100% Australian
Owned & Operated
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator
  • JoomlaWorks Simple Image Rotator

Buying Guide

GEM QUALITY

There are many factors affecting the quality
Coloure, Clarity, Shape (cut), Weight (Carat)

Colour.

Colour is one of the main reasons why people admire gemstones. They are created by nature, taken millions of years to form and they are beautiful. Gemstones come in thousands of colours, some are rare and some are common. Some gemstone earned their reputation for unique colours such as Ruby (red) & Emerald (green). When it comes to colour each individual has differenct taste, however the beauty of the stone always highlights by the beauty of it's colour. The beauty of the colour depends on its Hue, colour dispersion and Saturation.

Hue

Hue represents the actual colour position of all the colours. Simply, it is the actual colour of the gemstone compared to all other colours. For example, Sapphires may have Blue, Green, Yellow hues while Tourmalines may have yellow, brown, red, and green.



Colour Dispersion

 


This refers to how the colour dispersed in different zones internally. In one gemstone, colour may be different in different areas. For example in a Blue sapphire, you may have light blue and dark blue in different zones inside. Having an unevenness in colour may indicate it is a natural stone too.

Saturation

Saturation is how richly the colure is shown in the gemstone. A Ruby, with a light red hue, may have much different saturation. For example if you take 1 as very light and 10 as very dark, some of the highest priced Rubies lay around 4 and 6 on the saturation scale given other properties are there too.

Clarity

Clarity is another important factor when judging a gemstone quality. A good clean gemstone without any inclusions are rare and highly priced too. Unlike diamonds which has a universal clarity chart (vvs, vs etc), coloured gemstone industry does not have a clarity chart published. However, you can use the same diamond grading guidelines for gemstones too.

In general, a good quality gemstone has clarity at "Eye Clean" level. There are many definitions to the term "Eye Clean" but in general, it means when you look through the facet of the gemstone, there are no obvious inclusions to the naked eye at a 10 to 12 inches of distance from the eye. Despite the availability of modern new techniques for grading diamonds and gems, the traditional eye grading method still remains as the universally accepted method. The visibility differs from person to person depending on the level of each individual's vision. A trained eye has better chance of locating inclusions than an average persons eye.
On a positive note, as most gemmologists would accept, having an inclusion(s) in a gemstone proves it is natural becasue inclusions are also creations of nature. Thus, one should not concern too much about inclusions if minimal.

SHAPE (CUT)

Obviously, cut is a very important factor because it really gives a raw gemstone the life it deserves. Unless you are a gemmologist, a rough gemstone would not look appealing to an ordinary person. It is the shape and the craftsmanship of the cut that highlight the inner beauty of the stone.

Below isa an examples of our blue sapphires in rough form and the same stones after the cut.



Weight (Carat)

Gemstones weight is represented by the tem Carat. Numerically, 1 gram equals to 5 carats. The value of the gemstone goes up with increasing weight, given other properties are met. For example, some small gemstones (eg. A good Alexandrite) have a higher value compared to some quite large gemstones (eg. Citrine, …).

Enhancements

The quality of a gemstone also depends on any treatments applied to it too. Any ethical enhancements usually will not affect the preciousness or the value of the gemstone. Any unethical treatments/ modifications will always affect the quality and the value of the gemstone and they should be avoided. Read more.

Usually if a great looking gemstone with a price tag which is too good to be true has a good chance of being unethically enhanced, modified, imitation or a synthetic.

In brief, the quality and the value of a gemstone depend on a combination of all the quality factors mentioned above and many other factors such as country of origin, etc.

MORE ABOUT ENHANCEMENTS

Many gemstones, including diamonds, are enhanced to improve different characteristics. All merchants have duty of care to disclose any known enhancements to public under Australian Laws. Any enhancements processed other than nature should reflect the price of the gemstone. Some  traditional enhancements have proven over centuries to be acceptable since those methods are less likely to affect the stability and durability of the gemstone. Those methods only have minor effects to a gemstone's price too.
Non Traditional methods of enhancement and modifications are widely in use however we try our very best to avoid those gemstones. Some gemstones can only acquire its unique colours from different enhancement methods such as heating.

Some unethical methods are becoming harder than ever even to be detected by experts. Non-traditional methods are not 100% proven to be safe for gemstone's preciousness.

Gemstones that are less likely to be enhanced are Spinel, Chysoberyl (alexandrite/ Cat’s Eye) and Garnet.

Traditional Acceptable enhancement methods

Heat treatment. (Strength of enhancement- Permanent)

Like diamonds, this has been the most acceptable method of treatment to enhance gemstones which has been used for centuries. Traditional heating method uses heat to accelerate the natural heating process to improve/change a gemstones colour or clarity. Heating itself does not affect the quality or durability of the gemstone. Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Aquamarine, Topaz, Peridot, and Amethyst are some of the most commonly heat enhanced gemstones. Examples of other which are likely to enhance gemstones are Some Toumalines, some Zircons and some Garnet varities.

Oiling (Strength of enhancement- Moderate to long term)

Also used for centuries for Emerald enhancement, oiling uses a colourless oils and oil based waxes with gemstone with fractures to improve its appearance.

Non-traditional enhancements

Beryllium diffusion (Strength of enhancement - Long term to permanent)

Also called, lattice diffusion. This is becoming more common for Sapphires (Blue & Yellow) and some other gemstones. This method uses colouring agents with heating so that the chemical is absorbed deep into the stone to improve its colour. This method is still under heavy discussion and research to conclude whether it’s ethical or unethical.

Irradiation (Strength of enhancement - permanent)

Widely use in Diamond industry too, this radiation treatment uses subatomic particles to change the colour and the clarity of the stone. Many coloured diamonds, attractive Reddish Tourmalines and striking Topazes are most likely to be irradiated gemstones. This is a permanent method of treatment but prices are relatively lower than non-irradiated stones.

General Diffusion (Strength of enhancement- moderate to long term)

This method uses titanium and iron to glaze the surface of the gemstone (mainly Corundum). Once diffused, the gemstone will lose its clarity and colour if re-cut. Special care is needed for maintenance and is not an acceptable method by us.

Fracture filling (Durability-Long term)

Popular for rubies, any fractures are filled with glass or High density Plastics. We do not recomend fracture filled gemstones and  make sure you test before you buy or ask for a certificate.

Bleaching- Mostly for Diamonds, Opal & Pearls

Coating/ Dyeing – Like general diffusion this method mostly use to colour diamonds. Prices are very low and extra special care is required.

There are many other forms of enhancements/modifications in the industry. We recommend you to do further reading if interested. Some examples are, Flux Healing, Lasering, doubling (using natural stone slice on the faceted side and gluing a synthetic or an immitation on the bottom side) etc.