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The language of gemstones is an ancient way to speak from the heart. The gift of a gemstone has an extra layer of meaning from this long tradition. To find the gem that symbolises what you want to express, click on the gem vocabulary below.

A gift of this gem says you're not just kidding around.

New marriage? New job? Witness Protection program? Start that new life out right with this gem.

Squeeze this gem and it gives off electricity. Give it and create sparks.

Show your appreciation for your designated driver with this gem.

The ancients believed this gem contained an unquenchable fire: use it to start your own eternal flame.

Marital harmony
Say you're sorry, give your spouse this gem and promise that it will never, ever, happen again.

Lipstick on your collar? Hardhat in your backseat? Maybe a gift of this gem is a good idea?

This gemstone may not help create quintuplets. But twins aren't out of the question.

Use this gem to call for a truce.

The soul
Take your love to a higher plane with a gift of this gem.

The gem of Venus says love lot more persuasively than a dozen roses.

The sun
Does she light your days?

Divine favor
Bishops wore this gem to symbolize their divine stature.Tell someone you love you think they're heavenly.

Show your faith that things will work out with a gift of this gem.

Gems of the Rich and Famous

Queen Elizabeth IIHer majesty Queen Elizabeth II: This monarch has jewelry. In fact she has so much jewelry that she has a special room to keep it in about the size of an ice rink, and situated 40 feet beneath Buckingham Palace. That does not even include the British Crown Jewels which are kept in the Tower of London. The Queen's personal jewelry is conservatively valued at $57 million and most of it was received as gifts. One of the highlights of the collection is the so-called Timur Ruby, which is actually a magnificent spinel weighing 352.50 carats. It is inscribed with the names of several of the previous owners, who were Mughal emperors. Other fabulous gems in her collection include the Cambridge and Delhi Dunbar Parure, a fantastic suite of emerald jewelry which includes an emerald diadem; the Prince Albert Brooch, a huge sapphire which was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert the day before their wedding; Queen Mary's large ruby earrings, and a v-shaped ruby and diamond bandeau collar which the Queen models on the front cover of the publication "The Jewels of Queen Elizabeth", by Leslie Field, a whole book about her personal jewelry collection. The British Queen also owns several of the large diamonds cut from the Cullinan, the rough that produced the Stars of Africa, the Cullinan I and II (530 carats and 317 carats), which are part of the Crown Jewels. She reportedly refers to the Cullinan III and Cullinan IV, 94 and 63 carats respectively, as "Granny's Chips."

rich famous taylorElizabeth Taylor has a well known jewelry collection, including the 33.19 carat Krupp diamond and the 69.42-carat pear shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond which now hangs from a diamond necklace after Liz decided it was just a little too large for a ring. Richard Burton also gave her a heart-shaped yellow diamond which was originally a gift from Shah Jahan in 1621 to his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who also inspired the Taj Mahal. Although Liz is usually associated with huge diamonds, she also has a fabulous collection of other gemstones. As an engagement present, Richard Burton gave her the emerald and diamond brooch, which she wears with an emerald necklace he gave her as a wedding present. Earrings, a bracelet, and a ring followed. Some of the emeralds in the set were from the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. One of Taylor's husbands, Michael Wilding, gave her a cabochon sapphire engagement ring. Mike Todd gave her a spectacular ruby necklace and earring set. Another gift from Burton was La Peregrina, one of the largest and most historic pearls in existence, a pear shaped drop weighing 203.84 grains once owned by the Spanish royal family.

rich famous jackieJacqueline Kennedy Onassis had as exquisite a taste in jewelry as in everything else. She favored large, colorful necklaces and bracelets from Van Cleef & Arpel. Her jewelry collection grew considerably when she married Aristotle Onassis: he gave his bride $5 million in jewelry and often slipped bracelets from Harry Winston in the biweekly bouquets of flowers he sent her. It is a well known fact that her engagement ring from Onassis sold for $2.6 million at the auction of the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Sotheby's on April 24, 1996. You may not have heard about some of the other jewelry that sold at the auction: a beautiful 47-carat kunzite ring that President Kennedy purchased as a gift for his wife but never had the chance to give her. This sold for more than $410,000; a beautiful amethyst necklace with graduated drops which sold for $55,000; lovely red tourmaline briolette earrings that dangled from amethysts, which sold for $35,000; a striking cabochon garnet flower brooch from the 19th century which sold for $145,000; a spectacular 17.68-carat ruby ring which sold for $290,000; some cabochon ruby dangling earrings which sold for $360,000; and a cabochon ruby necklace that was a bargain at $247,500. One surprise was an interesting little scarecrow pin in gold and gems that sold for $100,000!


