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Colored Gemstone Trends and Philippine Gemology

Many wonder about the current jewelry preferences of budding Filipino collectors and style aficionados from across the urban landscape. Most might tell you that common knowledge dictates diamond to stand out as a wide-spread favorite among the socialites of Metro Manila's bustling gala scene. This has been true for decades to be fair, and yet nowadays there are more and more people coming into the laboratory seeking help with assessing their colored stone jewelry items. We've been seeing rubies, sapphires, emeralds, jade, aquamarine, tanzanite and many other illustrious varieties of gemstone material. Occasionally some of them turn out to be synthetic after careful examination by our GIA graduate gemologists, however the ones that hold their identities as natural gems, are then also tested for the presence of treatments or enhancements. Procedures that improve the apparent clarity or color of gems, are a recurring observation in many of the commercial-to-mid quality stones we take into the laboratory.

Colored stone grading, unlike diamond grading, is a little less universally standardized in comparison. Despite this, a general consensus equates that stones of a more intense saturation, belonging to certain hues (and with more appealing tones) usually trend higher in the pricing scale. At the laboratory, we make use of the alphanumerical codes taught to gemologists at the Gemological Institute of America, each code represents a color-influencing trait of a gemstone. 'vslbG' for example, is an acronym for 'very slightly bluish green', one of the 27 possible hues assigned to gems on our report. Tone on the other hand, is depicted as a single digit number, ranging from 2 (very light) to 8 (very dark). Similarly, saturation stands on a scale as well, with grades ranging from 1 (grayish or brownish) to 6 (vivid). These three color trait indicators, give us guidance on how to properly evaluate the worth of colored stones, in coordination with other aspects like clarity, cut and carat weight.

At the laboratory, based in Quezon City, our G.G,'s are specifically trained to accommodate concerns from both the local and international gem trade. We provide assistance with gemstone identification in two forms- verbally delivered results or printed gemological reports. There are instances where people just want to find out or gain personal assurance about the identity of their item, and do not need printed documentation. Verbal results will save them on time and laboratory fees.

If you're in the area of Metro Manila, or nearby, and need your jewelry items examined for authenticity, please drop us a message on Facebook to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced gemologists.
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