Gemstone Information

By Stuller | July 7, 2013

Gemstone Information

Buying a gemstone is often a very different experience than buying a diamond. Gemstones are selected 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.


Traditional Genuine Birthstone

MONTH STONE
January Garnet
February Amethyst
March Aquamarine, Bloodstone
April Diamond, Cubic Zirconia
May Emerald
June Alexandrite, Moonstone
July Ruby
August Peridot
September Sapphire
October Tourmaline, Opal
November Citrine, Topaz
December Blue Zircon, Tanzanite, Turquoise

See Birthstone Kits

Caring for your Gemstone from AGTA & Stuller

Gems are among the most durable of nature’s creations. With a little care, they will be as beautiful for generations to come as they are today. Keep in mind these gem care tips.

  • The best way to clean your gemstone jewelry is in a bowl of water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Using an old toothbrush or other soft brush, scrub gently behind the stone where dust and soap can collect. Then just rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.
  • A home ultrasonic cleaner should be used with extreme caution. It can be used to clean Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, Amethyst, Citrine, Garnet, Chrysoberyl, and unadorned gold jewelry, but it may damage gems like Coral, Emerald, Lapis Lazuli, Pearls, Peridot, Tanzanite, Tourmaline, Turquoise, and any gem that has many inclusions. When in doubt, don’t use it.
  • Remove your jewelry before vigorous activities.
  • Every day household items can ruin your gemstone jewelry. Make sure you don’t expose your gems to the chemicals in cleaning products, hair care products, fragrances and cosmetics.
  • When getting dressed, put your jewelry on last. At the end of the day, take your jewelry off first. Store your jewelry in a cloth-lined box or pouch and keep them away from other jewelry, which might scratch them.

Alexandrite

Alexandrite is rated “excellent” for everyday wear. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Amethyst

Amethyst is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ametrine

Ametrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Cameo

Cameos are quite fragile and are not for everyday wear and special care should be taken wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Carnelian

Carnelian is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Chalcedony

Blue and lavender Chalcedony is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Citrine

Citrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Coral

Coral is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Emerald

Emerald is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Garnet

Garnet is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Iolite

Iolite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Jade

Nephrite Jade is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Lapis

Lapis is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Marcasite

Marcasite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Typically, the surface will oxidize over time. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Moonstone

Moonstone is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Onyx

Onyx is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Opal

Take care when wearing Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Opal, Fire

Take care when wearing Mexican Fire Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Pearl

Pearls are not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Avoid contact with chemicals, especially perfumes, perspiration and hair sprays. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Peridot

Peridot is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Quartz, Smoky

Smoky Quartz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ruby

Rubies are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Sapphire

Sapphires are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Topaz, Precious

Precious Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz

Blue and White Topaz is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz, Diffused

Diffused Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid contact with chemicals. Re-cutting is not recommended. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Turquoise

Turquoise is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

 
Zircon

Blue Zircon is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

 

American Gem Trade Association Codes

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

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

AGTA examples - Code N

(N) Natural

No modification; natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced (or currently has no known modification process).

AGTA examples - Code B

(B) Bleaching

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

AGTA examples - Code C

(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.

AGTA examples - Code D

(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 and/or appearance, and/or to add weight.

AGTA examples - Code H

(H) Heating

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

AGTA examples - Code HP

(HP) Heating and Pressure

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

AGTA examples - Code I

(I) Impregnation

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

AGTA examples - Code IMIT

(IMIT) Imitation

A simulant, which is defined as a man-made single crystal product that is used to simulate the appearance, but not duplicate the characteristic properties of the natural gemstone it imitates.





(L) Lasering

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

AGTA examples - Code O

(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 gemstone's appearance.

AGTA examples - Code R

(R) Irradiation

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

AGTA examples - Code SYN

(SYN) Synthetic

Synthetic materials that have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as a naturally occurring counterpart. In all cases, stones must be referred to as "synthetic ruby," "laboratory grown sapphire," or "Chatham-Created emerald," etc.

AGTA examples - Code U

(U) Diffusion

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





(W) Waxing

Waxing/Oiling: The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin or oil in porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.

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Market prices as of 4/28/2017
Gold 1266.45 Platinum 948.00 Silver 17.41