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FAQs about Gemstones

by Staff Writer

Large, beautiful opal gemstone

Some of the most beautiful jewelry selections are those which are adorned with gorgeous, sparkling gemstones. The plethora of gems available may leave you wondering which gemstone jewelry is right for you and which jewelry selections are the best investment pieces. Fashion jewelry pieces such as gemstone rings are available in a wide range of prices, styles, colors and sizes. Use our answers to frequently asked questions about gemstones to choose gemstone rings, gemstone necklaces and other gemstone jewelry pieces for your fashion jewelry collection.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why are stones associated with certain months?
    Ancient mythologies considered some natural gemstones to be magical; wearing the gems associated with one's birth was a way to ensure good luck. Today, birthstones are still popular, and gemstone necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings are fun to give as gifts or wear to personalize your look. Natural gemstones are also associated with anniversaries and locations, so you can choose gemstone jewelry that is personal to you in different ways.

  2. What's my birthstone?
    There are several different birthstone lists available, and each varies slightly. Some birthstone lists include biblical gemstones, and others list two or three birthstones for each month. The following list includes basic modern birthstones to get you started:

    • January: Garnet

    • February: Amethyst

    • March: Aquamarine

    • April: Diamond

    • May: Emerald

    • June: Pearl

    • July: Ruby

    • August: Peridot

    • September: Sapphire

    • October: Opal

    • November: Yellow topaz

    • December: Turquoise

  3. What's a semi-precious gemstone?
    Technically, there is no such thing as a semi-precious gemstone. Traditionally, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires have been the most popular and rarest gemstones, so they came to be called ''precious gemstones'' by jewelers and have commanded the best prices as much for their popularity as for any other factor. Some jewelers took to calling other gemstones ''semi-precious.'' In addition, gemstones are frequently changing in popularity and rarity, so some semiprecious gemstones can be more valuable than precious gemstones.

  4. Should I get my gemstones appraised?
    An independent appraisal is a good idea when making any major purchase. The United States has no national registry or certification process for gem appraisers; it is done by industry organizations. Certificates from these groups are reliable, but frauds and forgeries abound, as in any industry where serious money is involved. So, buy a beautiful gemstone, not a piece of paper. All gemstones keep their value very well. Appraisals are usually required for tax or insurance purposes, but don't think of jewelry simply as an investment or an heirloom; fine jewelry is fashion jewelry -- wear it and enjoy it!

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