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Kerry Elizabeth Handcrafted Gemstone Jewelry



A Guide to Buying Gemstone Jewelry Gemstones are found throughout world from the earth to the sea. Once the gems are cut and polished they can be made into the jewelry you have come to recognize. Take a look at the factors that make a gem rare and valuable. As with diamonds, gemstones are classified by the 4 C’s: color, carat, cut, and clarity.

Color is typically the most important value-setting factor for gemstones. All gems have a preferred color or a relatively small range of preferred colors. The more the color varies from this range—lighter or darker, more vivid or less—the less valuable the stone. Color is composed of three dimensions: hue, tone, and saturation. • Hue refers to the impression of color usually

noticed immediately, such as red, yellow, or blue. • Tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of an object. • Saturation defines the degree of purity of a hue.

Cut refers to the shape or design of a stone, arrangement of facets, as well as the precision of the stone's proportions and finish. The cutting process reveals the beauty of a gem.

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A Jewelry Shopper’s Checklist Wether you are treating yourself or a special someone to a new piece of jewelry it is important to shop around. Compare price, quality, and customer service. Use the checklist below when shopping. Shop with companies you know or do some homework to make sure the company is legitimate. Ask about the return policy before you buy. Check for the appropriate markings on metal jewelry. Ask whether the pearls are natural, cultured or imitation. Ask whether a gemstone is natural, laboratory-created or imitation. Make sure the sales receipt includes any information you relied on when making your purchase such as the gem’s weight or size. To be removed from our mailing list, please email

Gemstones are cut into shapes we are familiar with such as oval, emerald, pear, round, and marquise. In addition, they can be carved or fashioned into almost any design imaginable. Proportions involve the balance and appeal of the basic design. Finish refers to the detail of the workmanship. A well-proportioned cut with a fine finish will show a stone's optical properties to its fullest potential. When all other factors are even (color, clarity, and carat weight), a better-cut gem will be more valuable.

Carat refers to the weight of a gemstone. One carat, the traditional unit of measurement for gemstones, is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. You may also hear the weight of a gemstone referred to in points. A point is equal to 1/100 of a carat; therefore a 75-point gemstone equals 0.75 carat. Two different gemstones may have the same dimensions but different weights. This is due to the specific gravity or density of the gem mineral. This difference can help gemologists identify a gemstone. Up to a certain point, the larger a stone is, the more rare it is and the higher the price it will command. For stones that commonly occur in larger sizes, the value may decrease if the gem reaches a size that makes it impractical for jewelry use.

Clarity refers to the evaluation of a gemstone's internal characteristics. These characteristics include inclusions, which lie within the stone, or blemishes, which lie on the surface of a gem. The fewer clarity characteristics, the more rare the gemstone. Each variety of gemstone has its own clarity standards. For example, Tanzanite is virtually inclusion-free, while Emerald almost always contains clarity characteristics. For this reason, Gemological Institute of America's grading system divides transparent colored gemstones into three clarity types. This allows gems to be more evenly evaluated as it takes into account the individual nature of each gemstone.

Feb 2011 Newsletter  

As with diamonds, gemstones are classified by the 4 C’s: color, carat, cut, and clarity. •Tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness...

Feb 2011 Newsletter  

As with diamonds, gemstones are classified by the 4 C’s: color, carat, cut, and clarity. •Tone refers to the degree of lightness or darkness...