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Diane M. Burke or A Plus Associates in Albany, New York

Diane M. Burke
Graduate Gemologist (G.I.A.)
Senior Member of the NAJA

Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers

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Colored Stone Identification by A+ Associates

Proper gem identification is essential when determining the value of a loose stone or jewelry item. There are many factors to consider.

Was your stone made by mother nature or man?

It is imperative when evaluating a gemstone to know whether it is genuine (made by mother nature), synthetic (the same elements as mother nature but made by man) or simulated (imitation, e.g. glass or plastic). The difference in value between a genuine ruby and a synthetic ruby is significant.

What is the identity of your stone?

We will identify whether your stone is a ruby, garnet, tourmaline, diamond, or something else entirely. The difference in value between different species of gemstones can be vast.

Where on the hue chart does your stone fit?

Each gemstone has a desirable color range. We identify the range into which your stone falls.

What is the clarity of your stone?

Clarity grading in colored stones is very different than clarity grading in diamonds. Clarity grading in colored stones is relative to all other colored stones of the same variety. For example, a high quality aquamarine will be eye clean (No inclusions visible face-up at a distance of 8-10 inches in natural lighting to a person with 20/20 vision), while the highest quality of emerald will almost never be eye clean. Thus, aquamarines can only be compared to other aquamarines and emeralds can only be compared to other emeralds.

What is the estimated carat weight of your stone?

All gemstones have their own unique specific gravity. When colored gemstones are set in jewelry, specific formulas must be used to determine the approximate weight of the stones. We combine our measurements with these formulas to determine the weight of your unique stone.

A partial list of our laboratory equipment is here.


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