Gemstones come in all kinds of types and colours, but, their one commonality is that they are the object of great desire. Gemstones, with all their sparkling beauty, have been used in jewellery since ancient times.
Every one of us is familiar with diamonds as being the most expensive gemstones. People are also aware about other precious gemstones like emeralds, sapphires, rubies and opals. Natural gemstones occur in nature and are mined from the earth. Synthetic stones are made in factories. Man-made diamonds are grown in laboratories.
As gemstones are available in many varieties and colors, understanding how to buy gemstones is not easy. Here is a general guide for buying genuine gemstones.
Most people know and consider the 4Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat while buying diamonds. However, the 4Cs should be considered while buying coloured gemstones also.
- Color: Color is the most important factor in determining the value of a gemstone. It is also the most attractive feature of gems. There are three dimensions to color: hue, tone and saturation. Hue refers to the actual color such as green, red, blue. Tone describes the depth of color i.e. relatively lighter or dark hue and saturation is a measure of the intensity or purity of a gemstone’s color.
- Clarity: Clarity refers to the absence or presence of flaws inside or blemishes on the surface of the stone. A flawless stone is rare and expensive. Colored gemstones have different clarity traits; they are classified in three types.
i: Stones with very little or no inclusions like blue zircon, blue topaz, tanzanite, aquamarine.
ii: Stones with few inclusions such as garnet, peridot, quartz, sapphire, spinel, ruby.
iii: Stones with inclusions like tourmaline and emerald.
- Cut: Cut refers to shape, proportion and symmetry of the stone. A well-cut faceted gemstone reflects light evenly from across its surface area. There are various types of cuts like table, brilliant, rose, triangular, square, emerald, step, etc. A good cut adds beauty to a gemstone.
- Carat: It refers to the weight of a gemstone. One carat equals 0.2 gm. Gemstones are usually sold by weight and not by size. Heavier gems are more expensive than the lighter ones. It is advised to buy average size gemstone with good clarity, cut and color instead of large size gemstones.
Apart from these 4Cs one must not forget to ask for the gemstone certificate as it provides the exact details on the basis of the gemstone’s characteristics.