Garnet can be found in many colors from deep red or purple, to bright greens and pinks. The gem is most well known as red, because red garnet can be found on every continent. Even though all garnets have the same crystal structure, the chemistry and conditions where the garnet forms can result in different colors.

Learn more about the Garnet family of gems from the GIA gem encyclopedia.


Amethyst, February's birth stone, was as rare as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, its purple and pastel hues are popular in all types of jewelry.

Learn more about Amethyst from the GIA gem encyclopedia.


Aquamarine, March's birth stone, is also the traditional gem for the nineteenth wedding anniversary. Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. It was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best examples combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. Aquamarine is from the beryl family of gems, which also includes emerald and morganite.

Learn more about Aquamarine from the GIA gem encyclopedia.


Diamond is a popular choice for engagement as well as the birth stone for April. Diamonds can be found in many colors, as well as treated using permanent methods to change the gem's color. Diamonds form naturally under high temperature and pressure conditions that exist only about 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface. Diamonds are a good choice for everyday wear because of their exceptional hardness in comparison with other gems; you can only scratch a diamond with another diamond.

Learn more about Diamonds from the GIA gem encyclopedia.


Emearld, the birth stone for May and the gem of spring, is also the gem of the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries. Emerald is considered one of the "big three" gems, and is very rare in high quality stones. The unusual formations pictured in the image above are called "trapiche emeralds", named for the columbian wheel used to grind sugar cane. The trapiches have natural carbon inclusions, which form a spoke-like pattern.

Learn more about Emeralds from the GIA gem encyclopedia.


Alexandrite is the color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. The gem is bluish green in daylight and purplish red under incandescent light. The best and most valuable examples have exceptional color change. Alexandrite is also the gem for the 55th wedding anniversary.
Pearl occurs in a wide variety of colors, and can also be dyed. The most familiar are white and cream, but the palette of colors extends to every hue. Pearls form in the body of certain mollusks, and can be of varying shapes and sizes. Soft, luxurious and lustrous, pearls are the gem of the third and thirtieth anniversaries.
Moonstone is a fedspar, prized for the phenomenon of light billowing across the gem, called adularescence. Moonstone's glow is caused by light scattering between microscopic layers of feldspar, which are similar to the size of a wavelenght of light.

Learn more about Alexandrite, Pearl and Moonstone from the GIA gem encyclopedia.