A gemstone or gem is natural crystallized mineral, which, is in cut and polished form. In hindi it is called ‘Ratna’ and it may be precious or semi-precious. Certain rocks (such as lapis lazuli) or organic materials that are not minerals (such as amber, coral etc.), are also called as gemstones as well. Most of the gems are rare many factors set their value. Some of them like weight are tangible; others like clarity, colour or origin are not. Gemstones may be accompanied by a lab report listing the colour, cut, clarity and weight. They may also contain a comment about treatments or origin. Certain gemstones such as ruby or sapphire can receive a premium in the market if they are believed to be from a particular country (origin). In lieu of an independent grading report, the seller may offer certain guarantees.
Importantly, gems are a great investment too, their value appreciate as per the market conditions.
Their value depends on the three basic qualities of beauty, rarity and durability, called ‘B R D’.
Beauty: This is a subjective property and is defined by the 4 “C’s”, Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat (size).
- Colour: In colourless stones, the lesser the colour the better the quality. In coloured stone, the darker and purer the shade of colour, the better the quality.
- Clarity: This can be judged by number of inclusions, size of inclusions, position of inclusions and colour of inclusions.
- Cut: The accurate angles and proportions of cutting, which brings out the full life, fire and brilliance of a gemstone.
- Carat: It is a measuring unit (1 carat = 100 cents = 200 mg.). The larger the size, the higher the value.
A gemstone which exhibits an eye, star or change of colour would have an additional value.
Rarity: This is an important aspect. More the availability lesser the price, lesser the availability higher the price.
Durability: A gemstone must be durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear. A softer stone will get scratched more easily but not in a hard or tough stone.
Generally gemstones are classified between precious, semi-precious and organic. The precious stones are Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Topaz, Emerald, etc. with other gemstones being semi-precious. This distinction reflects the rarity of the respective stones, as well as their quality. All stones are classified by their colour, transparency and hardness. Gemstones are classified into different groups, species and varieties. For example, Ruby is the red variety of the species corundum, while blue colour of corundum is considered Sapphire. Other examples are the Emerald (green), Aquamarine (blue), Red-beryl (red), which is all varieties of the mineral species beryl. Gems are characterized in terms of refractive index, dispersion, cleavage, specific gravity, hardness, fracture, and lustre. Material or flaws within a stone may be present as inclusions. A few gemstones are used as gems in the crystal or other form in which they are found. Most however, are cut and polished for use. Stones which are opaque or semi-opaque such as Opal, Turquoise, etc. are commonly cut as cabochons.
The gems listed on vastumiracles.com has details with weight in carat, which makes easy for a customer to understand the quality of a gemstone.
Once you’ve invested in a fine gemstone, proper care will help keep it looking new and vibrant for many years. Most gemstones are very durable and require only occasional cleaning. But some gems require special care, since they are sensitive to temperature change, excessive light exposure or chemicals.