International Gem Society

Articles by International Gem Society

Anniversary Gifts By Year

Anniversary Gifts By Year

Each wedding anniversary is associated with a gemstone. Our chart tells you the best gemstone anniversary gifts by year.
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Does Synthetic Jade Exist?

Does Synthetic Jade Exist?

You might find synthetic jade for sale, but is this material really lab-made jade or something else? Learn how to...
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Distinguishing Common Jade Lookalikes

Distinguishing Common Jade Lookalikes

Our table comparing the properties of jade lookalikes with natural jade will help gemologists distinguish authentic jade from simulants.
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Is Xinjiang Nephrite Banned in the US?

Is Xinjiang Nephrite Banned in the US?

How does the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act of 2021 affect imports of Xinjiang nephrite jade from China? Learn what...
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Do the 2021 US Myanmar Sanctions Affect the Jade Trade?

Do the 2021 US Myanmar Sanctions Affect the Jade Trade?

What do the 2021 Myanmar sanctions cover and will they affect the jade trade? Learn about the origins, scope, and...
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Jade Engagement Ring Guide

Jade Engagement Ring Guide

Jade is an elegant choice for an engagement ring stone. Our jade engagement ring guide will show you how to...
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Does Chrysoprase Jewelry Fade?

Does Chrysoprase Jewelry Fade?

Should you wear chrysoprase jewelry only at night to protect the gem’s striking green color? Learn the facts here.
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Can You Identify Gems Without Seeing Gemstone Colors?

Can You Identify Gems Without Seeing Gemstone Colors?

Did you know most gem species can be distinguished without the element of color? Learn the role gemstone colors play...
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Price and Value: Factory-Cut vs Custom-Cut Gemstones

Price and Value: Factory-Cut vs Custom-Cut Gemstones

How does faceting affect gem value? Custom-cut gemstones are unique pieces and command a high price. Learn how custom cutting...
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Onyx Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Onyx Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

For millennia, artisans have carved intricate cameos from black-and-white onyx. Solid black onyxes, faceted or cabbed, are also popular jewelry...
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Peridot Buying Guide

Peridot Buying Guide

Our peridot buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify...
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What are Lab-Grown Sapphires?

What are Lab-Grown Sapphires?

Learn how lab grown sapphires are made and how gemologists can distinguish natural from synthetic sapphires.
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Sphalerite Buying Guide

Sphalerite Buying Guide

Our sphalerite buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify...
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Choosing the Best Faceting Wax for Your Task

Choosing the Best Faceting Wax for Your Task

Faceting wax or dop wax comes in different colors with different melting points. Learn how to choose the wax best...
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September Birthstone: Sapphire

September Birthstone: Sapphire

What is the birthstone for September? The birthstone for September is sapphire. Sapphires are members of the gem species corundum....
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Gold Refining Advice for Jewelers

Gold Refining Advice for Jewelers

Before you turn the alloyed gold you got a great deal on into gold jewelry, carefully consider what gold refining...
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What are Black Diamonds and Carbonados?

What are Black Diamonds and Carbonados?

Most black diamonds used in jewelry are enhanced, but natural black-colored diamonds do exist. Learn more about these as well...
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Jewelry Making Tools: An Introduction

Jewelry Making Tools: An Introduction

Jewelry making is a great way to tap into your creative side. Learn what jewelry making tools you’ll need to...
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Properly Charging Ceramic Laps

Properly Charging Ceramic Laps

A ceramic lap is an excellent choice for polishing gemstones. Here is a guide for properly charging ceramic laps and...
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Tips for Polishing Synthetic Corundum

Tips for Polishing Synthetic Corundum

Polishing synthetic corundum without leaving pits requires certain techniques and tools. Get expert lapidary advice here.
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Polishing Gemstones for Beginners: Pre-Polishing Advice

Polishing Gemstones for Beginners: Pre-Polishing Advice

Polishing gemstones is difficult to master. Pre-polishing plays a major role in how well a gem can take a polish....
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Sapphire Buying Guide

Sapphire Buying Guide

Long associated with royalty, sapphires are some of the most popular (and expensive) gems in the world. Our sapphire buying...
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Spinel Buying Guide

Spinel Buying Guide

Our spinel buying guide can help you learn how spinels are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a...
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The Foundation Stones of the New Testament

The Foundation Stones of the New Testament

Commentaries on the foundation stones of the Book of Revelation influenced the development of the Western birthstone system. Learn more...
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Is Golden Beryl a Good Gem Choice for Jewelry?

Is Golden Beryl a Good Gem Choice for Jewelry?

Golden beryl, also known as heliodor, can display rich colors and is an excellent gem choice for jewelry. Learn more...
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Diamond Rough and Equipment for the Occasional Diamond Cutter

Diamond Rough and Equipment for the Occasional Diamond Cutter

Finding good diamond rough and the right equipment can be challenging for a non-professional diamond cutter. Learn what to look...
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Report Card for the Best Engagement Ring Insurance in 2023

Report Card for the Best Engagement Ring Insurance in 2023

Independent report by International Gem Society on the Best Engagement Ring Insurance on the Market in 2022.
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Gemstone Wholesale Prices and the Art of Appraising

Gemstone Wholesale Prices and the Art of Appraising

There are few guides to gemstone wholesale prices. However, appraising gemstones requires in-depth knowledge and experience, not just price lists....
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Choosing the Best Colored Gemstones for Engagement Rings

Choosing the Best Colored Gemstones for Engagement Rings

Looking for alternatives to a classic diamond engagement ring? Learn about your options and see some wonderful photos of colored...
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Jewelry Nomenclature: Jewelry Attachments and Various Findings

Jewelry Nomenclature: Jewelry Attachments and Various Findings

Jewelry attachments are the pieces used to hold jewelry items together. Learn about the most popular types as well as...
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Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Earrings

Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Earrings

Earrings are available in many styles. Learn to identify the most popular types of metal and gem earrings and the...
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What Were the Gemstones of the Breastplate of Aaron?

