Loose Gemstones

We create bespoke pieces, letting you choose your coloured gem from a great selection to satisfy your shade and shape of choice.

Baker Brothers hand select there coloured gemstones in the same manner as their diamonds ensuring there quality. Each one is vetted to guarantee the cut is most appropriate for the type of gem, the clarity and colour is of superior quality and desirability.

  • Ruby
  • Sapphire
  • Aquamarine
  • Emerald
  • Amethyst
  • Citrine
  • Peridot
  • Opal
  • Topaz
  • Tourmaline
  • Garnet

Ruby

Ruby and sapphire are both varieties of corundum. Red corundum is called Ruby. It may be orangey-red, purplish-red or brownish red. Traces of chromium result in the red colour.

In ancient times Ruby’s colour was thought to represent fire and passion. They were thought to protect their owners and give them good health and successful business and love relationships. Ground rubies were used as a remedy for stomach ailments.

Rubies are found in Africa and Asia. The finest are said to come from Myanmar (formerly Burma) In fact very fine rubies of a “pigeon blood” colour are called regardless of origin Burmese. Rubies have also been found in Thailand Sri Lanka Tanzania, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

Rubies are hard, rating 9 on Moh’s scale and are very tough, making them a practical gem stone for every day wear.

Star rubies contain an asteration, a phenomenon that sometimes occurs in corundum. Asteration mean that under intense or direct light, internal inclusions cause a six ray “star” to appear on the stone. This only occurs in stones cut in a cabochon, which means they have a round, polished, and convex, non faceted surface. This is a desirable characteristic if the rays starch from one girdle to another.

Baker Brothers will always endeavour to find you the colour ruby you are looking for in a gem. If the pigeon blood red is not to your particular taste, we will source you the stone to satisfy your desires.

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Sapphire

Sapphire, like ruby is a member of the corundum family. While most people think of sapphire as blue, it comes in a variety of different colours except red.

The blue created by traces of titanium and iron was believed to have calming effects. It was used as a charm against swelling, boils, ruptures and melancholy.

Other colours of sapphire are commonly described by naming the colour first. However one variety which combines pink and orange tones is known as Padparadscha which means lotus flower.

The colour change sapphire changes colour depending on the light source in which it’s viewed. The stone may appear blue under day light and purple under incandescent light.

Sapphires are mined on all continents except Antarctica. Sapphires from Kasmir in India have a corn flower blue which is very desirable. Sri Lanka is another important source and Australia and Thailand produce the deeper and darker sapphires.

Sapphire is a great everyday choice and measure 9 on moh’s scale of hardness.

Baker Brothers can source you the sapphire colour you are looking for, be it blue, green, yellow or pink. We will also help and guide you in terms of how each of these can vary in qualities, such as saturation of colour or even what is known as ‘windows’ within a stone.

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Aquamarine

Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family. The name means ‘sea water’ in Latin, a description of the gems colour. Most aquamarines tend to be light tones of greenish blue. The best colours however are darker and bluer with only a slight greenish tone.

Aquamarines are mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Zambia.They have a good hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh’s scale of toughness. Clean with soapy water.

The beautiful blue aquamarine has many options for the jewellery lover. At Baker Brothers we have a wide selection of this beauty in rings, pendant or earrings, or maybe you would like to use this versatile gem in a setting of your choice.

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Emerald

Emerald is a variety of beryl and has been used for personal adornment sine 200BC. It was considered to have mystic powers, and was ground to a powder and swallowed to improve IQ.

According to the GIA laboratory emeralds must have “medium light to medium dark tones of green.” Lighter tones are simply called green beryl.

In their best qualities, emeralds possess strong colour saturations and tones. Saturation refers to the amount of hue, or colour, present in a stone. Tone refers to the sensation of depth or darkness the human eye perceives. Hue is defined as the dominant colour and any additional colours visible in the stone. Because green is a mixture of blue and yellow, the hues of green in emerald vary; some have slightly more bluish undertones, others slightly more yellowish. A slightly bluish green is slightly more desirable, but many consumers prefer a slightly yellowish green, depending on their skin tone. Either colour is fine, as long as the saturation and tone are strong.

Emeralds are valued according to their lack of inclusions. Even the best emeralds have inclusions. The quality, size and location of the inclusions become important in determining the gems desirability.

Emeralds come from Columbia, Zambia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Most Emeralds on the market today are treated with oil to fill microscopic cracks. Oiling emeralds is ethical, as long as the oil is clear and not tinted green to add colour. Emeralds rank 8 on the Moh’s scale of hardness. Emeralds have poor to good toughness depending upon their inclusions. Care should be taken if you plan to wear an emerald every day.

To clean an emerald, rinse it in lukewarm water and clean with a soft toothbrush. Avoid using solvents because they degenerate treatment oil.

Baker Brothers source their emerald jewellery and stones meticulously to ensure a piece of jewellery that not only stuns but is of a quality to last and endure.

