Whenever anyone discusses about gemstones, he or she generally understands them as minerals that are cut and polished as well as well various other organic materials such as amber, corals, pearls, and ivory that have been fashioned. But not every mineral is ideal for making or using as gemstone. A mineral should have some properties like hardness and stability. In addition, it should be occurred in crystals or masses to ensure proper cutting.
Kings and Queens always wore their lucky gemstones on forehead as a third eye embellished in their crowns. Today, we cannot wear them in that manner due to issues of looks and personality. Hence, some ancient astrologers recommended that we could wear gemstones in some definite fingers as per the situations of planets.
According to Astrology, everyone should wear natural gemstones as they enhance the energy levels, balance minerals present in the body and improve the quality of surrounded aura. But these positive effects can only be shown by a100% natural gemstone, not by any synthetic or treated one.
increasing popularity and usage of gemstones by individuals day-
by-day has led to the development of treated or synthetic gemstones.
A synthetic material has a natural equivalent having similar
chemical, physical as well as optical properties of natural
A synthetic gemstone is created in labs; hence it is cheaper as well as clearer than the available natural gemstone. The production situations are created in the labs just similar of the natural processes. As the formation time is different, the natural gemstones can be distinguished from synthetic ones on the grounds of inclusion.
Synthetic gem material is created from melt, vapor, solution, or chemical precipitation. A simulant is a natural or synthetic material having same appearance to the gemstones it emulates. Its physical and chemical properties are not exactly same as of the natural gemstone. For example, Almandine garnet is synthetic simulant for blue sapphire and a natural simulant for ruby.
The beauty of gemstones lies in a vast combination of diverse attributes:
COLOR: The color is one of the most significant factors that directly affect the price as well as quality of any gemstone. When we talk about colored gemstones, the price is decided according to the depth of color and transparency. The gemstone having deeper color with high transparency has higher price. In the case of Diamond, higher colorless stone has higher price.
CUT: The actual beauty of any gemstone is associated to its cut and polish. The proper cut with accurate proportion and angle of any gemstone reveals its effects such as fire and brilliance. In case of diamond, its beauty completely depends on its cutting.
CLARITY: Clarity of any gemstone ensures no occurrence of internal flaws. Hence, higher clarity leads to higher price. But, amber is an exception as the inclusion is the real beauty of this gemstone such as flowers, leaves, trapped insect, etc.
CARAT WEIGHT: It is a measurement unit of weight of any gemstone. A gem having more weight is always more attractive than the one having lesser weight. But, you should ensure that it is a natural stone, not synthetic one.
As gemstone is worn regularly, it should be capable to resist daily wear and tear. This feature is known as the durability that depends on the following factors:
HARDNESS: The power of any mineral to withstand external and daily abrasion when a pointed piece of an added substance is drawn across it lacking of sufficient pressure to create cleavage is known as hardness. More hardness of any stone ensures its more durability. Diamond is the hardest gemstone.
TOUGHNESS: The sturdiness also depends on the toughness of any gemstone. The harder the gemstone, the stronger it is.
CLEAVAGE: Cleavage is the property of any crystalline material to divide it in an exact direction to provide more or less smooth exterior. A gemstone having cleavage would be less hard-wearing than the other having no cleavage.
It is a very important quality that a gem should possess. A rare gem with transparency and dark color is in huge demands. Rare gemstones are available at higher price and value. For example emerald having light color is easily obtainable; hence its price is low. But the same type of gemstone having deep color and superior transparency is not easily accessible that makes it more expensive.
The luster of any gemstone is decided by the quantity and quality of the reflected light from the surface. There is an innate potential luster in every piece and variety of gemstones. As different stones have different luster, their value and price also different.
tine” was derived from “Adamas”, the Greek word, has the
highest possible luster.
ZIRCON:“Sub admantine” the next on the luster rating scale has high refractive index.
JADE:“Greasy” has oily appearance as well as texture with typical luster of jade.
RUBY: Vitreous/glassy is the shine of polished glass as well as greatest number of gemstones possesses this luster.
TURQUOISE:“Waxy” is the luster looks like the candle wax.
AMBER:”Resinous “the shine of resin.
TIGER EYE:"Silky" this luster looks like the silk fiber.
PEARL:“Pearly” is the luster that produces a kind of shimmering glow.
