How to Choose the Diamond Best for You
1. COLORDiamonds come in many colors, but the overwhelming majority sold in the jewelry industry range from near colorless to very light yellow or brown. There are even colors called "Fancy colors" such as pinks, blue, yellow, reds, and even greens.
The best color in today's market for a diamond (unless a fancy color) is the lack of color. It is the diamond that is totally colorless that allows white light to pass through it, dispersed as rainbows of color.
Most diamonds look colorless, but there are many subtle shade differences, and the closer a diamond is to having no color the more valuable it becomes. D though G colors are the most valuable compared to N through Z colors, and the least desirable. During the diamond's formation, in the extreme heat and pressure, traces of elements such as nitrogen and boron could have been incorporated into the diamond's structure. It is these traces that give color or lack of it. The following chart shows the color grading groups broken out by definitions:
The fewer the inclusions, the rare it will be graded, and the more light it will reflect, thus making it more valuable. It is rare to find a diamond that has no inclusions, the closer to flawless the diamond is the greater the value. IF through SI encompass 50% of all gem-quality diamonds. The following chart shows the abbreviations and the definitions:
A 1-carat diamond used to equal the weight of a carob seed, but today the carat is a metric weight of 0.2 grams or 1/42 of a standard ounce. Each carat is divided into 100 points.
Example: a quarter carat = 25 points, written 0.25 Ct.
How to buy Gemstone Jewelry
EMERALDSThe oiling of emeralds is an ancient process used to enhance the clarity of the emerald. Oil is applied to the emerald which seeps into the fissures, which reach the stone's surface. Along with improving clarity, this process may prevent brittleness. Oiling is not permanent and may need to be reapplied every few years. Take care not to hit the stone on hard surfaces as this may chip or crack the emerald due to the natural brittleness of the stone. Special care should be taken when cleaning emeralds. Like all gemstones, be sure to keep emeralds away from caustic household cleaning chemicals.
RUBIES, SAPPHIRES AND OTHER GEMSTONESHeating is a widely accepted enhancement process used on rubies, sapphires, amber, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, tanzanite topaz, and tourmaline. This treatment improves the transparency and/or color of the gemstone. Since heating is generally permanent, heated stones do not normally require special care. All gemstones should be kept away from caustic household cleaning chemicals.
How to Buy Pearls
SHAPEPerfectly round cultured pearls are the rarest. While most cultured pearls are basically round, only about 1% are perfect spheres. To check a strand, roll it on a flat surface. The movement should be even and smooth.
COLORPearls occur in a spectrum of shades. The major classifications are white, pink, silver, cream, gold, and black. Fine cultured pearls will also have a secondary color or "overtone" — usually rose, green or blue — around the outside of the pearl. Traditionally, cultured pearls with pinkish-white or pinkish-silver coloring are the most highly prized. Whatever the color, it should appear to emanate from deep within the cultured pearl.
ORIENTA small percentage of cultured pearls display rainbow-like colors that appear to move over the surface.
LUSTERLuster refers to the surface shine that gives cultured pearls their glowing beauty. Stand with your back to the light; the sharper the reflection of light on the cultured pearl, the higher the luster.
SURFACELike any product of nature, all cultured pearls have imperfections. However, a quality cultured pearl should be free of large pits or blemishes. Every pearl is unique. The type of mollusk and natural elements often combine to produce unusual shapes and colors.