Gemstones and Pearls
The highest quality and most desirable gemstones are usually the ones with the most intense colour saturation, a deep tone and purity of hue. Colour is generally the most important aspect of a gemstone as this determines how a genstone will look. Because of the importance placed in colour the vast majority of stones on the market today are treated in some form to enhance the original colour. Diamond Story sell both untreated and treated gemstones.
Like diamonds almost all gemstones contain inclusions and finidng a flawless gemstone is extremely rare. Do not be daunted with buying a gemstone with some inclusions as we will only source gemstones that are eye clean.
Shape or Cut
Gemstones differ to diamonds in that they are generally cut to maximise the colour and not sparkle. There is no ideal cut range for a typical gemstone. Gemstones that have a higher saturated colour will usually be cut more shallow to allow more light through the gemstone, while a gemstone with a lighter saturation will usually be cut deeper to maximise the colour.
Most gemstones on the market are classified by diameter or dimensions rather than carat weight. This is due to gemstones haveing different densities so even though five different gemstones might have the same carat weight and cut, the actual sizes can differ. While the top view dimensions are important to get a guage on how large the stone will look, the depth is also important as it is usually deeper than a typical diamond and you may need to make/buy a setting that can accomodate a deeper stone.
The vast majority of gemstones available today have been treated in some form. Natural untreated stones usually have exceptional colour and are very rare. Heat treatments to enhance colour is the most common while the other common treatment includes clarity enhancements.
Pearls have always been one of the most sought after items for jewellery and with the different options available today it is important to understand what the differences are. The vast majority of pearls on the market today are Cultured Pearls that have been grown by suppliers under controlled comnditions. Natural pearls are now very rare. To make a cultured pearl a tiny bead is implanted by hand into an oyster and this is gradually coated over time in layers of nacre. Nacre is what gives pearls their wondrous colour and lustre.
There are four main types of pearls today.
- South Sea Pearls
- Akoya Pearls
- Tahitian Pearls
- Freshwater Pearls
There are many different colours that pearls come in. The most common colours are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver and black. Many pearls also have an overtone of a different colour when viewed under certain lighting conditions.
Generally the better the shine (lustre) of a pearl, the more valuable and desirable the pearl is. Larger pearls genrally have better lustre as they have more nace which is what gives the pearl its lustre.
While most people associate pearls with a round shape, there are many other shapes. Round pearls are the rarest and most in demand, however large high lustre baroque pearls are also known to be very valuable.
Pearls come in a variety of sizes and the type of pearl usually determines what size they come in. Freshwater pearls are generally the smallest ranging in size between 3 - 7mm on average. South Sea and Tahitian pearls are the largest growing up to over 18mm.
Pearls are very different to diamonds and gemstones and require differnt methods to clean and maintain. Wearing pearls often actually helps care for them as the bodys oils keep the pearls looking lustrous. Under no circumstance should you clean pearl jewellery in an ultrasonic cleaner or use chemicals.