+61 (0)470 550 410

Gemstone Information

Gemstone Grading | Birthstones List | When to Shop

How Gemstones are Graded


CLARITY - The Clarity of the gemstone is how 'Clean' it is.  

IF - No Inclusions under 100x magnification.  
Very high quality and free from inclusions.  Flawless.

VVS - Very slight Inclusions only seen under 10x magnification
High quality with very slight inclusions.

VS - Very Slight Inclusions
Good quality with slight inclusions very hard to see with the naked eye.

SI - Slight Inclusions
Inclusions becoming more prominent to the eye. Integrity of the stone is good.

I - Inclusions
Inclusions are easily seen to the naked eye. May affect the overall integrity and strength of the stone.

COLOR - The Color of the gemstone of course depends on the gemstone. Diamonds have a color grading of their own which are:

D, E and F are Colorless Diamonds
G, H, I, and J are Near Colorless Diamonds
K, L, M and N are Diamonds with faint color
O - R Diamonds have very light color and
S - Z Diamonds have light color. 

CUT - The cut of any gemstone is extremely important.  No matter the shape or how many facets, it must bring out the very best of the gemstone.  

TREATMENT - There are many forms of treatment on gemstones that have been around for a very long time but the most common is heat treatment.  All gemstones in this store are natural and if they have been heat treated, this is stated in the description.  All Opal in this store is natural and not treated.  




There is a lot of information available online about gemstones but here is a gemstone birthstone list with some basic information along with some interesting bits.

Amethyst was considered as a strong antidote against drunkenness according to Greek legend.
It is the birthstone for February and the gemstone for Aquarius and has a hardness of 7.
Colors range from Pale Lilac to Deep Purple

This exquisite gemstone comes in all shades of Blue from Very Light Blue to a Deep Blue like the ocean.  It is the modern birthstone for March and the gemstone for star sign Pisces.  Aquamarine has a hardness of 7.5-8 making it a long wearing durable gem.  The value of an Aquamarine is determined by the intensity of the color with the ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine being the most desired. The Santa Maria Aquamarine is truly beautiful. 

Diamonds would have to be the most famous and shopped for of all gems.  Natural Diamonds come in many colors and many are very rare and of course expensive.  Diamond is the modern birthstone for April and gemstone for star sign Aries.
Diamonds have a hardness of 10 and you get no harder than that.
A 59.60 carat Oval Pink Diamond named ‘Pink Star’ sold for $83 million US dollars in November 2013 which was a record for any gemstone at auction.  The new owner renamed it ‘Pink Dream’

This Green gemstone is found mostly in South America with Colombia supplying some of the finest Emeralds.  Inclusions are common in Emeralds however this does not detract from the beauty or deter a knowledgeable buyer.
The hardness rating of Emeralds is 7.5-8 which is very good for wearing.
One of the worlds largest Emeralds ever found weighs a massive 217.80 carats. It is inscribed on one side with prayer texts, and on the other side, amazing floral ornaments are engraved.  It was sold at auction by Christie's of London for 2.2 million US Dollars in 2001.
Emerald is the modern birthstone for May and gemstone for star sign Taurus.

There are many types of Garnets and not just Red however Deep Red Garnets are the most commonly found out of all Garnets.
Garnets have a hardness rating of 7-7.5 which is good for wearing.
On the other hand, they are similar to Opal in that they don’t like being mistreated, meaning be careful with knocking the gemstone about or heat treatment.
Garnets shine brilliant due to a high refractive index.
Garnet is the modern birthstone for January and gemstone for star sign Capricorn.

As Opal Specialists, this queen of gems deserves its own section. Learn About Opal

Who wouldn't like to find a Pearl in an oyster…naturally?
Pearls these days are cultured by man and mainly in Japan. This came about due to the rarity of finding a pearl from searching through thousands of oysters.
Fine Pearls are even and smooth and a real pearl can be tested by rubbing it gently against the edge of a tooth.  It should feel like fine sandpaper.
Pearl is the modern birthstone for June and gemstone for star sign Gemini.

