December 2015 Newsletter: Fine Mineral Specimens from Around the World

Most gem material must be cut and polished before it reveals its full beauty. But from time to time we find rough stone that is intrinsically beautiful in its natural form. These rare specimens display fine color, luster and transparency without human intervention, and they also exemplify characteristics of crystal growth typical of the particular species.

Fine uncut gem crystals are, in a sense, natural works of art. We have been collecting high quality mineral specimens for a number of years and we are now offering some of our rare specimens for sale to collectors.

We are offering a number of varieties, including alexandrite, aquamarine, Mexican opal, gem silica, jeremejevite, kunzite, tanzanite, tourmaline and zircon. We also have some very rare minerals such as apophyllite, canvansiet and pyromorphite.

Notable among our collection are some fine untreated tanzanite crystals, including some unique bicolors and some rare pinks, such as the 15.10 ct specimen in the video above.

14.76 ct Aquamarine Crystal 95.68 ct Bi-Color Tanzanite Crystal
14.75 ct Aquamarine
95.68 ct Bi-Color Tanzanite

In selecting our specimens, we look for material that has has well formed and undamaged crystals. Fine color, transparency and luster are also important; these are the 3 characteristics that make the material gemmy. The size of the specimen is not so important as long as the crystals are well formed and the color is good; we always choose quality over quantity.

Fine mineral specimens make wonderful gifts for gem collectors and indeed anyone who appreciates these rarest products of nature.

See our collection of Fine Mineral Specimens


Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some of the most beautiful gems we've acquired over the past year. Perfect for that special holiday gift!

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

4.20 ct Mint Tsavorite Garnet, Kenya

A splendid mint garnet with wonderful saturation. This is an unusually bright and brilliant stone and completely clean. Fashioned in an elegant cushion, this fine gem will make a gorgeous ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

6.07 ct Fire Opal, Mexico

6.07 ct Fire Opal from Mexico  [SOLD]

A stunning reddish-orange Mexican fire opal in a large size! This rare gem has an amazingly vivid color and has been precision cut to bring out out the full fire of this fine clean material. This beautiful stone will look stunning when set in jewelry. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

5.05 ct Bi-color Sphene, Madagascar

An ultra-rare bi-color sphene from Madagascar! This unique bi-color displays outstanding color separation with vivid green and orange regions. This is very gemmy material with only slight inclusions. A real treasure for the sphene collector. Includes a certificate from Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS).

See the video

2.32 ct Pink Tanzanite, Tanzania

2.32 ct Pink Tanzanite from Tanzania  [SOLD]

A very rare pink tanzanite! Clean and well cut, this rare stone displays a deep saturated pink. Beautifully fashioned in a portuguese cut to maximize brilliance, this is a wonderful specimen for the tanzanite collector. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

News from AJS and the Gems World

  • Hong Kong billionaire buys Blue Moon Diamond for $48 million

    Joseph Lau, a billionaire property tycoon in Hong Kong, has purchased the 12.03 ct Blue Moon diamond for $48.4 million at Sothetby's November auction in Geneva. He reportedly purchased the diamond for his 7 year old daughter. The price set a new record for a diamond of any color. The day before Lau spent $28.5 million on a 16.08 ct pink diamond at Christie's auction.

  • Gübelin and SSEF to Harmonise on "Pigeon Blood Red" and "Royal Blue"

    Two of the world's leading gemological laboratories, Gübelin and SSEF, have announced that they have agreed to harmonise their standards for the colour terms “pigeon blood red” and “royal blue.” Their goal is to standardise the usage of these terms for the benefit of the international gemstone trade. The colour terms “pigeon blood red“ and “royal blue“ have been used for centuries by the trade to describe, respectively, only the finest quality rubies and sapphires, which aside from their distinct colours, invariably are stones of superior quality, and hence are among the most coveted 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.

I would like to know more about Grandidierite. At present, there are a lot of these stones on Ebay for sale. It is sold in quite low prices, regarding to rarity of this stone. Is it right Grandidierite from Madagascar, or is it cheap imitation? Prices of your Grandidierites are huge regarding prices of stones on Ebay. I bought on Ebay 3 days ago one 12ct. Grandidierite and really do not know, what is a real value of the stone. What is your opinion? Thank you very much for your information. JP, Czech Republic

Most of the Grandidierite from the recent find in Madagascar is opaque material that is not gem quality. It sells for low prices that are commensurate with its value. These low quality specimens would be of interest mainly to mineral collectors. Gem quality Grandidierite is scarce and transparent gems are extremely rare. As GIA noted in a report they issued on our 4.54 ct Grandidierite, "Very fine, large gem-quality grandidierite with high degree of transparency and distinctive color like this 4.54 ct gemstone can be considered extremely scarce."

As far as prices go, you generally get what you pay for, and you will see a large price difference on our website between translucent and transparent Grandidierite gems. But we don't deal in the low grade opaque material which has little value.



All the best in gems,

Arnold, Rung & Ron