In The Country Magazine
In The Country Lifestyle

Behind the gemstone

Do you have a favourite gemstone or are you still looking for that perfect companion? Our guests Frankie and Georgie, founders of Neville Argyle and creators of the breathtakingly beautiful bespoke jewellery, are gem stone aficionados and we’ve invited them to share their expertise with you. Take it away girls!

Your birthstone or favourite colour is a perfect place to start...

You may want to learn about their legends and myths, healing powers or just enjoy the captivating optical properties of something like a moonstone or opal.

Colour will have a great impact on your choice:

Whether you love subtle hues or a pop of colour, a gemstone can enhance your look, wardrobe and how you feel. If you’re looking for that statement piece, why not try vibrant emeralds or rubies! Think about what gemstone will flatter your complexion, transcending both seasons and fashions, reflecting your individual taste and unique personality.

Practically, you also want to consider the wearability and durability of your chosen gem. For instance, sapphires and diamonds make fantastic engagement rings, while pearls are better for earrings or necklaces, where they can be protected from everyday wear.

Most of the time larger and higher quality gemstones mean bigger price tags. Even if diamond is your chosen gemstone for example, don’t panic, we have lots of great ideas to help you make the right choice. For example, with a modest budget, maybe think about using pave set or cluster designs or even star or cutdown settings, all give the illusion of a larger stone.

Diamonds, although popular aren’t the only choice and here are some insights into the range of gems which make up the birthstone calendar. There are often a number of gemstones per month so we’ve chosen only our favourites.

January: Garnet 

Where better to start than January’s bold and beautiful Garnet! When thinking Garnets, most visualise a rich deep purple-red hue. But if this isn’t your colour, look to the yellowish-orange, striking green tsavorites or even fun pinky-purple rhodolite. Garnets have been worn for centuries and are celebrated for their healing properties and legends say they bring strength and empowerment. However, always take care when wearing them, look at necklaces or earrings to avoid them being knocked or damaged. Often a cost effective gemstone, so why not make a statement and go big! Also, if you love vintage (like we do!), you’ll find lots of lovely antique pieces to choose from. 

February: Amethyst 

If you’re a purple type of girl, then Amethyst is your stone and the birthstone for February. Think deep purple to light violet. While it’s best not to wear everyday, you can create a spectacle with a big amethyst ring for a special occasion. Think a day at the races! Amethyst is perfect for earrings and necklaces and it is fun choosing bigger stones at reasonable prices. As a part of the Quartz family, they are renowned for having many spiritual properties. So, if you’re into your healing or mindfulness, this might be the stone for you. Famously said to promote inward calm, so it is perfect, if you want to bring some serenity to your life in lockdown.

March: Aquamarine

Who can resist an Aquamarine. The birthstone for March, but loved by so many. Ranging from greenish- blue to almost colourless, it never looks out of place. Meaning ‘sea water’, legends say it keeps sailors safe at sea. While being a calming stone, it is said to also brings happiness, particularly in marriage. Take care when wearing and with prices less than an equivalent diamond you can often pick a bigger stone to enjoy more of its wonderful colour. While you can buy aquamarines in many shapes, the octagonal cut is definitely a show stopper and our favourite. It looks absolutely stunning when set in white gold or platinum and if you love Art Deco, then this is your go-to gemstone.

April: Diamond

Those lucky enough to be born in April get to call the magnificent diamond their birthstone. Being one of the hardest natural materials on earth, it’s no surprise its name comes from the Greek word meaning invincible. 

Today, with the help of the famous De Beers marketing slogan “A diamond is forever”, these beautiful gems symbolise love and marriage and are a popular choice for engagement rings. A diamonds’ natural brilliance and sparkle is undoubtedly why so many of us are attracted to them. Being colourless and durable they are versatile and timeless, so no need to worry about fashions changing. If you’ve inherited a diamond, have you thought of re-styling it into something you and the next generation will treasure.

