GEMSTONE INFORMATION

 

     
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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COLOR GRADES

CLARITY GRADES

GEM CUTS

ANNIVERSARY GEMS

BIRTHSTONES

TREATMENTS

ALEXANDRITE

DIAMOND

PERIDOT

AMETHYST (Quartz)

 EMERALD (Beryl)

 QUARTZ

AMETRINE (Quartz)

GARNET

RUBELLITE (Tourmaline)

 ANDALUSITE

INDICOLITE (Tourmaline)

RUBY

APATITE

IOLITE

SAPPHIRE

AQUAMARINE (Beryl)

KUNZITE (Spodumene)

SPINEL

BENITOITE

MORGANITE (Beryl)

TANZANITE (Zoisite)

 BERYL

OPAL

 TOPAZ

BLUE SAPPHIRE (Corundum) PADPARADSCHA (Sapphire) TOURMALINE
 CHRYSOBERYL

PARAIBA (Tourmaline)

 TSAVORITE (Grossular Garnet)
CITRINE (Quartz) PEARL ZIRCON
VIEW OUR GEM STOCK

COLOR GRADES

Our Color Scale:
The color scale below is based on our determination of the purity of the primary color in a particular gemstone and the desirability of the color, i.e.:  Ruby should have Red as the primary color, so if it has around 80% Red as the primary color (like pigeon blood or cherry red) it would be graded "Exceptional", whereas if it has around 70% Red as the primary color and around 30% orange or blue as the secondary color, it would be graded as "Very Good".
When it comes to colorless or white gems, like White Sapphire or Zircon, the pureness or absence of colors is used for the primary source.
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COLOR SCALE

1      (AAA)

2      (AA)

3      (A)

4      (B)

5      (C)

Exceptional

Very Good

Good

Fair

Poor

#1 - AAA

This is the very best and most desirable color for the particular gemstone.  In most cases, you should see  a rich vivid primary color and very little secondary color.  (80% or more of the primary color). (Considered Top Gem or Museum quality color)

#2 - AA

This color grade is also very very good. very desirable for the particular gemstone.  In most cases, you should see very good primary color (somewhere between 60% to 70%) and just a little bit more of the secondary color. (Considered Gem Quality color)

#3 - A

This color grade is good for the particular gemstone.  In most cases, you should see more of the primary color (somewhere between 50% to 60%) and less of the secondary color. (Most local stores have stones of this quality or lower)

#4 - B

This color grade is fair for the particular gemstone.  In most cases, the primary color will be hard to determine (somewhere between 40% to 50%).

#5 - C

We consider this color grade poor for the particular gemstone.  In most cases, the primary color will be very hard to determine (less than 50%).


The GIA type Color Scale:
The 3 charts below are based on the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) "Color Stone Grading System", where the Color with it's various Hues, the Tone, and the Saturation of color in a particular gem is listed.
You will normally see this system identified by a letter or set of letters, followed by two numbers. The letters are abbreviations of the Color and Hues visible... the first number is the Tone or lightness/darkness of a particular gemstone... and the second number in sequence is the Saturation of color in the gem.  So, as an example, when you see a Ruby given the color "R", this would indicate the color is "Red" meaning the primary color is Red and there appears to be no noticeable secondary color... if the tone/saturation numbers were listed as "6/5"... this would indicate the gem has "Medium-dark" tone and "Strong" saturation of color... making this particular gem fall in the "good" category.
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GIA Type COLOR SCALE

Abbreviation

HUE

Abbreviation

HUE

P

Purple

styG

strongly yellowish Green

rP

Reddish Purple

yG

yellowish Green

RP/PR

Red-Purple or Purple-Red

slyG

slightly yellowish Green

stpR

strongly Purplish-Red

G

Green

slpR

slightly Purplish-Red

vslbG

very slightly bluish Green

R

Red

vstbG

very strongly bluish Green

oR

orangey Red

GB/BG

Green-Blue or Blue-Green

RO/OR

Red-Orange or Orange-Red

vstgB

very strongly greenish Blue

rO

reddish Orange

gB

greenish Blue

O

Orange

vslgB

very slightly greenish Blue

yO

yellowish Orange

B

Blue

oY

orangey Yellow

vB

violetish Blue

Y

Yellow

bV

bluish Violet

gY

greenish Yellow

V

Violet

YG/GY

Yellow-Green or Green-Yellow

bP

bluish Purple

Pk Exception : Pink Brn Exception: Brown

The Tone and Saturation Scale:
Is based on a determination of the lightness or darkness of a particular gemstone.
Tone should be considered along with the Color to properly understand the depth of color in the gem.  Even though it may have good primary color, if it's too light in tone, it will not be rich enough... or... if the color is too dark, it will sacrifice brilliancy and transparency.
Saturation should be considered along with the Color and Tone to properly understand the amount and evenness of the color that is saturated throughout the gem.
 

GIA Type TONE SCALE

0

1

2

3

4

Colorless or White

Extremely Light

Very Light

Light

Medium-Light

5

6

7

8

9

Medium

Medium-Dark

Dark

Very Dark

Extremely Dark

   

 

Tone Scale
  0 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10


 
 

GIA Type SATURATION SCALE

1

2

3

4

5

6

Weak

Good

Moderate

Moderately Strong

Strong

Vivid


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CLARITY GRADES

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The Clarity Scale:
This scale is provided to assist you in selecting the gem most suitable to your requirements and budget.  We grade most of our gems using this scale system, where "Exceptional" is a Very Clean gem normally Free of Inclusion, and "Poor" is Excessively Included and would be a stone to be avoided.  Grading is based on our determination of the degree to which a particular gemstone is free of inclusions
The GIA Color Gem System is divided into Gem Types... Gems that tend to be very clean by nature, such as Diamonds, are in the "Type I" gem class... Gems that tend to run a bit more included by nature, such as Ruby, Sapphire, and Alexandrite are grouped in the Type II gem class... and Gems that are rarely found without visible inclusions by nature, such as Emerald, is in the Type III gem class.   You may recognize the basic format of this scale since it is similar to the Clarity scale typically used for Diamonds.
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GIA Type CLARITY SCALE

Exceptional

Very Good

Good

Fair

Poor

FL - VVS

VS

SI

I1... I2

I3

Flawless
Very Very Slightly Included

Very Slightly Included

Slightly Included

Included

Excessively Included

Very Clean Eyeclean Eyecleanish Included Excessively Included

Below is a more descriptive explanation of these Clarity Grades for the 3 Gem Types:

  • FL-VVS a Flawless to Very Very Clean Gem (Exceptional (AAA) Quality or Top Gem Quality).
  • FL to VVS, Type I - describes gemstones that a gemologist under favorable lighting conditions cannot see any inclusions at ten power magnification, and/or, have no internal characteristics observable under magnification, but which have minor surface blemishes that do not penetrate the stone, and/or, have very small inclusions which are difficult for a gemologist to see at 10x magnification.
  • FL to VVS, Type II - describes gemstones that a gemologist can see small inclusions (small feathers, light silk, etc.) when viewed with 10x magnification.
  • FL to VVS, Type III - describes gemstones, that a gemologist can see minor inclusions (small feathers, light jardin "garden", etc.) which are obvious when viewed with 10x magnification, like Emerald and Rubellite Tourmaline.
  • VS a Very Clean Gem (Very Good (AA) Quality or Gem Quality).
  • VS, Type I - describes gemstones with very small inclusions which can be difficult to observe with 10x magnification.  These small inclusions are barely visible to the unaided eye.
  • VS, Type II - describes gemstones that a gemologist under favorable lighting conditions can see small inclusions (small feathers, light silk, etc.) which are usually obvious when viewed with 10x magnification, but you will probably not readily see these inclusions to the unaided eye, except on larger stones and in certain color gems with characteristics that typically have visible inclusions like Ruby, Padparadscha Sapphire, Yellow/Golden Sapphire, Blue Sapphire and a few others.
  • VS, Type III - describes gemstones that a gemologist can see small sized inclusions (small fissures, light jardin, etc.) that is usually visible with the unaided eye without magnification.  Larger Emeralds can have medium sized inclusions and still be graded VS Type III.
  • SI Very Good Quality Gem (still considered Good (A) Quality in Type I stones or Gem Quality in Type II and Type III gemstones).
  • SI, Type I - describes gemstones with small inclusions that are usually obvious when viewed with 10x magnification.  Inclusions are difficult to see with the unaided eye, except on larger stones or occasionally with Emerald Cut gems.
  • SI, Type II - describes gemstones that a gemologist under favorable lighting conditions can see medium to moderate inclusions that are usually visible to the unaided eye without magnification.  Inclusions are generally located to the side or in the pavilion area where they may not be obvious when mounted in jewelry until you take a closer look.
  • SI, Type III - describes gemstones that  a gemologist can see moderate and/or numerous small inclusions (fissures, jardin, crystals, etc.) that can be centrally located and visible to the unaided or naked eye without magnification.
  • I1 or I2 a Good to Fair Quality Gem (A to B Quality Grade)
  • I1 to I2, Type I - describes gemstones with medium to large inclusions which are usually obvious to a gemologist with the unaided eye.  An I1 may have an inclusion located to the side while an I2 will have it centrally located or numerous inclusions.
  • I1 to I2, Type II and Type III  - describes gemstones that have inclusions centrally located or numerous inclusions that are visible to the unaided or naked eye without magnification.  Most Top Commercial quality Emerald and Ruby will be in the I2 to I3 category.
  • I3 a Commercial Quality Gemstone (C, or D or lower Quality Grade)
  • These gemstones have very obvious inclusions that are very visible to the unaided or naked eye without any magnification for all gem TYPES (I, II & III).  This grade of excessively Included gem normally has durability problems and should be avoided.  It is doubtful you'll ever see this poor a grade on our website, but If you really insist on purchasing this poor quality a gem, all you have to do is shop at a department store, or buy from one of the Gem/Jewelry TV Home Shopping programs. Also, many local jewelry chain stores carry this quality of diamonds and colored gemstones.

