Celebrating 35 years in Chicago’s West Loop!

110 N Peoria St #101, Chicago, IL

gem guide

Emerald ring on women's left ring finger

Welcome to Takohl, where the world of gemstones unfolds before your eyes. As custom jewelry specialists, we embrace the exquisite beauty and allure of gemstones from all corners of the globe. Our mission is to help you discover the perfect gemstone that resonates with your unique style, story, and sentiment.

Below is a brief guide outlining some of the popular gemstones we work with.

Closeup of a Garnet Stone

January

Garnet

Garnets have been valued since the Bronze Age, more than 5000 years ago. The name is derived from the Latin word granatium, which means pomegranate. Garnets are prized for their deep rich blood red color however it is less known that garnet spans the spectrum of colors. The color of garnet is related to the region it is mined. Red garnet is still the most common however it comes in vibrant greens,  pinks, and oranges. Red garnet is still the most common however from vibrant greens to pinks and oranges, this stone ranges in variants. With a hardness of 6.5-7.5 is commonly used for rings, earrings, and necklaces and should be cleaned with regular use. 

Found all over the world; brown/orange in Namibia and Sri Lanka, Tsavorite in East Africa, Lime Green in Russia 

February

Amethyst

The rarest member of the quartz family, amethyst can be found all over the world though Brazil remains the most abundant source for this stone. Deep purple tones increase the value of the stone and a hardness of 7 make this a great choice for everyday wear.

Amethysts are easy to care for and a great affordable option to add variety to your jewelry collection. Often thought to bring clarity and sobriety to its wearers – amethysts make great and thoughtful gifts to your loved ones.

Found all over the world; Brazil & Uruguay, North America (specifically Ontario), and Zambia. Historically the best examples come from Siberia.

Closeup of an Amethyst Stone

With an unwavering commitment to personal expression, we take great pride in our ability to source and work with a vast array of gemstones. Whether you're seeking a stunning centerpiece for a custom jewelry creation or looking to breathe new life into an existing piece, we are here to assist you every step of the way.

Closeup of an Aquamarine Stone

March

Aquamarine

The March birthstone is closely attributed to water and protection. Throughout history aquamarine has been coveted by those close to the sea – its name translated from the Latin as ‘seawater’. Deeper blues tend to hold a higher value in the market but aquamarine is known for its lighter blue color.

Part of the beryl family, and a close cousin to the emerald with a hardness of 7.5-8, aquamarines are great for everyday wear. We recommend semi frequent cleaning to keep them looking their best. These mermaid stones are perfect for any custom piece in your collection.

Found all over the world; Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar. Pakistan and Afghanistan recently

April

Diamond

Arguably the world’s most well-known gemstone, diamonds have been valued for thousands of years. Colorless to black, diamonds come in a full range of colors and hues and can be worn for any occasion.

Available in all different cuts and sizes diamonds truly work with any style. With a hardness of 10 they are great for everyday wear and pair perfectly with any other stone.

Found all over the world; South Africa, Russia, Australia, Botswana, India, Brazil, China and USA

Closeup of a Diamond

Our team of skilled artisans and gemstone experts meticulously handpick gemstones from various countries, ensuring that each stone possesses unrivaled quality and exceptional character. From the vibrant emeralds of Colombia to the captivating sapphires of Sri Lanka, we can help you source the finest gemstones that nature has to offer.

Closeup of an Emerald Stone

May

Emerald

From Ancient Egypt, to the Aztecs and Incas, throughout history almost every civilization has cherished emeralds. Over half of the world’s fine emeralds are mined in Colombia among other regions in South America and Africa. Valued based on color rather than brilliance emeralds are often included – these inclusions are affectionately known in the industry as jardin.

Lightly included emeralds are considered more rare than flawless diamonds, the best examples of fine emeralds are usually cut in a traditional square or rectangular ‘emerald’ cut. Ranking an 8 on the Mohs scale, this stone is hard however the natural inclusions leave it susceptible accidents. Emeralds are for special occasion and should be worn with care to avoid damage. Gentle cleaning (no steam and no ultrasonic vibration) is advised.

Found all over the world; Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe

June

Pearl | Alexandrite

Purity and status have long been associated with this “stone”. Pearls are grown in particular fresh and saltwater mollusks. In the wild this happens in 1 in 10,000 shells however most pearls today are cultured. Akoya, Golden, South Sea White, Tahitian, and Freshwater are some types of pearls to notice while shopping. Ranging from soft pure white to a rich warm gold to iridescent black shades pearls can come in many colors and vibrancies not to mention shapes and sizes.

