Is there a standard practice to describe gem colour?

Gem colour is described according to the intensity or saturation of the colour when viewed under natural light. The terminology; vivid, rich, best and top are used for describing gemstones with a high colour intensity. Medium and nice are used for gemstones with an intermediate colour intensity; with fine, bright and light being the terminology  used to describe low colour intensity.

Is there a standard procedure for the way to describe gem clarity?

Below are the definitions Touchstone uses to describe Gem clarity:

  • Clean:  Gems that are free from inclusions under 10x magnification.
  • Eye Clean:  Gems that are clean to the naked eye.
  • VSI (very slight inclusions):  While these gems have some small inclusions, they do not diminish or reduce the brilliance and beauty of the gem when set.
  • SI (slight inclusions):  These gems have some inclusions visible to the naked eye but not to the extent of affecting the brilliance or beauty of the gem.
  • Included/PK (Pique):  These gems have some larger and/or many minor inclusions that somewhat diminish the overall brilliance of the gem.

What currency do you use for pricing?

Our base prices are in US Dollars, this being the international currency convention for the coloured gemstones and Diamond industry. Our web site has a conversion facility on the home page so that all prices can be view in South African Rends.

How do I make payment for my order?

Once you complete adding items to your shopping cart, simply follow the check out process and Payments will then be handled through Virtual Card Service, encompassing all major credit cards. In addition payments can be made via EFT.

Can I use Pay Pal to pay for my order

At present the answer is no, however we are in negotiations with First National Bank to add this service to our website.

How do I combine items into one order to save on shipping charges?

We automatically combine all items you’ve purchased into one order. The combining period is 12 hours for purchases made at Touchstone.

How do you ship merchandise? Is my shipment insured?

We use the 24-72 hour Speed Services countrywide delivery service through the South African Post Office for the majority of our shipping, being in our experiecne reliable and traceable. Free insurance is provided on all parcels shipped from Touchstone.  Should the items be of a sufficiently high value, Touchstone may elect to ship the goods using Ram Hand to Hand couriers, or facilitate delivery to a jeweller of choice for a secure collection.

Have you received my payment?

The time required for payment to be approved can be different depending on the method of payment used. You may click here to login and check whether we have received payment for your order.

How do I return items for a refund?

Visit the Returning Items section of the Touchstone website during your 15-day inspection period and follow the easy instructions.

Where is my refund?

A refund is normally processed within 15 days after we have received your return items. If you still have not received your refund 3 weeks after you have shipped your return items, please Click here  to contact our friendly Customer Support department.

Are your gemstones enhanced?

Yes, some of our gemstones require finishing before they are ready to be sold. As critical as good cutting and polishing, treatments have become an integral part and accepted of the modern gemstone industry, provided that absolute disclosure is maintained.  Click here  here for an overview to common industry treatments and enhancements. If you need any further information on treatments, please Click here  to email Touchstone.

I'm new to gemstones, do you have a buyer's guide I could follow?

Understanding the value of gems is essential to making a successful and rewarding purchase. Regardless of the gem variety you’re buying, there are a few constant rules to bear in mind when selecting your jewel. Click here  to gain a basic understanding of gems.

How can I contact you if I have further questions?

You can contact us via email or phone. Click here  for our Contact info.

Do you provide gemological certificates for your products?

We offer Gemological Certificates as an add-on service, either in the form of a Touchstone Certificate or an Independent Certificate. Please Click here  to find more information.
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