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    TREATMENTS

    The Federal Trade Commission requires traditional Jewelry stores, as well as Online Gem and Jewelry sellers to disclose gem treatments and/or offer accurate descriptions. The FTC also requires treatment disclosures to be made on the same Web page as the gem or jewelry piece listed, not just listed on an information section in another part of the website that many buyers may not see.
    Phoenix Gems meets these FTC requirements, and we have been disclosing gem treatments and offering accurate gem descriptions for years.  Not only do we disclose gem treatments on the same page as the listed gem, but it's listed directly under the gem "and" it has an additional link to a full explanation of the particular treatment method (if any).  We also offers accurate descriptions of each gem or jewelry piece listed.  You will find that our "Enhancement Codes and Treatment Terms" explain the majority of treatment methods used in the Gem Trade.  Many of the gems we offer are "Natural" and "untreated", but the majority of the gems on the market are routinely enhanced or treated in some way, so we have always been concerned in disclosing any treatments that we know exist as well as the affect it has on the gem you are considering.
    We disclose the particular treatment that may apply to a particular gem, both in our online description as well as at the point of sale.
     

    TREATMENT Codes & Method Table

    Code A:

    Indicates that  this gemstone has no known enhancement, or, this type of gem is very rarely enhanced.
    Code E:
    Means that this gemstone is routinely enhanced.
    Code N:
    Means this particular gemstone has received no enhancement and the seller will guarantee this.


    Code C:
    Indicates a Coating has been used as a surface treatment such as waxing, lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add special effects. This treatment is normally not permanent and/or it may create special care requirements, which we feel seriously reduces the value and therefore should affect your buying decision.
    Code U:
    Indicates the gemstone has undergone Diffusion which is the use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce a relatively shallow subsurface layer of color and/or asterism producing inclusions. This treatment is normally not permanent and/or it may create special care requirements, which we feel seriously reduces the value and therefore should affect your buying decision.
    Code D:
    Indicates Dyeing has occurred.  Dyeing is the introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.  This treatment is normally not permanent and/or it may create special care requirements, which we feel seriously reduces the value and therefore should affect your buying decision. 
    Code F:
    Indicates the gemstone has had Filling or Infilling or Stabilizing of some form such as a hardener was used to seal the surface of porous gem material with a colored or colorless Epoxy-like material.  This is typically performed to improve appearance and/or durability of the gem as well as prevent inclusions from fracturing. This treatment method is permanent and normally does not create special care requirements.
    Code H:
    This means the stone has been heated to effect desired alteration of color, clarity, and/or phenomena.  Much of the Aquamarine, Citrine, Kunzite, Morganite, Tanzanite, Ruby, Blue Sapphire, Golden Sapphire, Orange Sapphire in the market  is routinely heat treated.  Heating is a permanent enhancement that has been an accepted trade practice for generations and normally it does not adversely affect the value of the gem, however, in recent years demand for unheated top quality Ruby and Blue Sapphire has caused these gems to command a somewhat higher premium, depending on the gem. 
    Code R:
    Indicates the gemstone has undergone some form of Gamma or Electron Irradiation. This is the use of gamma and/or electron bombardment to alter a gemstone's color. This treatment may not be permanent and/or it may create special care requirements.  Irradiation followed by a heating process is normally a permanent enhancement.  Almost all Kunzite and Hot Pink Tourmaline on the market is routinely enhanced with Irradiation to bring out the vibrant colors.
    Code L:
    Indicates the stone has been laser drilled and chemicals were used to reach and alter the inclusions in the gem.  This treatment is rarely performed on color gems, but is most often performed on certain diamonds.
    Code G:
    This means the gemstone has undergone Nuclear Irradiation. This is the use of neutron or a combination of neutrons with any other bombardment to alter a gemstone's color.  Nuclear treatment followed by a heating process is a permanent enhancement.  The Intense colors in Blue Topaz are a result of Nuclear Irradiation, so this is a routine enhancement for Blue Topaz.
    Code O:
    This means the surface-breaking cavities were filled by immersing the gemstone in a colorless oil, wax, resin, or unhardened man-made material that penetrates into the fissured or porous gemstone.  Traditionally, oils (such as cedar wood oil) were used but in time they tend to dry out thus making some of the inclusions visible again prompting the need for re-oiling of the gemstone, today resins are also used as a filler.  This enhancement processes dates back over 600 years and is an accepted trade practice that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this type of enhancement disclosed. This treatment does not create special care requirements.

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Birthstones

Month

Modern Traditional Alternate
       
January Rhodolite Garnet  Garnet Rose Quartz
February Amethyst Amethyst Onyx, Moonstone
March Aquamarine Bloodstone Rock Crystal
April Diamond or White Sapphire Diamond White Quartz
May Emerald or Green Tourmaline Emerald Tsavorite Garnet
June Alexandrite or Pearl Alexandrite Opal, Moonstone, Cat's Eye
July Ruby Ruby Rubellite Tourmaline
August Peridot or Jade Sardonyx Star Sapphire
September Blue Sapphire Blue Sapphire Tanzanite, Lapis, Iolite
October Pink Sapphire or Kunzite Pink Tourmaline Pink Tourmaline, Morganite 
November Yellow Sapphire Yellow Citrine Diamond, Tiger's Eye
December Blue Sapphire, Spinel, and Topaz Blue Zircon Diamond, Turquoise

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Anniversary Gemstones

Year Gemstone Year Gemstone
1st Gold Jewelry  13th Yellow Citrine
2nd Garnet 14th Opal
3rd Pearls 15th Ruby
4th Blue Topaz 16th Peridot
5th Blue Sapphire 17th Watches
6th Amethyst 18th Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl
7th Onyx 19th Aquamarine
8th Green Tourmaline 20th Emerald
9th Lapis Lazuli 21st Iolite
10th Diamond Jewelry 22nd Spinel
11th Turquoise 23rd Imperial Topaz
12th Jade 24th Tanzanite




25th Silver Jubilee 50th Golden Jubilee
30th Pearl Jubilee 55th Alexandrite 
35th Emerald 60th Diamond Jubilee
40th Ruby 70th Sapphire Jubilee
45th Sapphire 80th Ruby Jubilee

This list of suggested gemstones gifts has been endorsed by the American Gem Trade Association, the  American Gem Society, Jewelers of America, the Jewelry Industry Council, the Gemological Institute of America, and the Cultured Pearl Association of America.


COLOR

CLARITY

CUTS

ANNIVERSARY CHART

VIEW OUR GEM STOCK

BIRTHSTONE CHART

GEM  FACTS

 FINE JEWELRY

DIAMOND FACTS

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Gemstone Facts

Click any main UNDERLINED TITLE to View Gems


ALEXANDRITE
TRADITIONAL BIRTHSTONE for JUNE
The 55th ANNIVERSARY STONE
8.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness.

