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All About Natural Gemstones

Natural Gemstones have been treasured since ancient times and come in an amazing variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and are purchased today for their aesthetic or symbolic value. When used in engagement ring settings, natural gemstones make beautiful alternatives to diamonds, or gorgeous side-stone accents that enhance a center diamond.

Precious colored gemstones are classified into different groups, species, and varieties. Of the 4 C’s, Color is the most important factor in valuating natural gemstones—color is evaluated according to hue, tone, and saturation. Another important factor in determining a gemstone’s value is Clarity. In some precious gemstones such as emeralds, inclusions are almost always present however, and clarity is less important to determining overall value.

Although natural gemstones are evaluated according to the 4 C’s, the process is slightly different than it is for diamonds. Many gemstones are heavier and bear a higher specific gravity than diamonds. Or, conversely, they are lighter per carat than a diamond of equal carat weight. As a result, a one-carat precious gemstone may appear smaller or larger in size than a one-carat diamond. As with diamonds, however, as carat weight increases, so does the price of the gem. Also, natural gemstones are commonly cut differently and deeper than diamonds. They are typically cut with more weight in the bottom to bring out the intensity of their color and some stones such as sapphire are generally shaped into ovals or cushions to retain maximum weight.

James Allen offers a range of high-quality natural gemstones: blue sapphires, pink sapphires, yellow sapphires, rubies, and emeralds—available in a range of hues and prices to meet any budget.

James Allen’s beautiful collection of high-quality sapphires are extremely durable— they have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Yellow sapphires tend to have fewer inclusions than blue and pink varieties, although pink sapphires are the rarest and most valuable of the sapphire colors. Blue sapphires, on the other hand, are the most popular and traditional choice of sapphire.

When it comes to rubies and emeralds, James Allen offers an amazing array of choices. Because pink sapphires bear so many similarities to rubies, many people have a hard time deciding which one is right for them. A James Allen customer service representative can help you determine which precious gemstone is best for you.

Browse the James Allen natural gemstone collection gallery using the advanced selector tool, and learn more about gemstones at the James Allen Education Center.

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