Jewelry by Johan Stone And Gems Guide Header

What is a Gemstone?

A gemstone is the name given to a piece of mineral (or other rock or organic material) that is cut and polished for use in a piece of jewelry.


Gemstone Shapes Used in Jewelry

Gemstones can be cut into a variety of shapes. Round and princess shaped gemstones top the list in popularity.

Guide to Gemstone Cuts


Gemstone Cuts

The cut of the stone greatly affects how the gem reflects light and sparkles. Cuts vary in number of facets and angles. Visit the GIA website for a great tool that allows you to see how differences in gemstone cuts effect a stone. Cut is also one of the 4Cs of diamond grades detailed later in this article.

Guide to Gemstones

We recommend you look on the American Gem Trade Association website to explore all kinds of stones! Another great resource is the GIA Gem Encyclopedia, which allows you to sort stones by color and also see images of how they would look as a rough vs. polished stone. Be sure to ask us if you want something that you can’t seem to find on our website – we can ethically source a large variety of stones. Here are some popular colored stones.

Gem stones Engagement Rings


Diamond Jewelry

With different styles and carats, our diamond rings present a versatile selection for any taste or budget. All Jewelry by Johan diamonds are sourced ethically and are conflict free. We follow the Kimberly Process, which ensures that Diamonds bought and sold are not sourced from forced labor or other illegal activity.

Diamond and Meteorite Engagement Ring

DIamond and Meteorite Engagement Ring in Yellow GoldDiamond and Opal Engagement Ring

Black Diamonds

At Jewelry by Johan we adore all assortments of diamonds, especially black diamonds. It seems that black diamonds are making their way to the forefront as a popular diamond color alternative in the jewelry industry. It is easy to see why. Black diamonds have a very mysterious quality about them that makes them that much more beautiful and interesting when used in jewelry.

Black Diamonds

Colored Diamonds

Rediscovering our love for black diamonds got us wondering how exactly do diamonds receive their other colors? It turns out that the coloring comes from the atomic structure of a gem shift, which creates a one of a kind hue in the stone that casts a bounty of different shades, to our favorite black, to the faintest of pink. The price of the diamond often depends on the scarcity of it. Pink diamonds are the hardest to locate and one of the most expensive diamond shades. Black diamonds are also a more budget friendly alternative to a classic white stone, which makes them a very popular alternative.

Silver Tulip Wood Milky Quartz Yellow Sapphire Engagement Ring

Custom Gemstone Amboyna Wood 14k Yellow Gold Engagement RingCustomer Pink Stone 8 Prong Set Meteorite

Specifications Of A Diamond – The 4 Cs

Diamonds are graded by these four standards developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

  • Carat: The weight of a diamond, 200 milligrams is 1 Carat.
  • Color: The whiter the diamond, the better.
  • Clarity: Having a clear diamond means having one without inclusions (Almost like small scratches and marks on the inside). Clarity is measured from FL to IF (Flawless), VVS1 to VVS2 Hard to find imperfections when magnified by 10), VS1 to VS2 (Imperfections are hard to see with the naked eye), SI1 to SI2 (Imperfections can be found when magnified by 10), I1 to I3 (Imperfections can be found by the naked eye)
  • Cut: How well a diamond is cut controls how effectively it reflects light. The better it reflects light, the brighter and more fiery it will appear.


Guide to 4Cs of Diamonds GIA

How To Choose The Right Diamond For You

Unique Engagement Rings

Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you find the diamond that perfectly fits both you and your budget!

  1. Lower the Cut. Go as low as Very Good in round diamonds, and Good in fancy shapes before making concessions in other areas.
  2. Next, lower the Color. Go as low as H before making concessions in other areas.
  3. Last, lower the Clarity. Go as low as VS2 before making concessions in other areas.
  4. Start with the highest quality diamond of the shape and carat weight minimum you identified in steps 1 and 2, and begin making concessions in the following order until you arrive at a diamond that fits your budget:
  5. Set a carat weight minimum based on your preferences. If you have your heart set on a one carat diamond, even the most beautiful half carat stone will be a disappointment.
  6. Identify the diamond shape you would like. If you do not know, consider round or princess cut as these are generally the most popular.
  7. If the diamonds that match your revised criteria are close to your budget, consider shaving off some carat weight in order to close the gap. A carat weight difference of 10% or less will be very difficult to detect visually

If after following the steps above, you are still outside your budget, repeat the process with new thresholds:

  1. First, further reduce Clarity. Go as low as SI1.
  2. Next, reduce Color. Go as low as J. If you know the diamond will be set in yellow gold, you could safely drop to K.
  3. Finally, reduce the Cut. Go as low as Good in round diamonds, and Fair in fancy shapes.
  4. At this point, if you are still outside your budget, your next step will depend on your individual preferences and needs.
  5. If the diamond you seek is under one carat, you could consider a drop to SI2 clarity.
  6. If the diamond is both a brilliant cut and under 1.50 carats, an L-M color may be perfectly acceptable when set in yellow gold.
  7. If size is the primary consideration, you could consider a Fair cut round or fancy shape.
  8. If you are still well outside your budget, you may need to consider increasing your budget or reducing your minimum carat weight target.


Popular Diamond Alternatives


Forever Brilliant® is the world’s most brilliant gem®. Inspired by the beauty and fire of natural moissanite, discovered over a century ago by Dr. Henri Moissan, Charles & Colvard® patented an ethical process for growing gem-quality Moissanite. More brilliant than a diamond at a fraction of the cost, more durable than a sapphire, ruby, or emerald, nothing compares to or outshines Charles & Colvard Created Moissanite®. Forever Brilliant® is our brightest, whitest gem ever; the result of new innovation and artistry that reveals maximum brilliance and fire. Artfully created from Silicon Carbide, the world’s second hardest mineral; the beauty of Forever Brilliant® created by Charles & Colvard® is guaranteed to last forever.

357083-(3)Unique Moissanite Engagement Ring With A Meteorite Band and Mokume Gane SleeveMoissanite Edit Test

Rough Stone Jewelry

Rough stone jewelry exudes natural beauty and many minerals, including diamonds, are available in the rough, but it’s important to keep in mind that most rough stones include impurities (e.g. discolorations) and imperfections that are visible to the naked eye. In addition, rough stones are more challenging to set because of their asymmetrical, uncommon shapes so they usually require a custom setting that sometimes allows for very slight movement of the stone.


Rough Diamond and Dinosaur Bone Engagement Ring

Rough Diamond EarringsRough Aquamarine Engagement Ring

We Can Create Any Piece of Jewelry Using Your Stone

Send us the gem you want in your custom ring if you already own the perfect stone for your dream ring! You can give your ring just that much more sentimental value while lowering the price!