How to buy that special piece of gem set jewellery

If you want to wear an extraordinary piece of jewellery, or give an extraordinary piece of jewellery, then buy an extraordinary piece of jewellery.

This article will help you to buy a truly beautiful sapphire, ruby, emerald or other coloured gemstone. There are a limited number of extraordinary coloured gemstones in the world. They don’t have to be big and they don’t have to be expensive and they are never sold by the chains of jewellery shops that only sell mass production. These larger companies have to buy large “lots” of calibrated size gemstones in order to satisfy their demand and hold at least one of each type in each of their shops. It’s best to buy from a small business where the gemstone buyer works on the premises, that way he will have a real interest in delighting his customers and he will enthuse his staff as well.

It’s a lot to do with colour. The colour of a gemstone should be so breathtakingly beautiful that it will put a smile on your face, or the person wearing it, whenever they look at it. If you have given the piece to a lady she will be thinking of you when she looks at it and if she’s smiling that is a very good association! This is especially true of a ring which can be seen all the time by the wearer without using a mirror.

The best stones are never sold in “lots”, they are always sold individually to smaller companies who make one-off pieces. No gem polisher who holds a top quality unpolished gem will ever cut it to a calibrated size to fit a mass production mould. They will always want to maximize the potential of the gem and create the most beautiful thing they can.

Sometimes they will be under pressure from the owner of the gem to cut it in such a way as to leave the face as large as possible, so that it looks good value for money. This will leave a window in the stone, through which light will pass, which is a cutting fault. As a rule of thumb the depth of the stone should be at least 75% of the width, otherwise it will leave the stone with a window, which will mean that lots of the light that enters the stone will pass straight through it rather than being reflected back to give the stone the lustre and sparkle that only a top quality piece will have.

Luckily there are two easy tests that anyone can apply to a gemstone, whether set in a piece of jewellery or unset which will make it obvious if this stone is suffering from this particular cutting fault. Firstly look at the stone carefully; does it appear that the outside rim is a darker colour than the centre? This indicates a window. Secondly hold the stone in a pair of jeweller’s tweezers over a business card or a newspaper, if you can read the print through the stone then it has a window. If the stone is already set in a piece of jewellery then cut a thin strip of print from a business card and run it under the stone to see if the print can be seen. This does not mean that the stone is opaque because of obvious and visible inclusions and blemishes, that’s a different fault which will also spoil the beauty of the stone. 

So look carefully when you buy a beautiful piece of jewellery, if it doesn’t have a lovely colour, or it’s poorly cut with a window, or is opaque or has obvious blemishes and inclusions, look elsewhere and find an extraordinary piece.

If you’re interested in buying an extraordinary piece then please make an appointment to see some of our gem stones and pieces of jewellery, we think you’ll be able to appreciate the difference.


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