When you're in the business of handling gems, you need to have a pristine idea on which stones are precious and which ones are just pretty. At Cavalier, the most important factor to keep in mind when taking stock of an oceanic sapphire or eye-catching emerald is the colour. It sounds simple enough, but it takes a keen attention to detail to properly assess the richness and colour depth within the gem.After sorting through a parcel and taking hold of a single stone, one of the first things to determine, aside from the colour, is the clarity of the gem as-is. Does the stone's pure colour sparkle through at every angle, for instance, or is there windowing, where white backing seen through the other side of the gem reduces its overall brilliance? Taking a close look with a loupe is the next step to answering questions on a particular gem, like whether recutting a piece can provide even more colour saturation or lighten it up, but there's more to consider before we put a stone up for sale.The quality and price of a ruby, sapphire or emerald often correlates to where it came from. Colombian emeralds, for instance, are treasured for their uniquely rich colour range, and that perfect sparkle comes at a premium. The reputation of a mine doesn't only come from their product, though, as fair working wages, professional working conditions, and political stability also factor into price. Additionally, other buyers from around the world are often looking for the same gems, which means the price paid for a gemstone can vary simply based on supply and demand. Lastly, one major factor that sometimes goes under the radar is the relationship with the supplier. In the gemstone business, the people (or companies) that pays the quickest, can usually receive better service, selection, and price. If a gem cutter is able to get a quick return on the inventory, secure his payroll expense or operating costs, and focus their attention back toward running their business in general, there’s real value in allowing them to do that by simply paying quickly.