Gemstones Guide

Coming in a range of intense colours, gemstones are considered precious and highly valued by many around the world.

Gemstones are made from a variety of minerals that are found on the Earth's surface and they are typically very durable, with certain gemstones also being extremely rare.

Similar to diamonds, some gemstones can be made in laboratories. They have virtually the same chemical composition and crystal structure as natural gemstones so their optical and physical properties are very similar. However, they may have a more uneven colour distribution.

Here at Shiels, we have both natural and created gemstones, giving you more a wider range of options. Both are the perfect complement to gold or silver and are featured extensively in our rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces.

In addition to this, we strive to continue the ancient tradition of matching gemstones to different months of the year, or different zodiac planets. Have a look below to find your match:

Gemstone Birth month tableGemstone Zodiac Table

You can find out more about birthstones in our birthstones by month and by zodiac hub.

Overview of gemstones:


Used since the Bronze Age, Garnets are a mineral that can be made into gemstones and abrasives.

Despite being available in a variety of colours, the most vied for and rarest colour of Garnet is the deep red Bohemian shade.

The word garnet comes from the 14th-century English word gernet, which means "dark red." The word is derived from the Latin word granatum, which means "seed," and is so-called because of the resemblance of the gemstone to the beautiful red seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

According to Indian astrology, garnet helps to free the wearer from negative feelings (like sadness and guilt) and increase self-confidence and mental clarity in order to nurture creative thinking and peace of mind.

In fact, garnet's reputation for having healing properties originates from ancient and medieval times. It was believed that garnet was a cure for inflammatory diseases.

garnet gemstones guide


Turquoise is one of the most popular gemstones. It is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium.

It has been famous and cherished for millennia, and was said to possess many beneficial powers, like guaranteeing health and good fortune.

Turquoise has a charm for the ages, with rich colour and an enviable number of permutations and combinations it fits with.

Some gemstones have a glimmer, some have a shine, and some look amazing in a certain light. It comes in a wide variety of turquoise jewellery, and you can check that out here at Shiels!

turquoise gemstones guide



As a part of the quartz family, amethyst is highly valued for its stunning purple hues.

Treasured and prized for centuries, amethysts date back all the way to ancient Greece. Roughly translating to not drunk, the Greeks believed that amethyst gemstones helped to protect against drunkenness.

Found all over the world, amethysts come in a range of stunning shades. You can find purple amethysts that range from a rich, deep plum colour to a more pastel, lavender hue.

Paired with yellow gold, amethysts make for the perfect statement ring or pendant necklace. Luckily for you, Shiels stocks a large range of amethyst jewellery.

amethyst gemstones guide


Diamonds are more than just beautiful, they're an enduring symbol of everlasting love, romance and commitment as well as strength and courage, which is why diamonds are often the go-to choice for engagement and wedding rings.

Even though diamonds have become synonymous with all of this, they're still perfect to incorporate into your everyday outfit.

Diamonds have one of the longest histories of all the birthstones. Admired for years, diamonds are believed to have been traded as early as the 4th century BC.

Initially, India was the world's largest source of diamonds; however, with time, diamonds have begun to be found and mined all over the world.

From diamond rings to diamond necklaces and more, we stock the best diamond jewellery at Shiels!

diamonds gemstones guide

Rose Quartz 

Rose quartz is the gemstone of universal love. It is said to purify the heart and open it to feelings of peace. It has a pink colour and is found in large quantities in numerous locations around the world.

The oldest recorded pieces of jewellery containing rose quartz stones were beads found in Iraq all the way back to 7000 BC. Over time, the stone became highly valued among Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians as it was said to counteract the effects of ageing.

It is abundant, usually inexpensive, and popular as tumbled stones, beads, and cabochons. With a hardness of 7 and a lack of division, rose quartz is durable enough for use in any type of jewellery.

rose quartz gemstone


Citrine is an iron-rich quartz that is yellow in colour and is known for its strength and hardness. So, if you're looking for a stone that is not only pretty but durable, it is the perfect pick! The name comes from the French word citron, meaning lemon.

