Gemstones allow you to bring a lot of color to your jewelry. From the deep purple of amethyst to the shocking pink sapphire to the gentle butter-yellow tourmaline, gemstone jewelry allows you to show more of your personality. But remember that gemstones, too, have different grades of quality, and it is important to educate yourself about the qualities that are assessed to determine the overall value of your chosen stone.

Gemstone Clarity

In gemstones, clarity refers to the amount of internal flaws (inclusions) or external flaws of each stone. Most gemstones have some amount of inclusions, and finding a flawless gemstone is rarer than finding a flawless diamond.

Read more about Gemstone Clarity.

Gemstone Cut

A gemstone can be cut the same way that any diamond can, although each stone has particular features that lend themselves to particular cuts. Brilliant cuts are made to maximize the amount of light return from a gemstone by being cut with many facets. 

Read more about Gemstone Cut.

Gemstone Grading

The grading system used on gemstones is just like that of diamonds, but also considers the following: transparent, with transmits light without serious diffusion; translucent, which allows light to pass through, but only diffusely (semi-transparent); and opaque, which does not allow light to pass through. 

Read more about Gemstone Grading.

Gemstone Polish

Darker-colored and opaque gemstones can be polished instead of faceted. This is called the cabochon cut, which consists of a smooth, rounded surface with no facets for the light to dance off of. It does, however, create the "cat's eye" and "star" effects, which are equally beautifully in their own way.

Read more about Gemstone Polish.