Gemstone Guide

The Complete Guide to Gemstones

At Rebecca Lankford Designs, our jewelry is made with a variety of precious and semiprecious gems. Here we’ve provided a comprehensive guide to gemstones to give you more information about the stones we use to create our handcrafted jewelry.


Amethyst is the birthstone of February and boasts a rich, royal purple color. Some health experts also believe this gemstone has detoxification qualities for the body and offers a variety of health benefits, including the promotion of a healthier sleep cycle and improved blood circulation.



Apatite can be a tricky gemstone because it closely resembles a number of other gems. This stone can be several different colors, including blue, green, violet or pink, and it is used to create a variety of different jewelry pieces.



Touting a gorgeous blueish, greenish hue, Aquamarine is the official birthstone of March and is one of the world’s four precious gemstones. This gem can range in color from dark blue to light blue and got its name from a Latin expression meaning “sea water”.


Believed by some to have healing properties, aventurine is most often green in color and has been used for centuries to make decorative pieces. Today it is used for a variety of things, including landscaping stone, monuments, building construction and of course, jewelry.



Carnelian is a beautiful reddish orange gemstone – one of the oldest gemstones in the world, in fact. This stone boasts a rich color that is often confused with that of fire opal.



Chalcedony is typically a bluish or light gray color and is very translucent. This gemstone sometimes resembles a fortune teller’s cloudy crystal ball and serves as a beautiful compliment to all types of metals, including golds, silver and even oxidized silver.



Citrine is a very popular gemstone and is usually a beautiful, pale golden color that is delicate, feminine and sophisticated. This gemstone got its name from the French word “citron” which means lemon.



Coral is yet another beautiful treasure of the sea and it is most often a light red or salmon pink color. As the color coral continues to grow in popular design, so does the use of this beautiful gemstone.



Possibly the most well-known gemstone of all, diamonds are exceptionally hard and brilliant, making them extremely valuable. Diamond is the April birthstone and is commonly used in engagement rings and various other jewelry pieces.



Emeralds are always a vivid green color and they are the official birthstone of May. This stunning stone expresses a certain class, elegance and vibrancy for life that is very attractive to many people, including the well-known, historic Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra.

Fire Opal

Aptly named for its fierce, fiery orange color, the fire opal does not play with light the same way an opal does, but it is still highly admired for its bold, untamed color.



Garnet used in jewelry is most often a dark red color and can sometimes be confused with rubies. The lush, rich tones of this gemstone result in breathtaking rings, necklaces, and pins. Red garnet is the January birthstone.



Iolite is an alluring dark purple color that looks similar to Chalcedony or Tanzanite in certain lighting. This gemstone gets its name from the Greek word “ios” which means violet.



Most commonly found in a pale green color, jadeite is a glassy stone that can be carved into many different shapes and sizes. The strikingly beautiful green tones of this gemstone make it very valuable and it continues to be a top choice for many jewelers.



Labradorite is a gorgeous dark gemstone, featuring hues of glowing blues and greens. This gemstone is popular, especially for handcrafted jewelry pieces such as necklaces, earrings, and rings. Some believe this gemstone has mystical and healing properties, especially when it is worn as a pendant.



Moonstone is a unique gemstone in that it glows with adularescence, an optical illusion that is a result of light hitting the various layers of minerals inside the stone. The gorgeous glow of this stone makes it appealing, especially when used in fine jewelry.



Opal is the birthstone of October and is admired for its fascinating relationship with light and colors. In various lighting, opal displays beautifully, colorful flashes of light within each stone, making it universally distinctive and desired.



Pearl is the birthstone of June. The most well-known treasure of the sea, this gemstone is touted for its unrivaled shine and color and is commonly strung together to make necklaces and bracelets. Many jewelry designers also use natural pearls and south sea pearls to create distinctive pieces.



Peridot sports a particularly memorable, yellowish green color that is similar to that of green olives. The birthstone of August, this gemstone has a glossy shimmer that shines and sparkles and draws the eye to any jewelry piece in which it is placed.

Peruvian Opal

peruvian opal

This rare gemstone offers a soft beauty that is both quiet and calming, yet very distinctive. This stone is the national stone of Peru (hence its name) and is commonly used by jewelers to make stunning earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces.



Due to its hardness, durability, and versatility, quartz has been used to make jewelry for hundreds of years. Although this gemstone can be found in a variety of colors, clear, white or cloudy quartz is typically the most common, followed by purple.



Rubies are extremely valuable – sometimes even more so than diamonds. The ruby is the birthstone of July and it’s known for its rich deep red color. Although similar to the color of garnet, rubies have a tiny hint of blue that makes them appear slightly more purple than garnet.



Only second to diamonds, sapphires are the hardest materials of Earth. Sapphire is the birthstone of September and is traditionally found in hues of blues, although it can be many different colors. This gemstone offers intense, dark colors that pair well with both silver and gold.


Spinel is a gemstone that is often mistaken for other gemstones, such as rubies or sapphires. Even still, this stone exhibits an extraordinary beauty of its own.



Tanzanite is a very exotic bluish purple color that is similar to Chalcedony, except much darker. This gemstone is one of the most common blue stones used to make jewelry, alongside aquamarine, sapphire, and topaz.



Topaz can be a multitude of different colors, such as blue, green, pink and orange. Yellow topaz is the birthstone of November and has a beautiful glassy appearance.



Tourmaline comes in just about every single color you can imagine. From bold greens, reds, and purples, to blues, pinks, and yellows, this gemstone is about as colorful as they come. There is even a watermelon variety that is green on the outside and pink on the inside!



The official birthstone of December, Turquoise is one of the more popular and well-known gemstones, admired for its striking blue color and deep veiny patterns. This gemstone is commonly used by jewelry designers to create gorgeous earrings, necklaces, rings and more.



Often confused with cubic zirconia, zircon is a naturally occurring gemstone. It is actually the oldest known mineral on Earth! Zircon offers an undeniable brilliance and can be found in a surprisingly wide range of colors.

Gemstones are as vast and varying as the stars in the sky and there is always more to learn about each one. For more information about gemstones or to speak with a jewelry designer about creating a custom piece of jewelry, please call or email our studio at