What Were the Gemstones of the Breastplate of Aaron?

In Exodus, the breastplate of Aaron was said to hold 12 gems. However, the gemological identities of the stones, like...
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Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Bracelets and Necklaces

Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Bracelets and Necklaces

Bracelets and necklaces share much of their terminology. Learn the names and functions of the different parts of these popular...
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Recommendations for Polishing Silver Jewelry

Recommendations for Polishing Silver Jewelry

These cleaning tips will make polishing silver jewelry a little easier. Learn how to prevent tarnish and how to clean...
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Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Rings

Jewelry Nomenclature: Gem Rings

Though rings may come in many styles, gem cutters will regularly encounter a few common types of gem rings. Learn...
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The Pocket Spectroscope: A Quick Guide for Gemologists

The Pocket Spectroscope: A Quick Guide for Gemologists

An inexpensive pocket spectroscope can be great for student gemologists as well as pros who need to identify gems while...
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Cutting Star Gemstones: Tips for Beginners

Cutting Star Gemstones: Tips for Beginners

Want to start cutting beautiful star gemstones? Here are some helpful gemological resources for novice lapidaries and jewelers.
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Do Emeralds and Peridots Look Good Together?

Do Emeralds and Peridots Look Good Together?

Although emeralds and peridots are both green gems, differences in shade might make it hard to pair them in jewelry....
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How to Orient Sapphires with Silk Inclusions

How to Orient Sapphires with Silk Inclusions

Silk inclusions in sapphires are hard to detect. Learn to pick the best orientation and cut for these gems. You...
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2021 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals on Diamond Rings

2021 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals on Diamond Rings

Online diamond sellers have occasional sales throughout the year but it's time-consuming to keep track of them all. One thing...
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How to Dry Opals Safely

How to Dry Opals Safely

Opals should be handled with care. If you buy opals that have been kept in water, follow these instructions to...
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Review of Lightbox Jewelry for Blue Nile: This Will Save You Money

Review of Lightbox Jewelry for Blue Nile: This Will Save You Money

Will a lab-grown diamond from Blue Nile’s Lightbox Jewelry collection save you money? We’ll take you shopping for pink diamond...
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How Can a Gemstone's Optic Sign Change?

How Can a Gemstone's Optic Sign Change?

A gemstone's optic sign may be listed as either + or -. Learn whether impurities in a specific stone or...
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Buying a Heart-Cut Diamond (Tips and Tricks)

Buying a Heart-Cut Diamond (Tips and Tricks)

This solitaire ring displays the distinctive heart-shaped stone perfectly. This romantic diamond shape is also ideal for a 14K rose...
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Opal Wearability and Jewelry Tips

Opal Wearability and Jewelry Tips

Are opals too delicate for jewelry? Learn how to choose the right settings for opal wearability, so you can enjoy...
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Lapidary Tips for Polishing Girdles

Lapidary Tips for Polishing Girdles

What are the best techniques and tools for polishing girdles? Learn how to complete your faceted gems quickly and easily...
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Two-Carat Diamond Rings: Buying Top Quality

Two-Carat Diamond Rings: Buying Top Quality

Searching for a 2 carat diamond ring that is a real piece of eye candy?  Shopping for this diamond size...
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What Does the GIA Colored Gem Grading Code Mean?

What Does the GIA Colored Gem Grading Code Mean?

The GIA grading system describes gem color in terms of hue, tone, and saturation. Learn what the abbreviations and numbers...
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The Best Radiant Diamond Engagement Rings for Every Budget

The Best Radiant Diamond Engagement Rings for Every Budget

Radiant diamonds combine symmetry, fire, and brilliance to offer, in one stone, the best traits of round and princess cut...
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How to Choose a Metal for Your Engagement Ring

How to Choose a Metal for Your Engagement Ring

Platinum and gold are the two most popular and most expensive metals for engagement rings. But are they the best...
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How to Modify a Powder Scale for Specific Gravity Testing

How to Modify a Powder Scale for Specific Gravity Testing

Learn how to modify a powder scale for specific gravity testing. A handmade wire basket will make this easy-to-use scale...
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Guide to Organizing Your Gemstone Collection

Guide to Organizing Your Gemstone Collection

Learn how to organize your gemstone collection. Choose the storage and display options that are right for you and create...
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Best Rough Gemstones for Beginning Faceting

Best Rough Gemstones for Beginning Faceting

Learn which rough gemstones are ideal for beginning faceting practice. A progression of relatively inexpensive gem species can teach important...
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Why Choose a Barion Cut?

Why Choose a Barion Cut?

Gem faceters must consider factors like brilliance, color, and faceting yield before choosing a cut style. Learn what a Barion...
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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Jewelry Insurance Companies

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Jewelry Insurance Companies

Our jewelry insurance guide reviews the policies of the top eight companies. Learn what to look for so you can...
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Standard Gem Sizes Chart

Standard Gem Sizes Chart

Will your gem fit in a standard setting? Use this chart of standard gem sizes for popular cuts and also...
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Active Promo Codes for Diamond Rings and Jewelry

Active Promo Codes for Diamond Rings and Jewelry

Updated July 23, 2022. Up-to-date promo codes, coupons, and sales to save you money on diamond rings, engagement rings, jewelry,...
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Should I Make an Investment in Bargain Rubies?

Should I Make an Investment in Bargain Rubies?

Do you have an offer for bargain rubies that's too good to be true? Learn what you need to know...
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Gemstones with Health Benefits

Gemstones with Health Benefits

Since ancient times, people have believed gems could have healing properties. Let’s take a look at some popular gemstones with...
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Can Wearing Gems That Touch Your Skin Improve Your Health?

Can Wearing Gems That Touch Your Skin Improve Your Health?

