Gemstones in their many shades and colors have fascinated mankind for thousands of years. The ancients attributed magical, mystical powers to each stone, and believed that many of them could cure specific ailments. Even today, we revere colored stones as beautiful, unique, and as a means of personal expression and individuality for their wearers. The criteria for grading (or judging) colored gems are similar to diamonds, yet different as there are many more variables involved.

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Quality colored gemstones are judged by purity of color, tone, and color saturation. Some have a single primary color, others have a secondary color like Tanzanite. Its primary color is blue but it also carries a purple or magenta secondary color flash. The best value is in colors that are not too light to show a nice deep color or too dark thereby appearing opaque.

Almost all colored gemstones have tiny flaws called inclusions. Truly flawless gemstones are very rare and extremely valuable and in some cases more so that diamonds. Most high-end gemstones are at least slightly included. The best value is found in gems that are lightly- to moderately-included. Gemstones are not clarity graded like diamonds. Where a flaw may adversely effect the value of a diamond, in colored gemstones it is frequently excepted as part of the stone.

Diamonds are cut to an "ideal" geometrically. They are configured for maximum brilliance. A high-quality colored gemstone cut is one that presents the even color, exposing the fewest inclusions, and displays well with lots of colored fife. The shape of the crystals control the final shape of the colored gem.

The carat weight of a gemstone is not necessarily an accurate gauge for mounting in a ring. We frequently have to use the measurements in millimeters rather than the weight in carats. We may need the diameter of the gemstone when viewed from above - since if the gemstone is set in jewelry; this is the only part of the gemstone that is visible.

San Diego Gems carries a large inventory of colored gemstones in all shapes and sizes. Listed here are just some of the items we have in stock.

• Almandine Garnet
• Amethyst
• Ametrine
• Andalusite
• Aquamarine
• Azotic Topaz
• Beryl
• Cat’s Eye Apatite
• Chalcedony
• Chrysoberyl
• Citrine
• Color-Change Garnet
• Emerald
• Garnet
• Imperial Topaz
• Iolite
• Kunzite
• Moonstone
• Morganite
• Moss Opal
• Quartz
• Onyx
• Opal
• Peridot
• Pyrope Garnet
• Quartz
• Rhodolite Garnet
• Hiddenite
• Rose Quartz
• Ruby
• Sapphire
• Smoky Quartz
• Spessartite
• Sphene
• Spinel
• Spodumene
• Star Ruby
• Star Sapphire
• Tanzanite
• Topaz
• Tourmaline
• Tsavorite Garnet

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