January 2020 Newsletter: Custom Jewelry

When you buy a fine loose gemstone from a specialized gem dealer, you have a range of choice and access to quality that you simply won't find in commercial jewelry.

But once you've purchased a fine gemstone, you face the challenge of where you will have it set in jewelry.

There are excellent custom jewelers all over the world, but many jewelers are reluctant to set a gemstone that you bought from another dealer. One reason is purely commercial -- the jeweler would like to sell you a stone as well as a setting. But another, less obvious reason, is equally important -- when the jeweler sets your valuable gem, he should be liable for any damage to the gem that may occur during the setting process. Some jewelers are not willing to accept the liability, but may take on the job anyway, leading to unpleasant disputes if a mishap occurs during setting.

Why have your gem set by AJS? One reason is cost -- while the price of precious metals are the same all over the world, labor costs are much lower here in Bangkok. Thailand is one of the world's centers for jewelry manufacturing, and there are skilled artisans who can do the finest work. We are now working with an excellent custom jeweler here who can execute almost any design, probably at a fraction of the cost you would pay a jeweler in your country.

Another reason is having a single point of contact for the entire process -- the selection of your gem, the design of your jewelry, and fabrication of the finished piece. We take considerable care to understand your needs and your budget and are always ready to suggest design options. We guarantee high quality work and we take full responsibility for every gem we set.

We look forward to setting one of our fine gemstones in a unique jewelry setting, designed by you and executed by our expert goldsmiths in Thailand. If you love gemstones, it's an experience not to be missed.


Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some recent jewelry projects that we've completed, mainly custom pieces for our clients. See our Jewelry Gallery for more design ideas.

4.19 ct Santa Maria Aquamarine Ring in 18k White Gold
4.19 ct Santa Maria Aquamarine in 18k White Gold
A rare Santa Maria Aquamarine cushion from Brazil set in an 18k white gold ring with a diamond halo and round diamonds on the band.


1.40 ct Burma Spinel Ring in 18k White Gold

1.40 ct Burma Spinel in 18k White Gold
A fine Burma Red Spinel set in a simple but elegant 18k white gold ring. The ring features double eagle prongs on the center stone, with 3 point diamonds bead-set in the band.


4.91 ct Imperial Topaz Pendant in 18k Yellow Gold
4.91 ct Imperial Topaz Pendant in 18k Yellow Gold

A lovely Imperial Topaz pear from Brazil set in an 18k yellow gold pendant with a diamond halo and 3 baguette diamonds in the bale.

5.92 ct Imperial Jade Ring in 950 Platinum

5.92 ct Imperial Jade Ring in 950 Platinum

A stunning 5.92 ct Imperial Jade from Burma set in a 950 platinum man's ring. Sometimes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

20.12 ct Black Star Sapphire Ring in 14k Yellow Gold

20.12 ct Black Star Sapphire Ring in 14k Yellow Gold

A 20.12 ct Black Star Sapphire set in a 14k yellow gold ring with a split shank. This setting would work nicely with any cabochon gem, such as Chrysoprase, Gem Silica, Opal or Moonstone.

5.02ct Burma Star Ruby and Diamond Ring

5.02 ct Unheated Burma Star Ruby and Diamond Ring

A rare and 5 carat unheated Star Ruby from Burma, set in an 18k white gold ring with 1 ct of diamonds. This special gem has been certified by GemResearch Swisslab (GRS) as natural Star Ruby, origin Burma, with no thermal enhancement detected and color graded as pigeon's blood red. This unique ring displays outstanding workmanship and exquisite detail, commensurate with the rarity of the Star Ruby.

See the video


News from AJS and the Gems World

Colored Gemstone Jewelry at Auction

Some very special colored stone jewelery far exceeded pre-sale estimates at auction last month.

A fine Ruby brooch sold for nearly $9 million at Christie's New York sale, surpassing it's $5.5 million pre-sale valuation. The brooch features an 11.20 ct pigeon-blood Burma Ruby with emeralds, diamonds and natural pearls. The brooch was from the collection of philanthropist Jessie Ball duPont, wife of Alfred duPont.

Ruby Brooch, Christie's

An Art Deco Aquamarine and diamond necklace by Cartier from 1940 fetched more than triple its high estimate at Bonhams' London Jewels sale. The elaborate necklace, featuring 170 cts of Aquamarines, sold for $601,213 against its $192,435 pre-sales estimate.

Cartier Aquamarine and Diamond Necklace


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.

How important is origin in determining the value of a gemstone?  GH, USA

Even though it's always interesting to know where a gem was mined, origin is, in itself, no guarantee of quality or value. Famous locations, such as Mogok in Burma or Mahenge in Tanzania, are highly regarded because they have produced some outstanding gems. But while many fine rubies have come from Mogok, so have many lesser gems; and fine rubies have been mined in Madagascar and Mozambique. So each gemstone has to be evaluated on its own merits.


Are there certain kinds of gems that have only been found in one location in the world? That would quite special, if true. AD, Australia

There are a number of gem varieties where there is a single source for commercial gem-quality material. These varieties include Tanzanite (from Tanzania), Tsavorite Garnet (from the border region of Tanzania and Kenya), Mali Garnet (from Mali, West Africa), Ametrine (from Bolivia), Red Beryl (from Utah), Taaffeite (from Sri Lanka), Benitoite (from San Benito County, California), Pezzottaite (from Madagascar), and Color Change Diaspore (from Turkey).

In some of these cases some gem-quality material has been found elsewhere -- such as Tsavorite Garnet in Madagascar -- but only in miniscule quantities. This list of single source gems is, of course, always subject to change as new discoveries are made. But it is interesting that Tanzanite, which has been mined for more than 50 years, has yet to be found anywhere outside of a very small mining area (7 km by 2 km) near the Mirerani Hills in northern Tanzania.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!


All the best in gems,

Ron, May & and Rung