Rare and valuable minerals

How do you know if it is a gemstone?

If you buy jewelry secondhand, there is a high probability that it will be counterfeited. According to statistics, in 2014 the share of counterfeit jewelry on the Russian market was 30%. Therefore, it is best to contact trusted salons of reputable brands. If you want to choose an accessory elsewhere, use the tips and small experiments provided. A number of them are possible only after purchase; other experiments can be quickly carried out in a jewelry store.

How to choose metal?

  1. Sample determination. The easiest way is to look for a special mark on the jewelry – a stamp or hallmark. It is this that indicates the percentage of precious metal content in the product. If the sample is 585, then the alloy contains at least 58,5% gold. If this mark is difficult to read or worn out, it is better to put the jewelry aside. On accessories of small weight there may be no sample at all, which is quite legitimate.
  2. Using a magnet. This method is suitable even in “field” conditions. To do this, you need to take a simple magnet and bring it to the jewelry. An ordinary steel ring coated with gold will immediately be attracted to a magnet. Jewelry made from precious metals is not magnetic at all.
  3. Ordinary chalk. To determine the authenticity of silver, you can use regular chalk at home. It is enough to rub the chalk a little on the edge of the rim of the ring or pendant: real silver will darken in this place.
  4. Use of iodine. This method will help you check your gold item. You will need to take a cotton swab, soak it in a jar of iodine and touch the rim from the back of the accessory. If a speck remains at the application site, it is not a noble metal, but an ordinary metal alloy.
  5. Sulfuric ointment. This method will help you quickly identify silver. You should buy sulfur ointment at the pharmacy and apply a small amount to the product. If a blue spot remains, this means that this is 100% precious metal and not a fake.
  6. Ammonia. To test platinum, you will need a drop of ammonia. The reaction of these two components should pass without a trace. If the metal turns black, it is an imitation.

Checking the gems

Let’s look at the most common stones used in jewelry making.


It is the leader in the number of counterfeits. This is due to its opaque blue color. If the buyer does not know all the nuances, then he runs the risk of purchasing even plastic, especially if the seller makes convincing arguments. Often they use pressed crumbs, which remain after processed turquoise. After a few months, such stones simply crumble.

They can also pass off an ordinary howlite stone as turquoise. It has a white color with dark veins and looks like marble. It is also easy to paint and retains its texture, which is why it is often used to imitate precious stones.

To figure out whether the stone in front of you is natural, you should pay attention to the following points:

  1. Price. This is the most obvious factor that comes to mind. However, sellers often deliberately inflate the cost of unnatural minerals.
  2. Uniformity of texture. Naturally occurring turquoise is rarely uniform. Usually there are light or dark inclusions on the surface.
  3. Compared to a fake, a real stone has an oily sheen, and the color can range from shades of blue to green.
  4. If a drop of acid hits the stone, it will leave a white stain.

Sapphire, ruby, emerald

These stones have been counterfeited since ancient times, because they are characterized by a fairly high cost. Previously, they could be passed off as glass, crystal or similar stones of the same color. During the Soviet era, jewelry stores had a large selection of gold and silver jewelry decorated with artificial corundum.

If you visit an exhibition of accessories with inserts made of precious stones, which were in demand in ancient times, you may be disappointed. They are not distinguished by the play of light or sparkle. These are quite dull, sometimes opaque stones, while all three are characterized by a high degree of hardness. If you notice a chip on a mineral, it is most likely a fake.

The main differences between natural stones are:

  1. Natural rubies have a cool red color and are often opaque or cloudy. To determine the imitation of a stone, you should take a closer look at the presence of air bubbles in its thickness. If there are any, it’s a fake. The imitation is also indicated by a structure devoid of inclusions and the presence of chips on the surface. Buyers often confuse ruby ​​with red spinel or garnet.
  2. Natural high quality sapphires have a cornflower blue color, but sometimes the color reaches almost black. They are quite dense in structure and can be transparent or solid. An imitation can be determined by the same characteristics as a ruby: the absence of inclusions, chips and air bubbles. Sapphire is usually confused with lapis lazuli.
  3. The color of natural emerald ranges from light green to bright green. The structure of this stone is fibrous; there are characteristic long inclusions, which are called “curtains”. Usually this stone is translucent, but completely transparent minerals are valued much higher. It is easily confused with chrysoprase.


Counterfeits of natural pearls are found everywhere today. You can buy pearl jewelry with a mother-of-pearl sheen at a low price in every store. But it is not difficult to distinguish natural stone from imitation, which is made using glass or plastic:

  1. Remember that pearls of natural origin are calcium, simply chalk. Take one bead and run your teeth over it. If the stone is natural, a roughness and powder will remain on the teeth, like chalk. The fake is usually very hard and smooth.
  2. If possible, throw a pearl product onto a hard surface – natural pearls will bounce like little balls, while a fake glass product will break.
  3. Carefully examine the appearance of the product. Natural stone has irregularities and imperfections, which is why it attracts attention. The fake is usually round in shape, smooth with a pearlescent tint.


Often uneducated sellers say: “This is jewelry with zirconium.” In this case, they confuse the concepts. Zirconium is a type of metal, and the stone itself is called zircon. Nowadays, zirconium is the name given to all sparkling inserts – Swarovski crystals, cubic zirconia and zircons.

However, remember that natural stone has a number of distinctive characteristics and properties, one of which is phenomenal brilliance, which can be compared to diamond. Cut zircon will sparkle even in the dimmest lamp, and is second only to diamond in hardness. Therefore, products with natural stone look no less impressive.


