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Take Note: Gemstone Jewelry

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Sure diamonds are a girl's best friend, and nothing's as good as gold, but sometimes even these fine luxuries can just get boring. Luckily for us, gemstones – the often brightly colored precious and semi-precious stones – are taking off in popularity for jewelry. Women worldwide are clamoring for colorful adornments to their jewels, and even stars such as Cate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie are turning to the gemstone alternative.

Though diamonds are technically gemstones, we generally associate this term with luscious colored stones such as ruby, tanzanite, emerald, opal, amethyst, peridot, or aquamarine. Perhaps it's their vivid characteristics that have made them so popular. Both Cameron Diaz and Eva Longoria were spotted on the red carpet with large blue topaz drop earrings. While the real deal can run you anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, we love these (very affordable) Trish's CZ and Faux Blue Topaz Double Pear Drop Earrings for just $35 at Emitations.com.

You could also go for emeralds (like Hayden Panettiere) with these Sterling Silver Emerald Earrings for $44.99 at JCPenney; garnet (like America Ferrera) with these Silver Red Garnet Drop Earrings for $48 at SatyaJewelry.com; or Amber (like Angelina Jolie) with Amber Sterling Silver Spoon Ring (our favorite) for $49.90 at HSN.com. So how does one choose from all these options? You can always start with you birthstone, which introduces a bit of personal meaning to the trend. Here's a list of each month's birthstone:

  • January -- Garnet
  • February -- Amethyst
  • March -- Aquamarine
  • April -- Diamond
  • May -- Emerald
  • June -- Pearl Moonstone
  • July -- Ruby
  • August -- Peridot
  • September -- Sapphire
  • October -- Opal, Tourmaline
  • November -- Yellow Topaz, Citrine
  • December -- Blue Topaz, Turquoise

If you're timid or weary of all that color, a great alternative is onyx – a smooth, polished black stone that evokes an art deco feel and is incredibly sleek and sophisticated. Just look at who's wearing onyx: Diane Keaton, Marcia Gay Harden, and Natalie Portman. This is a group of ladies we don't mind following. Try Petia's Onyx CZ Dangle Earrings for $39 at Emitations.com, which are particularly reminiscent of Portman's jewels.

And as if beauty and celebrity-approval wasn't enough to put us in the gemstone camp, it seems that some gemstones might also have healing powers. Some people strongly believe gemstones emit energy that counteracts negative energy waves, much like sunscreen might protect you from UV rays. Some people also believe that the energy they emit helps to align the chakras in your body and prevent illness while improving mental health. For example, it is believed that carnelian – an orange stone – protects you from fear and promotes positive thought, while garnet encourages inner strength. At the very least, we think you just can't be sad when you're wearing a necklace as cheerful as this amethyst Wire Wrapped Crystal Briolette Necklace for $15 from Aliza Darik.

Whether you believe in the healing powers of gemstones or in the style choices of Angelina Jolie, these delightful jewelry alternatives have something for everyone. Rock on!

-- by Lindsay Sakraida

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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