Sand Hill Trading Post

 

THE 4-C’S OF GEMSTONES 


COLOR:

 

Color is composed of three dimensions:

 

1. Hue: the impression of color usually noticed immediately

2. Tone: the degree of the lightness or darkness of the gemstone

3. Saturation: this describes the degree of purity of a hue

 

 

CUT:

 

This is the shape and/or design of the gemstone, the proportions of the gemstone, the finish of the gemstone, and how the facets are arranged.  If all of the above mentioned properties are done well, the stone itself will be a stone maximizing its fullest potential

 

 

CARAT WEIGHT:

 

Gemstones are measured in units of weight referred to as carats.  The carat can be divided into smaller units called points, it is said that points to a carat are just like pennies to a dollar (a 1.00 carat stone is 100 points). 

 

 

CLARITY:

 

Clarity characteristics refer to inclusions and blemishes.  Inclusions are found on the inside of the gemstone while blemishes are found on the surface of the stone.  The fewer clarity characteristics, the rarer the gemstone.  It is true that each type of gemstone has its own clarity characteristics.  It is common for a Tanzanite to be almost inclusion free, but Emerald almost always contains inclusions.  With this, there are 3 types of clarity and they are as follows:

 

Type I: These gemstones are virtually free of clarity characteristics, common stones in this category include:

Aquamarine, Green Tourmaline, Tanzanite, Blue Topaz, Blue Zircon

Type II: These gems normally contain clarity characteristics, common stones in this category include:

Alexandrite, Amethyst, Ametrine, Citrine, Iolite, Peridot, Ruby, Garnets, Smoky Quartz, Sapphire-all colors, Spinel-all colors, Tourmaline, and Zircon- Green, Orange, Yellow, and Red

Type III: These gems almost always contain clarity characteristics, common stones in this category include:

Emerald, Watermelon Tourmaline

 

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