Sterling Canyon presents part 2 of our series about choosing the right gemstone when buying your next necklace or set of earrings. A beautiful gemstone doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be fake. What it needs to be is real and when worn to a fine restaurant makes you shine and feel good.
These tips in buying a true gemstone are brought to you by Professional Gemologist Antoinette Matlins, author of Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide (GemStonePress) and Colored Gemstones (GemStone Press), among other books.
The more you know, the more you’ll enjoy searching for lovely colored gemstones. Whatever color you prefer, and whatever your budget, there is a sparkling natural gem awaiting your discovery: if you are seeking an emerald-green stone but can’t afford a fine emerald, you have many wonderful choices today, including green garnet (tsavorite), green tourmaline, chrome diopside, or green tanzanite. If red is your color but you can’t afford a ruby, you might choose from red spinel, red tourmaline, or red garnet. Finally, if you prefer blue, choices now include blue spinel, iolite, tourmaline, and tanzanite. And we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface. Just be sure to keep in mind the many ways that gemstones can be treated and imitated, and why it is so important to know how to confirm the identity and quality of what you buy. Learn what questions to ask, what to get in writing on the sales receipt, and how to find a reliable expert to verify your purchases so that you’ll be able to enjoy your gemstones for generations to come. You may also want to consider obtaining a few inexpensive pocket-size tools that are easy to use and require no gemological or technical background. Many people find that examining stones themselves adds more fun, enriches the overall experience, and most important, enables them to easily spot most of the fakes. Spending a little extra time to learn what precautions you can take will help you avoid costly mistakes and derive lasting pleasure from your purchases.