Take A Break & Dream A Little...

PRECIOUS STONES

EMERALDS
Gem-Emeralds.jpg

Birthstone for month of MAY....EMERALDS are joined to Beauty, Health, and Happiness.

Amcient Indian Culture associated Emeralds with Mental Power and Wisdom. Before other cultures appreciated Diamonds, Rubies or Sapphires...early Egyptians mined and fashioned Gems at what is generally accepted to be the world's oldest source of Emeralds, a site now called "Cleopatra Mines" treasured by Romans during their occupation of Egypt. Emerald grew in its way to popularity as it seized the imaginations of ancient Rome, Turkey, Persia, and Old India.

Emeralds are materials that when domed with good green color shows a great beauty and depth. Cabochons are the oldest way to cut Gems before the world knew faceting methods. Most Royal jewelry were set with cabochon before faceting became possible in the 16th century. Faceted Emeralds todaycome in a variety of shapes: Round, Pears, Oval, Emerald Cut (Octagon Cut)...etc. However, Octagon Cut is the most popular and classical shape ssince Gems are sold by the Carat they have the tendency to be cut first for weight, then for beauty. The Emerald cut suits the hexagonal crystal and its refractive index, delivering a good yield as well as a beautiful look. Rather than seeing a reflection from a stone, Emeralds are cut to allow us to experience the richness of deep color and inclusiond known as "Jardin" Garden that give Emeralds a unique character in fine Gemstones. In one in every few thousands of Colombian Emerald crystals, a very unique natural shape of six separate crystals joinned to a centered black core is found called the TRAPICHE.  Cutters never facet Trapiches , intead they smooth them into Cabochons. Trapiches are one of the most unique natural crystals nature ever produced, highly priced and appreciated by Gem deales and Emerald connoisseurs.

Emeralds are the only major precious Gemstones expected to have heavy visible inclusions. Emeralds without any inclusions is probably synthetic or imitation. Emeralds must be green, however, a perfect balance of darks to lights...is the most desireable color. Not too dark...and not too light. independent appraisals can return wildly different estimates of value, so multiple opinions are often required to determine the precise value of a particular stone or set. Not all deep green Emeralds are classified as the best grades. The pure and more bright the Emerald, the more valuable it is even though it is lighter in color, or highly included. Intensity of color rules in value appraisals for Emeralds. While the majority of Brazilian Emeralds are color enhanced by using resins, green oil and Opticon to hide fissures and cracks and to enhance the color, the majority of Colombian and African Emerald cutters, polishers, and miners are still using the commonly accepted way of oiling Emeralds by using colorless oil. Clarity is usually the product of Laboratory intervention.

ZAMBIAN EMERALD - Rough yielded stones so clean that dealers at first suspected they were synthetic, but in June 1989, Tiffany's began advertizing Zambian Emeralds. Zambian Emeralds while they are still highly included, they tended to be brighter and cleaner. Zambia was the first Emerald producer to give consumers who can not afford fine top grade Colombian Emeralds a chance to buy unenhanced affordable Emeralds.

COLOMBIAN EMERALDS mined from the famous Muzo Mine seems to be the most valuable. Colombian Emeralds are known to have the best appearance, largest in size, and lacking  black or grey internal impurities, Emerald dealers choose the Colombian stones as the finest, paying 10-20% premium on comparable African or Brazilian materials.

BRAZILIAN EMERALDS  are discovered in the early 1960's when green crystals identified as Beryl but colored by a trace of the element Vanadium.  Many Gem traders and gemologists refused to recognize them as Emeralds for the simple reason that they were not Chromium based green Beryl. Brazilian miners and dealers fought for acceptance of the crystals as Emeralds. In 1963, G.L.A. issued a Lab report identifying Vanadium-col0red stones as natural Emeralds. Although, most experts agreed that either Chromium, Vanadium, or both, may give Emeralds their green color...most Jewekkers, even some dealers  these days are still confused and confusing customers by not understanding the difference.  Vanadium-colored Emeralds do not have as many inclusions compared to Chromium-colored Emeralds. When the oversized  Chromium atoms stress the Emerald crystals, it produces internal fissures or what was called earlier as (Jardin) or Garden of Inclusions that gives Emerald its unique appearance and character. Whaever the difference, and regardless of its origin - Emerald is the most valuable Beryl. The fact that most of the world's Aquamarine, especially the ones with Brazilian origin, is actually a green Beryl. Color all depends on the ultimate heat and pressure to which the stone has been exposed. Exposure equals Color...as plain and as simple as that.