Surface quality, luster, color, and shape are all excellent ways to measure a pearl and determine its value. The way the surface reflects light and glows will give you an idea of monetary value and identifying a matched pair of stones for your piece. No matter the piece, pearls should always be the last thing on and the first thing off, a hardness of 3.5-4 they are susceptible to hard hits and the surface is porous so be mindful when applying lotions, perfumes, etc.

Found all over the world; China, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, USA, and Polynesia

Closeup of a Pearl
Closeup of a Ruby Stone

July

Ruby

Red and full of passion, rubies are known as a gem for lovers and romance. Stones over 3 carats are much rarer than diamonds of the same size, most rubies are found smaller than other precious stones which lends to their historic rarity and prized nature. Second only to diamonds a ruby is ranked 9 on the hardness scale and can withstand daily wear with ease.

Rubies contain chromium which give them that deep glow when exposed to sunlight. Size, a deep vibrant red color, and this glow are the factors to consider when shopping for a ruby.

Found all over the world; India, Myanmar, Thailand, East Africa

August

Peridot

Once known as ‘evening emerald’ due to the color vibrancy even by candlelight, Peridot’s yellowy green color is a great match for yellow or white gold, even silver shows off this stone’s beauty. A relatively soft stone, peridot has a rank of 6.5-7 and should be used for earrings, pendants, and pins to prevent significant dings and knocks.

Regular cleanings and taking your peridot jewelry off before bed will ensure its vibrancy and sparkle will last forever. The August birthstone is having a huge resurgence of popularity right now and will be an amazing addition to your collection.

Found all over the world; USA, Myanmar, Pakistan, and the Himalayas

Closeup of a Peridot Stone
Closeup of a Sapphire Stone

September

Sapphire

The undisputed queen of the blue gemstones, sapphires are one of the ‘big 4’ along with diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Coming in a rainbow of colors and varying sizes they are truly versatile for any piece or project, a hardness of 9 makes them durable enough to be worn anywhere.

Look for the color when shopping for a sapphire, color is the most important factor followed then by clarity, size, and flawlessness. Ranging from deep velvety blue to lively and sparkling periwinkle and that’s just blue sapphires, fancy colors include pink, yellow, white, and even green. Removing the jewelry at night and regular cleaning will make sure they sparkle forever.

Found all over the world; Australia, Montana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Ethiopia

October

Opal

Showcasing colors of the rainbow opals have long symbolized hope and fidelity. Valued for the play of colors, typically opals are cut in cabochon or rounded styles to show off the range of color reflected in its surface. White, black, gray and even fire red opals are found all over the world.

This special stone is soft and porous so it can be scratched and damaged even by other stones you’re wearing so be mindful when choosing your opals. A tip to owning an opal is taking it on and off when washing hands/bathing as they can absorb water and crack or change color. A hardness of 5.5-6.5 opals add a unique dimension to a design and are breathtaking when treated kindly and kept safely – this timeless stone is said to bring health to the wearer’s memory.

Found all over the world; South Africa, Russia, Australia, Botswana, India, Brazil, China and USA

Closeup of an Opal Stone
Closeup of a Topaz Stone

November

Topaz | Citrine

Warm, deep, and full of light – topaz was once believed to be colored by the sun god, Ra. Today it is treasured for its range of amber color and its frequency to be found in large sized stones ranging from pale yellow to a very rare red and pale pink.

Caring for a topaz is relatively simple, wiping it after wear and keeping the stone and setting clean is advised. A hardness of 8 makes for a durable stone well suited for everyday wear.

Found all over the world; Brazil, USA, Madagascar, Myanmar, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Russia, and China.

December

Blue Zircon | Blue Topaz

Not to be confused with cubic zirconia, zircon is a stone that has been valued for thousands of years. A naturally occurring gem, during the Middle Ages zircon was said to bring good sleep and prosperity. Some of the oldest samples of zircon reportedly date back billions of years! 

A hardness of 7.5 makes these stones somewhat easy to chip, so be sure to handle your zircon jewelry with care. Like all fine jewelry it should be gently brushed clean using a fine bristle brush and taken off before sleeping/activities to maintain its sparkle. 

Found all over the world; Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand

Blue Zircon stone on a white background

We believe that gemstones possess an inherent power to evoke emotions and create lasting memories. We invite you to embark on a journey with us, where the world's most extraordinary gemstones become an integral part of your unique narrative. Experience the personal touch, the precision, and the sheer beauty that define our approach to creating one of a kind keepsakes that feature the finest gemstones nature has to offer.

Let us help you bring your dreams to life, one radiant gemstone at a time.