Alexandrite was first discovered in the Urals in 1830, on the day Prince Alexander of Russia came of age.
Genuine Alexandrite is one of the world's rarest and most coveted Gemstone, so rare that most people have never even seen one.  Alexandrite is in the Chrysoberyl mineral family, but distinct in that this gem has a natural color change phenomena.  A color change occurs in very few gemstones.  Alexandrite is highly prized, and, as always, the exact tone of the color is an important factor in it's value, the most expensive being brilliant green turning to very red.  The natural color change in Alexandrite ranges from various shades of Green (olive greens, kelley greens, bluish-greens, teal-greens, etc.) when the gem is under "fluorescent" lighting, or in natural outdoor light "in the shade" (not direct sunlight)... the color changes to various shades of Red (burgundy-reds, purplish-reds, violetish-purples, amethyst, etc.) when in a room with only incandescent light, tungsten light, or candlelight (some flashlights will bring out the purplish-red too).  To get the maximum color change effect the gem is best viewed in a dark room with no outdoor light at all, then turn on a fluorescent light to see the green shade, then turn on a standard incandescent light bulb with the fluorescent light off to see the reddish shade.  You can cycle the lights back and forth to see the distinct color change.  All Alexandrite will turn very dark to blackish when taken out into direct sunlight, also when it is subjected to several types of lighting sources at the same time the colors will blend together to make it look brownish in color and you may even see the twinkles of red and twinkles of green bouncing around in the stone.
When the color change from fluorescent light to tungsten light is not an obvious color change from one of the various shades of green to one of the shades of red, the gem is usually called "alexandrite like" or a "color change Chrysoberyl" since it does not quite have the distinct greenish to reddish color change to be called "Alexandrite".
We offer the finest Alexandrite from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Brazil, Russia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
Alexandrite is a very good investment stone since it is a "Very Rare" gem.
TREATMENTS - Typically Alexandrite is not treated since it would adversely affect the natural color change phenomena.
CARE - Alexandrite is also excellent in jewelry since it is quite hard, however, as with all Chrysoberyl, it should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Alexandrite in jewelry.

 
 

Alexandrite Cat's Eye

Alexandrite is rare, a Cat's Eye Alexandrite is even more so.  This Gem is cut as a Cabochon. The stone is usually translucent with a color change of Green or greenish in sunlight or fluorescent light to Grayish/Purplish in candlelight or tungsten light.  This gemstone has a strong Grayish/Bluish White eye (chatoyancy) which reaches from girdle to girdle.
TREATMENTS - Typically Cat's Eye Alexandrite is not treated since it would adversely affect the natural color change phenomena as well as the chatoyancy.
CARE - Cat's Eye Alexandrite is also excellent in jewelry since it is quite hard, however, as with all Chrysoberyl, it should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Cat's Eye Alexandrite in jewelry.
This is a Very Very Rare Gem with a great investment potential!


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AMETHYST
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for FEBRUARY
The 6th ANNIVERSARY STONE
7 on the MOH's scale of hardness.

Amethyst, a member of the Quartz mineral family, and has Purple hues that vary from very pale to dark.  The medium-dark to dark tones are considered the most desirable and of course are quite a bit more expensive than the lighter tones.  Most Amethysts are relatively free of inclusions.  Sources for this gemstone are Brazil, Zambia, U.S., Canada, India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar.
TREATMENTS - Typically Amethyst is not treated.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Amethyst jewelry in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.

Rose De France Amethyst

Or Rose Quartz is available in transparent to translucent light to medium Pink. Titanium oxide is the impurity which creates the Pink hue. Much of the faceting material comes from Brazil.


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AMETRINE
7 on the MOH's scale of hardness
Also called Amethyst/Citrine.  Ametrine is a Bi-color variety of Quartz, part Violet/Purple Amethyst and part Yellow Citrine with distinct color separation. Ametrine is a natural Gemstone found only in southeastern Bolivia near the border with Brazil. The color distribution in Ametrine can be very distinct with a straight demarcation between the two colors.

Typically the Gem is cut in Rectangular shapes in order to display the colors best. Round and Oval cuts tend to mix the colors through internal reflections and are used most effectively in jewelry and carvings.
TREATMENTS - Typically Ametrine is not treated.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Ametrine jewelry in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.

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ANDALUSITE
7.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Also called Poor Man's Alexandrite, because it has a faint color change and can look vaguely similar. Andalusite usually varies from light yellowish brown to green-brown, light brownish pink, red-brown to dark-red, grayish green, olive, even violet brown-green, or rarely definite green and has strong pleochroism that makes it hard to identify the main color.  Andalusite is a transparent gem that's almost iridescent with an unexceptional vitreous luster.  Andalusite is a natural Gemstone found in Andalusia Spain (thus the name), Sri Lanka, Brazil, Quebec Canada, Russia and Maine/Massachusetts USA.  Andalusite is normally cut as a faceted mixed oval cut to enhance the luster and strong pleochroism (color change phenomena).  The most valuable stones have greenish to reddish pleochroism.
TREATMENTS - Typically Andalusite is not treated since it would adversely affect the natural color change phenomena.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Andalusite jewelry in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.
Andalusite is not plentiful on the market and is mainly in demand with collectors.  Large cuts are rare.


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APATITE
5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Apatite ranges in color from colorless to pink, yellow, green, blue, and violet.  It has a vitreous luster and is sensitive to acids.  Apatite is easily confused with Beryl, Topaz and Tourmaline.  Sources for this gemstone are Africa, Brazil, Burma, Sri Lanka, Czechoslovakia, India, Malagasy Republic, Mexico, and the U.S.
TREATMENTS - Typically Apatite is not treated.
CARE - Apatite should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Apatite jewelry.


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AQUAMARINE
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for MARCH
The 19th ANNIVERSARY STONE
7.5 to 8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Aquamarine ranges in color from light to deep Blue. The richer the color, the more costly the gem is per carat.  Aquamarine achieves its Blue to greenish Blue color from Iron in the ferrous state.  Its name is Latin for sea water which appropriately describes the color.
Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl mineral family, along with Emerald, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, Bixbite and Morganite.  Sources for this gemstone are Brazil, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, U.S., and the former U.S.S.R.
TREATMENTS - Over 99% of all Aquamarine  on the market is "heat treated" or "Irradiated" to stabilize and enhance the color, and/or,  to eliminate green, so you should assume that all Aquamarine "may have been" treated.  The typical treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.
CARE - Aquamarine should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.


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BENITOITE
6.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

The blue crystals of Benitoite were discovered in 1906 by a mineral prospector who mistook them for Sapphires. Crystals are shaped like flattened triangles and have a strong dispersion and fire similar to diamond, but this is masked by the color.
Dichroism  is strong; the stone appears blue or colorless when viewed from different angle. Colorless crystals occur but are rare and normally not faceted.
Benitoite occurs in veins in blue schist. The ONLY source for this material is from San Benito County, California, after which the stone is named.
TREATMENTS - Typically, Benitoite is not treated or enhanced.
CARE -  Benitoite should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.


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BERYL
7.5 to 8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

The Beryl mineral family is a popular one because of the beautiful varieties of colors and the durability of the stones.  Beryl is an excellent choice for jewelry. The Beryl mineral family includes Aquamarine, Bixbite (red beryl), Emerald, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, and Morganite.  With the exception of Emerald and Bixbite, all other Beryls are typically clean stones, virtually free of eye visible inclusions.  Beryl's colors include Colorless, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, Peach and Red.
TREATMENTS - See the individual class of Beryl for the typical treatment process that may apply.
CARE - Beryl should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.

Bixbite (Red) Beryl

Bixbite is the Red Beryl, extremely rare, probably 100 times more rare than Alexandrite.  Typically a strong Ruby Red or slightly violetish Red color, with numerous inclusions and internal flaws.  It's pleochroism is comparable to Burma Ruby.  This gem is typically heavily included, opaque, and the faceted Gem is very very expensive.  You could expect to pay $15,000 to $20,000 for a one (1) carat Red Beryl.
TREATMENTS - Typically Red Beryl is not treated since it would adversely affect the value.
CARE - Red Beryl should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean Red Beryl.

Goshenite Beryl

Goshenite Beryl is the Colorless Beryl, named after a find in Goshen Massachusetts, which may have a very slight tint of Blue or Silver. This transparent, faceted Gem is an inexpensive choice for jewelry.  Goshenite is found in Brazil and the U.S.
TREATMENTS - Typically Colorless Beryl is not treated.
CARE - Colorless Beryl should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean Colorless Beryl.

Golden/Yellow Beryl

Golden Beryl varies between lemon yellow and golden yellow, and typically has visible inclusions. This transparent, faceted Gem is an inexpensive choice for jewelry.  Golden Beryl is found in Sri Lanka and Namibia.
TREATMENTS - Typically Golden Beryl is not treated.
CARE - Golden Beryl should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean Golden Beryl.

