March 12, 2015

 12 steps about how to buy loose gemstones online.


  1. To find the proportions of a gemstone, you need to see at least three photographs of the same gemstone - in one photograph you should see the crown, in another the pavilion and in the third you should see the girdle. This is the only way to get an idea of the true size of the precious gemstone. 
    Gemstones with small pavilions have a “fish-eye” effect and in gems with a lot of pavilion the gem's centre will appear darker.


  1. It is important that there is a video. 


  1. Pay attention to the colored gems, and see colours of several gemstones that are available from the same retailer. It is impossible for all the photos to show the same colour, the same shine and the same aspect. Photoshop can make miracles happen. 


  1. Move away from photographs that focus on the stone from behind (pavilion), the tone it shows won't be the “real” tone. 


  1. If you are unsure, before to buy loose gemstones online, as a general rule it is a good idea to ask to see more photographs. What type of photographs should you request? Photographs that also display a reference object - like a coin, or photographs where the gem is shown laying in the palm of a hand, etc., so you are able to gauge the stone’s true size.


  1. An image is worth more than a thousand words, but words are also necessary. Precious gemstones must be accompanied by a certificate. The sellers must always offer you the option to request a gemmological certificate from an accredited laboratory- it is a service that will cost you a little bit more but will save you from many a disappointment. 




  1. Most precious gemstones are TREATED. There are treatments that don't affect the value of a gem, whilst others do. The most valuable gemstones are those that are the most TREATED and the most MISTREATED. Before purchasing a precious gemstone, ask about their treatments and how these affect the value of the gem.


  1. Read the gem's description carefully. Very often you will read about sapphires and rubies: Natural Heated, followed by the acronym LGF (Lead Glass Treated), which references a treatment that makes the stone have a lower economic value.


  1. Miracles don't exist. Alexandrite with colour change for $10 or a 5 carat Paraiba Tourmaline for $9: Impossible. 


  1. Each gemstone type has its own colour range. It is advisable to visit websites like www.mindat.org, www.gemdat.org or  www.geminterest.com to get some information before making any purchase. Yellow and blue Ametrines? These don't exist in nature, and neither does blue Quartz that look like aquamarines.


  1. Synthetic precious gems have been around for more than a century, so it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish them from natural ones. A red gemstone can be a natural ruby, a synthetic ruby, a treated natural ruby, a treated synthetic ruby, red coloured crystal, etc... A photograph is never enough. Demand documentation for what you are paying for.


  1. The best advice – take your time. It takes thousands, even million of years for nature to create a gemstone. The extraction processes are not easy and the subsequent faceting is a delicate process, so don't hurry, get information and ask questions - that gemstone can wait a couple of days.

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