Will wearing gems that touch the skin of your finger bring you health benefits? Before you buy any ring stone,...
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The Best Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Rings For Every Budget

The Best Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Rings For Every Budget

Asscher diamonds get their name from the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, the Dutch company that invented the cut. It features...
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The Best Round Engagement Rings For Every Budget

The Best Round Engagement Rings For Every Budget

Round cut diamonds have been around for centuries. As a timeless diamond cut, they offer exceptional resilience in popularity when...
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The Best Cushion-Cut Engagement Rings For Every Budget

The Best Cushion-Cut Engagement Rings For Every Budget

Cushion-cut diamonds are the second most sought-after diamonds on the market today. The cut's popularity comes from combining two other...
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Gem and Jewelry Insurance Quotes: Four Money-Saving Questions

Gem and Jewelry Insurance Quotes: Four Money-Saving Questions

How can you get lower gem and jewelry insurance quotes? Asking a potential insurer these four questions could help lower...
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Is Lab-Created Alexandrite Real Alexandrite?

Is Lab-Created Alexandrite Real Alexandrite?

Natural alexandrite is popular and rare, which creates a market for synthetics. But is lab-created alexandrite real alexandrite? Learn the...
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Jewelry and Gemstone Insurance: Nine Questions You Need to Ask

Jewelry and Gemstone Insurance: Nine Questions You Need to Ask

Before you buy jewelry and gemstone insurance, learn what to ask insurance companies and make sure the policy meets your...
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Gems and Jewelry?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Gems and Jewelry?

Your homeowners insurance may cover gems and jewelry, but don’t assume it covers all risks or the value of your...
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Is Uranium Glass Safe to Facet?

Is Uranium Glass Safe to Facet?

Uranium glass, or Vaseline glass, is a prized collector's item and is generally safe to handle. But is it safe...
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The Best Oval Diamond Engagement Rings for Every Budget

The Best Oval Diamond Engagement Rings for Every Budget

Oval diamonds are consistently one of the most popular diamond cuts on the market. Oval diamond engagement rings are popular...
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Jewelry and Gemstone Appraisals for Insurance

Jewelry and Gemstone Appraisals for Insurance

Need insurance for your jewelry? You’ll need jewelry and gemstone appraisals. Learn what info they should include and who to...
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Diamond Cutting for Hobbyists: Getting Started

Diamond Cutting for Hobbyists: Getting Started

With study, care, and the right tools, hobbyist gem cutters can add diamond cutting to their repertoire. Get started with...
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Are There Any Fair Gemstone Pricing Formulas?

Are There Any Fair Gemstone Pricing Formulas?

Can gemstone pricing formulas help gem merchants and buyers make fair deals? Learn what factors should play a role in...
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What's the Difference Between Mineral Samples and Gem Rough?

What's the Difference Between Mineral Samples and Gem Rough?

For faceting, the distinction between gems and minerals is usually clarity. However, learn why the decision to cut may be...
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Aquamarine Grading and Pricing

Aquamarine Grading and Pricing

Aquamarines are evaluated based on the Four Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat. Learn how each factor affects aquamarine grading...
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Learn How to Use the IGS Gem Price Guide

The IGS Gem Price Guide covers commonly traded colored gemstones as well as more unusual, collectible gems. The values listed...
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What is Gemstone Dispersion?

What is Gemstone Dispersion?

Learn what gemstone dispersion means, what causes it, and how it relates to other optical effects.
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A Tribute to Bench Jewelers

A Tribute to Bench Jewelers

Bench jewelers work very hard with little or no acknowledgement, creating and repairing treasured possessions. These stories pay tribute to...
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Creating Ring Mountings for Deep-Cut Gemstones

Creating Ring Mountings for Deep-Cut Gemstones

Deep-cut gems like Barions may not fit in standard ring mountings. Jewelers can try to find special mounts or custom...
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Aquamarine Enhancements

Aquamarine Enhancements

The most common aquamarine enhancements try to turn blueish green stones pure blue. Learn how heating and other aquamarine treatments...
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Aquamarine Durability

Aquamarine Durability

Aquamarines are fairly tough jewelry stones, but they do have some weaknesses. Learn about aquamarine durability and what precautions you...
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Synthetic Aquamarines

Synthetic Aquamarines

Synthetic aquamarines are relatively rare, but gemologists may encounter them. Learn how these stones are made and how to distinguish...
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Aquamarine Setting Advice

Aquamarine Setting Advice

Aquamarines can look great, but what’s the best way to mount them? Novice jewelers should learn the pros and cons...
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Distinguishing Aquamarine Imitations

Distinguishing Aquamarine Imitations

How can gemologists quickly distinguish aquamarines from aquamarine imitations? We’ll review some common lookalikes and their most notable differences.
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Aquamarine Sources

Aquamarine Sources

Aquamarines are popular gemstones and can be found in many areas worldwide. Learn about some prized varieties and the most...
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How Do Aquamarines Form?

How Do Aquamarines Form?

The March birthstone, aquamarine is a popular gem. Learn how aquamarines form, what they look like, and how they get...
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Six Famous Aquamarines

Six Famous Aquamarines

Aquamarines have been cut into many large and beautiful gemstones. Let’s take a look at six of the world’s most...
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Does Refractive Index Affect Gemstone Brightness?

Does Refractive Index Affect Gemstone Brightness?

Many factors contribute to gemstone brightness. Learn the role a gem's refractive index plays and the difference between gemology theory...
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Recommended Diamond Grading Tools for Novices

Recommended Diamond Grading Tools for Novices

Identifying diamonds requires the right equipment. Learn what diamond grading tools novice professionals or hobbyists need.
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Faceting Tips for Exotic Gemstones

Faceting Tips for Exotic Gemstones

Some gems are seldom faceted because they're rarely found in nature or rarely used for jewelry. Learn a few tricks...
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Some Advice for Cutting Tourmaline Gemstones

Some Advice for Cutting Tourmaline Gemstones

Cutting tourmaline can be difficult. Some gems seem to shatter easily. Learn faceting techniques to minimize this risk as well...
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What is a Crystal?

What is a Crystal?

Learn the scientific definition of crystal used by gemologists and answer some basic questions about what is and is not...
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What is a Gem Reflectometer?