Heliodor

Heliodor varies between lemon-yellow and gold to olive oil colored.  Typically it has liquid type inclusions typical of beryl, but they are usually clear. Heliodor is similar to chrysoberyl in appearance, but is usually more lustrous and and has different physical characteristics.  Heliodor is found in Brazil and Namibia.
TREATMENTS - Typically Heliodor is not treated, but the pigment is uranium oxide and so this gem is not a suitable choice for jewelry.
CARE - Heliodor should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean this gem.


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CHRYSOBERYL
8.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Chrysoberyl has a natural color that ranges from Pale Yellow to Pale Greenish Yellow or Green, or Pale Brownish Yellow.  It's color range is like the Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye but a bit more green or brown.  The pale yellow color closely resembles Light Yellow Sapphire, but it is not as brilliant.  Normally this gemstone is found in Mixed Oval cuts and  Round cuts to bring out the excellent luster of the stone, and sometimes it can even be found in Trilliant, Marquis, and Pear cuts. Sources for this gemstone are Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Madagascar and Brazil.  The value of Chrysoberyl is about the same as Tourmaline and Spinel.
TREATMENTS - Typically Chrysoberyl is not treated.
CARE - Chrysoberyl should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Chrysoberyl jewelry.

Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye
The 18th ANNIVERSARY STONE

Many Gems have Cat's Eyes, but Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye is the best known. A Cat's Eye stone is a Cabochon which has fine tubes or needles which run across the stone (chatoyancy). When properly cut, the light reflects as a floating silky eye. The sharp eye in the Cabochon resembles the iris of a Cat's Eye, hence the term Cat's Eye.
Chrysoberyl Cat's Eyes are normally pale Yellow, honey Yellow and Brown/Yellow, sometimes with a touch of Green. The very best and hardest to locate is a honey Brown. The rarest Cat's Eye is one where a light shown through the side of the stone creates a shadow in the stone. Two shades of color separating the Cat's Eye are then evident. This is called a milk and honey effect due to the lighter and darker shades of color. The strength of the Eye, clarity, color and size of the Cabochon determine the price per carat.
TREATMENTS - Typically Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye is not treated since it would adversely affect the natural  chatoyancy.  Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye is often times found to be radioactive, so it must pass the RDX test and have -0- radiation to be imported into the US.
CARE - Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye (non-radioactive) is excellent in jewelry since it is quite hard, however, as with all Chrysoberyl, it should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye jewelry.


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CITRINE
TRADITIONAL BIRTHSTONE for NOVEMBER
The 13th ANNIVERSARY STONE
7 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Citrine, a member of the Quartz mineral family, is a Quartz whose color is probably caused by Iron traces.
Citrine's name is derived from the French Citrine for lemon.  Color ranges from medium yellow to medium-dark orange-yellow.  Madeira Citrine's color ranges from medium-dark orange-yellow to Root Beer. Sources for this gemstone are Brazil, Bolivia, and Madagascar.
TREATMENTS - Citrine is routinely heat treated to bring out the reddish tints, whereas natural citrine is pale yellow in comparison.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Citrine jewelry in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Citrine jewelry.


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EMERALD
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for MAY
The 20th and 35th ANNIVERSARY STONE
7.5 to 8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Emerald, the first stones were mined in the deserts of Egypt near the Red Sea in what were known as Cleopatra's Mines.  Egyptian Emerald mined today are small and dark stones.
Sources for this gemstone are Colombia, Africa, and Brazil.
Emerald is a member of the Beryl mineral family, along with Aquamarine, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, Bixbite and Morganite. The name for Emerald is taken from the Greek smaragdos, meaning Green stone. The top color for Emerald is a deep Green. Inclusions are generally accepted in Emeralds since all but the rare few have visible inclusions of Mica, Pyrite or Calcite or the "garden" type inclusions. Inclusions can be important in separating natural from synthetic Emeralds and for identifying the country of origin.
TREATMENTS - Since virtually all emerald on the market is included with some sort of surface reaching fractures and openings. The visibility of the inclusions are reduced by filling them with a fluid. Traditionally, oils (such as cedar wood oil) were used but in time they tend to dry out thus making some of the inclusions visible again prompting the need for re-oiling of the gemstone. Today, resins are also used as a filler. This enhancement process dates back over 600 years and is an accepted trade practice that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this type of enhancement disclosed. Thus stated, you can assume that all emerald will have some type of enhancement.
We also stock EMERALDS which have NOT had any treatment to them whatsoever.
CARE - Emeralds must be treated with care to prevent chipping.  Emerald jewelry should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Emerald jewelry.


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GARNET
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for JANUARY
The 2nd ANNIVERSARY STONE
6.5 to 7.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

The Garnet group of minerals has 20 different species.  The most commonly recognized are Pyrope, Almandite, Spessartite, Grossular, and Andradite.
Garnets are available in all colors except pure Blue.  Pyrope and Almandite Garnets are orangey Red, Red, or Violet; Grossular Garnets are Colorless, Orange, Yellow, yellowish Green or Green; Spessartite Garnets are Orange or reddish Orange; Andradite Garnets are Green or yellowish Green.
The Latin root word for Garnet is Granatum, meaning pomegranate, thought to resemble the fruit's seeds.
Our source for Garnet is Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known for producing the finest variety of Garnet.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Garnet jewelry in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your gemstone jewelry.

Color Change Garnet

Among the rarest Gems in the world is the Color Change Garnet.   Only with our direct connections are we able to bring you the finest Color Change Garnets  that command substantial prices.  There are very few stones in the worldwide market.  Color Change Garnet is a very highly valued Collectors Gemstone.

Demantoid Garnet

Green Demantoid Garnet is one of the rarest Garnets. Discovered in Russia in 1868, the  supply was consumed in jewelry by 1896.  Production now is limited to a few stones a year. Utilized in Art Nouveau jewelry during the turn of the century.  Demantoid is important to Gem aficionados for four reasons: its great rarity, its color, its high dispersion and its distinctive inclusion.  Dispersion, or the breaking of White light into spectral colors, is measured at 0.044 for Diamond and 0.057 for Demantoid.  Demantoid's name means "diamond" in German, an indication of its beautiful luster.  The top color in Demantoid is the rich Emerald Green color.  Many stones are in the yellowish Green range with lesser qualities being brownish Green of grayish Green.  Demantoids exhibit a unique inclusion called a "horse tail." This inclusion is formed by Asbestos, needle-like fibers which radiate from a central crystal, usually Chrysolite, in a curving style similar to a horse's tail.  Gem cutters often fashion a Demantoid to better show the inclusion since this is a definite characteristic of a Demantoid.  Demantoids have also been found in San Bonito County, California, the Piedmont area of Italy, Korea, the Congo and the Stanley Butts area of Arizona.  Typically crystals are small and not plentiful.  When cut they yield small Gemstones, generally under 1 Carat.  Demantoid Garnet is a valued Collectors Gemstone.

Grossular Garnet

The Grossular Garnet species incorporates many colors: Colorless, Yellow, Green, Orange, Brown, Pink and Black. Of course there are many variations and shades of these colors.  Pure Grossular is Colorless.  Grossular Garnets can have a particular inclusion which is an identifying characteristic. A treacle or swirly appearance created by tiny included crystals, generally Diopside crystals, is common to Grossular Garnets.
Our source for Garnet is Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known for producing the finest variety of Garnet.   Other sources are Canada, U.S., Mexico, Africa, Australia and Brazil. Grossular Garnet is a valued Collectors Gemstone.

Hessonite Garnet

Part of the Grossular Garnet species.  Hessonite Garnets are available in Yellow, Orange and Red/Orange. The Red/Orange Hessonite is often referred to as "Cinnamon" stone because it matches the color of oil of cinnamon produced in Ceylon. Sources are Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Canada, Mexico, U.S., Brazil and Africa.  Hessonite Garnet is a valued Collectors Gemstone.

Malaya Garnet

A combination of two Garnet species: Pyrope and Spessartite. This Orange Garnet has an unusual history. In the late 1970's, East African miners included this Orange and reddish Orange stone in parcels of Rhodolite Garnet being offered to Japanese dealers. The "off" colors, summarily rejected for their obviously different color, were contemptuously called Malaya by the miners. This Swahili word means outcast or prostitute.  German and American dealers saw the beauty of this "outcast" Gem and began marketing Malaya Garnet in 1979. Top color Malaya Garnets are pure Orange or Red/Orange, sometimes with a touch of Peach. These vibrant stones are beautiful especially when mounted in Jewelry.

