7 October 2022

How to Buy Coloured Gemstones

When it comes to buying coloured gemstones, there are a host of factors to consider – and not all of them are obvious!


From aesthetics to reports of origin, our guide can help you find your perfect gem. The complexity of the gemstone buying process, in many ways, mirrors the miraculous set of circumstances that was required for these extraordinary quirks of nature to form. Ascribed mystical qualities since ancient times, emeralds and rubies are no ordinary purchase: they are lasting, and so it is important to pore over every detail before deciding on ‘The One’.


The process of buying the right emerald or ruby is almost as complex as the gemstones themselves. Every gemstone is utterly unique, a tiny miracle produced by a fluke of nature, and so it is not surprising that the buying process is far from straightforward, with a myriad of factors to consider.


The most important point to emphasise is the importance of trusting gut instinct and buying the gemstone that you fall in love with – the one that speaks to you personally, rather than the one you might feel you ‘should’ buy. Often this will be a gemstone that is far from perfect, full of tiny features, which we call inclusions. These are what keep a gemstone real – assuring you that you have your own totally unique gem – and add inimitable charm and character.


The 6 Cs are comprised of the classic 4Cs with which diamonds are measured – cut, colour, clarity and carat – with the addition of two extras: character and certification. These provide a useful guide to what you should be looking for when shopping for your gem. We advise always viewing a gemstone in natural daylight, to best judge these qualities, as artificial light might affect its appearance. Evenness and saturation of colour is key.


We advise buying from a trusted seller for peace of mind and requesting a report of origin from an independent gemmological laboratory. It’s important to fully understand – and be able to trace – your gemstone’s unique and fascinating journey. With responsible sourcing of the utmost importance to buyers today, there is no shortage of people, from industry bodies to in-house experts, to tap for information.