When buying an unset Emeralds, choose an Emerald specialist to design and set them. Most of the Diamond setters who may not  be experience with softer Gems, can damage your unset Emerald by ignorance and claim that it was oiled or flawed to avoid any responsibility or replacement. Emeralds and all other Gems (Diamonds include) can break, but Emeralds are much more durable than many other Gems such as Opals, Tanzanites, Apatites, Flourites, etc. At 7.5 to 8.0 on MOH's scale of hardness, Emeralds are harder than most steel. Properly set, Emeralds are tough...BEAUTIFUL GEMSTONES!Click here to add content.

RUBIES

Gems-Ruby3.jpg

THE KING OF GEMSTONES....RUBY
 
Ruby is the Birthstone for the Month 0f July...and the Gemstone representing the 15th and 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Which color would we spontaneously associate with Love and Vividness, Passion and Power? Obviously this will evoke the color red. Red symbolizes Love, it emanates Warmth and a strong sense of Life. Red is also the color of Ruby...the King of Gemstones. After all, in the fascinating realm of Gemstones, Rubies are the generally accepted Emperors. For thousand of years, Ruby has been consideredon the most valuable Gemstones of our planet Earth. I has got all it takes for a Precious Stone...a Wonderful Color, excellent Hardnes (MOH - 9.0) after Diamond (MOH - 10.0), and an overwhelming Brilliance. Besides, it is a very extremely rare Gemstone, especially the ones with finer qualities. Inclusions are common, they are not always indicative of lowe quality, but an one indication that show the difference between a Natural or a Synthetic Stone.

Burmese, call it...THE KING OF GEMS. Country people call it the "Desire Fulfilling Stone" because it's supposed to make Dreams come true. Ruby is the color of Passion and Love. The Birthstone for July born babies, whenever mentioned, the magic word of Burma Red comes to the mind. Unlike most of Gems...Color is almost the most important determining factor when evaluating a Ruby. Unlike the Sapphire that comes in every possible Color except Red... Ruby is onlyand always some species of Red. The trade accepts a touch of Purplish-Red overtone since it is a part of the Pegion Blood Red color. Pink Corundom is Pink Sapphire. Pink Rubies do not exist. They are misnomers. A slight pinkish overtone in a Burma Ruby is acceptable if it does not exceed10 - 20% of the color evaluations. Since Rubies are classified as almost always included...a flawless  eye-clear 2Ct. Ruby is almost impossible to find. Most evaluations go first for Color, then for Size and Cut. Buyers, who insist on buying a large flawless Eye-Clear Ruby, usually sacrifice the Color, or the Money, or the Authenticity!

AFRICAN RUBY from the famous Sonkia Mine in Tanzania usually come Flawless to Eye-Clean with great deal of transparency and brilliance, but they are Orange-Red with a Brownish-Red overtone. They can also be a brilliant raspberry color with high Purple overtone. Because they are Red Corundum, they are Rubies, even though some Jewellers mistake them for high grade Garnet and sometimes misname them as Red Sapphires, another misnomer for Ruby. A Corundum is a Corundum, and names are only color specific. It is possible to find an Unheated Sapphire in various color, understanding that you will be paying a high premium for its Natural condition, but finding an Unheated or Untreated Ruby in the Gem trade these days is almost impossible. All Gem Laboratories, even GIA assumes that all Natural Rubies are heated to enhance Color and apperance. Another treatment that is widely used  and accepted for Ruby, especially the larger Gemgrade sizes, is the filling with colorless substances such as "Borax". These fillers are used to improve Clarityof the internal fractures to avoid the development of these inclusions to breakage or internal fractures that may affect the Gem. Because all Rubies, especially the ones that come from Burma or Thailand, are heated after they are mined. If you are buying one, assume that it is heated or filled. Ask for a certification of unfilled condition if you are told the opposite. Such treatment should be disclosed to consumers. Simply heated Rubies are much more valuable than filled and heated Rubies. Heating does nothing to change the stone, while filling can be abused and result in excessive Carat Weights that can be deceiving.