Mali Garnet

The latest discovery in the Garnet family. From Mali, Africa, these attractive Garnets are a rare mixture of Andradite and Spessartite and only came into the market in late 1994.  Mali Garnets are much rarer than Tsavorite Garnets.  All are a bright, uniform light yellowish Green. These are extraordinary stones that are expected to increase in value.

Mandarin Garnet

This "Sunkist" Orange Garnet is a newcomer to the Gem Markets.  Discovered in 1992 in Namibia near the north border with Angola, Mandarin Garnet is mined in wasteland conditions. Temperatures have been known to reach 140°F in a desert area populated by Angolan soldiers who have fled their homeland.  Mandarin Garnet is part of the Spessartite Garnet species and has a hardness of 6-6.5. Its uniform, vivid color of pure Orange sets it apart from other Orange stones.  Garnets take a good polish, so this is a beautiful Gem for mounting.  Potential for this Gem is good because jewelry demand will grow due to its vivid color and brightness.

Rhodolite Garnet

The name used to describe the lovely pinkish, purplish or lavender Red Garnets which are a mixture of Almandite and Pyrope. This name was first used in the late 1800's to describe the new rhododendron shade of Garnets discovered in North Carolina.
Rhodolite Garnets are not as dark as the common Pyrope Garnets.  Rhodolites are normally African in origin and are bright, transparent Gems.  Rhodolites are usually Red stones, purplish Red and the popular Raspberry Rhodolite, rich Purple with bright Lavender highlights.  Prices are based on the color, size and clarity of the stone.

Spessartite Garnet

Spessartite Garnets are not commonly found on the market.  Their vivid Orange color, sometimes with a Orange-Red to Orange-Pink color, is the most desired.  This Gem is especially Rare in clean faceted stones larger than 3 carats, and Gems over 10 carats are extremely Rare. The labor involved is arduous because the crystals are buried in pockets in pegmatite, once molten lava, and the miner slowly moves from pocket to pocket to retrieve the crystals.  Spessartite has good transparency, considerable luster, and normally found in Mixed or Oval cuts.  This Gem received its name from the area in Spessart, Germany, where it was originally found in the 1800's.  Since all Garnets are tough wearing stones, Spessartite is an excellent choice for jewelry.  Spessartite a is a valued Collectors Gemstone due to its rarity and its beauty.

Tsavorite

Tsavorite is the intense Green Grossular Garnet named after the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.  Tsavorite was first discovered in 1967 and was named by Henry B. Platt, vice-president of Tiffany & Co., after the site of that find.
Tsavorite is often compared to other Green Gemstones, and it is easily a match for the better known Emerald. Actually Tsavorite is superior to the Emerald in many ways, and it is a rarer stone. Tsavorite is a tougher, more durable stone with a higher luster, resulting in a higher polish.  It also has a higher refractive index, 1.74 for Tsavorite compared to 1.57 for Emerald, so Tsavorite is the brighter stone for setting with Diamonds since the Tsavorite will display more sparkle and fire.
Shades vary from pure Green to yellowish Green.  Like Emerald, most Tsavorites will have some visible inclusions.  Most Tsavorite production is under 1 Carat.  A 2 Carat Tsavorite is considered large!
Tsavorite a is a valued Collectors Gemstone due to its rarity and its beauty.


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IOLITE
The 21st ANNIVERSARY STONE
7 to 7.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Iolite, also called Cordierite, Dichroite, or Water Sapphire when the color is not very intense.  Iolite varies from quite Deep Blue to violet Blue to light grayish-Blue, but it always has a strong pleochroism. Sources for these vitreous, transparent, faceted stones is Sri Lanka and Brazil.  This Gem is usually just a few carats in weight and cut to maximize the color and pleochroism.
The most common cut to be found is Oval or Rectangular step cut.
TREATMENTS - Typically Iolite is not treated.
CARE - Jewelry featuring Iolite should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Iolite.


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KUNZITE
6.5 to 7 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Kunzite, named after George F. Kunz, the noted Gemologist for Tiffany & Company, in 1902, is probably the best known member of the Spodumene mineral family and has a hardness of 6.5 to 7.  Our source for these beautiful, transparent, faceted stones is Brazil.  This Violet-Pink Gem is frequently encountered in very large sizes and in deep cut Gems as a way of maximizing the color. Smaller stones, those under 10 Carats, will usually have lighter color than larger ones.
TREATMENTS - The very nature of Kunzite requires it's color to be enhanced and stabilized by Irradiation followed by Heat treatment.  Caution should be exercised regarding exposure to sunlight, however, since the color can become faded.
CARE - Jewelry featuring Kunzite should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Kunzite.


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MORGANITE
7.5 to 8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

The public is aware of the soft pink stone named after J.P. Morgan, but it is very difficult to find "choice" Brazilian stones like the ones which we have for offer.  This Gem is truly rare in the larger sizes with good color.  I know of no other quality stock coming into the market and the price is consistently going up.
TREATMENTS - The color in Morganite is routinely enhanced and stabilized by Irradiation followed by Heat treatment.
CARE - Jewelry featuring Morganite should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Morganite.
This is a valued Collectors Gemstone that will continue to gain popularity and increase in value.  Morganite is in the
Beryl mineral family.


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PERIDOT
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for  AUGUST
The 16th ANNIVERSARY STONE
6.5 to 7 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Peridot is a member of the Olivine mineral group. The amount of Iron determines the color saturation. Peridot ranges in color from yellowish Green to deep olive Green. Peridot's name is derived from the Greek peridona, meaning to provide plentifully.
The U.S. has become the major source for Peridot since the world's largest known deposit is on the San Carlos Apache reservation 80 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona.  The rough is dug by Native Americans who sell to nearby dealers.  The faceted Arizona Peridot is bright, yellowish Green with minimal inclusions.
Burmese Peridot is a rich olive Green and was readily available in large Gem quality stones.  Sources for these fine stones are quite limited now, and premium prices can be demanded for fine, Gem quality
Burmese Peridots.
TREATMENTS - Typically Peridot is not treated.
CARE - Peridot is an excellent choice for jewelry, but should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Peridot.
Top Quality Large Peridot Gems are also excellent for a Collectors Gemstone.


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RUBY
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for JULY
The 15th and 40th ANNIVERSARY STONE
The 80th ANNIVERSARY JUBILEE STONE
9 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Ruby is one of the symbols of love.
Ruby is of the mineral Corundum as is Sapphire.  The red color is called Ruby.  Pink Sapphire is really just Light Red Ruby. The International Colored Gemstone Association passed a resolution that the light shades of the red hue be included in the category Ruby since it was too difficult to legislate where red ended and pink began.  In practice, pink shades are now known either as Pink Ruby or Pink Sapphire.  Either way, these gems are among the most beautiful of the corundum family.  Ruby can range in color from orangey Red, pinkish Red, Red, to purplish Red.  Chrome imparts the Redness to Ruby. Ruby is an excellent choice for jewelry and has a high refraction which produces a bright stone.  Ruby's relative density is high, so a one Carat Ruby will be smaller in millimeter dimensions than a one Carat Diamond.
We typically offer only the finest African, Burma and Ceylon Rubies.  The Mogok region in Burma, or Myanmar, was the source historically for the finest Rubies.  Mogok Burma Rubies are typically medium Pinkish red to medium dark pinkish Red "Cherry Red" to the most desirable "Pigeon Blood" Red that is pure red with a hint of blue.  Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Rubies are typically medium Pinkish red to medium dark pinkish Red "Cherry Red" to a medium dark Purplish Red.  Rubies from Thailand are generally darker in tone and tend to have a more purplish Red color.  African Rubies are similar to the Burma stones in color, but quantities of facet grade material are very limited so far.  Vietnamese Rubies are usually a bright, pinkish Red.  Rubies were discovered in the Mong Hsu region in Burma and mining commenced in 1992.  The Mong Hsu ruby mines were opened to great fanfare among gem dealers, many of whom were hoping for gems to rival the celebrated rubies of Mogok.  As Mong Hsu material hit the market, it became evident that it was inferior to Mogok.  The Ruby faceted stones are usually cut in the Cushion or Oval shapes.  Native cutters take liberties with the cutting of the pavilions or back side of Rubies to produce larger stones by lifting out dark inclusions leaving small cavities, allowing the culet or bottom point to be off-sided, or by having deeper than necessary pavilions. These minor points are not noticeable when the stones are mounted and generally do not affect the price. Precision cuts required for designer jewelry are cut by strict standards, and consequently the cutting adds to the overall cost of the item.
Ruby was the first mineral to be produced by commercial Gem synthesis and dates to the 1880's.  Many customers have brought family heirlooms for insurance only to be told that their "Gem" is not a natural stone, so just because it's old doesn't mean it's the real thing.  We have only genuine natural Gems, so you will not find synthetic Ruby, among our Gemstones.
TREATMENTS - The Burma Ruby we offer is normally "not treated", but since over 99% of all Burma Ruby on the market, and an even higher percentage of all Thai, and Vietnamese Ruby is "heat treated" to stabilize and enhance the color, you should assume that all Rubies "may have been" heat treated to enhance and stabilize the color.  The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.  The typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Ruby from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) normally refers to the lower temperature wood heat method, whereas and the typical heat enhancement procedure performed on Ruby from Burma, and other countries in that region, usually refers to the higher temperature furnace fired method that is performed at another location, both heating methods have been accepted trade practices for generations. The heat treatment process is permanent and does not adversely affect the value and/or quality of the gem, however, in recent years demand for "unheated" top quality Ruby has caused the unheated gems to command a higher premium.
COLOR - The most important factor in the value of a RUBY.  The top qualities are as red as you can imagine: a saturated pure spectral hue without any overtones of brown or blue.  After color, the other factors which influence the value of a ruby are clarity, cut, and size.  There are many variables in colored gem pricing because it's not a controlled market like the diamond market is.  One dealer may sell an Ruby of the same quality at one price and another dealer may sell that same Ruby for another price.  There is no price guide as in diamond purchasing.  Whatever a dealer can get for that rarer colored gem is what it's worth and if he wants to hold out for a certain amount of money he just  has to hope he's making the right move.  So you need to be educated enough to know what you're doing!  Since we cut out these middleman dealers, you can expect to get a great quality stone for considerably less.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Ruby in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Ruby jewelry.

