A  List  of  Neutral  Gemstones

new neutrals

1. Sapphire - Golden, White

ORIGIN
Kenya, Ceylon (today's Sri Lanka), Madagascar, Montana (US).

COLORS
Sapphires come in every color but red → a “red sapphire” would be called a ruby. Rubies and sapphires both belong to the corundum family. Natural white and gold sheen sapphires are rare and though different in appearance, just as stunning as their colorful counterparts.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE GOLD SHEEN AND WHITE SAPPHIRE
If you prefer a more neutral spark but love the glamour and quality of sapphire, you might love these neutral stones that come with fascinating backgrounds as well. 

HOW TO WEAR SAPPHIRE
There isn't anything you cannot do with sapphire - it's a perfect fit for any dream jewelry piece.

By Season:

  • For summer, try a pair of white sapphire earrings in place of your go-to diamond studs. 
  • For winter, set a stunning gold sheen sapphire in a 3-stone statement ring to be the talk of every holiday party. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF SAPPHIRE
The sapphire stone has been associated with royalty and romance for centuries. In fact, royalty give blue sapphires over diamonds as engagement rings because they’re known to be far rarer than diamonds (so if you love the look of a traditional diamond engagement ring but also want to stand out, a white sapphire might be perfect for you). Ancient Greeks and Romans were convinced that these stones protected their owners from envy and harm, while in the Middle Ages, the clergy wore sapphires to symbolize Heaven and the common people believed them to attract heavenly blessings. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Many of the white sapphires you see in jewelry are lab-created. Natural white sapphires are extremely rare and will come with a much higher price tag. 
  • Brilliance and fire matter less in white sapphires than they do in diamonds but their sparkle is equally alluring. 

2. Spinel - Grey, Black

ORIGIN
Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Nepal, Nigeria

COLORS
While we're mainly taking a look at the neutral grey and black spinels here, spinel comes in a wide array of colors from blues to reds and everything in between. Colorless or white spinel also exists but is extremely rare. The grey hues are a great fashion-forward color for the stylish woman.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE SPINEL
Spinel is a special gemstone that has historically been mistaken for other rare gems in royal jewels and has just recently begun to get the attention it deserves in the world of gems. 

spinel info
Grey Spinel

HOW TO WEAR SPINEL
Like many of the stones on this list, spinel is a very hard and durable stone that won't scratch easily making it very versatile. And if you have your eye on the black spinel, many fashionistas agree that black jewelry is the perfect minimalist accessory. 

By Season:

  • For summer, wear it day to night - from bikinis and sun hats to cocktail dresses and heels, there is a spinel for every hot weather wardrobe change.
  • For winter the black or grey spinel makes a beautiful addition to your sparkling New Year's Eve or other holiday attire.  

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF SPINEL
Two famous old 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 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?

  • Black spinel is frequently mined alongside ruby and sapphire. 
  • High jewelry designers, such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Harry Winston and Chanel use spinel gemstones along with other colored gemstones or diamonds.
  • Most grey spinel has a secondary tone - a bluish or violet color that shows among the grey. 

3. Diamond

ORIGIN
Diamonds can be found in about 35 different countries around the world. It was originally found in India with Brazil becoming an important source later on. The main producers of gem quality diamonds today are South Africa, Botswana and Russia.

COLORS
Diamonds' normal color range is from colorless to light yellow and brown but diamonds can come in colors such as blue, yellow, orange, red (beyond rare), green, pink, purple, brown, and black.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE DIAMOND
If you love a classic, you'll love the diamond - a traditional gemstone that has been commercialized as a go-to adornment for decades. 

diamond gemstone information

image credit: diamondfoundry.com

HOW TO WEAR DIAMOND
The diamond is a universal stone that can be used in any type of jewelry piece. It makes a great accent stone for a more colorful jewelry piece as well 😉.

By Season:

  • For summer, try a vivid paraiba tourmaline surrounded by a halo of glimmering diamonds set in a statement ring or pendant.  
  • For winter, perhaps a stunning green tsavorite garnet in the center of a three-stone ring setting with a smaller diamond on each side. 

A PEEK INTO THE HISTORY OF THE DIAMOND
The diamond's journey to becoming a beloved gemstone across the world begins in India where it was found in rivers and streams after being ejected from the depths of the earth. Some estimates date diamond trading in India all the way back to the 4th century BC.  Gradually, Indian diamonds found their way over to Western Europe and by the 1400s, diamonds were being used by Europe's elite in their style accessories.

Brazil came to the scene as a notable source of diamond in the early 1700s when India's supplies began to decline and gold miners found diamonds in their pans while sifting through gravel in their local rivers. This was the start of Brazil's reign over the diamond market that lasted for more than 150 years.

In the 1800s, the first of the great South African diamond deposits were found and just in time too as this was just when the demand for diamonds was on the rise.  Around this time, diamond mining started to move away from the surface, further underground, and more efficient mining techniques were needed to lower costs. Another thing that reduced costs were advances in polishing and cutting which increased efficiency and enhanced the appearance of the stone.

By the late 1970s, the world’s leaders in rough diamond production were South Africa, Zaire (today's Democratic Republic of Congo), and the former Soviet Union. A new, high-quality mine, the Jwaneng mine, in Botswana added to world production in 1982 which boosted Botswana to third in the world for diamond sourcing and now being the biggest diamond-producing country.

The 1990s came with dramatic growth in cutting centers along with new sources for diamond production. De Beers, once the sole path for diamonds entering the market, saw a greatly reduced role as diamonds came flowing in from multiple channels. The 20th century came with a great expansion into the research and knowledge surrounding diamonds. Just in the last 50 years or so, scientists have learned more about how diamonds reach the surface which has in turn made it easier to predict where diamonds can be found. 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Diamond forms about 100 miles beneath the earth's surface - the only place where the necessary conditions of high temperature and pressure exist.
  • Diamond is the only gem composed of one single element and that element is carbon. 
  • In most diamond mines, the average yield is 1 part diamond for every 1 million parts rock host.

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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