A lot of women love jewelry. Some are partial to certain types of metals like gold or silver. Others love the classic statement that pearls make. Some prefer gemstones while others like Mother Nature’s opaques, which are classified as semi-precious. Of course, everyone knows that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”
I don’t own a lot of diamonds. I never have and probably never will. It isn’t a matter of not liking them, but a case of them not being within reach of my budget. I didn’t even have an engagement ring. The only diamonds I own are in my mother’s wedding set, which she gave to me as the oldest daughter. They are absolutely priceless, at least to me.
My grandparents gave me a ruby ring because it was my birthstone. That gift was my first exposure to real gemstones and it began a fascination continues today.
I, like most women, have my own gemstone favorites. They aren’t, however, the most expensive stones. For example, I love turquoise. Part of the reason stems from the fact that I am part Cherokee, but I also happen to think that turquoise is one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. The colors – – from sky blue to earthy green – – represent some of the most beautiful colors of nature. I also love amber. I appreciate the history attached to it, as well as its earthy tone and smooth texture.
As I tried to narrow done my gemstone favorites, I began to wonder which gems were most popular overall. I did my research and discovered some amazing facts that I wouldn’t have guessed to be true. I find the results fascinating and thought that you would find them intriguing as well.
It comes as no surprise that the diamond is the most popular gemstone of all time. It is equally popular among both men and women. But, unlike days past, today’s woman is very much into the colors of diamonds; particularly pale yellows, blues, and pinks. Men, on the other hand, still prefer the standard clear.
Women, on the whole, also have an affinity for pearls. While whites and creams remain the most popular, black pearls, as well as champagne and cocoa are also becoming highly desired.
I was surprised that emerald ranked third in popularity. The gemstones can be difficult to find in high quality and large stone size. However, perhaps it is that rarity that makes the stone so sought after. Certainly, today’s emeralds are among the world’s most expensive gemstones; often costing more than diamonds.
I will admit that I personally don’t care for the fourth most popular gemstone, which has become a favorite among today’s jewelry designers. Perhaps it is the pale blue green color that appeals to a lot of women. Perhaps it is the fact that it is somewhat rare and can, therefore, be expensive. Whatever, the reason, aquamarine has supplanted the spot that once belonged solely to the ruby.
Tourmaline is the fifth most popular gemstone today, even though it wasn’t even well known a few decades ago. I certainly knew very little about this gemstone until about ten years ago when I was introduced to its many different colors. Tourmaline comes in virtually every color of the rainbow and many of them are more vibrant and have more fire than anything else on the market today.
One of my favorite gems – – and certainly one of the most opulent – – weighs in at the sixth spot; that of opals. I won’t go into detail here about the various colors of opal, so I hope that those of you who are interested should see my article on the subject.
My daughter’s birthstone, garnet, comes in as number seven. I admit to falling in love with garnets myself. I find that strange considering the fact that I once disliked them for their dark, muddy reddish brown color. However, garnets today have a much more vibrant fire. It is also surprising that garnets also come in a variety of colors including a stunning green.
I’ll admit to also being surprised that sapphires rated so low in popularity (#8). With blue being a favorite color of so many people, I expected sapphires to weigh in around number three or four. However, perhaps its fall from grace has more to do with the growing scarcity of the most highly prized blue colors of sapphire. So many found in the market today are, in fact, lab created rather than the real thing. Sapphires, like diamonds, are also finding markets for their many different colors, which range from yellow to green to pink and purple as well.
Topaz ranks ninth on the list. I understand this gemstone’s popularity, which was once relegated to a mere golden brown color. Today, the white, green, pink, red, and blue topaz stones available on the market have re-energized the love of this gem.
Peridot has grown in popularity over the last decade, which explains why it now ranks in as number ten. I love this gem myself; partially because it is my granddaughter’s birthstone and partially because of its spring grass green color.
Rubies, which once ranked just below the diamond, have now nearly fallen off of the list altogether. This could be due to the rarity of ruby’s highest prized color; a deep and rich pinky red. The genuine stones in today’s marketplace tend to be very pale in color. However, lab created rubies, which are found in abundance, mimic the very best ruby tones.
Ranking in at twelve is another favorite of mine: Amber. Since the movie “Jurassic Park” came out in the 90’s, this gem has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Rightfully so, this gem offers a one-on-kind stone each and every time because it is made by nature.
Amethyst has never received the respect that it so richy deserves. Perhaps that is due to the fact that the stone is so readily accessible. However, amethyst is undeniably beautiful, ranging in color from a pale pinkish orchid to a deep blue purple.
Tanzanite has developed a huge following in the last decade. That’s not bad for a relatively young gemstone, just discovered in the 60’s. However, there is something mesmerizing about the bluish purple color of this gemstone that women just can’t seem to resist. The fact that the stone may soon become extinct doesn’t hurt either.
Tiger’s eye has also experienced a relatively new resurgence. That might have a lot to do with the fact that brown is now a mainstay in most women’s fashion. However, I suspect it has more to do with the stone’s natural glow and vibrancy; two qualities that are often unique to opaque stones.
There you have it; the fifteen most popular gemstones:
For more information on up and coming gems, see my next gemstone article.