The word “Sapphire,” meaning “the most beautiful thing” in Hebrew, illustrates the fascination of this precious stone of a thousand colors.
Like the ruby, it belongs to the corundum family of gemstones.
Unlike the latter, however, which is red, the sapphire is found in an infinite range of colors: pink, yellow, purple, green, orange, Padparadscha (pink-orange), and colorless... The color of the sapphire is designated by its accompanying adjective. The word "sapphire" when used alone designates the blue variety of this gem.
The blue-colored sapphire is itself found in a very wide variety of colors and depending on its area of origin, can range from light blue to midnight blue or from turquoise to purplish-blues.
The name 'emerald' comes from the Greek word "smaragdos,” meaning green stone. It is the most prized of all the stones in the beryl group.
For jewelry, the most common cuts for emeralds are 'emerald' (rectangular with cropped corners), 'cabochon,' 'pear' or 'oval'.
The very frequent presence of inclusions, called 'frost' by professionals, or an 'emerald garden' for a group, is not a flaw because it can guarantee the origin of the stone. Colombia is the largest producer of emeralds in the world.
Emeralds have several symbolic references including renewal and hope. It is also believed to protect marriage and increase fertility. For some civilizations it brings love and immortality.
The ruby is a precious stone and its name comes from the Latin 'rubeus' meaning red. It is the only red corundum.
Historically, other red stones like spinels, rubellites and garnets were thought to be rubies but today, these are clearly classified.
For fifteen centuries, the most precious rubies have come from the Mogok valley in Myanmar. The 'pigeon-blood' color makes rubies highly sought after but they are extremely rare due to uncontrolled exploitation.The alluvial nature of mining rubies makes its exploitation complex.
The ruby is a symbol of courage and strength; its color that comes alight at night symbolizes love and passion.
Belonging to the microcrystalline family of quartz, agate is a semi-precious stone constituting a variety of chalcedony. Its name comes from the Latin "Achates," referring to the river in Sicily that produced a plentiful supply of agate in ancient times.
Agate can adopt a multitude of colors and textures: ribboned, striped or banded, and is found in red, green, yellow, blue, purplish black, mauve, brown, speckled white, light brown and opaque.
By cutting the nails of the goddess Venus with the tip of an arrow while she slept, Cupid created the deep black stone known as Onyx.
Belonging to the family of the microcrystalline quartz, onyx is a black variety of chalcedony whose very fine texture and unique brilliance are ideal for engraving and for all types of creative combinations.
A gem of the quartz family, amethyst owes its intense color to the tiny quantities of iron present in this mineral. Its violet color may take on various different shades, such as purplish violet, dark violet and lilac.
Belonging to the huge family of microcrystalline quartz, pink quartz is a delicate powder pink color. Ranging in tone from transparent to opaque, its pastel coloring is perfectly brought out by the translucent varieties, which accentuate its delicacy.
This stone owes its name to a city situated at a crossing-point on the Bosphorus in ancient times. Chalcedony is characterized by its hazy translucence, its milky appearance and its subtle bluish hue. Its rounded cabochon cut brings out perfectly the delicacy of its color.
The opal takes its name from the Sanskrit word "upula," meaning "precious stone." Opaque and milky, the pink opal is distinguished by the smoothness and delicate hue. Very feminine, its color corresponds perfectly to its rounded cabochon dimensions.
Tourmaline owes its name to the Sinhalese term "turamali," which means "stone of multiple colors." It can indeed be found in numerous color varieties: pink, red, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, black, colorless or multicolored. Monochrome tourmalines are the rarest and most sought-after varieties.
A stone the color of the ocean, as indicated by its name derived from the Latin for "sea water," aquamarine is characterized by its subtle blue-green color. A variety of beryl that is both rare and brilliant, aquamarine is one of the most highly valued semi-precious stones.
Rubellite is a red variety of tourmaline. It usually has a touch of purple that gives it all its intensity and strength. The ruby-colored variety is the most sought-after.
Garnets represent a family of minerals comprising several varieties of gems covering a wide range of colors and characterized by their intensity.
Each garnet is designated by a name referring to its hue, which may range from brownish red to emerald green, with variations including dark orange, reddish brown, brick red, pinkish red with violet tendencies and even bright green.
The term garnet also designates the red to pink varieties which are compared to the intense coloration of the pomegranate.
A gem of the quartz family, citrine derives its name from "citron" (lemon), in reference to its bright yellow color. The warm tones of this transparent stone range from light yellow to golden brown.
The peridot, which comes from the Greek term "chrysolite," or "stone of gold," possesses an inherent fire. Its colors range from yellowish to olive to brownish green. Highly appreciated in classical antiquity, it was also the most sought-after stone during the baroque period.
Still often called cordierite in honor of the French geologist Pierre-Louis Cordier, iolite owes its name to the Greek "ion," meaning the flower "violet." This mineral can indeed take on tones of violet blue.