This freshwater pearl know as the “The sleeping lion” recently sold for $500,000 at auction in Amsterdam. The pearl is believed to have been found in Chinese waters in the 18th century. The pearl was transported to Europe in the mid 1760’s. The pearl measures 7 cm. in length and weighs more than 100 grams.
Pink Tourmaline is the faceted choice for October’s birthstone. Pink Tourmaline is now available in better qualities than any time in the last century. In fact the light pinks from Brazil are scarcer that near rubellite magenta colors from Mozambique and Nigeria today.
The gemstone Tourmaline is also the accepted gem for the fifth and the eighth wedding anniversary. The name Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) word “tura mali” which translates as the stone of mixed colors.
Tourmaline is available in a wide variety of colors from black to bluish-black, dark brown, blue to neon blue, lime to dark forest green, red and reddish purple, yellow, pink and colorless.
The color pink is the Tourmaline that typically represents the month of October.
Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered up all the rainbow’s colors. Legend tells of Tourmaline’s power to attract friends and lovers, protect the wearer against bad decisions, and to shield its owner from danger. Tourmaline is believed to strengthen the body and spirit, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymph nodes. To learn more visit Laney’s in New Town. 229-7333
Pliny the Elder called OPAL the most precious gem because it contained all of the other gemstone colors. Australian aborigines held OPAL sacred because the Creator came to earth on a giant rainbow and where he rested was the first OPAL deposit. Queen Victoria bestowed lavish OPAL jewelry on her friends and family, including Czar Nicholas and the Archduke of Austria who met rather untimely ends. This coupled with difficulty in cutting and other stories created the “bad Luck” opal myth. OPALS are fragile, not “bad luck”, and caution should be taken in the care and wear of this gemstone.
Peridot dates back about 4,000 years to the island of Zabargad, now belonging to Egypt. Originally, the crusaders called this island in the Red Sea Saint Johns. Peridot is mentioned throughout the Bible and early Christians believed the stone to be sacred.
Peridot is considered a stone of Springtime and ancients believed it was a gift from Mother Nature to celebrate the annual countdown of a new world.
It was proven that some of Cleopatra’s “emeralds” were actually Peridot.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one color – green! However, it can be found in many different shades of green. . . all lighter and darker shades of green in the olivine family.
The variances in the green coloring depend on the amount of iron found in the stone. This iron content can either create a beautiful tinge of gold or make the stone appear to be more “lime green.”
Peridot is sometimes referred to as an “Evening Emerald” because under artificial light it glows as a brilliant green.
Red never goes out of style and this “King of Gems” really does own the color red! Ruby gets its name from the Latin word ruber for red.
Ruby is the birthstone for those summer babies born in the month of July. it is also the recognized gem gift for the 40th wedding anniversary.
Rubies are currently one of the most difficult gems to source because of the current embargo on Burmese gemstones and the popularity of Ruby in Asia.
Ruby is a great every day wear gem – rated 9 out of 10 on Moh’s Hardness chart for gemstones. Consequently, rubies are an excellent choice for all your jewelery needs. Ruby is a member of the corundum family, if the gems is red it is a ruby any other color and it is a sapphire!
Rubies are found in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Madagascar, Tanzania and Afghanistan. Due to it’s rarity rubies are one of the most highly prized gemstones. The richer, more intense the color the more valuable the gemstone.
Night and day, the changing hues of Alexandrite enchant the eye and fuel the imagination. The color swings from red to green depending on the light source – green for daylight and purplish red for candle light. Alexandrite is the most famous of color change gems. Due to its ability to change dramatically in shifting light, Alexandrite is associated with a balanced life, self-esteem, and the ability to experience joy.
With a hardness of 8.5 on Moh’s scale, Alexandrite is an excellent gem in terms of wear.
For the first time in the 30 year history of mining diamonds at the Argyle Diamond Mine in Australia the 2013 offering will include 3 fancy red diamonds for sale. The largest of the 3 diamonds weighs 1.56 carats and has been named the the “Argyle Phoenix” A total of 6 fancy red diamonds have been found at Argyle since 1983.
Emerald is the birthstone for the month of May because its color symbolizes the rebirth and renewal that comes with spring.
The folklore of the Emerald is that the gemstone has the powers to help one see into the future, be an eloquent speaker and to defeat spells and enchantments.
The most valuable Emeralds are bluish-green to green and have a medium to medium-dark tone. Since Emeralds typically form in six-sided prisms, they are naturally suited for, and often shaped into, the step cut also known as the Emerald cut.
Emeralds are mostly found in Columbia, Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe.
It takes 250 tons of earth to be sifted to find one carat of rough diamond crystals. Only one diamond crystal in a million carats mined will be large enough to cut into a one carat diamond. Diamonds have been found in every color of the rainbow. If the color is vivid the diamond is considered a fancy color. Fancy colored diamonds are priced based on the rarity of the color.
Most diamonds exhibit a slight tint of color, typically, a light yellow or light brown. The lighter the tint the more rare the gemstone. Therefore, a colorless diamonds graded D on the GIA color scale will command a higher value than a diamond that is in the near colorless range, graded as H.
Today there are many treatment used to enhance colored or mask the the extent of inclusions in diamonds. Diamonds can be drilled with a laser and then boiled in acid to bleach the color from dark inclusion.
Diamonds can be filled with a glass like substance that masks the location and appearance of internal fractures. Clarity enhanced diamonds are not as durable as untreated diamonds.
Repair work or cleaning performed on an item of jewelry containing treated diamonds is limited by the nature of the foreign material used in the treatment process.
Diamonds can be exposed to radiation salts, subatomic particles in a cyclotron or to neutron bombardment in an effort to improve the stone’s color. Often these colors are more vivid than the colors found in nature.
Diamonds can be coated to improve color. A coating that resist ordinary solvents can mask a diamond’s yellow body color.
It is best to purchase your diamonds from a trained gemologist that is able to identify these treatments and protect you from purchasing a treated diamond at an untreated diamond’s price.
The art of grading a diamond for value takes years of training and more years of experience. If you don’t know diamonds, choose your diamond dealer with care. Look for individuals who are Graduate Gemologists or Certified Gemologists with the American Gem Society