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The Great Pretenders!

By  Judith Anderson  GG, CGA

Ruby,  sapphire,  and emerald are the traditional favorites among colored gemstones.  They have achieved an exalted status because of their intense colors,  scintillating sparkle and intoxicating fire.  But these popular favorites are only the beginning,  not the end,  of a journey into the fantastic world of colored gemstones.

18kt gold ring with an emerald and princess cut diamonds. The Great Pretenders are gemstones that exhibit colors and brilliance similar to sapphires,  rubies and emeralds,  but are less well known.  They are also often less costly.  The Great Pretenders include such exotic varieties as tsavorite garnet and chrome tourmaline,  whose rich,  vibrant greens have often been mistaken for emerald.  Other Pretenders include
red spinel which has a deep regal color reminiscent of fine ruby.  And,  tanzanite and indicolite tourmaline which rival the captivating blues of fine sapphire.

When considering the purchase of any precious gemstone,  it is important to remember that the Great Pretenders have a good and a dark side.

The Great Pretenders are not mere imitators.  They are beautiful gemstones in their own right.  They offer exciting varieties of colors and optics which are not available in the more traditional gemstones.  Moreover,  the Pretenders generally cost less than traditional gemstones of comparable quality.

But,  be careful!  All too often,  inexpensive gemstones are fraudulently misrepresented as gemstones of greater value.  It is important to have any representations made by the seller about the quality or nature of a gemstone put in writing.  If you are uncertain of a seller's description of a gem,  have the stone evaluated by an independent gemologist.  A reputable seller will have no concerns about meeting these requests prior to a sale.

Ruby earrings in 18kt gold.

When buying a precious gemstone or fine jewelry,  the consumer is challenged to find satisfactory answers to two important questions:
1.  Which gemstone is most beautiful?

2.  Which gemstone offers the greatest value?

At  Bijoux Extraordinaire  our gemologists can help you answer these difficult questions.  We will help you explore the exciting world of colored gemstones and assist you in locating the best stone at the best price.  Please consider Bijoux Extraordinaire for your jewelry appraisal,  gemstone acquisition and custom jewelry design needs.

Sapphire and diamond wedding or anniversary band.

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