Detailed gem buying guides with example pictures and gem prices. Covers color, clarity, cut, weight, origin, values, wholsale and retail prices, and more.

agate buying - dendritic agate bracelet with pearls
Agate Buying Guide

Decorative, patterned forms of agate are excellent natural gems. Learn more about agate's mesmerizing patterns in our agate buying guide!

alexandrite - round-cut alexandrite ring with diamonds
Alexandrite Buying Guide

Vivid color change makes alexandrite one of the world’s most coveted stones. Our alexandrite buying guide can help you find the best gem for your budget.

amber buying - amber and citrine pendant
Amber Buying Guide

One of the earliest known gems, amber’s bright sunshine hues delight and enthrall. Learn more about this ancient gem’s qualities in our amber buying guide.

amethyst buying guide - earrings
Amethyst Buying Guide

Long valued for its purple color and symbolic associations, amethyst is a versatile gem. Our amethyst buying guide can help you pick an excellent stone.

aquamarine with green hues - aquamarine buying guide
Aquamarine Buying Guide

No gem evokes the blue-green colors of the sea like aquamarine. Our aquamarine buying guide can help you choose the best gemstone for your jewelry project.

citrine buying - large citrine ring
Citrine Buying Guide

Citrine’s affordable autumn hues make it a great option for trendy jewelry. Read about the quality factors for this stylish gem in our citrine buying guide!

old mine emerald in a modern ring - emerald buying guide
Emerald Buying Guide

Our emerald buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

garnet buying guide - garnet and diamond earrings
Garnet Buying Guide

With so many colors and varieties available, garnet buying can be daunting. Whether starting your collection or completing it, our guide can help.

pearl buying - White pearls
Pearl Buying Guide

In this golden age of pearls, a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors are available. Our pearl buying guide can help you select a pearl you’ll love.

precious coral buying - Red coral and diamond
Precious Coral Buying Guide

Deep-water coral displays bright, rich reds and delicate pinks. Our precious coral buying guide will help you choose a gem for your next jewelry piece.

sapphire buying - bluish violet, Burmese
Sapphire Buying Guide

Our sapphire buying guide can help you learn how sapphires are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

Indicolite - Brazil
Blue Tourmaline (Indicolite) Buying Guide

Our indicolite buying guide can help you learn how these blue tourmalines are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone.

chrome tourmaline buying - fancy oval
Chrome Tourmaline Buying Guide

Our chrome tourmaline buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone.

crystalline quartz buying - clear quartz pendant
Crystalline Quartz Buying Guide

Although often overlooked, quartz is available in many styles at reasonable prices. Our crystalline quartz buying guide can help you pick your next piece.

fancy colored blue diamond buying - Jane Seymour
Fancy Colored Blue Diamond Buying Guide

Blue diamonds are among the rarest and most prized diamonds. Our blue diamond buying guide will help consumers understand the value factors for these gems.

fancy-colored yellow diamond buying - Diamond_3.75-Emerald-Fancy-Yellow-Ruby
Fancy Colored Yellow Diamond Buying Guide

Fancy colored yellow diamonds are becoming increasingly popular. Our yellow diamond buying guide has the information you need before your next purchase.

verdelite - pear cut
Green Tourmaline (Verdelite) Buying Guide

Our verdelite buying guide can help you learn how verdelites are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

Jade buying - Golden Dragon earrings
Jade Buying Guide

“The Stone of Heaven,” jade has an unmatched elegance. Learn more about the unique quality factors of both jadeite and nephrite in our jade buying guide.

kunzite buying - bangle
Kunzite Buying Guide

Rare and fragile, kunzite challenges lapidaries and delights jewelry aficionados. Our kunzite buying guide can help you add this gem to your collection.

lapis lazuli buying guide - brooch
Lapis Lazuli Buying Guide

Our lapis lazuli buying guide can help you learn how to grade these gems, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

Moonstone Buying Guide

With sheen reminiscent of moonlight, moonstone is treasured across civilizations. Our moonstone buying guide can help you pick a gem for your next project.

morganite buying guide - cushion-cut morganite ring
Morganite Buying Guide

Morganite has become a popular jewelry stone, especially for engagement rings. Our morganite buying guide can help you pick a great gem for any occasion.

Opal Buying Guide

Our opal buying guide can help you learn how opals are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

Constellation - Oregon sunstone buying
Oregon Sunstone Buying Guide

Our Oregon sunstone buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

peridot buying guide - Arizona peridot
Peridot Buying Guide

Our peridot buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

rubellite buying guide - pendant
Rubellite Tourmaline Buying Guide

Our rubellite buying guide can help you learn how rubellites are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

Ruby Buying Guide

Our ruby buying guide can help you learn how rubies are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

sphalerite buying guide - round brilliant cut
Sphalerite Buying Guide

Our sphalerite buying guide can help you learn how these gems are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

3.60-ct spinel - 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 high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

tanzanite buying - ring with 18k gold and diamonds
Tanzanite Buying Guide

More than just a simulant for sapphire, tanzanite’s vivid hues have stunned the gem world. Our tanzanite buying guide can help you find a gem you'll love!

