Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphires, and Rubies-The Big Four

The gemstone world is an adventurous, fascinating, competitive and exciting place. There are so many mineral beauties to discover, learn about, covet and collect. There is also a  hierarchy of sorts, where demand and industry forces, decide what gem is hot and what is less so.  A very popular gem-speak term exists and it is  ” The Big Four“. It sounds like a political summit or a round-up of the hottest whom-evers at the moment. In a way it is! Diamonds, Emeralds, Sapphires, and Rubies currently hold the throne as the most coveted gemstones on earth. The roots actually reach back to antiquity. The term Cardinal gem was created by religious leaders and men of influence. This is actually a five stone group, which includes Miss Ultra-Violet herself,  Amethyst. This term referred to the most precious rare stones which were used in religious and spiritual ceremonies. For now, let’s keep the focus on “the Big Four” of our contemporary times.


A favourite of the Aztecs, Romans and Cleopatra. A very royal gem which has been coveted and beloved with all of its inclusions and imperfections for centuries! The colour represents the heart chakra.


Emeralds- Rocks & Co.

Emeralds-Rocks & Co.



Sapphire is as well a royal stone.  The deepest blues are the most coveted.  A beloved stone of some of our favourite lady royals, notably Kate Middleton’s Sapphire engagement ring, the stunning 12-carat blue oval faceted Sapphire, in a diamond halo setting, that belonged to the late Princess Diana, poignantly given by Prince William in memory of his mum.

AAA-Ceylon Sapphire

AAA-Ceylon Sapphire


Ruby is the sensuous romantic in the group. The redder the better. The depth of colour determines the value and if the stone is, in fact, a Ruby. The stone appears on royal insignias all over the world.



Precious Stones

But you say. Opal is your favourite, or Tanzanite or… Gemstone value is measured by the industry but it is as well very personal.  The top simply means they are the most expensive (as a group) at this time, because of clarity, colour strength and availability. The classics will likely remain at the top for quite some time but stay tuned to this column to hear about the gorgeous gemstone upstarts chomping at the bit, for position in the top tier!