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Tips On How To Buy Gemstones

Mar 29, 2008
When you buy a colored gemstone today, you'll find yourself immersed in beautiful colors, dazzling cuts and terminologies that you don't always understand. Before making a major gemstone purchase, it's important to understand the industry, the product and the retail market.

Gemstones can be old and established like traditional rubies or sapphires, or they can be new and exciting like emerald garnets (travorite) or blue zoisite stones. Whatever color, style or price point you prefer, there is a gem for you. You just have to find it.

In this article, we'll cover some buying basics that will make your purchasing experience easier and safer. Keep reading to learn how to protect yourself against fraud and misrepresentation and how to find the best stone for your personal jewelry collection.

1. Always ask whether the stone is genuine, synthetic or natural.

Natural stones are gemstones that have occurred and developed naturally in the earth. Other than their mining, cutting and polishing, they are created with no human intervention. Meanwhile, synthetic stones are typically developed in a laboratory where they are grown, complete with realistic looking "flaws" and other characteristics designed to make them appear to look more "natural." Bear in mind that synthetic stones can legally be referred to as "genuine," so it's important to make this distinction with the seller.

While synthetic stones can still be pricey, they won't be as expensive as natural stones. If you're unsure about a stone's authenticity, have it appraised by an independent gemologist.

2. Ask to inspect the stone yourself.

While you're not going to become an overnight gemologist, looking at stones while you comparison shop is a great way to gain a better understanding of clarity, cut and color.

Instead of reading about how imperfections affect a stone's clarity, you can actually see this in effect when you look at a stone. Inspect stones under good light and use a magnifier to get a closer look. Try to look at the stone head on and from above to get a clear idea of its symmetry and translucency.

This will be a form of "on the job training," but the education will serve you well as you gain experience and confidence from one transaction to the next.

3. Be prepared to negotiate.

Most independent, and even chain, retailers are willing to negotiate on price. While you can appear to be interested, don't get overly enthusiastic about a particular piece. Express your interest and let the jeweler know that you want to buy, but would first like to negotiate. From there, start with a figure a bit lower than the price you expect to pay and negotiate up to your final purchasing price.

4. Always have a valuable piece inspected by an independent appraiser.

To protect yourself and your jeweler against possible fraud, have your jeweler write down every aspect of the stone on your bill of sale - including carat, color, clarity, cut and value. Then, take the piece to an independent appraiser to see if these claims match up. Buying from a reputable jeweler can also help prevent any problems with fraud or misrepresentation.
About the Author
For information on exquisite jewelry ideas to enhance your natural beauty, please visit www.jewelryadvance.com, a popular site providing great insights concerning personal adornment, such as John Hardy jewelry , cultured pearl necklaces , discount diamond earrings and many more.
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