Ultimate Gemstone Guide – Which Gemstone Is Right For You?

Gemstones are more than just beautiful adornments; they are nature’s art.

Gemstones Birthdays AnniversariesIt is no wonder that many ancient cultures attributed these stunning marvels with everything from healing powers to protection at sea. At East Towne Jewelers, we see clients every day looking for birthstone jewelry or the perfect gemstone to commemorate an anniversary or other special occasion. Here, we’ve put together a guide to gemstones that will give you inspiration for your next stunning piece of fine jewelry:

Types of Gemstones

First of all, what is the difference between precious stones and semi-precious gems? In general, the stones are classified by their rarity and hardness.

Precious Gemstones

Precious gemstones are nature’s treasures, unique due to their remarkable beauty, scarcity, and durability. Steeped in history and tradition, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are globally recognized as the modern ‘Big Four’ precious gemstones.

Diamonds: A Dazzling Marvel

Although diamonds may be known as a “girl’s best friend,” kings wore diamonds as the epitome of elegance and durability. They are the hardest naturally occurring material, making them a perfect gem for everyday wear. This is why they are commonly featured in our engagement rings. Take a look at our Diamond Buying Guide for more details about the ultimate gem.

Blue Sapphire: The Celestial Stone

In the gemstone hierarchy, sapphires sit just behind diamonds, offering similar brilliance and hardness. Sapphires belong to the corundum family and glisten in a spectrum of hues, excluding red. However, blue sapphires are generally the most recognized.

Red Ruby: The Heart’s Desire

Rubies, cherished for their enchanting red hue, are another member of the corundum family. Echoing the luster of diamonds and sapphires, rubies are even rarer. Genuine pure rubies are some of the most expensive gemstones, some reaching over $1,000,000 per carat. However, rubies are often treated, so ruby prices can be as low as a few hundred dollars per carat.

Green Emerald: The Jewel of Kings

Emeralds belong to the beryl group and showcase an unrivaled, captivating green color, making them a unique jewel among the ‘Big Four.’ Their charm lies in their inclusions or “birthmarks,” which shape each emerald’s distinctive character.

Semi-Precious Stones

While precious gemstones are highly revered, an enormous array of semi-precious gemstones are equally enchanting. The term “semi-precious” doesn’t signify a lack of value or beauty but simply a relative abundance compared to their precious counterparts.

Featuring an awe-inspiring variety, semi-precious gemstones range from beryl to zircon, each with a unique allure. At East Towne Jewelers, our jewelry has included the surreal green and blue hues of aquamarine, the hypnotizing bands of agates, the dark allure of onyx, the rainbow spectrum of tourmaline, the striking red of garnet, the golden sheen of topaz, the historic charm of jade, the twinkling brilliance of quartz, the royal purple of amethyst, and the dramatic color changes in jasper. Others, like cat’s eyes, bloodstones, imperial topaz, and peridot, have their own tales, each brimming with character and individuality.

Gemstone Meanings

In addition to their inherent beauty, many gemstones symbolize luck, protection, or personality traits. Here are a few gemstones and their meanings to get you started:

