What does it mean when you give someone a gemstone?
There are many reasons for giving someone a gemstone as a gift including:
A special occasion such as birthday or anniversary,
to congratulate someone on an achievement,
to show your love
for its spiritual powers
The choice of gemstone comes down to a number of factors:
You can buy a gemstone simply on looks - just select the right color, shape and size.
Choose a gemstone for its spiritual influence and emotional or physical health benefits.
Pick a gemstone according to date of birth, zodiac sign, anniversary, chakra color, even blood group or element.
Before buying someone a gemstone, few practical issues need to be considered too:
Some gemstones are better suited to being made into jewelry items than others - any gemstone with a hardness of 6 and above can be made into jewelry while anything less may be better off used as decorative stones.
The personality of the person you are buying a gemstone for will play its part. Would they prefer a big and flashy gem in loud colors or a small and subtle one in muted or pastel tones?
The circumstances of your relationship must be considered too. A big expensive emerald for a new acquaintance may not be appropriate and equally, a cheap gemstone ring for your wife could get you into trouble.
At GemSelect, we have been buying and selling gemstones for nearly 20 years and many of our staff have been dealing with colored stones for even longer. Using that experience, we have chosen some of the most popular gemstones that have been given as gifts for centuries if not millennia (except tanzanite of course) and outlined their suitability as gemstone gifts.
We have taken a closer look at their symbolic meanings as well as some of their special connections to people through birthdays or spiritual benefits. We have also included some practical information about hardness and wedding anniversaries that may sway your choice.
Let's get started shall we?
What does the gift of Sapphire mean?
Sapphires are a truly special stone and a special gift. Buying a prestigious sapphire gemstone for someone shows you care for them very much. Sapphires are most famously blue but can be found in all colors except red (then it is a ruby). They are all spiritually powerful but do have other influences according to the color. Sapphires are considered one of the most powerful gemstones in Vedic astrology especially the blue and yellow examples.
The ruby is one of the original 'precious gemstones' and has been revered by just about every culture that has existed. This gemstone is the classic symbol of the color red and was known as the king of gemstones in India where the finest examples were traditionally found. It represents love, passion, sexuality, power and fertility and is the most valuable of customary gemstones so a gift of a ruby is very special indeed.
Along with rubies, sapphires and diamonds, the emerald is one of the four recognized 'precious gems' and has been loved and sought after for 1000s of years in cultures across the globe. The intense green color represents spring in all its glory of new life and fertility. A gift of an emerald is just as symbolic of love as the passionate ruby but more of a faithful and eternal devotion than momentary lust.
The crystal clear, cool blue aquamarine lives up to its name by being so evocative of sea water gently lapping a white sandy beach. Seeing and holding one of these gemstones will bring an instant feeling of tranquility and serenity. Traditionally, it has been a gift from partner to partner to calm the waters of a relationship just as it can soothe storms at sea. Similarly it was also given to travelers about to head overseas for good luck.
Zircons are one of the most colorful varieties of gemstones so there is sure to be one that suits your tastes. Zircon gemstones are appreciated for their excellent clarity and great sparkle or fire. Zircon's meaning as a gift depends on the color. The different colors can symbolize an assortment of emotions - blue meaning a desire for opening up communication - the creativity of the orange versions and the stability and security of the earthy brown zircons.
Opals are such a unique looking gemstone that a whole new series of words had to be invented to describe them, including opalescent which refers to their fascinating multicolored appearance. This legendary gemstone has a history of myths and stories attached to it including how Mark Antony wanted to present Cleopatra with an opal said to be the most beautiful gemstone ever seen. Unfortunately it was not his to give and the real owner - Senator Nonius - chose to flee to exile rather than give it up! Their spiritual meaning as a gift is usually dependent upon the dominant color, red for love, white for luck, black for protection and so on but they are all special gemstones.
Topaz are one of the most popular gemstones in the world and have a history that goes back to biblical times. Their price can range from very reasonable to outrageously expensive. They can be found in a wide variety of colors and these colors can represent an array of emotions. The ever popular blue encourages communication, clear stones bring hope and inspiration while the exclusive golden Imperial gemstones turn dreams into reality. Any topaz makes a wonderful gift with their bright tones and excellent clarity.
Tourmalines are probably the most varied gemstone in the world today. They can come in just about every color from electric pinks and vivid blues to the powerfully protective black variety. The range in price can go from very economical to the almost priceless neon Paraiba Tourmalines with numerous stops between the two. Each color has its own special meanings and powers as a gift - pink for compassion, yellow for creativity, green for revitalization. Some extra special stones come in two or even three colors.
Garnet is another very varied gemstone type which includes expensive green tsavorites and demantoids in its family as well as more reasonably priced orange hessonites and red pyropes - there are even some that change color! All in all, garnets could be the most versatile of all gemstones. They also have a long and illustrious history with some gemstones found amongst the artifacts of Ancient Egypt and Sumeria. A stunning green tsavorite or a raspberry rhodolite, for example, would make a wonderful gift for its beauty alone but the symbolic meaning adds to its significance - green for birth and creation, pink for love.
A gift of citrine would cover both spiritual and aesthetic needs in a single gemstone - it has stunning yellow colors, excellent clarity and healing powers all in one. Citrine is a very uplifting crystal which brings optimism and joy to the recipient and, as a very reasonably priced stone, it can be bought in large, eye-catching sizes.
A relative newcomer to the world of gemstones, tanzanite was only discovered in the 1960s, this gemstone has quickly conquered the world with its stunning blue/violet colors which rival those of the finest sapphires. It does not have a long spiritual history but the Maasai tribes people who inhabit the area where this gemstone is found consider it a gift from the gods. Traditionally, it is given to new mothers just after they have given birth to bring good luck.
Recent archaeological finds in the middle-east have dated the use of pearls as jewelry back over 8000 years. Pearls are found all over the world although they are more likely cultured these days in farms rather than dived for in traditional ways. With such a long history, many myths and legends have grown around pearls but there is no doubt they make a marvelous gift - especially for brides as they represent pureness and chastity.
Peridot is one of those rare gemstones that can only be found in one color, but what a gorgeous golden green color it is - representing a perfect spring full of re-birth, fertility and growth. Peridots make excellent gifts as just looking at this bright clear gemstone will lift the spirits and they are well known for their appearance as the sun goes down - one of their nicknames is the 'evening emerald'. Despite their stunning looks, peridot gemstones are very reasonably priced.
The gift of Rose Quartz can really only mean one thing - love! However, love can come in many forms, a romantic love between young sweethearts, the maternal or paternal love for a child, a special love for mothers or a platonic love between best friends. It can even represent self-love. If you receive rose quartz as a gift you know you are loved.
Spinel is a little known but very special gemstone that should be much more appreciated than it is. Once upon a time, before scientific methods were developed, spinels and rubies were pretty much interchangeable and many a large ruby affixed to a crown of a king or maharaja turned out to be a spinel! They are not just red, spinels can be found in most colors, each with its own special symbolic meaning including the very protective black stones and the romantic pink versions. A clear, durable and sophisticated gemstone which would make an outstanding gift.
I make wire wrapped pendants for birthday presents, and always feature a birthstone as the base for the project. GemSelect has a wide variety of shape/size pieces to fit any budget. A detailed description of each individual stone is perfect for those searching for particular stones for their application, and information on stone treatments and the like are phenomenal.