Generally, the price of any gemstone is determined by size, cut, quality (color/clarity/treatments), and type.
There are a number of jewelry stores that will sell gems alone or set in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and all along the Mayan Riviera.
There are many ways that dealers can treat gemstones. The savvy buyer asks lots of questions.
Here are some treatments to look for:
It is common to irradiate Aquamarine, London Blue Topaz, Emerald, and Diamond as well as other stones. This treatment brings out color and removes imperfections. Most dealers know if the stones they are selling have been irradiated. Honest ones will tell you if they are aware of the treatment.
Amethyst, Aquamarine, Ruby, Tanzanite and Topaz are often heated at high temperatures to enhance color.
This is the most common treatment used to enhance a stone’s appearance. On clear stones, dye may be visible in cracks that are darker than the rest of the stone. Sometimes dye appears as a residue that rubs off or white patches. Lapis and Rose Quartz are commonly dyed. Amethyst and Citrine are often dyed. Black Onyx is permanently dyed in normal processing.
Jasper is often dipped in petroleum products to bring out color and to seal it. Emerald is oiled; turquoise is waxed.
Here are some things to know about gem quality:
- Has the gem been treated?
- Is the stone natural or synthetic?
- Are there any noticeable scratches, holes, chips or inclusions?
- Is the color saturation even throughout the stone?
- How good is the color?