Jewelry Buying Guide > Gemstone Background


The color of royalty and romance. Short of a crown, it's the best way to feel like a queen. Amethyst achieves its regal color by being heat-treated. Avoid heat and sudden temperature changes.


Aquamarine mimics the color of the ocean. These beauties are enough to make any mermaid jealous. Aquamarine is often heat-treated to enhance its dreamy color. Clean often with soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.


Long thought to hold the key to eternal youth, Emeralds have been adored since the time of Cleopatra. Emerald is usually oiled or waxed to improve clarity, and is occasionally dyed for color-enhancement. Avoid sudden temperature changes. Clean with a soft brush or cloth, and never use an ultrasonic cleaner.


Opals aren't your typical gemstone. They contain water, which creates a shimmering explosion of color and light. Each Opal birthstone is different, making each piece completely unique-just like you. Avoid heat and sudden temperature changes. Keep clean with a soft cloth dampened with olive oil so it doesn't dry out or crack, and never use an ultrasonic cleaner.


With these pearly whites, what's not to smile about? For a special day (hello, something new) or every day, the world is now your oyster. Cultured pearls are grown under controlled conditions by Pearl farmers. Pearl is usually bleached to achieve a consistent white, but dyed for amazing colors. Avoid contact with cosmetics, perfumes and household chemicals. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner.


Sapphire means "blue" in Greek. But lucky for you, this sparkling birthstone comes in an array of other colors, too. With all of those beautiful choices, the only thing we can say is Opa! Heat is usually applied to improve Sapphire's appearance and is occasionally diffused to improve color. This gem is also occasionally irradiated to produce a temporary, intense yellow/orange color. Avoid heat and exposure to strong light.


This birthstone takes the first prize for being absolutely gorgeous in all its moody shades. Topaz comes in a variety of colors, from white to yellow to pink, with Blue Topaz being December's birthstone. Clean with soapy water and a soft brush or cloth, and never use an ultrasonic cleaner.

Treated Rubies

No other birthstone screams fireworks like red-hot Rubies. Many Rubies today are treated to enhance the beauty of the stone by combining the Red Corundum extracted from the earth with lead glass. This is done to enhance the color and clarity of the stone and to increase its overall appearance. Glass-filled Rubies require special care to maintain their beauty-avoid heat and sharp blows, and never use an ultrasonic cleaner.

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Choosing The Make Of Gemstone

Genuine Gemstones

are made of natural materials that are cut, polished and shaped to create each gemstone. However, some gemstones are much more rare than others, so scientists have developed lab-created gemstones.

Lab-created gemstones

Are created in a laboratory from similar materials and conditions as genuine gemstones.  They are chemically, physically, and optically identical to gems found in nature.  These stones usually have fewer inclusions due to the controlled production process and tend to be more affordable than genuine gemstones.

Simulated gemstones

Are created from less expensive look-alike substitutes for genuine gemstones.  These stones are treated to match the color of genuine stones and cut to look the same but may not contain the same brilliance or hardness of the natural stone.