Gemstone Education

Gemstones / Birthstones

For several centuries now, gemstones have been believed to hold magical powers, healing and aiding the mind, body, and soul. The majority of gemstones may be found in various spots across the world. To see them all in one place, visit Wilkerson Jewelers.

January

GARNET

February

AMETHYST

March

AQUAMARINE

April

DIAMOND

May

EMERALD

June

PEARL OR ALEXANDRITE

July

RUBY

August

PERIDOT

September

SAPPHIRE

October

OPAL OR TOURMALINE

November

CITRINE

December

BLUE TOPAZ

Below is a list of the various gemstones we carry:

AMETHYST

Member of the quartz family. According to mythology, Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, was insulted by a mortal. 

He was so angry that he called vicious tigers forth to get revenge on the next mortal to cross his path. A maiden named Amethyst was on her way to pay tribute to Diana when she encountered the tigers. To save the innocent girl, Diana turned her into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. The statue was so beautiful that Dionysus, in sorrow and remorse, wept tears of rich wine over the statue. His tears stained the quartz, thus creating the gem that bears her name. It ranges in color from a deep, dark purple to pale lavender and is suitable for everyday wear.  

AQUAMARINE

The name means "ocean water" and goes back to ancient times. Sailors of old believed that these beautiful gems came from the treasure chest of mermaids. It is believed to bring luck to all who sail the seas. It ranges in color from a deep blue to almost clear. It will hold up to everyday wear.

BLOODSTONE

 A dark green, almost black stone with drops of red splattered on it. This stone has a very masculine appeal, perfect for men's jewelry. It is believed to have healing and protective properties. They have also come to symbolize bravery. Bloodstone holds up well to everyday wear.

BLUE TOPAZ

This beautiful stone comes in 3 different color variations: sky, swiss, and London blue. 

Blue is said to be the color of communication and self-expression, and ancient people groups prized topaz as a stone of divine majesty. It was thought that people wearing this stone could detect poisons or dispel enchantments. 

It was also thought a person wearing a topaz could make themselves invisible at will. Though it may not be able to do all those things, it is a beautiful stone that holds up well to everyday wear.

CITRINE

Another member of the quartz family, this golden-hued stone is cheerful and can brighten moods. 
Its name came from the French word for lemon and was once thought to protect the wearer from snake bites to bad thoughts. The deeper brownish red-hued variation is called a Madeira citrine. The stone ranges from a citrus yellow to a rich orange color. Like many other colored gemstones, this one is often treated with heat to help enhance its color, and the treatments are often undetectable. It's a common stone but found mainly in South America and Spain.

EMERALD

This gorgeous green gem is a member of the beryl family. Stones of significant size and fine quality are often more valuable than diamonds. The Incas and Aztecs worshipped them as holy stones. Because of the conditions they are formed in, it is acceptable for there to be inclusions in top-quality stones.

GARNET

The most common type is the Mozambique garnet. 

The deep, rich burgundy hue of this stone is what we typically think of when we hear the word garnet. Another option would be rhodolite garnet. This garnet has more of a vibrant pink color that is complementary to all skin tones. The other most common form of garnet is the tsavorite garnet. It can range in color from light spring green to deep forest green. They are all considered suitable for everyday wear.

IOLITE

Known as the Vikings' Compass because the ancient Vikings would use a thin disc of iolite to help guide them on their journeys. They were able to tell by the shifting color of this pleochroic stone the sun's exact position. It can be used as a less expensive substitute for sapphire or tanzanite. It is rated as fair for everyday wear.

LAPIS

A blue metamorphic rock has been used as a gemstone, sculpting material, pigment, and ornamental material for thousands of years. The most desirable specimens have a rich solid blue color and a few reflective pieces of gold pyrite. Jewelry made from lapis is rated fair for everyday wear and is best used in earrings, pins, or pendants.

MOONSTONE

Part of the feldspar family. It's an opalescent stone that can be found in colorless form and peach, pink, green, gray, yellow, brown, and blue. Ancient people believed that moonstone was formed by moonlight. It has been used as a stone of protection when traveling at night. Some claim that it is calming and relieves stress. It is rated suitable for everyday wear.

MORGANITE

This pink gemstone was named after the famous financier and mineral collector J.P. Morgan. 

It is in the beryl family, just like emerald and aquamarine. Morganite gives a sense of calmness to those who wear it, reflecting the happier aspects of life. It complements many different skin tones and is suitable for everyday wear.

