It’s not unusual to see loose gemstones for sale at your local jeweler or up for auction. In fact, it’s fairly common for those shopping for an engagement ring to select a diamond separately from a setting. But the options for loose gemstones go well beyond that scenario alone. Loose gemstones offer a great opportunity for jewelry buyers looking to get great value, to design completely unique pieces, or both.
Loose stones offer value in two ways. First, it is much easier to appraise the worth of a stone when it is not in a setting, as the setting can hide flaws in a stone or make it hard to judge its transparency. Thus, you’ll know more precisely what you’re getting when you buy a loose stone. Some especially great values can be found if you purchase stones at auction rather than buying from a retail outlet. Second, when you’re buying already-set jewelry, you may be paying just as much (or more!) for a designer name or a brand-name markup as you are for the value of the piece itself. Buying a stone separately eliminates the price increases that come from such intangible factors.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys expressing their creativity, loose stones also offer you a chance to create a piece of jewelry all your own. Jewelry sold in traditional retail outlets often incorporates stones cut in standard sizes and shapes. The settings themselves are typically mass-produced—you can be certain that other people will be wearing the exact same designs. When you have a piece of jewelry custom-designed starting with a loose stone, perhaps one in an unusual size and cut, you can be sure that the end result will be completely unique.
For those who have an interest in do-it-yourself jewelry making, loose stones easily lend themselves to popular techniques such as wire-wrapping. This can be an especially striking way to show off a stone with unusual patterning or an irregular shape. While DIY jewelry frequently uses semiprecious stones, there’s no rule that says you have to restrict your creativity by limiting your materials.
Finally, loose gemstones in exceptionally large sizes may be suitable as display items in your home in their own right. Jade, turquoise, and other opaque gemstones can be found in artfully carved shapes and figures. In such cases, all you need to do is find the one that strikes your fancy at your desired price, and then enjoy.
In short, loose gemstones are a natural choice for those looking for something out of the ordinary. Exploring the possibilities can unlock your imagination and result in an unexpected treasure for you to enjoy.