Choosing a piece of gemstone jewellery can be rather difficult. How to recognise a good stone? How to recognise good value? How to separate the synthetic stones from the real thing?
At Booth & Booth we hand pick each and every gemstone for our collection so we certainly know a thing or two about what to look for in a stone. In this guide we reveal some of the most important pointers to help you choose the right piece of gemstone jewellery for you. If it's a single stone gemstone pendant you're looking for, the gem takes centre stage so these guidelines are essential.
Is the Stone Blemish-Free?
A gemstone that is blemish-free to the naked eye - eye clean - will have higher value than an included gemstone. When we consider a gemstone we look closely at both internal and surface characteristics pinpointing any imperfections that may devalue the stone. Occasionally characteristic inclusions are sought after as they validate the gem. This is particularly true of emeralds and aquamarines. Star rubies and star sapphires are nothing without the rutile inclusions!
When considering inclusions, we study the stone type and size as well as the number and position of the inclusions.
Is the Cut Symmetrical and Well-Proportioned?
The shape of the finished stone is just one of the factors that determines its value and quality. However, choosing a stone that is well-proportioned with a good surface area is equally as important as its finished cut. Symmetry is particularly significant as poor cuts can distort and devalue the colour and clarity of the overall gemstone.
How Vivid and Intense is the Colour of the Stone?
A gemstone that is particularly vivid in colour is highly prized within the trade, and those that are intense with no cloudiness are particularly valuable. The hue of the stone is also a factor when considering value, and cool and warm hues have degrees of value depending on the type of gemstone.
How Transparent is the Stone?
Many confuse a stoneís clarity with its transparency.
Gemstone transparency is a way of describing how much light, if any at all, a gem can transmit and how scattered that light is when it exits the gem. The wavelengths of visible light that a particular gemstone transmits are what we see with the naked eye as the gemís colour. A gemstone's transparency can affect the value of the stone. The more transparent a diamond the higher the value is likely to be but when considering agate or tourmaline which vary from opaque through translucent to transparent the value is subjective.
What is Brilliance and Lustre?
Brilliance refers to the light reflected from the inside of a gemstone. So only a transparent gemstone can be said to have brilliance. Luster refers to the light reflected from a gemstone's surface so this can be attributed to all gemstones whether opaque, translucent or transparent.
Has the Stone Been Treated?
A stone that has undergone treatment to enhance its colour can go unnoticed to the untrained eye but under closer inspection tell-tale signs of treatment can be seen. Natural stones are more valuable than treated, and stones that have been heat treated, dyed or filled to improve colour, clarity and conceal imperfections are lower quality.
To discover more about gemstones or to browse our own collection of beautiful gemstone jewellery, visit our online catalogue or contact us directly on 01373 830674 for further information.