Topaz Buying Guide

Our topaz buying guide can help you learn how topazes are graded, what to avoid, and how to identify a high quality stone or a bargain in the rough.

tourmaline buying - 6.67ct bicolored tourmaline
Tourmaline Buying Guide

Known for stunning, saturated hues, tourmaline is a colorful and modern gemstone. Read about quality factors for this gem in our tourmaline buying guide.

Turquoise buying - burtis blue
Turquoise Buying Guide

Revered for millennia, sky blue turquoise still has a dedicated following. Our turquoise buying guide can help you pick a gem for your next jewelry project.

zircon buying - blue zircon ring with purple and orange diamonds
Zircon Buying Guide

Long valued for its brilliance, zircon is a natural and affordable beauty. Learn more about the quality factors for this gem in our zircon buying guide.

Demantoid garnet buying guide - 0.73 ct Russian Demantoid and diamond ring
Demantoid Garnet Buying Guide

Stunning green hues and a brilliance that outshines diamond combine to make demantoids truly captivating. Read more in our demantoid garnet buying guide.

marquis cut diamond ring - how to choose a diamond
Choosing, Rating, and Grading Diamonds

First-time gem buyers may not understand how choosing, rating, and grading diamonds work. Our consumer guide both explains and offers advice on all three.

Paraiba tourmaline buying guide - Annalise ring in Paraiba tourmaline
Paraíba Tourmaline Buying Guide

Paraíba’s neon blue hues stunned the gem world in the 1980s. Read about the quality factors for this striking gem in our paraíba tourmaline buying guide.

iolite buying guide - rose cut iolite earrings
Iolite Buying Guide

Soft, violet-blue hues have made iolite a popular stone. Read about the quality factors for this trendy gem in our iolite buying guide.

rutilated quartz buying guide - rutilated quartz pendant
Rutilated Quartz Buying Guide

Silky golden rutile inclusions in quartz have become quite popular. Read our rutilated quartz buying guide to help you choose a stone for your next project.

ammolite buying guide - sunrise ring
Ammolite Buying Guide

With bright rainbow iridescence, ammolite is sure to draw attention. Read about this gem’s unique quality factors before your next ammolite buying trip.

fancy colored pink diamond buying guide - 1.2ct fancy purplish pink
Fancy Colored Pink Diamond Buying Guide

With only a few produced each year, pink diamonds are among the rarest gems on the planet. Learn how quality impacts cost for these rarities in our fancy colored pink diamond buying guide.

yellow gemstones - canary tourmaline necklace
Yellow Gemstones (With 9 Gems Best for Rings!)

From bright, sunny colors to deep golden hues, yellow gemstones are warm and inviting. Learn how to assess the quality of yellow gems, and find out which ones won't scratch or break in a ring.

chrysoprase buying guide - cabochon ring
Chrysoprase Buying Guide

With bright, apple-green hues, chrysoprase makes an attractive, eye-catching jewelry stone. If you’re looking for a top-quality gem, read this guide before your chrysoprase buying trip to help you choose the best gem for your project.

conch pearl buying guide - conch pearl and diamond earrings
Conch Pearl Buying Guide

Considering a conch pearl buying trip to the Caribbean? Quality factors for these gems differ from colored gemstones. Before you make a purchase, learn to evaluate their unique flame structure and other features.

diamond carat weight - Cullinan diamonds
Diamond Buying and the Four Cs, Part 1: Diamond Carat Weight

Diamond buyers often want to know which of the Four Cs of gem grading is most important — color, clarity, cut, or carat. However, these qualities aren’t as distinct as they seem. Learn more about diamond carat weight and how it affects the other qualities as well as overall value.

diamond color - U to V color range stone
Diamond Buying and the Four Cs, Part 2: Diamond Color

Diamond buyers often want to know which of the Four Cs of gem grading is most important — color, clarity, cut, or carat. However, these qualities aren’t as distinct as they seem. Learn more about diamond color and how it affects the other qualities as well as overall value.

faceted diamond - diamond cuts
Diamond Buying and the Four Cs, Part 3: Evaluating Diamond Cuts

Cut is perhaps the most complex of the Four Cs of gem grading and is usually taken for granted by consumers. However, diamond cuts greatly affect brilliance and fire as well as how large a stone actually looks. Learn the basic anatomy of a diamond and how professionals grade cut quality.

diamond with crystal inclusion - diamond clarity
Diamond Buying and the 4 Cs, Part 4: Assessing Diamond Clarity

Don't overspend on diamonds. Check out our diamond clarity chart to learn about the four most important factors impacting a stone's value.

blue gemstones - unheated royal blue sapphire in rhodium and white gold
Blue Gemstones (With Photos of 37 Kinds!)

