Cut dramatically affects the appearance of a gemstone. Gemstones are cut to maintain maximum weight while exhibiting optimal color and brilliance. A well cut gemstone is able to handle the play of light; the gemstone comes alive with life and sparkles as light dances through their facets. Take a closer look at a gemstone. There should not be any dark lifeless areas (extinction) or flat washed out zones (window); there should be consistent light refraction throughout the gemstone.
Colored gemstones are cut in various styles and shapes. Mostly gemstones are faceted like diamonds, in several proportionate geometric sizes. Some gemstones are cut in the traditional dome shape ‘cabochon’, bringing out special optical effects such as star and Cat’s eye seen in gemstones such as Jade, Star sapphire, Star ruby, Opal and many others.
- When you buy a gemstone, you should always go for the ideal cut gemstone with the desired shape. A good cut is something that may not cost more but can add or subtract a lot of gemstone beauty.
- You should always ensure that gemstone is properly polished and with perfect symmetry. The stone should be symmetrical in all dimensions so that it will appear balanced.
- When you buy a gemstone, you should give preference to wearer’s personal choice regarding the gemstone cut and shape.
Color is the most defining characteristic of a gemstone. Most gemstones occur in a spectrum of colors, while some have more restricted palettes. Since the color phenomenon in gemstones can become very complex, experts analyze the chromatic options in terms of three essential components: hue, tone, and saturation. Hue is the primary color of the gemstone. Tone represents the depth of color, ranging from colorless to black. Gemstone tone is described as ‘light’, ‘medium-light’, ‘medium’, ‘medium-dark’ and ‘dark’. Finally, saturation refers to the purity or intensity of the primary color. As a general rule, a bright, intense, pure, rich and vivid color is considered the industry best. The most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color with only slight hues of secondary colors.
The primary color should be medium, neither too dark nor too light. While buying gemstones you need to be aware of color ranges and objective value assessments, but it is best to rely on your eyes; if a particular color speaks to you, by all means listen. Select your gemstone that fit your needs the best.
- When you buy a colored stone, you should give a close attention to the color of the gemstone. Gemstone should not be too dark or too light. Usually a gemstone with bright, rich, intense, pure, and vivid color is always best.
- The best way to see the true color of a gemstone is by looking at it against a white surface.
Gemstones naturally have characteristics, called inclusions that were created during the process of crystallization of the gemstone. Inclusions do not necessarily diminish a colored gemstone’s beauty or desirability. It is difficult to find gemstones without any inclusions or imperfections. If there are no inclusions, gemologists will suspect the gemstone to be synthetic or treated.
In some cases, inclusions can actually add to a gemstone’s beauty and value. Special, needle-like inclusions cause the spectacular optical phenomenon called cat’s eye and asterism, displayed by Chrysoberyl and Corundum mineral families (sapphire and ruby).
Since colored gemstones are created by a variety of geologic processes, it’s common for some type of gemstones to have more inclusions than others. For example gemstones like Aquamarine, Citrine, Tanzanite, Topaz and Kunzite are typically eye clean while gemstones like Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire most likely have visible inclusions, especially on a microscopic level.
- Usually colored gemstones are examined from the top or face up position. So when you buy a gemstone, you should examine it from the top and if an inclusion or flaw does not show in the face up position, then it will not affect the value and beauty much. In the same manner, if the gemstone setting hides an inclusion, then also it will not affect the value and beauty much.
- You can use jeweler’s magnifying glass loupe to examine gemstone’s imperfections.
- When you buy a gemstone, you should give more importance to its color instead of its clarity.
Carat is the unit of measurement used to weigh gemstones. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.20 grams. In addition to carat weight, gemstones are measured in size (mm). Two gemstones of the same size can vary in weight owning to different proportions. Gemstones are typically priced on a per carat basis depending on the color and brilliance of the stone, and since gemstones are less likely to appear in larger sizes, the per-carat price climbs steeply as the carat weight increases steadily.
Choosing the right size is a personal matter. With the right piece, you may find just the look and emotional appeal you wanted and at a price you can afford.
- The carat weight of a gemstone will always depend on your budget. When budget is a strong factor, smaller stones have a significant advantage.
- You must buy an average sized gemstone with good color, cut and clarity instead of buying a larger gemstone with not so good color, cut and clarity.