Gemstones are attractive minerals, rocks or other organic materials that are used to make jewelry. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a gemstone. There is no universal system for determining the value of gems; the value will depend primarily on your choice of gem. There are four factors to consider when deciding which precious or semi-precious stone is right for you.
- Cost - Do you want to spend the money to get a natural gem, or do you prefer an artificial or synthetic gem like cubic zirconia? The most valuable gemstones are diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, and opals. These gems are referred to as precious stones. Rare stones are more valuable. Prices of stones can fluctuate, and depend on the size and popularity of the stones.
- Color - Gems come in a variety of colors. Diamonds, of course, are colorless. Rubies are typically red. Emeralds are green. Sapphires can show in a number of colors like blue, pink and even orange. There are a number of stones that are opaque, such as opal and turquoise. There are also less common gemstones such as amber. Amber is a beautiful orange color. Tiger's eye has stripes of gold and black. Quartz can come in a variety of colors.
- Cut - This is the most important factor in the valuation of the diamond. However, it is also important factor with other precious and semi-precious stones. There are two main types of cut: smooth dome-shaped, and faceted. Faceted cuts are used mostly on transparent stones, and facets are used to make the most of the reflective quality of light. Diamonds, sapphires and emeralds are typically faceted. Stones that are opaque like opals and turquoise are usually cut into smooth dome shapes and polished. This is used to show off their surface qualities and is typically used in necklaces and earrings.
- Clarity - You want your gemstone to attract attention. Therefore, it is important to make sure it reflects the light. The amount of light reflected will depend on the quality and cut of your chosen gemstone. Many gemstones create optical effects due to the interior of the stone. Some have different colors within the stones; others have star or striping effects.
When you choose your gemstone, it is important to consider what stone best fits your personality. With so many beautiful colors of gemstones out there, you could buy one to match every outfit.