Gemstone Guide

The Gemstone Guide

A gemstone is a mineral highly prized for its beauty, durability, and rarity, each one displaying its own unique charm and personality which sets it apart from others.  

Gemstone Sapphire


Colour: Various (except red)
Origin: Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, USA
Gemstone Family: Corundum
Mohs Hardness (?): 9

Sapphire is the birthstone for September. Whilst blue is typically the colour associated with sapphires, they occur in a rainbow of colours. Often pleochroic, they can appear different colours when viewed from different directions. Sapphires are the most durable gemstone after diamonds. 

Gemstone Ruby


Colour: Deep to pale red
Origin: Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, US
Gemstone Family: Corundum
Mohs Hardness (?): 9

Ruby is the birthstone for July. Made from the same mineral as sapphire, the only difference is that a ruby is red in colour - caused by the presence of chrominum. One of the most sought after gemstones, rubies can occur in different shades of red from deep pink, brownish red to purplish red - the most coveted colour being described as being 'pigeon blood red'. 

Gemstone Aquamarine Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Colour: Pale blue / green
Origin: Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria
Gemstone Family: Beryl
Mohs Hardness (?): 7.5

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. Aquamarine is the blue/green variety of Beryl acquiring it's blue-green colour due to the presence of iron. In Latin the name aquamarine means "water of the sea" and is considered sacred to the sea god Neptune.

Gemstone Topaz Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke


Topaz is the birthstone for November and comes from the Sanskrit word meaning 'fire'. Topaz occurs in a wide range of colours including orange, peach, gold, yellow, brown, clear, and pink being the most expensive.  Topaz has what is known as 'perfect cleavage' so whilst durable, can be vulnerable to breakage.

Colour: Various
Origin: Brazil, Sri Lanka, Burma, Africa, India, Mexico
Gemstone Family: Topaz
Mohs Hardness (?): 8

Gemstone Tanzanite


Tanzanite is the birthstone for December and was discovered relatively recently, in 1967.  A "stone of magic" believed to help with spiritual awareness and psychic insight. It relieves stress and depression, and enhances composure, poise, and harmony.

Colour: Blue-violet
Origin: Tanzania
Gemstone Family: Zoisite
Mohs Hardness (?): 6-7


Gemstones Garnet Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Garnet is the birthstone for January. Commonly thought of as rusty-red, the Garnet comes in many different varieties and colours. Almandine, (the most common dark browny-red), Spessartite (orangey-red), Rhodolite (violet-red), Demantoid and Tsavorite (Green). 

Colour: Various (except blue)
Origin: Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, USA
Gemstone Family: Garnet
Mohs Hardness (?): 6-7.5


Gemstones Moonstone Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


One of the most romantic of stones, the moonstone is characterised by an enchanting play of light. Indeed it owes its name to that mysterious 'moon like' shimmer which always looks different when the stone is moved and is known as 'adularescence'.

Colour: Blue, peach, green, pink, yellow, brown or grey
Origin: Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar
Gemstone Family: Feldspar
Mohs Hardness (?): 6


Gemstones Amethyst Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Amethyst is the birthstone for February. It is the purple variety of quartz.  The most desirable colour is transparent with no inclusions and can range from nearly colourless to a gorgeous rich deep mauve.  In crystal healing Amethyst is considered to be effective against headaches, insomnia and pain relief.

Colour: Deep to pale purple
Origin: Sri Lanka, India, Australia, Brazil, Russia, USA
Gemstone Family: Quartz
Mohs Hardness (?): 7

Gemstones Tourmaline Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Tourmalines come in a wide variety of colours - pink blue, red, yellow, black, brown - and examples include rubelite, indicolite, dravite, achroite, schorl and the striking watermelon tourmaline - which when sliced across the crystal will show a pink centre surrounded by green or pink at one end and green at the other.

Colour: Various
Origin: Sri Lanka, Australia, Brazil, South Africa
Gemstone Family: Tourmaline
Mohs Hardness (?): 7.5

Gemstones Emerald Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Emerald is the birthstone for May. It is the green variety of Beryl and derives its beautiful green colour from the presence of chromium and vanadium. A hard but brittle stone, emeralds are rarely flawless and are often oiled to fill and disguise flaws and cracks.

Colour: Green
Origin: Colombia, India, Australia, Brazil, South Africa
Gemstone Family: Beryl
Mohs Hardness (?): 7.5

Gemstones Opal Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Opal is the birthstone for October.  Made of hardened silica gel, it contains around 5 to 10 per cent water and may therefore crack if it dries out.  It's beauty is in the form of flashes of a rainbow of colours which is caused by the way the structure of tiny silica spheres, diffracts light. The larger the spheres the greater the range of colours.  Opal comes in pink, blue, orange, yellow, white.

Colour: Various 
Origin: Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa
Gemstone Family: Opal
Mohs Hardness (?): 6

Gemstones Peridot Catherine Budd Jewellery Bespoke.jpg


Peridot is the birthstone for August and it's green colour is caused by the presence of iron within the stone. Whilst it is always a green colour, it ranges from yellow-green to olive green to brown green depending on how much iron is in the crystal structure.  It is believed to bring the wearer good luck, peace, and success.

Colour: Green
Origin: Madagascar, Sri Lanka, East Africa
Gemstone Family: Peridot
Mohs Hardness (?): 6.5