When choosing a diamond head to the 4C’s; cut, colour, clarity & carat. The cut is often the first thing to think about as this determines the look you’re creating. Whether it’s the classic round brilliant cut, a softer vintage look from the cushion or an elegant Art Deco feel with an emerald cut. With so many to choose from, what will your choice of cut say about you… 

May: Emerald

What stone is more vibrant than emerald! If making a bold statement is your thing, then emerald is the one for you. The birthstone for May, is a rich, intense green stone with a very long history. 

With so many myths to choose from, you can pick your personal favourite. Some believe it to represent fertility, an ability to predict future events and bring love & hope.  

Whilst relatively hard, it’s not very tough, so it can chip quite easily, often due to internal imperfections. These imperfections are however natural and can be quite fascinating. So, when picking your stone, choose carefully. Think about choosing the octagonal “Emerald cut” where the corners have been cut off to help protect the stone and maybe look at earrings or pendants, rather than rings, where the risk of damage is higher. 

June: Pearl

The classic pearl! (Who doesn’t love pearls, we do!) One of the oldest gemstones used in jewellery and still around today. June babies get to enjoy this natural beauty as their birthstone. These enchanting gems are grown within living molluscs and their natural sheen, range of colours and beautiful iridescence, makes them so versatile. Enjoyed by many,  at different ages or saved for that special occasion, like your wedding day! Whether you love vintage or modern design, pearls work in so many styles. Unless money is no object, cultured pearls are the best option and can be bought on a range of budgets. Pearls can be damaged from the mildest of acids, so when making your choice and caring for them, please take care. Think earrings, necklace or bracelets, rather than rings which inevitably get covered in soaps and hand creams on a daily basis. Pearls are said to symbolise purity, wisdom and also bring luck. 

July: Ruby

Name a colour more passionate than red, drawing out strong emotions of both love and anger. Ruby has been desired for centuries and worn by nobility. This gemstone famed for being a symbol of love and passion, makes ruby the perfect romantic gift as well as being the  birthstone for all those summer July babies. Ruby has a range of hues to choose from, think deep, lipstick red to a pop of pinky-red. While ruby isn’t for everyone, if you love red, don’t be shy and take the plunge, you won’t be sorry. Working beautifully when set in rich gold, why not add extra sparkle by pairing rubies with diamonds. 

August: Peridot 

If you are born in August, then peridot is your gemstone. It displays  beautiful colours of earthy olive to lime green, with a lovely lustre and shine. Peridot is said to have healing powers and myths say it can protect the wearer from evil spirits and night terrors. Peridot’s are mined on a small island off the Red Sea, where you’ll find the beaches are tinted green from the tiny peridot crystals. Being quite brittle, choose your peridot jewellery carefully, however being quite cost-effective stones, peridots are available to most budgets. 

September: Sapphire 

Sapphire for September! Like rubies, sapphires are part of the corundum family. And guess what, Sapphires are not only blue but come in a range of colours, so choose what you like.

To narrow it down a little, we love the traditional blue sapphire, which is available in many different hues. Think light cornflower blue, which is particularly popular at the moment, through to the bright vibrant blues (which can fetch a premium), right through to almost inky, deep tones. If you’re looking for a symbol of sincerity, then Sapphire is for you. Said to bring peace of mind, as well as faithfulness, which is maybe why they have become a popular choice for engagement rings.  Being quite durable stones, they are the perfect in most styles of jewellery and sit particularly well alongside diamonds.

While Sapphires demand a higher price than many gemstones, you can still buy a sapphire with different budgets, based on depth of colour and quality of stone. Or again consider pave set sapphires, to create a beautiful cluster of smaller stones. With so many colours to choose from they are such a versatile gemstone to choose.

October: Opal 

If you love rainbow colours, then there is no better choice than opal. What better way to brighten your autumn/winter wardrobe than with an opal for those enjoying October birthdays. The flashes of colour called ‘play of colour’, are definitely its most prized feature.  While the changes of colour capture all our attention, they are very soft and delicate so even the slightest knock or changes in temperature can often cause damage.

