Jewelry has been a part of almost all ancient cultures for centuries and in many civilizations, the finest jewelry is made from precious gemstones. Gemstones, which are cut and polished mineral crystal formations are split into two main categories: precious an semi-precious. Precious gemstones include diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald and are deemed as more valuable for their rarity and quality. These stones are all translucent with a fine color in their purest form, aside from the colorless diamond, and are very hard. However, this doesn't necessary mean precious gemstones are always valued higher than other stones. Today, the gemstone market is far more nuanced and some of the most sought after gemstones include red beryl, jadeite and taaffeite.
There is no universal grading system for gemstones, however, advertising has made it easier for every day consumers to pick the perfect diamond. The four C's: cut, clarity, color and carats, can help non-experts review the value of a diamond, helping people to decipher the difference between a large yet flawed stone from a smaller more iridescent gem.
Gemstones have not only made a major impact on history and modern consumerism but have infiltrated popular culture. Many of the most popular novels, films and television shows have featured plot points surrounding beautiful gemstone jewelry, notably The Heart of the Ocean from "Titanic," The Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," and The Toussaint from "Ocean's 8." In real life, there has been just as much hype surrounding actual gemstone jewelry, notably the iconic Hope Diamond (valued at $250 million), the Peacock Brooch (valued at $100 million) and the Pink Star (valued at $71.2 million).
And while we'd all like to dream about having millions to spend on diamonds, there's a realistic way to adorn yourself in jewels. Tattooing has come an exceptionally long way in just a few short years and many artists have shown that they can make realistic gemstones on the skin. We've curated 35 of our favorite examples of precious gemstone tattoos in the gallery below, take a peek at these artist's craftsmanship and share one of these tattoos on social media in time for International Jewel Day.