Looking to add a few pieces of jewelry to your arsenal? Gemstones are beautiful pieces of minerals that are cut, polished, and added to jewelry. Whether precious or semi- precious, gemstones are a great addition and can be found in just about any color, shape, or size. It’s the perfect way to accessorize and add personality to any wardrobe type.
However, before you head out to the nearest jeweler and begin selecting your pieces, knowing a bit about various types of gemstones and what to look for while you shop can certainly come in handy.
When it comes to determining the types of gemstones there are, it can be done several ways. Some of the most common ways in which gemstones are classified is by category, the method in which they are made, or by describing them as precious and semi precious.
Below is a list of gemstone categories and common stones chosen from each:
- Diamonds – the most common gemstone, diamonds are regarded as the most precious stones in the world and can be come in various colors and sizes.
- Corundum – this category consist of popular stones like rubies and sapphires
- Chrysoberyl – cat’s eyes and alexandrite
- Quartz – another popular gemstone category is the quartz. Common choices include the onyx, citrine, and amethyst stones.
- Beryl – Similar to quartz, the beryl category consists of stones like aquamarines and emeralds.
- Other – there are other categories for gemstones that might include jade, and organic stones such as pearls.
2. Creation Method
Another common way to classify gemstone is based on the method in which they are made. There are generally three categories that include genuine, created, and synthetic.
- Genuine – Genuine stones are created by nature alone and taken from the earth. Pearls diamonds, ambers are great examples of genuine stones.
- Created – created stones are those that are chemically designed to immolate genuine stones. These stones are typically not as expensive as genuine options.
- Synthetic – synthetic stones are also duplicates of genuine types but do not share the same chemical composition the created ones have. Synthetic materials generally consist of crystal, glass, and in some cases, plastic.
3. Precious or Semi Precious
The last commonly used method for classifying gemstones is by determining whether or not it has precious or semi-precious tones. The precious category was ideally reserved for four types of gemstones: diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, while semi-precious stones make up the rest of the bunch. Of all the semi-precious stones, some of the more popular choices include garnet, aquamarine, jade, and amethyst.
Gemstone Shopping Tips
Now that you have some of the basics down, you’re ready to begin shopping for your gemstones either online or in a jewelry store. When looking for gemstones, there are several qualities to look at – color, clarity, carat, cut, and setting type. Keeping these in mind will ensure that you get the best quality pieces at a decent value.
Color – Color is certainly up to you. However, the more popular choices for color include clear yet intense primary colors such as red, green, and blue. Rare or unique colors might cost you a bit more.
Clarity – clarity is important when purchasing gemstones. The clearer and more transparent the stone is, the higher in value it will be.
Carat – Like most jewelry, gemstones are sold by the weight which is measured in carats. Keep in mind that some stones are denser than others.
Cut – The cut of the gemstone is also a factor that is based on your personal preference. A good cut doesn’t necessarily cost you more, but can add a lot of beauty to a piece of jewelry.
Setting – When choosing jewelry a bit of diamond settings education goes a long way as well. ‘Stone setting’ essentially means the method in which the stones are placed into the jewelry pieces. Invisible setting is one of the more popular choices for necklaces, while channel setting is very popular for rings.
As you look for jewelry, it might also be helpful to consider the types of outfits you might wear them with. While costume jewelry with created or synthetic gemstones might be best for everyday wear, genuine stones and invisible settings might be best for formal wear. These gemstone basics and other jewelry buyer’s guides can certainly help you in selecting the best pieces to accent any outfit or occasion.