There are roughly 200 different varieties of natural gemstones on Earth. But when it comes to colored gemstones, there are a few coveted selections that stand apart from the crowd. Can you guess the top three?

We’re not talking about diamonds. Oh, don’t get us wrong—we *love* diamonds. Truly, the more the merrier. But for purposes of this discussion, we’re talking *colored* stones only. Sometimes we yearn for the beautiful, mystifying expression made only through a bit of color. So, let’s put that diamond in a separate class all on its own. Where it belongs. And we’ll bask in its glory another time—as it deserves. (To tide our diamond enthusiasts over, please see our blog about diamonds.)

Here are a few hints:

These colored gems have a collective name. The Big Three.

Traditionally, they, and the diamond itself, were the only stones referred to as “Precious Gems.” Everything else was semi-precious. Semi (borrowed from Latin) meaning half.

They happen to fall within the description RGB. A nomenclature significant in electronics, photography and certainly television and personal computers. Thanks to the usefulness and versatility of these color references, IBM introduced the now-familiar 16-color 4-bit color scheme of the early 1980s.

You’ve surely guessed the colors by now. Yes! Red, green and blue. But which non-diamond precious colored gemstones might these colors refer to?

Here are the answers:



Red! Historically, rubies were thought to contain excellent healing properties and impart power, happiness, integrity, and prosperity to owners. Some historians suggest that Burmese warriors wore rubies to become invincible during battle. Folklore tells us that Dorothy’s ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz were thought to grant protection and success throughout her journeys. Who could argue with that? Additionally, rubies are the traditional birthstone of July and represent nobility, purity and passion. Finally, they are the anniversary gift for those celebrating their 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.



Green! The gem of spring, and the birthstone of those born in May. Emeralds are associated with hope, romance and rebirth. Yet there seems to be a controversy. It’s all about the mineral, beryl, and beryl makes green. A reduced saturation of green doesn’t quite qualify as emerald, but will qualify as a lesser, yet still beautiful stone. Throughout history, the emerald is thought to protect its wearer from infidelity and unfaithfulness. This gemstone is a symbol of celebration for those celebrating their 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.



Blue! According to the American Gem Society, sapphires are the gemstone of creative expression, inner peace, meditation, and the alleviation of pain. Princess Diana’s 12-carat sapphire engagement shocked the world. However, she was not the first to buck the royal system with a sapphire stone fashioned into a custom-designed engagement ring. Queen Victoria was presented with a stunning sapphire by Prince Philip in 1840. She wore it to her wedding as her “something blue.” Princess Diana’s royal family found it inappropriate, as commoners might possibly afford a sapphire. Nevertheless, Princess Diana’s ring was adored, envied, and later copied by many. As was Princess Diana herself. Sapphires are the birthstone of September, and the gemstone for those celebrating their 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.


Whatever you’re celebrating, or wish you were celebrating, it can be honored with jewelry. You’ll surely cheer up with a piece that features one of The Big Three colored gemstones. Browse our 3,900 square feet of breathtaking options, or have us create something completely custom—for you or as a gift. What a special present to grant someone a piece that no one else on the planet possesses. Especially when you incorporate precious colored stones, which (including the diamond) are the rarest in the world.

Like The Big Three, you are rare. And you are special. Come see us at 2850 E Battlefield Road in Springfield, and let us help you find the perfect piece to complement your lifestyle and your story. We share your passion, and have been bringing joy through fine jewelry for over 45 years.