Choosing your perfect coloured gemstone
Coloured gemstones come in all shapes and sizes, and there is sure to be one to suit your taste, style and budget.
Unlike diamonds, precious coloured gemstones do not have a formal grading system.
But what is not in any doubt is the quality of a coloured gemstone has the same impact on your finished jewellery as a diamond does.
The imperfections and ‘inclusions’ with-in the gemstones are perhaps a little less significant than in a diamond as their colour disguises minor imperfections, but they should still not be large enough to be seen and ruin the beauty of the stone.
Just like in a diamond the cut of the gemstone is essential, in general terms the more precise the cut of each of the facets of the stone the brighter the stone will appear.
The proportions of a coloured gemstone have a more permissible variant than diamonds, but the shallower the cut of the stone the less vibrant the colour will be.
Gemstone found with weak colour will be cut thicker to compensate for this, the down side is the extra depth of the stone might impact on the design of the jewellery piece.
An inferior cut gemstone may lead to an ungainly pale ‘colour window’ viewed through the stone.
The back of the gemstone known as the ‘pavilion may sometime be found off centre which again can have an impact in the jewellery setting and produce an uneven colour distribution which if you see when you are looking at a gemstone is something you should avoid.
Another sign for this unsightly version of stone is a visible feature of dark and light bands of colour.
Light stone will in general lack impact, and overly dark stone will not exhibit the richness of colour. However personal preferences in colour tone and intensity also need to be taken into account.
The gemstone trade, gemstone investors and lovers of coloured gems have established an unwritten preferred combination of tone, intensity vibrancy, and intense colour and it is these stones that command the highest prices.
Setting all this aside when choosing your ideal gemstone your skin tones need to be taken into account as well as the jewellery setting and what is one person’s favourite colour may not be another, that’s is the pure beauty of choosing coloured gemstones over diamonds.
The above guide to colour gemstones applies to most coloured precious stones: Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Tanzanite, Aquamarine… There are of course some exception such as pearl and opals which have entirely different parameters.
Gemstone expert, David Law
David Law has been buying and selling coloured gemstones since the early 1980s.
When you entrust him to select a gemstone for you, he will take into consideration many factors to ensure you experience the WOW factor when you first glimpse the choice of stones he’s personally selected for you.