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Ordering a Report for a Colored Gemstone

Gemstone reports vary, depending on the source

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Colored Gemstone Reports

This small assortment of gemstones is a preview of just a few vivid colors you can choose from when you buy birthstones and other colored gems.

Don Farrall / Getty Images

What's Included in a Colored Gemstone Report?

Reports similar to diamond grading reports are available for owners and potential buyers of colored gemstones. Ordering a gemstone report makes sense before you pay top dollar for a gemstone, or if you would like to verify the characteristics of a gem you already own.

Reports vary depending on the company or organization that produces them, and in the amount of detail they provide. Three sources for colored gemstone reports are American Gemological Laboratories (AGL), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and EGL USA, which originated in Europe but is no longer affiliated with that resource.

Gemstone Reports from American Gemological Laboratories (AGL)

AGL, founded in 1977 and located in New York City, specializes in colored gemstone analysis.
  • AGL's Prestige Report is its most comprehensive look at a gemstone, and includes a complete grading assessment, identification of the stone, a gem's country of origin, and details about any treatments used to enhance a gem's appearance.
  • AGL's GemBrief identifies the stone and provides details about enhancements.
  • Both reports include measurements, a gem's weight and photos of the gemstone.
  • AGL also provides reports for mounted jewelry and batches of gems.
AGL Web Site

Gemstone Reports from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

The GIA is well known for its diamond grading reports, but the organization also identifies and grades colored gemstones and pearls. The GIA database includes details about more than 100,000 individual colored gems, a resource that helps graders identify the stones and their places of origin. Graders are always on the lookout for simulated stones, synthetic gems and stones that have been treated in some way to enhance their appearance, such as the treatments that are commonly applied to create a new or more vivid color.

As with diamond grading, each stone submitted to the GIA is viewed by multiple graders and is tracked as it moves through the system -- the location of a gem is known at all times.

A GIA report includes:

  • A complete exam of the material.
  • A description of a gem's color, its transparency, shape, cut, dimensions and weight.
  • A photo of the gemstone.
  • Details that disclose whether the stone is natural or synthetic, or if it is a simulant (in other words, fake).
  • Facts about treatments, as mentioned above.
  • Information that reveals if the stone has been assembled from separate components, such as the composites known as doublets and triplets.
  • Reports can be ordered for both polished and rough stones, and gems can be loose or mounted into a setting.
  • Special identification reports are issued for natural ruby, sapphire, emerald, tourmaline and alexandrite

GIA's Colored Gemstone Reports

Gemstone Reports from EGL USA

EGL USA is a gemological institute that was once part of a network founded in Europe. It opened a lab in New York in 1977, and is no longer affiliated with the European company.

EGL USA's Gemstone Analysis Report is their most-requested report and offers many details about colored gemstones, such as:

  • A graph that illustrates data interpreted by a spectrophotometer, a device used to identify gems
  • A color photograph
  • Whether the stone is natural or synthetic
  • Treatments that might have been used, such as diffusion, oiling and heat treatments
  • An explanation of a gemstone's unique characteristics
  • A description of the gemstone's color
  • The gem's country of origin

EGL USA's Colored Gemstone Identification Report is also available, and explains whether the gem is natural or synthetic, and treatments that were used to alter its appearance.

EGL USA Web Site

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