It is the evening of a special award dinner for an iconic film star.  The well dressed guests are breathlessly awaiting her arrival.  The presenter has just finished a narrative of her long film career.  She stands at the top of the stairs.  As she begins to move down the stairs, all eyes are on her.  The audience erupts into applause.  The dress and hair are beautifully done, but what stands out are the exquisite rubies and diamonds.  She descends the stairs wearing a combination ruby and diamond suite that includes a tiara, chandelier earrings, a gorgeous pin, bracelet, and an enormous ring.  The sight is so stunning guests cannot take their eyes off the film star standing at the podium.  Her rubies and diamonds suite has almost stolen the spotlight from the legendary film star.

Such is the affect of a colored gemstone combined with diamonds.  While diamonds have always had the ability to mesmerize and captivate, the colored stones possess their own magic.  The top precious gemstones are diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

Although diamonds have been valued and revered for centuries, not many people know that they come in a variety of colors.  Some of the most famous colored diamonds are the Dresden (green), Hope (blue), Tiffany (yellow-amber), and Florentine (yellow).  There is nothing comparable to them in hardness.  They have a hardness of 10.

The sapphire is a blue gemstone.  The color can be deep azure or a dark, royal blue.  Found in Sri Lanka since antiquity, some of the most famous are the Star of India, the Midnight Star and the Star of Asia.   They have a hardness of 9.  In Christianity, sapphires have been favored by bishops and cardinals as a symbol of wisdom.

This gemstone is a red stone of striking beauty.  Its colors can range from pink to red.  Its hardness is 9.  The deepest red stones come from Burma.  The Far East is also where this stone has  been honored as the king of gems.  Other cultures value it as being more precious than diamonds.

With a hardness of 9, the color of emeralds can be slightly green, yellowish green or emerald green.  Its history is varied and vast.  The Romans dedicated it to the Goddess Venus, it was worshipped by the Incas and it was one of the 12 stones in the beast plate of the Jewish High Priest.

Because of effective marketing throughout modern times, a diamond wedding ring has become the long hoped for ring of most future brides.  However,  the colored precious stones should not be overlooked.  They possess not only beauty but fascinating histories.

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