Birthstone Guide: Emerald for Those Born in May

Those born in May are lucky enough to count emerald as their birthstone. Here, Gem-A gemmology tutor, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG, explores the history and qualities of this beautiful green beryl. 

The emerald is arguably the most well-known and desired member of the beryl family with its brilliantly verdant colour. Green stones have been called emeralds for thousands of years -  since around 4,000 BC - regardless of whether they actually were what we know as emeralds today.

Emerald Lore

At one time, emeralds were believed to give one the ability to predict the future, especially when held underneath the tongue. They were also believed to confer riches upon the wearer and were used as protection against poison and demonic possession. Used as a symbol of immortality and wealth, emeralds have been valued for centuries for both their appearance and symbolism.

 Beryl Emerald Crystal in Calcite Matrix and Carbonaceous 9767 GemA PDEmerald crystals in calcite. Photographed by Henry Mesa.

Finally, it is said that emeralds are beneficial for the eye and it is reported that some lapidaries keep an emerald on their bench to look at, giving relief to their  tired eyes after a long day of cutting gems.

Emerald Localities

Emeralds have been mined for thousands of years, stretching back to Egypt near the Red Sea around 2000 BC in what were known as Cleopatra’s emerald mines. While Egyptian emeralds were some of the first to be mined and traded, it was the discoveries of Colombian emeralds by 16th century Spanish conquistadors like Pizarro that brought strikingly saturated green crystals to the European market - particularly to the Spanish court and beyond.

Emerald Crystal Emerald and Emerald Cut Connection Gem A BlogA large Colombian emerald crystal. Photograph by Henry Mesa. 

It is still thought that emeralds from the Colombian mines such as Chivor, Muzo and Cozquez are the finest in the world. Other localities that produce emeralds are Brazil, Russia, India, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and North Carolina, USA. 

Emerald Crystals and Inclusions

Emeralds typically form as hexagonal prisms with a flat pinacoid top and base. Sometimes, they can have rectangular etch pits on the prism faces and hexagonal etch pits on the top of the crystal.

Pyrite Inclusion in Emerald.

Due to their brittle nature, these gemstones often have internal fractures along with many different types of inclusions. Emeralds are routinely oiled or even resin-filled, to reduce the appearance of these internal fractures. It is possible to see a blue or yellow flash within the stone if it has been filled with a resin, but careful observation is needed. 

Read more: What Can Emerald Inclusions Tell Us About Their Origin? 

Also found in Colombia are trapiche emeralds, in which an emerald forms with a central, hexagonal crystal from which radiate six emerald segments that are separated by a fine-grained mixture of colourless beryl and nearly black albite.

Emerald Trapiche. Photo by Pat Daly

Inclusions are numerous and varied, and sometimes one can tell where the emerald was mined based on what lies inside the gemstone. Colombian emeralds, for example, typically have three-phase inclusions, which consist of a liquid, a solid mineral inclusion and a gas bubble contained in a jagged cavity.

Read more: What Makes a Gemstone Rare? 

Other inclusions typical of their localities are comma-shaped two-phase inclusions found in Indian emeralds, and long, curved tremolite inclusions in emeralds from Zimbabwe. There are many other inclusions such as bamboo-like actinolite, pyrite and colourless rhomb-shaped crystals.

 
Three Phase Inclusion in Emerald.

Emerald Cut and Use in Jewellery 

There is a type of square or rectangular step-cut with truncated corners that is so often used for this gemstone that it is more commonly known as the emerald cut. The corners are removed so as to protect the brittle stone from unwanted chipping and breakage at the stone’s most vulnerable points.

Read more: What is the Link Between an Emerald and the Emerald Cut?

Claw settings are used, particularly at the corners and along the sides, but a more practical setting would be the bezel or rub-over setting in order to form a barrier around the entire stone. Whether you love emeralds or prefer another type of beryl, there is no arguing that its deep green colour and lore make it a gemstone to be admired. 

Start your gemmology journey with a Gem-A Workshop, designed to get you up-to-speed with the basics of gemstones. Find out more here

The Gem-A Gemmology Foundation course is the ideal way to turn your passion for gemstones into something more. Discover all our gemmology courses here

Cover image: Emerald in quartz by Henry Mesa.

