In the world of colored gemstones, three gems reign supreme: rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. This trio of stunning stones is known as the Big Three in the gem world. Alongside diamonds, the Big Three are the only gems classified as precious gemstones. Their rarity and timeless beauty has earned them a category of their own. 

Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are gorgeous, precious, and always in style. They’re a beautiful choice for everyday jewelry, bridal designs, and everything in between. Learn more about what makes these gems so alluring as we go over everything you need to know about the Big Three. 

The Regal Ruby 

The ruby has been coveted for centuries thanks to its rich red color. The red form of the mineral corundum, rubies get their color from trace amounts of chromium. These lush gems are always red, but their exact hue can range from true red to pinkish to purple-red. The most treasured color is an intense deep red with a hint of purple.

Rubies are often associated with royalty, as royals have loved these gems since ancient times. The ancient Sanskrit word for ruby is ratnaraj, meaning “king of precious stones.” In addition to being associated with royalty, rubies are considered a symbol of power, passion, success, and love. 

Rubies are impressively durable and hard. They rank at a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so they’re excellent for daily wear in all types of jewelry. Ruby may be the July birthstone, but it’s a beautiful gemstone for everyone to wear year round. 

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The Captivating Emerald 

Emeralds are mesmerizing gemstones with a uniquely rich green color. These gems are the green variety of the mineral beryl. Depending on the proportion of trace elements found within each gem, emeralds can range in color from green to blue-green. These green gemstones get their hue from the presence of chromium, vanadium, and iron. 

Emeralds are often considered a magical gemstone. In ancient times, people believed these green stones had a range of magical powers, including the power to heal eye strain, reveal hidden truths, and make one a more eloquent speaker. Today, emeralds are most commonly associated with love, luck, and rebirth. The green color of emeralds is also associated with the renewal of spring, which makes the emerald a perfect choice for May’s birthstone. 

Emeralds are fairly durable stones, but they require special care due to their unique formation. Natural emeralds often have a high number of inclusions, so they may be treated with oils or wax to improve clarity. Avoid exposing emerald jewelry to high heat or vibration, which can remove these treatments. 

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The Sophisticated Sapphire 

Sapphires are the gemstone quality variety of the mineral corundum. While the most well known sapphire color is blue, sapphires come in a beautiful array of colors. There are violet, yellow, orange, purple, gray, black, brown, and pink sapphires, as well as parti-colored fancy sapphires featuring multiple colors. Corundum can also be red, but red corundum is called ruby. 

While sapphires come in a wide range of colors, blue sapphires have long been the most popular variety. Royalty in ancient Greece and Rome believed that blue sapphires protected the wearer from harm and envy. People in the Middle Ages associated these blue gemstones with heavenly blessings. Throughout the ages, these colored stones have also been associated with truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. 

Like rubies, sapphires are an excellent choice for everyday jewelry, including engagement rings and wedding bands. They’re impressively durable and eternally stylish. Sapphires with a blue color are the most popular choice for jewelry today, but pink sapphires are another top color option. 

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Create Your Perfect Gemstone Jewelry 

Discover the beauty of the Big Three for yourself with our customizable gemstone jewelry. Create a custom gemstone necklace, ring, or pair of earrings with just a few clicks. Choose your ideal style and stone, then have it made in your choice of white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum. 

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