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                                         Information @ a Glance
  • A gemstone or gem, also called a precious or semi-precious stone, is a piece of attractive mineral, which when cut and polished is used to make jewelry or other adornments.
  • However certain rocks, and organic materials are not minerals, but are still used for jewelry, and are therefore often considered to be gemstones as well.
  • Most gemstones are hard, but some soft minerals are used in jewelry because of their lustre or other physical properties that have aesthetic value. Rarity is another characteristic that lends value to a gemstone.


  • There are a number of good machines available for cutting precious stones - a process called faceting. Although the machines may look complicated, they consist primarily of a grinding plate called a lap and a set of protractors that help the faceter hold the stone accurately against the lap.
  • The faceter controls the actual faceting process during the grinding and polishing processes on each face of the stone. A faceted gem begins with the selection of faceting rough, which is chosen for color, clarity, type of stone, shape, and perhaps some other qualities as well.
  • Raman micro-spectroscopy is an ideal method for the examination of marketable gemstones. The lack of sample preparation and the non-destructive nature of Raman analysis make it ideal for the analysis of even high-value gems.
  • Gemstone is heated to high degrees which is called gemstone heating. Most real Blue Sapphires today are heated to high degrees during natural faceting process.


  • Merchants in Peshawar, Pakistan, cut low-value stones for the domestic market and send the medium and high quality stones to centres around the world for accurate cutting for the Western markets. This pattern of trade ensures that Afghanistan gains little value from gemstones.
  • The gemstone and jewellery sub-sector in Kenya is liberalized; there are no trade restrictions. So long as a miner or dealer is licensed, he or she can trade in an otherwise free market.
  • In Kenya licensed dealers are only allowed to conduct their business from licensed premises. Dealers can sell their products either as raw material or as finished products.
  • The gems and jewellery industry occupies an important position in the Indian economy. It is a leading foreign exchange earner, as well as one of the fastest growing industries in the country.


  • A report to complement the footage describes how the international trade in diamonds and gemstones has provided vast profits for the companies which mine, process and market these precious stones.
  • The majority of the world's diamonds are traded through the Central Selling Organisation (CSO), the marketing arm of De Beers, based in London.
  • De Beers is the biggest player in the world diamond trade, controlling the sale of most of the world's diamonds.
  • India is the world's biggest diamond and gemstone cutting centre, and polishes 70% of the global diamonds yield.
  • The gem and jewellery industry now provides 17% of India's export earnings, but does not mine the diamonds and gemstones it polishes - its major supplier of diamonds being the Rio Tinto-controlled Argyle mine in Western Australia.

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