A Gemstone Handbook

December 16. 2019

Precious stones handbook


“Are diamonds every girl’s best friend?”


Diamonds have always been an ever-popular choice for engagement rings. However, in recent years, many couples have turned to alternative coloured gemstones and intricate solitaire designs to celebrate their love story. Coloured gems provide a countless unique style and provides an option for modern women. A bespoke engagement ring perfectly captures elements of each and every couple unique and special love story. One can turn to contemporary asymmetric designs or vintage-inspired elements, or even add a modern twist on your mother’s engagement ring design. It is a blank slate with multiple options and here at Alexandra Alberta, we aim to help you create your version of the perfect ring.  


Here is a list of gemstones and our take on its character and style.


To note: The Mohs scale is a 10 point scale of mineral hardness, characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material. Diamond, which is the hardest stone would rank 10 on the Moh’s scale.



Colours: Blue, Pink, Purple, Orange, Yellow, White

Durability: 9 on the Moh’s scale


Sapphire is a popularly desired gemstone especially since Kate Middleton’s renowned 12-carat oval blue sapphire which was inherited from the original owner, Princess Diana. This precious stone is frequently associated with royalty and leaves all with a lasting impression. The most commonly known sapphire comes in blue and teal, but less known to many is the large array of colours this gemstone offers. The multi-colour pallet makes it very versatile gemstone. Not only is this gem very distinct and beautiful, but it is also durable and has a long-term investment value.



Colour: Shades of green

Durability: 7.5-8 Moh’s scale


Emerald, the brilliant green gemstone is often associated with rich elegance and sophistication. The name Emerald comes from the Greek word which means green stone. Many cultures have also deemed this gem to bring good luck. One of the prominent figures who adored this gem would be Cleopatra. Reportedly, Cleopatra adorned herself and her palace with emerald. This gem symbolizes mercy and compassion and universal love. All things interconnected with the heart.  This gem is perfect for a luxurious classy look.



Colours: Pink, Green or a combination of both pink and green*

Durability: 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale


Tourmaline is vibrant and has high shine properties. The pink tourmaline is said to evoke joy, happiness and romance making it suitable for an engagement ring. The distinct pleochroism* feature on the tourmaline gemstone gives rise to a unique combination of the green and pink tones which looks almost similar to that of a watermelon. Hence this uncommon choice of stone makes this gem ideal for a woman that seeks to stand out from the crowd 


*Pleochroism: It is an optical phenomenon which results in a gemstone appearing in different shades in different angles.



Colour: Blue

Durability: 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale


Aquamarine, as the name suggests comes in the same shade of blue as ocean waves. This name has Latin origins, ‘aqua’ that means water and ‘mare’ which means sea. Unlike their green cousins, Emeralds, Aquamarines are usually clear, without any visible flaws and inclusions. They have an amazing colour and clarity which evokes feelings of calmness and peace. They are subtle and easy to match any outfit. It suits one whose style whispers, quiet classy.



Colour: Red

Durability: 9 on the Moh’s scale


Ruby prides itself in being a bold, eye-catching gemstone. It comes in a distinct deep red. It is impossible to go unnoticed and promises to stand out in the crowd.  The more richly red and clearer the stone, the greater the value. They are indeed rare and ranks next to diamonds in terms of durability. As opposed to aquamarine, ruby best fits women with a strong personality and bold style. They are perfect for all the “power” ladies out there.



Colour: Pink, Purple, Grey, Red, Orange

Durability: 8 on the Moh’s scale


Spinel is one the undervalued gem and is almost one of the best-kept secret in the gemstone world. This gem has amazing brilliance, shine and sparkle.  The gemstone is naturally beautiful and does not require any enhancement or modifications making it more affordable. The red spinel is almost comparable to the ruby and sometimes even deemed to be more desirable due to the rich colour and vibrancy. It is also very durable and does not require any special care. Spinel provides a wide colour choice and is a quality gem for a great price.



Colour: Pink or Lilac

Durability: 6.5-7 on the Moh’s scale


The Kunzite comes in a beautiful shade of pink and purple. It is sweet, gentle and a rather muted colour. Kunzites are known to open up the heart to love. Undeniably, this stone has its charm. The nature of the colour beautifully ties romance and brings out a sense of youthful innocence.  The only drawback would be the tendency of a Kunzite to fade over time with exposure to excessive sunlight. Hence it is not advisable for everyday wear. It is perfect for a young bride to be and one whose lifestyle does not allow them to wear their ring all the time and instead serves to be more of a special accessory.



Colour: Blue or Violet

Durability: 6.5-7 on the Moh’s scale


Tanzanite comes in a stunning blue with a hint of purple. It is very rare and is rather new to the coloured stone galaxy, as it was only found in 1967 in Tanzania. Its looks are easily deceived for the blue sapphire as they are vibrant and appear to be similar to the blue sapphire. Here is a little tip for those who are on a tight budget, a Tanzanite ring is an affordable alternative to the blue sapphire. It is an appropriate gem for engagement and wedding rings, but it does require special care. It is perfect for that lady who likes a bold blue.