The Four Important C’s
A gemstone that is faceted has a price value linked to its physical and optical qualities. These are colour, clarity, cut, and carat, the four C’s. There are two other very important aspects as well. 1, The rarity of the gems features, and 2, the mine in which the gem was mined.
All of these play a very important role in the pricing value of the gem. Two of these features are size and colour. Larger stones are a rarity. When they are mined stones get damaged and broken. A nice large stone is therefore generally worth more. Remember, quite a bit of the raw stone will be cut away to shape it.
A second feature is the colour, the deeper or brighter the colour of the gem, the better the quality. Sometimes the colour difference is so small that it is almost impossible to see with the naked and untrained eye. A slightly more orange ruby is worth far less than a pure red one.
The clarity of the stone is just as important when it comes to cut and faceted gems. Clarity means that there is nothing visible in the stone that might block the passage of light. Stones are natural earth products. They have veins and bubbles and cracks, hence the high value of a clear stone. The only stone for which this is not true is an emerald.
They are type 3 stones and generally, the ones that are perfectly clear are also incredibly small. Mines are important too in pricing gems, especially to gem collectors. For example, the Jan Coetzee Copper mine is well known for its large deposits of clear quartz.
Due to the soil and chemicals that create copper, the quartz from the mine has a green tinge to it, which in itself is very rare. The mine closed in 1971, leaving its green tinge crystals as somewhat of a collector’s item. This is just one example of how a mine itself can affect the price of a crystal.
The Difference Between Precious and Semi-Precious Stones
It would be foolish not to point out that precious stones are of course also worth more than semi-precious stones. It is however an old argument as to how does the average Joe knows the difference between the two. Precious stones, in modern times, are diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.
Everything else that you find is considered a semi-precious stone.
All precious stones are translucent with their fine colour in their purest form, except of course for the diamond which is devoid of colour. They are also generally harder than other stones, measuring between 8 and 10 and the Mohs Scale.
Good Old Hard Labour Lastly, it is important for the consumer to remember that an incredible amount of work went into creating that one small stone on their ring. From the person that had to mine it went to the evaluator, generally, a gemologist, after which it had to be cut and polished using incredible equipment to get it to be that stone.
Lastly, when you wear a gem you are wearing a part of the earth. That is priceless in and of itself.