A Fine Jeweller’s Guide to Coloured Gemstones

A Fine Jeweller’s Guide to Coloured Gemstones

From the spellbinding crystalline blue shades of Paraíba Tourmalines, to the deep symbolism of Majestic Sapphires, just as Emeralds have their incomparable legendary green tones, Mandarin Garnets showcase their fiery, impossibly powerful glow, while Opals are miraculous creations with a rainbow-like iridescence. They are true mineralogical phenomena, but not only! These are loving tokens, holders of memories, and family heirlooms.

At Calla Lily’s atelier in Singapore, we pride ourselves on being connoisseurs of colour and experts in elucidating the subtlest shades that each stone bears. With a deep understanding of each gemstone’s story, our team is dedicated to guiding you towards the one that not only catches your eye but also captures the essence of your personality and requirements. Come, step into our world at Tiong Bahru, and let us embark on a quest to find the gemstone that is destined to become a part of your legacy.

During your visit, we will be happy to show you our in-house collection of gemstones in the most impossibly beautiful shades from all over the world. You’ll be presented with a variety of possibilities to choose from, and take a peek at some of our jewellery designs for reference. If you have a more specific or unusual request, we can also go stone-hunting for you! Our carefully curated network of trusted and reliable suppliers is at your disposal to help us find exactly what you are looking for. From the subtlest pastel to the most vivid saturation, keep on reading to discover the sparkly possibilities for every colour of the rainbow.


This enticing colour holds a distinct place of honour, with gemstones reflecting the myriad shades of royalty, mystique, and modern sophistication. Tanzanite might be a relative newcomer to the field, but it has quickly ascended to prominence with its unparalleled, vibrant blue-purple shades that capture the essence of twilight skies over the African savannah. Its limited geographic origin lends it an air of exclusivity, while its trichroic nature—displaying different colours when viewed from various angles — adds to its allure.

Amethyst has been cherished throughout history for its beauty and purported calming properties. It is the stone of bishops and the jewel of kings, yet you’ll find that it mostly remains somewhat accessible. The perfect choice for adding poise to your design!

Alexandrite is nature’s chameleon, a rare gem that exhibits enchanting colour changes from lush green in daylight to rich purples in incandescent light. This remarkable phenomenon makes it a captivating option for those who appreciate unexpected delights!

The purple Sapphire, a cousin of the quintessential blue variety, offers a touch of the extraordinary. It is a testament to the depth of the sapphire family, with shades varying from enchanting lavender to bright purple. This gemstone is a favourite among connoisseurs who seek a unique twist on a classic.

Lastly, we have Spinels! Purple spinels, ranging from delicate lilac to intense violet, are celebrated for their clarity, brilliance, and the way they dance with light. A top pick, for certain!

Our Tanzanite and Sapphire Butterfly Earrings, available online

Our Tanzanite and Sapphire Butterfly Earrings, available online.


Ultra sophisticated and easy to wear, grey gemstones are perfect for those seeking a jewel piece that speaks volumes through whispers.

Grey Garnets, a rarer spectacle in our field, exude a quiet confidence with their smoky hues that range from soft, dove greys to deep, graphite shades. These precious stones truly are a celebration of subtlety, offering a sophisticated alternative to the traditional vibrancy of garnets.

The Spinel, often found in a wide spectrum of colours, also reveals itself in less common shades of grey. Its best attributes lie in its remarkable durability and the way it refracts light, lending a discreet yet enchanting lustre that is both modern and timeless. If you ask us, they’re the embodiment of chic refinement! Both Grey Spinels and Grey Garnets encapsulate the essence of grace and versatility.


Related to passion and a fiery energy that reads into strength, this is a colour that supports a dynamic disposition and is perfectly suited for those unafraid of being the centre of attention! Naturally, the first gem that comes to mind for you is the mighty Ruby! Quite possibly the leading name when it comes to the coloured gemstone market, rubies are likely the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, a family that also includes apphires. A fine specimen’s intense red glow when exposed to sunlight is a sight to behold.

Spinels, on the other hand, make an extraordinary alternative. In the past, spinels were often mistaken for rubies in royal jewels. Their singly refractive, flaming-vivid reds are striking enough to rival positively blinding shades of red and certainly leave nothing to be desired. Red garnets, with their deep crimson hues, are renowned for their durability and versatility. Historically, they have been associated with vitality and prosperity, making them an ideal choice for those seeking a gemstone with both aesthetic appeal and meaningful symbolism.

