When buying or selling a gemstone or a piece of jewelry with gemstones, it is important to have accurate information about the stone in question. Like all high-value items, there should be paperwork or reports certifying their value, authenticity, and origin. A simple rule of thumb to follow is that if a gemstone is bought or sold, it should be avoided if it doesn’t have any report indicating it has undergone gemstone testing. Testing is so prevalent and necessary that having the proper documentation will immediately increase a gemstone’s value.
If you are the owner of a gemstone that is untested or are considering buying a gemstone, here is some additional information about the testing process and why it is so important.
What is Gemstone Testing?
Gemstones, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, are extremely rare and highly coveted, thereby making them exceptionally valuable. Consequently, precious gems like these are often altered or faked to increase the price.
When a gemstone is tested, it is studied by professional gemologists and graded on multiple categories, including color, and cut, among others. The cut includes two different elements. The first is shape, which can be categorized as oval or round, etc. The second is the stone’s facet pattern, which signifies how a gem has been cut by a professional jeweler. Examples of different cuts would be round brilliant cut or fancy step cut.
Color is much more critical when it comes to grading a stone’s value. Gemstone species come in different color varieties, with some being more commonly found than others. For example, we naturally think of a sapphire stone as having a deep blue spectral hue; however, sapphires come not only in a range of blues but in a range of colors, with some approaching red! Point being, when gemstones are tested, the color listed has a direct correlation to its value and price.
Gemstone testing reports will also include an opinion on the stone’s origins. Gemologists can ascertain a gemstone’s origins by referencing other stones in their archives and comparing some of the stone’s finer structures. One can reasonably deduce that gemstones of similar color and clarity came from the same mine or region of the world.
Why is it Important to Have a Stone Tested?
The most straightforward answer is twofold. The first is about evaluation and the de facto requirement for sale that gemstone testing has become. As mentioned earlier, it is almost unthinkable for a legitimate gemstone dealer to offer to buy or sell a gemstone that lacks proof of testing. The risk is too high, and the aura of any undocumented deal is muddy.
The second covers transparency. Because gemstones are so valuable and high-priced, buyers or owners want to know exactly what they are buying. Having documented grades from an unbiased third party assures the buyer that they are not getting scammed or tricked.
Luckily, multiple international agencies specialize in gemstone testing and whose names have become ubiquitous in gemological circles. Interested parties should contact a gemological testing laboratory if they wish to have a gemstone tested or look up a previously issued report.