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Amethyst

Amethyst is a popular gem variety of quartz and is a deep purple colour. The word amethyst is derived from the Greek ‘amethustos’ meaning not drunk, and legend has it that anyone who drank wine from an amethyst cup would not become inebriated.

Amethyst is used abundantly in jewellery partly due to its wide availability. The main sources are Brazil, Zambia, Mexico, Uruguay and Australia.

Amethyst has a suitable hardness of 7 on the Moh’s scale and a good toughness making it an excellent and durable gemstone for jewellery. It is fairly easy to clean with lukewarm soapy water, jewellery cleaner or an ultrasonic.

Baker Brothers can guide you through a range of styles and ways in which to enjoy this regal gemstone.

 

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Citrine

Citrine is a member of the quartz family and mainly found in Brazil. The word citrine derives from the French word citron, meaning lemon. Acceptable colours, range from pale yellow to deep yellow and orange.

Citrine has the same hardness as amethyst and can be cared for in the same way. This also applies to other varieties of quartz which can include rose quartz and Smokey quartz.

Baker Brothers will show you examples of designers bringing out the warmth of this gem.

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Peridot

Peridot is a gem variety of the mineral olivine. In ancient times it was described as the gem of the sun.

Peridot at it’s finest is a yellowish green with a velvety appearance created by a strong double refraction.

The source for the finest peridot is Myanmar (formerly Burma.), but can also be found in Arizona. Peridot is moderately hard measuring between 6.5 and 7 on the Moh’s scale.

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Opal

Opal can be considered the melting point of gemstones. It comes in a diversity of colours, translucencies, characteristics and appearances that no two types of opal could ever been confused.

The gem was socially rejected after Sir Walter Scott described a mythical unlucky opal in a 19th century book. Fortunately, most people dismissed that sentiment after Queen Victoria showed enormous enthusiasm for opals in the late 19th century.

Opals often but not always show an optical play of colour. This is caused by the opal’s internal structure, a diffraction of light resulting from microscopic silica spheres voids within the stone.

Among the best known varieties are the black opals, the rarest and most expensive. Found only in Australia, black opals can be translucent or opaque with a play-of-colour occurring against a dark body colour such as black, purple or blue. White opals with a play of colour against a white background are far more common. They are found in Australia, Brazil, the U.S. and Mexico.

Mexico also produces the fire opal. This is transparent to translucent, red to orange, and may or may not contain play of colour.

Opals are among the most fragile of gemstones with a hardness of 5 to 6.5on the Moh’s scale. They are very susceptible to a knock or heat, which can result in crazing or a series of permanent cracks radiating through the stone.

Opals are best cleaned with a very soft cloth. They should never be put in an ultrasonic.

Here at Baker Brothers we can show you new and old jewellery showcasing opals. Antique pieces with character and history or a modern take on this classic gem.

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Topaz

The ancient called all yellow stones topaz, however the mineral comes in many colours which include, pink, blue, green, brown, red and colourless. Certain colours of topaz have special names:

  • Brownish-yellowish topaz – Sherry topaz.
  • Fine medium reddish-orange stones – Imperial topaz.
  • Dark orange-red – Hyacinth topaz.

The other colours are prefaced by the colour name of which blue is the most popular.

Topaz is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Myanmar, Mexico anBBs_0110058d Japan.

Topaz is fairly hard measuring 8 on the Moh’s scale. When cleaning use warm soapy water or commercial jewellery cleaner: avoid steam and ultra sonic cleaners.

With a whole rainbow of colours of topaz to choose from, Baker Brothers will do all the hard work for you in selecting the finest combinations.

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Tourmaline

The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese ‘turmali’ meaning ‘mixed precious stone’. It can be found in a variety of shades which include red, blue, yellow, green, black and colourless. The most desirable is a deep red or greenish-blue.

Describing tourmaline is difficult because the stone tends to have modifying colours rather than pure hues. Tourmalines are often cut to display two or more colours. An example is pink and green watermelon tourmaline, which when cut resembles a slice of watermelon.

Some tourmaline displays chatoyancy, or the ‘cat’s eye’ phenomenon. This is when the Needle like cavities within the stone reflects light in a line, much like the pupil of a cat’s eye.

Tourmaline has a hardness of 7.5 on the Moh’s scale and a fair toughness. It has a natural, but minute, electrical charge and thus has a tendency to attract tiny dust particles. To clean, use luke-warm water. Ultrasonic cleaning is not recommended.

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Garnet

Garnet derives its name from the Latin word ‘granatum’ meaning ‘having many seeds’ indeed, garnet mineral crystals tend to resemble pomegranate seeds.

The garnet appears in every colour but blue. The most common colour is a brownish red, green garnet (tsavorite) and red garnet (rhodolite).

In ancient times garnets were believed to have curative powers. Red garnets were used to help cure fevers, yellow garnets relieved jaundice. Today garnets are found all over the world but the main sources are Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, the U.S. and Africa.

Caring for a garnet is fairly easy; the gem has a good hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh’s scale and has quite a resilient toughness. Garnets can be cleaned in steam or ultrasonic, however the stones can fracture under intense heat, so precautions must be taken.

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