Calla Lily’s “pièce de résistance”: square rings!

Calla Lily’s “pièce de résistance”: square rings!


Representing the colour of nature and life, green gems possess a uniquely fascinating quality. The emblematic emerald, unapologetically strong and luscious, is probably a given. A deep, dark green specimen is a dream come true! A high-quality emerald is nothing less than a luxury investment. And a smart one at that, as it is such a classic, it is highly unlikely to ever depreciate! Multiple scales of saturation and intensity are to be found, depending on your preference.

Once again, we have Sapphires. Green is a rare colour for this gem species; in their natural state, green-hued sapphires range from light yellow-green to olive, teal (bluish-green), or deep forest green. They usually have significant secondary colours mixed in, such as yellow and blue, that help achieve a wide variance. This is a truly fantastic option if you’re looking for an elegant and unique alternative to a coloured diamond!

As for Tourmalines, they have tones ranging from bright electric to subtle mild green, boosting vibrant colours and lustre. Green tourmalines are certainly highly regarded in the fine jewellery universe. Also known as verdelites, they have an incredible spectrum of possible shades. A well cut piece is a sparkly wonder!

Jades are quite popular in Eastern cultures and have deep symbolic significance. They are sometimes referred to as a stone of fortune and happiness. Jade’s allure goes back a long way, with roots in ancient Asian civilisations, and it is still highly sought after today for its beauty and rarity. When jade is adorned in a modern design with coloured gems and diamonds, there’s a special timeless sophistication.

Peridots are always green in colour, but with considerable variations, their particular shade depends on their source. But as a general rule, they are prized for their bright yellowish-green hues. Garnets occur in a wide range of colours, with the green ones tending to be rarer.

A specially fine variety is known as Tsavorite. Its high refractive index and dispersion levels translate into wonderful brilliance! Their alluring pure green hues, durability, purity, and rarity explain why they are regarded as among the finest coloured gems!

Lastly, the Chrysoberyl. A golden-green variety that boasts remarkable hardness and a vitreous lustre, making them exceptionally durable and sought-after for fine jewellery!

Our magical bespoke pair of earrings features Tsavorites, Opals and Diamonds.

Our magical bespoke pair of earrings features Tsavorites, Opals and Diamonds.


Blue, the colour of dreams, the hue of the heavens, and the shade of the deepest oceans, has always held a special place in the world of gemstones. The regal blue Sapphire, with its deep, velvety hue, has been a symbol of nobility, wisdom, and divine favour for centuries. Its durability, second only to diamonds, makes it a favourite for heirloom pieces. The sapphire’s allure lies in its consistency of colour and its ability to reflect light beautifully.

Admittedly a favourite at the atelier, the Paraíba Tourmaline, with its electric neon blue-green shade, has become one of the most sought-after and prized gemstones in the world. Originating from Brazil, this gemstone is not just vibrant; it’s luminous, seeming to glow from the inside out! Enchanting Aquamarine, named after the Latin words for water and sea, is the blue-to-greenish blue variety of beryl. Its pale blue hue is reminiscent of clear, tropical waters. Their clarity and transparency, combined with their serene colour, make them a popular choice for necklaces and earrings, evoking the beauty and tranquilly of the sea.

Lagoon Tourmaline, with its gradient of blue-green shades, is a visual journey. Each gemstone is like a miniature lagoon, with layers of colour ranging from the lightest aqua to the deepest teal. Its unique colour palette is due to a balanced composition of iron and titanium.

The blue zircon, often mistaken for the blue diamond, sparkles with unmatched brilliance. Its fiery intensity, combined with its captivating blue hues, makes it a gemstone par excellence for fine jewellery. Zircons have a high refractive index, which means they play with light in a way that’s both mesmerising and enchanting. Although most regularly associated with golden yellow, topaz gemstones are also found in blue. Allas, this is an extremely rare natural shade. They are treasured for their exceptional clarity and hardness, making them ideal for enduring jewellery pieces.

The unrivalled brilliance of Paraiba Tourmaline

The unrivalled brilliance of Paraiba Tourmaline.


A deeply feminine choice that is a unique combination of pink and orange, coral is a serendipitously cheerful shade and a perfect “neutral” colour for daily wear! The image that comes to mind is one of a lotus flower bathed in the light of a warm sunset. And with that, we cannot help but make a connection to the wonderful Padparadscha Sapphires! Their rare pinkish-orange hues and remarkable refractive index make them a very celebrated gemstone!

