From Mineral to Gemstone: The Making of Colored Gemstone Jewelry

Owning colored gemstone jewelry is a beautiful gift. Gemstones create one-of-a-kind accessories because they are vibrant works of art created by our Earth. From humble beginnings as mere minerals, gemstones are equal parts rare and beautiful. Although they’re known for being unique and stunning, gemstones and their origins are often shrouded in mystery. After all, what exactly is a mineral?

Defined as naturally occurring inorganic solids, minerals have never been alive and are not made from living things. Humans did not make them and although the sound of the name seems to imply differently, minerals are solid.

Minerals typically form when molten rock cools or when they are separated from mineral-rich water. Such water is often found in underwater caverns. In fact, all minerals are formed beneath the earth’s surface. Because minerals are primarily formed in small areas like lava flows or between grains of sediment, they are fairly small in size.

Gemstones have a unique allure and old-school glamour because it is relatively rare for them to form. Crystals often form from minerals, but gemstones, the most prized of all, remain elusive because multiple conditions and elements must be just right in order for a gemstone to enter the world. Gemstones require a unique mixture of heat, cooling, pressure, space, and chemicals. Even when all the correct elements are present, a considerable amount of time is needed for the process to become complete.

After they are formed, gemstones are typically extracted from the earth through a tedious search followed by an in depth mining process. However, in extraordinary rare cases, landslides can cause precious gemstones to surface. But most gemstones are carefully extracted.

Once mined, experts sift gemstones. Only a specialized gemologist is able to sift gemstone from useless rock. At this stage, gemstones are considered “rough.” This means that they are not cut or polished. Although some gemstones are used in their natural form, the vast majority are not.

After being cut and polished, the gemstone is ready to be designed into a stunning necklace, ring, or other fabulous piece of designer jewelry. By the time a colored gemstone reaches you, multiple experts, specialists, and creative visionaries have come together with their individual expertise to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. The process of mineral to gemstone to designer jewelry is a delightful mixture of chance, natural flow, and creative vision.