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With a plethora of options when it comes to coloured diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones there is nothing stopping you from injecting a bit of individuality to your bespoke ring or jewellery design. Traditionally, coloured stones were reserved for the likes of eternity rings, anniversary gifts and occasion jewellery. Anything goes now and its not uncommon to see coloured diamonds and stones on engagement and wedding rings. Discover the history of coloured diamonds and stones and what gives these diamonds and gemstones their various hues.
The earliest archaeological reference to crystal and gemstone jewellery was around 4000BC. Egyptian remains were adorned with lapis lazuli (a deep blue stone) and amethyst jewellery. It was believed that charms and amulets not only displayed wealth but protected the departed from evil spirits. This allowed the dead to carry their precious jewels with them to the afterlife.
The Ancient Greeks were also known to have treasured precious coloured stones. It was documented that they imported emeralds, rubies and sapphires from Sri Lanka, India and the Far East around 1600BC. It was believed that gemstones had secret powers and, namely, that amethysts would save them from inebriation! The word ‘amethyst’ actually devolves from the Greek ‘amethystos’ which translates into ‘sober’.
The assumed metaphysical properties of diamonds and stones are likely to come from the fact that they are mostly derived from the earth’s core. Historically there are some outlandish and simply bizarre beliefs linked to gemstones…
AQUAMARINE – said to be the treasure of the mermaids and historically worn by sailors to guard them from sea monsters and the danger of drowning. In modern times Aquamarine is associated with rekindling lost love and is a popular in anniversary jewellery gifts.
OPAL – in medieval times it was believed that Opal granted the wearer invisibility. Thus led opals being linked to thieves and undesirables. Meanwhile European folklore spoke of Opals promoting the growth of blond hair. This explains them being featured on decorative hairpins.
RUBY – historically linked to good luck and health it was once believed that a Ruby would change colour when close to poison which in turn warned and protected the wearer. Bizarrely another myth says that if if a ruby was added to water it would boil instantly.
SAPPHIRE – long believed to carry luck, Sapphires were thought to protect travellers as well as the purity of virgins. In the middle ages it was used to counteract poison. It was believed that a sapphire could kill a poisonous snake by simply being in its vicinity.
While jewellery making techniques and designs have changed somewhat since these times, societal beliefs in the powers and meanings of coloured crystals and gemstones are still very apparent. Coloured gemstones are linked to anniversaries, birth months, superstitions, ‘healing’ powers and of course trends and fashion. Traditional wedding anniversaries are marked with a range of diamonds, coloured and precious metals – there’s no ‘definitive rule’ here and lists can vary slightly but many couples choose to mark these milestones with rings or jewellery.
A few of Blair and Sheridan designs featuring coloured stones… (above). Pink sapphire stud earrings, green treated lab grown marquise cut diamond halo ring, mixed diamond and coloured stone circular design pendant, pink sapphire solitaire dress ring, asscher cut blue sapphire studded earrings. (Below) blue sapphire and diamond trilogy ring, aquamarine solitaire kite design pendant, orange sapphire and half moon cut diamond trilogy ring, pear cut ruby and diamond drop pendant, satellite design ring with green diamonds, sapphires, amethysts and citrine.
Vibrant coloured sapphires pair well with diamonds bringing a trilogy ring to life. Eternity rings often feature various coloured stones and diamonds giving a rainbow effect. The possibilities are endless with Blair and Sheridan jewellery designers. Guiding you through the stone selection process we allow you to view a range of stones prior to setting. We source the best quality and value stones exclusively for you and your bespoke design. You benefit from our unrivalled access to worldwide diamond and precious stone market.
Get in touch with Blair and Sheridan here to enquire about a bespoke ring or jewellery – or to find out more about coloured diamonds and precious stones.