ONYX

This gem from the chalcedony family makes a statement of power, authority, and sophistication. Roman soldiers were given images of Mars, the Roman god of war, carved in onyx to provide them with courage. It can stand alone or be used with other gems. This versatility and affordability allow it to fit into a wide range of jewelry styles. It is rated fair for everyday use.

OPAL

You will never see such a magnificent array of colors as you will when you look at an opal. This stone is one of the softest and most delicate gemstones, and you must handle it carefully. And since the opal contains about 30% water, special care is required to maintain its unique beauty. There are three different groups or classes of opal. The first is known as precious opal. The mixture of colors, known as opalescence, is like a rainbow set inside the stone. The stone's color varies, being either white or black (these have brilliant colors), and what is known as jelly opals, which have little to no opalescence. The second class is known as fire opals. These are colored red, yellow, or orange with a brilliant mixture of colors. Lastly is the common opal, which is, for obvious reasons, the most common type of opal found and usually has little no to opalescence. Opals are symbolic of love, life, hope, and truth. They were loved by Queen Victoria who often gave them as wedding gifts.

PEARL

The pearl is sometimes a victim of mistaken identity. It's not a stone but rather the byproduct of a living organism--the mollusk. It is created when foreign debris gets inside its shell, causing the animal to excrete calcium carbonate around the debris. The most common of these animals known for growing pearls is the oyster. But did you know that any shellfish identified as a mollusk can grow a pearl, and not all of them are in saltwater? It's true! Where they are grown (i.e., saltwater, freshwater) depends on their shape, size, and color. These days, most pearls are farmed, meaning humans make the animal grow the pearl by inserting either a small bead of the substance known as mother-of-pearl, making them round, except when it comes to freshwater mollusks. Pearls grown in those animals usually start with a tiny bit of tissue and are often a soft pastel color, whereas saltwater pearls are dark grey or green and white. This pearl is thicker and more lustrous but usually misshapen. Natural pearls are rare and are not always round.

PERIDOT

This stone is one of the oldest as far as discoveries go. Its roots are tangled deep into the mystery and myth of Ancient Egypt. For years, the green jewels that Cleopatra wore were thought to be emeralds, but now, many believe that they were, in fact, peridots since they used to be mined near Egypt. It was believed to help dreams become a reality and drive away the night's evil spirits. 

The larger a peridot is, the richer its color is. These days, it's extremely rare to find a stone over 3 carats, and most stones are found in Arizona. The peridot's color is 100% natural, and there are no known enhancementsKnown for its calming properties, this stone helps with relationships by helping one feel less angry and jealous and supposedly helps slow the aging process.

RUBY

 Known as the "king of gems," the most popular color of a ruby is known as "Pigeon's Blood," which is a deep crimson color. Like many other stones, you can manufacture them in a lab under controlled conditions. But unlike some manufactured gems, it is easy to spot a manufactured ruby and one that is natural. Natural stones often have what are known as inclusions, usually small growths of crystals inside the stone. Also, like many other colored gemstones, the Ruby often undergoes treatments to help enhance the stone's natural color. They are rated excellent for everyday wear.

SAPPHIRE

When people think of this stone, they automatically picture the brilliant blue that sapphires are known to hold. But actually, sapphires come in almost every color of the rainbow, ranging from blue, also known as "Kashmir," to deep red, which we know as rubies. It is an enduring symbol of loyalty and trust.

SMOKY QUARTZ

The deep chocolate color of this gem makes it a perfect neutral that can be worn with everything. It was popular with the Victorians as mourning jewelry and then made a comeback in the 50s and 60s when big sparkling jewels were the rage. Today, it offsets nature-inspired design and can be found in shades from light to dark. It is rated suitable for everyday wear.

TOURMALINE

Comes in an array of colors, with green and pink being the most common that we carry. The various unique shades of colors have their distinct names, which keeps them from being mixed up with the more common colors of this stone. The purple-ish to bluish-green hues are called indicolite. Sometimes the stones can be found with more than one color in them and are found in various places worldwide, including the United States of America.

TANZANITE

This vivid deep blue stone with a purple tinge was discovered in Tanzania, Africa, in 1967 by a Massai herdsman. All of the known deposits of this gem are confined to about eight square miles of land in northern Tanzania. Massai's belief holds that blue is both sacred and spiritual, and according to folklore, only women blessed with new life have the honor of wearing the color in beads and fabric. After the discovery of tanzanite, Massai men began giving the gem to their wives when a new baby was born. This was a sign of bestowing health and wellness upon the child and ensuring a prosperous life. This stone is not suited for everyday wear.