Gemstones are rocks or minerals that can be used for ornamental purposes. To make the gemstones beautiful, the minerals are often cut and polished to produce different shapes and make the stones sparkle.
More than 130 different types of minerals are used for gemstones. The most popular gemstones are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Other gemstones are classified as precious or semi-precious.
Identification of gemstones involves examining the gemstone's color, hardness and light intensity and the way the gemstone reflects light. According to the Gemological Institute of America, identification requires the use of a refractometer, a microscope and other equipment.
A list of all precious and semi-precious stones is available at GemSelect.com. Another list, which includes artificial and organic gemstones, is available on Wikipedia. Each entry in the Wikipedia list links to an article about the gem that describes natural variations in color and appearance.
Some tips for selling gemstones include letting the customer know they come in a variety of colors or if they are rare. Inform customers of any treatments have been done to the gemstones. Tell a story about the gem and/or show a picture of a celebrity wearing the gem.
Places that a person can sell gemstones include auction houses, pawn shops, antique shops and independently owned retail jewelry stores. Gemstones may also be sold to scrap gold buyers, estate dealers or online jewelry warehouses.
Good ideas for selling gemstones include taking a gemology course online or on a campus, creating a business plan that covers selling methods, and contacting a dealer who supplies gemstones. Some sellers transact online or connect with buyers through online auction sites. Others put up physical stor
To find the value of gemstones, first use an electronic microbalance scale to weigh the gem and determine the carat. Next, use an optical measuring device to measure proportions, facet angles, the cut of the stone, and how it reflects and refracts light. Next, determine the grade of the gem as it pe
There are the precious gemstones like diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. There are also the semi-precious gemstones like turquoise, amethyst, garnet and quartz. There are also the gemstones that are considered birthstones (like aquamarine for the month of March and peridot for the month of August)
To collect gemstones for free, go rock hounding at old mines and quarries on public land. To find these public sites, ask for details at a local rock shop, look for mineral collecting books or visit the state's department of natural resources website.