rich famous marleneMarlene Dietrich in many of her movies, wore her own suite of dramatic jewelry which was set with huge cabochon emeralds. (All those emeralds were particularly perfect for her role as the jewel thief in "Desire" in 1938.) In "Stage Fright", Dietrich tries to use her jewelry to blackmail Jane Wyman. She also wears her own ruby bracelet in that film: that bracelet recently sold at Sotheby's for $990,000. Once when baking a cake at Katherine Cornell's house, Marlene thought she had lost her 37.41-carat cabochon emerald ring which she had removed in the kitchen. The house was turned upside down but the ring couldn't be found. It was only during dessert that the ring was discovered by one of the dinner guests inside a piece of the cake!

rich famous pickfordMary Pickford was never shown on film wearing more jewelry than a string of pearls to preserve her image of innocence, but in real life she preferred very large rubies and star sapphires. She owned both the 60-carat Star of Bombay and the 200-carat Star of India. And she was not shy about wearing them both at the same time.



rich famous baraTheda Bara didn't care for diamonds at all, and said so at every available opportunity. Instead, she wore an engraved emerald ring and a turquoise ring she called her talisman, which she never took off.



rich famous swanson


Gloria Swanson had such extravagant taste in jewelry that she had to rent it. Inspite of paying only 10 percent of the value of her jewelry, one year her annual jewelry budget was $500,000. Gloria Swanson wore an important emerald, amethyst and gold necklace by Iribe in "Affairs of Anatole" in 1920, starting a fashion for colorful jewelry.



rich famous crawfordJoan Crawford loved sapphires so much the press called them "Joan Blue." One of her favorite pieces was a bracelet set with three star sapphires of 73.15 carats, 63.61 carats, and 57.65 carats. She also received a 70-carat star sapphire engagement ring from her second husband. She also owned a 72-carat emerald cut sapphire which she often wore on the same finger! In the forties, Crawford added a 75-carat amethyst ring and a huge 100-carat citrine ring, both emerald-cut with a simple mounting.



rich famous harlowJean Harlow also collected sapphires: her engagement ring from William Powell was a 150 carat cabochon sapphire. She wore it in her last movie, "Saratoga", in 1937.



rich famous ivana


Ivana Trump Mazzuchelli has a fantastic new engagement ring from the new husband set with a Kashmir sapphire from London jeweler Laurence Graff. Just goes to show you that this one has much better taste than her ex.




Mouna Al-Rashid, the former wife of a Saudi Arabian billionaire who is now active on the social scene in New York, has a jewelry collection estimated to be worth $100 million. Rumor has it that the jewelry is due to her shrewd business sense: after every major deal on which she gave her advice, she purchased a major gem. "I enjoy having it more than wearing it," she told W magazine. "It is a smart way of investing. I try to buy important pieces that will always bring their market value." She has a staggering emerald necklace and fabulous rubies, which are her trademark.


The colored gemstone industry must have the respect of the public and the jewelry industry. To protect this respect, the International Colored Gemstone Association members must develop and maintain the highest possible ethical standards in their business transactions.

Members of the International Colored Gemstone Association will, at all times, protect the welfare of their clients and all parties involved, represent the products in an honest manner, promote natural colored gemstones in a positive way, and strive to enhance the high degree of professionalism existing within the industry.

Members will respect and defend the role of the International Colored Gemstone Association within the jewelry industry. Our high degree of cooperation within the trade will be the foundation for building unity and success.

Members agree to adhere to the ethical standards and principles of this Association, while complying with national and international law.

Moreover, all members are expected to maintain the highest possible standards, even in those cases not specifically addressed by this Code of Ethics.



