Gemstones - more professionally called precious and semi-precious stones, are representatives of natures’ beauty and complexity that we all love and are a part of. So when you head over in hopes of owning this beauty as your own or gifting it to your most beloved, here are some key guidelines to keep close by.
The factors that decide the value of a gemstone vary across most of its discernible features. Namely, these factors are Color, Clarity, Carat Weight, Cut, Origin and Treatment. Let us take a deeper dive into these features and see how they would affect the price and choice of your Sri Lankan gemstone.
- Color - When it comes to gemstones, color is the biggest factor that decides their worth. Sri Lanka is famous for its sapphires, and when you think of sapphires, a distinct Royal Blue might be the color you’re thinking of, precisely because of the popularity of blue sapphires over sapphires of other hues like pink or yellow. Rubies are almost explicitly sought out in Pure Red. It is better to be aware that there are varieties of tones, hues and saturation of color for most precious stones and semi-precious stones, and that it is important to evaluate your own personal choice when choosing a gemstone over the general opinion.
- Clarity - Clarity is what you see in the stone, or what you don’t. Gemstones are made both naturally and artificially, and when made in the depths of the earth’s bosom with purely natural circumstances, they can have inclusions such as dust particles, air bubbles or insects inside. Because of this, naturally occurring gemstones without any inclusion are a rarity and therefore more expensive. So the general rule of thumb is ‘the lesser the inclusions, the higher the value’. There are exceptions to this as some sapphires have inclusions that form a star in refracted light when observed which actually makes them more valuable.
- Cut - This is where the human value addition comes into play. Precious stones formed under intense physical and chemical action are not exactly pretty when found. It takes skill and craftsmanship to delicately shape and polish the gemstone into a soulful piece of art and expression without jeopardizing its integrity and specific make. This is done by experienced jewelers using precise tools and conditions with immense patience and planning. The cut is the way the gemstone has been faceted and polished to refract light. There are a number of cuts and certain cuts that are popular with certain types of gems as well. Be informed that visual appeal is the key to evaluating a gemstone by cut, among other things and the complexity of the cut may or may not help it.
- Origin - The place of origin or the mode of origin is a key factor deciding a gemstone’s value. Since natural gemstones are rarer and take literally millions of years to form, they are much more valuable and sought after than artificial, lab-created gemstones. And even among natural stones, ones from specific geographical locations would be preferred more than others. As we know, Sri Lanka is known for the most precious sapphires, and sapphires from Sri Lanka would be more valuable than ones found in other countries that also produce sapphire. And even among these Sri Lankan sapphires, color-changing sapphires are an extreme rarity and worth about five times the value of fixed colored sapphires. They are only found in collections of a handful of professional gemologists like Hussain and Sons.
- Treatment - Precious stones sometimes are heat treated as part of the process of making a jewel out of a precious stone from the source. Heat treatment is mainly used to change color and to improve clarity. It is common and is widely accepted in the gem industry. For example, pure red rubies are much sought after, so treating rubies to get a better red is common in the industry. Amethysts are heat-treated to lighten their color, and diamonds are too, to cycle through hues and to get rid of brownish accents that are not that popular. However as non-treated stones are rare, a non-heated stone would be far more valuable than a treated one, given it is clear and has good color
Although this guideline helps you to evaluate your purchase according to industry standards and the norm, please feel free to base your choice on your personal preference, on what you would like to see or gift, on what your loved ones adore being adorned with, and wholly on the purpose of this token of beauty and appreciation you are investing on, that is the Sri Lankan gemstone.
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