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The Fine Art of Choosing Your Own Gemstones

For the delightfully selective at heart, a jewelry piece represents more than just luxury. It pronounces itself as a form of personal art, expressing volumes about an individual's taste and style. Most would agree that this could even be likened to high fashion, tailoring beauty to suite the originalities of every client.

(Imagery Rights: Van Cleef & Arpels' Studio)

The major design houses around the world, purposefully select the gemstones they use for their jewelry. Established designers are always on the lookout for the very best gems in terms of quality, color and cutting grade. This creates the barrier between fine jewelry and commercial pieces. The latter represents jewelry that is merely 'there as is', or bought and sold in mass quantities.

Selecting a sapphire for example, allows one to determine how he or she would like to position the piece of jewelry with regards to current market levels. An unheated cornflower blue sapphire from Sri Lanka would be an exquisite choice for the centerpiece of a high-end sculptural ring. On the other hand, a suite of beryllium diffused orange sapphires may go well with a more affordable but classic channel-set men's ring.

Choosing the gemstones for your jewelry is a time-consuming, but rewarding activity that allows you to expand your breadth of appreciation for the craft. You get to play a part in the creation of something that may be passed down from generation to generation throughout the course of your family's history.

It's an act that does not have to be limited to the design houses alone, or to retailers. Individuals can look for their own stones, and select those separately to bring to a jewelry manufacturer somewhere else. This mixing of sources is sometimes also the best way to get the optimum returns for your budget (although other times it can also cost you more.)

(Above: A Designer Watch set with Diamonds & Emeralds by Graff Diamonds)

Whether it's for someone else or your personal enjoyment, remember that nowadays people have an easier time finding loose gemstones to buy. The availability of high-end online merchants plus the access to several trade shows will give you a good reason to spend that extra time and effort in choosing that brilliant gemstone to set as the centerpiece of your jewelry.
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