What You Should Know Before Buying Jewelry: Tip 2

Posted by Kristen Kowall on

When it comes to buying jewelry, my second essential tip is to know your gemstones. Gemstones can add beauty, value, and personal significance to a piece of jewelry. To make an informed decision, it's crucial to have a basic understanding of different gemstones and their characteristics. In this blog post, I will provide valuable tips to help you navigate the world of gemstones and make confident choices when buying jewelry.

Take the time to educate yourself about various gemstones. Learn about their properties, including color, clarity, cut, and carat weight (also known as the 4Cs). Each gemstone has its unique characteristics that contribute to its beauty and value. 

    • The color of a gemstone refers to its hue, tone, and saturation. Gemstones come in a wide range of colors, and the intensity and purity of the color can greatly affect their value. For example, diamonds can range from colorless to various shades of yellow or brown, while sapphires can come in different colors such as blue, pink, or yellow. Did you know the only color a sapphire does not come is red? That is because a red sapphire is instead called a ruby! 
    • Clarity refers to the presence of any internal or external flaws, known as inclusions and blemishes, respectively. These flaws can affect the transparency and overall appearance of the gemstone. Gemstones with fewer and less visible inclusions are considered to have higher clarity grades and are generally more valuable.
    • The cut of a gemstone refers to its shape and the way it has been faceted to maximize its brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut gemstone reflects and refracts light effectively, enhancing its visual appeal. The cut can greatly influence a gemstone's beauty and value.
    • Carat weight is a measure of a gemstone's weight. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. The carat weight alone does not determine a gemstone's value, but it is an important factor. In general, larger gemstones are rarer and command higher prices.

Consider the durability of gemstones, especially if you're looking for jewelry to wear regularly. Mohs hardness is a scale used to measure the relative durability and scratch resistance of different minerals and gemstones. It ranges from 1 to 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. The higher the Mohs hardness of a gemstone, the more resistant it is to scratching and daily wear and tear. For example, diamonds, with a Mohs hardness of 10, are the hardest gemstone and can withstand everyday wear without getting easily scratched. Sapphires and rubies, which have a Mohs hardness of 9, are also highly durable gemstones. On the other hand, softer gemstones like opals (Mohs hardness of 5.5-6.5) and pearls (Mohs hardness of 2.5-4.5) require more care to prevent scratches and damage making them less suitable for everyday wear.

Knowing the authenticity of gemstones is crucial when buying jewelry or gemstone pieces. One aspect to consider is the difference between lab-grown and natural gemstones. Lab-grown gemstones are created in controlled laboratory environments using scientific processes that mimic the natural conditions under which gemstones are formed. These gemstones have the same physical and chemical properties as their natural counterparts but are created in a much shorter timeframe. Lab-grown gemstones can offer advantages such as lower cost, more consistent quality, and reduced environmental impact. On the other hand, natural gemstones are formed through natural geological processes over millions of years. They are mined from the earth and often carry a higher value due to their rarity and unique characteristics. Natural gemstones can vary in quality, color, and clarity, which adds to their individuality and desirability.

Consider Gemstone Treatments: Gemstones often undergo treatments to enhance their color or clarity. Treatments can include heat, irradiation, or fracture filling. While treated gemstones can be beautiful and more affordable, it's essential to be aware of these treatments and their impact on the stone's value. Ask the jeweler about any treatments performed on the gemstone and ensure full disclosure.

    Knowing your gemstones is a crucial aspect of buying jewelry. By educating yourself about different gemstones, their properties, and their significance, you can confidently choose jewelry that suits your preferences and needs. Consider exploring alternative gemstones like moissanite, which provides a cost-effective option with similar brilliance and durability to diamonds. Additionally, gemstones such as morganite, aquamarine, and tanzanite offer captivating colors and can be unique and affordable alternatives to traditional gemstones. Whether you're buying for yourself or as a gift, understanding gemstones will enable you to appreciate the beauty and value of your chosen jewelry for years to come.

    Share this post

    ← Older Post Newer Post →


    Leave a comment