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What is the difference between a carat and a karat?

When measuring gemstones, carat is a unit of weight. One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram. For example, a 5.00 carat sapphire would weigh 1.00 gram. Each carat is divided into 100 parts, or sometimes referred to as “points.”

Karat is an indicator of gold purity. Pure gold is 24 karat. 18 karat is 18/24 or 75% pure gold. Sometimes 18 karat can be marked “750.” 14 karat is 14/24 or 58.3% pure gold and can be marked as “585.”


What are the qualities of a fine gemstone?

Similar to fine diamonds, the quality of fine gemstones is determined by carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. Assessing a gemstone’s quality requires years of experience. However, there are a few generalizations that can be made. A fine gemstone has a desirable color. They are clear, bright and lively, as a result of the qualities of the specific gem and due partly to superior cutting.

Judging the value and quality of fine gemstones requires specialized knowledge, training and experience. However, if you don’t have a G.G. available, use the 4C’s of diamond grading as a rule of thumb when evaluating a gemstone’s quality. The familiar diamond value factors of color, cut, clarity, and carat weight apply to gemstones in a similar manner.


Which gemstones are the most durable?

A gemstone can be considered durable as it resists scratching and breakage. The most durable gemstones include diamond, ruby, sapphire, alexandrite and natural spinel. Please remember, if not worn carefully, even the most durable gems can be chipped, scratched or abraded.