Peridot comes in one color only and that is Green but with all shades mixed with Yellow. It has a hardness of 6.5-7 which is not hard but is still good for wearing as it is easy to look after. The rarest and most precious of the Peridot gemstones are the Peridot Cat’s Eye and Star Peridot.
Peridot is found in many countries but the most beautiful are from the Pakistan and Afghanistan border area.
Peridot is the modern birthstone for August and gemstone for star sign Leo.

The color of love or the color of royalty and you think of Red.  The Red Ruby is Red and Royal.  This precious gemstone has the best of all attributes a gem should have. Rubies have color, hardness and brilliance.
It has a hardness of 9 which is one down from Diamond.  Ruby is part of the corundum family with all other colors in this group are Sapphires.  Up until the early 19th century, Red Garnets or Spinels were thought to be rubies.
The finest Ruby is from Mogok in Northern Myanmar formerly called Burma.
Ruby is the modern birthstone for July and gemstone for star sign Cancer.

You say Sapphire, you think of Blue Sapphire.  There are however, many colored Sapphires and all are exquisite.  Blue though is the most wanted as most men and women rate Blue as their favorite color, no matter what the item is.
Sapphire is also rated 9 on the hardness scale, one short of a Diamond. It is part of the corundum family where any gems in this family that are Red, are called Ruby.  The most famous Blue Sapphire would have to be in the royal family’s engagement ring.
Sapphire is the modern birthstone for September and gemstone for star sign Virgo.

Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone but a very popular and beautiful gemstone.  Discovered in 1967 and found in one place only, Tanzania, Africa.
It is not a very hard gemstone, only 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale so should be treated with care.  Using an ultrasonic cleaner is a definite NO NO.
As it is only available in one part of the world, it is definitely worth considering possessing something quite unique and stunning.  Colors range from Deep Blue to Light Lavender with the most prized being larger stones in the Blue with hints of Purple.
Tanzanite is the modern birthstone for December and gemstone for star sign Sagittarius.

Topaz (Yellow)
The Yellow Topaz is the most commonly found out of the Topaz family and was once mined in Germany although now is mined in several places around the world.  It has a good hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale.  The Yellow-Orange color of the Topaz is the most highly valued from Brazil
Topaz is the modern birthstone for November and gemstone for star sign Scorpio.

The following gemstones are not birthstones but are too beautiful not to mention.

I have to admit these are one of my favorites.  They come in a variety of colors and are known as the gemstone of the rainbow.  No two Tourmalines are alike much like Opals however Tourmalines have a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale whereas Opal has a hardness of 5.5 - 6.  There are Tourmalines in one color, in two colors and some have colors that change depending on the light.  The Paraiba Tourmaline from Brazil is the most sought after which has an intense Blue to Blue / Green color.

Did you know that ‘Rubies’ in some royal crowns are actually Spinels?  Spinels come in Red, shades of Red and the rarest is a Cobalt Spinel which has Blue tones.  They have a very good hardness of 7.5 – 8.

Another beautiful colored Gem.
Spessartites come in shades of Orange and have amazing natural clarity.  They have a hardness of 7 - 7.5 and look stunning with Diamonds.

What does the Mohs hardness rating mean?  It is the visible scratching that can be done by one mineral to another and how well the one mineral stands up to being scratched.

Shopping for Birthstones


If you are shopping for a birthstone gift, the chart below may be helpful to determine the gemstone you need to shop for, which month you need to start shopping and buy your gift.  If you do not find a birthstone gift currently available in this store, please email a description of what you are looking for and your budget.  It would be a pleasure to find that elusive gift for you.

When to Shop for Birthstone Gifts


JanuaryCapricornGarnetDeep RedNovember - January
FebruaryAquariusAmethystLight to Deep PurpleDecember - February
MarchPiscesAquamarineLight to Ocean BlueJanuary - March
AprilAriesDiamondWhite, Pink and MoreFebruary - April
MayTaurusEmeraldMedium to Dark GreenMarch - May
JuneGeminiPearlWhite, Pink, GrayApril - June
JulyCancerRubyRich RedMay - July
AugustLeoPeridotLight GreenJune - August
SeptemberVirgoSapphireBlue, Yellow and MoreJuly - September
OctoberLibraOpalAll ColorsAugust - October
NovemberScorpioYellow TopazYellowSeptember - November
DecemberSagittariusTanzaniteViolet to Deep PurpleOctober - December