No matter how your Ruby is treated , it remains identified as Natural Ruby.  Treatment simply finishes what Nature has started. SYNTHETIC AND LABORATORY GROWN MAN-MADE RUBIES...are not Natural Gems even though they are expensive and beautiful. Rubies can be a range of Colors, but always RED, and a range of Clarity...but ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL  when an Investment Grade Stone. If rare Gems are considered portable wealth...RARE RUBIES ARE ONE OF THOSE ULTIMATE TREASURES! Investment Rubies are generally in the approximately 2.0Ct. weight size range. Other Ruby investments will have to heavily weigh total Carat weight ( as in the case of multiple Gemstones) and artistic prsentation. Since Color is everything in a Ruby...try to get the best RED BURMA Color money can buy and stay away from Pink Colors or ones with Purple overtones. These Pinkish and Purplish stones can be beautiful in Jewelry...but they generally lack the Value necessary  on the market for investment. If you can afford Eye-Clean or near Flawless Rubies...it will more likely hold and increase in Value. Eye-Clean Rubies do not mean that no inclusions can be seen under magnification, it means that you can not notice any distracting inclusion with the naked eye. Translucent or slightly opaque Rubies may appear eye-clean, because inclusions are hidden by the fact that the stone is opaque or translucent to semi-opaque. unlike most Gemstones, namely the exception of Colombian Emeralds...Rubies are sold as being from Burma or not from Burma. The best grade of Burma Ruby is sold as BURMA RED or PIGEON BLOOD COLOR. It is the most Beautiful Magical Red with a distinctive glow, especially under sunlight or daylight, sometimes with a bubbly pinkish tone and deep purplish-red under incandescent light. When two Rubies of comparable quality are offered for sale...the one from Burma Myanmar (formerly Burma) often cost twice as much, or even more. There is no other Rubies have the vibrancy of the BURMESE RUBY. 

Transparent Rubies are extremely rare, given the fact that it is a Gem Grade in its Color. Since tranparent Rubies are very hard to find...expect to pay much more than a comparable opaque Ruby. Opaque Rubies are still a good investment, espcially for the middle range investor. Poor cut Rubies can not be of an investment grade. The more beautiful the Ruby is, the rarer and the more valuable  it is. Rubies are extremely durable. ...harder than any other Gemstones except Diamonds. They are beautiful Gifts to express Feelings of Love and Passion. OWNING A MAGNIFICENT RUBY...IS A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!

SAPPHIRES

Gems-Sapphire3.jpg

SAPPHIRE: GEMSTONE OF IMMACULACY

SAPPHIRE is the Birthstone for the month of September...and it comes in every conceivable colors! 

Both Ruby and Sapphire are corundum stones. While Ruby is recognized as the exclusively red corundum, genuine Sapphire has unlimited color variations. Corundum is one of the world's hardest natural materials, second only to Diamond. Natural Sapphires are very tough to break. Although Sapphires has been mined on many continents, ancient Sapphires were first found on the "Gem Island" SRI LANKA. In the past, all Sapphires were categorized by color, not chemistry, and many blue stones were generally called Sapphire because of their attractive blue color. The most common example is the Lapis Lazuli, in many old texts.While Sapphire have been scientifically identified, their colors still spanthe entire spectrum - perhaps only Tourmaline is more colorful. 

