Precious stones exist in many colours and forms, and the selection is huge. Which stone suits you is first and foremost a question of your personal taste and style. However, what actually is a precious stone, what is a gemstone, and why are some precious stones referred to as semi-precious stones? Find out here.

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What is a precious stone, and what sets it apart from other minerals?

Nowadays the term gemstone is often used to describe to any minerals that are set in jewellery. Precious stones are truly special gemstones, namely those that are very rare, that are transparent, and that also have a Mohs hardness of more than 7. The hardness scale for minerals ranges from 1 for talcum powder, a mineral that is softer than a fingernail, up to 10, for diamonds. The scale was developed by the legendary geologist Friedrich Mohs at the beginning of the 19th century, and is still considered standard. The idea behind the hardness grades is simple to grasp: a mineral with a higher hardness will scratch a mineral with a lower hardness.

Pendant with yellow diamond as the central precious stone - Diamond pendant with coloured diamond
According to this definition, the only precious stones are the diamond, the emerald, the sapphire, topaz, and the ruby. All other gemstones fail to fulfil all three criteria simultaneously. For some of these stones that are not classified as precious stones, the term semi-precious stones was previously used, however, this has since become outdated and is now rarely used.

The advantage of classic precious stones lies on the one hand in their beauty, and on the other hand in their durability. They are suitable for everyday use, and still appear just as beautiful even after several years, in contrast to soft minerals, which quickly become scratched.

Also typical of precious stones is that they are generally cut in a facet cut, so that light is reflected to particularly beautiful effect as a result of the light passing through the transparent stone. Perfect for a collier or for a necklace with a precious stone pendant.

Which precious stones are particularly well-suited for a necklace?

If you are looking for a truly unique and valuable chain or a collier, then perhaps coloured diamonds, also known as fancy diamonds, may be the right choice for you. These are much rarer than the still rare colourless diamonds. Accordingly, their price is also high – in particular diamonds in the colours pink, red and blue are genuine rarities and are highly sought after among collectors.

The three most well-known coloured precious stones and much cheaper, and still incredibly beautiful: the blue sapphire, the green emerald and the red ruby. All three are characterised by a very rich colour, and blend well with the precious metals used in high-quality jewellery: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum.

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How can colourless diamonds be combined with coloured precious stones?

A precious stone necklace, a collier or a pendant with precious stones are harmonious, yet at the same time spectacular, when colourless diamonds are added. The clear and bright sparkling of the diamonds shows off the colour of the precious stone to even greater effect, forming the perfect contrast.

One popular combination is the central coloured precious stone, surrounded by multiple smaller diamonds, either as a halo or in the entourage style. Such types of precious stone necklaces for ladies have even provided inspiration for the film industry - in “Titanic”, one of the most successful cinematic films of all time, the “Heart of the Ocean” precious stone necklace place a significant role.

The possibilities when it comes to combining diamonds with coloured precious stones are many. If you have a very specific type of necklace in mind, for instance with a deep red ruby or a bright green emerald, there is the option to have this made to measure, based on your wishes and ideas.  Together with an experienced jewellery designer, you draw up a design from which a completely unique piece of jewellery is then produced, just for you.

Are you looking for a precious stone necklace or a pendant with precious stones? The diamond experts at BAUNAT look forward to being able to advise you. Contact us.

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