The Garrard Guide to Gemstones
The Power of Colour
In honour of all the great love stories, past and present, that have been celebrated with an exceptional gem from Garrard, our Guide to Gemstones is designed to help you in your search for the perfect engagement ring and answer any questions you may have about our colourful world.
What makes a gemstone truly special? At Garrard, it is colour, above all else. We hand-pick our stones according to their hue, tone and saturation, and how bright and lively they appear, rejecting any dull or lifeless gems The language of colour is magical and expressive and includes words like Royal Blue to describe the finest sapphires, and Pigeon’s Blood to capture the incomparable hue of the rarest rubies.
Cut describes more than just the shape of a gemstone. The beauty of an excellent cut is also determined by the arrangement of its facets and its proportions, and is reliant on the artistry of the gem cutter. At Garrard, we check and select each gemstone individually, and choose only those with optimal proportions, a symmetrical silhouette and perfectly placed facets.
The clarity grade of a gemstone indicates the presence, or absence, of inclusions. Unlike diamonds, inclusions can be intrinsic to a gemstone’s beauty – the “jardins” that entwine, moss-like, through an emerald, for example, or the microscopic silky inclusions within a sapphire that guarantee it is of Sri Lankan origin. At Garrard, we are always searching for the cleanest gemstones to add to our collection.
A unit of mass equal to 200mg that is used to determine the weight of precious stones, the carat size of a diamond has a direct impact on its value. With coloured stones, however, it is a little more complex. Because different gems have different densities, we regularly source centre stones for our collections based on their proportions instead. These include the gems in our 1735 collection, each of which measures 8 x 6mm.
We acquire our gemstones only from those locations that are known to produce the finest quality gems, which is a source of great reassurance to our clients. Within the Jewelled Vault, you will find stones of peerless provenance – Pigeon’s Blood rubies, Colombian emeralds and Sri Lankan sapphires – while our 1735 collection features Zambian emeralds, Mozambican rubies and Sri Lankan sapphires exclusively.
Most people are unaware that almost all gemstones, including rubies and sapphires, are heat treated to enhance their colour, and it is also normal to oil emeralds, a naturally included stone, to improve their clarity and brighten their hue. Very occasionally, our experts will acquire exceptional non-heated stones for the Jewelled Vault, which command a premium because of their rarity and unique beauty.
To enhance the colour of our gemstones, we pair them with diamond accent stones, which serve to intensify their vivid hues. We are very particular about our diamonds and select only D-G colour stones, with a minimum VS clarity. While other jewellers may compromise on quality, particularly with very small stones, we always source VS clarity and above, including the pavé diamonds in our collection pieces.