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
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