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Birthstone Guide: Ruby for Those Born in July

Those born in July can call the resplendent ruby their birthstone. To find out more about this historically significant and commercially successful gemstone, we asked Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG to share her insights.

The ruby slippers, a ruby red apple, ruby red lips… for those interested in gems and jewellery, and even those who aren’t, rubies are synonymous with a rich red hue.

What many don’t know is that the ruby is a member of the corundum gem species, along with sapphires, the difference being colour and the elements responsible for that colour. Rubies are specifically red and coloured by chromium, while sapphires have more flexibility with their colours (including blue and any other colour aside from red). The most valued is sometimes referred to as ‘pigeon’s blood’ – a deep, rich red that is seen to be the purest iteration of the colour.

Rubies in History

It is believed in some cultures that rubies bring prosperity and protection to those who wear them. Rubies are also the stone of passion and are often associated with love. It has even been said that rubies should be rubbed onto the skin to promote and restore youth.

Due to their colour, rubies were often connected to blood and the idea of a ‘life force’, which is one of the many reasons they were worn by warriors to make them unstoppable in battle.

Read more: A Quick Guide to the British Crown Jewels

Historically, all red gemstones were called a ruby until the late 18th century, when gemmology developed as a science and people were able to distinguish between various species of red stones. In fact, some of the most famous rubies, including the Black Prince’s Ruby and the Timur Ruby in the British Crown Jewels are red spinel.

Where are Rubies Found?

Commercial quantities of ruby are found in numerous locations including Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam.

Read more: What are the Most Important Gemstone Producing Countries in the World?

Treated Ruby Before and After Heat Treatment Gem A Blog July BirthstoneRuby before (left) and after being heat treated.

These locations have quite distinctive inclusions that may aid identification; however these inclusions can also frequently be seen in gemstones from other localities such as Australia, Kenya, Namibia, Madagascar, India, USA, Russia, China and Nepal, and are therefore not diagnostic.

Ruby Crystals

The most common crystal habit for a ruby is a flat, tabular hexagonal shape that can either be sharp or rounded at the edges. There may be raised, triangular growth marks on the top or bottom pinacoids of the crystal, as well as some lamellar twinning lines on the sides of the crystal. These are distinctive crystals and can be readily recognised. Twinning occurs when a crystal changes its direction of growth during formation, either one or multiple times.

Ruby Inclusions

Rubies can contain a large variety of inclusions. These can be crystals, feathers (partially healed internal fractures), silk (long, thread-like rutile inclusions), evidence of the lamellar twinning in the form of twin planes, and hexagonal colour-zoning. Silk, which forms in three directions at 120 degrees, can cause an optical effect known as asterism (a bright star shape that appears in the stone), which is highly valued in natural rubies.

Asterism or Star Ruby Gem A Blog July Birthstone Ruby 
A natural 'star ruby' caused by silk inclusions.

You can often tell if a ‘star-ruby’ is a natural one as opposed to a synthetic one because the star is not always centred, the arms of the star are slightly crooked or diffuse, and the cabochon has a rounded or deep base to preserve yield, therefore raising the price of the stone.

Ruby Treatments

The most common treatment to corundum as a whole is heat treatment to enhance or remove colour. For rubies, brown and blue tones are often removed by this method. Additionally, it is important to watch out for rubies that have been fracture-filled with lead glass to improve colour and clarity. This treatment is becoming more and more prevalent, so caution is advised when buying rubies.

Read more: What Should Be in the Ideal Gemmologist's Toolkit?

The lead glass leaves tell-tale signs, however, so look for surface-reaching fractures, a difference in surface lustre between the glass and the ruby, and a blue flash within the ruby as well as bubbles, both of which are confined to the fractures inside of which the glass sits. It is not advisable to heat these rubies as the lead glass has a low melting point and will leak out of the stone.

Flashes and Cracks in a Glass Filled Ruby Ruby Treatments Gem A BlogFlashes and cracks in a glass filled ruby. 

