What Are the Most Naturally Vibrant Coloured Gemstones?

| 3 min read

Trace elements, such as chromium and iron, are heavily involved in a gemstone’s colour. But, more often than not, gemstones receive various forms of treatment to enhance their colour. Treatments like these are common, and wholly acceptable within the gemstone industry.

However, a few exceptional gems found worldwide are just as vibrant in colour when unearthed. The following list of gemstones are those that tend to be naturally bright and naturally colourful, and they rarely require treatment to make them sparkle and shine.



Garnet comes in multiple colours—from orange to pink to brown—but most people tend to gravitate toward the iconic rich red we all know and love. However, the most vibrant (and the rarest) is the sought-after Tsavorite Garnet.

All Garnet varieties have similar crystal structures, but their colours hail from traces of various materials that depend on their location. Garnets can be found in Madagascar, the US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Europe, and each can have traces of calcium, aluminium, magnesium and iron.



Spinel is another gemstone that forms in a vast array of colours, each resulting from a certain element. For example, Red Spinel is produced when traces of chromium are present rather than aluminium, and iron often influences the vibrancy of Blue Spinel.

Typically, though, the higher the element’s presence within the stone, the more saturated the colour.



Peridot is one of the most remarkable gemstones on the planet, and its distinctive yellowish-green colour is due to the presence of iron. Peridot is one of the few gemstones in the world that appears in one single colour variety.



Sapphire and Ruby are both part of the corundum family, and corundum is colourless in its natural state. Sapphire’s colours form because it is an allochromatic stone (which refers to accidental colours from external factors), much like the other stones on this list.

The familiar blue of Sapphire results from iron and titanium traces inside the stone, whereas red Sapphires (which are actually Rubies) owe their deep, vibrant hues to the presence of chromium.



Diamonds are historically colourless, and White Diamonds are the most affordable. However, there has been a surge in demand for naturally coloured Diamonds, with Yellow and Red Diamonds being among the rarest.

Elements such as sulphur and boron can cause Diamonds to form in shades of yellow, green, and blue. However, trace elements like these are yet to be found within Pink Diamonds. Instead, distortion in the Diamond’s crystal structure created by heat and pressure causes the stone to appear pink.



Just like Sapphire, Amethyst is formed from a mineral that would remain colourless without the presence of trace elements. Amethyst hails from Quartz and owes its deep purple colour to iron—and the more iron, the darker the purple.



Naturally vibrant Citrine is rare compared to Amethyst or Quartz, and these stones are often heated to achieve the golden yellow colour of Citrine. Iron causes Citrine’s yellow hue and its saturation appears in a pale yellow to a reddish-brown. However, the golden shade is most desirable to collectors.

Most, if not all, gemstones require treatment of some kind. But, some need more than others, and the above stones are some that can form in the naturally vibrant colour we buy them in. Why not add them and more genuine natural gemstones to your collection?

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