How To Buy Gemstones
Have you ever wondered what your oldest possession is? What comes to mind—an old watch, antique furniture, or your VHS collection? If you own any diamond jewelry, you own a piece of Earth’s history.
The next time you look at a natural diamond, maybe you’ll think about how it existed when dinosaurs walked the earth. It takes over one billion years for a diamond to form, and some gemstones, like black diamonds, are believed to have come from space.
As cool as gemstones are, what’s not cool is paying too much for them, or buying a fake. We’ve created a gemstone buying guide to help you choose quality gemstone jewelry without getting duped.
Quick Navigation [Hide]
- How To Choose A Gemstone
- Gemstone Colors And Meanings
- Gemstone Types
- How To Wear Gemstones
- Where To Purchase Gemstones
- How To Care Of Gemstones
How to Choose a Gemstone
When figuring out how to buy gemstone jewelry, there are a few things to consider when making a decision.
- Color: What gemstone color suits your style?
- Meaning: What are the meanings of different gemstones, and are they significant to you? Do you want to buy jewelry with your birthstone?
- Durability: How durable is the gem? Look up gemstone care and how it ranks on the Mohs hardness scale.
- Quality: Is the gemstone natural? How good is the cut, color, and clarity? Is the craftsmanship of the gemstone jewelry designed and made by an expert?
- Rarity: How rare is the gem? Some sellers will have trademark gemstone names, selling them as rare when in fact it’s a copyrighted gemstone where the scarcity can be manipulated by the owner to mislead customers.
- Price: What’s the highest-quality gem that fits your budget? Maybe you want a red gemstone, but garnet is a more affordable option for you than rubies.
Today’s jewelry buyers typically prioritize uniqueness, personalization, and meaning. Jewelry is more and more considered an accessory for self-expression. What suits your personality? Obviously, whatever you choose, you want it to be a genuine gemstone. You may wish to check out custom gemstone rings for your wedding, or custom gemstone jewelry for style needs.
Gems are classified by their physical characteristics. These physical characteristics include: color, symmetry, hardness, stability, and durability. They can also be distinguished by the different ways they break as well as the type of streak they leave when rubbed on a streak plate.
Let's take a look at the different characteristics of gemstones and what they offer:
The physical characteristics of gemstones are explained with reference to the light traveling through them. Every gemstone, in terms of its color and cut, offers a unique visual effect. Diamonds are the purest form of gemstone; they are transparent and allow light to travel easily with minimum alteration. Translucent gemstones diffuse the light – making a “frosted glass effect.” Moonstones, opal and jade are some examples of translucent gemstones.
Meanwhile, opaque gemstones do not allow any light to pass through them, making it impossible to reflect any sort of optical effect. Such gemstones, (among the natural ones), have found quite a niche due to their rare occurrence in nature. Examples of opaque gemstones are turquoise, black onyx, hematite, etc.
Another characteristic that differentiates one gemstone from another is their symmetry. In its natural form, a gemstone might look like nothing more than a rock with some attractive features.
These natural gemstones, however, then go through expert and precise cutting processes – resulting in the diverse range of shapes, for diverse range of tastes. These shapes can be categorized into round, octagon, oval, and princess...to name a few, but there are several shapes and cuts to choose from.
The hardness of a gemstone decides the amount at which it can resist abrasion and scratching. Gemstones that can withstand daily wear and tear are more ideal for everyday type of jewelry. This is one of the many reasons why this particular characteristic is used in choosing wedding and engagement rings.
Knowing a gem’s hardness will help you determine the frequency of use. Gems that are not as hard in quality are better used for non-everyday use...special occasion type of jewelry would be recommended.
The toughness of a gemstone is all about its ability to survive cracking and breaking, which can also be called mechanical shock. An example of mechanical shock would be dropping your ring on your marble floor. The ability to withstand that drop and come out unscathed is what determines your gemstone’s toughness.
The stability of a gemstone is measured on the basis of its ability to resist the effect of lights, chemicals and heat.
The durability of a gemstone is dependent on its hardness, toughness and stability. The more the latter is, the better is the durability.
