Gemstone jewelry can look like true pieces of wearable art. Gemstones such as Amethyst, Citrine, Peridot and Garnet are beautiful, abundant, and affordable options for jewelry. Emerald, Sapphire, and Ruby, have been considered to be “precious stones” and have been historically more sought after and more costly than most other gemstones. However, just because certain gemstones cost more money, does not mean they are more beautiful or rare. Instead, it might just mean they have been marketed to consumers more heavily in order to increase the demand and cost.
You do not necessarily have to pay a lot of money to have beautiful jewelry. The following list of gemstones offers beautiful options that can be purchased at great prices. Gemstone prices change often and it appears that it is a good time to purchase these stones to get the most value for your money.
- Blue Topaz
Blue Topaz is a durable stone that makes beautiful jewelry. Most Topaz is white when it is found in nature. It is treated with nuclear irradiation to make it turn blue. In 2007, there were safety concerns about potential health risks associated with the nuclear irradiation, and most large jewelry chains took it off the shelves. After the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted testing and released reports indicating the stone is safe, Blue Topaz returned to the market. Because of this controversy, Blue Topaz was marketed much less. Blue topaz has been declared a safe gemstone and continues to be a great value for gemstone jewelry.
Ametrine results from Amethyst and Citrine being found together on the same quartz crystal. Ametrine is part purple like an Amethyst and part gold like Ctirine. It is known for its good lustre and is durable enough for everyday jewelry. It is currently priced very well. However, most Ametrine comes from a single mine in Bolivia and prices have been on the rise as the stone supply decreases. Currently, Ametrine is still a great value and is almost like getting two stones for the price of one.
Zircon is known as the oldest mineral on earth and its most popular color is blue. Zircon can be sensitive to pressure or hard blows so it is not a good option for daily wear in jewelry. It is, however, a great option for an occasional piece of stunning jewelry. Zircon makes the best value list because of its sparkle: It disperses light beautifully and is almost as brilliant as a diamond. Yet compared to a diamond, it is priced far more affordably.
Spinel has been mistaken for Sapphires or Rubies in the past, was used in the crowns of royalty, and thought to be the best rubies. Spinel comes in a wide variety of colors from red, pink to violet, blue, orange, and black. It is only found in a few places on earth, and if the demand increased, the supply would not likely last very long. Due to its lack of abundance, it has never been marketed by any major gemstone or jewelry companies. Because many consumers have never even heard of Spinel, it is still very affordable. Spinel is often paired with diamonds in necklaces and earrings for a stunning look.
Tanzanite is a gorgeous blue violet colored stone that first gained popularity in 1969 when Tiffany's called it, “the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in over 2000 years.” Because it has been heavily promoted, there is only a limited supply left. Tanzanite is sold mostly in the United States. The only known Tanzanite source is in East Africa and supplies are expected to completely diminish within the next 10 to 15 years. The rarer this gemstone becomes, the higher the price will likely soar. Tanzanite makes the list because it can still be purchased at a reasonable price, despite the dwindling source. It's worth purchasing a piece of Tanzanite before the prices skyrocket and the Tanzanite supply becomes completely depleted.
When shopping for gemstone jewelry, it is important to remember that prices will vary greatly. Like when shopping for diamonds, the 4 C's (color, cut, carat weight, and clarity) are still the important factors to consider. Purchasing gemstone jewelry can be a great investment. Unlike most purchases, jewelry can last a lifetime or even become a family heirloom that may increase in value as certain gemstones become increasingly rare.
Guest contributor Amy Morin is the co-owner of Jewelry Ninja, an aggressively low priced fine jewelry store. Jewelry Ninja takes great pride in “helping boys throw rocks at girls.”