GEMSTONE COLOR CHART
Color is undoubtedly the most important criterion for evaluating and selecting gems. But because gemstones come in an assortment of shades, color grading can be very complex. The three criteria experts look at are hue, tone, and saturation, which, combined, result in the colors we see. Lighting is another essential factor since gemstone color and brilliance can vary depending on the light source.
Major Factors That Determine The Color of a Gemstone
Hue refers to gemstone’s base color. It is usually made up of only one color, but it can also consist of a combination of hues, resulting in additional colors for precious stones, such as orange-red, yellow-orange, yellow-green, yellow-brown, green-blue, or violet-blue. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has developed a list of 31 hues for describing gemstones, consisting of 7 base hues and 24 combination hues. Gems with a single pure and vibrant hue tend to be the most highly valued.
Tone describes the relative lightness or darkness of a gem’s color. A pink gemstone, for instance, might be categorized as “light pink” or “medium pink”, while a green-colored gem can range from lime to deep forest green. The GIA tone scale has a total of 11 points, going from colorless to black.
Saturation is the intensity or purity of a color. Gemstone color becomes less pure with lower saturation, and an additional gray or brown hue can be seen. Thus, the most desirable gem varieties are those that exhibit strong saturation and an even color throughout.
According to the GIA saturation scale, there are six degrees of saturation, ranging from grayish or brownish to vivid. As saturation decreases, a gem with cool hues can appear grayish, while a gem with warm hues can appear brownish.
Gemstones by color
Here is a list of gemstones according to color.
Ruby, Red Beryl, Red Diamond, Malaya Garnet, Star Garnet, Almandine Garnet, Pyrope Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet, Amber, Fire Opal, Tourmaline, Red Coral, Red Spinel, Imperial Topaz, Sunstone, Red Tourmaline, Red Zircon.
Emerald, Green Garnets (Tsavorite and Demantoid Garnet), Chrome Diopside, Jadeite, Green Sapphire, Green Chrome Tourmaline, Bloodstone (or Heliotrope), Green Diamond, Green Chrysoberyl, Green Beryl, Peridot.
Blue Green / Blue Gemstones
Blue Sapphire, Blue Tourmaline, Blue Tanzanite, Iolite, Flourite, Aquamarine, Blue Opal, Blue Spinel, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Blue Zircon, Chert (a type of dark blue microcrystalline rock).
Violet or Purple Gemstones
Amethyst, Purple Garnet, Topaz, Purple or Violet Sapphire, Iolite, Tanzanite, Purple Diamond, Purple Chalcedony, Purple Spinel, Purple Jade, Purple Fluorite, Purple Kunzite, Purple Tourmaline.
Rose Quartz, Star Ruby, Rhodonite, Rubellite, Pink Tourmaline, Pink Opal, Pink Fluorite, Kunzite, Morganite, Star Garnet, and Pink Spinel.
Orange Diamond, Orange Sapphire, Orange Zircon, Imperial Topaz, Oregon Sunstone, Spessartine Garnet, Mexican Fire Opal, Orange Spinel, Amber, Tourmaline, Tangerine Quartz.
Citrine, Yellow Sapphire, Topaz, Yellow Tourmaline, Yellow Andradite Garnet, Fancy Color Diamonds, Mali Garnet, Golden Beryl (Heliodor), Sphene (Titanite), Yellow Zircon, Spodumene, Yellow Labradorite, Orthoclase Feldspar, Smoky Quartz.
Obsidian, Black Onyx, Tahitian Pearl, Black Opal, Black Diamond, Schorl Tourmaline.
White Gemstones or Colorless Gemstones
Colorless Diamonds, White Sapphire, White Topaz, White Agate, Pearls (Natural and Cultured Pearls), White Opal, Transparent Opal, White Jade, White Jasper, Rainbow Moonstone.
Whether it’s a colorless diamond or another white or colorless gem, these are the gems most often used for engagement rings, with diamond being the most popular choice.
Multicolor Gemstones & Colorful Gemstones
Multicolor Agate, Multicolor Ammolite, Multicolor Andalusite, Multicolor Black Opal, Multicolor Bloodstone (Heliotrope), Multicolor Cat’s Eye Opal, Multicolor Chocolate Opal, Multicolor Chrysocolla, Color-Change Diaspore, Color-Change Fluorite, Color Change Garnet, untreated Color Change Sapphires, Multicolor Coral, Multicolor Dendritic Agate, Multicolor Fire Agate, Rainbow fluorite, Multicolor Hawk’s Eye, Multicolor Labradorite, Multicolor Mystic Quartz, Multicolor Mystic Topaz, Rainbow Pyrite, Multicolor Rhodochrosite, Multicolor Ruby-Zoisite, Watermelon Tourmaline.
Frequently Asked Questions
All precious gemstones are graded according to the 4Cs of gem quality, one of which is color. The more vivid the color, the higher the stone’s value.
However, Rubies are also associated with love and come in a range of different shades, from deep reds to subtle pinks.