How Gemstones Get Their Color

By: Jeffrey M. Bertman Graduate GemologistThe color that a gemstone displays is largely determined by the unique way that its individual crystalline structure interacts with light. White light is made up of the spectral colors of the rainbow, some of which are “preferentially absorbed” as they enter the gem. Those that are not absorbed either pass through or are reflected back to give the gem its color. Each gem has a unique color fingerprint (known as its “absorption spectrum”) that is visible only when viewed through an instrument known as a spectroscope. While many gems appear to be the same color to the naked eye, jewelers can distinguish between similar-looking gems by using the spectroscope to reveal their absorption spectrums. Desirable color overflows in our gallery of gemstone jewelry.See our outstanding selection of beautiful offerings at 1402 Hancock Street, Quincy Center. Or reach us at 617-773-3636.


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