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Learn Gemology

Science, tools, gem identification, treatments, valuation and grading of gemstones.

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Gemstone Values

Lookup the current retail and wholesale price of any gemstone.

Learn Jewelry & Lapidary

Cutting and faceting stones, jewelry settings, metals, tools and techniques.

Gemstone Encyclopedia

Detailed information for any gemstone you are interested in.


Desert Prospecting: Discovering California Turquoise

My day started out as it usually does, walking up and down the side of this particular mountain prospecting for gold. Prospecting in the Mojave Desert in April is an interesting experience. You never know what kind of weather you may encounter. It can be very much like a hot summer day or a windy, beautiful spring day. This day it was sunny and very hot. My thermometer was giving me readings between 102*F and 107*F throughout the day. It was very warm for that time of year and it was difficult dealing with the heat. I was not yet acclimated and had to take regular water breaks to keep hydrated. Read more...

Guide to Georgian Period Antique Jewelry

The Georgian Period of jewelry design covers the reign of four English kings named George: George I, II, III, and IV. Even though the name of the period is English derived, the English alone were not responsible for influencing jewelry motifs. French, German, and Italian historical events influenced jewelry designs too. Read more...

Gemstone Photomicrography and Inclusion Photography

In 2004, while a student at the Gemological Institute of America, I opened the "Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones Vol.1" for the first time. I was looking for a career change and, while I didn’t exactly have a plan, I knew I was burned out in my previous job. I was excited by the idea of studying gems, and by the challenge it offered. I met great people, and I learned a lot, but the bigger surprise was the gemstones – the secrets they held, the unbelievable vistas within, and the way they fired my imagination. Within a year, I was working at the GIA, honing the skills that would set the foundation for a decade long adventure of photomicrography. Read more...

How it Works: Recutting Gems to Maximize Value

We've discussed in other articles how precision cutting can make a big difference in the optical performance of a gemstone when cut from the rough, and how recutting diamonds and colored stones can be a useful tool to repair damage. This time, we will demonstrate how a skilled lapidary with proper equipment can take an average or even below average native-cut, commercially cut, or otherwise poorly cut gemstone and make it into something truly special and compelling. Read more...