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Piece of mineral used to make jewelry

Gemstones have no universally accepted grading system. Diamonds are graded using a system developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in the early 1950s. Historically, all gemstones were graded using the naked eye. The GIA system included a major innovation: the introduction of 10x magnification as the standard for grading clarity. Other gemstones are still graded using the naked eye.

A mnemonic device, the "four Cs" (color, cut, clarity, and carats), has been introduced[ to help the consumer understand the factors used to grade a diamond. With modification, these categories can be useful in understanding the grading of all gemstones. The four criteria carry different weights depending upon whether they are applied to colored gemstones or to colorless diamonds. In diamonds, the cut is the primary determinant of value, followed by clarity and color. The ideal cut diamond will sparkle, to break down light into its constituent rainbow colors (dispersion), chop it up into bright little pieces (scintillation), and deliver it to the eye (brilliance). In its rough crystalline form, a diamond will do none of these things; it requires proper fashioning and this is called "cut". In gemstones that have color, including colored diamonds, the purity, and beauty of that color is the primary determinant of quality.

Physical characteristics that make a colored stone valuable are color, clarity to a lesser extent (emeralds will always have a number of inclusions), cut, unusual optical phenomena within the stone such as color zoning (the uneven distribution of coloring within a gem) and asteria (star effects). Ancient Greeks, for example, greatly valued asteria gemstones, which they regarded as powerful love charms, and Helen of Troy was known to have worn star-corundum.

Aside from the diamond, the ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl (not, strictly speaking, a gemstone), and opalhave also been considered to be precious. Up to the discoveries of bulk amethyst in Brazil in the 19th century, amethyst was considered a "precious stone" as well, going back to ancient Greece. Even in the last century certain stones such as aquamarine, peridot and cat's eye (cymophane) have been popular and hence been regarded as precious.

Today the gemstone trade no longer makes such a distinction.Many gemstones are used in even the most expensive jewelry, depending on the brand-name of the designer, fashion trends, market supply, treatments, etc. Nevertheless, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds still have a reputation that exceeds those of other gemstones.

Rare or unusual gemstones, generally understood to include those gemstones which occur so infrequently in gem quality that they are scarcely known except to connoisseurs, include andalusite, axinite, cassiterite, clinohumite and red beryl.

Gemstone pricing and value are governed by factors and characteristics in the quality of the stone. These characteristics include clarity, rarity, freedom from defects, the beauty of the stone, as well as the demand for such stones. There are different pricing influencers for both colored gemstones, and for diamonds. The pricing on colored stones is determined by market supply-and-demand, but diamonds are more intricate.[citation needed] Diamond value can change based on location, time, and on the evaluations of diamond vendors. 

Proponents of energy medicine also value gemstones on the basis of alleged healing powers,value gemstones on the basis of alleged healing power.
 

宝石没有普遍接受的分级系统。钻石使用1950年代初美国宝石学院(GIA)开发的系统进行分级。从历史上看,所有宝石都是用肉眼分级的。 GIA系统包括一项重大创新:引入10倍放大率作为分级清晰度的标准。其他宝石仍使用肉眼进行分级。

引入了助记符设备“四个C”(颜色,切割,净度和克拉)[以帮助消费者了解用于对钻石进行分级的因素。经过修改,这些类别对于理解所有宝石的等级很有用。这四个标准的权重不同,具体取决于它们是应用有色宝石还是无色钻石。在钻石中,切工是价值的主要决定因素,其次是净度和颜色。理想的切工钻石会闪闪发光,将光分解成其组成的彩虹色(散射),将其切成明亮的小块(闪烁),然后传递到眼睛(光彩)。钻石以其粗糙的结晶形式不会做这些事情。它需要适当的造型,这被称为“剪裁”。在有色宝石(包括有色钻石)中,该颜色的纯度和美感是品质的主要决定因素。

有色宝石有价值的物理特征是颜色,较小程度的透明度(翡翠将始终包含许多内含物),切割,宝石内部异常的光学现象,例如颜色分区(宝石内颜色的不均匀分布)和星体(星效应)。例如,古希腊人非常珍视珍贵的人造宝石,他们将其视为强大的爱情魅力,而特洛伊的海伦(Helen of Troy)佩戴的是刚玉刚玉。

除了钻石之外,红宝石,蓝宝石,祖母绿,珍珠(严格来说不是宝石)和蛋白石也被认为是珍贵的。直到19世纪在巴西发现散装紫水晶之前,紫水晶也被认为是“宝石”,可以追溯到古希腊。甚至在上个世纪,某些宝石,例如海蓝宝石,橄榄石和猫眼(西番莲)也很流行,因此被认为是珍贵的。

如今,宝石贸易不再具有这种区别。许多钻石甚至被用于最昂贵的珠宝中,这取决于设计师的品牌名称,时尚趋势,市场供应,处理方式等。尽管如此,钻石,红宝石,蓝宝石,祖母绿的声誉仍然超过其他宝石。

稀有或不寻常的宝石,通常被认为包括宝石品质如此罕见的宝石,除鉴赏家以外几乎不为人所知,包括红柱石,无铅锡石,锡石,斜长石和红绿柱石。

宝石的价格和价值取决于宝石质量的因素和特征。这些特征包括净度,稀有性,无缺陷,石材的美感以及对此类石材的需求。彩色宝石和钻石都有不同的价格影响因素。有色宝石的价格由市场供求关系决定,但钻石更为复杂。[需要引证]钻石价值可根据位置,时间和钻石供应商的评估而变化。

能量医学的支持者还根据所谓的治疗能力来评估宝石,根据所谓的治疗能力来评估宝石。