The objective in cutting, sculpting and polishing transparent gemstones is to enhance their exquisite brilliance, transparency and translucency. There are many classic outlines, the best known are ovals, rounds, cushions, emerald cut, pears, marquise, squares, triangles and cabochon style cuts.
When evaluating the quality of cut, ensure that the gemstone has an even reflectivity and colour and that the shape is proportional.
Guide to Birthstones
They represent strength, health and deep insight.
Symbolises peace, love and happiness
Symbolises courage and peace
Symbolises strength, courage and good fortune
Represents love, happiness in marriage and loyalty
Symbolises faithfulness, purity, innocence and charity. Alternative stones are Alexandrite and Moonstone
Symbolises wisdom and a nurturing heart
Represents friendliness, relationships and compassion
Symbolises joy, peace and beauty
Signifies a creative spirit, new friendships and healthy relationships. Alternative stones are Pink Tourmaline
Signifies comfort, wealth and a creative spirit. Alternative stones are Yellow Topaz
Signifies valour, strength and wisdom. Alternative stones are Blue Topaz, Tanzanite and Blue Zircon
Natural, Simulant & Synthetic Gemstones
Gem materials are occasionally treated to improve their appearance. The aim of treatments is to strengthen colour, improve clarity, improve lustre or improve durability.
When buying a gemstone, you might also come across ‘simulants’. These can be artificial stones that imitate the appearance of a gemstone.
Many important natural gemstones, including ruby, sapphire and emerald, have man-made counterparts that are manufactured in a laboratory. Such materials are called synthetics or created gemstones.
In all cases, your jeweller should disclose whether they are selling a natural gemstone, a simulant or a synthetic as this information affects your purchase price, cleaning methods and repairs as well as replacement of an insured loss.
Tanzanite is a rare, precious gemstone that was discovered at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, its only known source in the world. While some tanzanite is mined with natural bluish purple colours, most on the market have been heat-treated to enhance the colour.
It is also estimated that the mining of Tanzanite will only continue for another 10-15 years. This adds to its special allure and popularity as an investment stone. Tanzanite is delicate and should be worn with great care.
Its distinct cleavage plane means that tanzanite is a stone which has a lower durability and is more prone to chipping than most traditional gemstones.
The quality, and therefore the value of cut tanzanite is judged based on a recognised set of criteria that has been established by the Tanzanite Foundation. This scale is similar to the criteria used to evaluate diamonds.