  • Agate: Agate is a crystal that symbolizes strength, protection, and bravery. It is often associated with serenity, inner peace, and self-confidence.
  • Amazonite: This gem symbolizes success, luck, and wealth. This association makes it known as the “gambler’s stone.”
  • Amethyst: Amethyst often symbolizes peace and soothing and is believed to help clarify one’s thoughts.
  • Aquamarine: Aquamarine is seen as the fountain of youth, representing happiness and hope. In ancient Greek culture, it was seen to protect those at sea, keeping them safe in the open waters.
  • Azurite: Sometimes called the “stone of heaven,” Azurite provides insight into all areas of life, sparks creativity, and fosters love and compassion.
  • Bloodstone: This deeply colored stone is said to represent the cycle of life, death, and rebirth and symbolize family lineage.
  • Citrine: A citrine gemstone is also known as the “success stone” or “money stone.” It represents sunshine because of its happy yellow color, so it’s thought to brighten up the lives of those who wear it.
  • Diamond: Considered the most precious stone, diamonds represent strength and longevity, as well as clarity, purity, and honesty. They are also known as symbols of wealth and luxury around the world.
  • Emerald: Another precious stone, emeralds, known as the “Jewel of Kings,” symbolize royalty, eloquence, and foresight.
  • Garnet: Garnet is seen to symbolize creativity and love, as well as to foster courage and positive thinking.
  • Labradorite: This stunning gem is thought to protect against negative energy.
  • Opal: The opal is often seen as a “good luck charm” that brings balance, good karma, and hope. It is known to bring positive transformations and clarity. This gentle stone is used for its healing properties to mend a broken heart.
  • Pearl: For centuries, people have used Pearls for healing. They are said to relieve stress and restore balance, promoting a sense of calm and well-being. Pearls are said to be beneficial for the body, mind, and spirit. They are also known to be a symbol of purity, innocence, and faith.
  • Peridot: This gem is associated with tranquility and emotional balance. It is also known to spark creativity and a good mood.
  • Rose Quartz: Rose quartz is a healing stone associated with unconditional love, and is thought to foster feelings of peace and serenity to those who wear it.
  • Ruby: This bright, precious gem signifies passion, protection, and wealth. Ancient cultures believed it to provide protection in battle. The ruby has become a symbol of love and commitment in modern times.
  • Sapphire: Sapphire is called the “stone of wisdom and royalty” and is associated with truth and wisdom. In many cultures, it is believed to enhance concentration and mental clarity.
  • Tanzanite: Often associated with serenity and clarity, this tanzanite is believed to promote communication between individuals.
  • Topaz: Topaz is known to bring strength, protection, and loyalty. Since topaz is known as the “lover of gold,” it is used as a good luck charm to bring wealth.
  • Turquoise: This stone is often associated with protection and abundance. In many cultures, it is used as a good luck charm to bring good fortune. The stone is also seen as a symbol of friendship and unity, making turquoise jewelry a popular gift.

Birthstone Jewelry by Month

Every month of the year is associated with a unique birthstone with special meaning. These gems are often passed down through generations, which is why many of our clients at East Towne Jewelers choose birthstones for heirloom jewelry.

January Garnet: Traditional garnets are red, but they can be found in a range of colors. It’s a stunning gem to kick off the year.

February Amethyst: Amethyst, a type of purple quartz, is a deep, regal gemstone that complements the darker month of February.

March Aquamarine: Aquamarine is found in large, six-sided crystals, which makes it the perfect gemstone to incorporate into bold statement jewelry. It is a great complement to other gemstones and metal settings. (Alternate includes Bloodstone, Jasper)

April Diamond: Those born in April get the pinnacle of gemstones: the diamond. This gorgeous precious gem is a global symbol of unending love. (Alternate includes Rock Crystal)

May Emerald: Emerald, May’s birthstone, is a brilliant green gem that symbolizes the budding greenery that comes this time of year. (Alternate includes Green Tourmaline, Chrysoprase)

June Pearl: The June birthstone, pearl, is traditionally seen as a symbol of purity. The highest-quality pearls have a natural sheen, making them appear creamy white, which casts many colorful hues. Cultured freshwater pearls can also be dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, purple, or black. (Alternate includes Alexandrite, Agate, Chalcedony, Moonstone)

July Ruby: Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum. Other colors of this mineral are categorized as sapphire, which means the redness is vital for this royal gemstone. These vibrant gems have been treasured throughout history for their fiery hues. (Alternate includes Carnelian, Onyx)

August Peridot: Peridot is widely recognized for its glowing lime-green hue. It is also called “the Evening Emerald,” but peridot jewelry looks beautiful day or night. (Alternate includes Spinel, Sardonyx, Moonstone)

September Sapphire: Whether you choose the classic blue or another color, sapphire jewelry makes a spectacular gift for those born in September.

October Opal: October birthdays can choose from a rainbow of opal shades. This unique stone offers versatility and suits anyone’s personal style. (Alternate includes Tourmaline, Coral)

November Topaz: Bronzy yellow topaz jewelry is a great way to complement the changing colors of fall. (Alternate includes Citrine, Cat’s Eye)

December Turquoise: Beat the winter blues with December’s blue-green beauty. Turquoise jewelry is a relatively inexpensive option for a great birthday gift before the holidays. (Alternate includes Blue Zircon, Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, Lapis Lazuli)

Anniversary Gemstones: A Journey Through Time

For centuries, couples have marked the passage of time with anniversary gemstones, each reflective of the year’s unique trials and triumphs. From the purity of gold in the inaugural year to the strength of the diamond at the decade mark, these precious stones symbolize the resilience and refinement of marital love.

