The world of colored gemstones is incredible. Learning the path that a gemstone takes from the earth into a finished jewelry design is an amazing experience that can be felt every time it is viewed or worn. But one may ask, “What makes a gemstone valuable?” From ancient times gems have been used to beautify and adorn. They have also acted as currency and been held as tangible assets of wealth. Collecting gemstones is a wonderful investment to also be admired, enjoyed, and passed on to future generations. Our heirs will cherish very few things that are as personal and as valuable as a fine gem, which always carries an exciting story! Below we discuss some of the more rare gemstones and their valuable stories.
The Magic of Change
Alexandrite is one of the most astonishing and rare gemstones ever discovered. It changes color in different lighting, from hues of greens and blues in daylight to reds and purples in incandescent light. Alexandrite was discovered in April of 1834 in the Ural Mountains of Russia. It was named after Tsar Alexander II, due to its discovery around the time of the future Tsar’s coming of age. Fine alexandrite from Russia is very rare, and usually can only be found in older estate pieces. In 1987, a new find of Alexandrite was discovered in Minais Gerais, Brazil. The most important factor in determining the value of an Alexandrite is its color change: the more dramatic the shift, the higher the value. Alexandrite is a stone for connoisseurs and collectors. However, its story, connecting the mountains of Russia to the rainforest of Brazil, makes it an even more valuable treasure.
A Rare Fire
The British Crown Jewels contain some of the most famous and valuable gemstones in the world. One of the most well-known gems is the “Black Prince Ruby,” a 170-carat red gemstone set in the center of the Imperial State Crown. All whom have had the privilege of viewing this beautiful gem know its red color to glow as if it’s on fire! But the Black Prince Ruby isn’t actually a ruby at all! It is a fine red spinel. Throughout history, red spinel has been confused with ruby, because it can be similar in color, and is usually mined in the same areas. Spinel is found in a variety of different colors with shades of red or blue as the most desirable. The most well-known historical location for red spinel is Mogok, Burma. Spinel of many hues has also been found in Sri Lanka. Despite spinel’s similarity to ruby, it is more rare and surprisingly, more affordable. This makes it particularly interesting to collectors whom know its story!
Tourmaline is a stone that is also found in a variety of colors. Almost all varieties of tourmaline can be found in Brazil. In 1989, the most rare and expensive of all tourmaline was discovered in the state of Paraíba in Brazil. The stunning neon blue and green stones originating from this area soon became known as Paraíba Tourmaline. The vivid blue and green coloration they exude is due to trace amounts of copper, the element that must be present during their formation. Paraíba tourmaline is generally quite included; finding a clean one is rare in any size, but especially in sizes over one carat. Paraíba tourmaline as a fine gemstone definitely depicts a striking story!
Fine Gemstone Jewelry
Omi Privé recognizes that gems reveal the earth’s purest form of beauty. Every individual has the ability to connect with a stone. Each Omi Privé piece is handcrafted in the United States, and exceeds the most exacting standards. Uniting the earth’s organic treasures with artistic design and our craftsman’s skill is our specialty. These three elements provide the ultimate combination that renders each Omi Privé piece exceptionally unsurpassable.