Sapphires remain one of America's number one selling colored Gem. While not as expensive as Rubies, the price for a fine quality Sapphire can be higher than that of a Diamond. Not all Sapphire are the same and buyers should be aware that the quality of any Gemstone (Sapphire or otherwise) should equal its value. Sapphire are identical are identical in every way to a Ruby, except color.. Found in a wide variety of colors - the main true colorthat we are all familiar with is the blue Sapphire. However, Sapphires are also available in pink, yellow, green, and purple. These Sapphires are aptly named "Fancy Sapphires". In addition, ther are other Sapphires, which are extremely rare and collectible termed as "Padparadscha Sapphires". Colors of Blue Sapphires can range from a light blue to the darkest of blue or blue-black. however the mid-range blue seems to be the most sought after and more expensive. Whatever color of Sapphire that appeals to you...that should be the one you should buy!
 
PADPARADSCHA SAPPHIRES combine three colors - purple, pink, and orange! A Sapphire displaying these colors are very expensive!

PINK SAPPHIRES are highly priced gems by many collectors and consumers...and can go from light pink to a very dark pink termed "Hot Pink".  Can't afford a pink Sapphire? Search around for pink Topaz...which are reasonably priced (usually flawless) and comes in a range from light pink to "Hot Pink".

YELLOW SAPPHIRES can be had at a very reasonable price, as they are found in extremely large crystal formations. They range in color from very light yellow (Canary Yellow) to dark yellow.  Looking for a  Canary Yellow Diamond...but can not afford the price? Buy a Canary Yellow Sapphire...set into a white Gold to get the Platinum look, and many will ask if the Gem ia a Canary Diamond! Just keep the size under 2.0Ct. to make it believable...unless you're a Bank CEO or Angelina Jolie!

GREEN SAPPHIRES are bargain hunter's find as they are the least desirable of all Sapphires and can range in color from very light green (like a Peridot) to that of the darkest green.

PURPLE SAPPHIRES stand out as what the term "middle of the road gem" with a great price and a nice color range.

STAR SAPPHIRES are either you like it so much you buy every one you can find...or this Gem is just not your cup of tea! They come in various shades of blue and their outstanding feature is the 4, 6, or 12-Ray Star effect the seem to dazzle its buyers. This Gem is relatively inexpensive and can be had for less than many of the Sapphires in the group mentioned above.

COLOR CHANGE SAPPHIRES - For those who love the color effect of Alexandrite but don't like it's price...a Color Change Sapphire is your best buy! The Gem will change color in various lighting. Expect to pay more for larger size Gems...and remember that the ideal Sapphire should be clear of fractures and inclusions. 

Expect also that all Gems in these groups are HEATED...and if anyone claims the Gems is UNHEATED, the Gem will come at a high price and therefore, a proof should be asked or provided. Last word...HEATING DOES NOT CHANGE THE NATURAL LOOK OF A SAPPHIRE. IT SIMPLY ENHANCES ITS COLOR AND CLARITY BY ADDING VIVIDNESS AND PURITY. HEAT TREATMENT SIMPLY FINISHES WHAT NATURE DID NOT ACCOMPLISH! The vast majority of rough Rubies and Sapphires are heated soon as they are mined, dealers assume, unless there is substantial amount of proof to the contrary, that all Rubies and Sapphires have been heated. Most consumers today accept heating as a reality. Heat treated Sapphire are durable and stable and never fade in their colors.

THE SPECIAL KASHMIR BLUE SAPPHIRE

Like a beautiful blue dream...KASHMIR SAPPHIRES are a true blue Gemstones! When Sapphires were discovered around 1882 in Kashmir, a small Indian state in the north-west of Himalayas, they were so plentiful and large that locals would pick them off the ground to use as flintstones. But by 1925, when the mines were near exhaustion, and anything over 2-3Ct. weight pieces became collectors items. Large crystals were sold in auction houses and once in while with unbelievable price. Today, proving the origin of a Kashmir Sapphire is almost impossible by a simple Lab report. Fortunately, SRI LANKA, the most respectable Sapphire producer these days, produces a rare color known in the trade as a Kashmir Color. Although the origin of such material is not the famous Indian Kashmir mine, its color is almost indistinguishable  from the true Kashmir sold at such a remarkable  high premium.

