Gemstones are precious stones used in jewelry pieces to impart beauty and elegance. However, before buying an expensive jewelry it is important to determine its genuineness. This post describes methods you can use for identification of gemstones before buying them.
Gemstones are precious or semi-precious stones used in jewelry making. Their incorporation in a piece of jewelry increases its worth and preciousness. The purity and rareness of a gemstone determines how expensive it should be. Many people buying gemstone jewelry do not know how to identify them because of which they are very easily fooled by jewelry makers. To avoid this scenario, it is better to know what to look out for in a gemstone before paying for it. Following are the properties you should study, and the methods you should use to determine the genuineness of a precious stone.
The general appearance is studied by simply taking the gemstone in hand and observing it carefully. You should also feel the texture of the stone’s surface for initial examination. What you might consider as a gemstone can be a piece of shiny rock or mineral. Gemstones are clear with a smooth texture. If the stone surface is rough and feels like sand, it may not be a precious stone.
Examining the color is the next step to identify a gemstone. Stones characterized as colorless should not have any tinge of color in them, while colored stones should be dark and deep colored. Darker the color, better will be the quality. But color alone should not be a property to study because many times color can lead to wrong identification. For example, sapphire is generally considered to be blue in color, but only few know that this stone is also found in shades of green, yellow, and pink. Therefore, gather enough knowledge about the stone you want to buy before purchasing it.
The purity of a gemstone is determined by its carat size wherein, one carat is equal to 100 cents. More the carat size, larger is the stone and better is its purity. The value of a gemstone is directly proportional to its carat size. More the carat size, greater is its value and vice-versa.
The shape of a crystal is due to its physical structure. Every gemstone has a peculiar shape owing to its molecular structure and atomic number. This is a crucial examination consideration. Examining the crystal morphology of a gemstone using a magnifying glass can help in its identification.
Crystals have varied transparency quotients. The amount of light transmitted by a stone is a means for its identification. The light transmitted through a stone is measured and compared with standard charts. Transparent gemstones like diamond and ruby transmit light completely, while semi-transparent stones like amber show distortion. There are also translucent, semi-translucent, and opaque gemstones which have characteristic transparency levels.
Many crystals have the property of leaving a streak when subjected to a ceramic surface. Different gemstones produce different kinds of streaks. To perform this test, the stone can simply be run over a ceramic plate which will develop a streak due to the stone. Matching the streak produced with comparison charts will help you identify the gemstone under study.
This is one of the most important tests for identification of a gemstone. Hardness is tested using a hardness kit and the comparison is done using a hardness scale. The most common hardness scale is “Mohs’ Scale” which measures hardness from one to ten. A stone with hardness 1 is said to have similar hardness as talc, while 10 would mean hardness of a diamond.
Stones like quartz and mica are often identified using this test, but you cannot carry out this test when you go to buy a gemstone. Precious and semi-precious stones break along fixed planes and this characteristic is used for their identification.
Physical and Chemical Examination
Tests like specific gravity, light dispersion, changes in color, and refractive index are used to study the physical and chemical properties of a gemstone. However, these tests cannot be carried out by everybody as they require special equipment for testing. If someone is interested in carrying out these tests, he can contact a gemstone expert and get the tests done.
Gemstones are very popular and people love to wear them. They prefer to buy them depending on their meaning. Every stone has a value and meaning attached to it. So, the next time you go to buy a gemstone, make sure to perform checks for identification so that you can rest assured of its genuineness.