Although they are often confused with yellow topaz, they are completely unique and a little more brilliant than their mistaken counterpart. Citrine has been used in accessories and jewellery for a long time. And part of that is because of just how wonderful this stone makes you feel.

Citrine works well with lots of stones, it's sure to display well. No matter how you choose to present it! 

citrine gemstone


Emeralds have long been loved for their deep green beauty.

Highly valued and desired, the brilliant green colour of emeralds has captured the love of people over the centuries. From Cleopatra who cherished her collection of emeralds, to Elizabeth Taylor's famous emerald pendant, they are a stylish and classic jewel.

The ancient Romans dedicated emeralds to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today they symbolise loyalty, new beginnings, peace, growth and wisdom. Therefore they are an incredibly meaningful gift and are a delight to wear.

Emeralds have traditionally been used to celebrate a couple's 55th wedding anniversary. They are also the birthstone for those born in May.

The deep green colour of emeralds makes them a stunning addition to any piece of jewellery.

Styled with gold will create a beautiful vintage-inspired look which is enhanced with the addition of diamond embellishment. Beautiful silver or white gold paired with emeralds creates a contemporary piece of jewellery that is an unusual and fashion-forward addition to any wardrobe.

To achieve the greatest richness in colour, it is important that emeralds have been cut in a way to maximise this. That's why at Shiels we source our emerald jewellery from skilled gemmologists who shape the stones into dazzling creations.

emerald gemstones guide


Black onyx is a variety of the microcrystalline quartz, called chalcedony. They were used widely in the past as bases and handles for gold items, as well as for stone inlay work.

The stone was very popular with the Romans because they used it as a protective stone worn when facing adversaries in battles of conflicts of all kinds.

Like many of the other gemstones, onyx is said to have a range of healing benefits. When it comes to jewellery, onyx is the perfect accessory for the mysterious man or woman on the move.

onyx gemstone


Exquisite sapphires have long been revered for their vivid blue colour that has featured in beautiful spiritual art around the world.

The Persians called Sapphires the celestial stone' and they have featured in the jewellery of the Catholic Church for centuries.

Sapphires have remained popular to this day, and are known as the Stones of Wisdom, thought to bring protection and focus to the wearer.

Whilst the royal blue colour is the most popular, sapphires can occur in a rainbow of colours. However, when they are red they are classified as rubies. Some Sapphires even change colour when displayed under different lights.

Sapphires have come to symbolise royal love since Lady Diana Spencer received a stunning Sapphire and diamond engagement ring. This was then given to Kate Middleton on her engagement to Prince William, highlighting the timelessness of sapphire jewellery. Beautiful pink sapphires are also a romantic addition to any jewellery piece.

Sapphire is the traditional gift for a 45th wedding anniversary and is also the birthstone for September. Sapphire jewellery makes a perfect gift for any classic style. Gold, silver and white gold are all incredible for displaying the vivid blue sapphires.

Shiels range of sapphire jewellery has all been crafted to display the gemstone at its best. So, whether you're born in September or your loved one is, it's time to celebrate with some gorgeous sapphire jewellery.

sapphires gemstone guide


Peridot is the gem form of Olivine a magnesium iron silicate mineral and it is one of the rarer gemstones because it only occurs in one colour: yellow-green.

Even though the hues and tints of the green colour may vary, the crystal is always from the same shade family.

The origin of the term peridot' seems to be a bit blurry, even for historians. However, we know that it loosely stems from the Arabic word faridat', which translates to 'gem'.

Peridots are one of the few gemstones that can be styled and worn with any metal and style, and still, look fabulous. Shiels has a large range of peridot jewellery for any occasion.

peridot gemstones guide


Aquamarine gemstones are named after the colour of the oceans. They reflect the ever-changing nature of the sea and how it can be a strong blue shade or with a slightly green hue.

These stones can even appear to change colour when viewed at different angles or light.

The bright and shining blue of the Aquamarine makes it a more delicate alternative to the more traditional gemstones. They will enhance any intricately designed piece of jewellery without dominating the entire piece.

