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How to Determine the Price Value of Color in Gemstones

Dec 16, 2007
When purchasing any type of gemstone it is important to understand how the price valuation is determined by the color. There are many different and important factors that establish this figure and it is wise to be armed with the knowledge before parting with your money.

Gemstones may come in a rainbow of colors, but the jewelry industry uses a universally defined system to grade it. Color accompanies clarity, cut, and carat weight to make up the 4Cs and can greatly affect the aesthetic value of gemstones.

Many people mistakenly believe that darker is always better, but what they should be looking for is brightness and vividness. Use the following tips to accurately evaluate the color of gemstones by yourself:

Evaluating Color of Gemstones by Using the GIA or Munsell Color Grading System:-
Although there are many and equally effective color grading systems in use today, the GIA or Munsell System is a good primer to start with. It utilizes a plastic set made up of 324 color pieces to serve as standard references. If a certain color is found missing from the system, interpolation can be performed to come up with more than 760 additional shades.

The GIA or Munsell system is made ideal for judging the color of gemstones because they are built with 3D plastic pieces that resemble faceted gemstones.

Elements of Color
The color of gemstones should be judged according to the three main elements:

Hue
This is the first impression we obtain from viewing colors. It is what makes rubies red, sapphires blue, emeralds green, and amethysts purple. Hues have a natural order and they are red, yellow, green, blue, and lastly purple. Numerous shades can be achieved by mixing together any two of these hues.

Chroma or Saturation
This element refers to the vividness, purity, strength, or intensity of a given color. Gemstones with low chroma are referred to as weak while those with high levels of saturation are called vivid or strong. Saturation of colored gemstones may be classified as the following in ascending order: grayish or brownish, slightly brownish or grayish, very slightly grayish or brownish, moderately strong, strong, and lastly vivid.

Value or Tone
This is what makes you think of red as light or dark red. Gray as well as black and white are referred to as neutral or achromatic colors because they do not possess any hue. Colors with hues are referred to as achromatic colors. GIA uses a numerical system, with its written definitions, to evaluate neutral and achromatic colors alike. For transparent colored gemstones, however, only grades or tones two to eight are considered.

0 colorless or white
1 extremely light
2 very light
3 light
4 medium light
5 medium
6 medium dark
7 dark
8 very dark
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites that specialize in Vintage Engagement Rings. and Antique Engagement Rings, Providing you with product reviews, information and guides that are essential when purchasing any type of Engagement Ring. .
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