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Six Factors To Know Before Buying A Faceted Colored Gemstone

May 19, 2008
If you've considered buying colored gemstones there are a few things you should know first. It doesn't matter if your faceted gems purchase is going into 18 karat gold jewelry or something in silver or platinum. There are particular areas you must examine in your faceted gems before buying them. They include:

1. Gem Color
2. Gem Clarity
3. Gem Brilliance
4. Gem Intensity
5. Gem Cut/finish
6. Gem Rarity

Gemstone Color
When purchasing faceted colored gems one of the first things you'll note is gem color. Get familiar with the type of gem you'd like to buy and those of a similar nature. For example, aquamarine and blue topaz can look very much alike so learn the differences so you can tell by color if what you're getting is correct.

Gemstone Clarity
Gemstone clarity, in faceted gems, means making sure the gem stone is as clear as possible with no internal blemishes, while gem brilliance relates to how well your faceted gems shine. Gem intensity is the combination of clarity and brilliance. In other words, it's about how perfect your faceted gem appears.

Gemstone Brilliance
The brilliance of a gemstone is very important. The brilliance of a gem relates to two factors, the clarity of the gemstone and the cut and finish of a gemstone. If the gemstone has a poor cut, light passes through the gemstone and is not reflected back at you which results in a lifeless, dull looking gemstone. The gem's clarity should be good, as numerous eye visible inclusions will disrupt the way the light is reflected back at the viewer.

Gemstone Intensity
A Gemstone's Intensity is the combination of the saturation and tone values of a gemstone. Saturation is defined as how strong or pure the color of a gemstone is. Tone refers to how dark or light the gemstone is. Intensity is also used to describe the color characteristics of a gemstone against other gemstones. The intensity grade is a very subjective grade, and like color, is in the eye of the beholder. Gem dealers and collectors have the experience to know if a gemstone displays the right intensity for that gem species

Cut and Finish
When it comes to cut and finish this can include making sure the outside has no blemishes or cracks. Also in this area you'll know when the cut is better because with the proper cut faceted gems will appear brighter.

Gemstone Rarity
The final factor when considering faceted gems is rarity. The more rare a gem is, the more valuable it becomes, and also more expensive. So if you're looking for something that appears blue then a blue topaz will always cost less than a blue sapphire of the same size if it's authentic. If you find a store that offers both at a similar price be leery of the reason why.

In conclusion, when you're shopping for faceted gems the key to getting the best deal is to know the product your buying. For example, when you shop for a car you compare features like the interior, gas mileage, engine size, etc. Why? It's a major purchase. Just keep in mind that the same is true when you're buying faceted gems so educate yourself on what's out there.
About the Author
Marc Sarosi is the owner and creator of AfricaGems.com which has been selling fine gemstones since 1998. A well known and highly regarded expert in loose gemstones, he has been in gemstone business for 24 years. Marc lived and mined gemstones in Africa for many years.
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