In cultures all across the world, for centuries, fine jewelry has always been coveted. Diamonds and gemstones, when combined with precious metals, make the most beautiful pieces of jewelry. It was around the 15th century when the process of mining and cutting precious gems began to be taken seriously by the mainstream. Since then, diamond and gemstone jewelry has come a long way. There have been so many styles and trends over the generations. Even today, many people still prefer classic or vintage styles, while others prefer contemporary cutting and setting techniques.Diamond JewelryIt’s common knowledge that diamonds aren’t all equal. There are very few 100% flawless diamonds in the world. Whether you want to buy a ring, necklace, bracelet, or earrings, you need to keep the four Cs in mind: color, cut, carat, and clarity. Ideally, the stone should be colorless. However, most of them have some sort of color. It’s common to find a tint of brown or yellow – even in “white” diamonds. When shopping online, most stores offer a color grading chart. Look over a chart to find out how much color is in a diamond and whether or not the tint affects the overall value.Of course, some diamonds are intentionally colored. These days, they can be bright pink, blue, yellow, etc. If color isn’t your main concern, then you should still consider the other three Cs. The amount of clarity depends on the number of imperfections. Blemishes can appear as tiny flecks of black carbon, cracks, etc. Even if the flaws can’t be seen with the naked eye, they still take away from the overall beauty of the stone and reduce its quality significantly.The other two Cs in diamond and gemstone jewelry refer to the cut and carat. The cut is the style/design of the stone, and the carat is the weight. The way a gem is cut plays an important role in its brilliance and quality. The cutting process involves polish, symmetry, proportioning, and so forth.There are many different cut styles, some of which are classic, and some of which are modern:· Round· Emerald· Marquise· Cushion· Princess· Oval· Heart· Round Brilliant· Asscher· Pear· RadiantThe Emerald cut is perhaps the most popular of the classic, elegant styles. While it doesn’t cause the stone to shine as brilliantly as some of the other cut, it offers a nice, clean look, with its lean lines and symmetry.For the modern styles, the Princess, Heart, and Round Brilliant are all good choices. These are cut in a way that allows the diamond to shine brilliantly and brightly.As for the carat, there have been several different definitions over centuries. Today, the international standard of measurement is 1/5 of a gram (or 200 milligrams). When there is more than one gem on a piece of jewelry, the carat is sometimes described as the total combined weight of all the gems.Other Gemstone JewelryThere are plenty of other beautiful gemstones out there aside from diamonds. Everyone has their preferences. Although it’s always been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, there are still some women who prefer other gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies, topaz, sapphires, etc. There are so many combinations of various gemstones and precious metals. Silver, platinum, and gold jewelry simply look dazzling when adorned with colorful gemstones.Birthstone jewelry has been around for centuries. It gives people a chance to place deep meaning into the gem associated with their month of birth. That said, not everyone cares for this kind of jewelry. Their birthstone might not suit their personal taste. There’s no rule that says you can’t wear a necklace or ring with a gem that isn’t your birthstone.The overall designs of diamond and gemstone jewelry vary from simple to fancy and extravagant. There are simple gold or silver bands adorned with a solitary diamond or amethyst. There are earrings adorned with several tiny diamonds. Some pieces have multiple dazzling stones that appear very flashy. There are different tones and shades for each type of gem as well. Garnet, which is usually associated with red, is also available as pink. Topaz is available in blue, pink, yellow, etc.Gold JewelryJewelry pieces contain more than gemstones; there are also precious metals to consider. Silver, platinum, and various shades of gold are always popular. The gemstones must be set inside of metal in order to be worn as earrings, rings, necklaces, etc.No precious metal stands out as much as gold. Since the dawn of human civilization, it has been the most sought after metal. Wearing real gold jewelry will make anybody feel like a million dollars. There are different types of gold available: white, yellow, rose, and bronze. Some gold pieces have a lime or red tint.It’s important to understand the carat aspect and how it is represented. The gold used in jewelry making is usually combined with other metal alloy. This is done so that the gold can be shaped easily and smoothly in the creation of a ring or necklace. The amount of pure gold that is still retained in the final metal is where the carat comes in. Keep in mind that carat, or karat, is abbreviated as either ct. or kt.18ct is the highest quality gold jewelry. It means that 75% of the metal is pure gold. A 14ct piece contains approximately 58% – 59% pure gold. The pure gold content of a 9ct piece is only 37.5%.When shopping for any type of jewelry, make sure that the gemstones and gold complement each other.Discount JewelryWhile everyone wants the highest quality jewelry possible, not everyone can afford it. A clear diamond with little to no flaws isn’t going to be sold for cheap. Nor is an 18ct gold band adorned with sapphires or rubies.That said, there are some jewelry stores that offer discounts on everything from engagement rings to heart shaped earrings for Valentine’s Day. Mid-grade diamonds and 14ct/8ct gold still look dazzling to most people. In short, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a lovely piece of diamond jewelry.If there’s anything you need to be cautious about, it’s the reputation of the jeweler. Only buy discount jewelry if the store offers some sort of certification of its authenticity.Diamond and gemstone jewelry, along with gold, are available in so many colors, designs, settings, arrangements, and so forth. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you should still be able to find a lovely piece without spending a lot of money.