Ruby Care and Caution

Rubies are comparatively hard at 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, second only to diamonds with a hardness of 10. They are excellent stones to set in jewellery due to their ability to resist scratches as well as any chemical attack. It is not advisable, however, to put them in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, especially if the stone is fractured or has been lead-glass filled.

Read more: What Makes a Gemstone Rare? 

Rubies are a historic gem, considered to be the gem of royalty. Whether you appreciate them for their colour, multitude of inclusions, or their stature within the gem community, they are a worthy addition to anyone’s jewellery box, especially if you were born in July.

Interested in finding out more about gemmology? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's Short Courses or Workshops.

If you would like to receive copies of Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: The Patiala Ruby Choker created by Cartier in 1931 and recently sold by Christie's. This exceptional piece, once part of the Al-Thani Collection, was commissioned by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, one of Cartier’s most important Indian clients of the 1920s and 1930s. Image courtesy of Christie's. 

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Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

The varied hues of spinel have been admired for hundreds of years, but this gemstone only recently found its place on the list of ‘alternative birthstones’. Here, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG explores the alternative birthstone for the month of August and some of its synthetic counterparts.

Spinel is a relative newcomer to the ‘official’ list of birthstones and was added as an alternative to peridot for the month of August by the Jewelers of America and the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA). It is sometimes known as the great imitator of gemstones because it can look like so many different stones with its wide variety of colours, most notably ruby.

Read more: What Should be in the Ideal Gemmologist's Toolkit?

For millennia, red spinels were commonly mistaken for rubies. As gemmology became more established as a science in the 18th century it became possible to differentiate between rubies and spinels, and other similar-looking gemstones. Red spinels are considered important stones in British regalia and other royal collections. You may see them referenced as ‘balas rubies’ in some historical records.

Did you know? The Black Prince’s Ruby in the British Crown Jewels is actually a spinel? Read more here.

Spinel Dreamscape™ 5.34 ct cut by John Dyer
Gem Courtesy of John Dyer & Co. Photo Credit: Lydia Dyer

Historically, spinel (and other red gemstones) were thought to protect their wearer from harm and enhance vitality – largely because the red colour was associated with blood or ‘life force’. Other beliefs linked spinel with banishing sadness, replenishing energy and helping their wearer to overcome challenges.

Read more: Understanding Garnets in Antique Jewellery

While red is perhaps the most popular and commercially successful colour of spinel, it can also come in a large array of colours, such as blue, green, grey, purple, orange and pink. One of the more intriguing colours on the market is a very bright pinkish-red spinel that appears like a glowing bright, neon red.

It is known as ‘jedi spinel’ because it glows like a lightsabre in the Star Wars films. It was discovered in Myanmar in the early 2000s.

Spinel in Marble Matrix. Image by Pat Daly.

Spinel Crystals

Spinels form either as octahedrons with flat, polished-looking faces that have a bright vitreous lustre, or they can form as spinel twins, which look like flat triangles with notches at the corners, known as re-entrant angles. Triangular etch pits can be found on the surface of these crystals.

Read more: What Makes a Gemstone Rare?

Spinel Crystal, Triangular Growth Marks. Image by Pat Daly.

Spinel Inclusions

Spinels often look loupe clean with minimal inclusions. Some of the more common inclusions can be octahedral crystals that are a spinel-type mineral and are usually arranged in very neat rows. You can also see zircon haloes (circular stress fractures around a zircon crystal) and iron staining.

A crystal inclusion in Spinel. Image by Pat Daly.

Synthetic Spinel

Synthetic spinel can be produced in a lab in virtually any colour. If produced by the verneuil flame fusion method, there are a few tests that you can do to differentiate between it and its natural counterpart. The refractive index of synthetic spinel is typically 1.727, which is higher than a natural spinel, which usually sits around 1.718.

Read more: The Most Important Gemstone Producing Countries

Additionally, if you put the synthetic stone on the polariscope, you will most likely see a type of strain called tabby extinction, which looks like thin, shadowy stripes that move across the stone as it is turned. Finally, observe the stone and try to find any natural inclusions like the ones mentioned above.

There are many natural spinels with minimal inclusions, but use additional tests to err on the side of caution.

Tabby Extinction in Synthetic Spinel. Image by Pat Daly.

