Jewelry has been a part of almost every ancient culture for centuries and in many civilizations the finest jewelry is made from precious stones. Gemstones, which are cut and polished mineral crystal formations, are divided into two main categories: precious and semi-precious. Gemstones include diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald and are considered more valuable for their rarity and quality. These stones are all translucent with fine color in their purest form, with the exception of colorless diamond, and are very hard. However, this does not necessarily mean that gemstones always have a higher value than other stones. Today the gemstone market is much more nuanced and some of the most sought after gemstones include red beryl, jadeite and taaffeite.
There is no universal grading system for gemstones, however, advertising has made it easier for everyday consumers to choose the perfect diamond. The four Cs: cut, clarity, color and carat can help non-experts gauge a diamond’s worth, helping people decipher the difference between a large but imperfect stone and a smaller, more iridescent gem.
Gemstones have not only had a major impact on history and modern consumerism, but have also infiltrated popular culture. Many of the most popular novels, movies and TV shows have featured plot points surrounding beautiful gemstone jewelry, including The Heart of the Ocean from “Titanic”, The Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and The Toussaint from “Ocean 8.” In real life, there has been just as much hype surrounding gemstone jewelry, including the iconic Hope Diamond (valued at $250 million), the Peacock Brooch (valued at $100 million) and the pink star (valued at $71.2 million).
And while we’d all dream of having millions to spend on diamonds, there’s a realistic way to adorn yourself with jewelry. Tattooing has come an exceptionally long way in just a few years, and many artists have shown that they can craft realistic gemstones on the skin. We’ve selected 35 of our favorite examples of gemstone tattoos from the gallery below, take a look at these artists’ craftsmanship and share any of these tattoos on social media at time for International Jewelery Day.