At its best, jewellery has the power to tell a story and to express your individuality to the world. It’s little wonder jewellery has been worn for thousands of years for decorative, religious, functional and social purposes.
There are so many types of jewels and jewellery, all of which have different meanings as well as their own stunning visual aesthetic.
Whether you’re looking for a bracelet or a pair of earrings as a gift, or a ring or necklace for yourself, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting.
This guide considers two incredibly popular types of jewellery: gemstones and pearls. Within, you’ll learn about their properties, their unique meanings, clothes to match with them and detailed care instructions...Read on!
Clothing and jewellery trends come and go. Styles change. Colours change. Seasons change. But beautiful gemstones are a reassuring constant in this sea of ever-changing fashion.
Gemstones have remained popular embellishments on jewellery due to their colourful, vibrant, shiny properties, which can beautifully express your personality and style.
Gemstones are made from a variety of minerals found on the earth’s surface and are often given as gifts to celebrate wedding anniversaries and birth months.
Found in a huge range of colours and textures, gemstones are an incredibly popular form of jewellery around the world.
Gemstones are broadly split into two categories: precious and semi-precious. In modern use, precious stones are diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, with all other gemstones being semi-precious.
This is a simple metric and doesn’t necessarily dictate price. A semi-precious gem may cost more than a precious gem.
Gemstone jewellery can sometimes be overlooked by the fine jewellery designers. Yet, they offer exclusivity, unique and luxurious styles, and a wonderful array of colours.
When used in jewellery, gemstones are often cut into the following shapes:
What’s more, each type of gemstone is known to hold an alluring, mysterious appeal. Here are seven of the most popular types, and some of the perceived meanings behind them.
These are just a handful of the hundreds of gemstones available. Other popular types include aquamarine, cat’s eye, onyx, alexandrite, emerald, garnet and moonstone.
See how gemstones are incorporated into modern jewellery by checking out our latest jewellery range here.
Choosing the right gemstone jewellery for your personality is one thing, but it’s also very important to make sure your gemstone jewellery matches your wardrobe too.
Nearly all the gems listed above are vibrant and colourful, which means you have a few options when it comes to your fashion choices.
Whether you’ve received gemstone jewellery as a gift or you want to look your best with your existing jewellery collection, here are a few tips to designing your outfits and ensuring you, your outfit and your jewellery dazzles.
Because of how bright and shiny many gemstones are, you can make your gemstone earrings, necklaces and bangles the centrepiece by offsetting them with neutral colours.
Wearing soft greys, off-whites and monochrome tones will accentuate the gemstones and make them appear much more prominent. Consider a flowing maxi dress or swing dress for summer occasions or a classic cotton shirt for that everyday wow factor.
Another great way to express your beautiful gemstones is to contrast them with vastly different colours that match. Let’s stick with the purple amethyst, in which the natural contrasting colours are tasteful shades of yellow and orange.
On a summer’s day, the juxtaposition of your purple jewellery and a yellow pencil skirt or a linen orange tunic will work wonders.
The Real Gemstone Collection by Fairfax & Roberts features many stunning, hand-cut, unique gemstone pieces that’ll add a splash of colour and elevate every woman’s wardrobe.
Another way to show off your gemstones in style is to pick similar colours that look great together. This refers to both other accessories and the colour of your clothing.
For example, if you have an amethyst necklace, you’ll want to complement its lovely purple tones with pinks or blues. In terms of accessories, this could be a blue clutch bag or earrings with a pop of pink.
The beauty of gemstones is that they’re unique. No two are the same. But with hundreds to choose from, it pays to know how to store and clean them.
To maintain their natural beauty, store your gemstone jewellery in a soft pouch in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and anything with edges or surfaces that might scratch the jewellery.
Most gems will respond well to warm water, mild detergent and a soft brush. Alternatively, gently rinse your gemstone jewellery in a bowl of warm water with a little dishwashing detergent and dry flat on a towel. For the chains or fittings, simply use a soft damp cloth to wipe off dust or marks.
