Shopping for a rare and precious gemstone can be a daunting task for many men. You don't want to overpay for subpar quality or accidentally find yourself purchasing a fake. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself and your wallet when shopping to make sure the stone you purchase is as rare and precious as you've been told.
Knowing the Difference
First off, it's important to know that not all "real" gemstones are created equal. It's important to know the difference between natural gemstones and genuine gemstones.
- Natural Gemstones: Think of natural gemstones like organic food, they come to us exactly as nature intended. A natural gemstone has not been altered by man in any way beyond being cut and polished and has not been altered or enhanced.
- Genuine Gemstones: A genuine gemstone has been improved by man with enhancements. Many of these gemstones, while they were natural, were of subpar quality and have been improved by man by treatments.
Recognizing True Beauty
Now that you know the difference between a natural and a genuine gemstone, how do you tell the difference between these and synthetic gemstones? There are a few telltale signs to look for when studying your gemstone to see if you've got a real or synthetic gemstone. Study a gemstone with both the naked eye and a powerful magnifying glass of at least 10X for:
- Inclusions of the stone
- Marks or chipping
- Black spots, cracks, and scratches
Real gemstones are made by nature and, though there are such things as flawless diamonds, most will have minor imperfections which make them unique. You may also find markings from where a gemstone has been removed from a former setting or ring.
Check the Edges
Run your finger over the edges of the stone. A real diamond or gemstone is sharp, whereas a fake will be dull and rounded.
Check the Color
Once again, remember that a magnifying glass can be useful to you and never be ashamed to use one. A true gemstone should have a vibrant color, rich and pleasing to the eye. The better the color, the better the gemstone.
While you're checking the color, you can also conduct the fog test. Breathe onto the gemstone to see if it fogs up like a window on a cold day. If your gemstone becomes foggy, that's not a genuine gemstone.
Buoyancy is Key
If the stone has not yet been placed within a setting, try dropping it into a glass of water. A Natural gemstone is heavy and will sink to the bottom of the glass like a stone while a synthetic gemstone is lighter and will float at the top or midway down the glass.
Trust your Dealer
One of the most powerful tools at your disposal is to make sure you're going to at rusted gemstone dealer. A credible seller can help guide you to find the perfect stone for you in cut and color at the right price for your budget. A trustworthy seller is the most powerful tool at your disposal, and proper research will give you a big advantage in your shopping efforts.