Coloured Gemstone Guide

Coloured Gemstone Guide

At Powells we strive to provide you with something different, something unique, something that you may not find anywhere else. We are passionate about what we sell, from the jewellery you see in our windows to the services we provide but also the gemstones, we love the gemstones!

Having two certified gemmologists within our team is something we are rather proud of. Their wealth of knowledge coupled with our expert gemstone sourcing means that we can acquire some of the most beautiful gemstones to add to our collections, all of which are available to you.

Without further delay, let us dive into the beautiful world of coloured gemstones.


We'll begin with this month's birthstone, sapphire which is the second hardest natural mineral on Earth after diamond making them a very durable 9/10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Mostly seen in blue, sapphires also come in variety of vibrant hues from yellows, oranges, purples, pinks and so on! Have you ever wanted to carry a rainbow with you wherever you go? You can do just that with our rainbow sapphire jewellery! Whether it be earrings, a pendant or a ring, this perfectly set rainbow will brighten up your days no matter the season.


Tourmaline is another gemstone available in a plethora of colours, one of the most unique traits of tourmaline is it's ability to exhibit more than one colour. Also known as bi-coloured, a perfect example of this is watermelon tourmaline, aptly named after the fruit due to their uncanny resemblance. Paraiba tourmaline is another notable mention, this highly prized gemstone heirs from Brazil and is seen in the most beautiful shades of neon blue. See our stunning cabochon Paraiba example below.


The oldest emeralds are around 2.97 billion years old, yet the first known emeralds were mined in Egypt around 1500 BC and famously adored by legendary Egyptian Queen herself, Cleopatra. These magnificently lush gems are found in several places globally however it's said that the most beautiful emeralds are found in Colombia. Natural emeralds have many inclusions, which make each stone unique by its individual characteristics, this furthers the appeal for many collectors. Emeralds are a fairly hard stone at 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs Scale however their natural make-up means they can be susceptible to chipping or cracking. To counteract this and preserve your beautiful gem, be mindful when wearing it and look for settings that protect and not expose the gem.


Did you know this icy blue gemstone is closely related to emerald? That's right, they both belong to the beryl mineral group however it's the absence of chromium, vanadium, and iron which prevent aquamarine from looking like its brother. Aquamarines are typically eye clean and come in varying shades from light blue to a deeper blueish green. These subtle cool tones suggest class and sophistication and make for a gorgeous alternative to some of the flashier gemstones out there. Another notable member of the beryl family is morganite - the peachy pink variety. 


We daren't neglect this regal gemstone. This rich red gem has been adored by many for centuries and favoured by Kings, Queens, and all with exquisite taste. When we hear the word ruby, we think red, we think passion, seduction, power, romance, excitement, and lust. Rubies vary from a blood red to deep pinkish red and happen to have a famous sibling - Sapphire. Both gems are part of the corundum mineral group meaning they are ideal for all types of jewellery especially engagement rings!


Tanzanite was unearthed in the late 1960's however this beautiful gemstone is still being discovered by jewellery and gemstone lovers today. Named after its place of origin - Tanzania, this rare gem is found at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and its colours vary from light blue all the way up to a deep midnight blue. Add to this some flashes of violet and pink and you can see why this gemstone gives even the finest of sapphires a run for their money. The December birthstone falls at a 6 - 6.5 on the scale of hardness meaning it's most suitable for pendants, earrings and occasional dress rings however certain settings lend to it being worn more regularly.

Honourable Mentions

We weren't exaggerating when we said we had an incredible range of coloured gems! So instead of making an endless list, we'll give a shout-out to a few special gems here starting with our peridot ring, starring a 3.34ct cushion cut peridot accented by two princess cut diamonds on either side.

Our John Dyer ametrine set in a bespoke tornado pendant mount by the award winning Matt Powell is another piece we love to show off. This unique bi-colour gemstone paired with it's unique cut is truly something of a masterpiece.

You can find all of these gorgeous gemstones and many more in our online collection.