1.Important factors that determine the price of a gemstone are:-

  (i) The type of gemstone.

  (ii) The size of the gemstone.

  (iii) The type of cut employed.

  (iv) The color of the stone-whether the color is light or dark; Whether the color is even and dispersed throughout the stone.

  (v) Whether the stone is natural or synthetic. Natural stones are generally more valuable than their synthetic counterparts.

  (vi) Whether the stone has been subjected to any form of treatment, such as heat treatment, irradiation, diffusion, dying etc. The demand for natural untreated stones is on the rise worldwide.

A prospective buyer should carefully look into all the above aspects when deciding to purchase a gemstone.

2. Examining a gemstone:-

A gemstone should be examined carefully with the naked eye and a hand lens before one decides to make any purchase. There are six key steps in examining a gemstone.

(I) Whenever possible examine the stone uncounted against a white background.

(ii) Make sure the gem is clean.

(iii) Hold it at the girdle with Tweezers.

(iv) View under daylight

(v) view under artificial light.

(vi) View from different angles.

(vii) Inspect the surface and interior with a lens of 10x magnification.

3. Always purchase gems from a reputable dealer, licensed by the appropriate authorities of the country, from where you are buying the gemstones. If you are making purchases from Sri Lake the dealer should have a license from the National Gem and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka.

4. Always insist on a gem certificate and/or grading report from a recognized Gem Testing Laboratory in the country of origin. If making purchases from Sri Lanka the gem certificates will be issued by the Gem Testing Laboratories of:

The National Gem and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka.
25,Galle Face Terrace,
Colombo 3,
Sri Lanka.

5. Tips on buying Gemstones and Jewelry from the Net.

(i) Make sure that the company website mentions a precise address (No, Street, City, Country) in the contact us page or at the bottom of the homepage. Most scammers on the the net avoid giving precise addresses.

(ii) Make sure that the company processes credit cards live online via a Merchant account, preferably via a Financial Firm established in the United States. Make sure the address of this financial firm is mentioned. This makes it easier to eliminate or reduce scammers. If a link is given to the website of the financial firm in the secure checkout pages it is likely that the website is owned by Genuine and honest businessmen, this is because it is easy to report fraud to the third party financial firm who will remove the merchant account and will freeze the account of the website owner. The financial firm will also assist the customer of the website owner to take necessary legal action if the need arises.

(iii) Make sure that the website displays the logo of relevant regulating authorities in the country where the website business is established.

(iv) How does the website look? This is a very important point. The look and feel of the web site is extremely important. Stay away from websites that uses all types of dark color shades. Multiple color shades is a sign of amateurs, there are plenty of them on the net these days. The  design of the website that looks simple but pleasant was most likely done by a webmaster who charges thousands of dollars to design.

6.Never buy gem stones at ridiculously low prices. eg a 4 carat Ruby for $50 U.S. Such gem stones are most probably fake or synthetic ones. If you are serious about buying gem stones, always consult a local gem appraiser or an online free gem appraiser such as gemval.com.

You are welcome to discuss this post/related topics with Dr Shihaan and other experts from around the world in our FORUMS (forums.internetstones.com)

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