Optical effect is just a beautification on the already stunning gemstones. The optical effect boosts the beauty of any gemstone and these effects can be seen due to the light reflection from underneath the surface owing to occurrence of inclusions that also known as sheen. Diverse types of optical effects are there such as:
CHATOYANCY: The term “CHATOYANCY “is derived from the French “chat” that means cat and “oeil” means eye. Hence, this phenomenon is also recognized as cat’s eye outcome. This outcome is caused due to reflection of beam of light from the one parallel directional fibrous/needle such as inclusions tilting in the gemstone. This moving band is perpendicular to the path of the inclusions. Cat eye can be best seen under the sunlight or any other strong light source.
ASTERISM: This is also a possible effect seen in some gemstone. Asterism is created from the word aster that means Star, hence also identified as the star effect. This is seen owing to light reflection from two/ three directional intersecting fibrous/needle similar to inclusions oriented below the surface of the gemstone that also known as silk inclusion.
could be four, six or twelve-ray as per the number of direction of
Two direction intersecting fibrous/needle such as inclusions creates a four ray star as in Almandine garnet.
Three direction intersecting fibrous/needle like inclusion creates a six ray star in Rubies and sapphires.
The sharpness of any star depends on the width and compactness of the enclosure oriented in the stone. The finer and strongly spaced inclusions forms a sharper star and vice –versa.
ADULARESCENCE: The milky, bluish/white sheen reckoned as adularescence in moonstone looks to float along the translucent body. Thus the occurrence adularescence seems to be travel around the stone’s body when it is turned. The name is derived from “adularia” as the moonstone possesses the occurrence historically recognized as “adularia”.
The structural model of the gem is the cause of this different optical phenomenon. Due to the mixture of albite feldspar and orthoclase prearranged in layers, it leads to this phenomenon. The interference effect of the light arises due to these layers. The reflected light disperses uniformly in all the regions and creates a schiller having white, blue and orange color. But the costly as well as attractive color of schiller is blue that is created by a grey and white body colored stone.
PLAY OF COLOR: Play of color is an exclusive special optical experience. This phenomenon is generally exhibits by the gem opal. This is a formless form of silica as well as water. It is developed from microscopic and transparent spheres of amorphous silica. The voids between them are 3 dimensional cubic lattices that create a 3 dimensional diffraction grating.
The structural pattern is the main reason of diffraction and transparent of light from the center of gemstone. The size of spheres ensures the development of highest light wavelength that can be diffracted. Hence, regular sheets having small spheres only diffract blue colored light and larger spheres may diffract blue, green, and violet colors while spheres having additional larger size may provide red light and varied other colors with shorter wavelength.
LABRADORESCENCE: Iridescence flashes of colors that emerge on the surface of the labradorite feldspar are recognized as “Labradorescence “. This is a fashionable optical occurrence that has exclusively revealed by the feldspar gem Labradorite. The beautiful and bright display of labradorescence modifies with movement of the stone.
Labradorescence Phenomenon is the intervention of light in labradorite is led by very well lamellae of frequent twinning. Some color effects are produced by the platy inclusions developed from black magnetite or ilmenite. Owing to structure interference as well as diffraction of light that occurs, when it passes through the gemstone, it reflects from the parallel facade.
CHANGE OF COLOR: Color change is a distinctive optical phenomenon. In this event, the gemstone changes its color of the body noticeably under diverse lightning conditions that include
incandescent light to day light. This effect is known as “Alexandrite effect”. This phenomenon takes place in varied other gemstone such as tourmaline, sapphires, garnet, etc. They alter their color as per the nature of the light in which they are kept and seen.
Alexandrite looks green as well as bluish green color in daylight and in incandescent light, it appears as purplish red. Owing to the chemistry of color changing, gems absorb colors like red and green. These colors get reflected from the gem. Generally, the ranges of altering color are from brownish red to purple, green to yellow and yellow green to bluish green. Color changing factors substantiate the worth and beauty of the stone. Particular colors are noted in the stones. Moreover, more visible color changing property adds more value and price to the stone.
AVENTURESCENCE: This is one more optical effect that is a result of reflection of light from the inclusions inside the gemstone. When disk or plate- like inclusions is present with highly reflective nature, they work as tiny mirrors and let the gems glitter and sparkle. This glitter is identified as aventurescence. This effect can be best seen in Green Aventurine Quartz. This is basically a colorless gemstone and has dark green mica flakes that allow it to reflect green color along with optical effect. Aventurescence is also acknowledged as the glittery effect.
