The Big 3 - Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald - have long been the most popular colored gemstones around the world. They have been used in traditional jewelry designs for centuries and remain popular to this day. Claddagh rings are one example of a traditional jewelry design that often feature Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald.
However, advancements in gemmology have made it easier to correctly identify colored gemstones, revealing the vast array of different materials that exist in our natural world. Some of these gemstones have gained such popularity that they are now considered equal in value to and rival The Big 3. Aquamarine, Morganite, and Tourmaline are among the alternatives that have been growing in popularity.
Aquamarine, a type of beryl, is known for its beautiful blue color, similar to that of sapphire. It is a relatively hard stone, with a Mohs scale rating of 7.5-8, making it suitable for everyday wear. The best quality Aquamarine is found in Brazil, but it can also be found in other countries such as Russia, Pakistan, and Mozambique. Aquamarine is often associated with the month of March, making it a popular birthstone choice for those born in that month.
Morganite, also a type of beryl, is known for its beautiful pink and peach colors. The best quality Morganite is found in Brazil, but it can also be found in other countries such as Madagascar, Russia and the United States. Morganite is also a relatively hard stone, with a Mohs scale rating of 7.5-8, making it suitable for everyday wear. Its popularity has been increasing in recent years, particularly as an alternative to diamond in engagement rings.
Tourmaline is a versatile gemstone that comes in a wide range of colors, from the traditional red, pink, green and blue to more unique shades such as black, brown, and yellow. Tourmaline is also a relatively hard stone, with a Mohs scale rating of 7-7.5, making it suitable for everyday wear. Its popularity has been increasing in recent years, particularly as an alternative to sapphire, emerald and ruby. Tourmaline is also used in Claddagh Rings, which is a traditional Irish ring that symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship.
In conclusion, the plethora and variety of colored gemstones means that there are many attractive, both from a visual and a budgetary perspective, alternatives to the The Big 3. These alternative gemstones, such as Aquamarine, Morganite, and Tourmaline, are becoming increasingly popular in traditional jewelry designs like Claddagh Rings.