Q:

What are some different kinds of gemstones?

A:

There are the precious gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. There are also the semi-precious gemstones like turquoise, amethyst, garnet and quartz. There are also the gemstones that are considered birthstones (like aquamarine for the month of March and peridot for the month of August) and anniversary stones (like blue topaz for the fourth year and onyx for the eleventh year).

A gemstone is a piece of mineral that is used in cut and polished form to make jewelry or other adornments. However, certain rocks or organic materials that are not minerals are also used for jewelry and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well. Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their luster or other physical properties that have aesthetic value.

Gemstones are classified into different groups, species and varieties. They are also characterized in terms of refractive index, dispersion, specific gravity, hardness, cleavage, fracture and luster. They may also be classified in terms of their "water." This is a recognized grading of the gem's luster, transparency and/or "brilliance." Highly transparent gems are considered "first water," while "second" or "third water" gems are those that have a lesser transparency.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can I sell gemstones?

    A:

    Places that a person can sell gemstones include auction houses, pawn shops, antique shops and independently owned retail jewelry stores. Gemstones may also be sold to scrap gold buyers, estate dealers or online jewelry warehouses.

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  • Q:

    How many gemstones are there?

    A:

    More than 130 different types of minerals are used for gemstones. The most popular gemstones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Other gemstones are classified as precious or semi-precious.

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  • Q:

    Where can I sell loose gemstones?

    A:

    Although it can be difficult to sell loose gemstones if they are not set in jewelry, they are often easy to sell to local jewelers and on online auction houses such as eBay. Local jewelers frequently accept legitimate, non-commercial sources of loose gemstones at discounted prices.

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  • Q:

    What is diamond cleavage?

    A:

    Diamond cleavage is a straight-lined crack in a cut diamond. Diamond cleavage is one of many inclusions, or flaws, that reduce the value of a diamond. Diamond cleavage reduces the value of diamonds not only because it is a cosmetic flaw, but also because cleavage can eventually lead to a break in the diamond.

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