Gem color is always my first consideration. Gemstones can be found in an amazing variety of colors, even within the same stone. But each gem has a primary color that I seek. These primary colors can only be known from examination and comparison. The green of a quality emerald is difficult to describe because the gem itself defines a standard for the color green in Nature.

I examine a gem's color for its purity and consistency throughout the stone. What other hues can be found? Rubies are most valuable when they are the purest red. But red rubies are commonly found that contain accents of purple and orange. Gems that contain dull gray or brown hues are less interesting and are not very valuable.

The depth of color is very important as it can vary from clear to black. Neither extreme is particularly desirable. What I seek is brightness, luster, radiance, and life in vivid saturated color. Color that is excessively dark renders a stone dull. Color that is washed-out renders a gem lifeless. Color is best examined in sunlight as well as a variety of artificial ambient lightings.

Sapphire is probably my favorite stone to examine. In the same way that an emerald defines the color green, the sapphire sets the standard in Nature for the color blue. But sapphires come in all colors except red (a red sapphire, after all, is a ruby). Among my favorites are fancy color sapphires that come in yellow tones.

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Color, clarity, carat weight, and cut all contribute to define the uniqueness and value of each gemstone. No single attribute of a gemstone determines whether a gemstone has value. Quality and value come from a harmonious and balanced combination of these attributes. High quality and high value come from rare and very desirable combinations of these attributes. To learn more, follow these links:

Light  |  Clarity  |  Carat  |  Cut

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