A guide to your precious stone

12 Sep 2016

Whether you've got the rock or not, there is a lot to consider when buying a precious stone ring. From home care to insurance, here's what you need to know

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Image gallery

Find out all you ever wanted to know about precious stones with this informative Q&A from Dot the Jewellers.

What makes a stone ‘precious’?

The rarity of the gem will make it fall into the term precious. There are also factors of size of the gem and the quality of the clarity and colour of the stone. The range of qualities in precious gems is very large and makes a big difference on the price.

What are the main types of precious stone?

Diamonds are by far the best known precious gem; sapphires, rubies and emeralds follow up in second place, then there is a raft of other gem types that can fall into the precious bracket.


What metals complement precious stones?

We always recommend using a white metal (platinum, 18ct white gold or palladium) around most gems as it’s a neutral colour and will not clash or spoil the view of the gem. The rest of the ring can be any coloured metal that's right for the design.

What are the current trends?

Coloured gems have been heralded for some time as the next big thing. There has been an increase in the use of coloured diamonds, which is great as there are some lovely colours out there. The only word of warning is there are different coloured diamond types and some are fake as the colour has been added to the gem artificially, so always ask lots of questions before you buy. 


How would you advise couples to pick a precious stone?

It's always a good idea to find out information about the gem grade you are interested in, so you can make an informed decision on selecting a gem. But the deciding factor should not be based purely on the gemological grade of the stone, but based on whether you think it is pretty or not. Where the gemological paper work will help is in cost comparison and getting the stone insured. GIA and IGI are two company certifications we would recommend for diamonds as they are completely independent companies. There are a lot of certifications that are not worth the paper they are written on. 

Should I insure my ring and with who?

It’s always a good idea to get your jewellery insured as losses do occur. Normally the best option is to cover the ring on your household insurance and if it's over £1,000 it will be a named item. If you want to insure separately, we recommend insurance company www.thmarch.co.uk who can quote based on your postcode and the value of the ring. It’s strongly advisable to get a very good evaluation of the ring with pictures. Also take a picture of the ring on the intended's finger as you can prove you have paid for it, but the picture proves you own it which has been the reason for some insurance policies not paying up in the past.


How should I care for a ring with a precious stone?

The most simple way to keep on enjoying your jewellery is to keep it clean. All stones can get a build-up of dirt behind the gem (hand cream and soap are the top culprits) which stops the refraction within the gem.You can buy a simple ultrasonic to keep it clean or just take to a jeweller for a bit of TLC. At Dot the Jewellers we do this for free on rings we have made.


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