Emma Scaramozzino - August 26, 2021

GEMSTONES 101

Gemstones 101
Gemstones 101
Gemstones 101

After diving into the specifics of the most popular gemstones, we gathered the most important details and created Gemstones 101 - the ultimate gemstone cheat sheet.

Emerald Color Grading
Ruby Color Grading
Sapphire Color Grading

Source: withclarity.com

COLOR GRADING

Color is the most important factor when determining a gemstone's value.

When looking at gemstones for everyday jewelry, typically below one carat, the color scale ranges from AAA - B. Stones are labeled with these letters based on rarity. For example, an AAA stone (fine quality) accounts for 2% of all-natural gemstones, AA accounts for 10%, A for 20%, and B, 50% (a more commercial-grade stone). 

When looking for a gemstone that is of a finer quality (typically over one carat), you would ask your jeweler to find you a "Gem". Gem is a term used to describe the best quality in gemstones, for any size above one carat. Essentially, the term gem emphasizes that the client needs to see the very best options within the carat range they're looking in.

Emerald Clarity Grading

Source: riogrande.com

Sapphire Clarity Grading

Source: withclarity.com

Ruby Clarity Grading

Source: riogrande.com

CLARITY GRADING

The clarity of gemstones is determined differently depending on their size. Like in color grading, stones under one carat are grouped together in types 1, 2, and 3; 1 being the least included and 3 being the most. 

Stones over one carat are looked at more closely and therefore are not grouped into types. Color, Clarity, Cut, Luster, etc. are all taken into account when determining the quality and value of larger stones. 

Stone Luster

Source: @saulnice on Instagram 

LUSTER

Luster is the way light interacts with the surface of a stone. Also known as crystal or the "life" in a stone, this seemingly slight difference between stones can raise the price of a gem significantly. For example, between the two stones above, the right is more "lively" than the stone on the left. This interaction between the stone and light is noted in the transparency portion of the certificate. When a stone is transparent, it has good luster. When it is translucent or opaque, it lacks luster.

Gemstone Treatments

Source: worldatlas.com

TREATMENTS

Colored gemstones often receive treatments to improve their color and clarity. However, the type of treatment used depends on the stone. For more information on individual treatments, visit the gemstones collection of our blog to read more about the specific stone you are interested in.

Stone Density

Source: Diamond Advisor

DENSITY

The density of a stone is what determines its carat weight. Because density varies between stones, carat weight differs even if two stones have the same dimensions. For example, if a ruby and emerald are both 9x7mm, the ruby will weigh in at approximately 3 carats and the emerald will weigh in at approximately 2 carats. This is because emeralds are less dense in comparison.

Emerald GIA Certificate

Source: GIA

CERTIFICATES

When purchasing a large gemstone, especially as the centerpiece of an engagement ring, you may receive a certificate along with it. Certifications typically come from notable labs such as GIA, Lotus, AIGS, CDC, and IGI.

Shahla Karimi Sapphire Gap Band w/ Pave

Source: Shahla Karimi

LAB GROWN GEMSTONES

Just like diamonds, lab-grown gemstones are 100% atomically the same as their natural counterparts. They are also a quarter to a half of the price of their natural counterparts, depending on the carat size. 

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