Gemstones have been appreciated as some of the most valuable commodities in the world for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The best quality gemstones are extremely rare and exceptionally beautiful, which is what makes them so valuable. If you’re wanting to learn more about the world’s four precious gemstones and the meanings behind them, you’re in the right place, whether you’re wanting to make a purchase or simply learn more about the sentimental meaning behind each of them.
There are only four precious gemstones in the world, which are diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, all of which represent very different things, yet are equally beautiful. So, let’s find out more about them!
First up we have diamonds, the most iconic gemstone of all. This bright and clear (coloured diamonds also exist but are very rare) gemstone scores a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it the strongest mineral on earth. This is why diamonds are ideal for jewellery that is worn everyday, like earrings or engagement rings. Many vintage engagement rings also feature diamonds that are still in impeccable condition, decades and even centuries after they were originally made, which shows just how strong they are.
Diamonds are associated with strength, love and health, with leaders throughout time wearing them as a symbol of their power. However, the fact that they also represent love and good health is another reason why they are a common choice for engagement rings. They are also thought to help bring imagination to the wearer, as well as courage and harmony. Not to mention, diamonds are exceptionally beautiful!
Next we have rubies, another breathtakingly beautiful gemstone that is a deep red colour. This gemstone also scores very highly on the Mohs scale, with a 9, which again makes it a great choice for everyday jewellery. Rubies vary from a very deep, vibrant red right the way through to more of a purplish red colour. It’s the more pure red colours, however, that command the highest prices as they are the most rare.
Rubies represent passion, protection and wealth, and are most commonly found in Burma and China, where ancient warriors would adorn them on their armour to provide protection in battle. However, since then when the value increased massively, they are more commonly representative of love and commitment.
Sapphires are the third precious gemstone, again scoring a 9 on the Mohs scale, making them a common choice for engagement rings. The colour of vintage sapphire engagement rings varies anywhere from black to blue and yellow to pink, although the most valuable coloured sapphire is a strong, vivid blue colour.
Sapphires have long been associated with royalty, and have been known to bring blessings and protection to the person wearing it. The calming blue tones are also thought to provide spiritual clarity, as well as good fortune. Sapphires are breathtakingly beautiful and make such a special addition to any jewellery box.
Last but certainly not least, we have emeralds, a pure green stone that is stunning. Emeralds are slightly softer minerals, scoring 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. This is still extremely strong, but they do require more care than the other three gemstones. Nevertheless, with the proper care they can last for generations (avoiding excessive contact with water, avoiding contact with cleaning substances, having them regularly cleaned by a professional and having the settings checked), which does still make them a fantastic choice for special jewellery, perhaps as wedding jewellery.
Emeralds represent prosperity and growth, as well as truth and love. In Ancient Greece, they were even associated with the goddess Venus, the ultimate symbol of love and beauty.