argyle, Diamond, Diamond color, Dutch East India Company, gem, Gemstone, Graff Pink, jasper, mine, morganite, New York Academy of Sciences, opal, pearl, pink, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, rose quartz, ruby, Sapphire, Sri Lanka, tourmaline
Romancing the pink may become an expensive hobby when it comes to pink gemstones. And as with all things natural these tiny droplets of earth’s rocky crust come in a variety of dazzling shades of pink making them incredibly difficult to ignore. There is no need to lose heart though. While the pink of rubies and diamonds could be unbelievably expensive, there are more affordable yet equally alluring options available befitting everyone’s budget. A rosette of pink gemstones is shared here for everyone to enjoy and posses.
Ruby – Though the variety of the mineral corundum, ruby owes its name to Latin ruber meaning red and authors around the world praise ruby red with their eloquence, yet ruby is also found in softer hue of pink. And in line with the esteemed beauty of this gemstone the pink shade of ruby is as adorable as its rosier counterpart. Such is the rarity of this pure and lustrous gemstone that a carat of ruby is priced many times higher than a carat of colourless diamond.
Gemstone market is flooded with heated, clarity enhanced, lead glass filled ruby that are cheaper. Synthetic rubies are also in production since early 20th century, a trend set first by Auguste Verneuil and then by Czochralski. These are extensively used in the making of ruby lasers and masers.
It is the natural rubies though that is honoured for its intrinsic beauty. Mogok region of Burma, Tanzania and Madagascar mine the bulk amount of natural gemstone quality ruby circulated worldwide. More recently, significant amount of ruby deposits are discovered in Greenland.
Alan Caplan Ruby, a 15.97–carat untreated Mogok stone was sold by Sotheby’s of New York in 18th October, 1988 for $3,630,000; $227,301 per carat. The Liberty Bell Ruby, originating in Africa and weighing a massive four pounds making it the biggest ever minded ruby, was carved in the form of Liberty Bell and was encrusted with fifty diamonds. It was stolen in a heist in 2011.
Ruby has always been a gemstone of royalty. It is associated with sun and consequently empowers the wearer and also helps in improving his or her mental capacity. It is considered as a magnifier of vitality, love and happiness in life.
Sapphire – The other mineral corundum expression of aluminium oxide is sapphire. It is available in many colours from yellow, pink, white and blue of which blue is undoubtedly the most well known variety. Pink sapphire is popularly known as padparadscha, a name derived from Sanskrit padma raga. Pink sapphires are extremely rare and are only found in small quantities in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Vietnam.
Pink sapphire is believed to make one resilient. It also aligns the mind with the heart and encourages compassion both for self and for others.
Pink Diamond – To say that the gem quality pink diamond is rare would be the height of understatement. The Argyle mine in Australia produces 1600kg of diamond annually. The bulk of this amount could be passed on as brown, cognac or red toned diamonds and only a few carats qualify for the category of ‘pink diamonds’.
Pink diamonds are also popularly known as argyle diamonds obtaining their name from the mine (and also the company) where they originate. A specialised team of craftsmen handle the argyle diamonds in Perth. Each year a small collection of best pink diamonds are offered to the collectors worldwide through exhibitions held in New York, Tokyo, Perth, Antwerp, Hong Kong, London, Geneva, Mumbai, Shanghai and Beijing (http://www.argylepinkdiamonds.com.au/). Prices soar from $100,000/ct to over US$1,000,000/ct for these rare beauties. The Graff Pink, a rare 24.78 carat fancy intense pink diamond, is the most famous pink diamond known to this date.
The mystical properties of diamonds include an enhancement of self–confidence, clarity of thought and endurance.
Pink Opal – A combination of silica and water trapped into earth’s dark chambers for millions of years turned itself into opal, a mineraloid. It does not show the crystallinity of minerals and so cannot be grouped with other crystalline mineral forms of silica. Precious opal shows a peculiar iridescence that is due to its internal structure that causes light to diffract. It appears in many hues starting from white, grey, blue, magenta, rose, pink, olive, red, yellow and black. The red on black variety are the rarest and consequently the most valuable ones. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 – 1821) presented his empress Josephine de Beauharnais a blazing red opal named, ‘Burning of Troy.’
The name opal is a supposed variant of Sanskrit upala. Pliny the Elder was eloquent about opal’s beauty when he said, ‘Made up of the glories of the most precious gems, to describe them is a matter of inexpressible difficulty. For there is amongst them the gentler fire of the ruby, there is the rich purple of the amethyst, there is the sea–green of the emerald, and all shining together in an indescribable union. Others, by an excessive heightening of their hues equal all the colours of the painter, others the flame of burning brimstone, or of a fire quickened by oil.’
Australia produces 97% of world’s supply of opal and the gemstone has gained the national gemstone status in the country. Peru is another country with opal deposits under its rock bed.
The pink colour of opal soothes the heart and mind of the wearer and relieves them of painful memories. Opal is believed to be beneficial for poor eyesight, heart disease and poor lung conditions.