What is a Gem Reflectometer?

What’s the difference between a reflectometer and a refractometer? If you’re interested in studying or buying gems, learn the facts...
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What is the Usambara Effect In Gemstones?

What is the Usambara Effect In Gemstones?

The Usambara effect is a gemstone color change phenomenon distinct from pleochroism or the alexandrite effect. Tourmaline and other species...
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What is a Chameleon Diamond?

What is a Chameleon Diamond?

A classic chameleon diamond can change color from green to yellow under certain conditions. Learn more about this process and...
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Can Diamonds Burn?

Can Diamonds Burn?

Diamonds may form under intense heat and pressure, but under what conditions can diamonds burn? Learn the science behind a...
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What Causes Fuzzy Refractometer Readings?

What Causes Fuzzy Refractometer Readings?

Fuzzy refractometer readings may be the result of poorly faceted gems, the wrong amount of refraction liquid, and even stone...
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How to Estimate Gem Weight in a Jewelry Setting

How to Estimate Gem Weight in a Jewelry Setting

Although you can't weigh a gemstone in a jewelry setting, you can get a close approximation of the gem weight...
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What are Gemstone Absorption Spectra?

What are Gemstone Absorption Spectra?

Learn how gems absorb wavelengths of light and how gemologists use gemstone absorption spectra to identify gems. There’s more to...
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How to Re-Polish a Refractometer Hemicylinder

How to Re-Polish a Refractometer Hemicylinder

The glass used to make refractometer hemicylinders is susceptible to tarnish. Here's a step-by-step guide for re-polishing a refractometer hemicylinder....
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Spectroscope Instructions for Novice Gemologists

Spectroscope Instructions for Novice Gemologists

The spectroscope is one of gemology’s principal tools. Our basic spectroscope instructions will teach you how to operate and calibrate...
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Specific Gravity Testing Part 5: Using Heavy Liquids

Specific Gravity Testing Part 5: Using Heavy Liquids

Using heavy liquids to measure a gemstone's specific gravity poses some health hazards. Learn the techniques and precautions that gemologists...
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Specific Gravity Testing Part 3: Calculating Specific Gravity with an Electronic Scale

Specific Gravity Testing Part 3: Calculating Specific Gravity with an Electronic Scale

You can use an electronic scale for calculating specific gravity if you have the right accessory, a hanging basket for...
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Specific Gravity Testing Part 2: Using a Balance Scale or a Hanneman Specific Gravity Scale

Specific Gravity Testing Part 2: Using a Balance Scale or a Hanneman Specific Gravity Scale

Using a balance scale to test specific gravity is a recommended practice in gemology. Learn to make your own scale...
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Specific Gravity Testing Part 1: Definitions

Specific Gravity Testing Part 1: Definitions

Learn specific gravity testing methods for gem identification. Our 5-part introductory series starts with the basics and key definitions.
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Color Change Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Color Change Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Any stone that changes color under different types of light is a rare treat for collectors. Color change garnets show...
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How Does Vapor Deposition Create Mystic Topaz and Aqua Aura Quartz?

How Does Vapor Deposition Create Mystic Topaz and Aqua Aura Quartz?

Vapor deposition can be used to enhance gemstones like topaz and quartz with a metal coating or sheen. Learn how...
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Topaz Buying Guide

Topaz Buying Guide

Our topaz buying guide can help you learn how topazes are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a...
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Refractive Index List of Common Household Liquids

Refractive Index List of Common Household Liquids

Gemologists may immerse gems in refraction fluids during examinations. This refractive index list of household liquids offers some common alternatives....
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Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Reviews

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Reviews

Novice and expert gemologists discuss their experiences at the celebrated annual February Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. You'll find reviews...
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Pricing Faceted Gems and Calculating Your Return

Pricing Faceted Gems and Calculating Your Return

Properly pricing faceted gems can be a daunting task for investors. Learn how to research gem prices and calculate your...
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Marketing Your Gems Online

Marketing Your Gems Online

Accurate descriptions and quality photographs are essential for marketing your gems online. Learn about options and best practices for improving...
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A Guide to Gem Selling Platforms

A Guide to Gem Selling Platforms

Determining where to sell your gems — whether online or in-person — can be difficult. Here’s a look at the...
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Negotiating Strategies for the Gem Trade

Negotiating Strategies for the Gem Trade

What negotiating strategies work best in the gem trade? Learn how some general principles and a win-win mindset can help...
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How to Prepare for Gemstone Negotiations

How to Prepare for Gemstone Negotiations

Research is crucial for success in any business deal. To prepare for gemstone negotiations, focus on these three subjects to...
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Negotiations 101: Key Principles for Buying Gems for Profit

Negotiations 101: Key Principles for Buying Gems for Profit

Your gem investment profits depend mostly on the prices you set through negotiations. Understanding four key business principles will help...
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Options for Financing Gem Buying for Profit

Options for Financing Gem Buying for Profit

How should you pay for investment gems? Learn the pros of cons of three options for financing gem investments —...
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How to Establish a Network of Gem Trade Contacts

How to Establish a Network of Gem Trade Contacts

To make a profit investing in gems, you’ll need a network of gem trade contacts. Here’s some advice on how...
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Gemstone Sourcing Guide

Gemstone Sourcing Guide

Investors have many gemstone sourcing options, but which ones will work best for you? Learn the pros and cons, as...
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The Impact of Lab-Grown Stones on the Gem Market

The Impact of Lab-Grown Stones on the Gem Market

Lab-grown stones have the potential to disrupt the gem market. Learn how they can affect supply and demand and whether...
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Insights on Gemstone Pricing

Insights on Gemstone Pricing

Gemstone pricing can vary greatly between dealers. Learn about the myriad factors that go into prices for both colored gems...
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Gemstone Orientation for Beginners

Gemstone Orientation for Beginners

Choosing the best gemstone orientation for your rough takes skill and experience. Learn what factors you should take into account...
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Gemstone Rarity and Ease of Replacement

Gemstone Rarity and Ease of Replacement

Most gemstones are rare, but some are rarer than others. Learn how gemstone rarity and ease of replacement can affect...
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Supply and Demand: Gemstone Market Dynamics

Supply and Demand: Gemstone Market Dynamics

The gem market can be very subjective. Nevertheless, investors can make money by starting with the basics: understanding supply and...
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What Do the GIA Gem Clarity Grading Codes Mean?

