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May 2021 Newsletter: Blue-Green Tourmaline from Namibia

Recently some extraordinary blue Tourmaline has been discovered in Namibia in southern Africa. They include some pure blues, some teal blues and some wonderful blue-green gems that inspire color descriptions like mint, lagoon, vivid and vibrant. Over the years we have seen fine blue-green Tourmaline from Nigeria, Mozambique, Brazil and Afghanistan. But this Namibian material is among the most beautiful and vivid we've seen.

September 2020 Newsletter: Cabochon Gems

In the long history of gemstones, faceted gems are a relatively recent innovation. Gems were not cut with multiple faces in a geometrical pattern until the invention of the horizontal cutting wheel in the 15th century. Prior to that, gems were mainly fashioned as cabochons, a smooth domed shape with a flat base. Even though most fine gemstones are now faceted, cabochons are still popular. You will find them mainly in varieties like Moonstone, Opal and Turquoise, as well as in Star Sapphire, Star Ruby and Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye.

July 2020 Newsletter: Varieties of Quartz

Quartz is one of the most common minerals on earth, second only to feldspar. In fact Quartz makes up about 12 percent of the land surface and about 20 percent of the Earth's crust. Quartz has been prized as a gemstone since antiquity because of the wide range of colors and the fact that it has excellent hardness and durability, allowing it to polish well. It also has many industrial uses, in electronics, glassware, optics and as a crystal ocsillator in clocks.

April 2020 Newsletter: Fiery Gems

In the world of colored gemstones, brilliance is a good thing. So is fire. But they are actually not the same thing, and if you want to be a gems expert, it's worth knowing the difference. The term "brilliance" refers to the light that is reflected from the interior of a gem, not from its surface. The term "fire" refers to the ability of a gem to split light into the colors of the spectrum. The technical term used in gemology for fire is dispersion.

February 2020 Newsletter: Fabulous Garnets

High quality Garnets are completely natural and untreated, with very good clarity and transparency and outstanding brilliance. The rarer Garnets in bright and vivid colors are the favorites of designers of fine jewelry. The colors range from the emerald green of Tsavorite to the mandarin orange of Spessartite to the rich red of Rhodolite and the intense violet of Royal Purple Garnet. Fabulous!

October 2019 Newsletter: Mexican Fire Opal

Mexican Opals are known for their vivid yellow, orange or orange-red colors. The intense color has earned this gem the nickname Fire Opal. Unlike precious opal, Mexican Opal does not usually exhibit a play of color. But it makes up for this with its remarkable body color. It is the one of the few varieties of opal that can successfully be faceted, as some specimens exhibit considerable transparency.

June 2019 Newsletter: Romantic Pink Sapphire

Pink Sapphires are nearly as rare as rubies and are sought after by collectors, especially for special occasion jewelry like engagement and anniversary rings. One reason is that pink sapphire can have a similar look to the very expensive pink diamond, with excellent brilliance and sparkle. But pink sapphire is not only more affordable than pink diamond, it can also be found in larger sizes and with much better color saturation.