Gemstones 2017-04-18T11:09:55+00:00

At Continental Jewelers we love all jewelry, but our passion is unique colored gemstones. If you are looking for one of a kind, vibrant stones that are so much more than ordinary, Continental Jewelers is the place for you. Following are brief descriptions of some of the magnificent kinds of gemstones we offer.


Amethyst is a member of the quartz family and has typical high brilliance and is frequently inclusion-free. The color ranges from lilac to deep purple; the deep purple being the most prized. Amethyst is very durable and makes an excellent and popular choice for jewelry.


The natural stone Ammolite consists of brilliant, intensely hued bits of a rare, mineralized fossil shell. The mollusk ammonite became extinct more than 70 million years ago. When the fossil ammonite becomes opalized it is called Ammolite. Rare, gem-quality ammolite appears similar to black opal, showing different color combinations when the stone is viewed from different angles. The most common colors range from yellows, oranges to reds and greens. The blues are more rare and hence more expensive.


The color ranges from very light to medium light blue, frequently with a light touch of green. The most desired color is the deeper shade of blue. Aquamarine is very durable and well suited for jewelry. Aquamarine is often heated to enhance the coloration; this treatment is stable and permanent.

Blue Zircon

Zircon is a very brilliant stone because of high refractive index. It is also very hard and well suited for a wide range of jewelry uses.


Citrine is a member of the quartz family and has typical excellent clarity and is frequently inclusion-free. Colors range from lemon yellow to orange. Citrine may be heated to enhance the color.


Chalcedony, also spelled Calcedony, is a very fine-grained (cryptocrystalline) variety of the silica mineral quartz. It has a waxy luster and appears in a great variety of colors — usually blue-white, buff, light tan, gray, yellow or brown.


The mere mention of the word fills the mind with a multitude of concepts and images. Diamond is a mineral, a natural crystalline substance, the transparent form of pure carbon. Diamond is something superb, the peerless “king of gems” that glitters, dazzles, and symbolizes purity and strength. Diamond is for engagement and the 75th wedding anniversary, for a commitment to never-ending love. Diamond is indomitable, the hardest surface known. Diamond is exotic, formed in Earth’s interior and shot to the surface by extraordinary volcanoes. A diamond is likely the oldest thing you will ever own, probably 3 billion years in age, fully two thirds the age of the Earth. Diamond is a strategic and high-tech supermaterial for our technological society.


The word druse refers to a rock surface covered with tiny, equidimensional crystals, often found inside geodes or in larger pockets of mineral deposits. Gem minerals which exhibit this feature are called drusies. The spectacular sparkle is not for everyone, but many people love the way they light up our jewelry. In drusy gemstones, the size and evenness of crystal coverage are important determinants of quality. Good drusies are relatively rare.


Emerald is a form of Beryl and gets its characteristic emerald green color from traces of chromium (and possibly vanadium) in the crystal matrix. Emeralds of excellent quality that exceed a carat frequently are valued above diamonds. Inclusions caused by calcite deposits (jardin) are typical in emeralds and color saturation and hue are a bigger factor in determining the value of an Emerald.


Garnets are associated with the color red, but they actually are available in a variety of colors. Mozambique Garnets are typically Red to Purple Red in color and are readily available and affordable.

Imperial Topaz

Topaz occurs in variety of colors. The finest and most expensive will be cherry red, pink, salmon, champagne and peach. All of which are properly called Imperial Topaz.


Peridot ranges in color from yellow green to olive green. Peridot is not one of the hardest of gemstones and can be scratched if it is subjected to frequent impact and abrasion. Peridot is typically not treated.


Ruby is a variety of the mineral Corundum. A Ruby is actually a Sapphire of red color. It is an extremeley hard and durable gemstone, well suited for all jewelry applications. Rubies of Thai and African origin tend to be darker and have better clarity than Burma Rubies.

Top quality Rubies are highly prized, and in larger sizes are frequently valued above all other gemstones, including Diamonds. Rubies over two carats are extremely rare and valuable. Generally, Rubies with true red color are valued above those that are darker, with purple hue.


Sapphire is the gem variety of the mineral corundum. It is and extremely hard and durable gemstone, second only to Diamonds on the Moh’s hardness scale. Sapphires are available in virtually all colors but red; Red Sapphires are known as Rubies.


Spinels are very durable and well adapted to virtually all jewelry settings. Spinels are available in a wide range of colors, red being the most prevalent and valuable. Other available colors include blue, yellow, orange, green, and silver.


Tanzanite exhibits a remarkable range of hues between lilac and blue. Blue violet coloration is the most prevalent. Tanzanite values increase with the saturation of the color, and the deep blue and deep violet blue stones are the most treasured. Tanzanite is somewhat more delicate than many gemstones and jewelry settings exposing the stone to frequent impact should be avoided. Tanzanite is strongly trichroic, and may present different colorations when viewed from differing angles.


Tourmalines enjoy wide popularity due to the wide range of colors available and the presence of Tourmaline in most areas of the world. Tourmaline crystals are pleochroic, and appear much darker when viewed down the long axis of the crystal than when viewed across the crystal axis.

Tsavorite Garnet

The color of Tsavorite ranges from slightly yellow green to true green. The true green gemstones are the most prized and are in heavy demand and short supply.

This color is extremely appealing and is a more vivid and attractive green than most Emeralds, and is actually much rarer than Emeralds. Tsavorite gets its green coloration from vanadium and chromium.