Gemstones, regardless of their cost or rarity, capture the attention - and, quite often, the imagination. Loose gemstone suppliers offer budget-friendly options like amethyst, rose quartz, and citrine that have immense appeal, especially when treated to the right setting. But there is undoubtedly a level of desire, prestige, and even awe associated with more unique - and rare - specimens. Here are 10 unique gemstones and the cuts that show them to their best advantage.
Tourmaline. This gem’s name literally means “mixed stone.” The spectrum of colors in which it is available- from the most vibrant magenta to the deepest ocean blue - is dazzling. There are also exciting multi-color varieties, such as watermelon and cat’s eye. Watermelon tourmaline, for example, reveals a green “skin” and a red core.
The cut depends largely on the colors present: a darker tourmaline will typically be cut to emphasize the lighter of the colors. Rectangle and rectangular emerald cuts are often used here. When the stone is lighter, the cut is typically round, oval, or triangle.
Zircon. Centuries ago, this stone was believed to bring prosperity and emphasize the wisdom of the owner. Today, may it bring prosperity to designers and jewelers! It should, as it is greatly sought after for its vibrant colors and relatively affordable pricing. Rich greens, reds, yellows, browns, and oranges provide a host of options for design, but blue reins as consumers’ favorite.
Step cuts (e.g. baguette, asscher, and emerald) are most common, as are mixed cuts (combination of step and brilliant). Zircon is rather brittle, so cuts reflect the difficulty.
Tanzanite. It’s no surprise that a gem as exotic is available from only one place on earth: the hills of Merelani in northern Tanzania, near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is prized for its intriguing blue color, often with undertones of purples and violets, especially in smaller stones.
Cut is critical for this stone, which is more rare than diamond, because it can enhance - or detract - from the tanzanite’s appearance and value. Round, oval, trillion, and cushion make these beauties shine.
Spinel. Not to be confused with rich red ruby, this lovely stone is a bit more rare - and, counterintuitively, a bit more affordable. Consumers love the orange-red, or “flame spinel,” as well as the hues that resemble sapphire and ruby most closely. True red and blue varieties, though, are extremely rare. Oranges, pinks, and purples are easier to find.
For years, spinel was derisively called the “Great Imposter.” Today, it’s coming into its own, and for good reason. Oval and cushion shapes show off its unique properties.
Rubellite. This versatile stone - a form of tourmaline - is gorgeous in just about any cut, though brilliant and checkerboard are especially advantageous. The stone itself is an up-and-coming favorite, beloved for its tremendous versatility. Its passion and energy are reflected in its bold, saturated, red and pink color spectrum. It’s also unique in its reaction to light: it behaves the same in both natural and artificial lights.
Again, its versatility lends rubellite appeal in oval, round, emerald, cushion, trillion, hearts, briolettes, and pears.
Note: don’t be fooled. Red tourmaline is different from rubellite. “Rubellite” only applies to fully saturated reds and pinks.
Paraiba Tourmaline. Lest we be accused of favoritism, paraiba tourmaline is unlike other forms of tourmaline. The blues… you could lose yourself in their depths, and customers often do! Often described as “neon-bright,” the stone is mined from the Brazilian state of Paraiba. The colors, from blue green to crystal clear turquoise, are reminiscent of this paradise’s waters. Consumers want to dive in. These stones are exceedingly rare and valuable, especially pure blues. Oval, round, pear, and emerald cuts will especially entice high-end buyers.
Hearts & Arrows Melee Diamonds. As hearts & arrows melee diamond experts can attest, this unique cut is highly desired by consumers. And it’s incredibly charming. A unique, and intensive, cutting and polishing technique, yields diamonds that feature patterns that look like hearts and arrows. Well-cut specimens are clear, crisp, and perfectly delineated. They are round brilliant cuts, and melee options offer the ideal detailing for larger pieces.
Moonstone. Even the name sounds fanciful. Ancient Romans believed they’d found frozen moonlight, captured in stone. Simply beautiful. This rare stone is most prized when it is perfectly clear, colorless, and has a subtle blue sheen. It is also found in pinks, purples, peaches, yellows, and blues. When light shines between its layers, moonstone appears to shine. It’s a wonderful effect set off most advantageously in oval or round shapes.
“Fancy-colored” diamonds. Many consumers still consider clear diamonds the “gold standard,” if you will. However, colored diamonds can be more rare given that they need specific geological conditions to “germinate.” From cognac to reds and oranges to yellows and greens, “fancy” colors can be intense, and more saturated colors are more valued. As with “regular” diamonds, fancy colors can are gorgeous in any number of cuts and shapes. Loose gemstone suppliers have an array of gorgeous colors on hand.
Alexandrite. A rare beauty, alexandrite is a color-changing magician. Often seen as emerald-colored in the light and ruby-colored in darker at night, this stone is often considered to be two gems in one stone. Brilliant, mixed cut, and step cut options are most often used here.
Today, customers are seeking solutions beyond the norm. Whether that means more rare, more unusual, or simply more stunning, loose gemstone suppliers can equip you with the inventory you need to meet demand.