Gemstone Colors and Meanings
What color gemstone appeals to you? How to buy gemstones based on color? This is a good way to start narrowing down your selection of gemstone jewelry. Here’s a list of different gemstone colors and gemstone names for you to consider.
Also called clear gemstones, white gemstones are associated with purity, clarity of thought, energy, and radiance.
The most famous white gemstone is the diamond. White gemstones are a good choice if you’re all about the sparkle and optical effects. Diamonds are the most popular white gemstone because they have exceptional fire: they produce a rainbow effect inside the gem. Diamonds are also the hardest material on Earth and are the most durable gemstone.
Other popular white gemstones for jewelry include Swarovski zirconia, moissanite, white sapphire, colorless labradorite, and white spinel. Besides diamonds, colorless gemstones are more common than colored ones, so they tend to be much cheaper.
Black gemstones are associated with mystery, knowledge, protection, life, and death. Black gemstone rings are incredibly in style right now. Jeff Goldblum completes his all-black outfits with black onyx rings. Black diamond jewelry remains relatively uncommon, despite the fact that black diamonds are the only mineral harder than regular diamonds.
The reason behind this is that black diamonds were believed to be cursed. However, wearing black diamonds is a cool way to stand out from the crowd. If you’re a black sheep, black diamonds are perfect for your self-expression.
Other popular black gemstone options for jewelry are black onyx, black diamonds, black topaz, black pearl, black jet, star sapphire, and black zircon.
Red gemstones are associated with strength, passion, ambition, protection, and vitality. Red is one of the rarest colors found in the Earth’s gems because the formation of red gemstones requires specific environmental factors.
The most famous red gemstone is the ruby. Rubies are extremely rare due to their formation requirements. Rubies and sapphires are the hardest gemstones after diamonds and are one of the most precious gems.
Rubies are a vivid red, and they have interesting optical qualities. Many rubies are fluorescent under UV light. They’re one of the few gemstones that can even fluoresce under sunlight, which is why they appear to glow. There are plenty of legends surrounding diamonds in ancient Indian texts, Biblical stories, and Medieval alchemy. They’re considered the stone of kings.
Ruby engagement rings are a great choice for women who want a unique engagement ring. Their warm glow is accented beautifully by diamonds and white gold. Rubies of two carats and higher can be very expensive since they’re rarer than diamonds.
For those who like a darker red, or who have the January birthstone, garnet jewelry is a popular choice. Garnets are rare gems that have a deep red hue to them. Other popular red gemstones are red tourmaline, red spinel, and imperial topaz.
Green gemstone jewelry represents sophistication, elegance, nature, and energy. Green gemstone jewelry is a great way to stand out since it remains one of the less popular colors for gemstones. Some popular green gemstone names are emeralds, peridot, green sapphire, jade, and green diamonds.
Peridots are formed in volcanoes, and Hawaii has one of the biggest supplies of them. An erupting volcano can shoot peridots into the sky! That’s a pretty cool fact to know if you have the August birthstone. Peridot jewelry is pretty affordable for fine gemstones, and they’re somewhat neglected by jewelry enthusiasts.
Green diamonds are rare and highly sought-after. Green diamonds meaning is associated with success, prosperity, and abundance. Green is one of the rarest colors for diamonds, as it’s caused by a particular combination of elements when it forms underground. Green diamond jewelry is a really unique and personalized way to express your fondness for the color.
Green sapphires are rarer than blue sapphires but are surprisingly cheap compared to other colors of sapphire due to their relative unpopularity.
Yellow gemstones are really in demand in fine jewelry. Yellow gems’ significance and meaning relate to new beginnings, happiness, loyalty, romance, and enlightenment. Yellow diamonds are popular with royalty. Meghan Markle (one of our celebrity customers!) was given a yellow diamond ring by her husband Prince William. It was once a part of Kate Middleton’s collection! The Queen of England enjoys wearing her yellow diamond brooch, and Kate Middleton has yellow diamond earrings. Rappers also love yellow diamonds; Gucci Mane wrote a song called “Yellow Diamonds,” and rapper Future has a massive canary yellow diamond pinky ring in 14K gold.