Rubies are an excellent choice for investment that are today still more valuable and rare than even the top quality colorless diamonds. Top quality Ruby never decreased in true value and remains a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.


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STAR RUBY
9 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Ruby sometimes displays a three-ray, six-point star. These star rubies are cut in a smooth domed cabochon cut to display the effect. The star is best visible when illuminated with a single light source: it moves across the stone as the light moves. This effect, called asterism, is caused by light reflecting off tiny rutile needles, called "silk," which are oriented along the crystal faces.
The value of star rubies and star sapphires are influenced by two things: 1) The intensity and attractiveness of the body color, and 2) The strength and sharpness of the star.   All six legs should be straight and equally prominent. Star rubies rarely have the combination of a fine translucent or transparent color and a sharp prominent star, but when offered, these gems are valuable and expensive.
TREATMENTS - Star Ruby is normally "not treated", since the treatment process would dissolve the rutile needles that causes the asterism to form a star.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Star Ruby in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Ruby jewelry.
Our sources for Star Ruby is Africa, Burma and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known for producing the finest variety of Ruby and Sapphire.  Star Rubies are very highly valued Collectors Gemstones.


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SAPPHIRE
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for SEPTEMBER
The 5th and 45th ANNIVERSARY STONE
The 70th ANNIVERSARY JUBILEE STONE
9 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Sapphire and Ruby comprise more than half of all Gemstones sold worldwide. Sapphire's popularity is not based on color alone.  Its hardness of 9 places it next to Diamond (10), making it an excellent choice for jewelry worn daily.  It is frequently featured in engagement rings.  Most people relate Sapphire to the color Blue.  But this form of Corundum is readily available in an array of other colors: Pink, Golden, Green, peachy Orange, Purple and Colorless.  Fancy colors in Sapphires are described as being variations of the standard hues.  Color change Sapphires are those which have two colors which are distinct when the light source is changed from fluorescent to incandescent.  Generally, the more clear and vivid the color, the more valuable the fancy sapphire.  If the color is in the pastel range, the clarity should be good: because in lighter tones inclusions are more noticeable, the trade usually prefers the gemstones to be cleaner with fewer visible inclusions.  In a lighter colored gemstone, the cut is also more important: it should reflect light back evenly across the face of the stone, making it lively and brilliant.  With darker more intense colors, the cut isn't as critical because the color creates its own impact.
Sapphire comes out of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Burma, Australia, Thailand, Colombia, Kampuchea (Cambodia), Kenya, Tanzania and Montana USA.
TREATMENTS - almost all (99%) Sapphire is routinely treated with "heat" to enhance and stabilize the color.  The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Sapphire in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Sapphire jewelry.
We specialize in obtaining Sapphires that are natural "untreated" gems, not heated or chemically treated in any way. The exception is Golden Sapphire, Orange Sapphire as well as some of the darker shades of Blue Sapphire, and these stones are typically heat enhanced to stabilize the color.
Even though it does not normally adversely affect the performance, durability, or value of the gem, in recent years demand for unheated top quality Blue Sapphire has caused the unheated gems to command a somewhat higher premium, depending on the gem.

Kashmir Sapphire - Bule Sapphire

Although everyone has heard of the fabled Burmese Kashmir Sapphire, few have ever seen one.  We constantly see  appraisals that refer to Kashmir Sapphire, but it's just about always refers to a top gem quality Deep Royal Blue Ceylon Sapphire from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).   Once in a great while we are able to acquire a real one, but since the mine has been depleted and these highly prized stones are old stones that are simply brought back onto the market, they don't last long.  Authentic Kashmir Sapphires carry a particularly high cost per carat and are very highly valued Collectors Gemstones.
Kashmir Blue Sapphire from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) also carries a particularly high cost per carat and these are very highly valued Collectors Gemstones, especially when they are in the super rich Velvety Royal Blue color.
The Blue Sapphire color next on the popularity scale is Cornflower Blue.  The Cornflower Blue color shades vary but all usually allow more light into the stone for a brighter appearance, so these stones are usually cut in the Cushion or Oval shape to make it as brilliant as possible.  Price per carat reflects the size, evenness of the color, the clarity and the brightness of the stone.

Color Change Sapphire

A color change Gemstone is one that changes from one color to another due to the light source. The color change comes about in a Gemstone due to the atomic structure of the stone. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight or fluorescent light excite the atoms in a color change Gem, but artificial (incandescent) light does not.  Sapphire is one of the few Gemstones that can have a color change. The more dramatic the color change, the rarer and more expensive the stone. All of our Color Change Sapphires are are very highly valued Collectors Gemstones.

Green Sapphire

These Sapphires are generally a strong, bright green color, sometimes from green to bluish green or yellowish green pleochroism. They are not the same tone of Green as the Chrome Tourmaline, Tsavorite Garnet, or Emerald, but can at first glance look very similar.  The mixed Oval and Cushion cut are the most common, but you can sometimes find square or rectangular step cuts.  Green Sapphires are excellent choices for mounting in jewelry as well as in any Collection.  Due to the rarity of Green Sapphire it is difficult to find stones of any size.

Pink Sapphire

Pink Sapphires are one of the HOTTEST of the fancy color Sapphires. The Hot Pinks have seen the largest increase in value over the past 5 years of any of the Sapphires. True Hot Pinks are very rare.  Pink Sapphires are treasured Gemstones in any Collection.  Price per carat reflects the size, evenness of the color, the clarity and the brightness of the stone.

Padparadscha Sapphire

Padparadscha is the Sinhalese word meaning "lotus blossom".  Padparadscha is Corundum in the pastel shades of delicate Orange-Yellow-Pink.   Padparadscha can run from a more predominant Pink with nice Yellow-Orange mixed in, to the darker tones of predominantly Red with Yellow-Orange mixed in, this means the Pink or Red would be the more predominant color in the stone but the others are present and visible.  At the other end of the color spectrum Padparadscha can run from a more predominant pastel Orange with nice Pink-Yellow mixed in, to the darker tones of Orange with Red-Yellow mixed in.  One color can be more predominant than the others, but never without the others.  We know there are dealers passing Orange Sapphires off as Padparadscha, probably since the synthetic Padparadscha Sapphires on the market are basically just synthetic Orange Sapphires, but in order to be a true Padparadscha, Orange-Pink-Peach all must be present and visible no matter the varying intensity. Most Padparadscha tends to have slight inclusions, especially in the rich tones, so if you see one that is a well cut and eye clean (or better) stone, with rich pastel blended color having all three colors evenly balanced and saturated throughout the stone, you are looking at the most expensive and sought after Top quality Padparadscha available from the mines in Sri Lanka (Ceylon).  These stones should also be "Untreated" which adds to the premium price, nearing and sometimes surpassing the price for a fine Kashmir (royal) Blue Sapphire.  Padparadscha Sapphire is rarer than fine Ruby with a great investment potential!

