Gemstones are minerals which can be precious or semi-precious. When cut and polished they can be used as jewelry or as
additional embellishments. There are also certain rocks and other organic materials that fall into this category, yet are
not minerals. Still used in jewelry like amber, they are considered to be gemstones as well. Used as jewelry due to their
lustre, rarity is what adds ever-lasting value to a gemstone imbibed jewelry article. Gemstones are treated using various
processes such as heating, radiation, waxing or oiling and fracture filling. Nowadays synthetic and artificial gemstones are
manufactured for instance cubic zirconia is a synthetic diamond. Though they feature look and feel of the original stone they
possess entirely different chemical and physical characteristics.
While color is the most distinguishing factor for any gemstone, cutting and polishing them is what brings the raw and rough
gemstone to life. Stones can be cut smooth into dome shaped stones called cabochons or they can be cut with a faceting machine
by polishing small flat windows called facets at regular intervals at exact angles. There are no accepted grading systems
for any stone besides the white (colorless) diamond which is graded using a system developed by the Gemological Institute
of America (GIA).