padparadscha sapphire. There exist exclusive and gorgeous pink styles to suit any occasion.

Getting engaged? And like a bold statement to express your story? Try an intense pink sapphire instead of the diamond (if you dare…). 

By Season:

  • For summer, try bolder, brilliant pigments like flashy neon pink or a stone that sparkles with orange undertones. 
  • For winter, heat up with warmer and darker pinks.

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF PINK SAPPHIRE
The most mythical sapphires are the blue sapphires from Kashmir, found in the Great Himalayan mountains of northwestern India in the 1800s. The remote mine has been exhausted since the 1920s, but some stones can still be found in the market very occasionally.

Pink sapphires became more widely available when new deposits were found in Madagascar in the late 1990s. Until then, these pink gems were considered exceptionally rare since they were only found in a few locations around the world, such as Sri Lanka and Burma. Pink sapphires over 1 carat are rare and a pink sapphire over 4 carats is regarded as extremely rare. For that reason, each stone is cut to retain as much of its original weight as possible. But also because pigment is its most prized asset, and this is more intense in larger stones.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Considered one of the Big Four, which also includes rubies, emeralds and diamonds, blue sapphires traditionally symbolize nobility, sincerity, truth and faithfulness. Its striking blue is the standard against which all other blue gemstones (such as blue topaz or tanzanite) are measured against. However, far less well-known in the West is the stunning pink sapphire which can be even more rare than the blue sapphire.
  • The more red the pink color contains, the more expensive it will be because it will be coming close to a ruby which is even more rare than a pink sapphire. And what one gem dealer may consider a pink sapphire, another may consider a ruby as color is a subjective judgement. So, this is often open to debate (and negotiation)!
  • The intensity of the color pink will determine its value. Besides that, it’s the size, clarity and whether the stone has been heated to obtain that color pink or whether it naturally came in that color (the latter being more rare and expensive).
  • The pink sapphire is a wonderful alternative for the pink diamond which is one of the rarest and most expensive of all gemstones, unobtainable for most people except the very wealthy. Pink sapphire is a more affordable alternative and often comes in better, more intense shades of pink than the pink diamond.

11. Bubblegum Spinel

ORIGIN
Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka (the old Ceylon), Vietnam, Myanmar (the old Burma), Tajikistan. For centuries, the main historic source of red and pink spinels has been modern day Afghanistan and Tajikistan; however, spinel has also been mined in Ceylon and Burma. A younger mining area known especially for these beautiful pink gems is Tanzania.

COLORS
Spinels come in many colors but the most coveted are the rarest reds, vibrant pinks and exquisite pink-orange hues.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE PINK SPINEL
Spinels have great hardness and transparency. Spinels have often far better clarity than pink sapphires or red rubies. This adds to the spinel’s excellent sparkling brilliance, which makes it one of the top gemstones for fine jewelry. 

HOW TO WEAR PINK SPINEL

Getting engaged? Try a lighter pastel pink hue. As spinels have a strong brilliance (in other words, they sparkle a lot), this variety comes close to a diamond but with a hint of romantic pink. Of course, if you prefer a statement ring, certainly opt for the famous red and intense pink hues.

By Season:

  • For summer, try bolder, brilliant pigments like splashy pink or a stone that sparkles with orange undertones.
  • For winter, heat up with warmer reds and darker reddish-pinks. Sometimes, soft pastels lighten and brighten those long, cold nights.

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF SPINEL
Two famous old red spinels in history are: 

  • The Black Prince’s 'ruby'
  • The Timur 'ruby'

The Black Prince’s 'ruby' - or red spinel as it actually is - is set in England’s Imperial State Crown and displayed in the Tower of London. Its name first appears in the historical records of Moorish Spain in the 14th century as the possession of Abū Sa'īd, the Moorish Prince of Granada. Through several wars and conquests, the stone eventually ended up with the Prince of Wales, the Black Prince, who received it as a payment for a victory of battle.

The Timur 'ruby' has some illustrious provenance too. Ranging from Mughal emperors to Persian rulers, and ultimately being acquired by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1813. When the British annexed the Punjab in 1849, they took possession of the Timur ruby (and the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond by the way) from Duleep Singh, the son of Ranjit Singh and the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. The East India Company presented the Timur Ruby to Queen Victoria as a gift in 1851...

DID YOU KNOW?

  • For centuries, spinel has been mistaken for ruby and regarded as such in Europe’s crown jewels. It wasn’t until 1783 that the French mineralogist Jean Baptiste Louis Rome de L'isle distinguished spinel as a different mineral from ruby, and this high quality gemstone has often been underappreciated ever since.
  • The Samarian Spinel is believed to be the largest fine spinel in the world. It is a red 500 carat gemstone that is part of the Iranian Crown Jewels.
  • Most grey spinel has a secondary hue - a bluish, lilac or violet color that shows among the grey. 

To arrange a one-on-one consultation with Eva and explore these and other stones up close and in person, please book an appointment here

Visit Gems & Jewels for more information on other colored stones.

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