What Do the GIA Gem Clarity Grading Codes Mean?

A gemstone’s clarity grade indicates how free it is of inclusions and blemishes. Learn how to decipher the GIA clarity...
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Gemstone Buying for Profit: Budget and Basis

Gemstone Buying for Profit: Budget and Basis

Good-quality gemstones are expensive, but you can make money investing in gems even if you have a small investment budget....
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Managing Your Time Horizon for Gem Buying and Selling

Managing Your Time Horizon for Gem Buying and Selling

How long should investors hold on to gemstones? Learn how your investment goals, business model, and patience affect your investment...
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Evaluating Market Risk for Gemstones

Evaluating Market Risk for Gemstones

Gemstone investors must keep up with global trends when evaluating market risk. Learn how studying sociocultural factors can lead to...
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Risk Management and Gem Buying for Profit

Risk Management and Gem Buying for Profit

You can’t eliminate all risks from gem investing, but understanding the risks you’ll face and your appetite for them will...
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Buying Gems for Profit: An Introduction

Buying Gems for Profit: An Introduction

Successful investing in gemstones requires knowledge and experience. The IGS Buying Gems for Profit course will give you the knowledge...
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Gem Pricing Advice for Faceters

Gem Pricing Advice for Faceters

Gem pricing isn't easy, and guidelines aren't always fixed. Learn what factors gem cutters should consider to determine a fair...
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What is Gemstone Pleochroism?

What is Gemstone Pleochroism?

Some gems show pleochroism, two or three different colors depending on the viewing angle. Learn why this occurs and how...
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How to Re-Oil Emeralds Safely and Easily

How to Re-Oil Emeralds Safely and Easily

Oil treatment is a standard industry practice for enhancing emeralds. However, the treatments are not permanent. Learn how to re-oil...
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Meteorite Jewelry: An Introduction

Meteorite Jewelry: An Introduction

Meteorites can make beautiful, unique jewelry. This primer on meteorite terminology will help you buy the perfect meteorite jewelry piece...
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What Causes Emerald Fractures?

What Causes Emerald Fractures?

Emeralds get their green color from chromium and vanadium. Learn how the presence of these elements affects their formation and...
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Ruby Buying Guide - Special Free Preview

Ruby Buying Guide - Special Free Preview

Our ruby buying guide can help you learn how rubies are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a...
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Are White Aquamarines Genuine Aquamarines?

Are White Aquamarines Genuine Aquamarines?

Aquamarine is the blue to blue-green variety of beryl. If you encounter so-called white aquamarines, buyer beware. Learn the facts...
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Is a Lab-Created Emerald a Real Emerald?

Is a Lab-Created Emerald a Real Emerald?

What's the difference between a lab-created emerald and a natural emerald? Is a synthetic gem a real gem? Learn the...
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How to Find Curved Striae in Synthetic Ruby and Sapphire

How to Find Curved Striae in Synthetic Ruby and Sapphire

Curved striae or lines are a telltale sign of synthetic ruby and sapphire. If you're having trouble seeing them, here...
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Are Serengeti Rubies Real Rubies?

Are Serengeti Rubies Real Rubies?

Although Tanzania is a source of rubies, so-called Serengeti rubies are more likely to be garnets. Learn more about rubies...
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What is the Best Synthetic Corundum?

What is the Best Synthetic Corundum?

There are many ways to grow ruby and sapphire in a lab. However, determining the best synthetic corundum for faceting...
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What are the Best Rough Sapphire Stones?

What are the Best Rough Sapphire Stones?

The best rough sapphire stones may come from different sources, depending on the color you want. However, valuable blues may...
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Do Natural Rubies Fluoresce?

Do Natural Rubies Fluoresce?

Both natural and synthetic rubies fluoresce under UV light. Learn how slight differences in fluorescence patterns can help gemologists distinguish...
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What’s the Difference Between Rubies and Pink Sapphires?

What’s the Difference Between Rubies and Pink Sapphires?

How do gemologists distinguish between rubies and pink sapphires? Learn about the chemistry of corundum and the history of the...
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What is the Average Gemstone Faceting Yield?

What is the Average Gemstone Faceting Yield?

What’s the average gemstone faceting yield from a single piece of rough? Learn how to estimate how much material you’ll...
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Gem Cutting Acronyms and Their Meanings

Gem Cutting Acronyms and Their Meanings

You'll find gem cutting acronyms like L/W in faceting guides. Learn what these frequently used terms mean and how they...
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Table of Gems Ordered by Crystal System

Table of Gems Ordered by Crystal System

This table contains a selection of minerals gemologists may encounter as jewelry stones or gem specimens. The gems are sorted...
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Specific Gravity Values of Selected Gems

Specific Gravity Values of Selected Gems

Measuring specific gravity helps gemologists identify gemstones. The following table lists the specific gravity values for a variety of gem...
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Making Money Investing in Gems: The Top 5 Rules

Making Money Investing in Gems: The Top 5 Rules

How do you make money investing in gems? What should you buy, for how much, and how can you add...
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Gemology Career Options

Gemology Career Options

Thinking of becoming a gemologist? Consider these gemology career options, compare their estimated salaries, and decide which one may be...
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Mandarin Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Mandarin Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

While the colors of spessartite garnet gemstones cover a wide range of orange shades, the mandarin garnet is as pure...
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What is Gemstone Transparency?

What is Gemstone Transparency?

Gemstone transparency describes how much light passes through a gem and how it scatters. Learn what causes a gem to...
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Table of Refractive Indices and Double Refraction of Selected Gems

Table of Refractive Indices and Double Refraction of Selected Gems

Refractive indices and double refraction (birefringence) help gemologists identify gems. The following table lists these values for selected gemstones.
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Should I Buy a Diamond Online?

