Gemstone Guide Overview: Our Top 7 Favorite Stones
Here at MexicanSilverStore.com, we love gemstones! That’s why over the past few years we’ve been writing in-depth guides to our favorite stones. This month, we’re going to share our top 7 favorite stones and answer a few common questions about the gemstones used in traditional Mexican Silver Jewelry.
Let’s get started!
Facts About Amber
- Amber is fossilized tree resin that’s millions of years old!
- Just like in Jurassic Park, museum-quality pieces of amber contain fossilized insects (but you can’t use them to clone a dinosaur).
- Bright sunlight and chemicals used in makeup can cause Amber to change colors– so treat your amber jewelry with care!
Our Favorite Amber Jewelry
Facts About Amethyst
- Alternative healers believe amethyst can reduce anxiety!
- Knights in medieval Europe carried amethyst, believing its magic powers would keep them safe in battle.
- Amethyst is the most valuable variety of quartz and is second-most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust!
Our Favorite Amethyst Jewelry
Facts About Onyx
- Black onyx is by far the rarest color of onyx and is found in just a few places in the world.
- Onyx jewelry is believed to bring the wearer good luck, happiness, fortune, and wealth.
- Water can actually make black onyx fade. Make sure to take your black onyx jewelry off when swimming!
Our Favorite Black Onyx Jewelry
Facts About Larimar
- First discovered less than 100 years ago, Larimar has quickly become one of the most popular gemstones around!
- Because of its rarity, most Larimar used to make jewelry is actually a synthetic lab-produced stone.
- Larimar is a combination of the words Larissa (the discoverer’s daughter) and Mar (Spanish for ocean)
Our Favorite Larimar Jewelry
Facts About Opal
- Opals are the national gemstone of Australia and the birthstone for October!
- Some opals, like the Flame Queen Opal (nearly 275 carats!) are worth millions of dollars!
- Opals often look different when viewed from different angles or from different light sources!
Our Favorite Opal Jewelry
Facts About Red Jasper
- Know someone born in March? Consider giving them a piece of red jasper jewelry it’s their birth stone!
- Jasper is French for speckled stone.
- While red jasper is most commonly used in Mexican silver jewelry, jasper in other colors is found around the world.
Our Favorite Red Jasper Jewelry
Facts About Turquoise
- Civilizations all over the world have been using turquoise for over 5,000 years– starting with the ancient Egyptians.
- By weight, the highest-quality turquoise stones are more valuable than diamonds!
- Ignacio Gomez (one of our favorite artists) is known for his use of turquoise– like in this piece, a one-of-a-kind silver peacock necklace.
Our Favorite Turquoise Jewelry
Answers to Your Questions
“How do I choose the right gemstone?”
When choosing a gemstone or a piece of jewelry, there’s lots to think about. But you should also know that there’s never a truly “right” or “wrong” choice!
But here’s a few things to think about:
- Do you have a warm or cool skin tone? What color clothing do you wear most often? A guide we published might help you!.
- Are you hard on your jewelry? All of our jewelry at MexicanSilverStore.com is built to last! But some stones require more care than others.
- What colors and stones do you love? You should only buy a piece and a gemstone that you love and that you’ll want to wear! Trust yourself and your sense of style!
“Which are better, natural or man-made gemstones?”
The traditional Mexican artisans we work with use both natural and man-made stones. Some stones like Larimar and opal, for example, are simply so rare that few pieces of jewelry are made with natural stones. In our opinion, treated stones, like man-made Larimar are just as beautiful!
One thing you should know, however, is to always know what you’re buying! If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. On our website, we’re always up-front and honest about the sources of the gemstones in the jewelry we sell.
“Who is your favorite artisan silver jewelry maker?”
We love all of the artists we work with and can’t pick just one! But based on customer feedback over the years, Ignacio Gomez is definitely an artist whose work is loved by people around the world!
Manuel Ignacio Gomez Aviles – or “Nacho” – apprenticed in many different Taxco shops but learned much from his father, Don Filiberto Gomez, a silversmith for Antonio Pineda. Nacho’s intricate silver masterpieces have stunning details that reflect his experience as a sculptor and are truly pieces of handcrafted art themselves.
“What’s the best jewelry to give as a gift?”
Jewelry makes a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or for any special occasion! When shopping for a piece of jewelry to give as a gift, you might consider getting a piece with a gemstone that matches the recipient’s birthstone. Or you might want to give a piece that signifies a special anniversary.
For example, opal is the birthstone for October and is also the traditional gift for a 14th wedding anniversary!
We love writing about gemstones and love sharing the incredible silver jewelry made by Mexican artists using those stones. Do you have a favorite gemstone that we haven’t written about yet? Contact us and let us know what you’d like to see us write about next!