Diamonds Are ForeverWritten by Sam Serio
Diamond jewelry: diamond rings, diamond earrings, diamond pendants and diamond bracelets are some of most sought after gemstone creations. Your eyes tell you how beautiful a piece of diamond jewelry is, but how do you know you are getting your money’s worth?
A little knowledge can go a long way to help you purchase a beautiful piece of diamond jewelry at a fair price.
Diamond Jewelry 101
A diamond's value is based on four criteria: color, cut, clarity, and carat. The clarity and color of a diamond usually are graded. However, scales are not uniform: a clarity grade of "slightly included" may represent a different grade on one grading system versus another, depending on terms used in scale. Make sure you know how a particular scale and grade represent color or clarity of diamond you're considering. A diamond can be described as "flawless" only if it has no visible surface or internal imperfections when viewed under 10-power magnification by a skilled diamond grader.
As with other gems, diamond weight usually is stated in carats. Diamond weight may be described in decimal or fractional parts of a carat. If weight is given in decimal parts of a carat, figure should be accurate to last decimal place. For example, ".30 carat" could represent a diamond that weighs between .295 - .304 carat. Some retailers describe diamond weight in fractions and use fraction to represent a range of weights. For example, a diamond described as 1/2 carat could weigh between .47 - .54 carat. If diamond weight is stated as fractional parts of a carat, retailer should disclose two things: that weight is not exact, and reasonable range of weight for each fraction or weight tolerance being used.
Some diamonds may be treated to improve their appearance in similar ways as other gemstones. Since these treatments improve clarity of diamond, some jewelers refer to them as clarity enhancement. One type of treatment - fracture filling - conceals cracks in diamonds by filling them with a foreign substance. This filling may not be permanent and jewelers should tell you if diamond you're considering has been fracture-filled.
Precious Stones -The Big FiveWritten by Sam Serio
The emerald is probably most rare of all precious stones and is considered by some to be even more valuable than diamond. Compared with other precious stones emerald in its occurrence in nature is unique, for it is found in rock in which it was formed. Unlike diamonds, sapphires and rubies, it never occurs in gem gravels. The earliest known locality where emeralds were found was in Upper Egypt near coast of Red Sea. The best stones, however, are found in Columbia, South America. Fine specimens have also been found in United States in North Carolina.
While usual shade of color seen in emeralds is alluded to as emerald green, there are other shades, such as grass green, sea green and green slightly tinged with yellow. The shades most highly valued are those of an intense fresh green sometimes compared with that seen in a meadow in spring.
Beryl is a mineral known to gem lovers under several different names, most valued of which is Emerald. The mineral beryl composing various gems is practically same in composition, hardness, and other properties, and gems may be differentiated only by their color. In composition beryl is a silicate of aluminum and glucinum. On scale of hardness beryl is graded 7 ˝ to 8, and is thus much softer than diamond, ruby, or sapphire. It is owing to this fact that emerald scratches easily and that care must be taken that when worn it is not subject to chafing by diamonds or other harder gems.
Beryl as a mineral is of quite common occurrence, and crystals of mineral in its cruder form often grow to enormous size. There is one such single crystal preserved in Boston Museum of Natural History, which is three and one half feet long and three feet wide and weighs several tons.
Beryl in this common form occurs in many localities, but mineral in its rarer form of emerald is comparatively of very rare occurrence. The emerald or green beryl, as it should be scientifically known, has long been most highly prized of green gems. In brilliancy it exceeds all other green gems excepting only very rare green sapphire. The most valuable specimens exhibit a vivid grass-green shade, and it is to this color that they owe their great value. Other considerations, such as freedom from imperfections, are quite secondary in determining value of stone. In fact a perfect emerald is almost never found, and this circumstance has passed into an Eastern simile which runs, “As scarce as a perfect emerald,” this being a symbol for acme of rarity. The emerald is light in weight and an emerald of a given size will be about a third larger than a diamond and forty-five per cent larger than a sapphire of equal weight. The distinctive color of emerald is probably due to a trace of chromium in its composition.