The Science of Gemstones [Guest Article]

Gemmology, also known as the science of gemstones, is the study of precious gemstones. It mainly focuses on identifying gemstones, confirming its authenticity, evaluating the quality, determining the origin, and disclosing the treatment used for the gemstone. A major part of it requires distinguishing between natural gemstones and synthetic counterparts and imitations. Earlier it was difficult to identify synthetic crystals but that is not much of a problem these days. Gemmologists also find out the treatment used for gemstones as it directly influences the price of a gemstone. In most cases, original gemstones undergo physical and chemical treatment to enhance the aesthetic appeal.


Origins of Some Famous Gemstones

Gemmologists have a set of skills to identify where exactly the gemstone was mined from. Gemstones usually have certain characteristics typical of the origin. Many consumers also have a special preference for gemstones belonging to a particular origin. for example, Blue sapphire from Kashmir, Rubies from Burma, Emerald from Columbia have always been in great demand. Such gemstones cost comparatively more than similar gemstones from other localities.

 Kashmir sapphires are valued as they contain the best specimens. These gemstones are seen to have an excellent cornflower blue tint. Most describe the hue as ‘blue velvet’. While some Burmese and Ceylonese sapphires also come relatively close in quality, only the Kashmir Sapphire continues to rule the Sapphire World. 

Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Gemstones

Classification of gemstones is necessary when dealing with them. Natural gemstones are the ones that grow naturally in nature over the years. On the other hand, "Synthetic" gemstones are those which exactly mimic natural gemstones but are created by man in a laboratory. They possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as the natural gemstone. The most common of these are synthetic Diamonds, Synthetic Sapphires, and synthetic Quartz. A layman can not identify the difference between synthetic and natural gemstone. Then comes the “Imitation gemstones” which basically have a similar appearance as the original gemstones. For example, blue glass, polystyrene, or zirconia. The most popular impression of a diamond is zirconia (synthetic ZrO2). Zirconia cannot be easily distinguished from a diamond in the same shape.

How to check the quality and related certifications

Gemstones are not only used for Jewelry purposes but also for their astrological benefit and healing properties. It is crucial to be assured of the authenticity of the gemstone to avoid any negative impact. Many dealers trade fake gemstones in the market to maximize profit. One should be aware of the tricks used by such dears to dupe their customers. It is always desirable to get a gemstone from a reputed seller who is happy to answer all your queries with utmost honesty. There is no better way than to invest your hard-earned money in a real, lab certified gemstone as it ensures the best value for your money. When buying a rare and expensive gemstone that too of a popular origin, one should be extra cautious and must look for certificates issued by the reputed gem labs like IGI, GTL, GIA, GRS, etc.

Pricing Factors of Gemstones

Before choosing a gemstone, it is necessary to know how a minor variation in quality, size, or origin can bring a huge variation in the gemstone price. Color, clarity, cut and carat weight are some of the key price grading factors. If you are planning to buy a gemstone for astrological use, it is important to ensure that the gemstone is natural and free from any sort of treatment (heating, chemical treatment, dying, etc.). Selecting a gemstone from a reputed origin is one good way to ensure quality.

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