Should I Buy a Diamond Online?

Do you want to buy a diamond for an engagement ring? Don't. Still want to buy a diamond? OK. Here...
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Properties of Diamond Simulants

Properties of Diamond Simulants

Diamond simulants, like cubic zirconia and moissanite, often appear in jewelry. See how the properties of real diamonds compare with...
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Lab-Created Diamonds: The Ultimate Guide

Lab-Created Diamonds: The Ultimate Guide

Separate fact from fiction and you’ll find lab-created diamonds make great alternatives to mined diamonds. Our guide will show you...
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2018 Update to the FTC Diamond Jewelry Guides

2018 Update to the FTC Diamond Jewelry Guides

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can help jewelry marketers avoid making deceptive claims. Learn about the FTC diamond jewelry...
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Can Blockchain Diamonds Solve Ethical Sourcing and Grading Issues?

Can Blockchain Diamonds Solve Ethical Sourcing and Grading Issues?

Blockchain tech can provide secure, digital transaction records. Can blockchain diamonds resolve ethical and legal issues related to sourcing and...
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An Introduction to Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

An Introduction to Conflict Diamonds and the Kimberley Process

NGOs and movies have helped raise awareness of conflict diamonds, and governments have taken steps to stop their trade. How...
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A Brief History of Diamonds

A Brief History of Diamonds

Learn how diamonds formed geologically and how they became the virtual standard for engagement ring stones in this brief history...
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Opal and Pearl Care Guide

Opal and Pearl Care Guide

Opals and pearls have special setting, cleaning, and storage needs. Our opal and pearl care guide will help you keep...
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What is Gemstone Birefringence?

What is Gemstone Birefringence?

Gemstone birefringence is a measure of a gem's double refraction. Learn how it’s used to identify gems and see the...
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Bead and Necklace Size Charts

Bead and Necklace Size Charts

Whether you’re a novice bead jewelry maker or just shopping for necklaces, these bead and necklace size charts and links...
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Miscellaneous Gems: Polishing Survey Results

Miscellaneous Gems: Polishing Survey Results

The IGS survey results for polishing miscellaneous gems include recommendations for popular stones as well as gems seen less frequently...
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Opal Polishing Survey Results

Opal Polishing Survey Results

Take a look at the IGS member survey results for opal polishing. You'll find recommendations for polishes, laps, and techniques...
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Peridot Polishing Survey Results

Peridot Polishing Survey Results

Popular jewelry stones, peridots can actually vary in hardness. Our IGS member survey results can help you choose the right...
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Corundum Polishing Survey Results

Corundum Polishing Survey Results

The corundum gem family includes ever popular rubies and sapphires. Our IGS member survey results offer some corundum polishing recommendations....
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Cubic Zirconia Polishing Survey Results

Cubic Zirconia Polishing Survey Results

Cubic zirconia is the most popular diamond simulant currently available. You can find polishing recommendations for this material in our...
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How to Polish Gems of 7-8 Hardness: Survey Results

How to Polish Gems of 7-8 Hardness: Survey Results

Some very popular jewelry stones, such as beryl, quartz, and topaz, fall in the 7-8 hardness range. You can find...
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How to Polish Gems of 4-6 Hardness: Survey Results

How to Polish Gems of 4-6 Hardness: Survey Results

Polishing feldspar, fluorite, apatite, or other gems in the 4-6 hardness range? Our IGS member survey results can recommend some...
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Quartz Polishing Survey Results

Quartz Polishing Survey Results

Looking for lap, polish, or lubricant suggestions for quartz polishing? You can find numerous combinations and technical advice in our...
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What is my Birthstone?

What is my Birthstone?

The idea of a single birthstone for each month is a modern idea with a long history, but today's consumers...
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Gemology Book Reviews: Careers

Gemology Book Reviews: Careers

Artists, lapidaries, and gem merchants all have stories to tell. Three very different books with varied perspectives explore the lives...
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Jewelers Pricing Survey

Jewelers Pricing Survey

The International Gem Society (IGS) ran a jewelers pricing survey in 2002 and 2012. Over those ten years, we saw...
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The Mohs Hardness Scale and Chart for Select Gems

The Mohs Hardness Scale and Chart for Select Gems

The Mohs hardness scale measures a mineral's resistance to scratching. Find the traditional scale here and a chart of select...
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IGS Certification Exam: Sample Gemology Questions

IGS Certification Exam: Sample Gemology Questions

What does it take to become a professional gemologist? Try these sample gemology questions from the International Gem Society certification...
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Centrifugal and Vacuum Casting For Jewelry: A Step-By-Step Guide

Centrifugal and Vacuum Casting For Jewelry: A Step-By-Step Guide

Wax opens a world of creativity for jewelers. Learn how to use centrifugal and vacuum casting techniques, tools, and machines...
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Ruby Buying Guide

Ruby Buying Guide

Our ruby buying guide can help you learn how rubies are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a...
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How To Make A Rock Lamp

How To Make A Rock Lamp

With the right tools and a little drilling know-how, you can create a rock lamp with an agate or jasper...
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Pricing Information For Star Opals From Spencer, Idaho

Pricing Information For Star Opals From Spencer, Idaho

Some opals from Spencer, Idaho show asterism or the “star stone” effect. Learn how to price these beautiful but rare...
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What Is The Best Lap For Polishing Sapphire?

What Is The Best Lap For Polishing Sapphire?

Polishing sapphire gemstones can be tough on laps. Learn the pros and cons of different laps and some techniques to...
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What Is The Difference Between Chert, Flint, And Mozarkite?

What Is The Difference Between Chert, Flint, And Mozarkite?