Spinel Care and Caution

Spinels have a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, meaning that they can resist scratching and abrasion more easily than softer gems that fall lower on the scale. As it has a very good stability with a high resistance to heat or chemical damage, spinel can be used in jewellery dips, but it is still advised that warm water and a mild soap are used to clean spinel-set jewellery. Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners for good practice.

With its range of colours, good clarity and bright vitreous lustre, it is time that spinel was more appreciated as a gem material in its own right. Even though it is a lesser known gemstone on the market, it is a worthy alternative to peridot as a birthstone for August.

Do you want to learn more about gemstones? Sign up to a Gem-A Short Course or Workshop.

Start your gemmology journey with the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation qualification. Contact our Education team on education@gem-a.com to find out more. 

Cover image: Feather Inclusion in Spinel. Image by Pat Daly.

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Birthstone Guide: Opal for Those Born in October

With an iridescent radiance, the captivating opal is the birthstone for October. Here, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG, explores the history and properties of this fascinating gemstone.

Opals have been valued for millennia, even before Ancient Greek and Roman times. There are two main types of opal: precious and common. The precious variety shows that magical play-of-colour which is so highly sought-after and can capture the attention and imagination of anyone who lays eyes on one of these gemstones. The more common variety simply does not show this optical effect, but can come in a variety of colours from pink to green to blue to yellow. Another variety is known as fire opal, which is a transparent to translucent variety that is orange, red or yellow and sometimes displays play-of-colour, but often does not.


Precious Opal, Image Credit: Pat Daly

Believed by the Greeks to give one the power of prophecy and foresight, opals enjoyed a long period of favour. The Romans thought that opals represented purity and hope. Opals were regarded in high esteem until the 18th and 19th centuries when the perception changed and they were believed to be unlucky, causing misfortune and bringing harm to the wearer.


Common Opal, Image Credit Pat Daly

Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria the Oriental Circlet Tiara that featured 11 precious opals. These were later replaced with rubies by her granddaughter Queen Alexandra, who believed them unlucky.

 Opal with Striated Colour Patches. Image Credit: Pat Daly 

Prized precious opals were relatively rare prior to the 19th century, the best examples coming from present-day Slovakia. Today, there are many localities where opals can be found, but the best and most valuable ones were discovered in the late 19th century in Australia. Places of highly desirable opals include deposits in New South Wales called Lightning Ridge and White Cliffs. 

‘Synthetics’
There are many natural opals on the market, but there are also manmade ‘synthetic’ opals. First created by Pierre Gilson in 1974, these opals are very close to matching the physical and chemical structure of a natural opal. Synthetic is in quotations because it is not completely identical to its natural counterpart. It is essential that one must be able to distinguish between these manmade opals and the naturally forming ones when going to purchase an opal. This can be done with observation using a 10x loupe.

Natural opals with play-of-colour have irregular patches of rainbow hues that flash at many different levels within the stone as it is turned. The patches of colour are irregularly shaped and can be limited in the colours shown depending on the inner structure of the opal.


Synthetic Opal - Columnar Structure.
Image Credit, Gem-A, Pat Daly

‘Synthetic’ Gilson opals still display play-of-colour, but it can be much brighter and more consistently shaped and displayed throughout the stone than natural opals. Additionally, these patches of colour have a polygonal outline to them, giving a ‘lizard skin’ appearance. If cut as a cabochon, there will also be a columnar structure to the patches of colour on the side of the cabochon, which is completely unlike natural opals.

Care and Caution
Opals contain up to 30% water, which means that they are susceptible to drying out when exposed to heat. This can cause crazing, or cracking, that is irreversible. When storing your opals, always make sure that it is in a cooler temperature, preferably with a bit of moisture in the air (a small dish of water or cotton ball will do). Opals are also porous, and can be easily damaged by acids and chemicals such as detergents, perfumes and jewellery cleaner. Finally, opals are soft with a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale. This makes them vulnerable to knocks, scuffs and abrasions, which means they are more suited for earring and necklace settings rather than rings in order to keep them safe while wearing. 

