August 2016 Newsletter: Pink Gemstones


Pink is one of the most popular hues in colored gemstones, and few other colors offer such a wide range of choice, from reddish-pink and hot pink to coral, salmon, rose, bubblegum, flamingo, grapefruit and literally dozens of variations.

A number of different gem varieties occur in one or more shades of pink. Pink sapphire is probably the most famous of the pink gems, with colors running the range from reddish-pink to purplish-pink to bubblegum. The rare padparadscha sapphire combines pink and orange in a color thought to resemble the lotus flower.

Some of the most vivid pinks are found in the rare spinels discovered in the Mahenge region of Tanzania in 2007. These unusual gems display a highly saturated pink-red color and a unique neon-like glow. The color is quite pure, without the grey or brown secondary hue found in a lot of spinel, and the color is consistent under different kinds of lighting. But it is the remarkable glow that makes the best Mahenge spinels entirely unique. Like high quality paraiba tourmaline, the Mahenge spinel seems to possess a kind of energy that glows even under low light conditions.

Sapphires and spinels are mainly found in smaller sizes (under 2 carats). For pink gems in larger sizes look to kunzite, morganite and tourmaline. Kunzite and morganite in particular can be found in very large sizes (over 20 carats), with gems over 50 carats not unknown. Kunzite tends to be a purplish pink while morganite is typically a salmon pink. Both tend to be pastel in color.

Tourmaline displays the widest range of pinks of any gem variety. From the magenta of rubellite to the multi-pinks of bi-colors, the range of pinks in tourmaline seem limitless.

There are also some rare varieties which which occur in pink, including pezzottaite, rhodochrosite and malaia garnet. Pezzottaite can be found in shades from rose to shocking pink, with one of the few pink cat's eyes in the gem world. Rhodochrosite, a manganese carbonate found in silver mines, is typically an attractive coral pink. Malaia garnet, a mixture of almandine, pyrope and spessartite garnets, is usually a reddish-orange. But rare pink specimens have been found in Tanzania and we feature one in this month's Notable Gems.



Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some some of our recent acquisitions in pink gems.

Click on a photo to see the details for the item.

7.83 ct Malaia Garnet, Mahenge, Tanzania

7.83 ct Malaia Garnet from Mahenge, Tanzaniia  [SOLD]
Malaia Garnet is a rare hybrid that is a mixture of pyrope, almandine and spessartite. The Malaia color is typically reddish-orange or orangey-red. A pink hue is unusual, and makes this large 7.83 ct specimen particularly rare. This fine gem has a padparadscha-like hue with wonderful fire. This is an outstanding piece for the garnet collector. Guaranteed natural and untreated.
25.48 ct Kunzite, Afghanistan

A very fine kunzite in a soft slightly purplish-pink. This is an impressive gem with very good color saturation for kunzite. The extra facets in the portguese cut give this gem a lot of sparkle. A gorgeous big stone for a cocktail ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

12.95 ct Morganite, Brazil

A superb large morganite in a gorgeous orangey-pink. Fashioned in an elegant elogonated oval, this gem has unusually good saturation and excellent brilliance. This impressive stone will set up beautifully in a ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

See the video

1.24 ct Mahenge Spinel, Tanzania

1.24 ct Spinel from Mahenge, Tanzania  [SOLD]

An exquisite reddish-pink spinel from the original deposit in Mahenege, Tanzania. This gem has terrific brilliance and sparkle, and glows even under low lighting. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

News from AJS and the Gems World

  • Lesedi La Rona Diamond Fails to Sell at Sotheby's

The 1,109-carat rough diamond known as the Lesedi La Rona failed to sell at Sotheby's London auction at the end of June as bidding for the second-largest rough diamond ever discovered shocked the industry by falling below its reserve price. Lucara will retain the type-IIa stone, which was expected to fetch more than $70 million at auction The diamond, the size of a tennis ball, failed to draw a bid above $61 million. 


  • August Promotion: Special Prices on Selected Gems

This month we have a new selection of gems from our regular collection offered at special prices. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy a fine gem of AJS quality at a very attractive price!



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.

Could you explain what the term "colour temperature" means when applied to gemstones? JT, Canada

"Color temperature" is a characteristic of visible light that has important applications in many fields, including gemstone photography. Color temperature is usually expressed in Kelvin (using the symbol K), a unit of measure for temperature based on the Kelvin scale. Color temperatures over 5,000 K are called cool colors (bluish white) while lower temperatures (2,7000 to 3,000) are called warm colors (yellowish white through red). Because many gemstones will appear differently under different lighting, we take our gemstone photos under balanced lighting (5,000 K) which emulates natural daylight at midday.


How do gemologists grade the percentage of color change for a color change gem like alexandrite or color change garnet? DD, USA

There is not a standardized way of measuring color change and that is why you won't see a grading by percentage on most gemological lab reports for color change stones. But the basic idea is fairly simple -- viewing the gem face up, you want to see how many of the facets change color when the light is changed from daylight (cool) to incandescent (warm). A color change of 80% or more would be in the range of a "strong" color change. However, the devil's in the details when it comes to standardizing such a measurement -- e.g., how to define the illumination conditions, and how to define when a facet has changed color.




All the best in gems,

Arnold, Rung & Ron