Flint and mozarkite are types of chert. While flint is known for its practical use, mozarkite is a colorful variety...
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Gem Cutting Machine Recommendations

Gem Cutting Machine Recommendations

What's the best gem cutting machine for novices? Read about some popular models and learn the importance of finding the...
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Beginning Wax Casting: Resources For Jewelry Makers

Beginning Wax Casting: Resources For Jewelry Makers

Wax casting makes it possible to create intricate and unique metal pieces for jewelry. Here are some tips for beginners...
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How Should A Gemstone Contact A Faceting Machine Lap?

How Should A Gemstone Contact A Faceting Machine Lap?

Is a flat lap to dop swing really necessary? Learn how a gemstone should contact a faceting machine lap and...
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An Introduction To Turkey's Gemstones

An Introduction To Turkey's Gemstones

Turkey's gemstones include well-known species such as diaspore, chalcedony, and jade, as well as unusual specimens of lesser-known gems. Learn...
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Advice for Preforming Gemstone Rough for Maximum Yield

Advice for Preforming Gemstone Rough for Maximum Yield

To pick the right cut for a gem, you need to figure its maximum potential shape. Preforming gemstone rough is...
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Choosing And Applying Doublet Glue For Jewelry

Choosing And Applying Doublet Glue For Jewelry

What's the best doublet glue for creating assembled stone jewelry? Learn about the choices as well as tips for making...
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How To Restore The Spring Of A Sterling Silver Money Clip

How To Restore The Spring Of A Sterling Silver Money Clip

Has your sterling silver money clip lost its spring? If you have experience with metalworking, learn these methods for repairing...
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Repairing Platinum Jewelry: Tips For Getting Started

Repairing Platinum Jewelry: Tips For Getting Started

Working with platinum is actually a little easier than working with gold. If you want to add platinum jewelry repair...
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How To Make A Quartz Wedge For Polariscope Testing

How To Make A Quartz Wedge For Polariscope Testing

A quartz wedge can be used with a polariscope to help a gemologist distinguish the + or – optic sign...
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Advice For Grading Dark Colored Gemstones

Advice For Grading Dark Colored Gemstones

Faceted dark colored gemstones can have intense colors but little brilliance. A simple formula can help a gemologist estimate a...
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Faceted Gemstones And Light Return Measurements

Faceted Gemstones And Light Return Measurements

What factors determine the light return of faceted gemstones? Facet quality, polish, color, and cut style all play roles. Learn...
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A Cabochon Bezel Setting For Unusual Opal Doublets

A Cabochon Bezel Setting For Unusual Opal Doublets

Cabochon cuts are popular for showcasing opal doublets. Learn a trick for making a bezel setting for doublets that are...
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Where Can You Find Agate Stones Forming?

Where Can You Find Agate Stones Forming?

Agate stones typically form slowly in the cavities of ancient hardened lava flows. Learn where you can see this process...
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Ring Sizing Advice For Novice Jewelry Makers

Ring Sizing Advice For Novice Jewelry Makers

Ring sizing is an important part of jewelry making and repair. Learn a few soldering and annealing tricks from the...
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Facet Designs For Beginners

Facet Designs For Beginners

What are the best facet designs for novice gem cutters? Find recommendations for cutting styles, books, resources, and gemstone rough...
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Green Tourmaline and Rubellite: Emerald-Cutting Advice

Green Tourmaline and Rubellite: Emerald-Cutting Advice

Dark green tourmaline and red rubellite gems can look very black in an emerald cut. Learn how to minimize this...
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Getting Started in the Jewelry Trade

Getting Started in the Jewelry Trade

How do you start making a living in the jewelry trade? You need to learn gemology and metalsmithing and get...
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Labradorite Gemstone Cutting Advice

Labradorite Gemstone Cutting Advice

Learn how to cut a labradorite gemstone to showcase its striking color flash most effectively. Spectrolite is one variety that...
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Why are Topaz and Citrine Gemstones Misidentified?

Why are Topaz and Citrine Gemstones Misidentified?

Learn why citrine gemstones are sometimes misidentified as topaz. A professional appraisal by an independent gem lab is the best...
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Sphalerite Appraisal

Sphalerite Appraisal

Learn what factors most influence a sphalerite appraisal and what kind of jewelry will best showcase this beautiful gemstone.
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Gemology For Kids: Games And Activities

Gemology For Kids: Games And Activities

Make gemology for kids educational and fun with these gemstone-themed games for all ages. Try these solo and party activities....
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Gemstone Crossword Puzzle Collection

Gemstone Crossword Puzzle Collection

Our gemstone crossword puzzle collection is a fun and challenging way to test your knowledge of gemology, whether you’re an...
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Gemology Reference Books: Reviews

Gemology Reference Books: Reviews

Whether you’re an expert or novice gemologist or collector, add these gemology reference books we’ve reviewed to your library.
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Best Books to Read When Getting Started in Faceting

We make recommendations about the best books to buy and read when getting started in faceting.
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2014 Clark Scholarship Finalist - Essay 5

Marilyn Monroe said “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Jill St. John said “Diamonds are forever.” Elizabeth Taylor said “Big...
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Color Change Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Color Change Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Color change sapphires are those that change color between light sources.
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Star Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Star Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Star sapphire is a type of sapphire that displays asterism, a star-like optical effect.
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Padparadscha Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Padparadscha Sapphire Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Padparadscha is a light to medium toned pink-orange to orange-pink hue sapphire.
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Quartzite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Quartzite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Quartzite is a rock made up of tightly packed quartz grains. Sometimes, it contains small crystals that reflect light. This...
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Smoky Quartz Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Smoky Quartz Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Smoky quartz comes in every shade of brown, from a light tan to nearly black. This gem is known for...
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Microcline Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Microcline Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Microcline is a variety of feldspar. The only microcline you are likely to encounter is amazonite.
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Proteus Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Proteus Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

