Gemstone Ring Buying Guide
How To Buy Real Gemstone Rings And Keep Them Sparkling Forever
Gemstone rings have been our constant companion through the ages. They exude a timeless charm and elegance with their vibrant glitter. Once upon a time, gem rings were icons of power and regal bearing. Today, gemstone engagement rings and gemstone wedding rings speak of a person’s exquisite taste and class. If you plan to shop for gemstone rings for a special event in your life or just to match your favorite outfit, read this gemstone rings buying guide and make a meaningful purchase.
You will learn about the history of gemstone wedding rings, the qualities to look for in a gemstone ring,
History of gemstone rings
Since the very beginning of civilization, humans have used jewels to express their emotions – loyalty, love, friendship, and commitment. Charms and bracelets were worn by men and women of ancient cultures. Egyptians used semi-precious gemstones such as lapis lazuli, quartz, and turquoise. Gemstone rings were a symbol of wealth and high status in their society.
Precious gemstone rings made in Greece and Rome used the rare gems that came from Sri Lanka, India and the Far East via the Silk Route. Here is a list of antiquated gemstones.
- Amethyst – This stone has been used since the Roman and Greek times and it is said to keep its wearer sober.
- Lapis Lazuli – Egyptians believed that this stone came from the heavens and protected people in their afterlives. Renaissance artists ground this gemstone to obtain ultramarine blue color. Many statues and jewelry were made of lapis lazuli.
- Amber – This gem stone has a Greek name that means electricity and is a sacred stone. Ancient Romans considered it valuable.
- Jasper – This is a powerful stone that protects its wearer from physical and spiritual harm. The Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Assyrian, and Latin – all of them used Jasper gemstone rings and amulets.
- Garnet – These gem stones are given as gift to those who embark on a journey, as a safety-charm, wishing them a quick and safe return.
Qualities of good gemstone rings
There are certain characteristics of gemstones that you must know about before you choose it for your gemstone ring. This information will be especially useful if you plan to design your own jewelry.
When you are buying expensive gemstones of high quality, clarity is an important characteristic to verify. All gems have traces of other minerals in them. Most of them are formed under high pressure and temperature and have fissures or cracks in their structure. So, perfectly clear gemstones are a rarity. However, you can choose a stone with minimum inclusions.
Always check the clarity grade of the gemstone because it will impact the appearance and durability of the gemstone ring.
Among all gemstones that are known to us, diamonds are possibly the only gems that are colorless and still beautiful and valuable! The brilliance of other gemstones – sapphires, rubies, emeralds, amethyst - is only because of their vibrant colors. Color of the gem plays a crucial role in the evaluation of its value.
Some gems are transparent and some like coral, opal, and lazuli are opaque. Color of a gemstone is graded according to its hue, tone, as well as its saturation.
Hue indicates how pure the color is. High quality gemstones will have pure color with very slight hue of other colors. For instance, there are pure red rubies, purplish-red rubies, and pinkish-red rubies.
Tone represents the depth of color. There are five tones – dark, medium-dark, medium, medium-light, and light.
Saturation tells you whether the gemstone is free from gray and brown hues. ‘Vivid’ gemstone rings are the ones that have minimum presence of gray or brown.
Stones used in gold gemstone rings and sterling silver gemstone rings are usually cut to maximize their brilliance. But gemstones, unlike diamonds, don’t have any prescribed geometric patterns for cutting them because they are in different colors.
In general, a perfect cut for a gemstone will decrease the inclusions, distribute the color evenly, and enhance the symmetry of the gemstone.
The quantity and the quality of light that gets reflected from the gemstone’s surface is called its luster. It plays an important role in enhancing the look of a gemstone ring. Luster depends on refraction, reflection, faceting, and dispersion.
The actual luster of a gemstone may be less than its ideal luster because of several factors such as oxidation, abrasion, and other physical or chemical changes.
The hardness of a gemstone is defined as its resistance to abrasion. Hardness is measured using the Mohs scale, graded 1-10. Diamonds are the hardest of all naturally occurring gems and are rated 10 on the Mohs. Ruby and sapphire come second. Gemstone wedding rings and gemstone engagement rings use stones that have a high hardness index because they can withstand the wear and tear of daily wear.
How to find out fake gemstone rings
Gemstones are always in great demand for their glitter quotient and also because of their mystical healing powers. It is safe to say that for every natural gemstone, there is a similar synthetic gem available in the market.
The ever-increasing demand for gemstone rings has led to some unscrupulous jewelers using fake gemstones instead of the real gem in order to make astronomical profit. Oftentimes, the camouflage is so perfect that it is impossible to identify the imitation. Synthetic gems, in fact, are even more lustrous than the real ones.
