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Some Common Misconceptions About Gemstones

Diamonds Aren’t Rare

Some times you may hear that Diamonds are not rare but its production is limited to create demand. It’s actually true that they aren’t rare but, it is also a fact that gem-quality diamonds are rare. There are three main factors that make diamonds rare:

SIZE – Large diamonds are way more rare than little tiny ones which are easy to find. The price of diamond size more than 5 carats increases significantly with little increase in its size.

COLOR – Yellow, brown and dark diamonds are not desirable and they are not espensive. The colorless diamonds are most sought after and they are a way more rare than dull colored diamonds. Some other fancy colors diamonds are even more rare and expensive than colorless diamonds for example pink star diamond

CLARITY – diamonds that are clear and transparent rare than diamonds with lots of crap and inclusions in it.

Fake Citrine/Burnt Amethyst

Fake Citrine are not always burnt Amethyst. Even if it is burnt Amethyst it is not justified to call it “fake” because it natural stone but “heat treted”. Yellow and orange quartz is citrine, and it exists in nature too and formed by heating in subsurface of the Earth. So whether it’s natural or treated in lab it isn’t fake. Citrine was rare back when heat treatment of amethyst was not known. Now most of citrine is often heated amethyst it’s natural anyway.

Natural Citrine

Natural Citrine

There are some citrines that were mined in their natural orange/yellow color but many are altered form of amethyst.

Copal Is Fake Amber

Copal is also a natural similar to opal but copal is young amber. Amber is usually 1,000,000+ years old while copal is younger than Amber. Both are similar, natural and  both will float in saturated saltwater.

Amber is expensive because it is more resistant to chemicals because it’s gone through polymerization over time. But you should avoid  both amber/copal in solvents because chances are it’s copal and it may react to solvent.

Don’t Clean Crystals With Soap

Gemstones are stable stones chemically they are not very reactive. Soap is good for washing and cleaning your stones and most common crystals can be cleaned with soap. You can use gentle soap though but avoid using the gritty material to clean. Rinse off the soap after washing the stone.

You should be careful for washing uncommon and delicate stones.

Heating And Irradiation Are Bad

Both of these methods are used to enhance the color of stone and bring bring richness in color of crystal.Today in market almost every lower to mid-range sapphire and ruby has gone through heat treatment. Similarly most other stones are also heated or irradiated.. The same process also exists in the Earth.

aura quartz treated stone

So, It is not true that heat hurt the stone but it makes them prettier. For some stones such as Emerald other treatments methods are used such as oiling. Heat is not good for Emerald strength.

Treated Stones Are Fake

No, treated stone are not fake but they are natural stone which undergone some man made enhancement techniques. Before and after treatment the stones are usually still same as before they were treated. Some times treatment result into new color of variety of stone as we mentioned Amethyst and Citrine earlier in this article.

Image courtesy GIA

Stones without treatment with beauty are expensive and rare than treated stones. Treated stones are enhanced by way of heat, bleach, oil etc. Treatment of stone should be disclosed to buyer and buyers should take it normal as it is a normal practice today. The treated stone are not fake or synthetic but they are totally natural. For Aura Quartz are extra pretty because of their treatment

Blood Diamonds

Blood diamonds is now a history. It was was a problem back in time but not much anymore. There are now international SOP’s that regulate the diamonds from mine to market called the Kimberley Process (2003). It is not allowed to export diamonds from their origin country without a clear paper trail back to the mine. So, Diamonds are probably the most ethical gemstone purchase you can make today. No other stones have equivalent process.


Garnet Is Corundum

Garnet and Corundum are totally different group of minerals and they are not similar to each other. Garnet is a nesosilicate while the corundum is Aluminum Oxide. The main three varieties of corundum are  ruby (red), padparadscha (orange-pink), and sapphire (every other color). There are other subvarieties star ruby, yellow sapp hire, emery etc.  Garnet is another group of mineral its not corundum.  Garnet has its own varieties of stones such as Almandine and Pyrope  Rhodolite, Tsavorite, Demantoid and hessonite garnet.


By | 2017-12-20T10:50:10+00:00 December 20th, 2017|Categories: Gemology, Gemstones|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Some Common Misconceptions About Gemstones