Gemstone jewelry has been worn by kings and commoners alike since ancient times for its beauty as well as mystical powers. It has graced the crowns of kings, the tiaras of queens and the bodies of millions of human beings. The most prized jewelry has been the one which has used gemstones like diamonds, jade, rubies, emeralds, garnet, amethyst, opals and topaz.
These gemstones have adorned millions of bracelets, necklaces, rings, pendants and earrings set in gold and silver. The jewelry has not only been worn as an adornment but also for the mystical powers that some of these gemstones are supposed to possess. Even today, astrologers and gemologists advise individuals as to which gemstone they should wear.
The value of the gemstones depends upon their weight, size and the way they have been cut and polished. Skilled artisans add great value, sheen and sparkle to a gemstone before passing it on to jewelers to set them in gold or silver. This is a skill that they learnt from their forefathers and which they faithfully pass on to their sons.
Earlier, the only source of gemstones was nature. They were mined from shallow or deep mines or retrieved from dry streams or lakes. These gemstones had a natural sheen and brilliance, which helped jewelers to determine whether a gemstone is real or not.
Today, a large number of gemstones are artificially manufactured. However, they do not command the same price that a natural gemstone does, and are largely used to make costume or fashion jewelry.
Gemstones need special care. They should not be allowed to come in contact with grease, oil, paints or strong chemicals. These can destroy the natural sheen of a gemstone, and make it look dull and lusterless. The best way to clean gemstone jewelry is to wash it in soft sudsy soap water, and then dry it using a soft, clean cloth.