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Evaluating the Quality of Gemstone Globes

By Larry Murray

With all of the claims and counterclaims on the Internet, is it truly possible to determine the relative quality of the Gemstone Globe you're considering? Perhaps more important, does the quality of the Gemstone Globe justify its price? As you would expect with any artistic composition, the quality has a direct bearing on desirability and price.

The purpose of this brief tutorial is to give you the knowledge and resources you need to make an informed choice in regards to your Gemstone Globe purchase.

Determining the value and quality of a Gemstone Globe is similar to the process used to evaluate the quality and value of a piece of jewelry. The grade of the stone used, the quality and workmanship of the setting, imperfections and inclusions in the stone, all of these factors have a bearing on the value of the jewelry. The same basic principles hold true in determining the quality and value of a Gemstone Globe.

To begin with; there are four broad criterion you can use to assess the quality of a Gemstone Globe. These criterion are;

1.    Finish clarity
2.    Workmanship
3.    Cartographic accuracy
4.    Material defects

Finish Clarity
The general appearance of the finish has a huge impact on your initial perception of the Gemstone Globe. Of primary consideration is the level of polish that has been achieved during the burnishing of the finish coating. The luster of the finish coating is perhaps the first thing an observer will notice about your globe. As a result, a poor finish is a significant factor to both the quality and value of the globe.

Returning to our jewelry metaphor, once you're satisfied with the luster of the finish, it is time to look for imperfections. Such blemishes as fingerprints, smudges, scuffs, and large bubbles, diminish the quality and value of your globe and should therefore be avoided. As a result of the manufacturing process; even high quality Gemstone Globes may contain small bubbles, and virtually all Gemstone Globes contains some inclusions within the finish. The important thing is to minimize the number and size of any inclusions.

The workmanship of your Gemstone Globe is perhaps the greatest contributor to its value. With the proper knowledge and practice, you will soon be able to determine if a Gemstone Globe was made by a master craftsman or a novice. As with any work of art, those compositions crafted by a master are far more viable than those crafted by a beginner.

The quality of the setting of the semi precious gemstones used on the Gemstone Globe is a clear indication of the skill level of the craftsman who created the globe. Prior to shaping and fitting, individual stones are cut into slices which are then beveled and contoured to match the globe core. As you might imagine; the larger the stone being used, the more challenging it is to achieve the proper contour. Once the appropriate contour is achieved, the individual stone is shaped to resemble the country it represents.

The skill employed in creating a Gemstone Globe is clearly revealed in the finished product. A master craftsman will achieve consistently tight adjacencies between the adjoining stones, as well as an overall uniformity in the height of the stones as they are affixed to the globe core. A higher level of skill is also evidenced by accurately contoured cuts, as opposed to the much easier square or straight cuts used by less skilled craftsmen.

Finally; there are some fairly straightforward indications that you are dealing with a lower quality, lower value Gemstone Globe. Watch out for raw, straight-line kerf cuts, square, featureless country stones, and poorly aligned country borders.

Cartographic Accuracy
While even the most expensive Gemstone Globes do not feature completely accurate cartography, the best quality Gemstone Globes are far more accurate than their lower quality counterparts. Cartographic accuracy must be built into a gemstone Globe from the very first step. To achieve optimum results, each ensuing step must be built upon the successful completion of the previous step.

To begin with, individual country stones must be shaped accurately to reflect the correct physical shape. Individual country stones must then be correctly positioned both in relation to each other as well as in the correct geographic position on the globe. The latitude and longitude lines must then be correctly positioned and accurately laid out. Finally, individual countries, states, and cities, must be clearly and accurately labeled and identified. An error introduced at any step in the process will result in inaccurate cartographic results.

Material Defects
Much of what we have discussed thus far in this article is most appropriately defined as deficiencies rather than as material defects. It should be noted however, that a deficiency taken to an extreme would be considered a material defect. As an example; a minor misalignment of the metallic foil used to define the latitude and longitude lines would be considered to be a deficiency or an imperfection. The same misalignment, taken to the extreme of meandering across the surface of the globe, would likely be considered to be a material defect.

While many deficiencies are separated from material defects only by the degree of severity, or by the overall pervasiveness, some imperfections are always considered to be a material defect. As an example; even a small crack or split in the strata of the Gemstone Globe would render the globe unusable for the vast majority of owners. Therefore, even though most Gemstone Globe manufacturers specifically exclude all warranties with their statement of “All sales are final.” most manufacturers will replace a Gemstone Globe that suffers a penetrating split prior to receipt by the end user.

As with any work of art, particularly those that enter into the realm of being considered semi-precious, the value is largely based upon demand and perception. The greater the demand in relation to the supply, the higher the value will be. In addition, the better the quality in relation to the criterion explained throughout this article, the greater the value will be. As with most collectibles, it is much easier to overpay for a poor quality specimen than it is to overpay for a top quality item. No matter what the market price at any given time, the best quality Gemstone Globes will always demand the top prices.

About the Author: Larry Murray considers himself to be an amateur globe enthusiast who enjoys not only studying World Globes but delights in sharing the results of his personal study and experience. Larry invites you to learn more about World Globes and Gemstone Globes on the World Wide Web. Share your knowledge or ask questions at the Globe University, part of the World Globe Universe at

Copyright © 2008 Larry C. Murray. All rights reserved. (Permission for limited distribution of this article is granted for noncommercial use, as long as the article is transmitted and displayed in its entirety, including this copyright notice. Such limited noncommercial distribution must be without fee or cost.)

Used with permission by Interface Network Inc., DBA World Globe Universe.

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