With hundreds of gemstone types in existence today, the one-of-a-kind rarity, beauty, and durability of each unique stone or mineral determine its exclusive value. We’ve put together a general gemstone information guide regarding the formation, characterization, value factors, and jewelry standards of these beautiful gems. Read through this compilation to learn more about fine gemstones and their place in the jewelry market.
The Nature and Formation of Gemstones
Gemstones originate from a variety of organic sources. Most gems in the world—organic minerals, rocks, and crystals—form naturally underneath the Earth’s surface through a cycle of systemic metamorphosis. The required underground environment conditions for gem formation include several natural ingredients alongside the right temperature, pressure, space, and time.
For this reason, many gem deposits around the globe are located close to fault lines or other areas where tectonic plates interact to generate optimal heat intensity and high pressure. Besides the standard metamorphic, other gem formation processes include igneous, hydrothermal, and sedimentary.
Gem Information: The Factors Determining Value
After being mined from the Earth’s surface, geologists classify gemstones by their physical properties and unique characteristics. Invented by geologist Friedrich Moh in the 19th century, this system of classification is known as the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Relative hardness and toughness (on a scale of 1-10, from softest to hardest) refer to a gemstone’s innate resistance to scratching or breaking.
When learning about gems, understand that gemstones are traditionally distinguished by their precious or semi-precious disposition. The four precious gemstones known to humankind are diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. These precious gemstones have distinctive perceived value factors: they are translucent, extremely rare, and rated the hardest among others on the Mohs scale. All other gemstones are classified as semi-precious by default but have their own unique value.
Purchasing Timeless Fine Jewelry With Gemstones
Gemstone jewelry pieces or adornments feature chosen stones based on their variety, beautiful appearance, and durability. Supply and demand largely influence the pricing of precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry today. Experts examine and evaluate their color, clarity, cut, and carat alongside their age, condition, and rarity. Shop our full selection of fine antique, vintage, and estate jewelry and find a beautiful array of gemstones from every era.