Learn About Natural Gemstones

What Makes A Gemstone?

Generally speaking, a gemstone is a stone that is beautiful, rare, and durable – resistant to abrasion, fracturing and chemical reactions. Similar to diamonds, all Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds are valued for their cut, clarity, carat weight and color. Color is a somewhat subjective factor based on your personal preference; however the market assigns a higher price to gemstones that have more intense colors that are pure and clear.


Characteristics of Precious Gemstones


The color of a gemstone is described by its natural tone and hue. The most popular and desirable color for gemstones is a medium tone with heavy saturation. We use medium tones for all of our gemstone side stones for this reason. Most gemstones are color enhanced by treatments, as naturally occurring medium color gemstones can be very pricey.


As with all diamonds, the gemstone cut is one of the most important factors for appearance. The cut of a gemstone determines its ability to reflect light, and a well cut gemstone will optimize the properties of color and saturation. It will also give the stone an appealing shape and sparkle. While diamonds are given a specific cut quality from Excellent to Poor, gemstones are not. This is why it is very important to seek the help of a professional when trying to choose the right gemstone. We are always happy to assist you in finding a quality gemstone, so reach out to us anytime for guidance!


Clarity is determined by the amount of inclusions within a gemstone. Inclusions are naturally occurring blemishes inside the gemstone in the form of a cloud or crystal. The less inclusions inside the gemstone, the higher the price and desirability. Gemstones with very few inclusions will appear clean and clear and also more vibrant and deep in color.


Carat Weight is determined by the weight of the gemstone. Different gemstones have different densities, so the carat weight and actual size will vary between gemstone types. The type of gemstone will also determine how deep a stone has to be cut for optimal color. This can reduce the mm diameter making it appear smaller, but having the same weight as another gemstone.

Accent Gemstones Used in Whitehouse Brothers Rings


Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl. The precious green color is caused by small amounts of chromium within the crystal structure. Unlike other beryls, Emeralds often contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked on as negative aspects for emeralds like they would be for other gemstones. These flaws are considered part of the character of the stone and are used to assure the purchaser of a natural stone.

Emeralds are delicate and softer than many other gems — they require special care when being cleaned and they are particularly sensitive to dramatic changes in temperature. Never clean emeralds with steam or ultrasonic processes, simply wipe with a soft cloth.

Variety Information:
Uses: Gemstone
Birthstone for: May
Color: Various shades of green
Index of Refraction: 1.57 - 1.60
Hardness: 7.5 - 8

Sapphires and Rubies

Sapphires are more readily available than Emeralds. It is common practice for a broker to heat treat sapphires to improve their color and clarity. Sapphires consist of the non-red variety of corundum, the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind. The red variety of corundum is Ruby. Sapphires are well known among the general public as being blue, but it can be nearly any color.

Variety Information:
Uses: Gemstone
Birthstone for: September 
Color: Various shades of blue
Index of Refraction: 1.76 - 1.78
Hardness: 9