Ok, so, Beth in SC, I'm an ignoramous, educate me! What is
"tone" a gem? I don't remember hearing it mentioned before.
Noel - You are NOT an ignoramus, you are, like the rest of us,
someone who doesn’t know everything there is to know !!! I
always tell my students the only stupid question is the one you
don’t ask Next, I am NOT a gemologist or an expert, just someone
who has loved rocks and stones all her life, and loves to
continually learn more (and fortunately there is a LOT more for me
to learn - no shortage!).
I learned about tone (and many other things!) from Richard Wise’s
wonderful book, which I highly recommend - definitely worth the
money - Secrets of the Gem Trade. Before I read his book I had
never heard of tone either, which is why I was so surprised when
someone came by who obviously DID know what it meant!
Richard says “Tone - that is, lightness and darkness - is the third
component of color.” It is a percentage of color, with no tone
equaling no color, and 100% tone equaling black. This matters,
because each type of stone has a “perfect” tone range. When the
color is outside of that range, it is less than “perfect”, being
either washed-out looking or so dark it loses beauty. This is my
imperfect explanation, based on my understanding of Richard’s
wonderful book. If you are really interested in learning more about
stones and how to tell the best from the rest, then I really do
recommend his book as a good start. It is very readable (I took it
on vacation with me ), and I have at least a rudimentary
understanding of a lot of concepts I didn’t even know existed before
I believe Richard has posted on this list before, and would gladly
defer to his explanation!
Beth in SC who has no connection to Richard other than a very