Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sapphire from Baffin Island, Nunavut

In 2002, gem quality blue sapphire was discovered in the Canadian Arctic, near the hamlet of Kimmirut.

In late 2005 True North Gems discovered an extremely rare, cobalt-rich variety of spinel. The Beluga spinel has an unusually intense blue colour with the chromophore (colouring agent) being cobalt.
Gemstone exploration, with the exception of diamonds, is not common in Canada. A decade ago, emerald mineralization was discovered in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Ontario which generated a brief period of interest. There have also been sapphire discoveries in British Columbia, Nunavut and Ontario.

These discoveries led to a number of scientific papers but gemstone mining remains a speculative and unfamiliar market for most.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Genuine Alexandrite

Many people who have either inherited or bought a ring that is purported to be an Alexandrite OR a Russian Alexandrite end up disappointed. They usually have synthetic corundum laced with vanadium to produce the colour changing properties.

Even from the turn of the century synthetic corundum was used in place of genuine gemstones. The science of imitating Alexandrite has advanced and flux grown Alexandrite is very common. Only 2,000 kilos of rough were mined in the Urals in the 1800s. Much of this was lost in the faceting process, leaving precious few genuine gems.

55.88ct Synthetic Alexandrite
Since the original find in Russia, other sources of Alexandrite have been found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Australia and Myanmar. None of these finds have been long lived or plentiful. In 1987 in Brazil there was a find at Minas Gerais that lasted all of 4 months.

Synthetic Alexandrite, synthetic Amethyst, synthetic Tanzanite
The value of Alexandrite is primarily in the strength of colour change, the size, the clarity and location (unless verified Russian) doesn’t play a part.

A fine Alexandrite is always going to fetch top dollar and that’s the main reason why the gem is very often mis-sold.

Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Backes & Strauss

Backes & Strauss, the Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green. It is set with 245 Zambian emeralds totaling 31.91 carats in 10 different cuts. $2.27 million

Cartier Tourbillon Mysterieux Azure features a 26 carat Ceylon sapphire which forms the detachable pendant to the body of the timepiece. € 1.2 million

Ruby bangle watch by Van Cleef & Arpels features 115 Mozambique rubies weighing a total of 151.25 carats. $ 1m+

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Baselworld 2017

Picchiotti L’Anfiteatro, an 8.05-carat ruby ring
The newest trendsetting creations and the most brilliant innovations from the international watch and jewellery industry celebrate their premieres at Baselworld 2017. March 23rd through 30th.

12 tsavorites (0.10 cts) set as hour-markers

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Graff Princess Butterfly Secret Watch

Graff has produced amazing watches over the years and 2017 is no different. Once again its craftsmanship is stealing the limelight.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Indicolite - Blue Tourmaline

Tourmaline occurs in virtually every color, but blue is the rarest. The blue tourmaline that has attracted the most attention recently is the rare paraiba variety that was first discovered in Brazil in 1989, and then in Nigeria and Mozambique. These gems, colored by copper, have a neon-like quality that is highly coveted by collectors.
Indicolite tourmaline, colored by iron, can vary from a light to a deep blue. Like most tourmaline, it is strongly pleochroic, meaning it shows different hues when viewed from different directions. Indicolite which is a pure blue is extremely rare, and most examples will have a green secondary hue.
The main sources of indicolite tourmaline are Brazil, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Red Beryl

Red beryl is an extremely rare variety of beryl that receives its red color from trace amounts of manganese. World-wide, crystals suitable for cutting gems have been found in one location only, the Ruby-Violet claims in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah. The Utah Geological Survey estimated that one crystal of red beryl is found for every 150,000 gem-quality diamonds.

Red beryl is extremely rare because its formation requires a unique geochemical environment. First, the element beryllium must be present in large enough amounts to form minerals. Second, dissolved manganese must also be present at the same time and location. Third, the correct geochemical conditions must be present for beryllium, manganese, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen to crystallize into red beryl. Fractures and cavities must also be available to serve as a space for the crystals to grow.

At the Ruby-Violet mine, the topaz rhyolite is a lava flow that erupted from volcanic vents about 18 to 20 million years ago. As the lava flow cooled, fractures and cavities developed in the rock. These openings allowed superheated beryllium-rich water and gases to enter the formation. These were released from a magma chamber that was degassing below.

At the same time, surface water was entering fractures above and moving downwards. It carried oxygen, manganese, aluminum, and silicon leached from the rocks above.
Superheated water and gases from below encountered cool waters from above, which produced a change in geochemical conditions that triggered mineral crystallization.

Red beryl rough is rarely larger than one carat and most faceted red beryls are 0.2 carat or less. Most specimens of red beryl from Ruby-Violet have a rich saturated red color. This allows tiny faceted stones to exhibit a vivid red color.
Lab-created red beryl was first produced in Russia by the hydrothermal process in the mid-1990s. As of January 2016, the lab was no longer producing red beryl. Lab-created red beryl has the same composition and physical properties as natural red beryl but gemologists familiar with the materials are able to distinguish lab-created from natural.

The name "red emerald" is sometimes used when referring to red beryl. This name is a misnomer because emerald, by definition, is green.

Famous Diamonds VI

The Blue Empress is a spectacular 14 carat, symmetrical pear-shaped, fancy vivid blue diamond.

The stone was mined at the Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa and was purchased from De Beers by the Steinmetz Group. It was first offered for sale by London’s Harrods in 2003 for £10 million.
The 67.50-carat, cushion-cut Black Orlov is named black but is the colour of gun metal. Like the story behind the famous Hope diamond, legend has it that the Black Orlov was an uncut black stone of 195 carats, pried out of the eye (forehead) of the statute of the sacred Hindu God Brahma from a temple in Southern India.

The diamond turned up in Russia, where it was bought by Princess Nadia Vyegin Orlov.

The Black Orlov was purchased in 1947 by Charles F Winson who sold it to an unknown buyer in 1969 for $300,000.
The Paragon Diamond is one of the more unusually shaped diamonds. It is a 7 sided diamond of 137.82 carats and is rated a flawless D in color. The necklace currently belongs to the Graff Company and is set in combination necklace - bracelet setting.

The gem was mined in Brazil.
The Donnersmarck Diamonds are two yellow diamonds, named after their one time owner Henckel von Donnersmarc. One, a baguette-shaped diamond weighing 102.54 carats, was sold for $3.246 million.

The second, tear drop in shape and weighing 82.48 carats, was sold for $4.666 million.
The Sun-Drop Diamond at 110 carats is the world’s largest yellow diamond. It sold at auction for $10.91m in 2011.

It was found in South Africa in 2010. The stone was cut as a Pear Brilliant, also called Drop Cut.
The Kazanjian Red Diamond is an 5.05-carat red gem on temporary display in the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems. Red diamonds are the rarest among colored diamonds. Only three 5-carat red diamonds are known to exist: the Kazanjian Red diamond, the trilliant-cut 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red, and the 5.03-carat De Young Red.

The original 35-carat piece of rough was discovered in Lichtenburg, South Africa
The Spoonmaker's Diamond is a 86 carat pear-shaped diamond, pride of the Imperial Treasury exhibitions at the Topkapi Palace Museum, Tehran.