White Sapphire

White or "Colorless" Sapphires have a great deal of brilliance, are attractive, durable and well priced. Colorless Sapphires are not common. In fact they are very difficult to obtain, so prices should continue to move upward in the market.  Some Colorless Sapphires have a very light tint of Blue, Yellow, or Pink but are still considered colorless.
Colorless (white) Sapphire (corundum) is a 9 on the Moh's scale, and a refractive index of 1.76 and Diamond is a 10 on the Moh's scale, and a refractive index of 2.41, the highest for colorless minerals.
Colorless (white) Sapphire has been used as a substitute for Diamond for years, but despite it's luster, it is very easily distinguished from diamond since it has less dispersion and fire.  We often suggest Colorless (white) Sapphire as the accent stones in jewelry pieces, and the larger gems make excellent main stones in pendants and rings, but we do not recommend it if you expect it to be as brilliant as a diamond.  White Sapphire is a natural precious gem, and as such, stands on it's own merit as a beautiful precious gemstone.  Brilliant and Clean Colorless  (white) Sapphires are gaining popularity as a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.

Yellow Sapphire

Yellow Sapphires are intense, bright stones ranging from medium light Yellow to deep golden Yellow. These faceted Gems are exceptional in jewelry and have become quite popular as an alternative color for Blue.


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STAR SAPPHIRE
9 on the MOH's scale of hardness
THE ALTERNATE BIRTHSTONE for AUGUST

Sapphire sometimes displays a three-ray, six-point star.  These star sapphires are cut in a smooth domed cabochon cut to display the effect.  The star is best visible when illuminated with a single light source: it moves across the stone as the light moves. This effect, called asterism, is caused by light reflecting off tiny rutile needles, called "silk," which are oriented along the crystal faces.
The value of star sapphires are influenced by at least these two things: 1) the intensity and attractiveness of the body color, and  2) the strength and sharpness of the star.  Of course all six legs should be straight and equally prominent.  Star sapphires rarely have the combination of a fine translucent or transparent color and a sharp prominent star, but when offered, these gems are highly valued and the most expensive.
TREATMENTS - Star Sapphire is normally "not treated", since the treatment process would dissolve the rutile needles that causes the asterism to form a star.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Star Sapphire in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Sapphire jewelry.
Our source for fine Star Sapphire is Africa, Burma and Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known for producing the finest variety of Sapphire available.  Star Sapphires are highly valued Collectors Gemstones.


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SPINEL
The 22nd ANNIVERSARY STONE
7.5 to 8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Spinels are genuine Gemstones with a long history. The availability of Red, Pink, Blue, Purple and Orange Spinels and all of their accompanying shades has created confusion between natural Spinel and other Gems for those unfamiliar with this natural stone.
Spinel is a mineral group composed of Magnesium Aluminates. The addition of Chromium produces Pink or Red Spinels. Iron or Titanium additions produce Lavender or Blue Spinels. Spinel takes a brilliant polish, so it is an excellent choice for jewelry. Generally Spinel crystals are quite clear and clean of flaws. Spinel received its name from either the Greek spina meaning "little thorn" or from the Greek spinther meaning "spark" in allusion to its color.
TREATMENTS - Typically Spinel is not treated.
CARE - It is usually safe to clean Spinel in an Ultrasonic cleaner, but risky to use a steamer. We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Spinel jewelry.
Our sources for Spinel is Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known also for producing the finest variety of Sapphire, Garnet, Tourmaline, Taaffeite, and Ruby.  Other sources are Myanmar, Thailand, Afghanistan and Russia. All colors of Spinel are highly valued collectors Gemstones. Many of the colors are rare and scarce in large, clean stones but are less per carat than some of their better known look-alikes.

Blue Spinel

Top quality Blue Spinels rival the color of Blue Sapphire, or they are a vibrant cobalt Blue. Other shades include grayish Blue or slightly greenish Blue. Our stones are transparent, faceted Gems with no eye visible inclusions.  All are nicely cut, ready for your jewelry or collection.

Red Spinel

Red Spinel has been confused with Ruby throughout history. Modern gemologists have identified Red Spinels in the Crown Jewels of England, Russia and Iran. For centuries Red Spinel was called "Balas Ruby" in reference to Badakshan in northern Afghanistan, an area which produced large Red Spinels in the Middle Ages. Spinel and Corundum are often found side by side in the same gravel pit, another problem which increases the misidentification. Fine Red Spinels occur less frequently than comparable Rubies, but they are less costly per carat.  As with Ruby, the larger and redder the Spinel, the higher the cost per carat. Our stones are priced according to the size and the depth of color. They are transparent and eye clean.


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TANZANITE
The 24th ANNIVERSARY STONE
6 to 7 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Tanzanite is basically the Blue variety of "Zoisite".   Tanzanite, discovered in Tanzania in 1967, is mined as a greenish yellowish brownish crystalline material that resembles Andalusite.  Moderate heat (750-950 degrees) is applied to get the color you see today ranging from light blue/blue-violet (very inexpensive) to Top Gem colors of rich deep Intense blue/blue-violet.  Zoisite was originally used in lamp shades and other ornamental art carved items, but as Tiffany's acquired rights to the trade name "Tanzanite" it started to be used in Jewelry.  Zoisite had a hardness of 5 3/4 - 6 1/4, but as Tiffany's acquired rights to the trade name "tanzanite" the material  mysteriously gained hardness to now be 6 1/2 to 7... well, things don't get harder after heat treatment, not in the gem world anyway, and this transition from a material that was softer than dust into a wearable durable gemstone was good marketing to say the least.  It has perfect cleavage (as in topaz) and the fracture is uneven and brittle. This is why over time facet junctions will abrade (or smooth).   Top Gem Tanzanite can be very beautiful and looks great in jewelry, but it is really unsuitable for rings which are, of course, susceptible to knocks and abrasion.  It is best worn in pendants and earrings... if mounted into rings it should be handled as though it is was as soft as opal.  Tanzanite is also heat sensitive and reacts poorly to pressure.
TREATMENTS - All Tanzanite on the market is routinely treated with "heat" to enhance and stabilize the color.  The typical heat treatment process is a permanent process that does not adversely affect the performance and durability of the gemstone, so there's no need to worry when you see this enhancement disclosed.
CARE - Tanzanite should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner, since this cleaning method can cause un-repairable damage to the stone.  Many are even broken or damaged by jewelers while they are being set in jewelry, or even during a simple re-sizing of a ring.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Tanzanite jewelry.
Tanzanite has been a winner with the American public in past years since it resembles the color of the Blue Sapphire, and it was priced at a fraction of the cost, but now the price has escalated to the point it is not a wise investment, especially since enough time has passed to see the payoff with so many damaged and broken stones turning up.
Blue Sapphire is a better stone, in our opinion, for wear as well as for investment purposes.


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TOPAZ
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for NOVEMBER (Yellow)
THE MODERN BIRTHSTONE for DECEMBER (Blue)
The 4th ANNIVERSARY STONE
8 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Topaz is available in several different colors: Colorless or White, Blue, Yellow to Orange and Pink.  Topaz is a very bright and attractive Gem that is appropriate for any kind of jewelry.
CARE - Jewelry featuring Topaz should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  We recommend ionic cleaners and/or warm, soapy water and a soft brush as the best way to clean your Topaz jewelry.

Blue Topaz

Blue topaz is the most popular shade used in jewelry.  Although some Blue Topaz is produced in nature, the natural shade is generally too pale to excite any interest.
TREATMENTS - The Blue Topaz readily available in the market actually begins as Colorless Topaz and is irradiated to produce the vibrant Blue Shades. Then it is heated to stabilize the color.
The value increases with the intensity of color, provided it is attractive.  At first sight it has a resemblance to aquamarine, but, aquamarine always displays a strong pleochroism from blue to greenish blue, whereas Topaz is a more definite blue or blue with a grayish tone.

Yellow Topaz

The Yellow to Brownish Yellow is the least expensive stones of the Yellow hues.

Natural Golden Topaz

The Golden and peachy Orange shades are more vibrant, more desirable and more expensive.

Imperial Topaz
The 23rd ANNIVERSARY STONE

The most expensive and most desired of the Yellow tones, ranging in shades of peachy Orange to medium intense Orange to reddish Orange, with sherry Red, deep Pink, and reddish Orange hues. Imperial Topaz is found in only one location in the world, Ouro Preto in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The world's entire supply of Imperial Topaz is mined in a 100 kilometer (60 miles+) area around Ouro Preto.  Most of it comes from two mines, the Vermelhao Mine and the Capao Mine.  Even though Brazil has the richest and largest concentration of all Gem bearing pegmatites, Gem experts still expect the Imperial Topaz sources to be completely exhausted within a few years.
This is a very highly treasured Collectable Gemstone that will increase in value as supply is reduced.