If you want to feel like a king or queen yourself, yellow diamond are a great way to announce it to the world. A yellow diamond engagement ring will set you apart from the traditional wedding jewelry crowd, and embody the happiness of your relationship.
If you have a November birthstone, citrine is the gemstone for you. It’s named after the French word for lemon, and symbolizes happiness and contentment. It’s an affordable gemstone that’s also pretty durable. You can personalize your yellow gemstone jewelry by choosing a citrine engagement ring.
Purple gemstones are associated with power, royalty, luxury, magic, ambition, and spirituality. If your favorite color is purple, purple gemstone jewelry is something you deserve to have in your collection.
Popular purple gemstone names are purple diamonds, amethyst, purple jasper, purple tourmaline, and iolite.
Amethyst is the most recognizable purple gemstone and the most desirable. Amethyst is the February gemstone. According to legend, amethyst jewelry can protect the wearer from overindulgence and drunkenness. So the next time you’re at a party and want to put on a purple amethyst ring!
Most purple amethyst comes from Brazil. Its meaning and significance date back to ancient times.
Pink gemstones represent warmth, universal love, energy, compassion, spiritual growth, life force, and inner fire. The most popular pink gemstones are pink diamonds, pink sapphire, pink topaz, pink opal, rose quartz, pink quartz, and other pink varieties of gemstones.
Pink sapphire is actually very similar to rubies in composition. With a little more red pigment, it could qualify as a ruby. Pink sapphire engagement rings are growing in popularity, including amongst celebrities such as Katy Perry. It’s a good choice for those with the September birthstone.
If you want a more unique color of diamond jewelry, pink diamonds are a great way to show off your personality and color preferences. Pink diamonds look great in cocktail rings, right-hand rings, pinky rings, gold chains, wedding rings, and engagement rings. The color pairs very well with all colors of gold.
Blue gemstones are associated with good luck, wisdom, holiness, the ocean goddess Yemoja, and the heavens. The most popular blue gemstone is blue sapphire. Blue sapphire is a favorite amongst royalty around the world.
The best color for sapphire is a deep, royal blue that’s neither too dark nor too light. Blue sapphire jewelry is a popular choice for unique luxury pieces. Blue sapphire engagement rings are both a classic choice and a nontraditional option for wedding rings.
For light blue gemstone jewelry, blue topaz is another elegant choice. Topaz is the November birthstone, making the gem a meaningful jewelry gift for those with November birthdays. Aquamarine is another beautiful option, but it’s less popular in recent years.
Gemstones have proven themselves to be beautiful elements of nature. They have played roles in the myths and legends of human culture for centuries. While some gemstones have stories to tell, others have been believed to possess special powers. Whether you believe those statements to be true or not, you can’t deny their beauty.
Each gemstone is unique and beautiful with it’s own story to tell, coming from all over the world. Gemstones, initially, look like your typical rock until they’re cut. It's the cutting and polishing of gemstones that bring their natural valor to life.
Gems have actually been divided into classes...precious and semi-precious. Some of the precious gems are the diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. We’re going to take a look at some of our most popular gemstones and see what kind of stories they have to tell.
Diamonds have been an object of desire for centuries. This precious jewel has been sought after by men and women...being looked at as the ultimate representation of eternal love.
Being an object of desire, it has also been linked to many stories of folklore as well. It has been said that diamonds were created when lightning bolts hit rocks, while others said that gems had magical healing powers.
Even today, diamonds are still loved and admired all over the world. People with birthdays in April feel very lucky because the birthstone for April is the diamond. So whether you want to give a mother’s day gift or a birthday gift, you can’t go wrong with a diamond... after all, diamonds are a girl’s best friend right?
With emerald being green, it has it has symbolized love and rebirth for ages, but it is also the gemstone of Venus, so it is also said to aid in fertility. In ancient Egyptian history, Cleopatra was famous for wearing emeralds…emerald rings, necklaces, and even headpieces. The dead were also buried with emeralds as a symbol of eternal youth.