Pearls are one the most highly valued and popular organic gems in the world. They are truly unique, in that they’re the only gemstone formed within a living creature, and have become a symbol of purity and modesty. They are also the birth gemstone for the month of June.
From necklaces to bracelets, pearls are an all-time favourite. The so called ‘tears of the gods’ are incredibly elegant. It’s hard for pearl jewellery to look anything other than simple, timeless and natural.
This section aims to help you choose the best pearl jewellery by highlighting what colours to look for and what types of pearl to consider.
No two pearls are the same, which is great for master jewellers who can craft amazing pieces based on the colour and hue of the pearls.
Pearls come in a wide variety of colours. It’s one of the reasons they continue to be one of the most versatile gems used in jewellery today. The most common choice is white followed by black.
Here are the main pearl colours:
White – can range from snow white to silver white
Pink – soft feminine tones of rose and dusty pink
Silver – halfway between black and white, unexpected and striking
Black – dark, inky tones with occasional green/purple highlights
Bronze – warm chocolate hues ranging from dee brown to mocha
With natural pearls being so rare and hard to source from the depths of the ocean, the types of pearls seen at most jewellers are cultured pearls.
Cultured in either saltwater or freshwater from mollusks, this incredibly delicate surgical process involves introducing some nacre (mother-of-pearl; what natural pearls are made from) into the mollusk shell to stimulate it.
These are returned to the water and cared for until the pearl forms. This is a trial- and-error process that requires patience and perseverance.
Cultivated in waters all over the world, including Australia, Tahiti and Indonesia, saltwater pearls are known for their lustre and consistently round shape (a heavily desired shape).
They often have a longer growth period, which means they can grow larger than in freshwater. But the longer time period can make them costlier.
Freshwater pearls have the advantage of a thicker nacre, which means they’re more resilient. They won’t chip or damage as easily as saltwater pearls.
Once, freshwater pearls were seen as having an inferior lustre and size. However, in recent times, premium freshwater varieties have matched, if not surpassed, their saltwater counterparts...and for a more reasonable price.
Aside from the classic round pearl shape, other types of pearl can be used to make amazing jewellery, such as:
Baroque — An organic, elongated shape that lends itself well to modern, casual, quirky jewellery designs.
Circlè — Pronounced in French as ‘sir-clay’, these pearls are known for their chic, distinct grooved rings around the pearl. Great for appealing individuality.
Button — Close to the round traditional shape, button pearls have a flat bottom and domed top, perfect for pearl stud earrings and the like.
Drop — Elongated and wider at the base than the top, drop pearls are also perfect for elegant earrings.
Off-round — A simple, stunning, slightly asymmetrical pearl that looks great on almost any jewellery.
No matter what colour, culture method or size you desire, you can feel safe in the knowledge that pearls are timeless. Pearl jewellery will look great every day and go with virtually any outfit in your wardrobe. Be sure to browse our range of pearl jewellery here.
Timeless and captivating, our pearl range is made to last, to be passed down through generations. But how long your pearl jewellery will maintain its vibrant colour and shine depends on how you store and care for it.
Pearls are incredibly soft and delicate so we strongly recommend storing them in a soft pouch or box to avoid rubbing or scratching.
Also make sure you store your pearls away from other jewellery to prevent rubbing against other pieces that may cause scratching on the pearl’s surface.
Things to avoid when wearing jewellery
Pearls require a bit of TLC; like other jewellery, they react badly with chemicals. As such:
Now you’re up to speed with gemstones and pearls, you might be keen to see some amazing, innovative jewellery designs. At EziBuy, we’ve partnered with By Fairfax & Roberts, Australia’s oldest established jeweller.
They’ve been designing beautiful jewellery since 1858. Their necklaces, bracelets and earrings feature timeless freshwater pearls and real gemstones like citrine, topaz and amethyst. Browse their exclusive, modern collection now.
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