U Magazine - - FEATURE -

Pre­cious and SemiIt’s of­ten in­cor­rectly as­sumed that gem­stones are less valu­able or beau­ti­ful than di­a­monds, but this is the re­sult of ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paigns that po­si­tion di­a­monds as the only legacy or heir­loom stones. Tens of thou­sands of types of gem­stones span the rain­bow in daz­zling hues, with many be­ing even rarer and more valu­able than di­a­monds. Pre­cious and semi-pre­cious la­bels on stones stem from an­cient Greece, when ru­bies, sap­phires, and emer­alds were the rarest stones and were cov­eted by aris­to­crats. To­day, the term has lit­tle bear­ing on a stone’s rar­ity, beauty, or price. Nat­u­ral­gem­stones You may want to find a stone that has been exquisitely cre­ated by na­ture, with­out be­ing in­flu­enced by man. Many nat­u­rally-oc­cur­ring gem­stones are avail­able on the mar­ket to­day, rang­ing from lemon-yel­low citrine to gleam­ing black onyx. The color of nat­u­ral stones is some­times en­hanced by meth­ods like heat­ing, which im­proves a stone’s clar­ity and color – even with th­ese en­hance­ments, the stone is con­sid­ered to be “nat­u­ral,” so ask your jew­eler if your stone has been treated. Lab-cre­at­edgem­stones Just as many high-end jewel­ers pro­duce a range of plat­inum or white­gold jew­elry set with cu­bic zir­co­nia in­stead of di­a­monds; many jew­elry de­sign­ers also use syn­thetic gem­stones that look al­most iden­ti­cal to the real thing. Man-made emer­alds, for ex­am­ple, are pro­duced flaw­lessly in a lab and if judged on per­fec­tion alone, would su­per­sede all nat­u­ral emer­alds in beauty. How­ever, many jew­elry lovers value nat­u­ral stones be­cause of the rareness of find­ing an ex­cep­tional stone that is made by the earth alone.

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