Nearly all gemstones available have been enhanced. Those gemstones that have not been enhanced are very recognizable by the extravagant price they command. Some enhancements, such as heating, are an expected part of the polishing and finishing process and are accepted by the jewelry industry.
Gemstones are cut in a variety of different shapes, which are usually determined by the shapes of their rough crystals. Many are also "calibrated" or
cut to a consistent dimension so they are able to fit in a number of different jewelry mountings. Here the some of the more popular gemstones shapes.
The same "four Cs" that establish quality in Diamond are used for colored gemstones: cut, carat weight, clarity and most importantly, color.
The more pure and vivid the color, the more valuable the gemstone. When deciding upon the color of a gemstone, examine hue, tone, and saturation.
Hue is the term used for the actual color of the spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo or violet). The more pure a gemstone's hue,
the more valuable. Because gemstones are comprised of many naturally occurring elements, they typically emit one primary color and one or more underlying colors.
Tone represents how light or dark a stone appears by how much brown, black, gray or white is present.
Saturation is the intensity of brightness or dullness of the color. The more color saturated a gemstone is, the more valuable it becomes.
Color Rating Chart
Gemstone weight is measured in Carats. The carat weight of a gemstone is not necessarily an accurate gauge for gemstone size so we
list the diameter, which gives you the size of the visible part of the stone when set in jewelry.
The term carats is often confused with "Karats". "Karat" is a measurement of gold purity and has no relationship to the term Carats.
Gemstones contain characteristic inclusions that provide proof of their natural origin. Those inclusions should not be so visible that they detract from the beauty of the gemstone. Flawless gemstones are very rare and valuable, and even most high-end gemstones are at least slightly included.
Unlike Diamonds, colored gems are not cut to a uniform ideal. All gemstones must be cut well to attain their maximum potential for beauty. A well-cut colored gemstone
exhibits even color, a minimal number of inclusions, good brilliance and shows the majority of Carat weight when viewed from the top.
Quality cutting is what produces the brilliance and scintillation that captures the eye of the beholder.
The Moh's scale was devised in 1812 by Austrian mineralogist, Friedrich Moh, to measure a mineral's hardness and its resistance to scratching. The scale goes from talc as number 1, being the softest, to diamonds as number 10, being the hardest substance known.
A little time and effort on your part will keep your gemstone looking new from the day you purchase it. By having your gemstone set in a relatively protective setting,
and remaining conscious of it on your finger, you can keep your gemstone intact for a lifetime.
The most important steps to care for your gemstone include:
- Make sure that all jewelry is removed during rough work or when handling harsh chemicals. Exposure during ordinary wear to perspiration and household chemicals, like chlorine and hairspray, can cause buildup that dulls the surface of a diamond.
- As for cleaning, keep it simple. The best way to clean your colored gemstone jewelry is to use a mild solution of soap and water. After letting your jewelry soak, gently brush your jewelry with a soft brush. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly, and lay it on a soft cloth to dry. It is best to avoid cleaning jewelry in ultrasonic cleaners, harsh chemicals or abrasives. Pearls, especially, should be protected from contact with perfumes, cosmetics and hairsprays.
- Store it in a soft cloth pouch away from other pieces to prevent the diamond or diamonds from getting scratched or dulling other jewelry.
Periodically inspect your gemstone and setting for weakness or damage and take it to a professional jeweler for immediate repair if you notice any deterioration. Once a year, it is a good idea to have your gemstone cleaned by a professional and have the security of the setting checked.
|April||Diamond or White Topaz|
|June||Pearl or Alexandrite or Moonstone|
|October||Opal or Pink Tourmaline|
|Aries (March 22 - April 20)||Diamond|
|Taurus (April 21 - May 21)||Emerald|
|Gemini (May 22 - June 21)||Agate|
|Cancer (June 22 - July 22)||Pearl or Moonstone|
|Leo (July 23 - August 22)||Ruby|
|Virgo (August - September 22)||Sapphire|
|Libra (September 23 - October 23)||Opal|
|Scorpio (October 24 - November 21)||Sardonyx|
|Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)||Topaz|
|Capricorn (December 22 - January 21)||Onyx|
|Aquarius (January 21 - February 21)||Turquoise|
|Pisces (February 22 - March 21)||Moonstone|
|1st: Gold||13th: Citrine|
|2nd: Garnet||14th: Opal|
|3rd: Pearl||14th: Opal|
|4th: Blue Topaz||15th: Ruby|
|5th: Sapphire||20th: Emerald|
|6th: Amethyst||25th: Silver|
|7th: Onyx||30th: Pearl|
|8th: Tourmaline||35th: Emerald|
|9th: Lapis||40th: Ruby|
|10th: Diamond||45th: Sapphire|
|11th: Turquoise||50th: Gold|
|12th: Jade||60th: Diamond|