It is unreasonable to expect buyers to spot fake gemstones from the genuine ones because it does take a trained eye to notice the difference. However, here are a few giveaway signs to look for and guidelines to follow when you want to buy genuine gemstone rings -
- Check for inclusions and dark spots – Though the ideal gemstone would be clear and transparent without visible inclusions, there are hardly any natural gemstones that are so perfect! Hold the gemstone in a bright lighted room, and check for chips, fractures, dark spots, and inclusions with a powerful magnifying glass. Inclusions may be indicators of genuine gemstones!
- Check the color – Though most of the gemstones are heat-treated to enhance their color, check for unusual color concentration or opacity by using a magnifying glass. The color should be evenly spread and pleasing to the eye.
- Check the cut and shape – The characteristics of each cut will be different and the cut determines the manner in which the light rays enter the stone and get reflected. If you are buying the gemstone ring for astrological or healing benefits, the cut gains greater importance. Look for a well-cut gemstone that has no visible chips or marks on it.
- Check for genuine transparency – The value of the gold gemstone rings increases exponentially with its transparency. Be aware that transparency can also be achieved by heating, metal-filling, and glass-filling. Such practices are common these days and they render the gemstone rings dull and ineffective.
- Check the credentials of the seller – Buy your gemstone rings from a seller of good reputation, whether it is store or an online luxury Gemstone rings and fine Jewellery online marketplace.
Popular settings of gemstone rings
The beauty of any gemstone ring can be enhanced manifold by choosing the perfect setting for it. Some settings can be quite expensive.
There are many settings available. A few popular settings for gemstone engagement rings and gold gemstone wedding rings are listed below –
- Pave setting (Pah-vay)
Pave setting consists of a row of diamonds or gemstones that are arranged on a band. They are usually fastened by metal droplets. The gemstones are arranged very close to each other on top of the metallic base.
This creates an illusion of a band that is “paved” with stones. Paved gemstone engagement rings and paved wedding rings are very popular. Gemstones of identical sizes are lined along the surface and appear like a sparkling pavement.
- Prong setting
Prong setting is the most extensively used style for solitaire gemstone engagement rings and gold gemstone rings. It showcases the gemstone or diamond to its fullest glory and grace.
The gemstone is inserted into a basket-shaped base and is held in place with three or four prongs. The prongs are made to hold the stone securely at the crown. There may be as many as 6 prongs in a gemstone ring depending on the size of the stone.
This setting makes the gemstone more visible and increases its brilliance. Cleaning the ring becomes far easier with this setting and the prongs protect the sharp edges of pear, marquise, and heart-shaped gemstones.
- Bezel setting
Bezel setting consists of a wide and thick part of the ring’s hoop that usually has an engraved design on it. In a bezel setting, the gemstone is held in place by using a raised surrounding that encircles the stone.
Typically, it has a metal band with a groove and a projecting lip that holds the gemstone. This is a setting that was used even in ancient times.
- 3-stone setting
Three-stone diamond engagement rings are the perennial favorites of romantic couples around the world for ages! This ring is a symbolic one of that encapsulates all good memories of the past, happy moments they share together at present, and the exciting promise of a happy future. Because of this meaningful symbolism, the 3-stone gemstone ring has grown in popularity over the years. They can be of different shapes – round, princess, oval, asscher, and emerald.
- Channel setting
Chanel setting is for those who prefer their gemstone wedding rings to sparkle, glitter, and catch the eye. They have small gemstones or small diamonds that are embedded in a ‘channel’. The channel itself is made of two metal strips (usually gold, sterling silver, or platinum). Grooves on either wall help keep the diamond securely in its place.
It is, however, difficult to resize a channel-set diamond or gemstone ring. As the top half of the ring generally has diamonds, it is quite rigid and can be resized, only very slightly as compared to a plain band.
- Halo setting
If you are a fan of bold, big, and beautiful gemstones popping up prominently from your finger and making a flamboyant statement about your marital status, you should opt for the halo setting for your wedding ring. Create waves with a small budget by choosing a halo setting- it makes your diamond look much bigger than its actual carat.
This is a clever setting that focuses on the central gemstone, usually a diamond, with a round pave of well-faceted colored gemstones surrounding it. The flashy interplay of light reflected by the pave stones accentuates the brightness of the central gemstone and make it appear enormous.
The part of the ring that wraps around your finger is called the shank. In this gemstone rings setting, you may either pave the shank or leave it as a bare metal. As a rule of thumb, you must have equal number of stones on either side of the shank.
How to clean gemstone rings
- You should take particular care while cleaning gemstone rings because all gems can be soaked for a long time.
- Make sure the soap you use for cleaning is a very mild detergent without ammonia or bleach.
- Clean with a soft toothbrush. With the bristles, scrub behind the gemstone gently to remove traces of dirt and cosmetics.
- Dry with a soft cloth. Never dry under harsh sunlight.
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