How to Buy Jewelry; Gems and Jewelry Care, Ten Rules to Buy Jewelry

Diamonds are not the only gems you want to be careful buying. Diamonds, at least, have standards of quality in the four Cs, but there are no similar standards for colored gemstones. However, you can learn a lot by looking around and asking questions.

In buying any gems, ask the jeweler to explain any term you do not understand. Beware of any term used with a gem other than “genuine.” Remember, a balas ruby is no more a ruby F95zone than an evening emerald is an emerald. The more expensive the gem, the more important it may be for you to ask about a GIA certificate.

A director of the New York City GIA says certification is important for emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. For one thing, there are so many different kinds of these gems being simulated in the laboratory that even a reliable jeweler may not be aware of all of them. One purpose of the GIA, on the other hand, is to keep abreast of developments in simulated gems. In the case of colored gemstones, the gem may be of any size and may be set. What is certified is simply the authenticity of the gem. The lack of standards for colored gemstones and the fact that color can be very much a mater of personal preference preclude a detailed rating.

In many fine jewelry stores, there is a certified gemologist on the staff. A certified gemologist has been trained in gem detection and has been certified by either the American Gem Society or the GIA after passing courses and stiff examinations. He or she is qualified to certify gems, although the certificate will not be issued by the GIA. In cases of doubt, however, the facilities of the GIA are available to these jewelers and to you.

Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are not the only gems, which you should insist on a guarantee of authenticity. You also want one for smoky and yellow topaz, since too much quartz and citrine is sold as the more valuable topaz. The same verification should be a condition of your buying rhodolite or grossular garnets. Both gems are far rarer and more expensive than ordinary garnets.

You want to check the prices of colored gems. Too low a price, in the range a couple of hundred dollars, is one indication that none of the above gems is what it is supposed to be. Don’t be so eager for a bargain that you forget your common sense. No jeweler who knows what he is doing is going to offer a gem worth $1,000 or much more than that for a few hundred dollars or less. So, listen carefully to the terms being used and insist on certification of authenticity when you have any doubts.

Star and eye gems require other precautions. You want to be sure the star and eye are centered. To do so, hold gem under a light and move the gem from side to side. Part of value lies in the centering of the eye or star, and any jewel that is off center is not worth a top price. If the gem is inexpensive enough, it may be able to be recut and set but you will be adding to the original price.

Again, the type and color of lighting are important. A blue light, for example, will affect the color of any gem. You want to see the gem under daylight and/or regular lighting. Move the gem from side to side, examining it from all angles. Unless the gem is pleochroic, the color should be intense throughout with no shadings or dark or light spots. By the same token, if holding a gem up to daylight is a good test of color, it is not a gauge of its clarity or quality. You should need a loupe or microscope to see most inclusions, except for those gems, which depend on the inclusions for their special effects. Some gems, such as emeralds, are also more often flawed than not, bit most flaws should not be seen with naked eye at least as far as the better and best gemstones are concerned.

B) Care

In buying any jewelry, you need to consider what care you should take with it once you purchase it. All jewelry needs to be stored. How should you store it? Will any of the gems fade in light, as some topaz or amber may?
Jewelry needs to be cleaned too; it is not safe for all jewelry. In addition, if the jewelry is strung, special care may be needed to keep the string dry since wet string can affect the gems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *