Gemstone Traditional Guide: The 4 C's

Gemstone Cut

Gemstone CutCut dramatically effects the appearance of a gemstone. Gemstones are cut to maintain maximum weight while exhibiting optimal color and brilliance. Each piece is individually analyzed for the prefect cut. So, how can we tell a good cut from a bad one?
A well cut gemstone is able to handle the play of light; the gemstone comes alive with life and sparkles as light dances through their facets. Take a closer look at a gemstone. There shouldn't be any dark lifeless areas (extinction) or flat washed out zones (window); there should be consistent light refraction throughout the gemstone.
Colored gemstones are cut in various styles and shapes. Mostly gemstones are faceted like diamonds, in several proportionate geometric sizes. Some gemstones are cut in the traditional dome shape ‘cabochon’, bringing out special optical effects such as star and cat’s eye seen in gemstones such as jade, star sapphire, star ruby, opal and many others. Another more recent style of cut is known as the fancy cut, which ranges from classic cameos and natural motifs to designs that push the edges of abstract expressions.

Gemstone Color

Gemstone ColorColor is the most defining characteristic of a gemstone. Most gemstones occur in a spectrum of colors, while some have more restricted palettes. Since the color phenomenon in gemstones can become very complex, experts analyze the chromatic options in terms of three essential components: Hue, tone, and saturation. Hue is the primary color of the gemstone. Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the color. Finally, saturation refers to the purity or intensity of the primary color. As a general rule, a bright, intense, pure, rich and vivid color is considered the industry best. The most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color with only slight hues of secondary colors.
The primary color should be medium, neither too dark nor too light. While buying gemstones you need to be aware of color ranges and objective value assessments, but it’s best to rely on your eyes and heart. Select your gemstone by trusting your instincts; if a particular color speaks to you, by all means listen!

Gemstone Clarity

Gemstone ClarityGemstones naturally have characteristics, called inclusions, that were created either during the process of crystallization of the gemstone or during the polishing process. Inclusions do not necessarily diminish a colored gemstone’s beauty or desirability. In some cases, inclusions can actually add to a gemstone’s beauty and value. Special, needle-like inclusions cause the spectacular optical phenomenon called cat’s eye and asterism, displayed by chrysoberyl and corundum mineral families (sapphire and ruby). Rare and precious dermantoid garnet contains unusual, golden fibrous inclusions known as horsetails.
Since colored gemstones are created by a variety of geologic processes, it’s common for some type of gemstones to have more inclusions than others. For example gemstones like aquamarine, citrine, tanzanite, topaz and kunzite are typically eye clean while gemstones like emerald, ruby, sapphire and red tourmaline most likely have visible inclusions, especially on a microscopic level.

Gemstone Carat Weight

Gemstone Carat WeightCarat is the unit of measurement used to weigh diamonds and gemstones. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.20 grams. In addition to carat weight, gemstones are measured in size (mm). Two gemstones of the same size can vary in weight owning to different proportions. Gemstones are typically priced on a per carat basis depending on the color and brilliance of the stone, and since gemstones are less likely to appear in larger sizes, the per-carat price climbs steeply as the carat weight increases steadily.

Buying Guide for More Stones

Author : Ankit Daga