The jewellery and gemstone world is difficult to navigate. But there are some things that you can easily check:
1) Ask for the carat weight of the stone. You can then calculate a price per carat so that you can easily compare prices between different gemstones.
2) Ask for the original country where the gemstone was mined. It matters whether a sapphire was sourced from Kashmir or Sri Lanka. The prices vary!
3) Look at the gemstone with a loupe which will magnify it to 30 x. Look for lines, black marks, feathers and any other sort of inclusion. Broadly speaking, the more inclusions the lower the value.
4)Look at the gemstone in different lights. You may see the stone differently in a natural light compared to a yellow electric light.
5) Feel it in your stomach. When you see a gemstone you love, it's like a first boyfriend or girlfriend. You cannot get it out of your mind. So follow your gut!
By gemologist and founder of Augustine Jewels Alexandra Robson
If you want advice, please contact Alexandra at firstname.lastname@example.org www.augustinejewels.com