The word sappir , meaning "the most beautiful thing"in Hebrew, illustrates the fascination exerted by this precious stone of a thousand colours.
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 colours: sapphires may be pink, yellow, purple, green , orange, pink orange (Padparadscha), colourless... The colour of the sapphire is designated by its accompanying adjective. The word "sapphire" when used alone designates the blue variety of this gem.
The blue-coloured sapphire is itself found in a very wide variety of colours ranging from very light blue to midnight blue or from turquoise to purplish-blues, depending on its area of origin.
The name "emerald" comes from the Greek word “smaragdos” meaning green stone. It is the most prized of all the beryls.
In jewellery, the emerald is predominantly seen in the following shapes: “emerald cut” (a rectangle with cut-off corners), “cabochon”, “pear” or “oval”.
The very frequent presence of inclusions is not a flaw because it can guarantee the origin of the stone. Colombia is the largest producer of emeralds in the world.
The name "ruby" comes from the Latin “rubeus” meaning red. It is the only red corundum.
Over the centuries other red stones like spinels, rubellite 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 (Burma), though only some of these possess the famous and highly sought after “pigeon-blood” colour characteristic.
Due to its alluvial nature, no primary deposits exist and this makes it extremely rare.
The ruby is a symbol of courage and strength; its colour that comes alight at night symbolises love and passion.
Belonging to the microcrystalline family of quartzs, agate is a fine 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 colours and textures: ribboned, striped or banded, it is found in red, green, yellow, blue, purplish black, mauve, brown, white, 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 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 colour to the tiny quantities of iron present in this mineral. Its violet colour may take on various different shades, such as purplish violet, dark violet and lilac.
Belonging to the huge family of microcrystalline quartzes, pink quartz is a delicate powder pink in colour. Ranging in tone from transparent to opaque, its pastel colouring 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 characterised by its hazy translucence, its milky appearance and its subtle bluish hue. Its rounded cabochon cut brings out perfectly the delicacy of its colour.
The opal takes its name from the Sanskrit word "upala", meaning "precious stone". Opaque and milky, the pink opal is distinguished by the smoothness and delicacy of its hue. Very feminine, its colour corresponds perfectly to its rounded cabochon dimensions.
Tourmaline owes its name to the Sinhalese term "turamali", which means "stone of multiple colours". It can indeed be found in numerous colour varieties: pink, red, yellow, brown, green, blue, purple, black, colourless or multicoloured. Monochrome tourmalines are the rarest and most sought-after varieties.
A stone the colour of the ocean, as indicated by its name derived from the Latin for "sea water", aquamarine is characterised by its subtle blue-green colour. A variety of beryl that is both rare and brilliant, aquamarine is one of the most highly valued fine 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-coloured variety is the most sought-after.
Garnets represent a family of minerals comprising several varieties of gems covering a wide range of colours and characterised 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 colouration of the pomegranate.
A gem of the quartz family, citrine derives its name from "citron" (lemon), in reference to its bright yellow colour. The warm tones of this transparent stone range from light yellow to golden brown.
The peridot, also called "chrysolite" (coming from the Greek term for "stone of gold"), possesses a characteristic fire. Its colour may range from yellowish to brownish green, passing through olive green. Highly appreciated in classical antiquity, it was also the most sought-after stone during the baroque period.
Still often called cordierite in honour 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.