It is known that, the deeper the color of the green, means the more valuable the gemstone will be. The emeralds that have the most value, usually display a somewhat blue hue, in addition to the vividly bold green the stone already possesses.
Most emeralds are found with inclusions, which are also called imperfections or birthmarks. Luckily, these inclusions in emeralds don’t take away from the natural beauty or value of this gem as it would with other gems.
This gemstone is the birthstone of May.
Rubies have been considered the gem of all gems. It represents passion, emotion, love, and courage. It was believed that wearing a red ruby brought good fortune. For centuries rubies have been prized possessions to royalty all over the world, and even in today’s world, rubies are considered to be the most valued gemstone.
The actual color of the ruby is the most important and well-known attribute. The color comes in several different variations of red. The ruby’s red hues can be seen in a purple variation, as well as an orange color.
The Burmese Ruby is the most valuable color variation of the ruby family; it’s also the brightest. This particular ruby has been called “pigeon blood.” Ironically enough, the term “pigeon blood” isn’t even referencing the color of the pigeon’s blood...it’s actually talking about the eye color of a white pigeon.
The ruby is July’s birthstone.
The sapphire is a beautiful gemstone possessing a stunning violet-blue hue. The gorgeous gemstone is actually Greek for blue. Since ancient times, the sapphire has been deemed as the ultimate blue gemstone and was believed to be a representation of honesty, loyalty, trust, and purity. Those representation qualities are the reasons why sapphires are popular choices for engagement rings.
When looking for the perfect sapphire jewelry piece, remember, the deeper (or purer) the hue of the blue, the more valuable it is.
Sapphire is the birthstone for September.
This gemstone is certainly gorgeous, but it definitely has a mystical backstory. It was believed by the Greeks and Romans that amethyst would keep the drunkening powers of Bacchus away. Bacchus was the Roman god of wine.
The word amethyst has Greek roots. Amethystos means “not drunk” in Greek. The idea was that this stone could protect you from drunkenness. So it was believed that you could drink all night or as often as you wanted, and still remain sober if you had an amethyst on you or in your mouth.
To give you a quick back story on how Amethyst acquired its deep violet hue, the story goes like this:
Long ago, there was a beautiful maiden on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana. On her way there, she had ran into the Roman god of wine, whose name is Bacchus. He was angry because he had just been disrespected, so out of anger, he vowed that the next person he crossed paths with, he would take revenge out on them.
The beautiful maiden was the first person Bacchus saw, and he unleashed his two guardian tigers on her. As the tigers approached the beautiful maiden, the goddess Diana stepped in and cast her into a clear, pure stone, to protect her from such a tragic fate. Bacchus immediately felt sadness and remorse for what he had done. To amend his actions and behavior, he poured his wine over the stone, staining it in a deep violet hue. With that, the beautiful maiden gave the crystal her name...Amethyst.
Not only is this stone beautiful, but its very versatile. It goes with both white and yellow metals, making it a staple for your wardrobe. Take a look at our beautiful selection of amethyst jewelry.
It is the birthstone for February.
Pearls have been held in high regard for centuries. They have even been called “tears of the gods” in Persian mythology.
The cool thing about pearls that set them apart from all other gemstones is that they are the only gemstone formed by a living creature. Pearls are formed from an irritant entering the soft mantle of a mollusk. Layers of Nacre will form over the irritant and over time a pearl will be formed with in the two shells of the mollusk.
Today, pearls are still revered timeless and classic. No matter the color or size, they can be worn with anything on any day, for any occasion!
Pearl is the birthstone for June.
When you hear the word onyx, you immediately think of black. Onyx is a reflection of the stillness in the night sky. It encompasses feelings of power that comes from you facing your fears. While the sun energizes us during the day, the darkness of night is meant to be an element of restoration for the body. The onyx gemstone is thought to have stress relieving properties. Wearing an onyx ring everyday can aid to the stressors of everyday life.
Onyx is the birthstone for July.
Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones and has definitely played an important role in ancient history. This beloved gemstone has been showcased on royal Egyptians as well as on Native Americans.
