How Gemstones Are Manufactured
In many ways, diamonds are very much like colored gemstones. After all, a diamond is part of the gemstone family. It's actually one of the four most precious gemstones, which also includes emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. However, even though there are many similarities such as the 4Cs (color, cut, clarity and carat) there are plenty of differences as well. In a nutshell, the color is the most important factor when talking about colored gemstones, and as a result, there are certain implications.
A collection of fine emeralds from Leibish
For instance, since it’s all about the color, gemstones will often be cut in any way which displays the color better, despite its weight. The results can sometimes be two stones of a similar carat weight, but one that is very deep while the other is incredibly shallow. This is something you see less frequently with diamonds, particularly colorless ones, because the cut is equally as important as the color since it provides the stone with its brilliance. Let us take a look at the various ways in which gemstones are manufactured, how it differs from diamonds, and what can be learned from this process.
A 9.72 carat (TW) Emerald Pear & Yellow Diamond Designer Ring
Color Trumps All
Gemstones and diamonds may both be assessed according to the 4Cs, but gemstones are first and foremost graded according to their color. This means that a stone can be far from ideal in terms of its size but be valuable because of the fabulous color that it displays. Colorless diamonds are generally cut at around 60% of the stone’s depth. This makes guessing the size of a 0.75-carat stone rather easy. (Carat size and size are not one and the same since two stones of the same weight can be quite different in terms of their measurements.) However, it becomes much more complicated to estimate a gemstone’s size based on its carat size alone for the very reason that gemstone depth proportions vary tremendously. While a beautifully colored gemstone with a more symmetrical shape is preferred, high quality color stones can be found in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and depths.
Rubies and emeralds with unbelievable color
Although gemstones and diamonds are natural, there are different treatments that can be applied to the stones that deem them ‘treated’ or unnatural. For colorless diamonds this can be anything from heat treatments to alter the color, to filling stones to correct inclusions and flaws. With color gemstones, it works differently. For example, emeralds are often injected with oils to enhance the stone, but this in no way reflects on the stone’s status as “natural.” This is because emeralds are much softer than some other gemstones. They rank 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, whereas sapphires rank 9 and diamonds rank 10. That means that inclusions are far more common within emeralds than they are in rubies for example, let alone diamonds. The oils are inserted into the cracks and breaks of the stone and serve as a filler. Since the color of the emerald is its main attraction, this type of enhancement is considered a normal part of the emerald’s manufacturing process. This process is actually recognized and accepted by third party assessment bureaus and accepted within the field of gemstone treatments.
Both diamonds and gemstones are found in nature and go through different processes before they are introduced to diamond/gemstone dealers and jewelers. With diamonds, it’s all about bringing out the most from the diamond without intervening with nature’s gifts whereas, depending on the type of gem, various treatments are applied to gemstones to improve its appearance and durability. Perhaps this is why diamonds are and will most likely always be the king of all stones and are the preferred gemstone among most women and gemstone enthusiasts alike.