ROYAL BLUE SAPPHIRE

It is true that the Royal blue Sapphire Color is associated in most of Sapphire dealers' mind with the Royal Thai Kanchanaburi Mines. For about 30 years, Australian Sapphire used to be the world's largest seller, from dark blue to opaque midnight  blue to almost black Onyx color in large quantities flooded the market from the early 1960's to late 1980's. As a consequence, the buying public came to consider blue Sapphires as cheap Gems. Royal Blue Sapphire is usually from Thailand while Australian Sapphire tend to be blue-black.

CEYLON BABY BLUE AND CORNFLOWER BLUE SAPPHIRE

SRI LANKA, the world's kingdom of Sapphires, produces many rare colored Gems from an almost colorless white Sapphire to rich blues and forest greens, and all are known as typical SRI LANKA SAPPHIRES. The highest price SRI LANKA  until just a few years ago  was known as the Baby Blue Ceylon Sapphire, light blue to perfect lavender , many collectors and Sapphire dealers compare it to the lavender color of light blue Diamonds. The real giveaway is the purple overtone, but watch for that Iolite flashof yellow that will give the stone away and shows that is merely a high quality Iolite and not a genuine Sapphire. The fantastic Padparadscha Sapphire, also of Sri Lanka, have recently overtaken the Ceylon Baby Blues in popularity, and command similar prices. These amazing orange/pink/coral beauties also deserve the attention. Genuine Ceylon  Blue Sapphire range in price  on the upper end are similar to those fetched by the fine blue Diamonds.

WHITE SAPPHIRES

White Sapphires are only found in Sri Lanka. It is a Diamond by any other name, a colorless and pure precious Gem...and it's the hardest Gem next to Diamonds on MOH's scale 9.0 to 9.5. White Sapphires are rare, beautiful, and of a great value. White Sapphires have been replacing Diamonds in wedding rings. Round Brilliant White Sapphires...with a large center are being set in Platinum or White Gold...as the new Diamond of the Millenium. White Sapphires can be one of the most expensive Gems, with prices similar to those fetched by fine white Diamonds. But buyers should be aware that it takes an expert to determine if a white Sapphire really is in the category that competes with white Diamonds. White Sapphires are not well known in the Gem trade until about 20 years ago. When a diffusion process was introduced to turn the colorless White Sapphire to blue...these process drove the price of these white Gems to its maximum limit. Large pieces became unavailable, and prices suffered an increase of almost 8-10 times  higher than normal value. Suddenly, natural white Sapphires had found a global market.                          

WHICH SAPPHIRE TO BUY?

Although Kashmir Color Sapphire is the rarest and most valuable of all Sapphires, all the rest - from black, cornflower, and royal blue Sapphires are the ones that are most available and in the affordable colors for most investors. Selecting a Sapphire all depends on personal taste. No matter what you've been told...if you like a color, go for it, for it is more likely that you will enjoy it simply because you were attracted to it.

DIAMONDS

Gems-Diamond1.jpg

Diamonds.....Precious for Ever and Ever!

The Birthstone for the month of April is Diamond.


Its name refers to its hardness, Adamas in Greek...which means, Unconquerable! Diamond is generally acknowledged as the most precious of gems. One reason for this is the fact that it's the hardest known material. This extreme hardness along with high luster and single refractive quality gives the Diamond its beauty. It has a high refractive index and dispersion, optical properties that account for the extraordinary brilliance and fire of a well-cut Diamond. Because of its unsurpassed  hardness, Diamond is not only valued as a gem but has many important uses as well. Among the four varieties of Diamonds, three are industrial types.