If you’re looking for the perfect anniversary gift, East Towne Jewelers will help you find a great piece that incorporates the stone that matches your number wedding anniversary.

The Gold Standard: 1st Anniversary

Your first year together is just like gold—precious, rare, and a perfect metal to represent the untarnished foundation of your marriage. Simple, yet undeniably elegant, a piece of gold jewelry is a timeless choice for this tender milestone. It’s more than a gift; it’s a declaration of permanence and the treasure your relationship has already become.

The Flame Burns Bright: 2nd Anniversary

In year two, your love has deepened, and the fiery red of the garnet is the perfect hue to symbolize the intensity of your commitment. A versatile gem, garnets can be set in various styles—whether you choose classic earrings, a pendant, or a statement ring, each piece will celebrate your continued spark.

Shimmering With Love: 3rd Anniversary

The third year entwines you in elegance with pearls, the traditional gem of this milestone. Their luminous beauty mirrors the luster of love that continues to grow. Whether adorning a necklace or set into a pair of earrings, the shimmer of pearls honors the sheen of your marital bond.

Blue Skies: 4th Anniversary

Year four brings the steadfast and serene presence of blue topaz. A symbol of loyalty and love, this gem is perfect for acknowledging the serenity and commitment shared in marriage. Its cool, blue shimmer can be set off against the sparkle of diamonds or set, speaking directly to your heart’s desire.

A Royal Affair: 5th Anniversary

Welcome the regal sapphire on your fifth anniversary, an enduring testament to the love that has colored your life together. The sapphire’s radiant array of blues is unmatched and stands as a vivid symbol of your love. It’s a gem fit for a queen.

Purple Passion: 6th Anniversary

The amethyst, with its regal purple hue, is the gem of the sixth year, symbolizing deep love and devotion. Whether set into a pendant or clasped into a ring, the amethyst provides a truly exquisite way to mark your growing commitment.

Durable Devotion: 7th Anniversary

Custom Diamond Sapphire Traditional Necklace Pendant East Towne Jewelers Mequon WIOnyx steps onto the scene as you reach your seventh year. A resilient stone with a deep and compelling presence, it is a match made in heaven for couples celebrating this significant year. It symbolizes the strength and warmth you draw from each other, even through life’s darkest moments.

The Rainbow Radiance: 8th Anniversary

The eighth year brings forth the vibrant tourmaline, a gemstone as multifaceted as the love that sustains your marriage. Its myriad of colors, from serene green to passionate red, represent the ability to constantly rejuvenate your love and appreciation for one another.

A Deep Affair: 9th Anniversary

Lapis Lazuli, a deep blue stone with a history as rich as your love, arrives for the ninth year. It resonates with the soulfulness of a relationship that has seen the heights and depths, yet continues to stand the test of time.

Shining Strong: 10th Anniversary

The milestone of ten years is marked with the most enduring of all gemstones—the diamond. A symbol of endurance and strength, a diamond speaks volumes about a love that has conquered a decade and is poised to conquer many more. What’s more fitting than a diamond-encrusted eternity band to encapsulate your infinite love?

A Gem for Every Story

While reaching the tenth year is a monumental accomplishment, the gemstone tradition doesn’t stop there. The years to follow feature an array of gemstones, each with its own story to tell, as your love continues to unfold:

  • 15 Years: The grandeur of ruby
  • 25 Years: The tranquil shade of blue topaz
  • 30 Years: The rare beauty of violet spinel
  • 50 Years: The vibrant green of emeralds

Shopping for the Story of Your Love

When selecting a piece of jewelry for your anniversary, the story behind the gemstone is just as important as the craftsmanship. Take the time to understand the significance of the stone and how it aligns with your own story. Your East Towne Jeweler will provide you with the knowledge and care needed to ensure your gift reflects the value of the years you are commemorating.

What is Your Gemstone Personality?

With so many gemstones to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? To find your unique gemstone personality, ask yourself a few questions:

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

Extroverts may prefer bold, bright gemstones like adventurine, garnet, or fire opal. Introverts tend to be drawn toward the more subtle hues of amber or aquamarine.

Are you more academic or creative?

Agate, fluorite, and pyrite are known to foster creativity. Intellectuals may be drawn to serpentine or an amethyst gemstone.