Tourmaline – Tourmaline has derived its name from Sinhalese word Thuramali and is found in every conceivable colour in the emerald isle of Sri Lanka. Dutch East India Company, attracted by its shimmering beauty, imported and popularised tourmaline in Europe. The rubellite variety or Elbaite species (named after Elba, Italy where these were chemically analysed in 1818) of tourmaline is found in a radiant pinkish hue. The presence of lithium in this silicate mineral gives tourmaline such splendid pink colour. California, US, Afghanistan and Africa are rich sources of gem quality tourmalines.
Pink tourmaline is having a potential of eliminating stress, worries and relieving oneself of emotional wounds. It is associated with a deep sense of nurturing.
Rhodonite – The name rhodonite itself is a reflection of its rosy pink hue (the name originated from Greek rhodos meaning rosy). It was found in 1819 for the first time. The iron and manganese mines in Sweden and Germany are rich sources of rhodonite. It is also the official gem of Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Named a rescue stone rhodonite is effective in warding off negative energies.
Rhodochrosite – Rhodochrosites are mineral manganese carbonate that is found in the silver mines. It was first spotted in Romania in 1813. Capillitas and Catamarca in Argentina are sources of very fine rhodochrosite. A cross–section of rhodochrosite would reveal bands of cerise, darker and lighter shades of brown and a more vivid red. The Incas believed that rhodochrosite is the blood of their former rulers turned into stone. So, rhodochrosite, which means rose tinted in Greek, gained its name, Rosa del Inca.
Due to its softness its usage as a faceted gemstone is limited. However, beaded necklace or bracelet or the stone set in a pendant is popular among the lovers of rhodochrosite. It is believed to have a strong effect on intuition and creativity.
Morganite – Like its more celebrated cousin, diamond, beryl in its purest form is colourless. But often impurities tint it with colours as brilliant as red, pink, yellow, green and blue. One such blessed ‘adulteration’ of Manganese gives beryl a unique rose pink colour. In December, 1910, pink beryls were named as morganite after J P Morgan, the famous banker and collector, by New York Academy of Sciences.
One of the largest morganite specimen was found in 1987, Bennett Quarry in Buckfield, Maine, US and was named The Rose of Maine. The gemstone is mainly obtained from Brazil, Madagascar, Afghanistan and California, US.
Morganite is used by alternative therapists to address stress related issues. It helps maintaining the inner calmness and increases joy in life. The unique pink hue of this gemstone is sure to bring a twinkle in the eyes of your admirer.
Rose Quartz & Pink Jasper – Unlike some of the more glamorous gemstones of this article quartz is abundantly found in earth’s crust. Citrine, amethyst, rose quartz, smoky quartz, prasiolite, aventurine, carnelian, agate, onyx, tiger’s eye, rutilated quartz, jasper are varieties of transparent, semi–transparent or translucent quartz and are available in widely different colours. Each of these quartzes are considered semi–precious gemstone and used both for jewelleries and sculptures. The name quartz has been derived from German word quarz which in turn originated from Polish twardy meaning ‘hard substance.’
Rose quartz is available from pale to rose pink hues owing to trace amounts of phosphate or aluminium in quartz. It is a stone of universal love. For this reason heart shaped rose quartz pendants are popular among those who believe in its ability of infusing love and affection in relationships. It also promotes a sense of self–worth and is believed to keep one’s look youthful and fresh. Minas Gerais in Brazil is the highest producer of rose quartz.
Jasper on the other hand, is found in an array of hues one of them being pink. The name implies ‘spotted or speckled stone’ and has its origin rooted in Old French jaspre and Latin iaspidem. In fact the pink of jasper is also not flawless and interrupted with bands of white, purple and grey colour. It is these ‘flaws’ though that accentuate the beauty of pink jasper and lend its uniqueness. Early Persian and Arabic scripts are eloquent about the beauty of jaspers.
Metaphysically, it is believed to provide relief from neurological disorders. It is even used in the treatment of arthritis and dental fixtures.
Pink Pearl – Celebrated film director Federico Fellini said, ‘The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.’ Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s greatest creations. It is a calcium carbonate produce of shelled mussels in a very minute crystalline form deposited in a concentric layer. The beauty of pearl is admired and coveted since ages. Pearl is cultivated for not only using in jewelleries but also to accentuate fashionable dresses, in production of cosmetics and paint formulations. It is however the natural pearls that fetch more accolades and are consequently more expensive. Sea bed around Australia and Bahrain are sources of natural pearl findings. Due to water pollution naturally formulated pearls are becoming rarer by the day.
Out of every hundred thousand pearls only one show a flaming pink shade. Caribbean pink pearls are generally most sought after by collectors and jewellery designers around the world. Divers wear pearls for shark protection. Pliny’s Natural History has mention of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, drinking pearl melted in vinegar, possibly as an aphrodisiac or more likely to obtain a lustrous sheen on her soft skin. Pearl helps in alleviating stress related issues and strengthening immunological system in body.
Not for nothing did Audrey Hepburn say, ‘I believe in pink.’
- Pink Diamond’s $45.6 Million Tops Prices Before HK Sale – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Bright and Beautiful Pieces at Christie’s Fall Magnificent Jewels Auction (extravaganzi.com)