Opal Boulder, Image Credit: Gem-A

Today, opals are enjoying resurgence in popularity, despite the misgivings that they can bring back luck to those who wear them. For those born in October, opals can and should be considered a bit of gem magic to be enjoyed for their stunning play-of-colour that is unmatched by any other gemstone.

Interested in finding out more about gemmology? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: Precious Opal Matrix. Image Credit: Pat Daly. 


Gem-A at Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2019

Gem-A at Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2019

Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair is only a few days away and we are getting very excited to meet visitors and colleagues from the jewellery and gemstone industries, and of course be dazzled by the many gemmological marvels that will be on show at this world-class event.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Sapphire for Those Born in September

Birthstone Guide: Sapphire for Those Born in September

Legend describes sapphire as a stone of honesty, trust and prosperity, bringing inner peace and protection to its wearer. Here, we consider the many facets of the September birthstone...

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A First Time Visit to Intenational Jewellery London 2019

A First Time Visit to Intenational Jewellery London 2019

Gem-A’s communications assistant, Olivia Gillespie, reflects on her first experience at one of the UK’s biggest jewellery trade shows, International Jewellery London.

Read more


Gem-A at International Jewellery London 2019

Gem-A at International Jewellery London 2019

International Jewellery London is just around the corner and all of us at Gem-A are hugely excited for what promises to be a scintillating showcase of jewellery and gemstones! Take a look at some of the exciting activities and events we have planned for this year's show...

Read more


Buying Guide: Which Gemstones are in the Beryl Family?

Buying Guide: Which Gemstones are in the Beryl Family?

Gem-A gemmology tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG takes us through the variety brilliantly coloured gems belonging to the beryl family.

Read more


Understanding Red Beryl

Understanding Red Beryl

Gem-A is pleased to have some fascinating red beryl specimens in the historic Gem-A Gemstone & Mineral Collection. Here, Gem-A senior gemmology tutor Rona Bierrum FGA DGA EG, explores what makes this rare member of the beryl family so special.

Read more


Famous Gemstones: The Star of India Sapphire

Famous Gemstones: The Star of India Sapphire

Look at any list of the top 10 most famous gemstones in the world and you will undoubtedly come across the Star of India. Here, we find out more about this incredible star sapphire and discover its fantastical history, which reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie.

Read more


The Gems&Jewellery Autumn 2019 Issue Has Landed!

The Gems&Jewellery Autumn 2019 Issue Has Landed!

We are pleased to announce that the Autumn 2019 issue of Gems&Jewellery magazine is now available to Gem-A Members and students in print and online.

Read more


Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

The varied hues of spinel have been admired for hundreds of years, but this gemstone only recently found its place on the list of ‘alternative birthstones’. Here, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG explores the alternative birthstone for the month of August and some of its synthetic counterparts.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Those born in August have vibrant green peridot as their birthstone. Lily Faber FGA DGA EG delves into this zesty gemstone to find out more about its physical properties and fascinating history.

Read more


Additional Info

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Birthstone Guide: Citrine for Those Born in November

As we enter the darker winter months, November's birthstone citrine offers a ray of sunshine. Here, Gemmology Tutor, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG, explores the properties and folklore around this sunny gemstone.  

Citrine is a type of crystalline quartz that comes in many different hues of yellow, from a pale shade to a stronger orangey or even brown-tinged yellow. Prized for its sunny appearance, citrine has maintained popularity in the gem trade, especially in cocktail jewellery.

Citrine in Light Weaver™ cut. Image Courtesy of John Dyer and Co. Photo Credit Lydia Dyer.

Said to hold the power of the sun, citrine is believed by many to counteract depression and phobias. It is known as a gemstone that can help you remain calm in stressful situations, attract good things and positivity into one’s life, and to cleanse the negative energy from one’s home.
A little known fact is that citrine that is offered on the market is most often amethyst that has been heat-treated to promote that golden colour. Natural citrine can be difficult to find, despite quartz being one of the most abundant gem materials in the earth’s crust. It is found worldwide, but some more important localities of note are Brazil, India, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Crystals and Inclusions

Citrine can be found as stand-alone crystals or as a geode containing multiple crystals within a rocky pocket. If sold as an individual crystal, citrine will have a hexagonally shaped prism with a pyramidal termination and slightly thicker base. There may be fractures within the crystal that cause iridescence, and the surface may feature striations that run horizontally across the prism faces (if the surfaces have not been polished).


