The most popular styles of engagement rings bought either online or in physical stores tend to feature one or more gemstones. Although the ring metal can really affect the value of an engagement ring at the lower end of the market, when you start spending 'big', the price usually starts to rise because of the stones (diamonds and other gemstones) you're buying too.
Therefore, it's important to know as much about the diamonds and gemstones you're buying before you start. Although there isn't an official grading system for gemstones, many of the same principles of diamond grading apply. The diamond grading devised by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is widely recognised and used throughout the world.
Our Buying Guide focuses on the four Cs associated with diamonds and as they apply to gemstones. These are:
- Carat - Carat refers to the weight rather than the size of a gemstone. It is the singular most important fact to remember about buying gemstones and it is the factor most used to determine the value and price of a gemstone...(read more about carat)
- Color - Color refers to the absorption (or lack of absorption) of light by a gemstone. It is the most obvious and attractive feature of any gemstone...(read more about color)
- Clarity - Clarity is a quality of gemstones relating to the existence and appearance of internal characteristics (inclusions) and surface defects (blemishes)....(read more about clarity)
- Cut - Cut refers to the style or design guide used when shaping a diamond or gemstone for polishing. Cut does not refer to the stone's shape (oval, heart-shaped, pear), but the symmetry, proportioning and polish....(read more about cut).
The use of certificates or grading reports for colored gemstones is relatively new and currently there is no worldwide standard (unlike the system of diamond grading devised by the GIA). Consequently, very few gemstones are sold with grading reports. However a report on any gemstone is important as it can tell you whether a stone is natural or created or whether they have been enhanced or treated in any way. This will help you ascertain the quality, although ideally you should seek the advice of a trained jeweler (or buy from a reputable jeweler when you design or buy your engagement ring). The GIA offer services to identify colored stones and also to ascertain what damage may have been sustained to stones.
"Your guide to buying engagement rings online helping to give you a basic
in the 4Cs associated with diamonds and gemstones."