There are five essential characteristics of gemstone quality. These characteristics combined with rarity, durability, and beauty determine the value of all gemstones. A better understanding of these technical aspects will greatly assist you in making the best choice when shopping for the best value in gemstone jewelry.
Color is the most important determining factor affecting the value in colored gems. Those with full saturated color and medium tones will generally appear the most beautiful and most expensive. The best value will be in gems that are not too light or dark in tone and well saturated in color. Earth Treasure's gemologists are experts in selecting the very best values.
Clarity refers to the absence of internal flaws called inclusions. Almost all gemstones contain some array of inclusions, even the most high-end specimens. The best value is found in gems that are lightly-to moderately-included. At Earth Treasures, we avoid heavily flawed commercial qualities.
Gemstone CutMany colored gems are cut in their country of origin and are frequently cut for maximum weight retention. Although it is very rare to find colored gems with geometrically configured proportions for maximum brilliance, we specialize in exceptionally well cut gemstones that just burst with vibrancy.
Gemstone Size or Carat Weight
The many species of colored gems have different densities for their mass. Because rubies and sapphires are denser than diamonds, their one carat size will appear smaller than a one carat diamond. For this reason, we list millimeter measurements as well as carat weight for all our colored gems to help you best envision size.
Nearly all gemstones have been enhanced in some way to improve their appearance. Those that have not command extremely high prices. Some enhancements are practical and non-deceptive such as heat treatments. When applied to sapphires and rubies, high heat can burn out fine silk-like inclusions and heighten color saturation permanently resulting in a more beautiful gem. This enhancement is accepted by the industry.
Here are some general guidelines in caring for you gemstone jewelry:
- After wearing, wipe your gemstone jewelry with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth.
- Store items separately in a jewelry box…not jumbled together.
- Do not expose gemstone jewelry to hot tubs, chlorine pools, or harsh chemicals.
- Hair spray, perfume, and perspiration may cause jewelry to become dull. Apply before putting on jewelry.
- Do not subject gemstone jewelry to sudden temperature changes.
- If you have an active lifestyle, take extra care with some types of gemstones. Emeralds, for example, are brittle and should not be worn when doing household chores or other damaging activity.
- Be careful with ultrasonic cleaners. Some gemstones such as emeralds, turquoise, and pearls can be damaged.
- Although sapphires and rubies are 2nd only to diamonds in hardness, they can scratch each other so never let gemstones rub against others.
- If you ever have a specific question regarding the care of your gemstone jewelry, you can call and speak directly with one of our gemologists.