Though lovely Morganites are equally desirable! They embody a solar disposition and the uplifting energy of the sweetest things in life. Intense colouring is infrequent in their case, with most stones leaning towards subdued yet graceful shades. This is, understandably, a very popular pick for engagement rings!


From coral to pink—a perfect gradation! Boasting a beautiful, loving nature, this is the colour to promote harmonious relationships. Offering a multitude of intensity levels, there is certainly the right shade of pink for you. The softer shades are generally linked to romance and delicate personalities, while the vivid ones are mostly connected to strong feelings of passion and excitement!

Pink spinels, with their spectrum ranging from delicate blush to rich magenta, are admired for their hardness and vitreous lustre. These gemstones exhibit a captivating array of tones, each with its own subtle character, ensuring versatility in jewellery design.

Malaia Garnets’s shades go from soft pinkish hues to deep and warm oranges. Regardless of the undertone, their shades are typically intensely saturated. Their unique depth of colour and amazing hardness make them top-notch alternatives for fine jewellery!

Pink sapphires are nothing less than enchanting. Most commonly, you’ll find them in a cool blush pink tonality that can be almost subtly violet. However, bright, vivid hues that are almost neonlike are also available and highly sought-after, like the delightful “bubblegum” varieties!

Rhodolite garnets are treasured for their radiant shades, a beautiful blend of purplish pink to reddish pink, which we like to describe as “raspberry” hues! They also exhibit fantastic transparency and are highly durable. From deep cherry to blush, pink tourmalines capture the essence of romance! These boron silicate minerals are prized for their vivid coloration and pleochroism, displaying different colours when viewed at varying angles.

Our pair of pink sapphire studs

Our pair of pink sapphire studs.


Orange gemstones inspire confidence — they are ideal for people of generous and warm nature, mimicking the wearer’s own magnetic energy! At first glance, we would immediately suggest a magnificent Mandarin Garnet! Notoriously, a well-beloved choice amongst our design team! With their ultra-intense orange shine, they go from transparent to translucent, making them a jeweller’s delight! But one might argue that a Fire Opal is just as alluring! And completely unique! With unmatched brilliance, their glowy orange is like a sunset captured in stone. Light goes through, enhancing their fiery play of colours in a true spectacle of nature.


Last but not least, the colour of the sun itself!

A sun-drenched Yellow Topaz is a marvellous gemstone synonymous with warmth and clarity! Also referred to as “imperial topaz” they are regarded for their light-yellow hue and brilliant sparkle. With a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, it is one of the most durable gemstones, perfect for daily wear. Then, there are yellow sapphires with their sunlit hues—the epitome of cheer and optimism! Not only are they magnificently beautiful, but they also boast an impressive hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, reflecting nearly unmatched durability.

Yellow diamonds, often called ‘canary diamonds’, are a radiant treasure of nature. Their golden hues gradate from pale lemon to rich amber, completely hypnotising. Their high refractive index and dispersion cause a dazzling display of fire, ensuring that each facet glimmers with a life of its own.

An intriguing and interesting colour palette!

An intriguing and interesting colour palette!

Bi-coloured gemstones:

Consider these a bonus! We could not leave these phenomenal gems out! Some examples of bi-coloured gems are tourmaline, sapphire, and ametrine. Tourmaline is one of the most versatile and colourful gemstones, as it can come in almost any colour or combination of colours. Some of the most sought-after tourmalines are the watermelon tourmalines, which have a pink core and a green rim, resembling the fruit.

Sapphire is another gemstone that can come in many colours, besides the classic blue. Some sapphires have zones of different colours, such as pink and green, or yellow and orange, creating a striking appearance.

Ametrine is a rare and beautiful gemstone that is a natural blend of amethyst and citrine, two varieties of quartz. It has a purple and yellow coloration, sometimes with a gradient effect. At Calla Lily, we love to work with bi-coloured gems, as they offer a lot of possibilities for design and creativity. We use them to create jewellery pieces that are colourful, playful, and eyecatching!

The bottom line:

We believe that every colour has a voice, and our role is to harmonise these voices into a symphony that resonates with your personal narrative. Whether it’s the serene whisper of an aquamarine or the bold statement of a ruby, our collection is bound to have something to please every personality and style! We welcome you to join us in our atelier, where your vision can take on the most exquisite of forms, crafted with the utmost care and expertise. Let us guide you through a world where colour speaks volumes!