The collection of precious stones
People collect all kinds of things, from the sublime to the banal. Whatever the collection definition, the collector is always aiming for the Nirvana of completeness and seeks to find rare, obsolete and particular items. Gemstones provide great satisfaction to enthusiasts, especially for the intrinsic interest and the fact that there are so many different ways to collect them. Some collectors seek to collect as many precious stones as possible. Other collectors search in depth for one kind of gemstone. For example, tourmaline comes in so many colours that it will be very difficult for a collector to complete his collection. The same is true for garnet and sapphire since samples are present in several places on the planet.
The possibilities for defining interesting groups of gems are enormous. The different cutting styles of gems over time is so various that it would make quite an interesting collection. Some countries are so prolific in the production of gems that a collection of different kinds of Madagascan or Tanzanian gems can be quite extensive. But most collectors start with the precious stones they love and want to define a systematic collection around it.
What makes a gemstone valuable
Gemstones are pieced from mineral crystals, cut and polished in different shapes and sizes and mostly used for adornment, jewelery and decoration. There are a few things to focus on when finding the value of your gemstones according to our gemstone experts:
No matter how beautiful and unique a gemstone looks, one of its most important characteristics is its ability to endure. After all, does it really matter how beautiful your gemstone might be if it’s not going to last? But don’t be fooled, there is more to durability than just hardness. Cleavage, for example, is the tendency of a gem to break apart when struck. Perhaps surprisingly, although diamond may be one of the hardest gems, it is not necessarily one of the most durable. Ruby and sapphire, on the other hand, may not be as hard as diamond but have no cleavage and therefore can be consider overall more durable.
People like being unique, one-of-a-kind and the same goes for the items they own. This makes it easy to understand why we’re attracted to rare and scarce gemstones. It can feel exciting and special to be wearing a gemstone which very few other people own. Some of the rarest gemstones include tanzanite, a bold blue variant of the mineral zoisite and found only in Tanzania, and alexandrite, the colour-changing stone discovered in Russia.
Almost conversely to the above, fashion trends and developments also play an important role in determining the value of different gemstones. Certain gems are extremely popular for specific occasions, for example diamonds on engagement rings. And seasonal trends and fashionable colours can also influence what is considered ‘in style.’ For example, the last decade or so has seen a comeback of colour and creativity in high jewelery trends, pushing stones like turquoise, lapis and coral, back into popularity.
Last, but not least, is the beauty factor. Beauty is so subjective to every individual – what one might find beautiful is different from what someone else might think. It’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it’s all about finding the right gemstone for you. As with almost any other item in the world, gemstones are worth whatever someone is willing to pay.
Although some gems are extremely expensive, collecting gems does not have to be an expensive hobby. Many unusual jewels are still inexpensive because the supply is limited so that no market demand is created for them. Many gemstones that are in good supply today will become rare in the future because the quantities are exhausted. Time is on the collector’s side!