Whether you’re in the market for a diamond engagement ring or any other type of precious gemstone jewelry, the most common consumer concern usually revolves around the question of “Am I getting the best value for my money?” Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding the dos and don’ts of investing in fine jewelry. But the good news is that with a little basic knowledge of the diamond and gemstone market as a whole, you can easily identify the best value for your money and come home with a brilliant and beautiful piece of jewelry – custom or otherwise – that will be treasured for generations to come.
Most of us are familiar with the industry standard diamond and gemstone valuations based upon “the 4 C’s” – cut, color, clarity and carat weight. And while there’s plenty to know regarding these fine jewelry valuation standards, there’s one more element that tends to throw people off in the diamond and gemstone selection process, but only because this element is largely misunderstood – and that’s “gemstone enhancements.”
When a diamond or colored gemstone – such as a sapphire, emerald, ruby, etc. … – has been “enhanced”, it does not, as many would mistakenly assume, mean that there is anything wrong with the stone. On the contrary, the enhancement process is quite commonplace -and the very factor that makes flawless or near-flawless appearing diamonds and gemstones affordable to the average person looking to acquire the most beautiful stone for the best price.
It’s a fact that completely flawless diamonds and gemstones are rare – and that means that they command a really high price… when they are available at all. The science and art of the cut on the more typical slightly flawed gemstones is an important factor in concealing these flaws and maximizing an individual stone’s natural beauty, but enhancements play an important role, too. And, when it’s all said and done, what you really want is the most beautiful gemstone, right?
Heat treatments are often used to enhance the inherent color in certain colored gemstones. Oil infusions, waxes and resins are also used on occasion to bring out a stone’s natural brilliance. These practices are very common and should not be considered to devalue the stone’s beauty in any way, though these enhancements do, in fact, make beautiful diamonds and gemstones much more accessible to the average budget.
The point is, when you’re preparing to invest in a diamond or other colored gemstone solitaire, be aware of these common jewelry industry terms with regard to value, beauty and brilliance. Most jewelers are there to help you make the best decision – not reap the highest commission.