Mainly the shine of a pearl is recognized as orient that is
caused due to grouping of two optical effects. They are breaking up
of white light into tiny spectra by the process of diffraction caused
due to the uneven edges of the overlying platy crystals of aragonite,
and by the intrusion of light at very thin films specified by the
The most functional internal feature of any gemstone is its inclusion. In natural gemstones, they occur in three basic types:
Proto-genetic or pre -existing inclusions: These inclusions consist of minerals that are present before the host crystal began to develop. Apatite in corundum, rutile in Quartz, mica in Quartz and Emerald as well as diamond crystal in diamond are very general examples of this type.
Syngenetic or contemporary inclusions: These inclusions consist of those materials that are present at the same time as the host crystal developed. They are further divided into three types:
Gas inclusions: They may be the air bubbles mainly found in the glass, synthetic stones developed verneuil as well as crystal pulling method.
Liquid inclusions: They can be present as trapped liquid inclusion or liquid trapped in a crack that is sealed by the host.
Solid or crystalline inclusions: Common crystal inclusions of the same or of other substance such as rutile needles in corundum, spinel crystal in spinel, olivine in diamond, and many more.
Epi-genetic inclusions: These inclusions are developed after the development of host crystal. They include crystallization in fractures of different foreign materials. The formation of asterism in corundum by titanium dioxide is one of the most excellent examples of these types of inclusion.
Other Types Of Inclusions In Natural Gemstones
Color Zoning : A term shows uneven distribution of color. These inclusions frequently emerge as whitish or colorless parallel planets. They are observed in Natural ruby, Amethyst, Sapphire, and Citrine.
Doubling of back facet edges: Due to high level of birefringence in gemstones, its rear surface edges come out as double. This property is referred as doubling of back facet edges and can be the best seen in Peridot, Calcite, Zircon, Synthetic moissanite, etc.
Heat wave effect : The stones demonstrate a trickily emergence due to the inclusions of minute and many transparent crystals with rounded outlines or compound aspect. They are often accompanied by a strange or treacle streaks that give an oily appearance to the stone’s interior. For example; Hessonite garnet.
Horse tail: Rare green demantoid garnet includes fine fiber like inclusions having the mineral asbestos. These inclusions are time and again tufted as well as resemble a horse’s tail.
Lily pad: These inclusions are referred to the halo of liquid having a crystal at the centre that can be best seen in Peridot.
Liquid feather: These inclusions are normally seen in natural ruby as well as sapphire. They look like many slim and elongated tubes. Some are longer and some are shorter, but all are inclined to point in the similar direction and recline in a plane.
Needle like/fiber: Inclusions of extended, thin crystals that look like needles or thin fibers. They are elongated thin crystals of Rutile such as Rutilated Quartz, or Tourmaline. They can be seen in Sapphire, Garnet, and Ruby.
Negative crystal: This is a cavity having a characteristic crystal shape. They are interesting as what you see is actually just an outline. Though, the outline will always takes the same shape as that of the crystal form of the host material. This can be seen in Quartz and Topaz.
Parting planes: They are basically twinning plains that intersect each other as well as placed at equivalent distances. One direction is major while the other one is weak. Parting planes are the best available in Natural corundum.
Rain inclusion: These are mainly two phase inclusions that appear like rain drops. They are parallel as well as arranged only in one direction. They may occur in beryl.
Silk inclusion: This inclusion can be seen as an intersecting needle such as crystal that has the same appearance of the silk fabric while examining with reflected light. This inclusion is the best found in Natural corundum as well as Almandine garnet.
Solid inclusion: A solid crystal or any mineral section available in the gemstone is considered as a solid/crystalline inclusion. This can be easily seen in any natural gemstone such as Ruby, Diamond, Sapphire etc.
Three phase: A liquid having a solid/crystalline and a gas bubble trapped in it is reckoned as three phase inclusion. This is seen in Columbian emerald.
Trichites: Hair like tubes or fine liquid filled capillaries that reflect just like mirror are reckoned as Trichites. This can be seen in Tourmalines.
Two phase: A liquid that has a solid or crystalline or a gas bubble enclosed in it is known as two phase inclusion. This is generally seen in Topaz.
Zebra stripes: They are basically liquid inclusion having the appearance of the strips on the body of zebra. Its name is derived from the same. It can be easily found in Amethyst quartz.
Zircon haloes: These inclusions are like the haloes surrounding a dark spot. They are in fact tension cracks glowing from a zircon crystal owing to high radioactivity having a dark crystal in the center. For example: Natural corundum.