Natural Pink Topaz

Pink Topaz is usually a light to medium pink in color.  It is rare to find stones without the typical zoning of color.  The most common cut is oval or pear shape.  Pink Topaz is strongly transparent and lustrous, and can be mistaken for kunzite, morganite, and some pink tourmalines.  When it is a fairly intense color, it can be one of the most valuable of the second level of gemstones like aquamarine, etc.  Pink Topaz comes mainly from Brazil.

Smokey Topaz

These inexpensive stones are actually a Citrine, properly called Smoky Quartz.  Unfortunately Smoky "Topaz" is a very inexpensive variety of Quartz, not in the more precious Topaz family.  It its sold by many unscrupulous persons and unknowing jewelers as Smoky "Topaz" in an attempt to create more sales in the November birthstone month.
Although Topaz of any color is the birthstone for November, other Gemstones have also been used as a
November birthstone substitute.  Yellow is the dominant color used in November birthstone jewelry.


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TOURMALINE
TRADITIONAL BIRTHSTONE for OCTOBER
The 8th ANNIVERSARY STONE
7 to 7.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Tourmaline is a large family of Gemstones with more than 100 hues available.  Its name comes from the Sinhalese turmali, meaning mixed Gemstones due to the tendency to confuse Tourmalines with other Gems.
Tourmaline from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) was first introduced to the Europeans in the late 1600's or early 1700's by Dutch traders. Our source for Tourmaline is Africa, known for producing some of the finest variety of Tourmaline.
Tourmaline crystals are often cracked and flawed, especially in the Red, Pink and Bi-colors. Clean stones of 10 Carats or more in these colors command a premium price. The Green and Blue colors are generally very clean. The vivid colors like Bubble Gum Pink in Tourmaline is Heat or Cobalt Irradiation treated to enhance and stabilize the color.
Tourmaline is a good jewelry stone but it should be stored in a separate compartment or in a jewelry bag to prevent scratching by harder Gemstones.  Jewelry featuring Tourmaline should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Tourmaline.

Chrome Tourmaline

Chrome Tourmaline is a rare variety of Green Tourmaline that is found only in Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania. The finest Chromes rival the top color of Emerald and offer a more durable stone for jewelry.  Chrome Tourmaline's vivid Green color is determined by the presence of Chromium or Vanadium oxides.  Chrome Tourmaline was first mined in Tanzania in the 1960's.  One of the largest crystal chambers was uncovered by accident in Namibia when an explosives expert shot off excess dynamite.  Gem quality Chromes are extremely difficult to locate.  Stones over 3 Carats are considered very rare in this Gem.  All of our stones are well faceted and eye clean.  A very rare Gem with a great investment potential!

Green Tourmaline

Green Tourmaline is the most recognized of the Tourmaline colors.  Green Tourmalines are typically eye clean stones. Most are cut in the rectangular shapes.  Shades range from a pastel Green to a deep, vibrant Green.

Indicolite Tourmaline

Indicolite is the proper name for Blue Tourmaline. The finest Blue Tourmalines are medium dark Blue, close to the color of Blue Sapphire.  Sources for Indicolite are Africa, Brazil, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Madagascar, California and Maine.
Indicolite is typically a clean Gemstone, seldom with eye visible inclusions and range in shades of medium light to medium dark Blue.   Indicolite Tourmaline is a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.

Paraiba or Neon Tourmaline

This is another of the world's most unusual Gemstones. At first it was called "Electric" then "NEON."  This new gemstone was discovered in Brazil in 1989. It's brilliant blue and green are more vivid than any ever seen before. The term "NEON" accurately describes the tone of color.  It is so vivid, and it will shock you with its beauty. You can see this stone from across the room! These vivid turquoises, electric blues, rich twilight blues, and neon greens haven't been seen with any consistency in any other gemstone variety. The only Tourmaline in the world that contains Copper, but a recent study by the German Foundation for Gemstone Research also discovered a surprisingly high gold content, 8.6 parts per million, If it wasn't for the fact they were so beautiful, they could have been in danger of being crushed for the gold salvage!  This gem was found only in one "football field" size spot in the world, its location is near a village called Sao Jose de Batalha in the state of Paraiba, Brazil.  The mine shafts are hand-excavated tunnels up to 60 meters deep and the paraiba tourmaline is found only in very thin veins. This means the supply will always be limited and paraiba always be rare and expensive. Don't be surprised to see retail prices of over $20,000 per carat for the fine specimens, but even that is very little when you realize how rare these gemstones are. Diamonds are quite common in comparison. The price per carat reflects the size, clarity, color and the intensity of the particular shade. Neon. Paraiba Tourmaline is an attractive, highly desirable Gemstone which should be purchased when you can. The most desired colors have been the shades of clear bright greenish Blue or bluish Green; pure Green; or the medium intense Blue.  Naturally, variations of tones create exciting "Neons". Stones are usually transparent with minimal inclusions. This rare Gemstone is a definite winner!

Pink Tourmaline

Pink Tourmaline has become a favorite for mounting because it is available in so many shades, ranging from pure light Pink to intense "HOT" Pink to orangey-Pink and Fuchsia Pink.  Gemologists think that natural irradiation produces the Pink, Red and Violet colors in Tourmaline.  To enhance the color to get the very HOT Pinks, you can expect it to be Cobalt treated.  The darker reddish colors tend to have more natural inclusions than the other Tourmaline colors because they are formed near the center of the crystal pocket and receive more stress and pressure during formation.
We carry the best gem quality Tourmaline available on the market.  Prices per carat vary with the size, color and clarity of the stone.  Pink Tourmaline is a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.

Rubellite Tourmaline

Called Rubellite because the deepest shades appear to be Ruby-like RED.  Like all tourmalines, it has strong pleochroism.  Eye clean Rubellite is one of the most expensive of the Tourmalines since most Rubellite has visible inclusions. Clean Rubellite is very rare, so if you see a super clean stone it's probably a Pink Tourmaline or a Rubellite Garnet.  Rubellite's intense RED color makes it a beautiful Gem for mounting.  Colors range in Rubellite from Fuchsia to maroon Red to Red. The price of Rubellite goes up dramatically as the size increases or the Red deepens in intensity.  There have been no new stocks of clean Rubellite Tourmaline on the market for several years.  Expect it to continue to move upward in price.

Watermelon Tourmaline

Sometimes the mineral deposit in the Tourmaline crystal will form a color band along its length or width which will then be appropriately called Bi-color, Tri-color or Watermelon if the colors are Green and Red with a White separation. The vast majority of the stones are obscure or heavily included. Clean Gems are much more expensive.
We offer some of the finest, cleanest Watermelon Tourmalines available in the Gem market.  Definitely one-of-a-kind Gems.  Watermelon Tourmaline is a highly valued Collectors Gemstone.


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ZIRCON
TRADITIONAL BIRTHSTONE for DECEMBER
7 to 7.5 on the MOH's scale of hardness

Zircons are natural Gemstones available in an array of colors.
Zircon's name comes from the Arabic zargoon, meaning vermilion. Natural Zircons are one of the few Gemstones with dispersion or fire.  Zircon approaches Diamond in fire, so the Colorless Zircon has been a successful natural substitute for Diamond. Our Zircon is not Heat or chemically treated unless specified.
Our source for Zircon is Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), known for producing the finest variety of Sapphire, Garnet, Tourmaline, Taaffeite, and Ruby.  Other sources are Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Colorless, Blue, Green, Golden, Red, Rose and Fancy colors provide an ample choice of colors.
Zircons are beautiful, natural Gemstones which are currently under priced in the Gem markets.
Zircon is a beautiful and affordable addition to any Gemstone Collection. Jewelry featuring Zircon should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.  Warm, soapy water and a soft brush are the best way to clean Zircon.


Gem Cuts


Types of Cuts for Gemstones
There is no general rule which can be applied to the various cuts. However, three groups or types of cut can be named: Faceted cut, plain cut, and mixed cut.
The faceted cut is practically applied only to transparent stones. The number of small even facets gives the gem higher luster and often a better play of color. Most facet cuts are built on two basic types, the brilliant cut and the trap or emerald cut. The plain cut can be leveled en cabochon (domed). This is suitable for agates and other opaque stones. In mixed cuts, the upper part is level and the lower part is faceted, or vice versa.


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Phone (248)241-6571
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E-mail : sales@phoenixgems.com
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