Questions About Gems and Jewelry
Learn what factors most influence a sphalerite appraisal and what kind of jewelry will best showcase this beautiful gemstone.
What’s the difference between a reflectometer and a refractometer? If you’re interested in studying or buying gems, learn the facts here.
Opal jewelry is lovely, but aren’t these gems prone to scratching and breaking? Learn the best ways to wear these colorful but delicate stones.
Garnet species are always found as mixtures. Learn what’s distinctive about the rhodolite variety.
Should you wear chrysoprase jewelry only at night to protect the gem’s striking green color? Learn the facts here.
Learn why citrine gemstones are sometimes misidentified as topaz. A professional appraisal by an independent gem lab is the best way to identify your gems.
Will wearing gemstones so they touch your finger bring you health benefits? Learn what to look for in a ring stone.
Did you know most gem species can be distinguished without the element of color? Learn the role gemstone colors play in gem identification.
Although emeralds and peridots are both green gems, differences in shade might make it hard to pair them in jewelry. Learn how to look for the right match.
Golden beryl, also known as heliodor, can display rich colors and is an excellent gem choice for jewelry. Learn more about this golden relative of emerald.
Natural alexandrite is rare, creating a market for synthetics. But are synthetics real alexandrite? Learn about natural, synthetic, and real gems here.
Opals should be handled with care. If you buy opals that have been kept in water, follow these instructions to dry them safely.
Agate stones typically form slowly in the cavities of ancient hardened lava flows. Learn where you can see this process occurring today.
A classic chameleon diamond can change color from green to yellow under certain conditions. Learn more about this process and other color change diamonds.
Emeralds get their green color from chromium and vanadium. Learn how the presence of these elements affects their formation and causes emerald fractures.
These cleaning tips will make polishing silver jewelry a little easier. Learn how to prevent tarnish and how to clean silver and pearl jewelry, too.
Aquamarine is the blue to blue-green variety of beryl. If you encounter so-called white aquamarines, buyer beware. Learn the facts about these gems here.
An inexpensive pocket spectroscope can be great for student gemologists as well as pros who need to identify gems while traveling. Learn the basics here.
What's the difference between a lab-created emerald and a natural emerald? Is a synthetic gem a real gem? Learn the facts before you buy emerald jewelry.
How does faceting affect gem value? Custom-cut gemstones are unique pieces and command a high price. Learn how custom cutting compares to factory cutting.
Turkey's gemstones include well-known species such as diaspore, chalcedony, and jade, as well as unusual specimens of lesser-known gems. Learn more here.
In Exodus, the breastplate of Aaron was said to hold 12 gems. However, the gemological identities of the stones, like jacinth and sapphire, are debatable.
Flint and mozarkite are types of chert. While flint is known for its practical use, mozarkite is a colorful variety of chert that can be made into jewelry.
Read multiple reviews of the renowned annual February Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, from 2002 to current shows, by both expert and novice gemologists.
Uranium glass, or Vaseline glass, is a prized collector's item and is generally safe to handle. But is it safe to facet? Learn about the potential risks.
Some opals from Spencer, Idaho show asterism or the “star stone” effect. Learn how to price these beautiful but rare star opals.
Although Tanzania is a source of rubies, so-called Serengeti rubies are more likely to be garnets. Learn more about rubies and misleading gem names here.
The Usambara effect is a gemstone color-change phenomenon distinct from pleochroism or the alexandrite effect. Tourmaline and other species may display it.
Do you have an offer for bargain rubies that's too good to be true? Learn what you need to know before you buy and avoid high-pressure sales tactics.
Both natural and synthetic rubies fluoresce under UV light. Learn how slight differences in fluorescence patterns can help gemologists distinguish them.
Diamonds may form under intense heat and pressure, but under certain conditions, diamonds burn. Learn the science behind a diamond's fiery end.
Appraising gemstones requires experience and an in-depth knowledge of gems. A list of gemstone wholesale prices is one element used in appraisals.
The GIA grading system describes gem color in terms of hue, tone, and saturation. Learn what the abbreviations and numbers of this gem grading code signify.
A number of online sites have reported on a large emerald, supposedly recently extracted from the Chivor mine in Colombia. However, is this apparently waterworn emerald really from Chivor (and is it really an emerald) or is it just fake news?
NGOs and movies have helped raise awareness of conflict diamonds, and governments have taken steps to stop their trade. How effective are these measures?
Our survey asked for your input on the age-old question: where is the line between ruby and sapphire? The results may surprise you!