Color is by far the most highly touted virtue of gem stones. When you see a beautiful cornflower blue sapphire, or a gorgeous Granny Smith apple green peridot, what attracts you most are the deep colors of the stones.
When jewelers determine the quality of a gem stone based on its color, they talk about color as ‘hue,’ ‘tone,’ and ‘saturation.’ It’s good to know a bit about these qualities so you can talk about the jewelry you own and that which you are interested in owning, knowledgably!
Let’s start with ‘hue,’ the location of the gemstone’s body color in the color spectrum. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple are the main hues of body color. Sure, there are other hues you’ll see in gem stones. Pink and brown, for instance. Although each are technically shades of red, have both have their place in the gem stone schematic.
‘Tone’ is the paleness or darkness of a body color hue. The closer a body color hue is to white, or colorless, the lighter the ‘tone.’
My favorite color quality is ‘saturation.’ The most nuances of color discrimination, saturation refers to the “pureness” of the body color of the stone. The more intense the color, the more saturated it is considered. I just love the rich intensity of deeply saturated rubies, not so dark as to loose transparency, but rich enough to glow next to the skin.
When you bring a piece of jewelry in for an appraisal, our certified Aronstam appraisers will look at your gem stones and refer to hue, tone and saturation, among other important features.
Let’s talk jewelry color together next time you stop in to the Aronstam showroom for a visit!