The Big Three - Sapphires, Rubies, and Emeralds

The Big Three - Sapphires, Rubies, and Emeralds
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At Beverly Loan Company, Pawnshop to the Stars, we see some of the most spectacular diamonds and precious stones in the world. The most popular and famous gemstones – sapphires, rubies, and emeralds – are called “The Big Three” in the industry, due to their beauty, color, and historical significance.  And while our borrowers certainly know how stunning they are, we regularly get asked about some of the more specific aspects of these precious stones.

For any jewelry lover, it’s important to know about the stones that you’re either purchasing, pawning, selling or wearing. Here is a quick rundown of the three most sought after gemstones in the word:

Sapphires, the blue variety of corundum, is known for its deep royal color and for being the birthstone of September. Sapphires are found all over the world, but the most known and highest valued sapphires come from Kashmir, India; known as “Kashmir Sapphires”.  Corundum has many varieties of colors, the red variety of sapphire is a ruby, and the other colors are known as “Fancy Sapphires”, they include pink, purple, orange, green, yellow and almost any color of the rainbow. Padparadscha sapphires are pinkish-orange, and are one of the most valuable and rare gemstones in the world.

Rubies, the red variety of corundum, commands the highest price per-carat than any other stone, which makes it extremely desirable. This birthstone for July has fascinated people for centuries, and is even mentioned in the bible four times. The most desirable rubies come from Burma (now Myanmar), and continue to command high prices for their strong red color, dubbed “pigeon blood” in the industry. Corundum is a nine on the Mohs Hardness Scale, just below a diamond, which makes them suitable for everyday wear.

Emerald is the most popular variation in the beryl family, other beryl’s include aquamarine, morganite, and heliodor. Emeralds deep green color has made this stone highly sought-after, and popular amongst royalty for centuries. Beryl’s are softer than other precious stones, being only a 7.5 on the hardness scale, which makes it a little more delicate, and why it is sometimes called an “Evening Stone’. The emeralds with the strongest color come from Colombia, and the term “Colombian Emeralds” has become synonymous with high quality emeralds.

Almost every jewelry store carries sapphires, rubies, and emeralds; but it’s easy for the everyday consumer to be fooled into buying something that is not what it seems. When purchasing colored stones, it’s important to ask a few questions. Remember to ask if the stones are imitations, lab created, or treated; and what sort of special care is needed. If in doubt, it’s always a smart idea to send your precious stones to a gemological laboratory, like Gemological Institute of America (GIA), to get an accurate identification of your gemstones. And of course, Beverly Loan Company is the best pawnshop for a short-term loan against your precious stones and jewelry.



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