This mineral is rarely counterfeited, but buyers should remember that it is not a topaz, but a smoky-colored quartz. Its use in jewelry adds zest and originality.

Mystic Topaz

This stone amazes with its beauty, because it combines all the colors of the rainbow. But this color does not occur in nature, and it is obtained as a result of special processing – covered with a thin titanium film. However, the basis is still a natural mineral – usually transparent topaz, so it is difficult to call this stone an imitation. To buy a truly effective talisman, choose topaz in a natural shade, for example, blue.

By adhering to the above recommendations, you will reduce the risk of buying a fake by several times. Always choose jewelry carefully and contact only trusted sellers.

  • About Us
  • Promotions and news
  • Careers
  • Pay
  • Discount program
  • Rules for accepting products for commission
  • Gift Certificates
  • Contacts
  • Personal account
  • legal information
  • Warranty
  • Delivery
  • Purchase returns
  • Magazine
  • Reviews

Precious stones are cut and polished minerals that are particularly impressive, shiny, transparent and hard. Their price is determined by beauty, uniqueness and demand. Precious stones and minerals are used to make jewelry, collected, and used in medicine, technology, and industry. They serve as objects of worship and magic. Of the thousands of minerals that exist in nature, no more than 100 are processed into precious stones, and no more than 20 are widely used in jewelry.

Distinctive features of expensive gems

Gems and gemstones have varying abilities to resist wear and abrasion. Mineralogist Friedrich Mohs at the beginning of the last century developed a conventional scale that is used to this day, where each mineral is determined by its inherent hardness. Which stones are considered precious on the Mohs scale? Minerals with a hardness level of 10-7 units were identified by him as truly precious, namely:

  • Only a diamond is scored 10 points;
  • 9 – ruby ​​and sapphire;
  • 8 – cat’s eye, alexandrite, chrysoberyl, spinel, emerald. aquamarine, noble topaz;
  • 7 – amethyst, hyacinth, tourmaline, garnet, citrine, smoky topaz and rose quartz.

As the hardness decreases, they qualify as semi-precious stones and simply decorative.

The weight of precious stones is a carat, equal to 200 mg. The weight of the smallest diamond specimens is estimated in points. The higher the weight, the higher the price per 1 carat. The main things that a mineral is valued for are its quality, color, transparency and cut. When processed and framed, all its beauty is revealed. Precious and semi-precious stones can be cut in 250 ways, depending on the size, clarity and design of the craftsman. Gems of high value must necessarily have transparency and purity, that is, they must transmit light, which, when it hits the edges, is refracted, reflected or absorbed, creating the effect of the beam breaking up into a color spectrum. Such reflections and overflows are most pronounced in stones of “pure water”, that is, without inclusions in the form of bubbles of liquid or gas.

Rich deposits of the best gems are located in South Africa, Brazil, South Asia, the USA, and Yakutia. The most expensive gemstone in the world is mined in Australia – red diamond, gemologists call it purple-red. Most of the mined samples weigh less than 0,5 carats.

The most popular gems

Jewelers have determined that the same minerals obtained from different countries differ in hardness. Sometimes it is difficult to clearly distinguish between precious and semi-precious stones. Professor E. Kievlenko. in 1980 he classified them according to transparency, beauty of color and design and cost, identifying the following 3 groups:

  1. Precious jewelry stones are transparent and translucent.
  2. Jewelry and ornamental – translucent and opaque.
  3. Ornamental – mostly opaque.

Each group has its own gradation. In the Kievlenko classification table. determined the place for all the stones used by jewelers, and it is still used today. Minerals of all three groups are called gems. They are often defined as ornamental. But in Russia, stones used for making jewelry are separated from those used in stone-cutting products. The latter most often include opaque minerals or rocks with colored inclusions. The value of an ornamental stone depends on how rare it is, as well as on its individual qualities. They can be set in gold and silver. The measure of weight of raw materials is kilogram.

Currently, the term “semi-precious stones”, which appeared in the mid-2th century, is gradually falling out of use. The basis of this name reflects the desire to protect precious things, to highlight them. Semi-precious stones are more often found in nature. They are quite hard, which means they are easy to cut and polish. Their color range has a wide range. Sometimes the prices of gems from different groups are comparable. For example, black opal, which is not classified as precious, costs approximately $XNUMX per carat. Amber samples containing complete remains of ancient insects are highly valued. Semi-precious stones can skyrocket in price due to limited mining volumes. The unit of weight for semi-precious minerals is grams.

Properties of gems

In the Vedic system of astrology, it is believed that physical and mental ailments can be treated with the help of mineral stone. The properties of precious and semi-precious stones depend on their purity and integrity. Defective ones will have a negative impact. In order for a mineral to help and represent some kind of protection for a person, it must be chosen correctly, felt, and then it will show all the features inherent in it by nature. Those that were inherited show them most quickly. The purchased ones will show their strength only after a few years.

Neuropathologist V. Bekhterev believed that semi-precious stones influence a person depending on their color: the warm part of the spectrum has a tonic effect, green ones have a slowing effect, and purple ones have a depressing effect. Research by US scientists has proven the properties of semi-precious stones to focus and transform light waves, thereby acquiring a healing effect. Different types of energy emitted by minerals can slow down the development of tumors. Magnetite has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Raw materials from radioactive or chemically contaminated areas should not be used for treatment. It should be noted that the same mineral from different places does not have the same effect. Lithotherapists believe that quartz from South Africa helps with heart attacks, and from South America – with infertility. Before you begin treatment, you need to find out as much as possible about the material.

The healing properties of minerals lie in their radiation and vibration. In addition, they can give a person confidence and improve their mood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button