Did you know that a sapphire can come in almost any color, and when it is red it is called a ruby? Or that an Alexandrite can change colors, from greenish blue in sunlight to reddish purple in lamplight? Or that many of the world’s famous “rubies” (The Black Princess Ruby and the Timur Ruby) are not rubies at all but actually a lesser-known red stone called Spinel?
Researching and understanding gemstones may be my job, but it is also fun! And now the industry expert on all things diamond and gemstone, the GIA, has launched an online Gem Encyclopedia. Not only can you see the stones both rough and polished, but you can filter stones by country or color, read up on history and lore, and find out how to spot a synthetic or fake.
Gem center stones are a fast-growing trend. If you are one of the many people looking for an alternative to a diamond center stone, this is a great place to start researching (note: Make sure to look at the MOHS hardness grade, a 9 or a 10 is best). Or if you are trying to decide on whether you want your something blue to be aquamarine or sapphire studs, you can reference the site to learn that Aquamarine is thought to enhance happiness of marriages or that sapphires symbolize nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness.