Buying a gemstone takes more than just a stash of cash. You need to have adequate information about gems in general that can serve as a landmark to the process of selection. While most people trust reputable sellers for buying authentic gems, seldom do they stop to double check the articles. This is because, when it comes to gems, most buyers do not possess sufficient technical information. While you may skip on the critical details that gemologists deal with, here is an overview of what you must check at the time of buying.
Earth-Born or Lab-Born
The first thing to enquire about a gem is if it was mined from a natural site or created artificially in induced environment in the laboratory. Natural stones are many times more valuable than their artificial counterparts. Synthetic stones for one, scratch easily. They are not the same as natural gems and fetch only a pittance of return on resell. As for the aesthetics, the two are staggeringly different. You can tell a natural stone by its shine, polish and natural flaws. All in all, a natural stone is always recommended ahead of a lab-created one.
Treated or Untreated
The next thing to check if it’s a natural stone is whether it’s treated or untreated. Most stones used in jewelry are treated in the laboratories. Untreated gems are hardly ever used in jewelry. Instead, they are passed on to be sold as rough to collectors or taken in to gem low-quality ornaments. Supposing that your dealer is offering you a natural, treated gem, ask if it is treated by industry-accepted standards like heating and oil, or is it by non-standard procedures like irradiation, laser drilling and such techniques. Stones that are treated by non-standard methods are not legally permitted to be sold as naturals.
Most high-quality treated stones are heated in temperature as high as up to 3632 degree F to enhance the natural color. Others with severe fissures and lines are treated with a certain kind of oil to visually remove the lines. Most gems are treated in the laboratory for a basic enhancement before they are sent to the stores for selling.
Others that are treated in non-standard methods like irradiation, impregnation and laser-drilling are not advisable to purchase. They use unfriendly methods to polish and enhance the stones that leave a lasting adverse effect.