Is there a part of your life you’re looking to improve?

If you are looking for a stone to support physical health, jasper, obsidian, and bloodstone are great options. If you’re looking for wisdom and clarity, try blue tiger’s eye or a lapis lazuli gemstone. Rose quartz or rubies are perfect for those looking for love and romance.

Do you have a favorite color?

Some of our clients are a bit more practical when it comes to buying gems. They just like the colors! Here are some of our most popular gemstones based on color:

  • Red: Ruby, garnet, rhodonite
  • Blue: sapphire, lapis lazuli, blue agate
  • Blue-green: Aquamarine, turquoise, chrysoprase
  • Green: emerald, jade, beryl, aventurine
  • Yellow: Citrine, yellow diamond, amber
  • Orange: Cornelian, orange topaz
  • Pink: Morganite, opal, pink tourmaline
  • Purple: Amethyst, violate agate
  • Black: Onyx, black opal, black pearl
  • White: Pearl, diamond

Guide to Metals

When selecting jewelry, one of the most important aspects to consider is the type of metal used. The metal influences not only the aesthetics of the piece but also its durability and value. Given the sheer range of options available, making an informed choice will ensure your piece retains its charm over the years.

  • Platinum: This rare metal offers unparalleled durability, protecting precious stones and maintaining its sheen for generations, thereby making platinum jewelry great family heirlooms. Moreover, its hypoallergenic properties make it perfect for those with sensitive skin.
  • Gold: Available in vibrant hues of yellow, white, and rose, gold is another beloved metal for jewelry. While yellow gold radiates a warm glow, white gold provides the appearance of silver with increased strength and reduced tarnish. Rose gold, a mixture of gold and copper, exudes a romantic and earthy charm that beautifully complements diamonds.
  • Palladium: This lightweight and naturally white metal is becoming increasingly popular in fine jewelry. Being a part of the platinum family, it is hypoallergenic and does not require re-plating.
  • Sterling Silver: One of our most popular choices, comprised of 92.5% pure silver and other metals like copper, is appreciated due to its versatility and suitability to all skin tones.

Making Your Jewelry Uniquely Yours: Incorporating Gemstones into Custom Designs

There’s no denying that selecting fine jewelry is a significant decision. Choosing the perfect piece goes beyond just the cost. It’s about choosing something that resonates with you personally and is beautiful enough for you to treasure for a lifetime. One incredible way to add a personal touch to jewelry is by integrating gemstones. But how do you do it with refinement? Here’s a guide on how to create a stunning custom piece incorporating gemstones.

The Unique Beauty of Birthstones Custom Designed Birthstone Necklace East Towne Jewelers

Incorporating birthstones is not just about adding your own. You can add the birthstones of your loved ones, creating a meaningful tribute to them within a piece of jewelry. This unique touch makes any jewelry piece extra special and signifies a deeper personal connection.

Where to Incorporate Birthstones

While birthstones are traditionally found in necklaces and rings, they can also be beautifully added to earrings and bracelets. Rings, for example, can be customized with a central birthstone surrounded by smaller ones. Popular designs such as the mother’s rings often feature the birthstones of all the children.

Birthstone pieces exude a luxurious, and unique quality when the stones are used as accents, rather than the centerpiece. Imagine a pair of earrings with a diamond as the central attraction, encircled by smaller birthstones—the look is both classy and meaningful. Whether you prefer gold or white gold, birthstones, with their vibrant hues, complement both perfectly.

The Advantage of Custom Birthstone Jewelry

You might come across pre-made birthstone pieces while browsing online or at a mall, but these don’t offer uniqueness. Mass-produced items often lack that special touch that sets your jewelry apart.

Choosing custom designed jewelry from East Towne Jewelers allows you to design something truly special. It gives you the freedom to select the size, alignment, and positioning of the stones. Once you’ve experienced the charm of a custom piece that accurately captures your vision, it’s hard to settle for anything less.

Explore the Vibrant Beauty of Gems at East Towne Jewelers!

East Towne Jewelers in Mequon has a wide range of gemstones for every personality and budget. Whether you’re looking to design a unique engagement ring or refurbish antique jewelry, our expert jewelers will guide you through the entire process. Stop into our store today and be hypnotized by the kaleidoscope of gems that await you!

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East Towne Jewelers

1515 Mequon Road
Mequon, WI 53092


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