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Gemstone Guide

No jewellery collection is complete without gemstones. Often worn to match an outfit, they are the centre of attraction. This guide defines the five essential characteristics of gemstone quality. By understanding these characteristics, you'll be able to shop with confidence.

As critical as good cutting and polishing, treatments have become an integral part of the modern gemstone industry in fact some of the most fundamental treatments used in today’s gem and jewellery industry have been around for centuries. For example, most rubies and sapphires on the market today have been heated to intensify their colour.


Contrary to popular belief the carat weight of a gemstone is not necessarily an accurate gauge for gemstone size. To help you judge the size of a gemstone, Liali lists the diameter of the gemstone when viewed from the top - since that is the only part of the gemstone that is visible when the gemstone is set in jewellery.


There are three main parameters that the jewellery industry uses to grade a gemstone: by purity of its hue, the depth of tone, and its colour saturation. The best value is in colours that include "slight" traces of other colours, are not too dark or too light, and have a lot of saturated colour. Liali offers some of the highest-quality coloured gemstones available in the market. Nearly all gemstones today, including Liali stones, have been treated to enhance their colour. The most common methods of treatment are heating (nearly always seen with aquamarine, citrine, amethyst, sapphire, ruby and tanzanite), bleaching (commonly seen with pearls), and irradiation (performed on nearly all blue topaz).


Almost all gemstones contain inclusions. Even those highly prized pieces that are almost perfect have at least some inclusions. Absolute clarity is a rarity in gemstones as it is natural. They are far and few, in fact almost impossible to find. Thus the flawless ones are invaluable and extremely expensive. The best value is found in gems that are moderately ‘included’ like those in Liali’s gemstone jewellery. Emeralds are typically treated with colourless oil, wax or resin to minimize surface-reaching inclusions.


Gemstones are cut in a unique way. Unlike diamonds, with gemstones there isn't an "ideal" cut geometrically configured for maximum brilliance. But a high-quality gemstone cut, is one that presents the most even colour, exposes the fewest inclusions, and displays highest gemstone weight when set in jewellery.