August 2012 Newsletter: Welcome to our New Website


Welcome to the new


Favorite websites are like old friends -- you want them to always be there for you and never change.

We don't change our website very often, except to add new gems and new gemstone articles. But higher traffic loads have required us to move to a faster server. So this was an opportunity for us to look at our website design and see if we could do a better job serving our customers. We think we've succeeded in doing that, while minimizing the learning curve for our regular visitors.

We were one of the first gem dealers in the world to have a website, way back in 1999. While we were pioneers in offering gemstones online, we've always been gem experts, not technologists. But we've learned a few things over the years, and we've applied them to our new design.

We've opted for a simpler and cleaner look, while maintaining the same simplified navigation and fast checkout. You'll still find a complete index of all the gem varieties we sell on our home page, and easy access to all our gem information and help pages from the menu at the top of the page. 

You'll find that our new website loads quite a bit faster, and is optimized for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Our catalog pages feature larger gem photos and better sorting tools, and we're adding more gem videos to our gem detail pages. You can see some sample videos in this month's notable gems below.

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions, especially reports of any problems you see. Our new site should work with all modern browsers, but if you're using a really old version of Internet Explorer (version 6 or 7), it's time to upgrade!


Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature new aquisitions to our collection. Click on any photo for details and pricing.


12.52 ct Red Spinel from Burma  [SOLD]

A very rare and very fine red spinel from Burma. High quality red spinel is very unusual over 10 carats, particularly with this excellent clarity. The color is "vivid orangey-red," as identified by the accompanying certificate from GemResearch Swisslab (GRS). This is an outstanding collector's gem at a very attractive price for such a rare stone. See all our Fine Spinel


7.04 ct Tsavorite Garnet from East Africa

An exceptional 7 carat tsavorite garnet in a hard-to-find emerald cut. This gorgeous chrome green garnet has excellent brilliance and luster, sure to please the most discriminating collector. Tsavorites of this quality are very rare over 5 carats. This gem includes a certificate from the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS). Perfect for a stunning ring or pendant. See all our Fine Tsavorite Garnet


3.10 ct Mahenge Spinel set in 18k White Gold

A vivid Mahenge spinel set in an 18k white gold ring with a diamond halo. This gorgeous 3.10 carat neon pink spinel is set off by 40 sparkling diamonds with a total carat weight of 0.72 carats. The split shank setting adds to the elegance of this fine piece of jewelry. The spinel is certified as natural and untreated by GemResearch Swisslab (GRS), with the color identified as "pinkish red". See all our Fine Mahenge Spinel


8.17 ct Sphene from Madagascar  [SOLD]

Sphene is a rare collector's stone with high luster and remarkable fire. In fact sphene has a higher dispersion rating than diamond. This impressive large cushion from Madagascar is a good example of the best that sphene has to offer. A bright yellowish-green, this gem simply glitters as you turn it in the light. Clean and perfectly cut with no trace of a window, this fine gem is completely natural and untreated. See all our Fine Sphene


2.72 ct Bi-Color Imperial Topaz from Brazil

A very unique and beautiful bi-color imperial topaz from Brazil. A truly one-of-a-kind gem displaying lovely gradients of saturated pink, orange and gold. Exceptionally clean and well cut. A true collector's gem, guaranteed natural and untreated. See all our Fine Imperial Topaz


14.85 ct Orange Zircon from Tanzania  [SOLD]

An outstanding orange zircon from Tanzania in an impressive size. This 14.85 ct beauty displays the brilliance and fire for which zircon is famous, with a dazzling orange hue and exceptional clarity (graded "loupe clean"). We recut this very fine material to maximize its brilliance. The result is a fine gem that will please the most discriminating collector. See the video of this gem to fully appreciate its brilliance. See all our Fine Honey and Red Zircon


News from AJS and the Gems World

  • ICA, the International Colored Gemstone Association, has announced they are moving their headquarters from New York to Hong Kong. ICA is an international non-profit organization that represents the colored gemstone industry, with 700 members in 47 countries. The move to Hong Kong reflects the new dominance of Asia in the international jewelry industry. 

  • Plans to reform internet sales tax policy have gained strong bi-partisan support in the US Congress, and the days of tax-free internet purchases are expected to come to an end soon. New legislation requiring US-based internet businesses to collect sales tax will end an advantage that internet sellers have long enjoyed over traditional retailers. But since we're located in Thailand, you'll never have to pay sales tax when you buy from AJS Gems!

Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.

Is an untreated gem more valuable than a heated gem? VG, USA

Many gem buyers are surprised to discover that the answer to this question is usually No. The value of a gemstone is determined by color, clarity and cut. Most of the gem material that comes out of the mine -- all of it untreated -- is low quality due to poor color or transparency. Some of the higher quality material can be heated to maximize the color and clarity, making it a valuable commodity. A heated sapphire of excellent color and clarity is always worth more than an unheated sapphire of mediocre color or clarity. While it is true than an unheated sapphire of top color and clarity is especially rare and valuable, in the case of some gem varieties such as tanzanite, there is no price differential between heated and unheated material of equivalent quality.

Do you include a certificate of authenticity with every gem you sell? GM, Australia

We include our AJS gem certificate with every gem we sell at no extra charge. This is our guarantee that the gem you buy is natural and exactly as described. We also include certificates from well-known gemological labs such as GRS with many of our finest gems. But we can arrange a certificate from an independent gemological lab for any of our gems. For more information, please see our article on Gemstone Certification.


All the best in gems,

Arnold, Rung & Ron