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Before Buying Gemstone Jewelry

The Following Are a Few Gemstone Jewelry Buying Tips:

Having likely read our numerous gemstone and gemstone jewelry articles on GemSelect, you should now be equipped with knowledge and have enough information to be able to make an educated decision or purchase of gemstones or gemstone jewlery. Regardless, you should still take a moment and review our additional pointers to guide you through your purchase and to help ensure that your gemstone jewelry lasts more than a lifetime.

Look for Quality Gemstones

It is highly suggested to know or identify the gem quality of any gemstones being used in preset gemstone jewelry. If you didn't inspect the stones when they were loose, you can get an evaluation from a trusted gemologist. This will ensure that any jewelry you purchase retains value.

Because colored gemstones lack an official grading system, grading the quality of gems can be a bit more complex than grading diamonds. However like diamond grading and purchasing, beginning with the Four C's is generally a good start, but with colored gemstones, color is the most important characteristic. See our color page for detailed advice on evaluating gemstone color.


Clarity follows color in importance and is still very important, especially since they (cut and clarity) affect color, and most importantly, brilliance. Colored gemstones are typically graded according to an unofficial clarity scale. In general, a gem that has no visible inclusions is preferred. But some gems are value for their inclusions, so it is important to note that inclusions can add character and make gems even more unique than they already are. In fact gemologists can use gem inclusions to identify the origin of gemstones. So while it is true that the higher the clarity grade of a gem, the higher the value will be, however, inclusions that do not interfere with brilliance generally do not affect value.


Cut may not be the most important factor in evaluating gemstone quality, but it is still very important in determining how the gem should be used in gemstone jewelry, in example, faceted or cabochon. A good cut gem may not cost too much more in comparison to a average cut, but it can drastically add or subtract from its beauty. A well cut gemstone will reflect the maximum amount of light back evenly across its surface area when held face up, which with colored gems, generates colors. Poorly cut gems may often appear colorless in windowed areas. The best way to judge the quality of a cut is to compare similar stones with each other.


Carat with gems is different than carat with diamonds. Although the definition is the same, colored gems are typically purchased by size rather than carat. All gems have different densities and therefore not all gems will be the same size at any given weight. Gemstones are sold by weight and priced per carat, but consumers should purchase on size, but pay by weight, because similar size stones of different varieties will weigh varyingly. In addition, acquiring large stones of some rare varieties can be extremely difficult, making them even more expensive (per carat) like sapphire, emeralds, and rubies.

Always Ask Questions

While there is a great wealth of information covering the subject of gemstones and gemstone jewelry available online or in books, ask questions face-to-face or over the phone is always helpful. Regardless of the amount of information you've prepared and researched, there will always be additional questions arising that may have been misunderstood before or even forgotten. Whether the questions are based on specifications, style, personal taste or other pertinent topics, asking questions will always make the investment more comfortable and in turn, much more enjoyable.