A few almandine/pyrope garnets from the US will change with treatment into proteus garnets. In reflected light, they have a...
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Hydrogrossular Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Hydrogrossular Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Hydrogrossular differs from the other garnets in that it is never transparent. It ranges from translucent to opaque. The most...
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Jasper Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Jasper Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Jasper is an opaque, solid or patterned variety of cryptocrystalline quartz. All types of jasper take an excellent polish, are...
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Chrysocolla Chalcedony Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Chrysocolla Chalcedony Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Marketed as "Gem Silica" this relatively rare, blue to blue-green, opaque to near transparent material is the most expensive type...
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Tiger's Eye Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Tiger's Eye Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Crocidolite, (blue asbestos,) alters to quartz, but while retaining its fibrous structure. This material is frequently stained by iron, giving...
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Carnelian Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Carnelian Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

The best-known and generally least expensive variety of chalcedony is carnelian. It ranges in color from yellow-orange to rich, near...
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Gem Price Guide

Gem Price Guide

The IGS Gem Price Guide covers many popular as well as unusual, collectible gems. Find your gem’s retail value based...
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10 Most Famous Celebrity Gemstone Rings

Colored gemstone engagement rings are a trend that has been around for awhile, and the results are unforgettable and beautiful....
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Idocrase Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Idocrase Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Idocrase is one of the lesser known and more beautiful collector gems. When properly cut it is as bright and...
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Appraisals

Advanced gemological laboratory services and appraisals at cost-effective prices.
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List of False or Misleading Gemstone Names

A list of False or Misleading Gemstone Names and its Actual Gemological Name. Gathered by the source "Gemstones of the...
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Identifying Inclusions Found in Natural Gems

Identifying Inclusions Found in Natural Gems

Successful tips and guide in identifying Inclusions Found in Natural Gems. Read and learn several ways to identify inclusions found...
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How to Make a Bead Bracelet

How to Make a Bead Bracelet

This beginner's bead bracelet project is a great way to learn how to string beads with wire. Follow these hints...
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Tremolite

Tremolite runs in a solid-state series with actinolite to ferroactinolite. (Ferroactinolite is not used as a gemstone.) Details and information...
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Product Review, Ultra Tec Faceting Machine

Ultra Tec Faceting Machine Review . The Ultra Tec has been referred to as the BMW of faceting machines. We...
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Vivianite

Vivianite is fragile and soft that cut gems would be difficult to handle safely,let alone wear.The color is very rich,...
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Sunstone

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Sunstone: Get polishing methods for Sunstone. View results for various procedures in polishing Sunstone gemstones....
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Topaz

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Topaz: Get ideas and methods on polishing Topaz. View results for various procedures in polishing...
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Tourmaline

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Tourmaline: Get polishing methods for Tourmaline. View results for various procedures in polishing Tourmaline gems....
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Garnet

Faceting Survey Results for Polishing Garnet stones. Know the preferred polishing methods for Garnet. Also, view results for various procedures...
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Beryl

Polishing Beryls: Get successful tips, suggestions, and methods to polish a Beryl laptype, synthetic emerald laptype, or any gemstone of...
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Faceting Survey Results - Polishing - Comments

Below are a number of comments, instructions, and hints that I thought would be of interest.  Enjoy:) Tin Lead lap...
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Shells and Sea Shells

Shells and Sea Shells

Sea shells are one of our most ancient decorations. Our prehistoric ancestors used to string them into necklaces or hang...
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Spinel

Spinel has played an important part in gem history. Prior to the last century, it was impossible to distinguish from...
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Rhodonite

Rhodonite is a popular and useful decorative material, ranging in color from pink to a fine rose-red.This article covers informative...
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Gem Price Guide

A guide for the price of various gemstones that is based on various sources for commonly traded goods. However, gems...
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Natural Glass Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Natural Glass Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Glass comes in several natural forms. All are used in jewelry.
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Laserblue Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Laserblue Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Laserblue is a rare, synthetic glass. It's hard for glass but easy to chip.
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Interviews

Interviews

The transcription of the interview of International Gem Society IGS with C.D. Parsons of Santa Paula, Calif. and Gerald Wykoff...
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Gahnospinel Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Gahnospinel Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Gahnospinel is a solid-state solution between spinel and gahnite.
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Diamonds

Diamond are our most popular gem. ts history of use and great value extends thousands of years into the past....
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Gemology Interactive Media Reviews

Gemology Interactive Media Reviews

Have the information of authoritative gemology books at the click of your mouse. Our gemology interactive media reviews showcase three...
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Clinochlore Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Clinochlore Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Clinochlore is a family of minerals in the chlorite group. To date, only kämmerite and sheridanite varieties are known to...
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Conflicting Gemology Terms and Definitions

Conflicting Gemology Terms and Definitions

No one to date has a total inventory, or a complete database, of gems and all their properties. Gemologists need...
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Tucson 2002

Tucson 2002

This year we asked our members for their impressions of the Tucson show. Here are their impressions. A little insight...
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Hyperitdiabas Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Hyperitdiabas Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Hyperitdiabas is one of the most outstanding minerals I have encountered in recent years. Its appearance striking beautiful and a...
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Birthstone Chart

Birthstone Chart

What are the birthstones by month? January is garnet, February is amethyst, March is aquamarine, April is diamond, May is...
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Weights and Measures Conversion Chart

Printable chart to convert weights and measures including Carats, Grams, Kilograms, Ounces, Pounds and Troy Ounces Pounds and Pennyweights.
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LAP MATERIALS

A tabel of Lap Materials, Compliments of The International Gem Society. These figures are approximate and are put together for...
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Ring Size Comparison Chart

Ring Size Comparison Chart compliments of the International Gem Society. A conversion table of Ring sizes. 7 different ring size...
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Gem Structure Chart

Gem Structure Chart

A gem structure chart that shows various information on a specific structure and gems of example. Details include Refractive Indexes,...
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METAL/WAX FORMULAS

Jewelers need to know how to determine how much gold is needed for a wax mold. Here are three methods...
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BOOK REVIEW, Gem Dealers Secrets

A book review on "Gem Dealers Secrets". It is always a treat to find a book that lives up to...
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The Techniques of Master Wire Wrapping

The Techniques of Master Wire Wrapping

Gerald Wykoff has gained worldwide recognition for his "Master's" series of gemological and lapidary books. The first, Beyond the Glitter,...
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