The beautiful light blue colour is complemented when displayed together with diamonds and creates a twinkling statement piece. It is the perfect combination for the you that loves to sparkle.

Aquamarines are the March birthstone and make a thoughtful gift for someone born in March. They are also the traditional gift for a 19th wedding anniversary.

The romantic charm of aquamarines has been around since the Romans, who believed that they could enhance the happiness of marriage. Therefore, regardless of the occasion, Aquamarine jewellery is a meaningful gift to give to your partner.

As visible flaws within the gemstone are very uncommon, the brilliance of Aquamarine stones is unmatched.

You can be sure that your aquamarine jewellery from Shiels will be a stunning addition to your collection.

Aquamarine gemstones guide


Topaz is an incredibly popular and versatile gemstone that is believed to have a soothing influence on the wearer.

Historically believed to be only a yellow stone but now most commonly found as a brilliant blue, Topaz can occur in a kaleidoscope of colours. Therefore they are the perfect stone for every you, and will reflect your rainbow personality.

In its purest form, Topaz is colourless and acquires colour through natural impurities, irradiation or heat treatments. When colourless, Topaz is a popular, inexpensive alternative to diamonds.

Traditionally Imperial Topaz found in beautiful pink, orange, red and gold hues are the birthstone of those born in November and are the gem of the 23rd wedding anniversary. However, when found in blue they are commonly given to people born in December and are the gem of the 4th wedding anniversary.

As the colourless stones are often used as an alternative to diamonds, they can be gifted to people born in April.

Discover the Shiels range of lustrous topaz jewellery. Whether you are searching for a new favourite accessory or are looking for a stunning yet inexpensive gift, you will find a beautiful piece to suit any style.

topaz gemstone


As the King of Precious Stones', the ruby is one of the most remarkable and striking gemstones in the world.

Throughout history, rubies have been prized as a precious stone due to their incredibly vibrant colour and durability. The colour has meant that the stone has long been associated with blood, vitality and the life force of humans.

Many cultures believed that rubies had the ability to increase the energy and alertness of the wearer, and were able to promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle.

The striking red ruby is still a symbol of love, passion and success. The ruby is connected to the romanticism of red roses, and the glow that appears to come from within the stone is reminiscent of the warmth and vitality of fire.

Their popularity has only increased due to being worn in exquisite jewellery sets by people like Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor.

A ruby-encrusted piece of jewellery therefore makes a beautiful statement for the romantic and joyful you.

They have long been considered the perfect wedding gem and also make a thoughtful Valentine's Day present. Rubies are often used to mark the important milestones of the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. They are also the birthstone for those fortunate to be born in July.

These highly desired gemstones look striking when used in gold jewellery, as it can deepen the red colour of the ruby. They also work well with white gold and silver jewellery as the ruby becomes a bold statement that will enhance any look. Rubies and diamonds used together are a powerful symbol of wealth, success and happiness.

rubies gemstones guide


Pearls are hard gemstones produced within the soft tissue of a living mollusc.

They are created when a foreign body, like a grain of sand, enters an oyster, mollusc or clam. In order to protect itself from the irritation, these underwater creatures produce nacre - a mineral substance - that coats the irritant.

Pearls are found in so many colours, shapes and forms, that every owner's pearl is almost as unique as them.

Because of their versatility and elegance, pearls can be incorporated into any outfit or style. And Shiels has a wide range of pearl jewellery for you!

pearl gemstones guide



Opal is a gemstone formed from hydrated silica. They are semitransparent and show many small points of colour depending on which angle you view them from.

They are one of the best stones to wear because they have a hands-down poetic appearance, and here at Shiels, we have a large range of opal jewellery.

The name Opal' comes from two languages, Sanskrit and Greek. The former derives its meaning from the word upala', which means precious stone', and the latter derives it from the word opallios', which means to see a change of colour'.

They are associated with hope in several Asian countries and carries the reputation of good tidings. In some places, it was also considered to have therapeutic and healing powers, which resulted in it being embedded in many amulets.

opal gemstones guide

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