By Helen Driggs
Countdown: The Best Selling Colored Gems of 2022
In September and October of this year, InStore Magazine surveyed more than 800 American jewelers, who were asked to list their top ten best-selling non-Sapphire colored gemstones. It’s not surprising that Ruby topped the list, with more than 25% of the votes, and Emerald placed second, with 14%. But the other top-selling stones for 2019 included some surprising gems. Here’s a look at the survey results.
Number 10: Morganite
This pink colored Beryl forms in masses and/or prismatic crystals, and gets its delicate color from manganese or cesium. Morganites are pastel, transparent peachy-pink, and very flattering to most skin tones. Morganite gemstones can also be found in soft pink, delicate pale salmon, or violet-pink.
Number 9: Garnet
Garnet describes a group of several closely related minerals. Garnets appear in a wide variety of color, but the most widely-known Garnet hue is deep, dark red. Other colors of Garnet have been assigned specific gemstone names, including Almandine, Pyrope, Spessartite, Grossular, Tsavorite, Andradite, Uvaroite, and Hessionite.
Number 8: Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a variety of Beryl, and occurs in light blue-green to deep, clear blue. Aquamarine in deep blue can be quite expensive, and like Emerald, Aquamarines are sturdy but may easily break if struck. Aquamarine may fade when exposed to strong sunlight for prolonged periods. Unlike Emerald, Aquamarine gems are often completely transparent and flawless, and cut stones exhibiting visible flaws are rare.
Number 7: Tourmaline
Tourmaline is a member of one of the most chemically complicated groups of silicate minerals. Tourmaline gemstones come in a wide variety of appealing colors including green, brown, black, blue, pink, yellow, red, purple, orange and grey and crystals can also be bicolored or tricolored. Pink to red stones are often heat treated to improve the color. Rubellite and Paraiba stones are often heavily included, so they are sometimes enhanced for clarity, but Tourmalines treated using this method are typically worth much less than untreated stones.
Number 6: Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a delicate color blue to violet gem variety of the mineral Zoisite. Dscovered in 1967, the gem has become a popular material used extensively in jewelry. Tanzanite is only found in the Arusha region of Tanzania, Africa. Tanzanite is difficult to cut, and is very pleochroic –displaying differing saturations of hue when held at different angles.
Number 5: Amethyst
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz and is the traditional birthstone for February. Found all over the world, some of the most precious Amethyst deposits are in Greece, Italy, the Middle East, and north Africa, and the Amethyst produced in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil can often be found at gem and mineral shows. Rich-colored, transparent purple stones are readily available and very popular for jewelry.
Number 4: Opal
The play of color optical effect marks all precious Opal gemstones, and occurs when stones are turned in white light and their internal structure causes diffraction of light, resulting in the phenomenon. The background color of Opals may be white, black or almost any other color of the visual spectrum. Black Opals are the rarest, and white, gray or green stones are the most common.
Number 3: Topaz
Topaz combines durability with desirable color and the gemstone is readily abundant on the market. Topaz in the golden orange to yellow range is called Imperial Topaz, and stones of these hues or in the deep red-pink or red orange are the most highly valued. However, the most commonly found Topaz jewelry features stones in shades of blue. Most blue Topaz is irradiated and heat treated.
Number 2: Emerald
Emerald a green to green-blue variety of Beryl. Because of their crystal structure, Emeralds are typically step or square cut, and many stones are visibly included, so eye-clean stones are extremely rare. Richness of color determines the value of an Emerald, with rich and vibrant saturation of green that does not make the stone too dark.
Number 1: Ruby
Rubies are always pink to blood-red in color. Ruby is one of the four “Cardinal Gemstones” and a rare variety of the mineral corundum. Gem- quality corundum that isn’t red is called Sapphire. Rubies get their color from the presence of chromium, and are one of the rarest of gems.