The International Colored Gemstone Association is an organization of individual dealers engaged in the marketing of natural colored gemstones;


Members of the International Colored Gemstone Association adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in our industry;


We the members of the International Colored Gemstone Association signify our bond to these professional standards through adoption and adherence to this Code of Ethics

For the purpose of promoting the colored gemstone industry, maintaining and enhancing technical and professional expertise; and

Commensurate with individual freedom to conduct business in a fair and equitable manner;

This Code of Ethics represents the guiding principles that govern the conduct of our individual members:


A.     All members of ICA shall respect human rights and democratic institutions.
B.     All members of ICA shall treat their employees with respect and dignity and provide a safe and healthy working environment.
C.     ICA members shall not be engaged in child labor or any other unethical labor practice.
D.     All members of ICA shall respect and comply with applicable international and national law, e.g. national and international anti-money-laundering law.
E.     All members of ICA shall pay fair and reasonable wages to their workers, which will in no case be lower than the minimum wage that is required by local law.
F.     ICA will engage in activities that will help raise standards of health, education and social environment for all nations, especially those nations where colored gemstones are being mined or processed.
G.    ICA will engage in programs that will help preserve the earth’s resources, especially in countries where colored gemstones are being mined.

H.    It is the duty of every ICA member to protect the industry and their clients against fraud, misrepresentation, and unethical practices in gemstone transactions and avoid exaggeration and concealment of any pertinent facts. Each member should endeavor to eliminate any practices which could be damaging to the industry or bring discredit to the trade.

I.       Members must adhere to all national laws in their countries, insofar as they apply to the gemstone and jewelry industries.

J.      No ICA member should in any way defame, criticize, undermine, or take unfair advantage of another person or firm’s reputation or merchandise in order to promote and sell his/her own merchandise.

K.     Merchandise should not be misrepresented as to its nature, authenticity, treatment, and/or origin.

L.     Members shall not indulge in what are commonly known as “sharp practices” which, while designed to come within the letter of the law have the effect of deceiving prospective purchasers.

M.   Colored gemstones should be promoted and sold on the basis of their aesthetic beauty and merit.


A.                 All terms on invoices should be considered cash on receipt unless otherwise stated in writing.

B.                 All financial obligations must be met on time.

C.                 All senders must arrange full insurance on any merchandise they do not own via any carrier unless otherwise agreed.

D.                 When acting as an agent, the member shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on any transaction made for the owner, without the owner’s knowledge and consent.


A. The consignor shall not unreasonably refuse to issue a bill of sale, providing that the consignee is in compliance with the memorandum.

B. If the consignor demands that the merchandise be returned upon expiration of the agreed time period on the memorandum, the consignee shall have the option of sending payment in full or returning the merchandise within one regular working day. Upon receipt of payment the consignor shall issue a bill of sale.

C. All members must be fully insured and are responsible for merchandise received on memorandum. If not, the member must inform the consignor in writing, and must cooperate in obtaining adequate insurance prior to receipt of the merchandise. The consignor may agree, in writing, to issue the memorandum stating that he has full knowledge that consignee does not have proper insurance.

D. Any gemstone or lot of gemstones taken on memorandum, if returned, must be intact unless consignor agrees to modifications in writing.


A.     Members shall not advertise in contradiction with the rules established by this Association, and the laws of their respective countries.

B.     The name of the International Colored Gemstone Association, the initials ICA, the official Association logo and/or slogan, must not be used in such a way that they have the effect of implying an official Association endorsement of the merchandise or product advertised.


A. Members of ICA shall not engage in the practice of issuing personal certificates regarding quality, purity of color, clarify and/or value of a gemstone for the purpose of promoting sales.


A. In the event of a controversy or claim between members, the members shall submit, in writing, the dispute to the Grievance Committee, and if grievance is not settled it will be submitted to the Arbitration Committee.

1. If a member is charged by the Executive Committee with unethical practices or is asked to present evidence to any disciplinary proceeding or investigation, he/she shall place all pertinent facts before the ICA Arbitration Committee.

2. Upon determination and final judgment of the Board of Directors for expulsion of a member, such determination shall be communicated to every ICA member.


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The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) provides this online bookstore as a service to the industry and is not to be considered an endorsement. 

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