Opals need to be cared for very carefully, but such a joy to wear.  Said to represent love and hope as well as possibly possessing all the best properties of all the gemstones, due to their rainbow of colours, Opals, with their mystic properties lets you have it all. 

November: Topaz 

November babies get a fantastic choice of colours with their beautiful birthstone, topaz. Whether it’s the most popular blue topaz, the more traditional brown-yellow tones, pinks, or the prized sherry ‘Imperial Topaz’,  there are lots of lovely colours to choose from.  With quite often great clarity (so very few internal blemishes), they’ve got real twenty-first century appeal, while also being a popular stone seen in antique pieces. Legends say it gives strength, increases wisdom and gives a sense of calm, so Topaz could be everything you need to enjoy life to the full. 

December: Tanzanite & Turquoise

Christmas babies have their pick with birthstones. We’re giving you a little insight into our two favourites turquoise and tanzanite. Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones. Its blue-green colour is immediately recognisable and perfect for beads or cut into cabochons. Legends say it brings good fortune and in the 13th century it was believed to protect horse riders. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be true, but what a great excuse to buy a turquoise jewel. Turquoise fits most budgets, particularly if you love the matrix variety and chances are it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. But if it’s the cleaner, blue stones, then you might need to dig a little deeper. If the cabochon style gemstone isn’t for you, then maybe head to the quite recently discovered Tanzanite, also a birthstone for December.  Such a fascinating stone, showing different colours of violet and blue depending on the angle it’s enjoyed. 

Rainbow – a symbol of hope

Just to finish, why limit yourself to choosing just one colour gemstone, when you could go for the full spectrum. The rainbow has become somewhat of a lockdown symbol of hope this past year, throughout the various lockdowns and the Covid19 pandemic. We created our very own ‘Love & Hope’ Rainbow range of jewellery. Each piece is handmade to order in 9ct gold, with each gemstone selected by us to create a beautiful rainbow of colour. A stunning addition to anyone’s jewellery collection! 

We will be donating £10 to the Pandas Foundation UK for every ‘Love & Hope Infinity’ multi-gemstone Rainbow piece purchased. Pandas Foundation is an incredible charity supporting parents suffering with perinatal mental illness. As mummy’s to two beautiful girls and one on the way for Georgie, we understand the importance of this charity to all new parents particularly during these unprecedented times. 

We hope this has given you some inspiration to find your perfect gemstone. Birthstones are always a good starting point, but by no means your only option. We have only touched the surface and while birthstones are said to have many legends and meanings, there is no proof as to whether they are true. Either way, what a great excuse to choose a particular gemstone. You need to wear a gemstone that speaks to you, whether it’s the colour, properties or the mystic beliefs. When choosing or buying a gemstone, we always recommend seeking an expert’s opinion. As each gemstone is unique and there are many factors to consider, you also need to make sure you pick a stone which is suitable for the piece of jewellery you are creating or choosing.  Care should always be taken when wearing any gemstone, so it’s important to get advice on how to look after your beautiful gemstones and jewellery. 

Fancy chatting more about choosing your perfect stone, why not contact us at www.nevillargyle.com.  We love learning about our clients, as this definitely helps us work with you to find your perfect gemstone. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post!


The metaphysical, healing properties and meanings behind the gemstones used in this blog are for inspiration only and are not to be used for diagnosis, treatment or to bring about the said meaning. The information provided is an opinion and not to be used as a guide to purchase. When choosing or buying a gemstone, always seek an expert’s opinion. Each gemstone is unique and there are many factors to consider. Including, but not limited to the quality, its durability and suitability to be worn in a particular style of jewellery (as some gems may not be suitable for certain pieces of jewellery). Care should always be taken when wearing any gemstone, so always seek advice on how to look after your gemstones and jewellery. 

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