A List of Neon Gemstones
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
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.
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?
2. Indicolite Tourmaline
Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Namibia, Madagascar, USA and Afghanistan
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.
HOW TO WEAR INDICOLITE TOURMALINE
Tourmaline is a relatively durable stone that can tolerate many different settings.
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?
3. Paraiba Tourmaline
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.
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.
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.
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?
4. Mint Tourmaline
Brazil, Mozambique, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka
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.
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.
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?
5. Tsavorite Garnet
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...
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?
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?
Brazil, Baja California (Mexico), Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Canada
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 its low position on the Mohs hardness scale. It does make for a stunning collectors item or special occasion piece that isn't likely to see a lot of wear-and-tear.
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?
7. Mali Garnet
Mali in Africa
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...
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?
8. Canary Yellow Tourmaline
Africa, Afganistan, Pakistan
Bright neon yellow with hints of green
WHY YOU’LL LOVE CANARY TOURMALINE
It's exceptional neon-like glow is unmatched among yellow gems.
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.
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?
9. Spessartite (Mandarin) Garnet
Namibia, Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya, USA
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.
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?
10. Hot Pink Sapphire
Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and East Africa.
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…).
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?
11. Bubblegum Spinel
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.
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.
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?
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.
Become an insider
Join those in the know who enjoy shopping direct for their high-end, personalized gemstone pieces,
get unprecedented access to stones that are usually only available to the world’s high jewelry houses
and be the first to hear about insider jewelry events