Turquoise is an opaque gemstone, so light does not enter this stone. Just because light doesn’t enter this stone, you can’t deny the beauty it brings. This beautiful gemstone also has beneficial healing properties. It has been said that turquoise has special strengths in healing ailments of the immune system.
ItsHot.com currently stores a wide collection of gemstones embedded on beautifully designed jewelry. The store has gemstones of various colors and styles lovingly reflecting the essence of every season and every month.
How to Wear Gemstones
Wearing gemstones to match your style depends on the type of gemstone jewelry you’re wearing. If it’s a gemstone engagement ring or wedding band, you’ll want to choose a style and gemstone that you can wear every day, or often, with your outfits.
For other gemstone jewelry, you can consider what types of gemstone rings, necklaces, or bracelets suit your style.
Statement gemstone rings, such as a gemstone pinky ring, can be worn with bold styles and multiple pieces of jewelry. You can also wear minimalist clothing and let the gemstones speak for themselves.
You can pair gemstones with formalwear for an elegant look, streetwear for an urban style, earth tones for a bohemian look, or leather for a rockstar look. The options are really endless; the most important part about wearing gemstone jewelry is to fit it to your authentic style and your personality.
If you make your gemstones a part of your overall style, you can wear them daily without too much thought, since they’ll naturally follow your other needs. To know which finger to wear a gemstone ring on, check out our right-hand ring guide. For tips on choosing a necklace to wear with gemstones, look at our types of chains post.
Where to Purchase Gemstones
You can buy gemstones online or in stores. The key is to buy gemstones from a reputable seller. You want to be 100% certain that the seller is an expert on gemstones and fine jewelry. It’s a good idea to ask a few questions to test the seller’s knowledge beforehand.
Here at ItsHot, we set the standard for what a good place to buy gemstone jewelry online looks like. We have reviews, a positive and well-known reputation, a 30-day money-back return policy, a 1-year warranty, and a vast selection of styles of jewelry made by expert craftsmen. We provide thorough contact info and have a number of employees ready for all customer questions.
Our store is centered in New York City, and our online supply represents all of the high-end dazzling jewelry that we offer in the diamond district. Find out where a jewelry seller’s store is located and consider contacting both locations if you have any suspicions about fraud. Be wary of websites that lack reviews, or have a five-star review for every piece of jewelry, even their latest additions.
Lastly, we offer wholesale jewelry and a clearance section, assuring the best gemstone jewelry for the most competitive prices. Try conducting a price comparison to assure you’re getting the best deals on gemstone jewelry.
How to Care of Gemstones
Now that you have your gemstones and know the characteristics of them, how will you move forward taking care of your precious stones?
Well first, you need to know your gemstone. Certain gemstones react to different variations of heat, light, acids, and chemicals. If you’re unsure of how to properly clean your gem, then you should definitely seek the advice of a professional, or just simply let a professional handle the cleaning for you.
Now, if you do want to clean your gemstones at home, there’s a few things you need to know as well as steps to take:
- Know your gem. This is the first thing you need to know before you can choose the best cleaning method. Once you purchase a gemstone, your jeweler will be able to tell you about your gem, as well as do an assessment and tell you about the inclusions (imperfections) that could possibly impact the cleaning treatment you give it.
- Jewelry cleaners are generally safe to use, but read the label and make sure there is no harmful chemicals that can harm your more sensitive gems. One chemical to look out for is ammonia. This chemical can really damage pearls.
- Soak your jewelry in a mixture of warm water and a cleaning solution.
- Scrub your jewelry with a soft brush.
- Toothpicks work well for getting into tiny crevices to get rid of build up.
- Once you’ve finished the cleaning/scrubbing process of your jewelry, dip it back into your water/cleaning solution mix to remove any excess dirt.
- Then run your jewelry piece under warm water for a good rinse. Make sure your water isn’t too hot because that could do harm to your gem and cause a reaction (depending on the type of gem you have).
- Lastly, dry your jewelry off by shaking it and polish with a soft (preferably lint free) cloth.