Gem Stones P - Z

Pearl

With a hardness between 2.5 and 4, Pearls are not recommended for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Avoid contact with chemicals, especially perfumes, perspiration and hair sprays. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

South Sea Cultured Pearls are long treasured as the most desirable pearls on the planet. They are the most stunning when displayed alongside their peers. They range from a pure white to cream and pink inflected white to a radiant gold.

Tahitian Cultured Pearls are a black based pearl with overtones of pink, blue, gold, green, silver, and reddish purple. They are formed within the pinctada margaritifera, or “black-lipped,” oyster. Although they are cultured today they were harvested recently by free-diving Polynesian fishermen.

Akoya Cultured Pearls come from the world’s smallest pearl- producing oyster, known as the pinctada fucata martensii. The most sought after are white with a pink tinge. They also produce a dark gray-green color.

Freshwater Cultured Pearls are the most affordable. They are produced from different species of freshwater mussel, not by oysters.

Cultured Seed Pearls and very petite pearls. These pearls are the result of an accidental dislocation of a piece of tissue within a mollusk during pearl cultivation.

Mabé Cultured Pearls are the oldest cultured pearl. The Chinese first cultivated it more than 700 years ago. They are unique because they grow within the shell of the oyster, instead of within its soft tissue.

Peridot

With a hardness of 6.5 to 7, Peridot is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Peridot color ranges from medium to dark yellowish green, to medium to dark slightly yellowish green.

Quartz

With a hardness of 6.5 to 7, Quartz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Quartz takes its name from a Greek word meaning “icy cold,” reflecting an early belief that it was a form of super cooled ice.

Green Quartz is a light slightly yellowish green.

Lemon Quartz is a light slightly greenish yellow.

Smoky Quartz has a color that ranges from medium light tan to medium dark brown. It was a staple of Victorian mourning jewelry.

Rutilated Quartz is colorless with eye visible golden rutile needles. Gemstone mythology attributes healing powers to rutilated quartz by helping the wearer find stability and balance in life.

Tourmalinated Quartz is colorless with eye visible black tourmaline needles.

Ruby

With a hardness of 9, Rubies are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ruby is the birthstone of July. In large sizes, it is rarer than diamonds. In ancient Rome they were believed to excite passions and guard one’s wealth and rank.

Sapphire

With a harness of 9, Sapphires are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Sapphire comes in every color of the rainbow except red. It is then known as a ruby.

Blue sapphire is the birthstone for September. In Ancient Rome it was believed to guard one from envy, increase wealth, and protect rulers from harm.

Pink sapphire ranges from light to medium dark pink.

White sapphire is sometimes used as a diamond alternative.

Yellow Sapphire ranges in color from light to medium yellow, and medium to dark yellow. It is thought to bring cheer.

Black Star Sapphire range in color from charcoal gray to dark brown and feature a star look on the top of the stone. The largest known star sapphire is the Black Star of Queensland. It is a 733 carat black and is currently on display in New York at the American Museum of Natural History.

Blue Star Sapphire is a dark blue with patches of white with a star shape on the top. They have been associated with good fortune.

Spinal

With a hardness of 8, Spinel is rated “Excellent” for everyday wear. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Black Spinel rivals Onyx. It is one of the rarest spinel. Some believe that it eases a sad heart and promotes positive romantic relationships.

Pink Spinel was commonly confused with both ruby and pink topaz. Many famous historical rubies, were actually spinel. The color is a medium reddish pink.

Tanzanite

With a hardness of 6 to 7, Tanzanite is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Color is a light to medium bluish purple and can appear more purplish violet in artificial light.

Topaz

Blue and white topaz is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

London Blue Topaz is a deeper, gray blue stone.

Sky Blue Topaz is a bright light blue color. It is sometimes used in place of aquamarine as it rivals it in color and charm and is found in a greater abundance.

Swiss Blue Topaz is a medium to dark bright blue sometimes thought to be a glacier color.

Green Mystic Topaz is a multi-colored stone. It is medium light green with purple and pink hues.

Pure Pink Mystic Topaz is a vibrant medium to medium dark pure pink color.

Sunrise Mystic Topaz has a medium light orange yellow color with tinges of pink, thought to resemble a sunrise.

Tourmaline

With a hardness of 7 to 7.5, Tourmaline is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tourmaline is available in a variety of colors but is most desirable in green and pink.

Green tourmaline is a medium to dark yellowish green.

Pink Tourmaline is a birthstone for October. It was highly treasured in China.

Turquoise

With a hardness of 5 to 6, Turquoise is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Turquoise is a sacred stone for Native Americans across the southwestern United States as well as Aztecs and ancient Egyptians. It is credited with a variety of magical properties. It was most famously believed to protect the wearer from injuries by falling, particularly from a horse.

Zircon

With a hardness of 7.5, zircon is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Blue Zircon is the birthstone for December. It is not a cubic zirconia as sometimes thought. It ranges in color from medium to dark slightly greenish blue.

Medieval Europeans believed that zircon promoted restful sleep, wealth and dispelled evil spirits.