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How to Buy Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone jewelry have bewitched humans for thousands of years. Whether you’re a fan of precious gems, semi-precious gems or organic gems, there are ways for you to tell if you’re buying quality gemstone jewelry.

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Carat
The carat is just one of the many things you need to consider when buying gemstone jewelry. Carat is the unit of measurement used to determine the size of the gem. One carat of gemstone is equivalent to 0.2 grams. The bigger the gem is, the higher the price.

Cut
Although the size of the gemstone affects the price, most jewelers place more value on the cut of the gem. When choosing diamonds for example, the cut makes a lot of difference when it comes to pricing. A quality cut gemstone should be able to reflect the light effectively because of the precise proportions.

Clarity
Gemstones are also graded based on their flawlessness. Remember that not all gemstones are perfect. Sometimes the cut can hide internal and external flaws. Even the setting of the stone on a metal can hide flaws so it’s not like gems with blemishes on the surface and inclusions in the interior are all bad. If you want flawless stones, however, expect to pay more.

Color
Color can also affect the price of the piece. The clearer and more saturated the color, the higher the price. Gemstones that aren’t cloudy are priced higher than most. That is why some emeralds and rubies might be more expensive than colorless diamonds. Rare colors that are the result of the presence of minerals during the formation of some gemstones can also affect the price.

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Treatment
You should always ask the jeweler if the gemstone is treated. Some gemstones that have unnatural colors are usually treated. Treated gemstones are also cheaper because the enhancement is usually done to hide flaws in the gems.

Settings
Settings or enclosures refer to how the gemstones is attached to the metal. Typically, you will find a four-prong setting in most jewelry. The most ideal, however, is a six-prong setting. You should also consider the metal used. Jewelers often use platinum, gold and sterling silver and can affect the price.

Imitation
Imitation stones are different from natural and laboratory-created gemstones. Imitations are made from different materials like glass. Natural gemstones are mined, cut, and polished. Laboratory-created gems like some pearls are still considered natural but there is human intervention. There are also stones that look like natural gems but they are cheaper and have lower intrinsic qualities.

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Even if you keep all these basic information in mind, it’s always better if you ask the jeweler about the origin and history of the piece before purchasing. Don’t buy the first piece you set your eyes on. Check other jewelry shops and compare. Ask the shop for a certificate from a gemologist if you’re going to buy loose gemstones. These certificates are separate from the appraisal from the jeweler.

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