Gemstone Guide

Buying a gemstone is often a very different experience than buying a diamond. Gemstones are bought based on favorite colors, wardrobe matches, personality, and fashion trends. While gemstones are judged using the 4Cs, just as diamonds do, each is judged separately. For example, a sapphire is compared to another sapphire, but wouldn't be compared to an emerald or aquamarine. Choose your gemstone jewelry based on your personal preferences.  We have our favorites that we'd be happy to show you and explain why we love them so much!  Color gems offer such a variety of looks to really capture your personality and style.  Feel free to come by and we can show you a wide selection of stones that we have in stock, however, if you are looking for something really specific, we have sources all around the world that can help us find the perfect stone for you. We also go to the international gem shows and can shop for your specific request while we're there.  Feel free to ask us for more information.


Gemstone color is different from judging the color of a diamond. Every gemstone has a range of color that runs from light to dark and more vivid to less vivid, with a small range of color considered preferable and/or traditional. All of the families of color are represented by gems of different types and some types range almost the full spectrum of colors. Of course, diamonds also come in the full spectrum of rainbow colors.

Red Ruby, Garnet, Red Spinel, Rubelite Tourmaline (Pinkish Red), Rhodolite Garnet (Pinkish Red)

Pink Pink Sapphire, Tourmaline, Pink Spinel, Pink Zircon, Morganite (Peachy Pink), Kunzite, Malaya Garnet, Rose Quartz

Yellow Yellow Sapphire, Citrine, Yellow Zircon, Chrysoberyl, Golden Beryl, Grossular Garnet, Tourmaline

Green Emerald, Bloodstone, Jade, Peridot, Green Zircon, Tsavorite Garnet, Tourmaline

Blue Blue Sapphire, Aquamarine, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Spinel, Blue Zircon, Lapis, Topaz, Iolite

Purple/Violet Amethyst, Tanzanite, Purple Sapphire, Grape Garnet, Sugilite, Alexandrite

White Akoya Pearl, Freshwater Pearl, Mabe Pearl, South Sea Pearl, White Spinel, White Topaz, Opal, White Sapphire, White Zircon

Brown Smoky Quartz, Brown Zircon, Tourmaline, Tiger's Eye

Black/Gray Tahitian Pearl, Onyx , Grey Spinel, Black Spinel, Black Jade, Grey Sapphire, Black Tourmaline


We sell a number of different shaped gemstone jewelry. Some of our most popular shapes include round, marquise, oval, cushion, pear, princess, and emerald cut, but gemstones can be cut in many fun and fantatic custom cuts.  Custom cut gemstones allow for really interesting custom designed pieces of jewelry that are truly one-of-a-kind.

Gemstone Guide


Gems are cut in a variety of different ways. Transparent stones will often be cut with facets. Unlike diamonds, the facets are planned to maximize the color. Other stones like jade, opal, and onyx will be cut into a smooth domed shape known as a cabochon. While still other stones like cameos are intricately carved. The cut of a colored gemstone can have a tremendous impact on the beauty and value of the stone.  

Diamond Cuts


Gems also have internal characteristics called inclusions. Some gemstones are known for having many inclusions like emerald or for having few inclusions like citrine. Each gemstone will be graded for clarity differently.

Like diamonds, gemstones are measured using carats. A carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Unlike diamonds, each gemstone has a different density, which determines its weight versus its measured size.  A one carat citrine won’t measure the same as a one carat sapphire.

Gemstone Enhancement Codes

Published by the American Gem Trade Association.

Enhancement: Any treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color/clarity/phenomena), durability, or availability of a gemstone.

N: The "N" symbol appears on the chart only for natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced; however, the "N" symbol can also be used for other natural gemstones in the event that a gemstone has received no enhancement and the seller will provide a guarantee that there has been none.

E: The "E" symbol indicates that a gemstone has undergone its traditional enhancement process.

B Bleaching

The use of heat, light and/or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color.

C Coating

The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color, or add other special effects.

D Dyeing

The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

F Filling

The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability, appearance, and/or add weight.

H Heating

The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity, and/or phenomena (if residue of foreign substances in open fractures is visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification HF should be used.

HP Heat & Pressure

The use of heat and pressure combined to effect desired alterations of color clarity and/or phemonena.

I Impregantion

The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance.

L Lasering

The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in diamonds.

O Oiling/Resin Infusion

The filling of surface-breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin, or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstones appearance.

R Irradiation

The use of neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstones color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating process.

U Diffusion

The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce artificial color and/or asterism-producing inclusions.

W Waxing/Oiling

The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin, and oil in porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.

Please feel free to contact us.

We have jewelry professionals ready to help.

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