Citrine, cut by John Dyer & Co. Image © John Dyer & Co.

Inclusions in citrine can be highly variable. However, it mostly has similar inclusions to those in amethyst, such as tiger stripes, straight colour-zoning, incipient fractures (mentioned above), crystals and two-phase inclusions consisting of a liquid and a gas, or a solid crystal and a liquid.

Care and Caution

Quartz is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, endowing it with the ability to be set into any piece of jewellery, whether it is a ring, necklace or earrings. Considered hard, citrine will resist scratches and abrasions, but it is not impervious to these attacks and care should still be taken when wearing it in everyday life.

Citrine in Dreamscape™ cut. Courtesy of John Dyer & Co. Photo Credit: Lydia Dyer. 

Whether you like the appearance or the meanings behind it, citrine is a fantastic gem that can hold a high polish while bestowing anyone’s jewels with a kiss of sunshine. Lucky are those who were born in November and can lay to claim such a lovely gem as their birthstone.

Interested in finding out more about gemmology? Sign-up to one of Gem-A's courses or workshops.

If you would like to subscribe to Gems&Jewellery and The Journal of Gemmology please visit Membership.

Cover image: Cognac Citrine Dreamscape™ 33.71 cts. Image Courtesy of John Dyer & Co.  Photo Credit: Lydia Dyer.


Gem-A at Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2019

Gem-A at Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair 2019

Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair is only a few days away and we are getting very excited to meet visitors and colleagues from the jewellery and gemstone industries, and of course be dazzled by the many gemmological marvels that will be on show at this world-class event.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Sapphire for Those Born in September

Birthstone Guide: Sapphire for Those Born in September

Legend describes sapphire as a stone of honesty, trust and prosperity, bringing inner peace and protection to its wearer. Here, we consider the many facets of the September birthstone...

Read more


A First Time Visit to Intenational Jewellery London 2019

A First Time Visit to Intenational Jewellery London 2019

Gem-A’s communications assistant, Olivia Gillespie, reflects on her first experience at one of the UK’s biggest jewellery trade shows, International Jewellery London.

Read more


Gem-A at International Jewellery London 2019

Gem-A at International Jewellery London 2019

International Jewellery London is just around the corner and all of us at Gem-A are hugely excited for what promises to be a scintillating showcase of jewellery and gemstones! Take a look at some of the exciting activities and events we have planned for this year's show...

Read more


Buying Guide: Which Gemstones are in the Beryl Family?

Buying Guide: Which Gemstones are in the Beryl Family?

Gem-A gemmology tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG takes us through the variety brilliantly coloured gems belonging to the beryl family.

Read more


Understanding Red Beryl

Understanding Red Beryl

Gem-A is pleased to have some fascinating red beryl specimens in the historic Gem-A Gemstone & Mineral Collection. Here, Gem-A senior gemmology tutor Rona Bierrum FGA DGA EG, explores what makes this rare member of the beryl family so special.

Read more


Famous Gemstones: The Star of India Sapphire

Famous Gemstones: The Star of India Sapphire

Look at any list of the top 10 most famous gemstones in the world and you will undoubtedly come across the Star of India. Here, we find out more about this incredible star sapphire and discover its fantastical history, which reads like the plot of a Hollywood movie.

Read more


The Gems&Jewellery Autumn 2019 Issue Has Landed!

The Gems&Jewellery Autumn 2019 Issue Has Landed!

We are pleased to announce that the Autumn 2019 issue of Gems&Jewellery magazine is now available to Gem-A Members and students in print and online.

Read more


Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

The varied hues of spinel have been admired for hundreds of years, but this gemstone only recently found its place on the list of ‘alternative birthstones’. Here, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG explores the alternative birthstone for the month of August and some of its synthetic counterparts.

Read more


Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Those born in August have vibrant green peridot as their birthstone. Lily Faber FGA DGA EG delves into this zesty gemstone to find out more about its physical properties and fascinating history.

Read more


Additional Info

Read more...
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