While most people have some idea how to pick a quality diamond because the 4 C's of diamonds (cut, color, carat and clarity) have been well publicized, the indications of quality in other precious or semi-precious gemstones are limited. Colored gemstone jewelry, such as sapphire silver bracelets or big blue topaz gold rings, add an extra pop to your wardrobe attire instead of white diamond jewelry. Here are some tips for what to look for in colored gemstones to make sure you are getting your money's worth.
Rubies are one of the most valued gemstones, second only to diamonds in desirability. When it comes to picking quality rubies, color is the most important criteria. The most coveted color is a deep, rich red with a bluish tinge. Unlike many other gemstones, inclusions are common in rubies and rather than detracting from their value, they are considered to be a mark of individuality. A truly flawless ruby is very expensive and very rare, so flawless rubies at reasonable prices are likely to be factory-made.
The finest emeralds have a bright green color with little or no hint of yellow in them. Like rubies, they are prone to inclusions, which do not necessarily detract from their value. However, emeralds can also develop fissures and are sometimes treated with fillers to hide the appearance of them. Emeralds with fillers are not considered high quality.
Sapphires are one of the most valuable stones apart from diamonds, largely due to their durability and striking color. They come in many colors, such as blue, purple, pink, and white. Clear blue sapphires with deep, saturated color are the most desirable whereas other colored sapphires are more rare than other colored gemstones. Some sapphires get heat treatments to enhance their color or are manufactured, decreasing their values. In most cases, inclusions (internal flaws) will devalue the stone slightly. When buying sapphire jewelry, see if the sapphires got any color enhancement treatments and internal flaws.
When shopping for a citrine, the most important criteria is color. Citrines can be orange, reddish orange, yellow, or gold. Stones with intense color that are still bright enough to make out the facets with the naked eye are best. Avoid stones with grey undertones as they are lower quality.
Color is highly important when it comes to amethyst stones. The best quality amethysts are deep purple, and stones with this color that have rose-colored undertones are the most desirable. Amethysts are easy to scratch, so when shopping for amethyst jewelry,choose a stone without scratches and with good clarity.
Topaz comes in a variety of colors, making the shade more of a preference than an indication of the quality of the stone. While blue stones are the most popular, pink topaz, yellow topaz (also known as smoky topaz), and green topaz are other possibilities. A good quality topaz will have no inclusions that are visible to the eye.
Garnets are available in a variety of colors, but the most well-known are deep red. Garnets are in general more likely to be free of flaws than other stones, so choosing the stone by color should be fine. However, they are also slightly softer than other gems, so beware of scratching.
As you can see, colored gemstones offer a variety of style options for gold rings, silver bracelets, and more at relatively reasonable prices. Choosing quality gemstone jewelry can be easier with a little bit of foreknowledge.
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