Sourcing

How To Buy Colored Gemstones

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How To Buy Colored Gemstones

Give your customers the full gemstone buying experience by using the 6C's.

Brought To You By Gemfields


The process of purchasing a colored gemstone – be it a ruby or emerald – is a complex one, with multiple factors to consider. Thankfully, these have been distilled into the famous "6 C's", a handy catch-all that all prospective buyers should familiarize themselves with. Most of these are fairly tangible – for instance, color, cut, carat, clarity and certification – but the sixth, and arguably most important, of the Cs – character – is purely instinct-driven. 
 
And herein lies the magic. 
 
Character & Inclusion
Emeralds and rubies are miraculous quirks of nature, formed in the earth’s crust millions of years ago. Each gem has been, quite literally, carved from Mother Nature and had its own totally unique journey before reaching its final destination: in a beautiful piece of jewelry to be purchased by a lucky consumer. Buyers are advised to do their homework thoroughly by researching any gemstone they may buy and getting to know its journey.
 
Inclusions are the gemmological term for any material picked up along the way, which give each colored gemstone its character and individuality; they prove that a gem is natural and reassure buyers that no one else will have exactly the same. 
 
These are to be celebrated. 
 
Prospective purchasers should choose the colored gemstone that they are naturally drawn to – not the one they think they "should" buy. This may be a less "perfect" gemstone with more inclusions; in fact, these tiny features might be the very thing that makes a buyer decide it’s "The One." 
 

Color & Clarity
The more tangible buying considerations should also be given weight – literally and figuratively. Some buyers will prize a higher carat gemstone and go for one of substantial size and weight; while others will have a particular cut, say, round-,  octagon- or  cushion-cut, which they favor. For many, color and clarity will be the most pressing concerns. 
 
Typically, evenness of color and good saturation are traits to look for when buying colored gemstones, as in the absence of color enhancement treatments – these are associated with higher-quality, higher-value gems. To best judge this, it is advisable to view a colored gemstone in natural daylight, as artificial light may make it harder to assess its true color. 
 

Sourcing & Certification 
As well as the aesthetic considerations, which are the fun part of choosing a gemstone, there are important boxes to tick in terms of provenance. Knowing a gemstone’s journey is fascinating, but it’s also important from the perspective of certification and sustainability. It is best to always purchase a gemstone from a trusted supplier, who can vouch for where it has come from and provide confirmation that it has been responsibly sourced. 
 
Especially with a higher carat gemstone, it is vital to get certification in writing. Any reputable gemmological laboratory will provide a report disclosing a gemstone’s origins and any treatments it may have received. 
 
Responsible sourcing and sustainability are increasingly uppermost in consumers’ minds, and there are, therefore, no shortage of experts – from in-house jewelry experts, to industry bodies – on hand to help. Buyers are strongly encouraged to utilize these resources and really do their homework before deciding on a gemstone to buy. 
 
Ascribed otherworldly qualities since ancient times, both emeralds and rubies have long been revered. Emeralds are associated with peace, fertility and renewal and were favoured by the likes of Cleopatra, while rubies are through to represent passion, prosperity and protection and were worn by ancient warriors heading into battle. 
 
These are no ordinary purchases, and the importance of taking in the full range of buying considerations cannot be overestimated!

Learn more about Gemfields, a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones.

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