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The Hottest Gems in Jewelry Aren’t Diamonds, Rubies, or Emeralds

Instead of the usual names in precious stones, rarities such as peridots, grandidierite, and conch pearls are lately setting hearts on fire.

From left: Wempe ring ($11,235) in 18K white gold with a 6-carat tanzanite; Mikimoto necklace ($200,000) in platinum with 8mm conch pearl; Chopard High Jewelry ring (price on request) in titanium and 18K white gold with an 8.26-carat black opal.

From left: Wempe ring ($11,235) in 18K white gold with a 6-carat tanzanite; Mikimoto necklace ($200,000) in platinum with 8mm conch pearl; Chopard High Jewelry ring (price on request) in titanium and 18K white gold with an 8.26-carat black opal.

Photographer: Joanna McClure for Bloomberg Businessweek

Forget diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Today’s discerning collectors are looking for jewelry that emphasizes rare, striking, and sometimes almost-impossible-to-find stones.

These spectacular gems are sought after because they have such fantastic optical effects as changing colors, in the case of alexandrite, or come from a unique organic process, as conch pearls do.