When you think of rings and other fine jewelry, diamonds are probably the first gem that comes to mind. However, there are plenty of other beautiful, meaningful gemstones that you can find in your local pawn shop. These gems can make for the perfect graduation gift, birthday gift, or even engagement ring if you're willing to think outside the box.
Read on for a closer look at some of these brilliant gemstones.
Sapphires are shimmering, dark blue gemstones that have been prized since at least 800 B.C. Their name is thought to be derived from that of the planet Saturn. Sapphires are the birthstone for the month of September, and some see them as a symbol of the heavens or a promoter of good health.
Natural healers believe they may even help cool fevers and protect against mental illness. Sapphires are harder than most other gemstones, so they are a good choice for jewelry your recipient will wear daily.
Rubies are bright red gemstones, made famous by Dorothy's ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. In Hindu culture, rubies are the gems of leaders and kings. In the 15th and 16th centuries, people would rub rubies on their skin to restore health and vitality.
Rubies are the birthstone for July. They are also the traditional gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries and an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings, thanks to their red color, which symbolizes love.
The bright, purple allure of amethyst is hard to resist. Those who believe in chakras believe amethyst can align the crown chakra, which provides access to higher states of consciousness. Some even believe the stone can strengthen the adrenal glands and the heart.
Whether or not you believe in the healing and spiritual powers of crystals, amethyst is the perfect gift for someone who has a youthful personality and loves playful colors. It's the birthstone for February and looks beautiful with white gold or sterling silver.
This deep, dark gemstone is said to symbolize purity because its darkness allows it to absorb negative energy. Natural healers believe it can decrease stress levels and help you get a good night's sleep. It may also help accelerate the growth of nails and hair.
Spirituality aside, black onyx is a good choice for jewelry your recipient will wear daily since it matches almost any outfit. Pearls and black onyx are often combined for beautiful, neutral-toned jewelry. These stones do require frequent polishing and must be handled with care to prevent scratching.
Rich, green emeralds stand for love and stability. It is said that if you give your lover an emerald, he or she will remain faithful. Some also believe emeralds can heal diseases of the eye and bring greater wisdom to those who wear them.
Emeralds are the birthstone for May, but they are actually a great gift for anyone who was born in the spring since their green color is reminiscent of grass and flowers.
Topaz has a light blue, almost liquid-like appearance. When you look at topaz, you can feel as though you're staring into a clean mountain stream. The stone was highly prized in the Middle Ages and is also a sacred stone in Hindu culture. Topaz is said to promote concentration and control insomnia.
This bright blue stone is the birthstone for December. It is also a traditional gift for the 4th and 19th wedding anniversaries.
Diamonds may be popular, but the alternative gems above have just as much meaning. Shop for these gems and others at Gardena Jewelry & Loan Company. Our selection is always changing, and we're sure to have the perfect choice for an upcoming birthday, engagement, anniversary, or other occasion.