Throughout history, gemstones have been treasured for their beauty and valued as an investment. In unsettled times, they provided an easy way to store wealth, in a compact and portable form. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Gemstones are still popular because of their beauty, and people feel they have an innate or special connection to them. At the same time, gemstones and diamonds are an investment that will continue to appreciate in value.
Beauty and value in a compact package
Gemstones are valued for their beauty and enduring worth. Gold, silver and diamonds have been seen as a safe way to invest money for millennia. Evidence of silver mining dates back five thousand years, to 3000 B.C. Today, about 130 million karats of diamonds, or 26,000 kilograms, are mined around the world.
The production and sale of gemstones and precious metals like gold and silver is carefully regulated to prevent fraud. For example, in the U.S., silver jewelry mist have a pure silver content of at least 92.5% to be sold as silver, sterling silver or sterling. Gold jewelry must be at least 10-karat gold to be legally called gold. The most common type of good jewelry alloy in the U.S. is 24-karat gold.
Factors affecting gemstone values
Gemstones, like gold and silver, are valued for their beauty as well as financial worth. Jewelers use four factors to determine the value of a diamond. These are color, carat, clarity, and cut. Gemstones are valued according to color, as well as related factors like hue, tone, and saturation. For gemstones, the most important factor determine value is color, while for diamonds, it is the cut.
Because color is so important in determining the value of gemstones, it is important for buyers to know is they are buying enhanced and treated gemstones, or even synthetic gemstones. For this purpose, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for jewelers require disclosure of any treatments that are not permanent, create special care requirements, or affects the value of gemstones.
Choosing the right gemstone
Even with guidelines in place for determine the quality of gemstones and precious metals like gold and silver, the best advice in buying gemstones is to pick a color that you like. For one thing, you’ll be wearing it for a long time. For another, people tend to connect with gemstones at a deep emotional level, feeling that that have a personal bond to particular stones or types of stones.
That’s why engagement rings are such potent symbols. The most common gemstones in personalized jewelry are diamonds, emeralds, amethyst, opal and sapphires. The appeal of gemstones goes far beyond their financial value, and they acquire both emotional and cultural significance.
Protecting your investment
However, it’s still a good idea to protect your investment. One way to do this is to preserve the information about the gemstone provided by the jeweler at the time of purchase. This could be a note or code written or stamped on the invoice or an accompanying information card.
This information or code will be useful later if the gemstone has to be cleaned or repaired in the future, and also in case of replacement of an insured loss.
As well as their financial value, gemstones and diamonds acquire both emotional and cultural value. These make buying gemstones a special kind of investment, which must be protected.