Buying Precious Gemstones: What You Need to Know About Gemstone Color

Sparkling jewels can be a beautiful accent or focal point in any piece of jewelry. Though there are hundreds of different precious stones, some of the most popular gemstones are emeralds, sapphires, diamonds, and rubies, which are commonly green, blue, white, and red. Though precious gemstones can be a variety of colors, there are a few key properties to consider when you are learning how to buy precious gemstones. Visit our gemstone jewery store in Anchorage AK to view our full line of gemstones.

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Gemstone Hue
The hue of a gemstone refers to the specific shade of the gemstone. Common gemstone colors can include many different combinations and variants of the six basic hues: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each type of gemstone tends to have a common or preferable hue, but the same type of gemstone can actually be a variety of colors. For example, most people think of diamonds as being clear, but there are about 300 different hues of diamonds that naturally occur. Some gemstones, such as a ruby and an emerald, can actually have the same hue, even though their mineral compositions are entirely different.

Gemstone Saturation
Saturation is the level of purity of a hue within a gemstone. High saturation makes a gemstone’s color more pronounced. A pure color does not have any brown, black, or greyish tints that make the gemstone color appear muted or dull. A highly saturated jewel will have a bright and vibrant color, and a gemstone with a high saturation level will most likely be quite valuable.

Gemstone Tone
When people speak of a gemstone’s tone, they are referring to the lightness of a gemstone. Technically, the tone is determined by how much light the gemstone absorbs. Tone is divided into five gradients: dark, medium-dark, medium, medium-light, and light. In general, most people prefer gemstones that have a medium tone, so those are more expensive. Saturation and tone are somewhat interconnected, since gemstones with a dark tone are usually less saturated.

Knowledge about gemstone tones, hues, and saturations will make it easier to select your perfect gemstone. By accurately describing the gemstone properties that you desire, you can be certain of getting what you are looking for in a gemstone. Though certain hues, saturation degrees, and tone levels may be more desirable, all types of precious gemstones can look beautiful in the proper setting.