Gemstone Guide

In this section, we introduce the Four Cs of gemstone grading: color, clarity, cut, and carat (weight). Gemologists grade gemstones based on these properties. We will also touch on gem enhancements and gemstone care.


Gemstone Education

From soft pastels to deep jewel tones, every gemstone tells a story. But there is more to gemstones than color. Our guide to gemstones will introduce you to a variety of gem types, gemstone shapes and the key quality factors to consider when making a selection.

Gemstone Education To

Gemstone Type

Gemstone Types

There is a universe of gemstones beyond diamonds. Each has its own unique history, characteristics, color, and value. It is important to know about these elements when buying a quality gemstone.

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Gem Cut

Gemstone Cuts

The skill with which a gemstone is cut determines its brilliance. Quality cutting can maximize the natural beauty of a gemstone while minimizing its flaws.

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Gem Color

Gemstone Colors

The most important criteria in valuation by gem professionals, gem color is broken down into three attributes: hue, tone, and saturation. These attributes combine to create the stone color we perceive and color will vary depending on the gem variety.

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Gem Clarity

Gemstone Clarity

Most gemstones contain microscopic flaws called inclusions, which can affect brilliance, color, and overall appearance. Clarity describes the degree to which these imperfections are present.

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 Gem Carat

Gemstone Carat Weight

Not to be confused with size, carat refers to a gemstone’s weight. Because different gemstones have differing densities, two gemstones of the same carat weight can be very different sizes.

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Gem Enhancement

Gemstone Enhancements

Gemstones are sometimes treated to enhance their color, clarity, and durability. For instance, heating is a common treatment used to improve the appearance of a sapphire gem.

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Small Gemstone Care

Care

Not all gemstones can be cared for in the same way. Learning how to properly care for your gems jewelry can help preserve its beauty and extend its lifetime.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A gemstone is a naturally occurring mineral crystal that will have formed over millions of years. When cut and polished, they are frequently used in jewelry. Some organic materials which are used in jewelry can sometimes be referred to as “gemstones”, although strictly speaking, this is incorrect.
A gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal and when cut and polished, can be used in gemstone jewelry. Precious stones rarer than diamonds are: The Intense violet-blue hues of tanzanite, the bright electric green of imperial jade- jadeite, alexandrite from Russia’s Ural Mountains, brightly saturated blue-green hues of paraíba tourmaline, iridescent ammolites, soft velvety, saturated blues of Kashmir sapphires, natural pearl, the red variety of beryl,  and dark to saturated sapphire blue of the benitoite gem.
The rarest gemstone is Painite which was first discovered in 1951, and recognised as a mineral in 1957, by a British gemologist called Arthur Charles Davy Pain. For many years there was only one example of this dark red crystal, and it was on display in the British Museum in London.
Many minerals form beautiful crystals, but the most prized of all are gemstones. For example, diamonds are made up of carbon atoms which are the hardest natural substance found on Earth. Rubies are formed of a mineral called corundum, comprised of aluminium oxide and a mineral called beryl is responsible for forming emeralds which is a result of a complex mix of beryllium, aluminium, silicon, and oxygen.
Real gemstones are becoming increasingly difficult to identify due to the increased quality of synthetic stones. An expert will check the smoothness of the surface with natural stones having a slightly rough texture. They will also check the malleability (hardness) of the stone and its hue against detailed, official descriptions of different minerals.
Gemstones are nature’s gifts that form in the earth. They can only be extracted via mining which can be an expensive operation. As natural gemstones are becoming more scarce, their value is increasing.
Gemstones that are considered most valuable are Tanzanite, Black Opal, Musgravite, Red Beryl, Alexandrite, Emerald, Ruby and Diamond.
There is no set price range for colored gemstones. Prices may vary depending upon the quality and other factors. For Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires, as the quality and size of the gem increases, so too does the cost.
Have a look at the different aspects of the gem, such as the color, clarity, size, hue, tone and cut to categorize your stone. See our guide to gemstone colors. Check the GIA’s colour wheel with 31 hues to narrow down your options.
Gemstones are naturally occurring mineral crystals that will have formed over millions of years in the crust of the earth. They need to be extracted through a mining process.
Yes, they can very extremely expensive, especially rare stones like Tanzanite, Black Opal, Musgravite, Red Beryl, Alexandrite, Emerald, Ruby and Diamond.
Gemstones do not have an expiry date.
Rare gemstones like the red diamond can fetch over $1 million per carat and there are less than 30 red diamonds found in the world.
The April birthstone of a diamond is the most expensive stone.