Symbolic of sea and sky, blue has always been a popular color for gems. Learn how to assess color in blue gemstones and see which ones hold up best in rings and other jewelry.

round brilliant - diamond cost
The Fifth C: What Determines Diamond Cost?

What does a diamond cost? When consumers think of diamonds, they think “expensive.” However, what exactly makes that so? Beyond the unavoidable factors of mining, cutting, grading, and setting, who or what determines diamond prices?

CustomMade pear-cut diamond - buying diamonds online
Buying Diamonds Online? Match Your Shopper Personality Type to an Online Store

How can you find the right website when you’re buying diamonds online? Since everyone shops a little differently, see which of these diamond websites matches your shopper personality type.

Investment Grade - emerald quality
Emerald Quality Simplified

How can you evaluate emerald quality? Emeralds have many properties to consider. In particular, clarity can be very complex for these gems. Navneet Gems & Minerals has proposed the following system in situations when factors such as color, cut, polish, and symmetry are equal.

triangle-cut sapphire - sapphire engagement ring stone
Something Blue: Choosing Sapphire Engagement Ring Stones

Rare, beautiful, and expensive, sapphires will really wow when brides need “something blue.” When you’re shopping for sapphire engagement ring stones, some knowledge of this gem’s optical and physical properties, grading, and varieties might save you some time and money.

marquise-cut garnet - garnet engagement ring stones
Red and More: Choosing Garnet Engagement Ring Stones

For thousands of years, garnets have symbolized love, life force, and victory — perfect associations for an engagement ring. This durable gemstone also comes in a wide variety of colors, not just classic red, many relatively affordable. Learn how to choose a garnet engagement ring stone that’s perfect for your big day.

padparadscha buying guide - lotus ring
Padparadscha Sapphire Buying Guide

Lovely orange-pink sunset and lotus hues define a padparadscha. Before your padparadscha sapphire buying trip, learn the quality factors for this stone and the controversy over its definition.

Watermelon Tourmaline Buying Guide

Looking for a fun summertime gem? Watermelon tourmaline adds a pop of color that's perfect for a playful summer look. Learn about the quality factors for this gem in our watermelon tourmaline buying guide.

freshwater pearl ring - pearl engagement ring stones
Choosing Pearl Engagement Ring Stones

Although natural pearls are extremely rare and expensive, the availability of cultured pearls makes it easier to buy this classic, elegant gem than ever before. However, before choosing a pearl engagement ring stone, you need a crash course to understand this aquatic gem and the special care it requires.

malaya garnet buying guide - 4.15ct mahenge surrounded by rough
Malaya Garnet Buying Guide

Rare malaya garnets come in many colors and make wonderful jewelry stones for any style. Learn the 4Cs of this gem in our malaya garnet buying guide.

brilliant-cut kunzite- rare engagement ring stones
10 Rare Engagement Ring Stones that Won’t Break the Bank

If you’re looking for something different but affordable for your wedding rings, here are 10 rare engagement ring stones that will fit almost any budget.

pink topaz engagement ring
Colorful Options: Choosing Topaz Engagement Ring Stones

You can probably find a topaz engagement ring stone in your favorite color at a reasonable price. Learn what to look for and how to care for your gem.

white opal engagement ring
An Incredible Union of Colors: Choosing Opal Engagement Ring Stones

Celebrate your unique love story with an opal engagement ring stone. Though opals require extra care, no other gem combines color and fire the way they do.

A diamond from the original Kimberley Mine - blockchain diamonds
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 grading?

engagement ring - lab-created diamonds
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 how to shop for them.

searching for diamonds online - ring set
Searching for Diamonds Online — Save With These Tips!

Searching for diamonds online shouldn't be so complex. Use our recommended parameters to buy the best diamond for your engagement ring — and your wallet!

oval-cut diamond guide - oval solitaire
Oval-Cut Diamond Buying Guide: Beyond the Bowtie

Don’t let the bowtie effect keep you from buying an oval-cut diamond. With prices lower than rounds, ovals are also a stylish choice for engagement rings.

vvs diamond guide - diamond ring
Should I Buy a VVS Diamond? 6 Pros & Cons

Before spending money on a VVS diamond, read about the pros of cons of diamonds with this clarity grade. What you learn might surprise you!

princess-cut diamonds - bypass setting ring
Princess-Cut Diamonds: the Ultimate Guide

Princess-cut diamonds are an excellent alternative to rounds. Learn the 4Cs for princess cuts and how to choose the best diamonds for your engagement ring.

conflict-free diamonds - 1.0ct lab-made
Conflict-Free Diamonds: What Does it Mean?

Searching for an ethical engagement ring? Learn about conflict-free diamonds, issues with artisanal mining, and how to find a ring that’s right for you.

rhodolite ring - affordable engagement ring stones
Ten Big, Beautiful, and Affordable Engagement Ring Stones

Looking for a gem that will make a big impression on your finger, not your wallet? These ten gems make great options for affordable engagement ring stones.