DIAMONDS are the only gem material that is mined by highly mechanized and large scale methods. With annual production of over 60 million carats, about 80% of which is industrial diamond. DeBeers Consolidated Mines Limited, through the Channel Selling Organization markets about 80% of the world's Diamond production. DeBeers operates mines in southern Africa, and through the Diamond Corpration, contracts with other producers for the purchase of their production. These, and other Diamonds purchased in the open market in Africa and elsewhere (USSR, Australia, Canada, etc.) are sold through the Central Selling Organization in London.  The Diamonds are sold to annual meetings of "Sight Holders" in London several times a year. Only 250 to 300 Diamond manufacturers are invited to these meetings through brokers to buy lots of pre-sorted unseen parcels of Diamonds, called 'Sights', at fixed price against cash. Each buyer must purchase all or most of the parcels, they can not be refused, or risked not being invited back for the next sight!  Each parcel is worth about $42,500.00, and there are many, many parcels. Further sales and sorting of the parcels are handled by members of diamond bourses and diamond clubs or by wholesalers. Bourses can be found in Antwerp, Amsterdam, New York, Ramat Gan (Israel), as well as Los Angeles, New York...etc. They are internationally federated and submit to strict rules. Through the Central Selling Organization, producers control prices of rough diamonds to maintain the ridiculously high value of diamonds. Diamonds are sold based in the 4 C''s (cut, color, clarity and carat weight).

Diamonds are mined in primary deposits, called Kimberlite pipes, and in washed out diamondiferous placers called alluvial deposits. Historically, most diamonds came from India & Borneo. Modern production comes from South Africa, the Atlantic Coast of Africa, Nabia, Brazil, Russia (Siberia), Australia, and recently Canada. Diamonds occur in a variety of natural colors besides the normal colorless to off-yellow  gem variety. These types of diamonds are called "Fancy Colors" or "Fancies". The fancy color diamonds are quite rare and extremely expensive. Diamonds are found in shades of red, pink, orange, green, yellow, blue, and brown. When the color is deep and intense, they are called "Fancy Vivid". Famous examples of vivid diamonds are the 44.5Ct. Fancy Vivid Blue Hope Diamond, the 41Ct. Vivid Fancy green Dresdfen Diamonds, and the 128.51Ct. Vidid orange-yellow Tiffany Diamond. The greatest rough diuamonds suitable for Gem stones were the 3106Ct. Cullinan. The 995.2Ct. Excelsior, the 968.9Ct. Star of Sierra Leon, , the about 800Ct. Great Mogul, the 770Ct. Wyle River, the 26.6Ct. President Vargas,  the 726Ct. Jonker, 650.8Ct. Jubilee, the 616Ct. Dutoitspan, and the 609Ct. Baumgold. The world's largest faceted Diamond is the 530.20Ct. Cullian 1, and is one of the 104 diamonds fashioned from the , 3,108Ct. rough  Cullinan. It is mounted on the Scepter of King Edward VII in the Tower of London, it's also called the Star of Africa.

There is nothing comparable to the hardness of Diamond. Its cutting resistance is 140 times greater than that of Ruby and Sapphire, the Gemstones next in the individual crystal directions. This allows one to cut diamond with diamond and/or with diamond powder. Because of the perfect cleavage, care must be taken not to accidentally bang  against an edge of a diamond, and also when setting it. Its very strong luster sometimes enable the inexperienced eye to differentiate between a diamond  and its imitations. Diamond is generally insensitive to chemical reactions. High temperatures, on the other hand, can induce etchings on the facets and therefore, special care must be taken during soldering! In the last 50 years, it has been recognized that there are various types of diamond with different characteristics. Science differentiates them between type la, lb, lla, and llb. This is of little importance  to the trade, but does assist the cutter. Due to the optical effects, the high hardness, and its rarity, the diamond is considered the  true "King of Gemstones".  It has been used for adornment since ancient times.