Know your Gemstone

Know your Gemstone

This guide defines the four essential characteristics of gemstone quality. By understanding these characteristics, you'll be able to shop with confidence.

4 C's

Gemstone Color

The jewellery industry recognizes the highest quality gemstones by purity of their hue, the depth of tone, and the color saturation. The best value is in colors that include "slight" traces of other colors, are not too light or dark, and have a lot of saturated color. GemBox offers some of the highest-quality colored gemstones available. Nearly all gemstones today, including GemBox stones, have been treated to enhance their color. The most common methods of treatment are heating, nearly always seen with aquamarine, citrine, amethyst, sapphire, ruby and tanzanite, bleaching commonly seen with pearls, and irradiation performed on nearly all blue topaz.

We at GemBox also have a nice collection of Natural, Untreated, Unheated stones. They are labelled as “Natural” specifically

The beautiful color of a gemstone is its most defining characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most important evaluation criterion. When deciding upon gemstone color, examine hue, tone, and saturation.

- Hue

The most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color and only "slight" hues of other colors in addition to their primary color, as all GemBox gemstones do. For example, GemBox sapphires range in hue from "slightly purplish-blue" to "slightly greenish-blue," pink sapphires always range from "pink" to "slightly purplish-pink," and rubies range from "slightly orangish-red" to "slightly purplish-red".

- Tone

Tone represents the depth of color, ranging from colorless to black. Gemstone tone is described as "light," "medium-light," "medium," "medium-dark," and "dark." GemBox offers gemstones with the most sought-after tones that fall within the medium-light to medium-dark range.

 - Saturation

Saturation, or color purity, refers to the degree to which the gem is free from brown or gray hues. The most desirable gemstones, which show little gray or brown, are often described as having "vivid" or "strong" color saturation.

 

Gemstone Clarity

Almost all gemstones contain inclusions. Even those most highly prized have at least some inclusions. Flawless gemstones are very rare and very expensive. The best value is found in gems that are lightly to moderately included. Inclusions in a gemstone denote the stone’s unique character and should not be treated as a defect.

Identifying Marks

Because gemstones form under unique circumstances, each individual gemstone is comprised of a combination of trace minerals, which create a unique set of identifying marks or inclusions. Inclusions will not necessarily detract from the beauty or desirability of a colored gemstone.

What To Look For

When considering a colored gemstone's clarity, you should measure your expectations against the standard for that variety of gemstone. Some varieties of colored gemstones, such as aquamarine, blue topaz, and citrine, have naturally fewer inclusions while other gemstones, such as emerald and ruby, tend to have a higher rate of acceptable inclusions.

Clarity is an important factor in comparing quality colored gemstones. Even opaque opals can have milky inclusions that will affect their iridescence and color play. In general, the best values are available in gemstones that are moderately included. Exceptional gemstones with few or no inclusions are available, but they can command extravagant prices.

 

Gemstone Cut

Unlike diamonds, with gemstones there isn't an "ideal" cut geometrically configured for maximum brilliance. But a high-quality gemstone cut is one that presents the most even color, exposes the fewest inclusions, and displays the majority of the gemstone weight when set in jewelry.

Colored gemstones are generally cut to maximize the beauty of their color. To recognize quality in the cut of a gemstone, there are several points to consider.

What To Look For

A good cut showcases the gemstone's color, diminishes its inclusions, and exhibits good overall symmetry and proportion. Because gemstone color can vary, there are no hard geometrical standards when it comes to maximizing brilliance or color. Gemstones, especially rarer ones, are sometimes cut for size without regard for their color. GemBox sells all range of gemstones - from the finest quality, hand-selected colored gemstones to those having a few acceptable inclusions

gemstone

Look at the gemstone in the setting and ensure that all the facets are symmetrical. A well-cut gemstone is symmetrical and reflects light evenly across the surface, and the polish is smooth, without any nicks or scratches.

Gemstone Carat

Different Densities

The carat weight of a gemstone does not necessarily allow you to accurately envision the size of the gemstone. Different gemstones have different densities (mass per unit volume), so two gems that appear to be the same size may actually have very different weights. For example, a ruby is more dense than a diamond, so a 1-carat ruby will look smaller than a 1-carat diamond.

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