Sterling Canyon reported a while back on the rarely seen gemstones that are now becoming popular in earrings and necklaces. Various red and pink shades of real Amethyst including green are now hitting the market.
Here are some tips in buying a true gemstone brought to you by Professional Gemologist Antoinette Matlins, author of Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide (GemStonePress) and Colored Gemstones (GemStone Press), among other books.
When you go to buy colored gemstones today, you will find yourself immersed in color—every hue, every shade of the spectrum. There has never been a more exciting time to search for a colored gem because there have never been so many beautiful gemstones to choose from. Yet at the same time, there have never been so many imitations, synthetics, and perhaps even worse, artificially enhanced gemstones treated by techniques that produce temporary results. Today you will find “new” gems discovered in the past few decades: emerald green garnets (tsavorite), blue and green tanzanite, and “neon” tourmalines from Paraiba, Brazil, in blue and green shades never seen before. Even natural-color diamonds can be found today in a rainbow of natural “fancy” colors, some at very “fancy” prices. But you can also be duped into buying convincing “look-alikes,” such as Paraiba-color apatite (a genuine stone, but not a rare gem such as Paraiba tourmaline), or a “fancy-color diamond” that has been coated on the underside to appear a lovely fancy color when it is not. (This is of major concern when buying pave jewelry pieces set with numerous small stones which lack laboratory documentation.) Surface-coated diamonds and surface-coated gemstones (such as tanzanite) are being found with increasing frequency. It is further complicated because such gems are sold not only by unscrupulous sellers, but also by manufacturers, designers, and jewelers who inadvertently buy them and sell them to others unknowingly. Don’t be lured into thinking you’re getting a great “bargain” by a “low price”—where gems are concerned, you usually get what you pay for, or less!